Tag: "Mary Berner"

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

| May 2, 2018

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Approves Cumulus Plan.  The company announces that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has confirmed its Plan of Reorganization.   Cumulus Media says it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 before the end of the quarter, after the conditions to the Plan are satisfied.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “The Court’s approval of our Plan allows us to complete the balance sheet restructuring that is critical to the success of our turnaround strategy.  With a firmer financial foundation in place, we look forward to continuing to implement the business initiatives that have already taken this Company so far.  The financial and operational progress we have already experienced are a testament to the tenacity and commitment of the entire Cumulus team.  We also greatly appreciate the ongoing support of our advertisers, vendors, and affiliates as we continue to provide high-quality programming to our millions of listeners across the country.”  Prior to entering Chapter 11 reorganization, Cumulus was saddled with more than $2 billion in debt.  Upon completion of the restructuring process, the company says its debt will have been reduced by more than $1 billion and it “will have greater financial flexibility with which to support its ongoing business transformation.”

Entercom Simulcasts Sports Content on KGMZ-AM, San Francisco.  KGMZ-AM, San Francisco is now simulcasting content from Entercom’s sister sports talk outlet KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game.”  The company says in addition to carrying the daily lineup of Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley in mornings; Matt Steinmetz & Daryle “The Guru” Johnson in late mornings; Greg Papa in early afternoons; Damon Bruce in afternoon drive and Chris Townsend in evenings; the station will also air Oakland A’s baseball when conflicts arise with Golden State Warriors playoff hoops. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “With the overlap of play-by-play between our athletic partners, we launched sports content on the AM frequency to provide our fans with more options to listen to all of their favorite games.  This also gives us the opportunity in the future to create additional exclusive programming on 1550 AM to super serve Bay Area sports fans.”

2018 Hofstra University/RTDNA Newsroom Survey Released. The 2018 edition of the Hofstra University/RTDNA Newsroom Survey is being released and is available for purchase for $25.  The survey provides insight into the state of local news in television and radio.  The Bob Papper-authored survey also reports on salaries in newsrooms.  This year’s survey indicates that radio news salaries rose 2.8% compared to the year prior.  That’s one-tenth of a point behind average U.S. wages.  See more here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Iran Nuclear Deal, Tom Brokaw Allegations, North-South Korea Talks, Kanye West Controversies, Rising Oil Prices, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s list of questions for President Trump and the threat of a subpoena; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of “caravan Asylum seekers”; President Trump’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal and Israel’s attempt to suggest Iran has been dishonest; allegations NBC news icon Tom Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances to women years ago; the proposed peace talks between North and South Korea and President Trump’s role in the process; Kanye West’s recent series of controversial statements and vocal support of President Trump; rising oil prices and speculation about higher summer gas prices; Major League Baseball action; and NBA playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. No one at iHeartMedia Houston is commenting but it’s being reported in numerous places that KBME, Houston morning sports talk host Josh Innes has been suspended by the station, ostensibly for his part in an on-air feud with fellow host Adam Clanton, who last week exited the station where he was co-host of the afternoon drive show with Jayson Braddock and Sean Jones.  The reason for his departure is not clear but it’s being speculated that the feud had something to do with it……Next Wednesday (5/9) is the debut of the Gregg “Opie” Hughes podcast on the Westwood One Podcast Network.  The company says that “Opie Radio” will “feature Opie hitting the streets and podcasting from surprise locations with his famous friends, including Carl Ruiz from the Food Network, comedians Vic Henley and Sherrod Small, and many more.”  New episodes will be released every Monday and Wednesday. Cumulus EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One Podcast Network is the ideal platform for Opie to open up and tell his story.  Opie is a star, with a massive following and great chemistry with our head of digital content, Tim Sabean.  This is a new chapter for Opie and we’re giving him the creative freedom to develop a unique podcast that will reveal his true nature.” Check out the show’s teaser here…..Envision Networks says its syndicated “Our Auto Expert” vignette – featuring auto expert Nik Miles – is now syndicated to more than 700 affiliate stations.  Miles is quoted saying, “There are 268 million cars on the road in America.  We are the original Car Nation.  We celebrate our freedom and our mobility every day by driving.  We think that’s why we have been so successful talking to people about something they love and something they spend their hard earned money on.”  Affiliate stations receive a daily, 45-second audio report for use on-air and online, plus two videos per month to use on their website and on demand…..Cumulus Media appoints Jim Riley vice president and market manager for its Buffalo station group that includes sports talk WHLD.  Riley returns to Buffalo where he was GSM for the cluster before leaving to head up the company’s Erie cluster in 2005…..CBS News is relaunching “Intelligence Matters” – the podcast hosted by former CIA Acting Director and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell.  The first podcast (released 5/2) features an in-depth interview with former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden.  Morell says, “The podcast will educate listeners on the complex national security issues facing the nation and do so in a way that is entertaining and non-partisan, a place free of politics, just like national security should be.  Each podcast will deliver listeners critical insight into how the U.S. national security and intelligence community operates as well as an insider perspective on the world around us from people who know best.”…..The “Bob & Tom Show” signs a new, multi-year agreement with Westwood One to continue their syndication arrangement.  Show co-host Tom Griswold says, “Our show is getting bigger and better all the time, thanks to our great relationship with Westwood One.  In the dizzying world of digital technology, including an ever-changing radio world, it’s terrific to be part of the Westwood One team.  They understand the importance of great content, and the ability to deliver it on multiple media platforms.”  The program is heard on some 100 affiliate stations…..CBS News Radio executive editor and correspondent Steve Dorsey is a finalist in this year’s Livingston Awards from the University of Michigan for his breaking story of the Cuba attacks and subsequent reportage.  CBS says that “Steve is one of three audio entries and the ONLY commercial radio finalist in a sea of top journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker and others.”  The Livingston Awards are funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the University of Michigan to support the vital role of a free and independent press. The awards bolster the work of young reporters, create the next generation of journalism leaders and advance civic engagement around powerful storytelling”…..iHeartRadio launches a new, daily news podcast called, “The Daily Dive” – a 15-minute podcast that posts each weekday at 6:00 am ET.  The program is hosted by Los Angeles-based producer, writer and editor, Oscar Ramirez.  You can hear the new program on iHeartRadio here…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks gave some of their advertisers a VIP experience at Monday’s season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” live from Hollywood on ABC-TV.  Pictured below Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber are ABC Radio’s Steve Jones and Skyview’s Jeanne Marie Condo and Kim Ball along with invited radio advertising buyers.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Is Nearing an Early Sellout. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – is on course to again be an early sellout. Next Friday, May 11 at 5:00 pm ET has been set as the absolute cut-off date past which new registrations will no longer be taken – although according to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We might have to stop taking registrations before that because the number of bodies we can accommodate at this basically intimate gathering is indeed finite.” The power-packed program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as registration, hotel and sponsorship information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – which can come at any moment. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible.

Christine Hassler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, master coach, podcaster and TV host Christine Hassler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A world-renowned evangelist for the nascent field of “Spiritual Psychology,” Hassler is the co-host and relationship expert on TLC’s “The Spouse House,” in addition to hosting a weekly podcast titled, “Over It & On With It.” Harrison and Hassler engage in a deep-dive conversation about the intersection between mind and soul, including social media addiction, the characteristics of Millennials, and dealing with life’s major disappointments. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The KKDA, Dallas-based “DeDe in the Morning” show, hosted by DeDe McGuire, is being launched into national syndication via Compass Media Networks.  KKDA “K104” owner Service Broadcasting, McGuire and Compass expect to debut the national rollout in July.  McGuire – former longtime co-host of the Doug Banks syndicated program – says, “It is an absolute honor to enter national syndication.  With humility, excitement and pride, all of us at ‘DeDe in the Morning’ are 100% committed to continuing to put in all the hard work to make our program a success for our prospective affiliates and national sponsors.”.….Comic Maurice “Moe” Williams is joining the cast of Yea Networks’ syndicated “The Bert Show,” featuring Bert Weiss, Kristin Klingshirn, and Davi Crimmins.  Williams will re-locate to Atlanta where the program is based at CHR WWWQ “Q100.”…..Nia Marciante is named promotions director for iHeartMedia‘s country WMZQ and adult contemporary WASH-FM in Washington.  iHeartMedia Washington marketing director Kim Sauer says, “Nia is the final piece to an incredibly strong promotions team here in the Washington, D.C. region.  I know Nia is the right choice to raise the bar for the WASH and WMZQ brands in the market.”  Marciante joins the Washington cluster from iHeartMedia Philadelphia, where she served as promotions assistant…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is bringing back its popular Summer Block Party Series that takes place on June 3, July 22, and August 12.  Acts signed up for this summer’s free concerts include: AWOLNATION, lovelytheband, Flora Cash, Wallows, and Deadfellow…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WRVW, Nashville “107.5 the River” announces the lineup for its first-ever “Summer Kickoff Party” takin place on May 25.  Performing will be Jack & Jack, In Real Life, and Logan Henderson…..Entercom’s alternative KRBZ, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz” is presenting the “Buzz Beach Ball” on July 29.  Acts performing will include: Portugal. The Man, AWOLNATION, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Blue October, Joywave, Robert DeLong, The Getup Kids, lovelytheband, Hembree, Mt. Joy, MANSIONAIR, andL.I.F.T…..iHeartMedia country outlet WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5”  presented Jason Aldean at Joe’s on Weed St. on Sunday (4/29) and raised more than $32,000 for Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer research. Pictured below (l-r) are: WEBG program director Lance Houston, WEBG personality Trace in the Truck, Aldean, WEBG afternoon host Brooke Taylor, WEBG promotions director Kelsey King, and WEBG morning personality Alabama.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

| April 4, 2018

ABC Radio and Skyview Networks Expand Radio Syndication Efforts.  A statement from both companies says ABC Radio and Skyview Networks are “further aligning” their resources to “identify, develop and syndicate talent and programs to broadcast radio.”  For its part, ABC Radio will seek out talent syndication opportunities – for both music and news/talk formats – and will handle the affiliate sales angle, while Skyview Networks will take care of national sales and distribution.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones states, “We are building on the momentum and tremendous success we’ve already seen in our existing partnership.  ABC Radio has always represented creative and innovative programming and we are excited to offer programmers and talent a new, stable business environment to grow and monetize their brands.”  Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele adds, “The timing of our syndication partnership couldn’t be more perfect.  We’ve heard from a significant number of programs and clearly there is a need for another syndication option in the marketplace.  We’re growing and continue to make substantial investments in technology and our staff, and it’s paying off.  This new venture is really a reflection of the dynamic synergies between ABC Radio and Skyview, and our positive business trajectory.”  In July 2016, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks renewed their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.

Cumulus and Merlin Strike a Deal for WKQX, Chicago.  On Tuesday evening, Cumulus Media announced that it has arrived at a deal to acquire Chicago alternative rock WKQX from Merlin Media.  Cumulus has been operating the station under a local marketing agreement, but when it filed to reorganize under Chapter 11, it asked the court to void a number of its prior agreements that it considered onerous.  The WKQX LMA included a “put-and-call” that would have allowed Merlin to force Cumulus to buy the station at a predetermined price (the “put”). The combo deal included WLUP-FM, but Merlin found another willing buyer in Education Media Foundation, which is acquiring WLUP for $50 million.  As part of this deal, Cumulus Media is also getting the intellectual property of “The Loop.”  The speculation in Chicago is that the company will transform classic hits WLS-FM into “94/7 The Loop.” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, “After operating the station for the past four years, we are delighted to be able to bring this beloved station under Cumulus’ ownership on economic terms that make sense for our business.  We look forward to continuing to deliver the best alternative rock programming to our devoted listeners in the Chicago area for years to come.”  Though no price for WKQX in included in the press release, media trade RBR-TVBR is reporting the price tag is $18 million.

Janet Bro Named COO at USA Radio Networks. Rising from vice president/general sales manager to chief operating officer at USA Radio Networks is Janet Bro.  The company announces that this promotion comes as the company completes its corporate relocation from Phoenix to its flagship station offices at KBDT-AM, Dallas. USA says that in this new position, Bro will lead the networks, including the company’s stations in Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis, as well as five properties in Nevada.  USA says, “Bro comes from a distinguished career in media and advertising.  She began in radio/TV at Bradley University, has owned and operated three FM stations in Illinois and managed others before embarking on a two-decade adventure with Verizon’s Yellow Pages.”  USA Radio Networks CEO Fred Weinberg says, “Our goal is to create news and programming that we and our affiliates can be proud of. We’re not Democrats or Republicans, we’re Americans and that’s how we see the news.  Janet is the perfect person to push this forward.”  USA Radio Networks provides news and long-form talk programming for some 500 affiliates across the country.

Still No Kevin Klein at ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego.  Yes, Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” is still playing rock music and comedy bits during morning drive, five days after air personality Kevin Klein was to debut as host of the new station’s AM drive show.  He’s still listed on the station’s website, so it’s unlikely he’s been let go.  What is likely is that Entercom is still negotiating with the San Diego Padres over the station’s role as flagship for the MLB club.  The Padres either stay or they go.  If they stay, one line of thought is that the station veers from the guy talk/sports hybrid to a pure sports talk station (in order to assuage the team). But if the Padres take their play-by-play elsewhere, perhaps Kevin Klein takes to the air as morning host and the station keeps its “edge.”  It’s hard to imagine Entercom letting this go beyond this week and it must be very difficult to sell time on a station thats format is in question.  In case you’ve missed the backstory, Klein posted a promotional Tweet for his show that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides.  That upset many San Diegans, as well as the Padres.  But, that wasn’t the only issue.  According to comments made to the San Diego Union Tribune by Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the club hasn’t been happy with the station’s general tone. Fowler told the paper that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.

Larry Kudlow to Do Regular Guest Spot on WABC’s John Batchelor Program. The new director of the National Economic Council – Larry Kudlow – is going to join John Batchelor each Tuesday evening at 9:00 as a guest on Batchelor’s WABC, New York radio program.  The station says that the Tuesday night guest spots “will include other colleagues and will cover topics including the economic health of the U.S. and its allies and trading partners.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Kudlow and Batchelor have been working together on-air each week since 2004.  It is a joy to learn that the Trump administration is willing to make the country’s new economic adviser available to the national and global audience of ‘The John Batchelor Show.'”

Cooke: The Class of ’68 Turns 68.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the value of Baby Boomers to talk radio.  On the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cooke notes many of the cultural touchstones that affected the generation.  He says that while Millennials now outnumber the Boomers, the Baby Boom generation outspends the Millennials at retail.  That’s an important fact for radio sales people who are selling upper-demo radio formats like news/talk.  See his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. We have a new date in the legal saga between Bubba the Love Sponge and Nielsen Audio.  After suddenly postponing Monday’s scheduled start of the courtroom proceedings, the two sides are being called in for a status conference on April 10.  Perhaps we’ll learn more about the trial schedule after that. Nielsen is suing Bubba for $1 million in damages for his part in a PPM ratings manipulation plot in the Tampa market…..Salem Media Group re-brands KDZR, Lake Oswego, Oregon from its former “Talk 1640” to “AM 1640 The Patriot.” Also, in Oregon, Salem rebrands KPAM, Portland – the station it’s operating under an LMA – to the familiar “AM 860 The Answer.”  Some programming adjustments take place on KPAM as the SRN-syndicated Dennis Prager grabs an hour from the local Tim Hohl and Terry Travis morning show.  Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham show replaces Clark Howard in middays, and the afternoon drive show featuring Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson changes from “Afternoon Northwest” to “The Afternoon Answer.”…..Today (4/4) Alpha Media is joining World Concern to raise funds to “Cure 1 Million Kids.”  As part of World Health Week, Alpha Media stations in 49 markets are working to raise money to cure children living in developing countries of parasites that can cause blindness, malnutrition, disease and even death.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt remarks, “We are so proud and honored to work with World Concern for this one-day push to help save children’s lives.  We are passionate to use the power of our Alpha community of listeners and business clients to do what we can to help those less fortunate.  World Concern is a wonderful organization that will take what we raise and make a difference in a young person’s life.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches ‘Broadcasting Hope’ Campaign.  A new industry-wide campaign is being launched by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, called, “Broadcasting Hope.” The goal of the initiative is to reach broadcasters across the country with trade ads, social media, and more to ensure that broadcasters in acute need know they can apply for aid from the Broadcasters Foundation.  It is the only charity devoted exclusively to providing financial assistance to broadcasters whose lives have been devastated by illness, accident, or disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “There are broadcasters in local markets across America who may qualify for aid, and it’s imperative that they know the Broadcasters Foundation can be a life support.  The radio and TV trade publications and members of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations have been very supportive in helping us expand awareness of the Foundation’s charitable mission.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Trump-Russia Probe, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, YouTube Shooter, U.S.-Mexico Relations/Illegal Immigration Battle, Spotify Stock Market Debut, Villanova Beats Michigan, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China as both countries impose tariffs; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; the woman shooter who injured four before taking her own life at the YouTube campus in California; the relations between the U.S. and Mexico and President Trump’s threat to use the military to guard the border; digital audio giant Spotify goes public; Villanova beats Michigan to claim the NCAA title; the first week of MLB action, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Newly flipped country KNUC, Seattle re-brands as “The NEW 98.9 The Bull.”  Lisa Adams is the program director at the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Welcome to the next evolution of 98.9, a personality all its own.  More BULL, more MUSIC, more FUN.”  She also says the station plans to make its final additions to the air staff soon…..Also from Hubbard Radio, the Chicago cluster announces that sales pro Nancy O’Brien is promoted to director of sales for hot AC WTMX, classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WSHE, and in-house digital media services arm 2060 Digital.   O’Brien has most recently been serving as national sales manager Midwest region for the company…..Neuhoff Media tweaks CHR WWHX-FM, Bloomington, Illinois to a rhythmic CHR station with the new brand, “HOT 100 The Beat of BloNo.”  Neuhoff Media Bloomington vice president and general manager Danielle Outlaw says, “‘HOT 100’ is the only station designed specifically for the 18-34-year-old audience in Bloomington-Normal.  The music, the connection, the interactivity, the engagement and the beat.  Bloomington-Normal was ready for ‘HOT 100,’ we’re thrilled by the reaction, the future has arrived, it’s ‘HOT 100.’”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day!  Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

| November 30, 2017

Cumulus Enters Chapter 11; Move Will Erase $1 Billion in Debt.  This Chapter 11 restructuring between Cumulus Media and some secured lenders comes as little surprise.  In fact, many industry watchers and media experts believed it was imminent when Mary Berner was brought in as president and CEO, replacing Lew Dickey.  That’s because during her tenure as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, she led it through a pre-packaged bankruptcy.  Now, Cumulus announces the Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of its secured lenders, among others, holding, in the aggregate, approximately 69% of the company’s term loan to reduce the company’s debt by more than $1 billion.”  In its press release about this maneuver, the company says it “expects all operations, programming and sales to continue as normal throughout this restructuring process.  The company has ample cash on hand, combined with funds generated from ongoing operations, to support the business during the financial restructuring process, and as a result, it does not intend to seek debtor-in-possession financing.”  Mary Berner states, “Over the last two years, we have focused on implementing a business turnaround to reverse the company’s multi-year ratings, revenue and EBITDA declines, create a culture that fosters motivated and engaged employees, and build an operational foundation to support the kind of performance we believe Cumulus is capable of delivering.  As we have demonstrated in many measurable ways – including increased ratings, revenue market share gains, improved employee satisfaction, reduced employee turnover and, over the last several quarters, our return to year-over-year EBITDA and revenue growth – that turnaround has not only been successful but is continuing.  However, as we have noted consistently, the debt overhang left by previous years of underperformance remains a significant financial challenge that we must overcome for our operational turnaround to proceed.  The actions we are taking today to address our balance sheet are a critical step forward for Cumulus.  We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth.  We have ample cash to support our operations and service our advertisers, vendors and affiliates during this period, and we look forward to becoming an even stronger partner to all of them when we complete this important phase of our turnaround strategy.  We appreciate the tremendous efforts of the Cumulus team throughout the business turnaround and thank our employees for continuing to be the true force driving our success.”

Garrison Keillor Latest to Fall Under Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  The longtime host of public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” is being taken off the radio by Minnesota Public Radio, which had been distributing Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and re-broadcasts of the Keillor-hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” (the current program hosted by Chris Thile will continue under a new, yet-to-be-announced name).  MPR president Jon McTaggert stated in a press release, “Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances.  While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”

Weisman: The Law Behind the Matt Lauer FiringTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the legal aspects of the firing of “Today” show host Matt Lauer.  Weisman states that Lauer, like most everyone working in media who is under contract, has a morals clause in his contract that allows employers to fire those who violate that clause, without having to pay out their contract.  Many contracts also provide for mandatory arbitration of disputes.  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next month, Rob Sussman – nephew of KSFO, San Francisco morning personality Brian Sussman – joins Delmarva’s WXDE, Lewes, Delaware “Delaware 105.9” to host a daily talk show.  For the past couple of years, Rob Sussman has been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director…..As reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, Cumulus Media signs a new 10-year lease to continue broadcasting from the historic Fisher Building in Detroit’s New City area.  News/talk WJR and sister stations country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and hot AC WDVD broadcast from the office tower.  Crain’s notes that WJR moved into the building in 1928…..Debtor-in-Possession Mississippi Valley Broadcasters, LLC and White Eagle Broadcasting, Inc. have retained Kalil & Co. to explore the sale of news/talk WLFN, LaCrosse, Wisconsin and sister stations country WQCC, classic rock WKBH, classic hits KQEG, and adult contemporary WLXR.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, NBC Fires Matt Lauer/MPR Cuts Ties with Keillor, Conyers/Franken Sexual Impropriety Allegations, Trump Anti-Muslim Re-Tweet, North Korea ICBM Test, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29).  The progress Republicans are making in bringing their tax reform plan to a vote; NBC fires longtime ‘Today’ show host Matt Lauer after allegations of sexual impropriety and the related firing of Garrison Keillor by Minnesota Public Radio; the effects of recent allegations of sexual impropriety involving Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; President Trump’s re-tweet of anti-Muslim videos; North Korea’s testing of a long-range ICBM and U.S. officials’ threats of war; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SRN’s Larry Elder Talks Anthem Protests on FOX Business.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder on FOX Business Network with Stuart Varney discussing the national anthem protests and the state of the ratings for NFL games.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Distributed More Than $1 Million in 2017.  By the end of this year, the Broadcasters Foundation of America will have hit a milestone distributing grants for more than $1 million in aid to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says this is a record-setting figure.  At the same time, it announces the launch of its year-end appeal for personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “What’s even more striking is that there are still broadcasters across our industry who need our help.  It is incumbent on everyone in our industry to help ensure that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to provide this much-needed financial assistance to our colleagues.”  Grants from the Broadcasters Foundation have risen from $61,000 in 2000 to this year’s unprecedented level.  Included in the 2017 figure is more than $200,000 in emergency aid that was distributed to broadcasters whose lives were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the California wildfires, or other disasters.  BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “Requests for aid have multiplied over the past several years, and we have been able to help every qualifying broadcaster who sought assistance from us.  As we enter the season of giving, I ask every broadcaster to review any good fortune that our business has bestowed upon them and consider donating to help our colleagues in need.”

Pioneer Valley Radio Continues to Brighten Western Massachusetts with Hyper-Local Coverage and Community Involvement.  Now in its third year of service to its region, hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio continues to gain traction as an online radio outlet and “media station” in Western Massachusetts.  Pictured at the recent opening ceremonies of the annual Springfield “Bright Nights” holiday lights spectacular in the city’s Forest Park are (l-r) local keyboard favorite Richard Mitnick, Pioneer Valley Radio GM and program host Brad Shepard, and Spirit of Springfield president Judy Matt.  Brad Shepard entertained the crowd singing a two-hour medley of Christmas and holiday favorites.  Shepard is a legendary local personality and “man about town” who is a favorite among area radio listeners in Greater Springfield where he has been heard for more than two decades as morning host on WMAS, WHYN, and now Pioneer Valley Radio. He is also a significant figure in local theater, stand-up comedy and serves as emcee of major community events.   (Photo courtesy of The Republican.)

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Orlando and Daytona Beach markets, Entercom flips another former CBS RADIO CHR to alternative rock.  This time it’s WQMP “AMP 101.9.”  The station is licensed to Daytona Beach but is a 90 kw class C FM that covers the Orlando market as well.  The new station is branded “ALT 101.9 FM, Orlando’s New Alternative.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city with a rapidly evolving demographic, we are thrilled to fill this void in radio in Orlando.  ‘ALT 101.9 FM’ caters to the tech-savvy, engaged and active Orlando audience and will provide an exciting and unique experience for listeners who are currently underserved with today’s radio choices in Orlando.”

Envision Networks Offers Holiday Programming. A full lineup of holiday programming is being offered by Envision Networks.  The company says there are “new and returning favorites to the Envision Networks lineup covering traditional offerings, contemporary shows, production assistance and holiday fun stuff.”  The shows include: “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time with Wink Martindale,” from a list of songs compiled through data collected from Billboard Magazine and listings of the Christmas tracks most played on radio over the past decade; “The Jim Brickman Show: A Joyful Christmas,” a program with no network commercials in a modular track format with or without music; “The Live Ride,” a holiday edition of this show with Nashville insider and host Johnny Stone; “Annual Chop Shop Christmas Special with Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” in which host Steve Black was recorded at the Council Bluffs, Iowa rehearsal for TSO’s 20th anniversary winter tour; plus more, including holiday imaging packages.

Elvis Duran Group’s 3rd Annual Carney Awards to Air on National TV on Saturday. Nationally syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran (center) is pictured with executive producer Jim Katz (left) and Elvis Duran Group CEO/executive producer David Katz (right) on the red carpet at taping of “The Elvis Duran Group’s 2017 Carney Awards” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California.  The awards honor Hollywood’s leading character actors for their outstanding achievements.  This year’s awards ceremony with be broadcast on NBC Universal’s COZI TV this Saturday (12/2) at 9:00 pm ET.  This year William H. Macy, Wendie Malick, William Fichtner, Richard Kind and Xander Berkeley were honored while Allison Janney, Jeff Garlin, Clark Gregg, Dan Lauria and Titus Welliver presented.  ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was host.

Round One of November PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s November 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The top two “Big Apple” finishers both post gains of four-tenths, with iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW tacking onto October’s one-half share surge (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the third straight time and has its best 6+-share since February’s 7.1. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). A one-tenth increase in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does CBS Radio all-news WINS, a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+), repeat in the runner-up slot, it crosses the six-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. When it notched a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Co-owned and similarly formatted WCBS-AM, which had notched a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 2.6 (6+), but is unchanged at #13. Sports talk sibling WFAN-FM is without a loss for the fifth straight month for a collective +1.7 since June (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. The 5.2 (in October and November) represents its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” registered a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. In the market’s rhythmic CHR contest, Emmis’ WQHT picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+), ending three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3), as “Hot 97” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In the process, it overtakes iHeartMedia’s WKTU, off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), slipping from #10 to #11. Having registered back-to-back gains of four-tenths in September and October (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” relinquishes all but one-tenth of that collective +.8 (4.6, -.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM repeats at #4. “New York’s Greatest Hits” exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Even though iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a combined loss of eight-tenths (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” actually improves from a seventh-place tie to sixth.

2) Los Angeles – Last year marked the end of an eye-popping 67 consecutive years that Vin Scully served as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The National League West team made it to the World Series this year for the first time since 1988 and its 1.7 (6+) in November 2017 matches the audience draw for KLAC in Vin’s swan song (1.7, 6+, November 2016) as the iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship trots out a +.7 (1.7, 6+). “AM 570 Sports” leaps from #31 in October to #25 in November. Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the fifth time in a row and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 since January (6+). In what represents its farewell ratings period, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” hauls out a gain of six-tenths (2.2 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from a three-way tie at #19 to #12. Just over a week after the November sweep concluded, Educational Media Foundation officially closed on “The Sound” and flipped it to contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The last song played by “The Sound” in an emotional November 16 finale that drew considerable social media and local television coverage was The Beatles’ “The End.” Despite being up or flat for the seventh ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – backslides from #28 to #30. With a gain of two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM pulls the plug on eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” advances from #17 to #13. After nine up or flat monthlies in a row for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), its format foe – CBS Radio’s KROQ – stumbles by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4), sliding from #14 to #18. September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Having been down or flat the past five monthlies for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), University of Southern California’s classical KUSC wipes out that deficit with a +.4 to 1.6 (#28 to #26, 6+). The #1/#2/#3 finish for iHeartMedia includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which – despite a loss of one-half share (6.4 – 5.9, 6+) – is on top for the tenth straight ratings period. In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths it squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, “My-FM” posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). In a three-way tie for second in October, mainstream CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” has sole possession of the runner-up slot in November. “Kiss-FM” gains three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at four a consecutive string of down or flat sweeps that produced a collective loss of one-half share (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Part of October’s three-way runner-up logjam as well was adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST, which drops one-tenth (4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and segues to third-place. When “Coast 103” picked up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In September, co-owned urban contemporary KRRL reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since January, but “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” falters by nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.5, 6+), drifting out of the top ten (#9 to #15). This marks the fifth successive sweep without an increase for CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which is off seven-tenths in that stretch (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), dropping from a second-place tie to third (with KOST). Following six straight sweeps in second-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in three successive declines (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+) and repeats at #5.

3) Chicago – Having fallen off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, #21, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” rebounds with an increase of six-tenths to 2.8, catapulting all the way into a four-way scrum at #12. Over and above repeating at #1, its format rival – Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” – registers its sixth straight improvement for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+). The last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). WTMX had finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Co-owned classic rocker WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” however forfeits seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, 6+), tumbling from fifth to tenth with its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.1. Along with WLIT, another player in that four-way logjam at #12 is Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN, which gains three-tenths to 2.8 (6+, up from #17 in October). In doing so, WGN applies the brakes to eight straight ratings periods without an increase for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, WGN posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). It is a mixed bag for the market’s two main sports talk outlets. On the plus side, WMVP picks up one-half share and is a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, #22, 6+); “ESPN Chicago 1000” reaches the two-share mark for the first time since March (2.1). At the same time, after posting a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” (fourth to sixth, 6+) surrenders -1.3 to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since March’s 2.2. Tied at #7 are iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” and CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96.” “Kiss” is off for the third straight sweep for an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+) yet is actually up from eighth in October, while “B-96” improves by one-tenth, (3.4, up from ninth in October 6+), ending five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+).

4) San Francisco – For the 11th successive time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM and CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM rank first and second, respectively. At this time last month, KQED-FM had a rather slim, one-half share lead over KCBS-AM. That advantage nearly quadruples, however, as KQED-FM rolls out a massive +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+), while KCBS-AM (up eight-tenths in October) drops one-tenth (6.8 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.8 by KCBS-AM is its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KQED-FM relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Doubling its 6+ stat since August via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO progresses from tenth to seventh. Co-owned KNBR picks up three-tenths to 3.1 (6+), halting six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) and “The Sports Leader” returns to the top ten (#13 to #9). Posting a one-half share increase and leaping from #18 to #12 is University of Southern California classical KDFC, a collective +.9 as the result of its sixth straight sweep without a loss (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each and both, as a result, departing the top ten are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, #7 to #12, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.3 – 2.6, #8 to #14, 6+). “Wild” had been in three-share territory (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. Varying only seven-tenths from October 2016 through November 2017, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (flat at #14) is nonetheless down one-tenth for the fourth straight time (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). This is the eighth month in a row that KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Albeit steady at #14, CBS Radio-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of nine straight up or flat trends, (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, #18 to #14, 6+). In 12 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#22 to #21) has been within a high of 2.4 (November 2017) and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). Off a collective six-tenths via six straight down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” is up four-tenths to 3.2, climbing from #15 to #13. Dating back to April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #9) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+). Eight-tenths of a share separates the top seven stations. At the top of the leader board is a tie between Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” (5.3 – 5.0, -.3, 6+), which is #1 for the 11th successive time and iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5 (4.8 – 5.0, +.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Owing to a +.3 in October, however, “Lone Star 92.5” progressed from sixth to third. Behind “The Wolf” and “Lone Star” at #3 (up from fifth in October) is iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” which gains three-tenths to 4.7 (6+); “Kiss” had been down in each of the past four monthlies for a combined -1.4 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). Trending 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 (6+) since July for a modest gain of two-tenths, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). A loss of one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to seventh, 6+) takes CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” to its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In addition to plummeting from the top ten as the result of a -.4 to 3.0 (#9 to #15, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” snaps at eight its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+).

6) Houston – When the Houston Astros won the team’s first-ever World Series, it proved to be a ratings bonanza for its flagship, iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which cracks the top twenty with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, #20, 6+). By way of comparison, “Sports Talk 790” logged a .7 (6+, #25) in November 2016. Improving by eight-tenths as well (to 3.8 6+) is CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL which hadn’t had an increase in the last three sweeps for a collective -.6 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Mega 101 FM” vaults from #17 to a three-way tie at #10 with its best 6+-stat since April’s 4.2. Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” (4.8, eighth to fifth, 6+) erases the six-tenths it lost through three straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Yet another Houston outlet putting an end to three consecutive down or flat moves is Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which picks up one-half share (4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). KRBE was a cumulative -.7 since July (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Conversely, Radio One urban AC KMJQ is off three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+), thus ending three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+), but “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” is #1 for the third time in succession. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January – February – March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; and now surrenders eight-tenths in November (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Displaced from the top in September and falling to third, “Sunny” repeats in the runner-up slot. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). Up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” fades by eight-tenths as well (3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Having lost eight-tenths in October, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” regresses by another seven-tenths in November (5.9 – 5.2, flat at #4, 6+). Up or flat for a collective +1.2 February through July (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” stumbled in August with a -1.1, but responded in September with a +1.3 to 6.7, the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. On the heels of October’s stunning +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN returns one-half share (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+) and carries on in third-place. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; and +.7 in August. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. Declining by one-half share as well is Liberman regional Mexican KEYH (.8 – .3, #32, 6+). Owing to seven straight up or flat trends, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KQBU more than quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .9, 6+), but “Que Buena 93.3” slips three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #28, 6+). Having improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times through eight consecutive sweeps without a decrease (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+) CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns four-tenths to 1.6 (#21 to #23, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In what proves to be a solid ratings period for urban ACs in “The ATL,” Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” advances by seven-tenths (5.8, 6+), while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” improves by six-tenths (4.9, eighth to sixth, 6+). The +.7 not only pushes “Kiss” from fifth to second, it applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that eventuated in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Meanwhile, “Magic” rebounds from a combined one-half share loss in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Regarding the market’s CHR contest, Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by that same margin (4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). “Q-100” was locked on 4.7 (6+) in September and October. Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Power” gained one-tenth in October. Those group owners are involved in another close skirmish between two of the market’s country properties, with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.0 – 4.1, +.1, three-way tie at #10 to #11, 6+) holding a four-tenths advantage over Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” (3.4 – 3.7, +.3, #15 to #13, 6+). At the same time, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, #30, 6+). A gain of two-tenths by Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY (1.7, #20 to #19, 6+) applies the brakes to four straight negative or flat trends that resulted in an overall loss of six-tenths (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). After registering three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM relinquishes two-tenths to 10.0 (6+), but is #1 for the 23rd successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. In addition to dropping from second to fourth (5.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” has its string of successive flat or progressive trends that netted a +1.8 end at four (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Frozen on 3.7 (6+) in June and July and then on 4.0 (6+) in September and October, Radio One gospel WPZE stumbles by one-half share to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.4, with “Praise 102.5” spiraling from the top ten (#10 to #15).

8) Philadelphia – Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #14, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX is a collective +1.5 via five consecutive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Philly’s Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 18 survey periods. A combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk outlet/Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP establishes two milestones: It is #1 for the first time in the PPM-era and records its best-ever 6+-stat. Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. At 10 – 1, the Eagles have the NFL’s highest winning percentage; at this time last year, WIP was #7 (4.9, 6+, November 2016). The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its fifth straight up or flat trend for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+) as the key station of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers climbs from #18 to #15. Even though it adds two-tenths (7.6 – 7.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is dislodged from #1 and segues to #2. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. In addition to posting its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.5, CBS Radio-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fourth straight month for an overall -1.9 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6, fourth to fifth, 6+). Showing losses of one-half share each are Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.0 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99 – Philadelphia’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (4.1 – 3.6, #7 to #13, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.3, #19 to #21, 6+). When WMMR gained four-tenths in October, it halted five straight down or flat trends that resulted in a combined -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). This marks the first time “Power 99” is below a four-share (6+) since May 2016’s 3.7. WKVP was locked on 1.8 (6+) in September and October.

9) Long Island – Tied with KQED-FM (see San Francisco above) for largest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” shakes off October’s -.9 with a +1.3 (6.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to advance from second to first, which is where it was between June and September. After three consecutive surges that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; and surrendered six-tenths in September. A full-share decrease in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. It is a short one-month stay at #1 for iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is down three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, 6+) and shifts to third. “Z-100” had a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Sandwiched between WALK-FM and WHTZ is CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” (third to second), logging its fourth straight increase for an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (5.0 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), which has its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance; iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-formatted WAXQ “Q-104.3” (3.4 – 3.9, tenth to seventh, 6+); and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+). An October dip of three-tenths by “Q-104.3 halted at nine its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that WBLS has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” gains three-tenths (2.4 – 2.7, 6+) and inches up from #16 to #14. It is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 36th consecutive ratings period. As it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” adds two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase for a -1.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). After being up or flat for seven straight months for a cumulative +1.6 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.1 and departs the top ten (#8 to #11, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths as well and also exiting the top ten is CBS Radio all-news WCBS-AM (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #12, 6+), which has a three-share showing (6+) in Long Island for the 13th consecutive sweep. This is the fourth time in succession that Cox Media Group CHR WBLI (flat at #6) records a negative trend (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) and it is an overall -1.9 since July.

10) Riverside – By doubling its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.4, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” jumps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Owing to its third straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” (seventh to fourth) has its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. This marks the fourth consecutive up or flat trend for LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, unchanged at #6, 6+), which is +.6 since July. Steady at #9, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +.5 in four straight ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Despite gaining one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), halting three straight dips for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI backslides from fifth to seventh. While it is on top for the 25th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” falters by eight-tenths (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. In October, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA was just two-tenths behind “Jose,” but KOLA fades by -1.5 to 6.0, nine-tenths off the pace, but is still in second-place. In back-to-back sweeps (September and October), KOLA gained a combined +2.4 (5.1 – 6.5 – 7.5, 6+). KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016 and was back at #2 between January and July (2017). A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. Slipping from third to fourth, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” is an overall -1.2 in its third straight decline (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times in three straight increases (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), but “Recuerdo” slips by three-tenths in November to 1.2 (#11 to #14, 6+).

11) San Jose – Within 3.0 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the past ten (10) survey periods, CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” breaks out a +1.0 (3.2 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to sixth. Improving by a cumulative +1.8 via four successive progressive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from fourth to third. Two Bay Area sports talk outlets improve by one-half share each: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#28, 6+). Regaining the one-half share it lost in October, KNBR was without an increase in San Jose the past six months for an overall -1.5 since April (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). In four straight upticks, “The Game” has nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+), which had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Setting the pace in San Jose for the fourth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM is an overall +1.3 in three consecutive gains (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. This represents its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Slipping from ninth to tenth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” is off one-tenth to 3.8 (6+), thus curtailing at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+); October’s 3.9 is its best 6+-share in San Jose since December’s 4.1. After being a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from fourth to eighth. September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report, whereas 3.7 is its weakest since July’s 3.7. Off by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (5.4 – 4.8, third to fourth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.2, flat at #6, 6+), which was locked on 4.8 (6+) in September and October. In addition to falling from a three-way tie at #19 to #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), ending three straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+).

12) Middlesex – A pair of adult contemporary outlets combine for a +1.6. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLTW “Lite-FM” hangs out a full-share improvement to advance from sixth to third, while Beasley Media Group-owned WMGQ “Magic 98.3” increases by six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to seventh, 6+). This is the fourth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for “Lite-FM” for an overall +1.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9, 6+) and its best 6+-showing here since February (5.9, as well). Unchanged at #5, CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” registers its third straight increase for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). For the eighth time in the last ten sweeps (and fourth straight), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU registers a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and stays at #15. Not only does it post a positive spike of nine-tenths (7.3 – 8.2, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the 11th consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to its third straight increase (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR is a collective +1.1, with “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” cracking the top ten (#13 to #10). Eroding by one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” drops from third to sixth with its lowest 6+-showing in Middlesex since February (4.3, as well). Having trended 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 (June through September, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improved by six-tenths in October to 4.4, its best 6+-stat in Middlesex-Somerset-Union since 4.5 in March. In November, however, “Z-100” surrenders nine-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Dropping by eight-tenths each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (6.8 – 6.0, repeating at #2, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (3.2 – 2.4, #11 to #16, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-share via eleven (11) straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” drops two-tenths to .8 (#25 to #26, 6+).

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Monday, October 2, 2017

| October 2, 2017

Las Vegas Concert Massacre Dominating Radio Discussions.  The day after an apparently lone gunman fired a semi-automatic gun at the crowd attending the “Route 91 Harvest Festival” concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas killing at least 50 people and wounding many more, the story is the primary topic of discussion on not just news/talk radio, but most other radio formats.  Beasley Media Group reports that country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” morning personality Mike West was at the event and shot the video you can see here (the photo of the Mandalay Hotel at left is a still from the video).Thankfully, the quality of the video prevents viewers from seeing the carnage as it happened, but the sound of the gun steadily firing is haunting, to say the least.  Beasley says that news/talk KDWN news director John Shaffer and the KCYE team have been broadcasting continuous updates as well as encouraging people to donate blood through United Blood Service.  In addition, there is a “family” update/info phone number (1-866-535-5654) and a Facebook page for people to check-in called, The Violent Incident In Las Vegas, where individuals can check in as “safe” and others can check to see if family and friends are safe.  Beasley suspended its National Cash Contest today across the entire company and will instead donate the money to an official victim’s fund.  Tomorrow, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher will originate his nationally syndicated talk show from Las Vegas with “second-day leads” from police officials, first responders, and others involved.   Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “Mike Gallagher broke major news from his past broadcasts from shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and he’s second-to-none in delivering live broadcasts that unravel senseless shootings like Sunday’s Mandalay Bay tragedy.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The non-stop barrage of monumentally consequential stories being processed by news/talk hosts in this compelling era is unprecedented in my memory.  Now, this Las Vegas tale of horror ratchets it up to yet a higher level of intensity, if such a thing is even possible.”

Report: Cumulus in Talks with Creditors Over Debt Load.  According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Cumulus Media has entered into talks with two groups of creditors.  The story by Soma Biswas says that those familiar with the talks say it could lead to a bankruptcy filing by Cumulus.  The bulk of Cumulus’ debt comes due in 2019 – not very far away in the business world.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner has reported slight improvement in the company’s overall station ratings and says the culture of the company – along with the employee turnover rate – has improved dramatically.  Read the WSJ piece here.

Jim Hayes Returns to KFNS, St. Louis.  This from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reporting on Friday (9/29) that Jim “The Cat” Hayes is returning to “The Morning After” program on Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS, St. Louis.  Dan Caesar’s story notes that last week it was announced Hayes would be leaving the show he co-hosted with Tim McKernan and Doug Vaughn, ostensibly because the early wake-up, combined with his other duties for FOX Sports Midwest, were too much, although Caesar reports other sources say money was a factor.  Regardless, McKernan and Hayes had been in constant contact hoping to get Hayes back on the program and that led to Markel and Hayes working out a new deal.  Read the whole story here.

Ken Carson New Ops Manager at News/Talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois; Programming Changes Announced.  Programming pro Ken Carson is appointed to the operations manager position at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois news/talker WMAY “970-AM & 94.7-FM.”  The company says Carson, who begins his duties tomorrow (10/3) will initially be responsible for all programming and promotional functions for WMAY.  Carson has most recently been operating his own production and voice-over firm.  During his career, he’s worked for Cox Media Group, Citadel Broadcasting, and Saga Communications.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield general manager Harvey Wells comments, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and, right from the start, Ken’s qualifications rose to the top. After several conversations and a trip to the Land of Lincoln, it was an easy decision to bring Ken aboard.  At the same time, the station announces it’s bringing former morning host Greg Bishop back to the station to co-host the program with Ray Lytle.  Lytle says, “Greg and I know each other very well.  I’m totally psyched to be working with him again.”  The morning show is followed by Mike Wennmacher and Johnny Molson’s “Mike and Molson” program.  That’s being shortened to one hour as the two will take over creative production and voice duties for all four Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield radio stations.  Market pro and current sister country WUSW morning personality (as well as CMA Award winner!) Brian Pierce is launching a talk show on WMAY from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’ll continue his WUSW morning show duties.

Thom Hartmann Retires from Hosting RT America’s ‘The Big Picture’ Program – Holland Cooke Steps in as Replacement.   After seven years hosting the RT America television show “The Big Picture,” progressive talk media mainstay Thom Hartmann has announced he will be leaving the nightly program to devote more time to his mega-successful daily, three-hour radio program (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET).  His final installment was aired this past Friday (9/29).  The DC-based commentator also tells TALKERS he and his wife (and executive producer) Louise Hartmann want to be able to spend more time in Portland, Oregon closer to their children.  Hartmann’s cross-platform radio program has been on the air since 2003 and is ranked by TALKERS as the leading progressive news/talk show in the radio industry.  He tells TALKERS, “Having complete editorial control over a TV show syndicated internationally into more than 700 million homes was a great (and rare) opportunity.  We worked hard not to do ‘sports’ or ‘soap opera’ when covering politics, and instead focus on issues; we believe we accomplished a lot in that regard. We’re grateful to RT for the opportunity, and for fully honoring our contractual independence at all times.”  Replacing Hartmann as host of RT America’s “The Big Picture” brand is noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist and correspondent Holland Cooke.  Cooke is a former radio programmer and talent who came to national prominence during his tenure as PD of all-news WTOP, Washington, DC.  In recent years, he emerged as a significant presence on cable news/talk TV as a regular guest of host Ed Schultz when he was on MSNBC and came along with Schultz when he moved to RT America.  Cooke says, “Woody Allen was right: ‘80% of life is showing up.’ I showed up 20 years ago in Fargo, North Dakota to consult KFGO, where I met Ed Schultz. You’ll recall a TALKERS profile I wrote about him back then. I figured he was goin’ places. Eventually, those places included MSNBC and RT America, where Ed often used me as a ‘talking head.’  On the MSNBC ‘Ed Show,’ I was Mr. Friday, available on Friday nights when true big shots were out having a life. Ed introduced me to his boss at RT, who invited me aboard.”  Hartmann introduced Cooke to the audience during the last segment of his final show.  (To view it, click here).  Although Hartmann’s program was weeknights, the new iteration hosted by Cooke will debut on October 6 as a ½ hour weekend show to start, airing Fridays at 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm with several replays over the weekend.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is booked as a guest on the first program.  According to Cooke, “We will continue to produce ‘The Big Picture’ at RT America headquarters in Washington DC, where I’ll work on Thursdays and Fridays.  On the front half of the week, I will continue to be based out of Block Island, Rhode Island consulting a select roster of radio stations, shows, and hosts, and contributing to TALKERS and publishing my monthly newsletter.”  In addition to Schultz, RT America also features programs hosted by Larry KingJesse Ventura and others.  It is part of the larger RT Network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia.  It is a non-profit organization with studios and bureaus in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles, in addition to Washington, DC.  Holland Cooke will be TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s guest on the next installment of the media-oriented PodcastOne podcast “Up Close and Far Out” scheduled to be posted tomorrow (10/3).

New Hampshire Jury Awards $274.5 Million to Plaintiffs Defamed by Talk Host.  Mortgage broker Michael Gill brokered a talk radio show on Lakes Media’s news/talk WTPL, Concord and used some of that airtime – as well as a billboard campaign – to defame three area businessmen, a jury recently decided.  Last week, the jury awarded Andy Crews, Dick Anagnost, and William Greiner $274.5 million that Gill must pay the three.  Gill used the billboards and his radio show to relentlessly accuse the three of operating a heroin distribution ring in New Hampshire, though he never indicated there was any evidence that was the case.  Read the New Hampshire Union Leader story here.

TALKERS News Notes.  News radio pro Pat Carroll is joining Bloomberg Radio to serve as the lead anchor on the company’s new Boston financial news station WRCA/W291CZ “106.1FM/1330AM.”  She will also join her new colleagues (Tom Moroney, Peter Barnes, Anne Mostue and Dan Pierce) on the “Bloomberg Bay State Business” program slated for expansion next month.  Carroll was a longtime staffer at WCBS-AM, New York where she served as morning drive anchor, co-host of the “Opening Bell Report,” and a staff reporter.  She’ll be based in NYC…..Townsquare Media closes on its purchase of Western Massachusetts radio stations from Gamma Broadcasting and Berkshire Broadcasting.  Those stations are: news/talk WBEC-AM, hot AC WBEC-FM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Kalil & Co., Inc. represented Gamma and Berkshire…..Last Saturday (9/30), 600 local children in need received brand-new beds through the 2017 “Beds for Kids” project – a joint effort of Seattle Police and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.  KIRO-FM afternoon personalities Ron & Don have been dedicated and passionate advocates for this project since its inception in 2014.  It was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after responding to a 911 call where they discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets. More than 1,100 beds will have been donated to children through Beds for Kids from 2014-2017.

NFL Anthem Protests, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketch, Puerto Rico Devastation-Trump vs San Juan Mayor, North Korea Tensions, O.J. Simpson Freed, Catalan Independence Vote, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The actions of NFL players during the national anthem at yesterday’s games; “Saturday Night Live” begins its new season with a Donald Trump sketch; the devastation of Puerto Rico and President Trump’s verbal war with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement that the U.S. and North Korea have open channels to talks; O.J. Simpson leaves prison; the weekend’s referendum for Catalonia to secede from Spain; the Major League Baseball playoff scenario; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’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.  Programming pro Robby Bridges re-signs with Cumulus Media to continue serving as director of FM programming for the company’s Detroit cluster that includes: hot AC WDVD, country WDRQ, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Bridges is also on Cumulus’ hot AC and country format SWAT teams and anchors PM drive on WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit OM Mike Wheeler says, “Robby is an ideal programming partner.  He lives and breathes these radio stations and that love shows in what comes out of the speakers and in the quality of the team he’s built.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois, adult contemporary WNNS program director Chris Murphy is officially named the program director for sister country outlet WUSW, removing the “interim” from his title…..Today, urban contemporary WDAS “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is honoring local personality Tony Brown on the occasion of his 45th anniversary in radio.  The tribute will take place at 8:00 pm this evening (10/2) at Relish.  Brown says, “I never imagined my radio career would span 45 years, but then again, I love it so much that I never thought of doing anything else.”  Brown currently hosts WDAS’ evening show, “The Quiet Storm.”

 

 

Round One of September PPM Ratings Data Released.  The first of four rounds of ratings Information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – A gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, 6+) enables Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” to vault from #20 to a three-way tie at #15. Even though it is without a decrease for the eighth successive sweep and is up seven-tenths in that stretch (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” backslides from eighth to ninth. Progressing by one-half share each are CBS Radio all-news and sports talk siblings WINS (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to third, 6+) and WFAN-FM “The Fan” (ninth to seventh, 6+). By notching a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Not only is this the third straight gain for “The Fan” (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), which is a collective +1.1 since June, 4.6 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. On two prior occasions, New York Yankees flagship “The Fan” registered a 4.5 (6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits,” however, is a combined -1.1 in August and September (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+) and exits the #1 spot after just a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that netted a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. In back-to-back months, 6.1 (6+) is what is required to set the pace in New York City – only this time – it is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW hitting that mark (6.0 – 6.1, +.1, 6+), with “106.7 Lite FM” again taking over at #1. Its loss of seven-tenths in August (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Dropping from #13 to #14, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), ending at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Format rival – CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – is flat at 3.0 and remains at #12 (6+). The two hot AC competitors were tied at 2.6 in July, but “Fresh” had held the advantage over WPLJ in each of the previous seven ratings periods. Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had an increase in the last eight ratings periods (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has lost just two-tenths in that timeframe and slips from #21 to #22. Two streaks come to an end for the market’s major CHRs. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WHTZ “Z-100” drops four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to eighth, 6+), ending three up or flat months for a +.3 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), while CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 but stays at #19 (6+); “Amp” was down or flat the past four sweeps for a collective loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – Not only does iHeartMedia urban contemporary KRRL haul out an impressive +.9 (2.6 – 3.5, 6+), “Real 92.3 – LA’s Home for Hip-Hop” rockets from #15 all the way to part of a three-way logjam at #6. Moreover, “Real” has its best 6+-stat since flipping from urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3” in February 2015. Without a decrease for a ninth consecutive monthly for an overall gain of one full-share in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), CBS Radio-owned alternative KROQ has its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9, yet drops from a three-way tie at #12 to #15. Similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is down or flat for the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+) and skids from #15 to #18. Off by nine-tenths in three straight declines (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” recaptures seven tenths to 2.9 (6+) and catapults from #20 to a three-way tie at #12. Its Spanish contemporary sibling KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” however, falters by seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and carries on at #6. An August gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) elevated Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC to its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.1, but “89.3 The Voice of Southern California” drops two-tenths to 1.7, sliding from #22 to #24 (6+). The “stream” though of the American Public Media Group-operated facility debuts with a one-half share to check in at #40 (.5, 6+). Even though only advancing by two-tenths, KSPN “ESPN LA 710” hasn’t had a decrease in the past five ratings periods (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Owing to an increase of three-tenths to 1.9 (#22, 6+), 93.9 Holdings regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” halts at five a skein of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Following four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” surrenders half that gain to 6.0 (-.4, 6+), but is #1 for the eighth straight ratings period. When KBIG dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends, which netted a combined full-share gain (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1.  This marks the third straight time that its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) and KOST “Coast 103” (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+) are without increases, but they remain at #4 and #5, respectively. The January through September trending for news/talk sibling KFI is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned, similarly-formatted KEIB’s March through September line is 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 (#35, 6+). While it maintains its #2 ranking for the sixth straight sweep, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” forfeits the six-tenths it gained in August and one-tenth more (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+). Between March and July, “The Wave” trended a very consistent 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps, classic hits-oldies sibling KRTH “K-Earth 101” registers a 4.8 and is unchanged at #3, (4.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). A combined -.7 via three consecutive declines, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” dips from #18 to #20 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 6+). At #28, University of Southern California’s classical KUSC is down or flat for the fourth consecutive time (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

3) Chicago – Rebounding from an August loss of seven-tenths with a September gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the eighth successive month. The -.7 in August halted four consecutive up or flat trends for a +1.1 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Finishing in the runner-up slot as it did in July and August, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” is without a loss for the fourth straight time for a collective gain of six-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” is trending 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+) and falls from a four-way logjam at #17 to #19. Three straight modest increases have netted Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM four-tenths (2.8 -3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), with “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” carrying on at #11, while CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” remains at #17 (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, 6+). Trending 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish urban WVIV “Latino Mix 93.5” loses roughly half of its 6+-stat (.7, -.5, #27, 6+), with .5 its lowest (6+ AQH) performance in the PPM-era. After recording five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.6 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WUSN surrenders four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from fourth to fifth; 4.2 in August was the best 6+-showing for “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” since October 2014’s 4.4. Steady at #21, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” – regains one-tenth of the six-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight ratings period for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WGN fades from #15 to #19. Immediately prior to this particular streak, the Tribune Media Company news/talk outlet posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Finishing at #25, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WLS-AM has lost a collective one-half share in five successive down or flat trends (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.9 (#17 to #14, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ breaks its 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+) pattern. Albeit that it is flat at 3.9 (6+), CBS Radio-owned sports talk/Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” jumps from seventh to fourth, while ESPN Radio’s WMVP adds two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), ending at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). While unchanged at #8, WSCR cluster-mate WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops three-tenths (4.1 – 3.8, 6+) and remains in fifth-place. Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, April – May – June (6+), Window to the World classical WFMT is unlisted for the third consecutive month.

4) San Francisco – Down a collective six-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” regains all but one-tenth to climb from fifth to a fourth-place tie (4.2, +.5, 6+). As a result of a +.4 to 3.6 (6+), CBS Radio-owned/similarly-formatted KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (eighth to seventh) pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for the loss of one-full-share (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM relinquishes 60% of that increase (7.3, -.3, 6+), but is on top in San Francisco for the ninth successive time. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). In each of the nine sweeps that KQED-FM has finished first, the runner-up is CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM, which adds two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), thus curtailing four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). As they did in August, adult contemporary stations finish third and fourth, but the order changes. Specifically, Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” – off for the fifth consecutive time for an overall loss of -1.2 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+) – nonetheless advances from fourth to third, while iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” squanders 75% of August’s +.4 (4.5 – 4.2, -.3, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Slumping from eighth to tenth, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a cumulative -1.2 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). At the same time, the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#25 to #26) – has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share since June in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+); May’s +.3 put an end to a 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. Regressing by six-tenths each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which plummets from #10 to #16 (2.4, 6+), and Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-programmed KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” (2.0, #16 to #19, 6+). “Que Buena” was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), while “La Raza” halts a string of four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). The three stations tied at #13 in August with a 2.7 (6+) – Entercom urban AC “102.9 The Bay’s R&B”; iHeartMedia 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7”; and Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone” – all drop one-tenth to 2.6 and are now linked at #12. A collective +.8 in June and July (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), KBLX surrendered 75% of that gain in August (-.6, 6+). Prior to July, the last time KBLX reached the three-share level was in April 2016 with a 3.0 (6+). This concludes eight straight sweeps without a loss for KSAN which was up six-tenths in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); KOSF had registered a 2.7 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods. The significantly consistent October 2016 through September 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#12 to #11) is 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8. As the result of five straight (minor) decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” is down six-tenths and slides from #19 to #20. For the sixth straight month, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – In three straight down or flat trends, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO faltered by a collective nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but “Que Buena 94.1” recoups all of it – and then some – with a +1.3 to 4.9, zooming from eighth to second (6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “Que Buena” since 5.3 last November. Notching its seventh consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.4 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KDXX “Latino Mix” is steady at #11. All three of the market’s sports properties are involved in various ratings streaks. In the case of Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket,” a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#16 to #13, 6+) pulls the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -.7 (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), whereas in seven straight up or flat trends, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (#19 to #18) has nearly doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). Meanwhile, a gain of two tenths to 1.3 (#31, 6+) helps KESN “ESPN Dallas 103.3” apply the brakes to four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+). Trending 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.7 (July – August – September, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” is #1 for the ninth successive time. July’s 5.6 was the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Not only is co-owned KSCS up in back-to-back months to inch up from fifth to fourth (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), “New Country 96.3” registers the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Slipping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8, second to third, 6+) and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which returns its one-half share gain in August (4.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, third to fifth, 6+). Following four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (fourth to sixth, 6+) is without an increase for the fourth successive time for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). From the first of the year through September 2017, the 6+-line for Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#17 to a three-way tie at #15) is 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, while iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (unchanged at #10) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+) since April. Another model of consistency (February through September) is Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, #11 to #13, 6+). Although flat at 2.2 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). It is one-tenth ahead of CBS Radio’s somewhat similarly-formatted KRLD-AM (flat at #22), whose ten (10) trends since “Holiday” 2016 have been within a high of 2.3 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

6) Houston – Hurricane Harvey began making its presence felt in southern Texas on August 25, approximately one week after the start of the September 2017 survey period. There are no significant (6+) spikes though among the market’s news/talk outlets as iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 Houston’s News, Weather, & Traffic Station” is up a modest two-tenths (3.7 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+) and co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” gains one-tenth (.2 – .3, 6+) and can be found in a six-way logjam at #30 with Dan Patrick’s KSEV “AM 700 – The Voice of Texas,” which is actually down one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+). Meanwhile in the public news/talk arena, University of Houston-owned KUHF adds one-tenth to August’s one-half share gain (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.3, #15 to #14). Without a decrease between February and July for a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK stumbled in August with a -1.1. Over and above responding in September with a +1.3 (5.4 – 6.7, 6+) to progress from third to second, “The Eagle” records the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. An improvement of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) lifts Liberman regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (#20 to #17) to its highest 6+-share since April 2016 (2.9, as well). Co-owned and similarly-programmed KEYH “La Ranchera” is up one-half share (.2 – .7, 6+) and checks in at #27, where it is tied with another station in the format – Univision Radio’s KQBU “Que Buena 93.3” – which has more than tripled its 6+-share in six straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a decrease, CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” has more than doubled its 6+-share (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, #22, 6+). While the main FM signal of iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” shows a seven-tenths increase to 4.3 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#14 to #9), its regional Mexican HD2 channel, which debuted in August at #20 with a 1.1, erodes by seven-tenths to .4 and freefalls to #29 (6+). “The Buzz” curtails at four a string of consecutive losses that produced a -.8 (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the fifth consecutive increase for Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” (#23) for a collective gain of one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+). Up one-tenth in both August and September (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. Its previous three trends were +1.4 (May); -.6 (June); and -.7 (July). Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. Displaced from the top and falling to third is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which relinquishes in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained this time last month (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). The rollercoaster ride continues for CBS Radio hot AC KHMX, as “Houston’s Mix 96-5,” was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; +.6 in August; and now -.5 in September (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Mix” lost four-tenths in May. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July and then slipping two-tenths to 4.9 (6+) in August, adult hits sibling KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is (like “Mix”) off by one-half share (4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+).

7) Atlanta – In addition to hanging out a lofty increase of one full-share (8.9 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talker WSB-AM is #1 for the 21st straight ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). Even though runner-up, CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station,” adds one-tenth to 6.0 (6+), ending three straight down or flat trends (6.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), it trails WSB-AM by nearly four shares. January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. WSB-AM isn’t the only Atlanta station posting an August 2017 – September 2017 +1.0 though as Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” does so as well (4.3 – 5.3, 6+), propelling “The Fish” from ninth to third. When WFSH picked up four-tenths in August, it halted four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) that resulted in a combined -1.5. Trending 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+) since April, CBS Radio sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” logs a +.7 to 3.2, its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.4, and moves from #17 to #16. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range (6+) the past 12 survey periods, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” improves by one-half share and rockets into the top ten (4.2 – 4.7, #12 to #6, 6+); iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight time (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), but advances from #13 to #12. Declining by one-half share each are Radio One gospel WPZE “Praise 102.5 – Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (4.5 – 4.0, #8 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (4.3 – 3.8, #9 to #13, 6+); and Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” (3.4, #13 to #15, 6+). A +.8 in August by “Praise” pulled the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 as the result of seven successive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August. July’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in July 2016. Meanwhile, the September loss curtails five consecutive positive trends by “Star” that netted a +.9 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). In the market’s competitive urban AC battle, Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is off three-tenths for the third consecutive ratings period (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) but remains at #3, while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh (4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Segueing from fourth to fifth, Cox Media Group’s WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” is a collective -1.8 as the result of its fourth straight downward trend (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). A loss of one-tenth in June concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that generated a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). For the fourth time in the last five sweeps – including the last three – Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY logs a 1.8 and remains at #18 (6+).

8) Philadelphia – Just as two Atlanta stations improved month-to-month by +1.0 (see above), a pair of Philadelphia outlets are +1.1 from August. Specifically, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is 6.0 – 7.1, jumping from fourth to second (6+), while CBS Radio sports outlet WIP is 5.3 – 6.4 and remains at #5. Regarding WDAS-FM, the +1.1 applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -1.0 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its third straight up or flat trend (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0, #19 to #18, 6+). One-tenth ahead of “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-half share to advance from #3 to #1 (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). It is the first time at the top spot for “More FM” since February when it ended a seven-straight month run there and its highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9. Format rival – CBS Radio-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – surrenders six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+) to slip from #16 to #17. Knocked off the top is its classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL, which sputters by eight tenths to 6.6 (6+) and drops to fourth. The 6+-shares for WOGL in its three straight months at #1 were 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.4 (6+). It returned to the top spot in June after transitioning from first to third in May. As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” is -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern (3.0 – 3.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off by six-tenths in September and dips from #18 to #19. Consistently trending between 4.1 and 4.4 (6+) in each of the past seven sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ is off three-tenths to 3.8 (6+). “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops from ninth to tenth, where it is tied with co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock,” which registers a 3.8 (6+) for the third consecutive time. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” is a collective +.9 via its third consecutive gain (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, #17 to #15, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in May and June and then on 3.7 (6+) in July and August, Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” dips three-tenths to 3.5 (#11 to #13, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 4.0 – 4.5 (6+) range since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+), leaping from fifth to second. In addition, “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” crosses the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. After being down one full-share as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” recoups half that loss with a +.1 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty (#23 to #20, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well and climbing from #14 to #12 is its hot AC sibling WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which is up or flat for the sixth straight time for a cumulative +1.0 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+); 3.2 is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since July 2016 (3.2, as well). While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” extends to nine its successive string of up or flat trends that has netted a +1.1 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). After three consecutive gains that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrenders six-tenths in September (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Even so, “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. Down or flat for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.1 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from fifth to tenth. Off seven-tenths as well is New York City’s WABC, which has seen its 6+-share in the Long Island report cut by more than 50% in six straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+); the Cumulus Media news/talker exits the top twenty (#19 to #23). At the same time, similarly-programmed/iHeartMedia-owned New York Mets flagship WOR regresses by one-half share (2.9 – 2.4, 6+), skidding from #12 to #16. Following six straight months of logging a 2.0 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WWPR “Power 105.1” dips to 1.9 but stays at #21 (6+). Dropping from a third-place tie to fifth, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” has a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is off one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3, 6+) and drops from #16 to #17.

10) Riverside – Honors for largest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 improvement for any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here go to the Inland Empire’s KOLA, which doubles August’s -.7 with a gain twice that margin (5.1 – 6.5, +1.4, 6+). The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet moves from #3 back to the runner-up slot it held between January and July; KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA repeated June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. It now trails Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (7.0 – 7.7, +.7, 6+), which is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period, by 1.2 shares (6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+); “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. Improving by one-half share each are Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” (2.1, steady at #10, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” (.7 – 1.2, #14 to #13, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 (6+) and it reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Contrasted to KOLA, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” posts the highest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 decrease in any of these 12 PPM-markets (2.6, -1.6, fifth to eighth, 6+). Moreover, it curtails at three its consecutive skein of increases that netted a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). Steady at #4, CBS Radio country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” sputters by eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Unchanged at #12, All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” is off a collective eight-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

11) San Jose – On the heels of August’s +1.1 (3.7 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” goes one-tenth better with a +1.2 to 6.0, its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. In addition, “Bay FM” cruises from fifth to third. Three straight down or flat trends caused Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM to lose exactly half of its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.5, 6+); however, “Radio Lazer 93.7” responds with a +.7 to 2.2, vaulting from #26 to a three-way tie at #18. Increasing by seven-tenths as well – but flat at #12 – is Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (2.5 – 3.2, 6+), which has its best 6+-stat since January’s 3.3. Improving by one-half share in both August and September (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” climbs from ninth to seventh. This represents the most potent 6+-stat for “Star” in San Jose in over five years (4.7, August 2012, 6+). Registering a gain of one-half share as well are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which had been trending 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.9 (6+), but is now 2.4 (#19 to #16, 6+); and CBS Radio-owned KITS, which was 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 and goes to 2.1, the first time “Live 105 – The Bay Area’s Alternative” (#21) crosses the two-share level (6+) since last October’s 2.0. Recapturing the four-tenths it lost in August, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (7.3 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is #1 for the third straight time, breaking August’s tie with CBS Radio all-news outlet KCBS-AM, which is off two-tenths (6.9 – 6.7, 6+) and takes over at #2. Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. When KCBS-AM added three-tenths in May, it ended a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after adding one full-share in August, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” forfeits all of it plus another one-tenth (3.8 – 4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from fifth to ninth, with its lowest 6+-share in San Jose since last November’s 2.9. August’s +1.0 ended at four its consecutive streak of negative or flat trends that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). It is a slightly similar situation for Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music,” which more than wipes out August’s +.6 with a -.9 in September (6.0 – 5.1, 6+) to fall from third to fourth; 6.0 in August was its highest 6+-share since March 2015 (6.0, as well). Having picked up one-half share in July, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ has followed with a -.7 in August and now a -.6 in September (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), with “98.1 The Breeze” spiraling from #10 to #15.

12) Middlesex – Without a decrease in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” inches up from fifth to fourth with its highest 6+-share since reaching 5.1 in February 2016. Progressing by one-half share in August and September (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” continues at #3 and has its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market in exactly one year (6.0, September 2016, 6+). It regressed by six-tenths in July to curtail at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). Wiping away August’s one-half share loss with September’s one-half share gain is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), which climbs from #20 to #17. A gain of one-half share enables CBS Radio sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+) to register its highest 6+-share since January 2016’s 4.5. As the result of ten (10) straight up or flat trends, Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” (#25) has more than doubled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Despite turning over two-thirds of August’s gain of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the ninth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Carrying on at #2, Emmis urban AC WBLS drops one-tenth to 6.6 (6+), thus ending three consecutive gains that netted a +1.5 – all but two-tenths coming as a result of August’s +1.3 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+). Up by a combined one-half share in July and August (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” falters by eight-tenths to 3.6, falling from sixth to tenth (6+). Picking up one half share in back-to-back ratings periods (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, June – July – August, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” returns 60% of that full-share gain (4.9, -.6, third to fifth, 6+). This marks the sixth time in the last eight sweeps that iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (#13 to #14) records a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #14 (down from #13 in August) with Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which is down or flat for the sixth successive month for a collective -.7 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

| September 21, 2017

Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner Talks Culture Change in Chief Executive.  Two years into Mary Berner’s role as chief executive officer of Cumulus Media, Berner writes a piece for Chief Executive magazine about her work to change the culture of the company.  Calling it her “Culture Fix Playbook,” Berner says that in 2015, Cumulus “was in a free fall: four straight years of declines in radio listenership, four straight years of revenue declines, three straight years of EBITDA declines, and underperforming acquisitions which had saddled the company with an untenable debt load. We also had lousy systems, crumbling infrastructure, and unhappy employees who told us in surveys that the ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘toxic,’ and ‘lousy’ culture was the primary reason for the company’s poor performance.”  In the piece, she outlines her strategy for turning around the culture of Cumulus.  Read it here.

Monroe Named Production Director at WTMJ/WKTI Milwaukee.  The Milwaukee radio operations of E.W. Scripps announces that Frank Monroe is named production director.  In this role, he’ll be guiding the commercial production department for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  He was most recently with Matrix Broadcasting’s Crystal Lake, Illinois radio group where he also was midday personality on hot AC WZSR.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee vice president Tom Langmyer says, “Frank is an experienced, creative leader who will drive results for our local advertisers.  His customer service, professionalism, voice work and commercial copywriting stand out.”

PodcastOne Debuts ‘Music Connection Podcast’ with Randy Thomas and Arnie Wohl. This new program from PodcastOne “brings to life Music Connection Magazine, a well-known industry publication led by publisher Eric Bettelli for 40 years.”  It presents exclusive interviews with music business legends including: Sting, Daryl Hall, Jimmy Page, and the hottest rising stars, such as Haim, Mondo Cozmo and Anderson Paak.  It’s co-hosted by voice-over star Randy Thomas (Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and more) and music biz manager and promoter Arnie Wohl (Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Coldplay).   Thomas says, “A giant ‘thank you’ to Norm Pattiz and the entire PodcastOne team for helping us bring the ‘Music Connection Podcast’ to life.  We are jazzed to be able to access the incredible resources at PodcastOne, as well as Music Connection’s network of musicians, producers, and executives from 40 years of incredible interviews about the music industry – which is why we call this a podcast from the people who make music, for the people who love music!”

RAB Study: Radio Ads Drive Search Results.  The press release says that this study, commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau, was conducted by Sequent Partners, Media Monitors, and In4mation Insights in June and July of this year in the top 31 markets.  Based upon its analysis of over 2,100 local radio ads across six different categories, the study concludes that these campaigns realized a “29% incremental lift in search results.”  Media Monitors president and CEO Philippe Generali says, “The study proves that radio significantly impacts digital behaviors and activities – and is even more relevant in a digital and e-commerce world.”  Sequent Partners’ Alice K. Sylvester adds, “Radio continues to be undervalued and we are uncovering incremental benefit that radio consistently provides to advertisers.  It was also clear that there is an opportunity to increase this benefit with smart, measurement-informed, placements and creative approaches.”  RAB makes the full study available to members.  It also offers the video presentation from the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show session on its website.

TALKERS News Notes. Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is making daily appearances on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte in the form of commentaries.  The former governor also served as mayor of Charlotte during his political career.  During his first appearance on the WBT morning program, he criticized the Charlotte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Roberts for not having a prayer session prior to the meeting.  The tradition of a pre-meeting prayer is controversial in light of a recent court case ruling the Rowan County Commission’s pre-meeting prayer method was illegal…..ABC News is launching a new news series and podcast it calls a “multiplatform docu-series,” titled “A Murder on Orchard Street,” that investigates the cold case murder of Burke O’Brien in New York in 2003.  ABC News producer and reporter Christina Kiely, who covered the O’Brien case moment-to-moment in 2003, joins ex-NYC detective Kenny Silvia in a renewed effort to solve the crime and bring the murderer(s) to justice…..This afternoon WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” host Kevin McCullough is broadcasting live from Lower Manhattan restaurant Giardino D’Oro.  Show segments today will include: a debate of Italian food questions; should Christopher Columbus’ statue be taken down?; a debate among NYC mayoral candidates; plus a live, fried calamari eating contest.

A “Talk” Down Memory Lane: The Great Kiddie TV Shows and Hosts of the Past.  In somewhat of a change of pace, the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” explores the lost art and genre of the television “kiddie show” that was a mainstay of popular culture from the late ‘40s to the early ‘70s.  Harrison is joined by veteran broadcaster Brad Shepard, an entertainment industry historian and GM/morning host of Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Harrison and Shepard discuss such shows as “Howdy Doody,” with Buffalo Bob Smith; “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” with Fran Allison; Shari Lewis; “Andy’s Gang” with Andy Devine (and the infamous “Froggy the Gremlin” pictured at left), “Winky Dink” with Jack Barry; “Ding Dong School” with Miss Frances; Soupy Sales, “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox, Chuck McCann; “The Merry Mailman” with Ray Heatherton and so much more.  To listen to this fun and entertaining romp through fascinating media history, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump at UN, Maria Ravages Puerto Rico, Deadly Mexican Earthquake, Climate Change Debate, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action/TV Ratings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/20).  The Cassidy-Graham health care bill with which Republicans hope to replace ObamaCare; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into former Trump operative Paul Manafort and Russian agents; President Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly and his meeting with African leaders; Hurricane Maria decimates Puerto Rico; rescue efforts after Mexico City’s deadly earthquake; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; controversy over California’s vote to make it a “sanctuary state”; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the week’s NFL action and talk of sinking television ratings for NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York hot AC WNEW-FM, “Fresh 102.7” announces a lineup shift as Mike Adam is promoted from his fill-in role to the afternoon drive slot.  That move bumps Cane from PMs to the evening show.   Adam previously worked part time at sister CHR WBMP “92.3 AMP Radio.”  WNEW program director Jim Ryan says, “Mike’s experience in CHR in Philly and on our sister station, ‘92.3 AMP,’ will help WNEW grow with an active audience.”  The station also announces that Matt Sneed is taking over the Saturday and Sunday midday shows…..Hubbard Radio moves Josh “JT” Holleman from evenings to middays at country WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3.”  Program director Scott Roddy says, “JT’s work ethic, positivity, willingness to take direction and follow strategy – in concert with his amazingly fun and interactive sound – make him perfectly appealing to our young female demo!”  The change means APD and music director Danny Montana now handles the evening shift…..Programming pro David Dean is named the PD at iHeartMedia’s country KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  Dean was most recently program director at the company’s country WNOE, New Orleans…..The new morning show at CBS RADIO’s CHR KEGY, San Diego “ENERGY 103.7” is Tonya Gonzalez and Sean “Sonic” Leckie.  The program launched back on September 12.  KEGY program director Chris Patyk comments, “There’s no mistaking the drive and passion Tonya and Sonic have for winning.  Their chemistry together is undeniable and they know this city and the ‘ENERGY’ listeners.”

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

| September 12, 2017

Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show.  According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show.  The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet.  But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET.  The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday.  FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement.  Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.

WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8).  WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance.  Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games.  In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.

Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM.  The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station.  Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL.  Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL.  He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community.  We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”

Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports.  With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve.  The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma.  Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”

Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape.  Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.”  Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air.  The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning.  Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.

iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief.  The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun.  It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit Nation” channel at both 8:00 pm ET and a re-broadcast at 8:00 pm PT.  The one-hour special takes place in Los Angeles, with remote stages in New York and Nashville, and will include appearances, performances and taped messages from: several dozen A-list actors, musicians and entertainment industry personalities.  Proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief USA.

Dave Ramsey Presence on SiriusXM Expands.  The Dave Ramsey Network grows on SiriusXM with the addition of new programming on the satcaster’s Triumph Channel.  Daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET, Ramsey programming now includes, in addition to the Dave Ramsey show (heard on SiriusXM for the past year), Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Ken Coleman, plus the popular EntreLeadership podcast.  EntreLeadership, hosted by Ken Coleman, features discussion and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business, including Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.  Chris Hogan is the best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number and host of the “Retire Inspired Podcast.”  Christy Wright is the author of the best-selling book, Business Boutique, and host of the “Business Boutique” podcast.  Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide.  He hosts the “Life, Money and Hope Podcast.”

Cumulus Appeals NASDAQ De-Listing.  With its current share price (as of closing on 9/11) of 39 cents per share and a market cap of less than $12 million, Cumulus Media is in danger of being tossed from the NASDAQ.  But, CEO Mary Berner has filed another appeal of the company’s failure to meet the minimum stockholders equity requirement.  Theoretically, the company has until October 2 to get its share price above $1 dollar, but there are other avenues that Berner and CFO John Abbot can explore.

TALKERS News Notes.  Ahead of this year’s Veterans Day (11/11), CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com is celebrating the holiday through its first ever “Veterans Community Showcase” – a three month, two-part program focused on honoring Veterans for everything they do both during and after military service.  During the first phase of the program, ConnectingVets.com will accept public nominations of local veterans online.  An internal programming committee will then select and profile one veteran each weekday from November 1 to Veterans Day. The profiles will be posted on ConnectingVets.com and Facebook.  The sites will also feature sponsored editorial content giving companies with dedicated veterans’ initiatives a unique chance to share the good work they do and praise their own employees, many of whom are veterans themselves.  University of Maryland University College and United Rentals will sponsor the inaugural “Veterans Showcase” alongside ConnectingVets.com sponsor Freedom Mortgage…..Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker and devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk join the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel.  Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on “MMA Today,” an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.

Irma Aftermath/Harvey Recovery, Climate Change Controversy, New Sanctions on North Korea, Hillary Clinton Book, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Retiring Congressional Republicans, IT Movie, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the recovery from Hurricane Harvey; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; the U.N. Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea and the hermit kingdom’s threat against the U.S.; Hillary Clinton’s new book detailing her loss to Donald Trump; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s Sunday evening interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Republican Senators and U.S. Reps announcing they will not run for re-election; the Stephen King film IT smashes box-office expectations; the NFL’s 2017 opening weekend; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Tim Maranville is exiting Curtis Media’s adult hits WBBB, Raleigh to join Cornerstone Church-owned KGGN, San Jacinto, California as president and general manager.  Maranville says, “I would like to thank my team at WBBB for an extraordinary run from worst to best in Raleigh, a true blessing.  Looking to the future, I could not be happier to be working with Cornerstone to bring the Gospel to the San Jacinto valley through a local radio presence.”…..The Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation presented the American Red Cross with a check for $50,000 to benefit the hurricane relief effort.  Last week, the hosts of the popular Premiere Networks-syndicated show invited listeners nationally to “love up” and purchase #LoveUp T-shirts with all proceeds benefitting victims of the recent hurricanes.  In just eight days, thousands of shirts were sold.  The #LoveUp Foundation also contributed additional funds to achieve the $50,000 total donation.  Rich Berra says, “We couldn’t do this without the giving hearts and loyal followers of the #LoveUp movement.”…..The local Nashville country band Radio Romance won the “NASH Next 2017 Country Challenge Showcase” live country music talent competition held on September 7, 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville.  The band was one of 10 that made it past the challenge round in the Cumulus Media-sponsored competition.  Radio Romance won over the judges and crowd with their performance of “Cheap Beer Years” and will advance as a semi-finalist to the national NASH Next 2017 video competition, to be held this fall.  Cumulus Media VP of country programming Charlie Cook says, “What a great night showcasing fantastic talent from Nashville!  The crowd went crazy when we announced Radio Romance as the winners for the night.  I can hear their song ‘Cheap Beer Years’ on our stations.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

| July 12, 2017

Salem to Hold White House Radio Broadcast. The theme of the July 25 special broadcast from the White House will be “Made in America” and will feature senior members of the Trump Administration as guests on some 20 Salem Media Group radio shows.  The press statement from Salem says that the special broadcast day is “part of a larger White House effort to broaden media access and bring in more local and regional media, including talk radio.”  Salem’s nationally syndicated talk radio hosts – Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas – will be joined by 13 local hosts from Salem Media Group-owned stations and will total 36 hours of live radio programming between the hours of 6:00 am to 9:00 pm ET on that day.  Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “Donald Trump ran an unconventional campaign that reflected a broad public discontent with the status quo, and despite intense opposition and overwhelming odds, he was successful.  There is an unprecedented level of public interest in what is happening in Washington, DC…Salem Media Group’s audiences are highly active politically and very interested in both the policy components of the president’s agenda, as well as how the administration is accomplishing its objectives.”

Entercom Recruits Larkin for Regional VP Position. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is joining Entercom as a regional vice president.  She’s most recently been serving in the same capacity with Cox Media Group, in charge of the Orlando and Jacksonville markets.  During her career she also served with ABC-Disney in the Twin Cities.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer states, “Susan is a highly respected and top-performing radio veteran with a winning track record.  At Entercom, we are committed to being a best-in-class organization with A-level talent and we are excited to have Susan on board with us at this transformational time.”

Cumulus Unveils Its ‘Digital C-Suite.’ The Cumulus Digital C-Suite is a “comprehensive portfolio of digital marketing solutions” that Cumulus sellers will represent to local businesses in its 90 U.S. markets. Cumulus says it’s a “flexible local marketing solution, currently featuring digital solutions in three distinct areas that can be used in any combination to achieve a local advertiser’s digital marketing goal.  Local businesses can now work with a single point of contact to create stand-alone radio or digital campaigns, or holistic multi-media strategies.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Cumulus is offering local marketers the formidable reach, frequency, and recall of radio combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that we know engage consumers.  We spent the last year in market testing digital solutions with local advertisers and have pulled together the most effective products that delivered the best results.  With C-Suite, our advertisers can now work with one partner to coordinate and optimize their campaign, messaging, and creative across multiple platforms.”  VP of digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky adds, “We’re evolving our broadcast business to maximize digital and social in support of our local partners’ needs.  Our plan is to vigilantly watch the ever evolving digital technology landscape for new products, innovations and opportunities for inclusion in the Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Radio Drops Out of Top Five in BIA Kelsey’s Local Media Advertising Forecast.  In this mid-year update to the 2017 U.S. Local Ad Revenues Forecast from BIA Kelsey, radio drops from the #5 spot to #6 with forecast total revenue of $15.6 billion.  Mobile inches ahead of radio with 11% of the advertising pie, or $16 billion.  The five-year forecast report states that total U.S. ad revenue will reach “approximately $174 billion by 2021 (Compound Annual Growth Rate: 3.8%.) This growth will be driven by double-digit increases in mobile and social advertising and local online and mobile video, all slated to experience at least a 17% increase by 2021.  For 2017, the firm has slightly decreased their advertising estimate to $147.9 billion. An overall weaker than expected economy in the beginning of 2017 has led to softness in advertising revenues.  However, future growth in online/digital advertising revenues will be higher than originally predicted, with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 11.9%.  Over the same period, traditional advertising revenues will see a slight decrease in the 2016-2021 period with a CAGR of -0.6%.”  See more here.

Meg McDonald Rejoins TalkersRadio with Solo Short-Form Commentary.  Longtime public relations specialist Meg McDonald is enjoying a second career as a talk radio commentator.  The daughter of a Hollywood show biz couple (actress Elizabeth Fraser and dancer Ray McDonald), she earned tremendous notoriety for many years as one of Southern California’s leading publicists.  She ran her own LA-based company, McDonald Media Services, and was married to an accomplished broadcaster, the late-Brent Seltzer, for more than three decades.  When Seltzer died almost two years ago, the couple were in the process of co-hosting a new, rapidly-growing, syndicated husband/wife midday chat show “Brent and Meg” on the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) that had gotten its launch as an experimental project on TalkersRadio.  Now McDonald is back as a solo performer with a compelling, short-form radio feature simply titled, “MEG!”  It’s a 2½-minute feature that showcases her unique and quirky observations about the “things and events” of daily life.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes McDonald as “a female version of the late-Andy Rooney, only far less curmudgeonly.”  “MEG!” can be used as a stand-alone interstitial feature or as an accompanying “kicker” for an already-existing radio program.  TalkersRadio is an experimental radio lab designed to give talent, programmers and producers a platform and industry showcase to try out new ideas and projects for talk radio.  Since its inception in 2013, TalkersRadio has launched a number of programs that have gone on to terrestrial radio success – the most recent being “American Family Farmer” with Doug Stephan, now heard weekends on approximately 150 terrestrial stations across the nation.  At the time of his death, Alan Colmes was experimenting with a program titled “Healed Planet” that explored the boundaries of human consciousness.  These shows are archived at TalkersRadio which can be accessed by clicking here.   For more information about TalkersRadio call GM David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/12) with Joe Madison, Sharon Madison and Dave Gorab.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first and second in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter) as well as the second in that series featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, plus the third in the series featuring a conversation between nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).  Today (7/12) TALKERS has posted a “one-on-one” chat titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Trump Jr.- Russia Meeting, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats/China Responsibility, ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ Controversy, Shia LeBeouf Arrest, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11). The controversy over Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign; the Republicans’ plan to attempt a vote on their health care plan before the August break; North Korea’s nuclear program and China’s statement that the hermit kingdom is not solely its responsibility; the concern of prominent zoologists that the world may be in a “sixth mass extinction” with large numbers of species disappearing; the flap over the arrest of actor Shia LeBeouf on public drunkenness charges; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SiriusXM Host Rick Ungar Guests on Harrison Podcast.  This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the animation-heavyweight-turned-progressive-pundit, Rick Ungar.  Ungar, a former top executive with Marvel Entertainment and New World Animation, is the liberal co-host, with former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele, of the political talk show “Steele and Ungar” heard nightly on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s politically moderate POTUS Channel. The show is known for its collegial and civil approach to political left/right debate – a rarity in today’s radio.  Harrison and Ungar (who also writes the column “The Token Lefty” for Forbes.com) discuss a wide array of media topics including the moderate approach to political discussion, the POTUS Channel, the state of talk radio, and a whole bunch of cool stuff about superheroes, comics and animation in American popular culture.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Century Broadcasting Co-Founder George Collias Dead at 89.  According to a lengthy obit in the Chicago Tribune, George Collias – co-founder of Century Broadcasting – died of complications from Alzheimer ’s disease at age 89.  The Chicagoland native left his law practice in the mid-1960s and formed Century Broadcasting with a partner.  They started acquiring radio stations, first in suburban St. Louis (what became the legendary rock station KSHE-FM), then Dallas and Detroit and, in 1966 WFMF-FM in Chicago (currently WSHE-FM).  The company continued to buy FM stations in major markets – moves that many in the radio business thought were crazy, since FM was largely the domain of easy listening or Muzak at that time.  Few saw the rise of FM rock and pop stations on the horizon.  But Collias was proved prescient as the value of those stations skyrocketed in the 1970s.  Century began selling stations in the 1980s and by 1997 – a year after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Collias had sold his last station.  He confessed to the Tribune in a 1997 article that he thought the business would be successful, but he did not know it would reap the rewards it did.  Read the Tribune obit here.

Tony & Kris Named WIVK, Knoxville Morning Show. Knoxville country outlet WIVK finds a replacement for the popular “Andy & Alison” morning show, signing Tony Randall and Kris Rochester to handle the wake-up show.  Cumulus Media says that after a nationwide search, the station is hiring only the fourth morning show in the history of the station.  “Andy & Alison” retired earlier this year after 20 years with the station to leave the radio business.  “Tony & Kris” were most recently syndicated via United Stations Radio Networks.  They began their career together in 1991 at WHMA, Anniston-Oxford, Alabama.  Cumulus Knoxville VP/market manager Ken Salyer states, “The excitement level of the staff at the hiring of ‘Tony & Kris’ speaks to their track record of success.”  In addition to hosting mornings, the duo will develop a new, music-based weekend show for WIVK.

Monday, July 10, 2017

| July 10, 2017

Entercom/CBS Radio Divulges Senior Management. Based on a memo from Entercom president/chief executive officer David Field, we are getting a clearer picture of the combined giant’s management team, but, as Field stresses, until everything becomes official, Entercom and CBS Radio remain separate companies. “I want to express my appreciation to everyone for their patience as we work through this process,” he writes. “We all want to see the deal close as quickly as possible, but these large mergers just take time. I am pleased to report that we are right on schedule and hard at work, making great progress in every area required to complete our merger successfully. There is nothing more important to our future success than the quality of our people. We have spent a great deal of time working to build a ‘best in class’ team composed of highly talented, high performance stars from CBS Radio and Entercom, plus a number of newcomers from outside of the industry who bring new perspectives and capabilities. The list is a work-in-progress and in the weeks ahead, as planning continues, we will announce additional members of the leadership team, as well as information on a wide range of other important topics as we continue to prepare for this game-changing event.” In alphabetical order, executives include: JD Crowley (EVP/digital); Mike Dee (president/sports); Michael Doyle (regional president and president/sales operations); Ruth Gaviria (chief marketing officer); Weezie Kramer (chief operating officer); Chris Oliviero (EVP/programming); Pat Paxton (president/programming); Bob Philips (chief revenue officer); Rich Schmaeling (chief financial officer); and Andrew Sutor (SVP/general counsel). Field adds, “I also want to add a special word of recognition to Scott Herman, who has done a terrific job over so many years in various leadership roles at CBS, culminating in his current position as chief operating officer. While we are disappointed that Scott will be moving on to pursue other personal and professional endeavors, we greatly respect his outstanding leadership contributions to the organization. “In addition, I want to share some further information on our programming leadership. Pat Paxton will oversee the music brands and Chris Oliviero will oversee the news/talk/sports brands. They will be working collaboratively, along with the programming team across the country to ensure that we continue to develop outstanding brands with the best personalities and content for our listeners nationwide.”

Cox Media Group Atlanta Taps Turcotte To Be GSM. Inbound from Midwest Communications Nashville where he was general sales manager, Mark Turcotte will join Cox Media Group Atlanta later this month (7/31) in a similar capacity. Cox Media Group Atlanta director of sales Jaleigh Long comments, “Mark Turcotte has an exceptional track record for converting vision into sales strategy and execution. This is the perfect time for Mark to join Atlanta’s talented sales leadership team.” Turcotte adds, “A return to Atlanta and Cox Media Group at arguably the most successful radio cluster in the country is such a tremendous honor. The values of the company and their leadership align perfectly with those I have tried to emulate throughout my career. This is a great opportunity to work with folks I consider to be among the absolute best in the profession.” With their May 2017 6+ Nielsen Audio PPM stats and rankings in parenthesis, Cox Media Group Atlanta includes news/talk WSB-AM (8.6, #1 for the 17th straight ratings period); classic hits-oldies WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” (6.7, #2); urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” (6.3, #4); and adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.2, #10).

Kaufman Joins Cumulus Media As SVP, Revenue/Operations. Based in New York City, John Kaufman is named to Cumulus Media’s newly-created position of senior vice president, revenue strategy and operations. According to Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner, “John’s strategic and operational expertise [as well as his] deep understanding of the critical function that pricing and inventory management plays in maximizing revenue will be a tremendous asset to our operations. In this new leadership role, he will increase the company’s revenue management capabilities through intelligent and attractive pricing strategies and systems. John will support our team of more than 900 sales professionals in 90 markets as they serve our advertisers with local impact and national reach.” Kaufman remarks, “Seeing all the great change underway at Cumulus, I am so pleased to be joining Mary and her leadership team at this exciting time. I look forward to helping the company continue in its evolution.” With an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Kaufman was senior vice president of business operations for iHeartMedia, later advancing to president of business ops there. Three years ago, he started JK Steele Consulting and a year later was president and chief operating officer of start-up company ParcMate. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of revenue management & electronic marketing at Extended Stay Hotels and vice president of global revenue management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.


Robinette Retires From WWL. Having hosted the three-hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) “Think Tank” on Entercom New Orleans news/talk WWL for the last 12 years, Garland Robinette is retiring. Off the air since mid-April battling pneumonia, Robinette will pursue his interest in painting. “Never did I think a boy from the swamps with little education could travel the world, meet presidents, kings, movie stars and see places I had only read and dreamed about,” Robinette reflects. “If we do come back to this world for multiple lifetimes, I think I’m in trouble because I’ve used up all my luck in this one. Ironically, even those of you who disliked me helped me. One thing I always tried to do was listen to people who disagreed, and in a large percentage of those debates, you were right and I was wrong. Each of those debates was a learning experience of which I emerged a little bit better educated, a little bit better able to see the world not as I wanted, but as it is.” WWL vice president and general manager Chris Claus remarks, “Garland means so much to WWL, to our community, and to the region. His voice, his leadership and undying passion will be greatly missed.” Operations and program director Diane Newman adds, “Magic happens on WWL when the talent is as big as the stage – Garland was that magic. He brought wisdom, passion, and guts to WWL at a time when our city, state, and region needed leadership. He was the voice of the people during Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath and recovery.  From that microphone, he drove the recovery and rebirth, speaking truth to power and accepting nothing less than the change necessary to protect and preserve the jewel that is New Orleans.” Prior to joining WWL in 2005 to replace the late David Tyree, Robinette was a 20-year news anchor/reporter for WWL-TV, New Orleans and headed a public relations firm. He and co-anchor Angela Hill were married in 1978 and were divorced nine years later, but continued their on-air partnership.

WODT Set to Expand Local Programming. In addition to Garland Robinette retiring from Entercom-owned news/talk WWL, New Orleans (see above), there’s more industry news from the Louisiana market as – starting next Monday (7/17) – iHeartMedia’s WODT “Fox Sports 1280” will quintuple its locally-originated programming to ten hours per day. The 8:00 am – 10:00 am slot will be filled by Chris Gordy, who will continue as assistant program director of co-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” Houston. Hosted by New Orleans Times-Picayune writers Jeff Duncan and Larry Holder, “Dunc & Holder: Smart Sports Talk for Serious Fans,” will follow from 10:00 am -12:00 noon. Another KBME, Houston staffer – Baton Rouge native Josh Innes – will oversee WODT’s 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm block. Based at Delta Media Lafayette’s KLWB “103.7 The Game,” former LSU basketball player/current football sideline reporter Jordy Hultberg is added at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, while Kaare Johnson remains in-place from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The remainder of the WODT schedule, including Clay Travis (5:00 am – 8:00 am), will be filled by Fox Sports Radio network programming.

Remembering Claude Hall. Broadcasters of a certain era were fond of saying they had truly “made it in the business” when Claude Hall mentioned their name in his Billboard Magazine “Vox Jox” column. Just as we were approaching our deadline last Friday (7/7), TALKERS broke the news that – owing to injuries suffered from a fall earlier last week – Hall had died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Prior to his death, he continued “Vox Jox” in partnership with talk show host/radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org). Among those commenting on Hall’s death was Randy West, who explains, “Claude had been in ill health for several years. He was an author of fiction books and non-fiction radio texts, and a great friend of the airwaves. He was beloved by hundreds of [on-air personalities] and returned that love by continuing to network and make connections among the survivors of radio’s greatest era. Claude took a whole era of radio with him. He championed, celebrated, honored, and escalated the business.” As Russ DiBello points out, Hall “took a series of scattered jobs, and with a gossip column, morphed them into a profession. That guy doing overnights in Boise whom you’d never met was now your colleague. If you never heard the stations in a market, you still had a good idea of what was going on in various outposts of American radio. Stations everywhere knew where the hot programming talent was hanging out, and whenever they moved, their creativity would cross-pollinate the industry with bits and air talents that would become the norm in programming and production. If all that doesn’t convince you, think of how many more columns like that – which were spinoffs of ‘Vox Jox’ – popped-up in other publications in subsequent years.” Lee Arnold adds, “To those of us in the record and radio business, Claude Hall was not just a legendary journalist, but a wonderful human being that spent most of his life promoting all that we hold dear in this business that we love. Claude, thank you for your friendship – you will be missed.” Mark Driscoll states, “Our industry lost a wonderful caring man who so loved broadcasting. I for one am devastated. May God bless Claude Hall’s soul.” Others noting Hall’s passing included Dan O’Day, who admits, “I don’t have the words to express my sadness as well as my gratitude to Claude” and Anita Bonita emphasizing, “Rest in peace, sir – you absolutely made a difference.” Clark Smidt succinctly described Hall as, “The Master.” Talkers publisher Michael Harrison recalls, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry. He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades. I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young PD in my 20s. His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable – he’s number one with a bullet.” In February 2016, Hall wrote his own obituary and accidentally sent it to all his friends. His son – Andrew Clark Hall – shares that obit, complete with empty blanks. “Claude Hall, who was born in Brady, Texas and attended high school in nearby Winters, died of heart complications _(day)_____ at his home in Las Vegas. He was (age). The highlight of his career was 14 years with Billboard Magazine. Although he covered the news in music and radio, he was mostly known for a column called ‘Vox Jox,’ that was widely read in the United States and Canada and translated and read throughout Brazil. It was even read behind the then Iron Curtain and on islands in the South Pacific. Hall entered the University of Texas shortly after being discharged from the U.S. Army. He had served in Germany shortly after World War II. He graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1958. His first newspaper job was with the El Paso Herald-Post, but he quit after a few months and hitchhiked to New York City. He spent two years on a trade magazine, American Druggist, published by Hearst, then two years with Cavalier, then a man’s adventure magazine published by Fawcett. Married and with a young son, he and his wife Barbara (she’d worked for Dr. Joyce Brothers at NBC) spent two years in New Orleans. He worked on the Times-Picayune, then considered one of America’s finest newspapers, and his wife finished up her master’s degree from Columbia University. Later, he landed a position with Billboard in New York where he was named radio-TV editor and spent the next 14 years. He also created and organized the International Radio Programming Forum for 10 years. After Billboard, he earned a master’s degree in education at a small Christian university in Oklahoma while serving as the school’s director of public relations. With his degree, he joined the State University of New York at Brockport as a journalism and public relations professor where he taught the next eight years before retiring. He has since authored more than two dozen novels. He and Barbara also wrote This Business of Radio Programming, considered by many to be the best book on radio programming ever written and once adopted as a textbook by 22 major universities. His books are available via Amazon Kindle Books. He leaves a wife and sons John, Darryl, and Andy. Two brothers and a sister previously passed on.”

Matt Patrick: Update. It was just last Friday (7/7) that we reported that KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick (real name Michael Ryan) had announced to his audience that he was ending treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer. Sadly, after that two-year battle, Patrick passed away yesterday (Sunday, 7/9) in Katy, Texas; he was 58 years old. This news coincides with his six-year anniversary at the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV mucosal melanoma on September 11, 2015. The Cleveland-born broadcaster earned a degree in psychology from John Carroll University and was a two-time Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to KTRH, he worked for almost 30 years at WKDD, Akron, followed by stints at WLW, Cincinnati and WTAM, Cleveland. Rubber City Radio Group vice president/director of operations Sue Wilson Cordle declares, “Matt was the voice of Akron. He woke us up for so many years as morning show host at WKDD. I was honored to work with him when we first changed WKDD from mellow rock to top 40. He was originally on middays in 1981, and then quickly moved to mornings where he remained for three decades. He will be missed so much. Thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all who mourn his passing.” He is survived by (among others) his wife of 15 years, Paula; their son Jake; daughters Alexandra Ryan and Alanna Ryan; mother Marie; step-father John Drummond; and sisters Maureen Shell and Colleen Ryan Neubauer. A memorial service will be held in Houston, followed by a private family service and burial in Ohio.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/10) with Vince Benedetto, Ron Hartenbaum and Karen Hunter.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Today (7/10), the second in that series has been posted featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum.  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Scully to Receive ESPY Icon Award. After having spent the past 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully called it quits when the 2016 season ended. Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully. Easily one of the country’s best-known broadcasters, Scully started with the Dodgers when the franchise was located in Brooklyn. His career with the team marks the longest tenure of any broadcast with a single professional sports organization. Hosted by Peyton Manning, The ESPYS will be televised on ABC-TV this Wednesday (7/12) from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. This is the fourth annual such “institute” at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Today’s headliner (Monday, 7/10) is Cumulus Media and Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard. Handling the closing session in ten days will be Forever Media Group partner Kerby Confer, who comments, “We want to make a difference; to give back; and give this next generation a good firm foundation in how radio, television, and the internet work. We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people.” National Radio Talent System founder/president Dan Vallie remarks, “This is the radio talent farm that we in the industry have always said we needed. It is true today more than ever.” Those in charge of leading sessions come from entities that include Beasley Media Group, CBS Radio, Cumulus, Entercom, Forever Media Group, iHeartMedia, and Seven Mountains Media. Various aspects of the medium will be addressed from sales to on-air; sports; news; production; promotions; digital; social media; and engineering. Students with a desire and drive to be in radio were accepted from nine different universities including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna University, and Temple University.

Haze Adds KMYI PD Duties. Effective immediately, KMYI “Star 94.1,” San Diego afternoon drive host Joe Haze is elevated to program director of the iHeartMedia hot AC. In addition to his new assignment, Haze will continue programming co-owned mainstream CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Diego-Riverside region Rob Scorpio notes, “Haze has been instrumental in the success of ‘Channel 93.3’ since its inception. His passion for CHR and hot AC, along with his knowledge and experience, make him the ideal choice to continue [KMYI’s] dominance in the San Diego market.” Haze – who will carry on in PM drive on “Star 94.1” – comments, “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to program two powerful, iconic brands like ‘Star 94.1’ and ‘Channel 93.3.’ To be able to further my career in a market like San Diego is amazing.” Haze previously did nights at ‘Channel 93.3’ and he has worked in Phoenix (KZZP) and Jacksonville (WAPE and WJBT).

Steele Sets Sights on Washington. At a Houston press conference, author, lecturer and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of FameDayna Steele – has announced her candidacy for the congressional seat in Texas’ 36th district. She received an on-stage endorsement from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett, who wore a “Dayna Steele For Congress” tee-shirt. “Joan did a very brave thing for me,” remarks Steele. “People with the courage to speak out are what inspired me to [seek this] office in the first place.” The former KLOL, Houston on-air talent and Seabrook, Texas resident will run as an independent Democrat. Steele is the author/publisher of the “101 Ways to Rock Your World” series and other books including: “LinkedIn: 101 Ways To Rock Your Personal Brand”; “101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities for Success Every Day”; “Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars”; “Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine”; “Havana: 101 Ways to Rock Your World in Cuba”; “Welcome to College: 101 Ways to Rock Your World”: “In the Classroom: 101 Ways to Rock Your World for Teachers”; and “On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World.”

KSSX On-Air Lineup Adjusted. Starting today (7/11), iHeartMedia San Diego rhythmic CHR KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” music director/afternoon drive talent Frankie V moves to mornings, where he’ll team with current AM drive co-host Tati Pelegreen, while morning co-host Pablo Sato segues to afternoons. Meanwhile, Nina Chantele – who does afternoons on co-owned Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” – adds a daily mid-day assignment on KSSX; Beto Perez will do night duty on “Jam’n.” According to iHeartMedia San Diego-Riverside vice president of programming Rob Scorpio, “In the last year, ‘Jam’n 95.7’ has experienced significant growth. With Frankie V and Tati in mornings; Nina in middays; and Pablo in afternoons, we expect to take over the market.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM, KSSX ranks #14, registering a 3.1 for the third time in the last four sweeps.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, “Country Countdown USA” host Lon Helton is resting at home ….. As of now, the event’s location is still a “top-secret,” but iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is sponsoring a Demi Lovato-hosted “House Party” this Wednesday (7/12) to celebrate the singer’s “Sorry Not Sorry” single due out tomorrow (7/11). Lovato has two billion combined total streams and a social media following of over 153 million ….. Formerly with Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary WGBZ “B-96,” Lashonda “Tropikana” Hatch joins Radio One St. Louis’ similarly-formatted WHHL “Hot 104.1” as music director/afternoon drive talent. In addition, “Tropikana” will voice-track for Radio One-owned stations in Cincinnati (WIZF “The Wiz 101.1”); Cleveland (WENZ “Z-107.9”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”). She did similar voice-track duties for LM Communications’ WBTF “107.9 The Beat,” Lexington (Kentucky) ….. Mainstream CHR KGOT, Anchorage (Alaska) afternoon personality McConnell “Man at Large” Adams adds Saturday and Sunday night responsibilities as “McConnell” on co-owned (iHeartMedia) Portland adult contemporary outlet KKCW “K-103.”

Adams Radio Acquires Four Tallahassee Stations. The quartet of Tallahassee outlets Adams Radio is buying from Red Hills Broadcasting includes CHR WHTF “Hot 104.9”; country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf”; classic rock WQTL “106.1 The Path”; and adult hits WANK “99.9 Hank FM.” Adams president/CEO Ron Stone comments, “We are thrilled to be the next steward of these amazing stations and even more excited about the future of the stations under [Red Hills Broadcasting president Hank Kestenbaum’s] continued management alongside Adams Radio. This cluster is another rare opportunity to join forces with a company that has been under the same ownership and management for two decades. These stations are a great complement to our existing markets and will no doubt bring many great ideas into the Adams Radio Family.” Kestenbaum notes, “I want to congratulate Ron Stone and his team at Adams Radio on buying four great Tallahassee radio stations. Every day I’m privileged to work with a dedicated and talented group of people at serving our community with entertaining live and local radio. I look forward to leading these stations and this team into a new era of success, service, and prosperity under Adam’s ownership.” Adams Radio also owns/operates clusters in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; suburban Chicago (Northwest Indiana); and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland. Brokering the Adams Radio-Red Hills Broadcasting transaction was Bill Fanning of MVP Capital LLC.

Monday, June 5, 2017

| June 5, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r).  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.

Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.

Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”

Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.

Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show.  The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa.  Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET.  She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show.  In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com.  At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today.  She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting.  Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”

Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer.  Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well.  Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers.  iHeartMedia  chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman.  He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company.  Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry.  I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”

KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5).   KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’  Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home.  Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.”  Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network.  Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland.  I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened.  A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point.  Read Hurley’s story here.

Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play.  KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract.  Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’”  Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014.  He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner.  The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley.  He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the  Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems.  Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).

Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station.  CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists.  He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director.  Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM.  Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile.  Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards.  “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.”  Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.

WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success.   The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3).  More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station.  Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner.  Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio.  It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era.  The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world!  Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality.  Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS  that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June.  Pictured (l-r): J.J. JeffreyAl Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.

Friday, June 2, 2017

| June 2, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Takes Place Today – Major Awards Being Presented.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention takes place today in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it promises to continue in its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent will comprise a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These include the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards will be presented at the event.  They include the following:  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech; Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner will receiving the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman;  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan receiving the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award; Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host; and Hofstra University Radio student Maria Santana receiving the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  See today’s agenda here.

WECK, Buffalo Announces Local Programming Plans with New Ownership.  The class C AM signal was recently purchased by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo LLC and is announcing its intent to air a full-service format with a focus on local news.  WECK, Buffalo (also heard on translator W275BB at 102.9 FM) brings John Zach aboard as news director, effective July 10.  Zach is a longtime market news pro who served for more than 18 years with crosstown WBEN.  He also served with WKBW and WGR.  The station is adding CBS Radio News programming, as well.   Shula states, “John Zach is the dean of radio news in Buffalo.  We are very honored and excited to have John as part of our growing team of broadcasters at Buffalo’s Very Own WECK.  His credible and trusted voice has been missed in our community.”  Shula says WECK plans to increase local news coverage under Zach’s leadership and will be announcing the addition of some well-known Western New York voices in the days ahead.

Beasley Brings Raiders Football to Las Vegas Fans. Three years ahead of the Raiders’ official move from Oakland to a brand-new stadium in Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group is committing to airing Raiders games in the Las Vegas market, beginning this fall.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the official Las Vegas flagship radio partner of the Raiders.  Our five radio properties are the perfect fit as the team makes NFL history with its exciting new move to Las Vegas.  Beasley Media Group team is committed to providing the team and our listeners with the very best sports programming and entertainment experience possible.”  This agreement was negotiated by Compass Media Networks which exclusively manages, produces, and distributes all audio broadcasts of Raiders football.  Beasley’s country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” and news/talk KDWN will air pre-season and regular season games starting in August.

2017 Radio Mercury Awards Announced.  Last night at Stage 48 in New York City, the Radio Advertising Bureau presented the winners of the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards.  The Best in Show was a Motel 6 spot created by The Richards Group, taking home the $5,000 prize.  Radio station-produced winners included Mattress Firm, written and produced by Hubbard Radio morning talent Jubal Flagg; Cyprus Air Fireplaces by iHeartMedia Creative Services; and “Baconfest” by Townsquare Media of El Paso.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Unfortunate staffers at Easy Media’s sports talk WBSR, Pensacola received no warning that the company was “ceasing operations” after six years as a sports talk station and ESPN affiliate.  The Pensacola News Journal reports owner Dan Weaver told employees on Wednesday morning (5/31) that he was shutting the station down…..SiriusXM is launching two new weekend shows to its Progress talk channel to strengthen its position as “The Voice of the Resistance” to the Trump administration. “Signal Boost” hosted by former Clinton campaign staffers Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh will premiere on Saturday at 10:00 am ET, with “#WokeAF” launching Sunday at 10:00 am ET.

Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 29 – June 2. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and/or Jared Kushner and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the status of the U.S. in the Paris Climate Pact.  Coming in at #3 was President Donald Trump’s relationships with European leaders, followed by the flap over comic Kathy Griffin’s photo image depicting her holding Trump’s severed head at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  view this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KFRG, Riverside “K-Frog” morning drive personality and music director Scott Ward is promoted to program director for all five of CBS RADIO’s Riverside and Palm Springs, California stations.  Ward will oversee programming for AC KEZN, Palm Desert; sports talk KRAK, Hesperia; KXFG, Menifee; and KVFG, Victorville.  CBS RADIO Riverside and Palm Springs SVP and market manager Michael Valenzuela states, “This is a very well deserved promotion, and I’m thrilled for our stations to have the expertise of one of radio’s finest program directors.  During his 20 years with us, Scott has developed a deep understanding of what audiences in the Riverside-San Bernardino area want from their local station, from music to events to community involvement.”…..Beasley Media Group flips from country to adult contemporary on translator K268CS as “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Cluster operations manager John Candelaria says, “‘Lite 101.5’ is the perfect choice for the adult modern listener who feels variety is important in their music taste.  The station has a playlist that includes the best songs from the 80s, 90s, sprinkled in with some 70s and today’s hits from Maroon 5, Adele and Bruno Mars.  The new format is a great addition to our Las Vegas Cluster of stations.”…..CMT and iHeartMedia announce iHeartCountry will again serve as the official radio partner of the 2017 CMT Music Awards and will simulcast the live show from Nashville’s Music City Center on Wednesday, June 7, at 8:00 pm ET.  The live radio broadcast of the telecast will air across 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations.  Ahead of the awards show on June 5 and 6, “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” the Bobby Bones show, and “The Crook & Chase Countdown” will be on location conducting interviews with award nominees, performers and celebrity guests.

New Contract for Preston and Steve at WMMR.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WMMR, Philadelphia PD Bill Weston, Preston Elliott, Steve Morrison, and Beasley Philadelphia market manager Joe Bell after the two morning hosts signed a new contract.  Preston and Steve joined WMMR for mornings in May of 2005.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

Friday, March 17, 2017

| March 17, 2017

Cumulus Media Reports 2016 Q4 and Full-Year Financials.  The company had not been hiding the fact that the news of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 or the whole year would not be positive, and the results were not surprising.  Cumulus Media reports its Q4 net revenue was $299.5 million – down 3% from the same period in 2015, and the full-year net revenue was $1.14 billion – a dip of 2.3% compared to all of 2015.  Separating the company’s two reportable segments – the radio station group and Westwood One – for the fourth quarter of 2016 the radio station group was up 1.3% on net revenue of $209.7 million.  However, Westwood One was down 12.3% on net revenue of $89.1 million.  For the whole of 2016, the radio station group’s net revenue was $802.3 million, an increase of 0.8%.  Westwood One’s net revenue was $336.6 million, a decrease of 8.8% from 2015.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We entered 2016 with a singular objective: to fix the core business problems – poor culture, poor ratings and poor operational execution – which was essential to establishing a foundation on which to build improved financial results.  Throughout the year we made significant progress addressing each of these areas, most visibly in ratings growth where we’ve outperformed the industry for 15 straight months.  In fact, with two back-to-back quarters of revenue share increases on the station side, a trend which continued through January, we have early evidence that, despite a tough industry environment, our foundational work is beginning to translate into improved financial performance.”

Legendary WSB-AM, Atlanta Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  It was on the Ides of March in 1922 that WSB-AM began broadcasting to the citizens of North Georgia.  On Wednesday, Cox Media Group celebrated the anniversary.  WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “In 1922, WSB was licensed to deliver weather reports.  Today, delivery of accurate and dependable news, weather and traffic remains our calling card, but this station and its people are so much more.  Service to the Atlanta community is in WSB’s DNA.”  Station director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs adds, “The WSB brand of local news, weather and traffic has grown from being on AM only to now serving north Georgia on FM, mobile, and digital.  It all boils down to our slogan – Depend On It!”  See a cool presentation of WSB’s 95-year history here.

WVON, Chicago Adds Maze Jackson to the Matt McGill Morning Show.  Local political commentator and strategist Maze Jackson is joining Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s morning program, the “Matt McGill Morning Show,” on WVON, Chicago, effective April 3.  The station says this move is being made to secure WVON’s position as a contributing voice in the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections, in addition to increasing the station’s overall rankings.  McGill has been solo host of the morning show on WVON for the past six years – a role in which he’ll continue.  Jackson joins the show after contributing for the past two years as a weekly commentator and guest host.  WVON says, “Jackson has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement.  Jackson spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies as former executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”

TALKERS Magazine Publisher Michael Harrison Joins WPHT, Philly’s Rich Zeoli for His New Podcast.  At CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is launching a new podcast that features content not heard on the WPHT airwaves.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison joined Zeoli for his inaugural show.  In addition to addressing such topics as the Trump Administration’s impact on news/talk radio and the influence of politics on talk radio, the two delved into “inside” radio subjects including the evolution of the talk radio format, changing media technology, and the public’s evolving media habits.  Listen to it here.

Desert Broadcasters Brings Palm Springs AMs Back to Life; KGX Branded ‘Real Talk.’  The two Palm Springs signals – KPSI-AM 920 and KWXY-AM 1340 – went dark last August after longtime owners Rozene and Ric Supple decided to exit the radio business.  Enter Garry Wing and Desert Broadcasters who acquired the stations and just put KPSI – now KGX “Real Talk” – and KWXY back on the air.  KWXY is a soft AC.  The Desert Sun reports that Wing wants to create a talk station with less political vitriol (and less “fake outrage”).  Radio America personality Chad Benson’s show is featured on the station.  Wing says the station will air a combination of local and national talk shows.  Both stations occupy the early 1960s-era broadcast facility pictured in the photo here, taken from the Desert Sun’s video report.

iHeartMedia Unveils ‘SmartAudio’ Advertising Product at ‘SoundFront.’  At Wednesday’s client-focused “SoundFront” up front event, iHeartMedia introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, now a part of the programmatic solution SoundPoint.  iHeartMedia says SmartAudio goes farther in leveraging the power of SoundPoint to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments.  iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it.  They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game…Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio outlet WBEZ, Chicago is debuting a new podcast series called, “Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells.”  The series consists of essays by inmates at Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center about their prison cells – shedding light on the everyday experience of incarceration.  The series was the idea of award-winning, Chicago-based author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz.  He began working with the inmates through Northwestern University colleague Jennifer Lackey, who invited him to speak to a class she taught at the correctional center.  Kotlowitz asked the 15 male inmates facing long sentences to complete a writing exercise describing their cells.  He recognized the potential each story possessed to reveal the realities of life in prison…..“Motley Fool Money” host Chris Hill (left) is pictured here with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin (right) recording a segment for Hill’s program at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this week.  Hill says, “We talked about the scene in Austin, what the major entertainment companies are doing to lure audience, Apple’s foray into original programming, VR in movies and a lot more.”