Tag: "Mark Levin"

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

| May 6, 2020

Chris Oliviero Returns to Entercom as SVP/Market Manager for New York. It’s been almost two years since Chris Oliviero left his EVP of programming role with Entercom. On June 1, he returns to the company’s New York offices as senior vice president and market manager for the station group that includes all-news WINS-AM and WCBS-AM, sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, and alternative WNYL “ALT 92.3,” classic hits WCBS-FM, and country WNSH-FM. He assumes the role previously held by Susan Larkin, who was promoted to company chief operating officer. Larkin says, “Chris is an exceptional leader with proven success developing talent, growing many of our leading brands, and building a thriving culture. We’re thrilled to welcome him back to take the helm of his hometown where his energy, passion and drive will help further raise the bar of excellence in the top media market in the country.” Oliviero originally transitioned to Entercom as the company acquired the CBS RADIO properties.  He worked for CBS for 22 years and was a senior manager for CBS for years. He comments, “Radio in New York is an incredibly special place, so to have the chance to return to a collection of the most iconic and influential brands on the dial is humbling. Our stations are in many ways the soundtrack of the city. I am confident that along with all my Entercom New York colleagues we will add to this legacy. I can’t wait to reconnect with so many old friends and of course meet new ones as well.”

Sandhill Media to Launch New Talk Station in Idaho Falls; Neal Larson and Julie Mason Recruited for Mornings. There’s no exact launch date set for the new format but Sandhill Media Group says it will move its CHR format off KAOX-FM, Idaho Falls and install the new “Newstalk 107.9 FM” format with market morning duo Neal Larson and Julie Mason as hosts of the AM drive show. Larson and Mason left their positions with Rich Broadcasting’s crosstown news/talk KID last month.  The station plans to air Westwood One’s Mark Levin program as well as other national programs.  Neal Larson is also serving as program director for the station.  He says, “We’re thrilled at the opportunity to not just continue doing what we love to do, but also join the great and talented team at Sandhill and build something from the ground up. It is a unique opportunity at a truly unique time in our community, state, and country. We can’t wait to unveil to the whole region what we’re putting together.”  Mason adds, “While being part of a brand-new station is an incredible opportunity, what we really love is what happens after – building a community of informed and loyal listeners on one side, and also watching that audience create huge value for our advertisers on the other.”  Station OM Will Kezele, says, “We have a fantastic core of music stations here at Sandhill, but the one piece we’ve been missing is a news/talk station. This is our moment to fill that void and create something that will be a valuable part of east Idaho for many years to come.” Sandhill will move the CHR format to KAOX-HD2/K286BU at 105.1 FM.

Kim Guthrie to Leave Cox Media Group President and CEO Post. This change comes as a surprise to industry watchers and one has to wonder what caused Cox Media Group president and CEO Kim Guthrie to decide to “move on from the organization after a 22-plus year career with the company.” In a press release, CMG says executive chairman Steve Pruett will serve as interim CEO until a permanent CEO is named. He says, “On behalf of the board of directors, we would like to thank Kim for her decades of service to Cox Media Group and her leadership during the company’s transition to new ownership. She has been instrumental in positioning CMG for future success as an industry-leading media company.” Guthrie, who will work with Pruett on an orderly transition, comments, “We have built a strong foundation for future growth, including an exceptional senior management team, a successful carveout from Cox Enterprises, and deep, long-term relationships with our communities, customers and partners. I have full confidence in this great team at CMG and I look forward to watching CMG’s future achievements.”

Saga Communications Reports Q1 Financials; Net Revenue Dips 6.5%. The first broadcasting company to report its first quarter 2020 financial data is Saga Communications, Inc and its report comes with a huge caveat – this report doesn’t reflect the hit the company has taken from April 1 to now.  Saga states net income increased to $1.7 million from $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 20.3%.  However, net revenue was $26.1 million for the quarter, a decrease of 6.5% from Q1 2019 in which net revenue was $27.8 million. Free cash flow was $1.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 compared to $2.6 million for the same period last year.   Saga reports having $47 million in cash on hand as of May 4, 2020. It says in its report, “The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to spread, and state and local ‘shelter-in-place’ orders in the states where we operate have impacted and restricted various aspects of our business. Our operations are functioning, subject to regulated restrictions and safety constraints we have enacted in order to protect our employees and customers. As a result of the current challenging economic conditions, our reported results for the three months ended March 31, 2020 are not reflective of current market conditions. The company’s advertising revenue has declined significantly as a result of the pandemic and these unfavorable trends have continued into May and June. While we cannot reasonably estimate the length or severity of this pandemic, an extended economic slowdown in the U.S. could materially impact our consolidated financial position, consolidated results of operations, and consolidated cash flows in fiscal 2020 or beyond.”

PPM Analysis: Extra. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the “Extra” edition of his monthly study of Nielsen Audio’s 6+ ratings data from the March 2020 PPM survey. He says this “Extra” coverage of each PPM sweep in the foreseeable future will uniquely detail month-to-month shifts among news/talk; all-news; public radio news/talk; and sports talk stations. Among this month’s data is: A ranking of the strongest spoken-word markets among the 48 PPM markets – #1 is Washington, DC, followed by Boston at #2 and San Francisco at #3; a ranking of the markets that most improved over the February 2020 PPM survey – Portland saw a 4.0 share gain from month to month, with Seattle close behind with a 3.8 share improvement; a ranking of the stations that achieved the highest increase from February to March – Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago is the winner here; as well as a look at the stations losing the most ground, month to month (hint: sports talk).  See the entire report here.

Entercom All-News Stations Honored with Awards. Two of Entercom’s all-news stations were recently honored for programming quality.  KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco garnered 10 2019 Associated Press Television and Radio Association Awards – eight first place awards and two second-place awards. KCBS won first place for Outstanding News Operation, Best Evening Newscast, and Best Spot News Coverage, among others. Meanwhile, the company’s WINS, New York took home three 2020 Excellence in Broadcasting Awards first-place honors from the New York State Broadcasters Association.  “1010 WINS” won for Outstanding Spot News, Outstanding Newscast, and Outstanding Use of Digital Platforms.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, Rush to Re-Open, Scrutiny of China’s COVID-19 Response, Presidential Race/Joe Biden Allegations, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/5). The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll plus the projections of future cases; the debate over ‘lives vs livelihood’ as states begin to re-open their economies; the accusations that China tried to hide the coronavirus outbreak; the presidential race and Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden; and activity among the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Nobody covers the New York City sports radio scene more colorfully than the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, and in today’s column he speculates about the possible return of former WFAN-AM/FM morning personality Craig Carton now that radio executive Chris Oliviero is returning to Entercom as SVP and market manager of its New York stations. Of course, Carton is currently serving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence after being convicted of fraud in a concert tickets Ponzi-scheme. Marchand notes that Oliviero and WFAN program director Mark Chernoff put together the team of Boomer Esiason and Carton back in 2007…..ABC News’ “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir interviewed President Trump in Phoenix on Tuesday as the president was in the city visiting a plant that makes face masks. Muir is featured on ABC Audio’s “Start Here” podcast with host Brad Mielke speaking about his interview with the president…..Entercom launches a daily “I’m Listening” capsule. The 60-second public service announcements, an extension of the company’s annual, yearlong “I’m Listening” mental health awareness initiative, features the voices and thoughts of artists, celebrities, media hosts, and mental health specialists. The daily capsules will feature singer and songwriter Halsey; former American Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps; singer, rapper, songwriter and flutist Lizzo; singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Allessia Cara; rock band Blink-182; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former Nirvana member Krist Novoselic, and more to help listeners navigate the complexities of this global health pandemic…..Three new iHeartRadio Original Podcasts launch today. “Fierce,” co-produced by Tribeca Studios, is hosted by Jo Piazza and explores the stories of extraordinary women who never made it into history books; “Flashback: History’s Unintended Consequences” in conjunction with OZY Media, is hosted by OZY’s Sean Braswell who explores disastrous turning points, dangerous ideas, crazy coincidences, unsung heroes, and forgotten villains in history; and “The Trend Reporter,” hosted by four-time Emmy award-winning TV personality and journalist Mara Schiavocampo, is a weekly show that will help listeners figure out which wellness, beauty, style, and fitness trends are actually worth trying…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Podcast Network welcomes two shows to its platform: “The Stacking Benjamins Show,” with host Joe Saul-Sehy and co-host Josh Bannerman teaching listeners about personal finance through headlines, guest experts, and plenty of humor. The hour-long, magazine-style show drops each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and the spin-off program “Money with Friends” with Joe Saul-Sehy and Bobbi Rebell who are joined each season with a rotating cast of thought leaders providing fresh perspectives and unique insights to the personal finance news and issues discussed on the podcast.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Jacksonville, iHeartMedia launches a regional Mexican format branded “El Patrón 97.3” on translator W247CF (fed by WKSL-HD2). The translator had been fed by sports talk WFXJ-AM. Jacksonville iHeartLatino GSM Jorge Lopez says, “I am grateful to be part of a company that sees Hispanic growth in Jacksonville, by adding another radio station and Hispanic brand to our market. With this launch, we confirm our commitment to the community and our solid growth in the communications industry in North Florida, covering 100% of the Hispanic market with our ‘Rumba’ brand and now with ‘El Patrón.’”…..SiriusXM launches the “Mandatory Metallica” channel through the month of May featuring the band’s biggest songs, rarities, and concert recordings from throughout its history. The channel is embarking on a 30-date “virtual Metallica tour,” which will air a daily concert from the band on tour around the globe, including the band’s exclusive SiriusXM concert from 2013 at the Apollo Theater in New York City and their 2016 concert at New York City’s Webster Hall.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

| March 24, 2020

CLARIFICATION: WABC, New York Adds Bannon’s ‘War Room: Pandemic’ Show TFN; Local Expert Guests Throughout Week.  Clearing up some confusion from an earlier press release sent out by Red Apple Media, news/talk WABC, New York announces it is adding Stephen K. Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” syndicated program to its daily lineup at 5:00 pm until further notice.  The station is also bringing in a series of expert guests for special local coronavirus programs between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.  On Monday (3/23), former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani hosted with Tony Carbonetti for an hour. Today (3/24), famed attorney Arthur Aidala hosts at 3:00 pm and Bill O’Reilly does a customized hour for WABC at 4:00 pm.  Tomorrow (3/25), “Curtis & Juliet” extend their show until 4:00 pm, when FOX NewsBrian Kilmeade hosts a customized hour for WABC.  Thursday, its former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and New York Governor George Pataki hosts from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

iHeartMedia Announces KFMB-AM, San Diego Lineup.  Six days after taking over operation of San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM under an LMA from Local Media San Diego, iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the talk station that it intends to buy for $1.2 million.  Local talk hosts Mark Larson and Mike Slater have been hired to continue their programs on the station as the station retains most of its programming.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show will hold down morning drive, followed by Larson from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Slater from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, Premiere NetworksBuck Sexton in PM drive, followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin in evenings, “Red Eye Radio” in overnights, and “America in the Morning” in early mornings.  Local host Brett Winterble left KFMB-AM and recently was named afternoon personality at Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest states, “We are proud to add this iconic talk station to iHeartMedia San Diego’s portfolio of market-leading brands.  We look forward to working with AM 760’s talented, well-respected hosts and their listeners.”

WTZA, Atlanta Talk Station Folds Under Weight of Coronavirus Pandemic. According to a report by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, entrepreneur Will Regan has ended the talk format on WTZA-AM/W271CV, Atlanta “Talk of Atlanta” because interested investors pulled out due to the coronavirus and advertisers putting a halt to campaigns.  Regan was building the station around afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson – formerly with Cumulus’ crosstown WYAY-FM – prior to its sale to Educational Media Foundation – and a longtime host at iHeartMedia’s WGST – now airing all syndicated programming.  Also let go from WTZA are Peterson’s co-host Pete Davis, Mike Brooks, Shannon Burke, and Kara Stockton.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York personality and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa is front and center in a New York Post piece about the work the Guardian Angels are doing to assist the city’s homeless.  The story says that Guardian Angels have been working at Penn Station and in the subways giving the homeless care packages that include a sandwich, fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers, and hand wipes.  Sliwa is quoted saying that the homeless population is especially at risk because they are not following the advisories. “It’s the only way you are going to get them to follow the guidelines and no one is doing it.  The city acts like they don’t exist, the homeless and emotionally disturbed.”…..Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea, has agreed to a settlement with Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa and various individuals involved in the release of a sex tape that shows Bollea having sex with Bubba The Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem.  The settlement terms have not been disclosed.  Bollea first sued digital gossip sheet Gawker and won a $141 million judgement (he settled for $31 million) that put Gawker out of business.  This most recent suit named defendants: Cox Media Group, WHPT morning host Mike Calta, former Bubba the Love Sponge cast member Matt “Spice Boy” Loyd, Loyd’s ex-wife Tasha Nicole Caraga, Lori Burbridge, Don Buchwald and Associates, Buchwald agent Tony Burton, and attorney Keith Davidson…..Entercom announces that as part of its annual, yearlong “I’m Listening” mental health awareness initiative it is presenting, “I’m Listening: Stay Connected,” a multiplatform, live daily show focused on mental health in the midst of the global health pandemic.  The program is hosted by licensed therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue, who will offer resources and tips and answer questions from listeners to keep overwhelm at bay.  It airs Monday through Thursday from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm ET.

Coronavirus Status, Stimulus Package Debate, Trump Considers ‘Reopening’ Economy Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The spread of the coronavirus, the death toll, and predictions about overwhelmed emergency rooms; the debate in congress over the components of an economic stimulus package; and President Trump’s concerns about the “cure” being worse than the virus and his considering “reopening the economy” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Mayo Clinic and Radio America Offer COVID-19 Info. As syndication partner for Mayo Clinic, Radio America is helping the health organization responding to the coronavirus pandemic clinically and with the latest public information by adding resources for stations.  Mayo Clinic’s News Network is providing free information that stations are welcome to use.  Find it here.  Mayo Clinic offers a daily radio feature called “Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minutes,” as well as an hour-long weekend radio show, both of these are available from Radio America Network.  Stations interested in interviewing a Mayo physician about COVID-19 can request an interview with Dr. Tom Shives (host of Mayo Clinic Radio) by reaching out to Radio America at affiliates@radioamerica.com.

RAB Launches “Business Unusual.”  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces a new section on its RAB.com website to assist radio salespeople during the coronavirus pandemic.  Titled, “Business Unusual: Best Practices for When It’s Not Business As Usual,” the section “includes a newly released white paper titled ‘Advertising During Difficult Times,’ pertinent articles and blogs, Radio It’s On social media campaign, relevant research studies, creative resources, and other marketing and training tools that RAB members can use and share with their advertising clients.”  The section is being updated regularly with new materials posted for RAB members as they become available.  The RAB is also offering a professional development webinar series called Business Unusual featuring three distinct webinars free to RAB members.  The three in the series are: Business Unusual Requires Exceptional Communication – How To Talk To Your Advertisers Now; How To Craft Your Messaging In Times of Uncertainty; and Work From Home (WFH) Strategies To Maximize Productivity In Your New Office.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In order to help entertain and soothe Americans whose daily lives have been upended by COVID-19, Entercom’s RADIO.COM is launching “RADIO.COM Live: And the Beat Goes On,” a new 24/7 channel that will stream and broadcast live epic events for 30 straight days, including new and never-before-seen archived performances from some of the biggest artists in the world.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo states, “As we practice social distancing, music fans everywhere can stay connected with ‘RADIO.COM Live: And the Beat Goes On’ for live, exclusive performances right in their homes.  We have opened up our archives from a variety of genres and also partnered with new artists to bring fans some of our biggest shows all in one place.  We hope everyone enjoys a nightly couch tour with us.”  Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “Music soothes the soul and as we navigate these unchartered waters our souls have never needed to be soothed more.  Our stations nationwide have partnered with incredible artists for one-of-a-kind performances. We have always wanted to dig deep into our archive and this seems like the absolute best time to do so.”

Monday, December 9, 2019

| December 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 2, 2019

| December 2, 2019

iHeartMedia to Add Second Digital HQ in Nashville. As a complement to its digital operations in New York City, iHeartMedia is selecting Nashville as the location for its second digital headquarters.  It is further expanding its current New York-based digital team, creating new jobs, and “building on iHeartRadio’s continued growth and innovation as the leading audio platform for consumers across the country.”  In addition to being one of the nation’s leading music scenes, Nashville is also seeing rapid growth in the technology sector that is apparent by the growing number of tech startups and major companies creating offices and hubs there.  iHeartRadio president Darren Davis says, “As we continue to invest in our ad tech, products, research, sales and content, and further build on the success of our digital service, this is the right time to expand our digital team – and what better location than Nashville, given that music is at the heart of our business.  Nashville’s technology ecosystem is thriving, and combined with the city’s rich history in music, entrepreneurial spirit and diverse culture, we believe this is the perfect location for us to extend our digital leadership and recruit highly skilled and passionate candidates for our second iHeartRadio Digital headquarters.”  iHeartMedia plans to begin hiring immediately in Nashville for positions in engineering, product development, data science, and more.  All applicants can visit https://jobs.iheart.com/.

Monday Memo: Get An Uber-Earful. As Internet-based innovation is disrupting every legacy industry, taxis are to take-me-somewhere as radio is to inform-me/entertain-me.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers a jiu jitsu move.  Read it here.

Impeachment Proceedings, 2020 Presidential Race, London Bridge Terror Attack, UN Climate Change Report, Thanksgiving Travel/Storms Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the terrorist slaying of two people at the London Bridge; the aftermath of the release of the latest climate change report from the United Nations; and the Thanksgiving holiday and the storms that affected travelers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Round Three of November PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  Nielsen’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento adds 0.8 tenths for a 6.7 share and the #3 rank in the market; in Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM posts a whopping 2.0 share increase over October to land at a 5.2 share and the #6 rank; and Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City sits at a 6.1 share after three consecutive up or flat surveys and ranks #5 in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.

Salem Relaunches KDIZ, Minneapolis as ‘Freedom 1570.’ The Salem Media Group talk station had been airing a health and wellness format since 2016, but now KDIZ-AM becomes a conservative news/talk station as “Freedom 1570” and featuring the following lineup: “America’s First News with Matt Ray” from 5:00 am to 8:00 am; Chris Plante from 8:00 am to 11:00 am; “Like It Matters” with Scott V. Black from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dana Loesch from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Ben Shapiro from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; and Mark Levin from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The station complements its other Twin Cities conservative news/talker WWTC “The Patriot” that airs the full lineup of Salem Radio Network shows.  Salem Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson says, “‘Freedom 1570’ has been placed in the Twin Cities for such a time as this to provide overlooked facts and to be a voice of reason in a wayward society.  ‘Ringing liberty and truth’ is not just a tagline as it’s our mission to remind all who engage with us that freedom is our greatest gift.”  Beyond radio, emphasis is also placed on building a community online with its informative website, social media outlets, and upcoming 2020 events with sister-station AM 1280 The Patriot.

O’Reilly’s Trump Interview Clears Almost 200 Stations; ‘Picked Up Extensively’ in News Media. The Key Networks-syndicated Thanksgiving week radio special featuring bestselling author and former cable news personality Bill O’Reilly’s one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump was broadcast across almost 200 radio stations – including 18 of the top 20 markets.  Key Networks says that the interview broke major news and was picked up extensively through media including The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNN, and was covered internationally.  In the interview, O’Reilly spoke with Trump about Ukraine, Joe Biden, impeachment, the upcoming campaign, and attacking the Mexican drug cartels.  Key Networks syndicates O’Reilly’s 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” to nearly 200 radio stations across the U.S.  Key says the holiday weekend program is the first in a series of specials and exclusive content to be created especially for affiliates of “The O’Reilly Update” throughout the 2020 election season.

WWJ, Detroit Shuffles On-Air Lineup. Motor City all-news WWJ makes air staff changes as Brooke Allen moves to middays (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and afternoon drive features Jackie Paige and Jason Scott.  Paige moves to PM drive from middays and Scott moves to the earlier daypart from his current evening news anchor role.  The changes take effect on December 9.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “WWJ prides itself in being a reliable and trusted news source and this revamped lineup will allow us to better serve our listeners.  Jackie and Jason’s passion for live and local news reporting will connect with listeners across metro Detroit and all of Michigan, while Brooke’s rapport with her audience will help our midday timeslot reach new heights.”

TALKERS News Notes. A co-host of the nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” is planning to run for governor of New Hampshire.  The host, who legally changed his name to Nobody, has been interviewed on radio stations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  He recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire.  As of this time, Nobody is the only challenger to incumbent Governor Chris Sununu…..South Carolina sports radio pro Ted Byrne was killed in a car accident on Saturday night (11/30) near Charleston, South Carolina.  Byrne worked for Kirkman Broadcasting where he was play-by-play announcer for the Summerville High School Green Wave.  He also produced and hosted numerous sports radio shows…..Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher kicked off the holiday season by attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Gallagher braved the chilly temps in New York City and sent TALKERS the shot of himself with the Grinch balloon in the background.  Photo: Salem Radio Network

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Rare 1983 Interview with Dr. Timothy Leary Is Featured on Harrison Podcast. A 36-year-old interview with 1960s counter-culture icon Dr. Timothy Leary – unheard for more than three decades – was uncovered several days ago in the Goodphone Communications archives. It was found on a dust-covered VHS cassette copy of a weekly cable TV talk show hosted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in Los Angeles and is, most likely, the only copy of that particular interview in existence. The audio track of that rare and revealing conversation is featured on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Leary were good friends and colleagues between 1976 and 1985 when they met shortly after the former Harvard professor was released from prison in Southern California. Leary went on to be a regular guest on Harrison’s radio show and a featured columnist in his radio trade publication, Goodphone Weekly, in which he wrote about the future of media. Harrison says, “I’ve done a number of broadcast chats with Timothy Leary during that period but this was one of the most concise and comprehensive. I thought it was lost forever and although I wish the audio quality was better (it is a bit funky), I’m delighted to have recovered this gem and share it with a new generation of broadcasters.” Harrison and Leary talk about marijuana legalization, the impact of computers, genetics, trans-humanism, left-right politics, authoritarianism, robots and artificial intelligence from a “1983 futurism” perspective. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Account Executive – Radio and Digital Sales. Salem Media Group in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA AM570/102.3FM “The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales. Interested candidates should call Jerry Crowley’s office at 212-857-9640 and apply online.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New Orleans country outlet WNOE announces Casey Carter is named program director.  She will also serve as the station’s afternoon drive personality.  Carter comes to New Orleans from iHeartMedia’s country WTQR, Greensboro, North Carolina where she was PD and air personality.  Earlier in her career, Carter served as WNOE’s assistant PD.  iHeartMedia New Orleans SVP of programming Angela Watson Charles says, “I’m thrilled for Casey’s return to New Orleans and WNOE.  We’re very excited to have the combination of Casey’s format expertise and personal passion for the city – welcome back.”…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” announces the return of its “Winter Jawn ’20” concert event.  It will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia from 12:00 pm to 5 pm.  The free, outdoor show features live performances from AJR, Angels & Airwaves, Local NativesSub Urban, and the winner of Radio 104.5’s local “Opener Contest.”…..Also from Philly, Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU is flipping its station name to “Garth 92.5” in honor of Garth Brook’s “Dive Bar Tour” concert tonight (12/2) at Prospector’s Grille & Saloon in Philadelphia.  92.5 XTU is broadcasting live from the venue and will highlight Brook’s biggest hits all day long.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

| September 3, 2019

Entercom Buys Francesa App; Folds it in to RADIO.com. The digital platform RADIO.com is now the place where WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa’s digital content can be found.  Entercom announces via the RADIO.com site that “that Francesa is taking his talents to RADIO.com, and he’s bringing all of his streaming content with him. Francesa’s ‘Mike’s On’ will close on Oct. 1, with his WFAN show; his podcasts and other branded media will migrate exclusively to the RADIO.com app.”  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “Mike Francesa is a legend and we are beyond thrilled to bring more Mike to RADIO.com.  Mike has some of the most loyal, engaged fans in all of sports, thanks to his unique ability to build a broad audience with must-listen, highly compelling audio content, always calling it like it is.  The ability to tap into Mike’s immediate, live reactions to the biggest moments in sports, combined with the vast library of audio and video content this deal brings to the platform, further cement RADIO.com as one of the leading digital audio platforms in the U.S. for creators, audiences, and advertisers alike.”  According to a report by Max Willens in Digiday about the move, the Mike’s On app never really hit the critical mass necessary to survive on its own. He writes, “Since its launch, Mike’s On has accumulated a small cluster of subscribers, though new downloads have slowed to a crawl over the past few months, with the app driving fewer than a thousand downloads a month in each of the past four months, according to Apptopia.  That audience pales in comparison to the Radio.com app audience, which has been averaging over 230,000 downloads per month over the same period, also per Apptopia.”

WGST, Atlanta Adds New Programming; Re-Brands as ‘640 FOX News Radio.’ New programs added to the lineup on iHeartMedia’s WGST-AM, Atlanta include the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro show and Mark Levin show, as well as the Key Networks-syndicated “Bill O’Reilly Update” as the station re-brands as “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.”  iHeartMedia says, “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio, will feature top national hosts including Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Buck Sexton, Michael Savage and George Noory. Listeners can tune in to hear the latest FOX News at the top and bottom of every hour, as well as frequent traffic/weather reports and local news updates from the Georgia News Network. “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” from Compass Media Networks, is airing in morning drive.  The station will also provide around-the-clock news coverage online on the station’s website as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via @640FoxNewsATL.”  Station program director Dan Hunt adds, “We are ecstatic to welcome Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin and all the new voices to Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.  With a massive 50,000 watt AM signal and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that AM 640 will establish itself as a successful news/talk brand in Atlanta”

Bustos Media Tweaks Lineup on KVOI, Tucson. News/talk KVOI, Tucson was acquired by Bustos Media from Doug and Mary Martin’s Good News Communications last fall. Now, the company announces some programming changes to “AM-1030 KVOI The Voice.”  Station operations manager Ray Ingegneri says, “When we sat down and looked at the lineup we wanted to keep the local component, but we also wanted to bring a mix of news, business and lifestyle shows, hoping to attract listeners who may be turned off by other offerings in the market.”  Syndicated additions to the KVOI lineup include: “America In The Morning”; Good Day Networks’ “On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The station expands its carriage of the Dave Ramsey show to 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  It adds Compass Media Networks’ “Lars Larson Show” to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot and adds American Private Radio’s “Our American Stories” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Late nights and over nights include GCN’s “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney, Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon show and Salem Radio NetworksHugh Hewitt show.  CBS News and Bloomberg Market Minute Updates are being added to the bottom of each hour.  Bustos Media president and CEO Amador Bustos adds, “With this programming change we strive to provide our Tucson audience the best possible talk format and most relevant local news coverage.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the July 2019 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Comparing weekly 6+ AQH share data from June to July, about the same number of news/talk stations saw their ratings go up as saw their numbers go down. Year-over-year, 51% of the stations on our panel were down while 36% improved, led by Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington (+1.6) and iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio (+1.5).  Two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) in July: Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” (6.9 share) and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (8.0 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland news/talk KEX adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Buck Sexton show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.  The show follows the local Mark Mason show and leads into the syndicated Michael Berry program…..As the NFL gets ready to begin its 100th season, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is kicking off its 33rd consecutive season as the league’s exclusive network radio partner.  The season begins with Thursday night’s Packers-Bears game and Westwood One Sports’ Monday night team of Kevin Harlan and Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner will call the action.  To commemorate the league’s 100th season, Westwood One is producing original programming, including a 100-part short-form series titled, “NFL 100,” that will air Monday through Friday each day throughout the season…..Entercom is presenting a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special called, “I’m Listening,” to raise awareness around mental health and mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.  As part of the company’s multiplatform, yearlong “I’m Listening” campaign, the progam will air nationwide on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 am across more than 235 stations and via each station’s livestream on RADIO.com in their respective time zones. Entercom chief programming officer Pat Paxton says, “Mental health and suicide prevention are year-round initiatives at Entercom and we are doing our part to end the stigma by encouraging people to talk. Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effect it has on friends and families is devastating.  ‘I’m Listening’ is when our vast network of radio stations and digital platforms unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives.  If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WMEN-AM, West Palm Beach re-brands, transitioning from the “640 The Hurricane” moniker to “FOX Sports South Florida.”…..GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs has been a force in helping to get the majority of governors in the U.S. to unite in declaring September 5 Blood Donation Day to help blood banks during National Blood Donation Week (September 2-9).

Hurricane Dorian, Immigration Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Dive Boat Fire, Brexit, and Kevin Hart Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Holiday Weekend. The status of Hurricane Dorian and the destruction it’s leveled on the Bahamas; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and treatment of children of migrants; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the California dive boat fire that killed 25; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; and comic Kevin Hart’s car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KOZN, Omaha Broadcasts from Casino on First Day of Legal Sports Betting. Pictured above are “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” personalities John Bishop and Josh Peterson interviewing Caesars Entertainment VP and general manager Samir Mowad as KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” broadcast from Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa on the first day of legalized sports betting.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Columbia, South Carolina, Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC “KISS 103.1” is launching “The Chubb Rock Show with SiMan Baby” in afternoon drive.   The show is hosted by Chubb Rock and SiMan Baby.  Station program director Robyn Simone says, “Chubb Rock has the perfect star power ‘KISS 103.1’ listeners will love in afternoon drive.  Not over the top, but just enough that our listeners will appreciate not only his legendary hip hop status, but also his commitment to radio.  Chubb Rock reminds us why we fell in love with radio in the first place by entertaining, challenging those community issues, and bringing back the love for the music!”…..Beasley closes on its acquisition of urban contemporary WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss FM.”  It bought the FM signal and three translators from Urban One for $13.5 million…..“The Ace & TJ Show” and its charity, Radio Family Charity, are beginning to solicit donations in anticipation of damage to the Eastern Seaboard from Hurricane Dorian.  The show says “the needs of Hurricane Dorian will last for months and we are seeking donations from radio audiences around the world.  Tax deductible donations will be accepted through AceTJ.com or RadioFamilyCharity.org.”

Monday, July 8, 2019

| July 8, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting” Panel Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/8) post presents the panel discussion titled, “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘Delaware 105.9’ Ends Local Susan Monday Show; Adds Syndicated Programming. The new owner of news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” is dropping local talk personality Susan Monday.  At the same time, early afternoon host Ed Tyll resigns from the station that Forever Media acquired along with nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting for $18.5 million earlier this year.  WXDE is adding Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher show in the late morning daypart and the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” show in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Monday is ready for her next opportunity.  She can be reached at suemo1955@gmail.com.

SB Nation Radio Launches New Afternoon Show. Current SB Nation Radio personalities Cody Stoots and Jake Asman are being paired up to co-host “The Main Event with Cody Stoots and Jake Asman” show in the SB Nation Radio lineup.  The network is operated by Houston-based Gow Media.  Stoots has been with Gow’ Sportsmap and Asman has been hosting the network’s 7:00 pm ET “The Power Hour” program.  The new show airs from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Gow Media and SB Nation Radio CEO David Gow comments, “It’s been a joy listening to Jake and Cody in various roles the last couple of years.  They both are so versatile.  The perfect combination of humor and constructive sports debate.  It’s going to be a very entertaining program.”

Levin Broadcasts from Israel. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio star Mark Levin (left) interviewing British intelligence and military officer Colonel Richard Kemp (right) in the Christian Broadcasting Network studios in Jerusalem. The two discussed Iran, the war in Afghanistan, and Kemp’s collaboration with the CIA and Israeli intelligence and defense agencies.  Kemp was one of a number of expert guests Levin interviewed during his international remote broadcast.

Confer Radio Institute Opens Today. Today at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 25 students are beginning the 10-day Confer Radio Talent Institute in which they will learn from a group of more than 40 broadcast professionals, including: Kristin Cantrell, CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media and Jim Loftus, COO of Seven Mountains Media; Lynn Deppen, president of Forever MediaJoe Bell, VP/market manager of Beasley Media Group Philadelphia; Karen Richards, VP/sales, Cumulus Media Harrisburg; Jon Zellner, president of programming operations, National Programming Group, iHeartMedia New York; Shelly Easton, VP of music programming, Entercom Philadelphia; Brian Check, SVP of programming, iHeartMedia Philadelphia; Eric Johnson, program director of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” and many more.  The institute is being underwritten by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and Kerby Confer to underwrite the institute.  Lifelong broadcaster Kirby Confer (pictured at right teaching at a previous institute) says, “We want to make a difference and give this next generation a firm foundation in the industry.  We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people and are so pleased the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters offer both their time and financial support, investing in radio’s future.”  All students will be certified Radio Marketing Professionals after completing the RMP sales training course from the RAB.

Beasley Unveils New XP Studio in Detroit. The new Beasley Media Group broadcast space pictured above will serve as the official headquarters for Beasley’s nationally syndicated Esports lifestyle-driven program, “Checkpoint XP.”  The program is seen daily on Twitch and heard weekly on 74 affiliate stations via the Sun Broadcast Group network, and via a lineup of original content Esports-focused podcasts.  Seen sitting in the state-of-the-art studios are (from l-r): “Checkpoint XP” personalities Norris Howard and Joe Sloan, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, Checkpoint XP’s Robbie Landis and Nate Bender.

Media Staffing Network and Radio Ink Partner for 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study. The 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study results will be presented at this year’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  It’s a partnership between Media Staffing Network (MSN) and our friends at Radio Ink.  The study begins with a two-minute survey for managers and sellers that launches today (7/8) and runs through Friday, July 26.  The goal of the study is to guide radio owners, operators, and managers to develop sales compensation packages that attract – and keep – the best candidates, including those from younger demographics, in today’s highly competitive hiring landscape.  All survey participants will be entered in a random drawing to win one of three licenses to MSN’s Local Sales Recruitment Online Learning Program.  Radio Ink EVP and president/publisher Deborah Parenti says, “We are delighted to team up with MSN in a project that will hopefully help provide guidance, especially to smaller groups and individual stations, in crafting the kind of compensation packages that encourage young people to consider radio sales as a career path. With so much competition from digital media, making radio ‘sexier’ to prospective hires has to, first and foremost, include a more competitive pay structure.”  To access the survey, click here.

WTEM, Washington Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming. Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “The Team 980” adds evening and overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio to its daily program schedule. Effective immediately, the Radio One-owned station begins airing “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker” in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am, and “The Ben Maller Show” in the 2:00 am to 6:00 am daypart.  The station also airs FOX Sports Radio’s full lineup of weekend programming when play-by-play sports is not on the schedule.

NAB to Honor Mary Quass with National Radio Award. At this year’s NAB Radio Show in Dallas, NRG Media chairman and CEO Mary Quass will receive the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award – given for “outstanding leadership in the radio industry” – will be presented during the September 25 luncheon program, “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top.”  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “We are pleased to honor Mary Quass for her many achievements and impact on radio.  She is a true catalyst in our industry who exemplifies the meaning of the National Radio Award through her leadership, integrity and success.”

Trump’s Fourth of July Celebration, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, U.K. Ambassador’s Trump Criticisms, Jeffrey Epstein Arrest, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Washington, DC Fourth of July celebration, including President Trump’s speech and the military component; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Iran’s uranium enrichment program and tensions with the U.S.; the earthquakes in Southern California since the July 4 temblor; British Ambassador Kim Darroch’s criticism of President Trump; the arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on sexual assault charges; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s World Cup victory 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. Air personality Jasmine Lee is named co-host of the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch” morning show on Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB, Fort Myers “B103.9.”   She was most recently morning host at Stillwater Broadcasting’s CHR KSPI-FM, Stillwater, Oklahoma.  WXKB operations manager Adam Star comments, “Jasmine has great charm and charisma on the air. Her energy and fun personality is infectious.  She is the final piece that we were looking to add to ‘Big Mama and The Wild Bunch Morning Show.’”…..In the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market, Don Harrison is the new brand manager at Adams Radio’s rock WZBH “The Beach” and classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7.”  He was most recently operations manager at Townsquare Media’s operations in the Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming markets.  Harrison says, “I’m honored to join Adams Radio Group and be working with the entire team.  It’s refreshing to be part of a company that believes in local radio, super-serving the community, and creating a great working environment.  I also can’t wait to team up with Lisa Layne – she’s a rock star.”…..iHeartMedia Boston brings Hisham Fayed aboard as director of marketing to work with the cluster’s music brands: WXKS-FM “Kiss 108,” WJMN-FM “JAM’N 94.5,” WBWL-FM “101.7 The Bull,” WZLX-FM, and WKAF-FM.  In this role, Fayed will work closely with the promotions, events, sales, and programming teams in developing and executing marketing plans.  iHeartMedia VP of marketing Adam Ralston says, “Hisham has a proven track record of impactful marketing campaign creation and execution in Boston. We are thrilled to add him to our superstar marketing team, and we know he will contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Monday, June 3, 2019

| June 3, 2019

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published Today.  The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published.  This is the 25thedition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERSmagazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important.  That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.”  See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

Cumulus Makes PD Changes in New York; Craig Schwalb Exits WABC. TALKERS magazine hears from several sources that program director Craig Schwalb has exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC.  The change was made on Friday and our sources tell us that programmer Dave LaBrozzi – until Friday the program director for hot AC WPLJ – will program WABC and sister urban contemporary WNBM.  Cumulus also let WNBM PD and VP/urban programming Ken Johnson go on Friday.  Prior to joining WABC, Schwalb served as program director with Cumulus at Providence news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM.

FAIR Announces Dates for 2019 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces today that the 13th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25-26 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. DC.  As in years past, this event brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  FAIR says the event has evolved greatly since the first one in 2006.  “F2F now hosts 70 stations and has become the largest annual radio row and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media.  Unfortunately, several things have not changed – a stagnant status quo of lax enforcement and open borders, obstructionist Democratic positions, hostile courts and a complicit mainstream media.  So, in September, radio hosts are back at it discussing, debating, sorting truth from fiction, hearing first-hand accounts and considering reasonable solutions.  At a minimum, barriers have to be built, asylum loopholes closed, more resources brought to bear, and the rule of law enforced.  Most importantly, Americans – not special interests – will be heard from.”  Talk hosts and programmers wishing to take part should know that reservations are required, and hosts/producers should call FAIR now to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Contact Matthew Tragesser, event manager, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org.

Monday Memo: Camera Tips for Radio.  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke presents the first in a three-part series of tips from digital professionals.  With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which they share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), HC begins with advice from photo pros for taking and presenting quality pictures. Read the column here.

WGDJ, Albany Suspends Host After Controversial Social Media Post. “Talk 1300” general manager Paul Vandenburgh announced on the website of news/talk WGDJ, Albany that afternoon drive talk host Kevin McCashion is suspended from his program after issuing a social media post that some are calling insensitive.  McCashion’s tweet attacked the Albany Times Union for its coverage of the Memorial Day death of a former local female high school basketball star. Twenty-one-year-old Ayanna Hunter died after being shot at a cookout.  McCashion’s tweet showed two images, one of Hunter posing with a stack of money, with the text, “another.@timesunion W H I T E W A S H just an innocent basketball player ha ha.”  Vandenburgh stated, “Ayanna Hunter was shot and killed in Niskayuna and Kevin posted an untimely, unwanted and unnecessary Twitter comment and rightfully so, many people were upset.”  He says he’ll address the situation with McCashion today (6/3).  See the Times-Union story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch adds new affiliate stations.  Syndicator Radio America announces: KXRA-AM Alexandria, Minnesota, KONA-AM, Tri-Cities, Washington, KGYN-AM, Guymon, Oklahoma; KMPT-AM/FM, East Missoula, Montana; WMJD-FM Grundy, Virginia; WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, New Haven; WSNG-AM, Torrington, Connecticut; WJML-AM, Petoskey, Michigan; WJNL-AM, Kingsley, Michigan; WHAK-AM, Rogers City, Michigan; WWMN-FM, Thompsonville, Michigan; and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan all add “The Dana Show” to their program lineups…..The Westwood One-syndicated “Mark Levin Show” joins the program schedule at Entercom’s news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD.”  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Mark Levin is a seasoned radio host and has one of the biggest shows in talk radio.  His program is topical and drives passion. This addition delivers on our commitment to continuously provide the best and most relevant content to our listeners.”…..Former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane – who recently cut a deal with Entercom to get out of his contract with the company – is joining Barstool Sports.  The sports media personality said during a Periscope video that he’ll be doing a daily podcast “live to tape” starting June 15…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-distributed program is adding WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana to its roster of affiliate stations…..iHeartMedia Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and its multimedia rightsholder, Gopher Sports Properties, announce an extension of the broadcast agreement for KFXN “KFAN-FM 100.3,” KTLK-AM/K278BP, and “KFAN Plus 96.7 FM” (K244FE) to continue to serve as the Gophers’ flagship radio stations through the 2022-2023 athletic season…..Shep Rose, star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Southern Charm,” launches a new podcast on PodcastOne titled, “Enough About Me.”  The program will also feature interviews with athletes, teachers, soldiers, stunt men, and even himself in this “weird, wild, funny and dramatic,” weekly show.

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Mueller News Conference/Impeachment Talk, Trump Visits UK, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, Middle East Peace Plan, and Rocketman Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center that took the lives of 12; the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference and Democrats’ talk of impeachment; President Trump embarks on an official visit to the UK; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the tariff wars and the tense relations between the U.S. and China; Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calling it “unexecutable”; and the Elton John biopic, Rocketman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Health Media Personality Asa to Executive Produce and Co-Host Discovery Life TV Show. Radio host, author, television personality and medical doctor Asa Andrew will serve as executive producer and co-host for the second season of the Discovery Life series, “Reversed.”  Co-hosting the show with Asa will be celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The first season of the show was designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  This new season will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of individuals living with cancer as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  Asa says, “This season is personal.  Cancer took my father’s life at age 68, now I’m on a mission to help others before it’s too late.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with cancer. Asa and Mattocks are producing the show via their company, WellTent Media Group LLC.

13thAnnual Kellar Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 13th annual Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina begins today.  Twenty-four students from three universities have been accepted into this year’s 10-day institute during which more than 40 broadcast pros from Beasley Media Group, Entercom, iHeartMediaRadio One, Capitol Broadcasting, Dick Broadcasting, along with Doug Rice, president and voice of Performance Racing NetworkMick Mixon, play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, Don Anthony from Talk Show and Morning Show Bootcamp, Warren Kurtzman president of Coleman Research, and others, will lead sessions for the students.  This summer, National Radio Talent System Institutes are taking place across the country. They include the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; GAB Radio Talent Institute, University of Georgia; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP for the Virginia-Carolina region Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “DZL’s unique insight on the market, coupled with his talent, creativity and innovative style of thinking will ensure that the station continues to do great things in Charlotte.  Because of his vision and passion, I’m thrilled to have DZL lead our team at ‘96.9 The Kat.’”…..On-air pro Shelby Sos is named evening personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”  She comes to Baltimore from the company’s WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” where she was an assistant producer for “The Kane Show.”   iHM Baltimore SVP of programming Mike Preston says, “Shelby brings so much experience from ‘The Kane Show’ to her new position at ‘Z104.3.’  Shelby is immensely talented and really knows how to engage an audience.  We can’t wait to have her on the air in her hometown to shake things up!”…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated “Woody & Wilcox Show” adds new affiliate stations.  Now airing the show are: WCYY, Portland; WQRR, Tuscaloosa; and WVWB, Clarksville, Tennessee…..Programming pro Brian Thomas joins Townsquare Media where he’ll serve as operations manager for the company’s Grand Rapids stations as well as the company’s 17 classic hits-formatted stations.  Thomas was most recently with Cumulus Media Atlanta as PD for country WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”

Monday, May 20, 2019

| May 19, 2019

Vince Benedetto Selected to Receive TALKERS 2019 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  One of the rising stars in the field of independent radio station ownership, Vince Benedetto, founder and CEO of Bold Gold Media Group has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2019 recipient of “The Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster” – also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  Locally owned, operated and programmed, Bold Gold was founded by Benedetto in 2005 with the aim of becoming the preeminent radio broadcast group in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. Bold Gold serves three primary regions: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, The Pocono Lake Region (Northern Pocono Mountains), and the Catskill Mountains of New York.​  It consists of a combination of 14 music- and talk-formatted stations.  Before entering broadcasting as an entrepreneur, Benedetto was a U.S. Air Force captain who also served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (known as OSI).  Special agents for OSI are responsible for conducting felony level investigations and engaging in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities world-wide in support of our Air Force and Department of Defense operations.  Benedetto came under consideration for the TALKERS award for the work he has done in establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with a mission of supporting the education and training of tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Bold Gold, through its fundraising and charitable efforts, provides education and training support, as well as funding to educational institutions and organizations who are preparing America’s future communicators.  The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of young thought-leaders seeking a career in the field of broadcasting, media, and journalism. One of the Foundation’s first major projects was to build WRFH-FM (101.7 FM)/WRFH-LP “Radio Free Hillsdale” at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.  The new campus-based radio station that signed on the air in 2015 offers students an opportunity to receive both academic and first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to large audiences.  The foundation’s second project was to build a recording studio at the Allan P. Kirby Center of ​Constitutional Studies and Citizenship located in the heart of Washington, DC.  The studio, also dedicated in 2015, is used by the Kirby Center to further its mission of teaching the U.S. Constitution, the debate that brought it to life, and the principles that give it meaning.  In addition to Kirby Center staff, the studio is also used by Hillsdale College faculty and students, visiting broadcasters and journalists, and national leaders.  The “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented to Vince Benedetto at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is four days away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Monday Memo: Them. Long-ago English teacher Holland Cooke turns in a book report sure to challenge those of us in talk radio.  In Them: Why We Hate Each Other, How to Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, details how media feed and exploit our angry national conversation; and where we go from here.  See HC’s entire column here.

‘Andy and Randy’ New Midday Show at ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” announces its new midday show is “The Midday Show with Andy and Randy,” – hosted by Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael.  Bunker moves to middays from his evening show with the station and McMichael – who enjoyed an 11-year NFL career – has been hosting the Saturday morning “College Game Time” show at the station.  They take over for John Michaels and Rick Kamla, who exited the station in March. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Andy has been a listener favorite since he joined ‘92.9 The Game’ and has built great chemistry with Randy.  Andy and Randy’s collaboration, along with their bold and honest take on Atlanta sports, will be a great addition to our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest book from nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin bump’s Howard Stern’s newest memoir from its perch as the top-selling book on Amazon.  Levin’s book is titled, Unfreedom of the Press (Threshold Editions, 2019), and has achieved the top ranking based on pre-order sales…..Former KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive personalities Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill are launching a weekly podcast and a real estate company 18 weeks after being let go by the Bonneville news/talk outlet.  The Seattle Times reports that the popular duo, whose contracts were not renewed, have both earned their real estate brokers licenses and have formed Ron and Don Brokers with Windermere Real Estate.  Read the story here…..Alexandria, Minnesota news/talk outlet KXRA-AM is adding another FM signal to its broadcasts.  The Paradis Broadcasting-owned station broadcasts on its 1490 AM frequency as well as on translator K262AT at 100.3 FM.  Now, the company is adding a second translator at 105.7 that will allow it to cover Pope County…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of WVON, Chicago overnight personality Alpheus “Ywain” Fields, who died at his home on Saturday (5/18) at the age of 57.  Fields first joined WVON in 1983 as an intern.  He was soon hired as a board operator and production assistant.  During his 36-year career with the station he served in numerous capacities in the programming department.

Nashville Talk Host Phil Valentine Renews with WWTN-FM. Talk radio pro Phil Valentine inks a new, long-term deal with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his daily, afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 SuperTalk.”  Cumulus says that in addition to hosting his program, the new deal includes Valentine working with the company “on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events.”  The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by his father, Phil Valentine.  The show is “a dynamic conversation between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial with thought-provoking and hilarious discussions on everything from what they would possibly do if the grid went down, to spies, to the top historical events that changed the world to religion.”  Phil Valentine says, “I was the morning guy when we launched ‘SuperTalk 99.7WTN’ back in 1995.  That’s where I started in talk radio.  I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road.  This is home, and I’m glad to be here for the long haul.”

Nolan to Lead Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations. Sales and management pro Libby Nolan is joining Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal, Missouri operations to serve as market president and chief revenue officer.  Nolan was most recently with Entercom and Emmis in St. Louis as general sales manager.  Townsquare’s Quincy-Hannibal cluster includes news/talk KHMO-AM, country KICK-FM, classic country KICK-AM, and adult contemporary KRRY.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Libby is a perfect match for what we look for in a leader at Townsquare.  She brings with her exceptional experience in building sales teams and utilizing local talent to its fullest potential, which will enhance our ‘Local First’ approach in Quincy-Hannibal.”

Justin Amash Impeachment Tweet, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran War Talk, New Anti-Abortion Laws, Trump Immigration Plan, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash issues a tweet saying President Trump has committed impeachable offenses; the tariffs the U.S. and China are planning to place on each other’s exports; President Trump’s warning to Iran to “never threaten the U.S. again”; the highly restrictive abortion law passed in Alabama and a similar bill expected to become law in Missouri; the Trump administration’s immigration plan; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoff 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. Programming pro Michelle Stevens joins Entercom’s New York operations to serve as assistant program director for hot AC WNEW-FM and classic hits WCBS-FM.  Stevens comes to Entercom from her most recent position as director of brand management for Connoisseur Media.  Entercom New York market manager Susan Larkin states, “Michelle possesses valuable expertise in programming and talent development, and she will be a much-welcomed asset to our stations.  She has a stellar track record for developing top-rated brands and we are looking forward to her contributions at two of New York’s most loved stations.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “New Country 98.9 The Bull” names Wingnut the station’s midday personality, hosting the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, he’ll serve as APD and music director.  Station PD Scott Mahalick says, “You can have the best strategy in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’.  I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”  Wingnut was previously afternoon drive host and APD/MD at Entercom’s crosstown country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”…..At Milwaukee non-commerical triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” music journalist Evan Rytlewski is named web editor for the station’s site.  Rytlewski served as music editor for the local alt-weekly Shepherd Express for 13 years and has been a regular contributor to Pitchfork, among other national music publications…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated rock show “The Chop Shop” celebrates its 15th anniversary.  The program is hosted by WRIF-Detroit’s Steve Black, who says, “My love of rock ‘n’ roll directed me into radio nearly 30 years ago.  It was that same passion that opened these shows to syndication 15 years ago.  And I see the impact music makes on our lives every day.  Some of my happiest moments are helping listeners find new music or remember a special moment attached to one of their favorite songs.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven-tenths in March/April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

In back-to-back reports, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” gains one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 -1.8, 6+) yet drops from a tie at #17 to #19. This marks the third time in the last five ratings periods that iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” logs a .6 (.6 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .6, flat at #24, 6+).

January 2019 through April 2019 fluctuations by KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); and a mammoth -2.0 in April (9.5 – 7.5, 6+). On top the past three months, the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet segues to second-place with its lowest 6+-showing (7.5) since August 2018’s 7.1.

Austin Music Formats – The (6+) adult contemporary share in Texas’ capital city balloons by +2.4. Leading the way is Entercom’s KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” whose nine latest report-to-report shifts are: -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 in April (5.0 – 6.5, seventh to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erases that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, #20 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned triple A KGSR-HD2 debuts with a .8 (#23, 6+). A robust +1.2 by iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (5.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) puts an end to its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that timeframe, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and lost six-tenths in February. Directly after posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.3 in three straight decreases (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other country player – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (#16). A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Improving by three-tenths in March/April (8.4 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot to #1. This is the first time that “Bob” occupies the top spot since December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z,” which was +1.2 in March (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), surrenders two-thirds of that increase (5.9, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to March, KLZT last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). After finishing with a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” vanishes from print.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – By dropping four-tenths to 6.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Progressing from #18 to #17, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” improves by four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

In an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has a topline of: 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Contrast that to co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” (#25) whose August 2018 through April 2019 topline is: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Regaining half (+.1) of March’s two-tenths decrease (7.5 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC was -.9 (November 2018); +1.0 (January 2019); and -.6 (February).

Raleigh Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” are +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.9 in April (5.4 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this (6.3) is its best 6+-showing since September 2015’s 6.5. Co-owned WNCB posts an impressive April gain of nine-tenths as well (2.9, #15 to #13, 6+), wiping away February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). “New Country B-93.9” logs its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (also 2.9). Meanwhile, its format foe – Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” – tacks on seven-tenths to a March gain of three-tenths (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+), and climbs from fifth to fourth. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, classic country cluster-mate WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570” has a 6+ topline of: .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 (#21). Even though it is a collective -1.5 in three straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the ninth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. A combined -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WQOK “K-97.5” drops from third to sixth. This follows three straight sweeps without a loss that yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). On the heels of a March decrease of six-tenths, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” falters by another seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #20, 6+). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” concludes at three its consecutive string of up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). March’s 3.7 is its highest 6+-stat since June 2018’s 3.8. Similarly-formatted WDCG, which was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), is a combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) as iHeartMedia-owned “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective -1.4 in four straight reports without an increase (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), but advances from #17 to #16.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – To say the least, the nine most recent ratings periods have been a wild rollercoaster ride for Emmis news/talk WIBC. In that stretch, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” has been: -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 in April (6.4 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). The high points (7.2, 6+) came in November and February, while April’s 5.2 is the lowest 6+-stat in that timeframe.

While remaining steady at #16, sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” improves by three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and opens up a full-share advantage over iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, #17 to #18, 6+). After five straight times of logging a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT doubles it to .2 (#22, 6+); this is the 15th consecutive sweep that “CBS Sports AM 1430” has notched either a .1 or .2 (6+).

All but one-tenth of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI’s collective +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) is obliterated by an April -1.4 to 4.3 (6+); WFYI departs the top ten (#7 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – While perhaps not quite as volatile as the recent ratings history of Emmis news/talk WIBC (noted above), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” has experienced some significant shifts lately. It was a whopping +2.9 in January (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 in April (8.5 – 10.2, 6+). Not only is WJJK #1 for the fourth month in a row, it registers the highest 6+-share (10.2) in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. A non-Christmas music month +1.7 would usually grab top honors for largest increase in a market, but WJJK’s feat is outdone by Emmis adult contemporary WYXB, which is +1.9 to 8.8 (6+), as “B-105.7” progresses from third to second. The huge uptick applies the brakes to three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 58% (-9.5) loss of its 6+ AQH share (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). It leaps over Cumulus Media’s WFMS (second to third) even though “95.5 The Country Station” follows March’s +1.1 with a gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 7.3 – 8.0, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and is +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by Emmis-owned/similarly formatted WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Country 97.1 Hank FM” returns one-tenth in April to 6.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” gains eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and advances from ninth to seventh. The last time Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS appeared in print was more than seven years ago (February 2012, 2.8, #16). “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” resurfaces in April with a 3.1 (#4, 6+). As both Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” and Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” drop one-half share, they display identical March to April profiles: 5.1 – 4.6 (6+), tenth to ninth. WNTR’s March 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 5.5; “Hot” is a cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, flat at #12); while co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in succession for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2, #22, 6+). In four consecutive down or flat reports, Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is off six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – No station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets makes a greater (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 escalation than Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) as the Brewers flagship leaps from fourth to second. Its March 5.9 marked the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” slipped below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). Some of its representative shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which sputtered by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), regains four-tenths to 5.5 (6+). “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2.

Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” slips from #15 to #16. Surrendering half the six-tenths it gained in February/March (1.3 – 1.0, -.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” tumbles from #15 to #18. Prior to February’s increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). In late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game.” The station’s December 2018 through April 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 – .3 (#21 to #22, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it picked up in March (.2 – .3 – .2, #23 to #24, 6+). After popping up with a .5 (6+) in November 2018, Good Karma Brands’ WAUK has disappeared from print.

Three straight sweeps without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet surrenders four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). While flat at 1.1 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD advances from #18 to #17.

Milwaukee Music FormatsMilwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is an overall +1.8 in three straight bumps (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+) and moves from #12 to #11. Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.3) is its best since August 2017’s 4.3. Rebounding from a March loss of eight-tenths with an April improvement of nearly the same magnitude (9.4 – 10.1, +.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in succession. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its six most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.7 (April). After scoring back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” forfeits approximately 78% (-1.4) of that February/March bounty with a -1.4 to 4.9 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. With a 6.3 in March, “Kiss” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). Hot AC sibling WMYX “99.1 The Mix” has lost seven-tenths in four down or flat reports (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is a collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, and then on 3.6 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” sputters by four-tenths and is back at 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). In three straight improvements, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 1510” forfeits three-tenths to 1.4 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (5.5 – 4.8, sixth to ninth) continues an October 2018 through April 2019 alternating up/down sequence: +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and -.7 (April). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (+.2, #17 to #16) is also in an up/down pattern: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, (6+).

Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #10, 6+). With an April loss of seven-tenths, its internet stream all but disappears, as evidence by this January 2019 through April 2019 topline: 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .1 (#28, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Six-tenths proves to be particularly noteworthy this sweep for two stations in the Midwest Communications cluster. In the case of adult hits WCJK, a gain of six-tenths to 8.4 (6+) pushes “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” from the runner-up slot to #1. From January 2019 through April 2019, “Jack” nets a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+) and reaches the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its five most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.6 (April). On the flipside, adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which had been #1 the past 15 ratings periods, forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and assumes WCJK’s vacated position at #2. “Mix” is an overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Eleven recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); and -.6 (April). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Continuing to enjoy its progressive roll, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a collective +2.2, owing to five straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) and advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. There is a similar story for iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which racks up a +1.7 in four consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. Unchanged at #8 is the other country FM in “Music City USA,” Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which has lost two-tenths in four successive mostly flat/modestly-down sweeps (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Posting increases of seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Educational Media Foundation WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+) and WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (1.5, #21 to #18). Both of these contemporary Christian outlets were down six-tenths in March; WAYM was actually a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+). Up six-tenths in April, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (seventh to sixth) has an alternating down/up “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 pattern of: 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.9 (6+). Flat at #4, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3, fourth, 6+), directly after logging a +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Down two-tenths in March, WPRO-AM’s February gain of one-tenth halted three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). For the third report in a row, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#11 to #12) has a month-to-month shift of two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). After having lost a collective four-tenths through three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and advances from #18 to #15. By returning the two-tenths it acquired in March (.6, flat at #20), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” suspends four straight (modest) increases that nearly tripled (+.5) its 6+-stat (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in January onto to return a combined six-tenths in February/March, Entercom sports talk WVEI dials up a four-tenths gain in April (3.6 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+).

After being tied at #12 in February and March, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (flat at 1.6, #12 to #13, 6+) get a bit untangled. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In January, WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) following “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Shaking off a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (fifth to fourth) roars back with a +1.6 to 7.6, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 8.1. In four straight positive spikes (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.2 (fourth to third); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Debuting in February with a .3 (6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WNBH “Big 101.3” follows with a .4 (March, 6+) and .5 in April (#21, 6+). Immediately after “Holiday” 2018’s lofty 16.2 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI posted a consistent January – February – March topline of 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.2 (6+). Not only does “Lite Rock 105” have a one-half share bump to 9.7 (6+), it advances from second, where it had been the past three sweeps, to first. Prior to shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Displaced from the top spot after three straight months there and segueing to second-place is iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which falters by nine-tenths to 9.6 (6+). The loss interrupts four consecutive ratings periods without a loss that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. This Rhode Island market’s 6+ CHR share softens by -1.3, virtually equally divided between Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (-.7, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” (7.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Fun 107” has now lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in three straight slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). WPRO-FM’s April -.6 pulls the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.4 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); 7.8 in March is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4.

Norfolk – Not only has iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gained six-tenths in four straight upticks (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Following five negative or (mostly) flat sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6  -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WHBT “92.1 The Beat” gains four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and is steady at #9. The January 2019 through April 2019 toplines of Saga classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are virtually identical. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 (third to second, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 (unchanged at #2, 6+). A combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is nonetheless #1 for the fourth month in a row. Until April’s 10.5, it had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. WVKL had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was up three-tenths in March, surrenders eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to fifth. Its December/“Holiday” 2018 +7.9 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. After being a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but remains in eighth-place. As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, WMOV was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). While it carries on in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” drops three-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing three straight gains that yielded a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WPTE was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being an overall -1.8 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” manages to progress from second to first. This is WOKV’s lowest 6+-share since September 2018 (8.6, as well), while November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Even though iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is down or flat the sixth consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+) it returns to the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #19).

A cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is off two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) but advances from #12 to #11.

Jacksonville Music Formats – After posting a +1.2 in January, iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WSOL was a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Now in April, “V-101.5” logs a gain of seven-tenths to 5.4, climbing seventh to fifth. Gospel cluster-mate WKSL-HD3 is without a loss for the third straight time for a net increase of one-half share 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Conversely, co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print. It is a March-only stay at #1 for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which is off six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and segues to a second-place tie. In addition, the decrease pulls the plug on three bumps in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #12, 6+), curtailing three gains in succession that accounted for a +1.8 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). In December/“Holiday” 2018, WWJK was a combined -1.4 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was an overall +2.1 in three successive up or flat moves (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), forfeits one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Entering the top twenty at #19 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2, which gains two-tenths in eight straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3, 6+). As a result of seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.5 and slips from fifth to eighth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – erases February’s half-share loss with a March/April increase of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) and continues in ninth-place. At the same time that WGNE’s adult contemporary sibling WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” slips by four-tenths (8.7 – 8.3, third to a second-place tie, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). It was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Meanwhile, by relinquishing six-tenths in March, WEZI surrendered roughly half of January/February’s +1.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By piling on four-tenths to March’s +.3 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-showing (2.7) since July 2018’s 2.9. A combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is up three-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #11, 6+). After having lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share in four successive negative moves (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” wipes away half that deficit with a +.8 to 2.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). Doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD enters the West Palm Beach top twenty (#22 to #20).

In August 2018, co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent nine sweeps.

Slipping from seventh to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has lost eight-tenths in three successive decreases (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL lost one-tenth in March, it snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). “Today’s Kool 105.5” answers in April with a +.7 to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5, and advances from third to second. Conversely, following a March increase of seven-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-programmed WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” spirals by -1.2 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (second to third). “Sunny” was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+). Up six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is steady in fourth-place and has its highest 6+-share (5.9) since May 2018’s 6.2. Immediately on the heels of erupting with a +2.0 in March, co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” craters by an even more humongous -2.2 (9.2 – 11.2 – 9.0, 6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its March 11.2 is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. A cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” halts the slide by picking up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and remains in ninth-place. Off one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute gospel WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” fades from #15 to #20.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.2 in March/April (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” was +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

After more than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth to .8 (#15 to #14, 6+).

While it remains anchored at #13 for the 12th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” erodes by seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+). Off three-tenths to .5 (#16 to #17, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC halts at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia CHR WMKS have generated a collective +1.8 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “100.3 Kiss-FM” climbs from tenth to ninth and reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, April 2018). Improving by seven-tenths (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (6.5 – 7.2, steady at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” (2.5 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to faltering by one-half share in March, WJMH was an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Five straight declines by WQMG resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), but “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” applies the brakes with a +.6 to 9.7 (6+). Moreover, the Entercom urban AC marches to #1 after a March-only stay in the runner-up slot. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 in 2018 before segueing to #2 in December. While setting the pace in January and February (2019), its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January (2019) at 26. In March, WQMG was replaced at #1 by adult hits cluster-mate WSWM “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything,” but the roles are reversed in April, as WQMG pushes “Simon” from first to third. The four most recent fluctuations by WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); and -1.6 in April (9.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to March, the last time WSMW reached #1 was August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March’s 9.8 its best 6+performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it squandered in March (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” loses a cumulative seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). April results keep WPAW and WTQR at #6 and #8, respectively.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in March (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was a combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), progresses from tenth to eighth.

Dipping from #11 to #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is off four-tenths via three straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; and resurfaces in March and April (.1 – .1, #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the tenth straight time (including eight consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Notwithstanding that it has back-to-back upticks of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth-place with its best 6+-showing (7.0) in exactly one year (7.1, April 2018). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in February and March, Entercom’s country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” displays an April improvement of six-tenths and enters the top ten (3.9, #13 to #9, 6+). On top the sixth time in a row and in double-digits the 13th successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless -1.2 in March/April (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012) for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to KJMS, co-owned WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” erodes by -1.0 as well and is actually an overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2018 -.7 and a January +1.5, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a cumulative -1.8 in February, March, and April (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+). Forfeiting the one-half share gain it attained in March (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” drops from #14 to #15. In “Holiday” 2018, WKIM reached the five-share level (6+), but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Its AC rival is steady in third place, but Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” is -1.2 in March/April (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of one-tenth, WRVR’s seven most recent moves were: +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked in third-place, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.4 via four straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips to #15; “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had finished at #14 the past three reports. This marks the 11th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17).

The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

As part of an alternating up/down pattern that began in December 2018, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is +.3 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); -.9 (February); +.1 (March); and -.6 in April (5.3 – 4.7, flat at #9, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” erases half that decline with an April gain of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By racking up a robust increase of nine-tenths after its March +.4 (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.5, unchanged in second-place, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” brings to a halt the down/up pattern it began in August 2018: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+). This (8.5) is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Connecticut’s Classic Rock”  improves by seven-tenths in March/April (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). In addition to climbing from eighth to seventh, “The Whale” has its best 6+-stat since October 2017 (6.0, as well). Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has certainly experienced considerable shifting in each of the past seven reports. “Lite 100.5” was -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); and is -1.3 in April. Although #1 for the 34th consecutive ratings period, WRCH drops to 9.8 (6+); it had been in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. A combined +1.1 in February/March (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); March’s 6.1 is its best 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.5. Flat at #5, Entercom-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.4 in March/April (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), following a January/February +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+).

Friday, April 26, 2019

| April 26, 2019

Mark Levin to Air Interview with President Trump. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin is presenting an exclusive interview with President Trump on his Westwood One program later today (4/26).  In the segment, the president tells Levin he’ll be proud to run on a position that continues prohibiting felons from voting and accuses Democrats of moving to the far left.  Trump also weighed in on the Mueller Report.  Check out some of the audio from the interview here.

NJBA to Induct Class of 2019 into Hall of Fame.  At this summer’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention in Atlantic City, the state broadcasters organization will induct seven into its Hall of Fame.  Being enshrined this year will be: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (who will also present a keynote address at the convention), iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren DavisTownsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson, Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce, Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan, WFPG-FM, Atlantic City “Lite Rock” morning host Eddie Davis, and late national syndication and WCTC-AM, New Brunswick talk radio legend Bruce Williams.  Also at this year’s event,TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison will address the conference as a featured speaker.

Jim Bohannon Helps WDUN Celebrate 70th Anniversary. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night personality Jim Bohannon (right) with WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia EVP and general manager Bill Maine (left).  Bohannon visited his affiliate station in the market yesterday (4/25) to attend its 70thanniversary celebration luncheon.

Kellie Holeman Named Market President at iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio executive Kellie Holeman is moving from iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point cluster to serve as market president.  The station group consists of news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music formatted stations.  iHeartMedia area president Bill McMartin says, “I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region.  Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment.  Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm, and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.”  Holeman served as market president for a seven-station market for iHeartMedia Toledo for the past seven years.

Detailed Agenda for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Posted.  Although speakers and sessions are still being added, the basic detailed agenda for the forthcoming 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most important annual gathering of the talk media industry is now posted and can be accessed here.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The sheer quality of this convention’s lineup of speakers is a testimony to the present-day vibrancy of talk radio and the associated talk media industry. This is the place to be for anyone who is serious about their career and business in the field of talk shows.”  The event will take place on Friday, June 7 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 55 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including influential talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, fast-paced day!  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. A full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address Talk Radio’s Challenges and Opportunities Generating Revenue in 2019.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely useful and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges faced by and opportunities available to talk radio in 2019 in advertising sales, digital marketing, and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019,” the session will feature panelists (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, “AsaRx”; Vince Benedetto, CEO Bold Gold Media GroupSuzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood OneChad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus Media New York; Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The discussion will be moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The session will be introduced by Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  The panel will identify problems as well as solutions inherent in the sales and marketing of talk radio as the medium integrates its multi-platform assets into the rapidly evolving digital era.   Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

WMVP’s Zederman Launches Fitness-Nutrition Podcast. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports some podcast news out of the Windy City. Danny Zederman, who serves ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP-AM as executive producer of the late morning “Kap & Co.” with host David Kaplan, is striking out into the podcast space with the health, nutrition, and fitness-focused “The Armchair Nutritionist” program.  Zederman tells Feder, “I target a demographic that usually goes unserved in the health and nutrition marketplace: the newbies trying to figure out health and nutrition in order to get themselves on track in life with the limited time they have in the day.”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 22-26.  The reaction to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ calls for impeachment of President Trump were the top news/talk stories this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration’s plan to ignore subpoenas from House leaders.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential candidates and their political strategies, followed by the Southern border migrant issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Dave Numme is promoted to format captain for hot AC and rock brands for Alpha Media.  Numme serves as content director for hot AC KEZR and classic hits KBAY in San Jose, positions he will continue to hold.   Numme says, “Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience.  It’s exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our content managers to have fun and win.”…..In Rhode Island, Hall Communications appoints April Shibley to the position of promotions manager for WCTK-FM, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”  She previously served with Cumulus Media New York as promotions director.  Hall Communications VP of programming Bob Walker says, “April is a true industry pro and we are thrilled to have her join us in Providence.”…..WCMF, Rochester midday personality Dave Kane is the subject of a feature piece in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week.  The piece reveals Kane’s thoughts on classic rock from the late 1960s and the 1970s and why it still resonates with people.  Kane is being honored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame for his 38 years of work on the rock station at a ceremony on Sunday (4/28).

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream rock.  Based on weekly 6+ AQH share, about half the rock stations in PPM markets saw their ratings go up and about half saw them go down.  Comparing March 2018 to March 2019 slightly more than half (56%) of rock stations saw ratings improve year-over-year.  Three rock stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the March survey: Hubbard Radio’s KSHE, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence.  See the whole report here.

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

WLS-AM, Chicago Moves Big John Howell to PM Drive. Friday’s announcement by Cumulus Media solidifies the afternoon program schedule, but the question still remains who will end up hosting mornings on news/talk WLS-AM in the New Year.  Current morning drive personality Big John Howell is moving to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot – he’s following Westwood One syndicated talk host Ben Shapiro who’s on from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Howell’s co-host Ramblin’ Ray Stevens appears headed out the door.  Rumors in the Windy City are that Erich Mancow Muller is negotiating to be the station’s next morning show host. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day.  John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home.”  Before joining WLS-AM four years ago, Howell served with Salem Media Group on news/talk WIND-AM.  Prior to that he spent 17 years as a jock on country WUSN-FM. He says, “I’m very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890.  I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest, and intelligent summary of the day’s biggest stories – an afternoon wrap of the day’s biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts, and stars.  Of course, our town’s most colorful characters will also be welcome.  In addition, I’m looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun’s in the east.”

Media Action Center Targets Alex Jones Saying Radio Show Violates FCC’s Hoax Rules. The Media Action Center was founded by journalist and activist Sue Wilson.  She was instrumental in forcing Entercom to give up the license for KDND-FM, Sacramento in the wake of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest.  Now, Wilson’s MAC is encouraging people who live in markets that carry the Alex Jones radio show to file a complaint with the local station and the FCC that accuses Jones of violating the FCC’s hoax rules by insisting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  You can see the form letter here that outlines the FCC’s language: “Section 73.1217 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217, prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.”  Wilson cites the parents of some of the victims whose pain has been worsened by harassment they’ve suffered from Jones’ listeners, thus the public harm.  MAC notes the FCC rules would permit Jones’ comments if the stations airing the program aired a disclaimer before the program clearly characterizing it as fiction. See the MAC site here.

WQAM, Miami Names New Midday Show. Replacing Orlando “The Big O” Alzugaray (who exited early last month) in the midday slot at Entercom’s WQAM, Miami is the duo of Alex Donno (left) and Josh Friedman (right).  The “Donno & Friedo” show airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Friedman moves over to WQAM from sister sports talker WAXY-AM where he was evening host.  Alex Donno has been hosting the evening program on WQAM.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond.  Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Spector Upped to Program Director at Sports Talk KCSP, Kansas City. Rising from assistant program director and afternoon show producer to program director at Entercom’s KCSP-AM “610 Sports Radio” is Steven Spector.  Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next program director of ‘610 Sports Radio.’  This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate ‘610 Sports Radio’ in the Kansas City market.”  Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.”  He began his radio career with WTEM, Washington in 2008.

Chuck Peterson Rises to Area President for iHeartMedia. Executive Chuck Peterson is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia markets, effective immediately. The markets contain 16 news/talk, sports and music-formatted stations.  Peterson is promoted to area president after serving as market president for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets.  He began his career at WFTR, Front Royal, Virginia and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.  He says, “iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina region. I am proud of our company’s commitment to growing our advertiser’s businesses and serving our communities.”

PPM Analysis: November’s Top-Ranked Stations. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a tip of the hat to the stations that finished first and second (6+) in their respective markets in Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey.  In this report, you’ll find charts detailing the performances of the top two stations in each market, as well as a look at the top performers arranged by format.  Spoiler alert – adult contemporary stations comprised 22% of the #1 stations in the PPM markets while classic hits accounted for 22.9% of the #2-ranked stations. See the full report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally-syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KLIF-AM, Dallas, beginning in the New Year.  KLIF-AM and WBAP program director Kevin Graham says, “We’re thrilled to bring Dana to 570 KLIF.  Dallas-Fort Worth listeners are really going to connect with her honest opinions and authenticity.  And the fact she lives here in the Metroplex will also allow our listeners to easily relate to her.”  “The Dana Show” is syndicated nationally via Radio America…..Premiere Networkssyndicated Buck Sexton show begins airing on WCBM, Baltimore in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart, effective January 1.  The show will be followed by the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin program in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The station currently airs Michael Savage in evenings and he departs the station after 16 years as his three-hour show is re-configured into a one-hour live show and a one-hour podcast. WCBM program director Sean Casey adds, “This is the next chapter in our endless pursuit to bring the most powerful names in talk to Baltimore.  We’re really pumped to add Buck, an up-and-coming star and to have Levin, a Hall of Famer anchor our evenings!  I’d like to thank Michael Savage for a great run and continued success in his new venture.”…..The unique town of Tangier Island, Virginia – population 460 and shrinking – is the subject of a five-part podcast series from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington titled, “Going Under: The Story of Tangier Island.”  The series, hosted by WTOP’s Michelle Basch, takes an in-depth look at the “quirky, isolated place located smack dab in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay” that is gradually vanishing and could be uninhabitable in 25 years…..First Media Services closes on its purchase of two AMs and four FMs in the Bluefield, West Virginia market from Alpha Media for $1.8 million.  The stations are: news/talk WHIS-AM, hip hop WKEZ-AM, hot AC WHAJ-FM, country WHQX-FM, country WHKX-FM, and classic rock WKOY-FM.  First Media managing partner Bob Spencer says, “We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, and David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company.  In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region.  Many, of whom, have worked there for over two and even three decades.  It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias.” Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..WNIC, Detroit morning personality Jay Towers and Capedwonder.com founder Jim Bowers are co-hosting a podcast series dedicated to all things Superman in “The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.”  In the third podcast of the series, the hosts released never-before-heard audio of iconic Superman actor Christopher Reeve.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall-Government Shutdown, the Trumps vs the Media, ObamaCare Ruling, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Concerns, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s threat to allow the federal government to shut down if congress doesn’t fund the Mexico border wall; President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s complaints about the media’s treatment of them; a federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional; Friday’s Dow drops 400 points and talk about a recession in 2019; the new Aquaman film; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Jay Cruze joins the morning show at Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver alongside current morning host Jenny D.  Program director Jim Lawson says, “Jay’s experience, energy, and authentic personality is exactly what we were looking for to create compelling content in the morning.  Jay has been on our part-time staff and has been a tremendous asset.  He’s a natural fit.”…..An apparent abundance of programmers in the Entercom Philadelphia cluster has forced the company’s hand and longtime hot AC WBEB “B101” PD Chuck Knight exits the station.  Entercom acquired the station from Jerry Lee Radio back in September…..KDGS-FM, Wichita APD, music director, and afternoon host “Rolls” Royce Stevenson re-ups with Entercom to continue his work at the rhythmic CHR outlet.

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