Tag: "merger"

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

| November 16, 2017

Entercom Shareholder Vote Approves CBS RADIO Merger.  This was a simple matter of “housekeeping” since Entercom company founder Joseph Field is a majority shareholder and was, of course, going to approve the deal.  The vote took place at the Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia yesterday (11/15) and Entercom president and CEO David Field still expects the deal to close tomorrow (11/17).  When it does close, the new Entercom will be the second largest operator in the radio business with 235 stations in 48 of the top 50 radio markets.

David Field Touts Company Benefit Plan.  In a filing with the SEC and as a memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field delivers an upbeat message to all staff that expresses his satisfaction with the new management team ready to lead the new company.  He also extolls Entercom’s benefits plan.  “I am pleased to share some additional good news with you regarding our benefits program.  As a company that aims to attract the best and most talented people and provide a great place to work, we made it a priority to build out a highly competitive and generous benefits plan.  We worked hard to take much of the best of both the Entercom and the CBS Radio programs.  In addition to continuing many of our current, unique benefits, we are adding several new benefits to our program and enhancing some others.  In particular, I am pleased to announce that we will be doubling the company match to 50% of your eligible contributions up to 5% of your salary.  And we will continue to offer our employee stock purchase program with a 15% discount on our stock, plus our student loan payment assistance program and our personal volunteer time benefit.”

‘Our American Stories’ Offers Thanksgiving Special for Talk Stations. This one-hour special program is being offered contract free to stations to air around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Lee Habeeb, host and executive producer of the syndicated “Our American Stories” program, is presenting “The Real Story of Thanksgiving: Yesterday and Today.”  He calls it “an entertaining look at the origins of Thanksgiving and how the holiday has changed in America over the last century.”  Interested stations can inquire by emailing affiliates@oanetwork.org or visiting OurAmericanNetwork.org.  “Our American Stories” is heard on more than 80 affiliate stations across the country.

Cool Morning Host Opportunity. Quad Cities news/talk WOC-AM, Davenport is searching for their next morning show star.  A background in full-service radio is a plus, the gift of topicality an absolute must.  Politically, the station leans right but they need someone who can be local — and interesting beyond politics.  Successful candidate will be comfortable with endorsement ads, as well as communicating with their audience via digital media.  Does this sound like you? Please send your resume, audio samples and any other relevant materials to: program director Dan Kennedy at: dankennedy@iheartmedia.com.

Barstool Sports Gets SiriusXM Channel. The Barstool Sports relationship with ESPN may not have worked out, but the controversial sports and comedy digital media platform is getting its own channel on SiriusXM, beginning in January.  SiriusXM says the new 24/7 channel “will showcase the site’s funny, irreverent and unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, popular culture and more.”  A year ago, Barstool teamed with SiriusXM to create a show hosted by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, Kevin “KFC” Clancy, and additional Barstool personalities.  The new daily lineup on the Barstool Radio on SiriusXM channel will feature Barstool Radio, a rotation of existing Barstool podcasts and new, original shows. Additional details on that programming will be announced at a later date.  Portnoy states, “We’re excited to build on our relationship with SiriusXM.  They’ve been big believers in our brand and our voice.  The results already speak for themselves this past year and the sky is the limit with this channel.”

Roy Moore Allegations, Trumps Asia Tour, GOP Tax Reform/ObamaCare Mandate, North Korea Nuclear Program, Uranium One Deal, NFL-Jerry Jones Tension, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15).  The allegations of sexual impropriety against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; President Trump’s recent tour of Asia and meetings with Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping, and Rodrigo Duterte; the Republican tax reform plan and the inclusion of rescinding the ObamaCare individual mandate; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Uranium One deal and suggestions then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the deal; tensions between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the NFL; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio NetworkDom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Science Guru and Rising YouTube Star, Isaac Arthur, Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. He is a high school drop-out from Ohio with a trademark speech impediment and a true geek’s love of science fact and fiction who, after earning his GED diploma, went on to graduate with a B.S. in Physics from Kent State University at the age of 20. He attended graduate school but preferred self-teaching and dropped out to serve in the army in Germany and Iraq. Upon returning home, he became involved in local politics and was appointed a member of the Ashtabula County, Ohio Board of Elections. (He tells Michael Harrison, “We take our elections very seriously here in Ohio.”) But there is a whole other talk media side to Isaac Arthur that caught the attention of Harrison and makes him an ideal guest for the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far out with Michael Harrison,” as well as being a person of significant interest to the commercial media industry. It began as a hobby and has now grown into something remarkable. He is the producer and host of a rapidly growing YouTube channel titled, “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur.” He writes, produces and narrates stunning video podcasts that run between ½ hour and an hour that curate, explore and explain the provocative leading edge of popular science. In three years, his channel has attracted more than 161,000 devoted subscribers and more than 12 million visits. Harrison, a passionate layman enthusiast of science and astrophysics says, “Isaac Arthur is a quintessential example of the pioneers who are out there laboring on the outskirts of the mainstream commercial radio/TV industries on the exciting frontier of talk media – where audio intersects with video, graphics, education and entertainment. Everyone in the radio business with an eye on podcasting and cross-platform brand expansion can learn from him. Having a personal love for the subject matter he covers, I am his fan!” 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. Dallas hip hop outlet KBFB “97.9 The Beat” drops the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley show and goes local with Veda Loca, a.k.a. Veda Emery.  Also, part of the new “Veda Loca in the Morning” program is co-host J-Kruz, a.k.a. John Koutsakis; and producer, mixer and on-air personality DJ Kayotic.  Loca has been serving as the Radio One station’s afternoon drive personality and J-Kruz has been the evening personality…..At the Hearst radio operations in Baltimore, Chris Chmielewski is named assistant program director for rock WIYY “98 Rock.”  Chmielewski joined Hearst in 2015 as a promotions assistant.  He has taken on more responsibilities with WIYY and sister news/talk WBAL since then.  WIYY program director Rick Strauss comments, “Chris has become a key contributor at Hearst Radio in his various promotions, production and programming roles for ‘98 Rock,’ WBAL and our Ravens broadcasts and network.  He has our full confidence as he assumes even greater responsibilities and an expanded leadership role at ‘98 Rock.’”…..Rich Broadcasting appoints programming pro Josh Tielor to program director for its Idaho Falls stations hot AC KGTM “Star 98” and classic rock simulcast KPKY/KZKY “The Rock 94.9 and 104.5.”  Tielor also is hosting the afternoon drive show at “Star 98.”…..Alpha Media’s urban contemporary WMBX, West Palm Beach “X102.3” names MoShay LaRen midday personality and music director.  LaRen was most recently midday host and APD at Radio One’s urban contemporary WRNB, Philadelphia…..Envision Networks enters into a representation deal with Skid Trax to distribute “The Ashley & Brad Show” for cash or barter.  The Los Angeles-base show targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists remain intact while programmers insert the Ashley & Brad voice tracks.  Co-host Brad Arbell states, “I am so excited to work with Envision Networks who can bring their storied pedigree with our fun-for-all-ages show to new markets.”…..Syracuse radio personality “Big Mike” Fiss is retiring from Galaxy Communications’ classic hits WZUN “Sunny 102” after 16 years with the station and 40 years in the radio business.

Cumulus/Westwood One Partner with American Music Awards. Festivities surrounding this Sunday’s “2017 American Music Awards” are being provided for radio stations by Westwood One and Cumulus Media who are official promotional partners of this year’s awards.  Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs will feature three days of branded programming, artist interviews, and exclusive backstage live performances at radio row.  Westwood One’s Zach Sang show and the Adam Bomb show will broadcast remotely and curate audio, video, and social media content to share with listeners nationwide.  In addition to the backstage festivities, Westwood One, through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, is offering its stations a special, five-hour red carpet broadcast companion show airing Sunday, November 19.  The evening also includes a one-hour “Red Carpet Special” hosted by Jayde Donovan, a three-hour broadcast companion, and a one-hour “Awards Wrap-Up.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

| November 10, 2017

Entercom Announces November 17 Likely Day for Merger Closing.  After yesterday’s ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, Entercom issues a statement that it “continues to expect the merger to close as early as November 17.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are energized and excited by today’s announcement from the FCC.  The Commission’s approval marks a significant milestone on our path toward completing the transformational combination of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  This brings Entercom an important step closer to our goal of delivering greater value for our listeners, customers and shareholders as a leading media and entertainment company with national scale and the No. 1 creator of live, original and local audio content.”  As previously announced, CBS Corporation launched an exchange offer for the separation of its radio business as part of the agreement to combine CBS RADIO and Entercom, which is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on November 16, 2017, unless the exchange offer is extended or terminated.  On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced an agreement to combine with CBS RADIO in an all-stock transaction which is expected to be tax-free to CBS and its shareholders.  The new Entercom will operate 235 radio stations.

iHeartMedia Recognizes WBZ-AM Union Representation; Will Employ Current Staffers.  According to a report in the Boston Herald, iHeartMedia has altered its course with respect to the acquisition of all-news WBZ-AM, Boston in a swap with Entercom.  Initially stating that the company would not take on the SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts of the station’s union staffers and that all employees would have to re-apply for their jobs, the company is changing its strategy.  As part of an iHM and SAG-AFTRA interim agreement reached Wednesday night, the former “agrees to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time announcers, producers, editors, writers and production assistants employed by WBZ-AM.”  iHeartMedia will also “offer employment to all current union represented employees of WBZ-AM…at their current salary or hourly rate of pay.”  iHeartMedia could begin its LMA of WBZ-AM as early as next Friday (11/17).

FCC’s Pai Makes Case for Eliminating Cross Ownership Ban in NYTimes Op-Ed. Not that regular readers of TALKERS magazine need any convincing, but Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s op-ed in The New York Times makes an elegant case for eliminating the 42-year-old rule preventing cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast operations.  Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has publicly stated that she fears for the diversity of news sources and a reduction in news content overall if the ban is lifted.  But Pai points out that in the few markets where newspaper-broadcast operations exemptions have been grandfathered for years, there’s no evidence of that diversity being affected.  He writes, “Multiple studies have found that, on average, a cross-owned TV station produces more local news than comparable non-cross-owned stations.  And a cross-owned radio station is four to five times more likely to have a news format. This makes sense, because a company that owns both a newspaper and broadcast outlet is able to gather the news and distribute it more cost-effectively across its multiple platforms.”  Read his piece here.

Cox Names Four Execs for Atlanta Operations.  These changes at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta operations are designed to allow these “highly talented and proven leaders” to “work together to fully integrate CMG’s portfolio of traditional and digital media platforms in the Atlanta area beginning in 2018.”  First, Moya Neville is named the new VP of sales.  She moves over from sister company Cox CommunicationsDonna Hall is CMG Atlanta’s new VP of marketing.  She’s been VP and market manager for CMG Atlanta and Athens radio stations since 2014.  Mark Medici is the new VP of audience and newspaper operations.  And the new VP of content and broadcast operations (TV and radio) is Paul Briggs.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting on the recent rumors that job cuts are coming to ESPN.  In the piece published yesterday, Deitsch reports that sources say some 100 staffers will be let go after Thanksgiving.  The cuts will “hit positions across ESPN including front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers. The ‘SportsCenter’ franchise is expected to be hit hard—including on-air people—given the frequency of the show has lessened considerably on main network ESPN.”  It was in April of this year that ESPN eliminated the positions of about 100 air personalities and journalists…..Former NFL and college football coach Charlie Weis is joining SiriusXM’s roster of NFL analysts for its SiriusXM NFL Radio channel. Weis will be heard every Friday on “Airing it Out” with co-host Bruce Murray…..Radio traffic pro Jim Battagliese joins iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network to serve as regional director of operations for the New York market.  He moves up the East Coast from Washington where he’s been director of traffic and weather operations at Hubbard’s all-news WTOP since 2010…..ABC Radio says the ‘No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis’ podcast – a show that focuses on the most-impressive women in the world letting down their guard and sharing honest stories about what it really takes to build an empire – is launching a new monthly bonus segment titled, “RJ Answers.”  Host Rebecca Jarvis – who serves as chief business, technology & economics correspondent for ABC News – will answer questions directly from callers during the segment.

President Trump’s China Visit Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 6-10.  The presidential trip to China and Donald Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear program.  Coming in at #3 was former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign detailed in her new book, followed by the GOP tax reform plan 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.  At Las Vegas CHR KLUC, the morning drive  program re-brands from the previous “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” to “The Chet Buchanan Show,” effective immediately.  The program features Chet Buchanan, Spence, and Kayla, with producer Davey the “Showkiller.”  CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager JB King comments, “Chet’s work on air and in the Las Vegas community is second to none; coupled with Spence’s creativity and passion for radio, I am thrilled that they will continue to be an integral part of the KLUC lineup.”…..In Detroit, the Detroit News is reporting that classic rock WCSX afternoon personality Doug Podell has exited the Beasley Media Group cluster.  He’d worked in the market for the past 23 years with WCSX and rock WRIF…..Hubbard Radio country outlet WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” names “Stacey and Jonah” the new afternoon drive program, taking over for Bo MatthewsStacey K. Boyer and Jonah Griss-Bush had been with Amaturo Media Group’s CHR KHTH “Hot 101.7” hosting the morning program for the past six years.  Boyer also served as program director of the station.   WIL program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is the platinum standard for live and local talent.  While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding diversity and experience to our stable of show hosts.  Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Hwy 40 during the drive home!”…..The “Greg & The Morning Buzz” show at iHeartMedia’s rock WGIR-FM, Manchester, New Hampshire “Rock 101” is holding a “Lend A Helping Can” radiothon on November 16 and 17 to benefit 11 New Hampshire charities working to combat local hunger and homelessness.  “Greg & The Morning Buzz” is syndicated across the state on: WHEB-FM, Portsmouth; WLKZ-FM, Wolfeboro; WHDQ-FM, Claremont; and WRFK-FM, Barre, Vermont…..Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa-St. Petersburg “b98.7” announces that new morning personalities Chadd and Kristi Thomas will host their 17th Annual Toys for Tots Marathon Toy Drive on Friday, December 1 to benefit needy families.  They’ll broadcast live and collect new, unwrapped toys at a Walmart Super Center…..During the month of October, Alpha Media markets across the U.S. raised funds for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign.  The company held an internal competition to see which market could donate the most to the cause.  The total donated was $13,546 with Portland in the lead with $9,391.  Mitch Elliot from 101.9 KINK FM joined the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. “I was so frustrated that so many loved ones had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted badly to do something, I just didn’t know what.  When I heard about Real Men Wear Pink, I knew I could use my giant ‘megaphone’ at KINK to raise awareness and money.  My initial goal was $2500, but our listeners came through in droves and we were able to raise over $9K!  I am so thankful that folks responded in such a big way.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting “Winter Jawn ‘18”  at XFINITY Live on January 18 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.   It’s a free, outdoor show featuring live performances by: Dashboard Confessional, The Struts, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and AJR.  The event includes a New Music Discovery Stage featuring: SYML, The Glorious Sons, and Welshly Arms.

PPM Analysis: Alternative Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of alternative stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  Looking at 6+ ratings from last month’s survey and October’s, “nearly as many stations on our alternative sample are up from September 2017 (41%) as are down (44%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  A year-over-year comparison shows “slightly more than half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (52%), while 45% improve; the remaining 3% are unchanged.”  Not being known as a high-cume format, it’s not surprising that no alt rocker ranks in the top 5 (6+) in its market.  However, iHeartMedia’s KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” and KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” ranked #6 in their respective markets in October.  See the whole report here.

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.

Friday, November 3, 2017

| November 3, 2017

Talk Radio Hosts at White House Radio Row.  Pictured above is New England talk radio star Howie Carr (right) – whose afternoon drive program is syndicated via the Howie Carr Radio Network to stations throughout the region – with President Trump (left) in the East Room of the White House.  Carr was one of a number of talk radio personalities who broadcast from the White House yesterday (11/2) as part of the second administration-organized radio row to promote the GOP’s tax reform plan.  Below, KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk personality Lars Larson (right) stands with President Trump (center) and his program’s executive producer Carl Sundberg (left) in the East Room.

Trump Shares Frustrations with WMAL’s Larry O’Connor.  Pictured above at yesterday’s White House radio row, President Trump told WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s Larry O’Connor (left) that he’s frustrated by the fact that, as president, his hands are tied with regard to investigating Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One deal and the Trump-Russia dossier.  The interview got a lot of attention from media outlets covering the radio row with no fewer than eight print and online news operations reporting Trump’s comments.  The president told O’Connor, “But you know the saddest thing, because I’m the President of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department.  I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI.  I’m not supposed to be doing the kinds of things that I would love to be doing.  And I’m very frustrated by it.”

Joe Pags Talks Issues with Trump.  Above is WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (left) interviewing President Trump (right) at yesterday’s tax reform radio row at the White House.

CBS RADIO Q3 Revenue Down $17 Million.  Third quarter results for CBS Corporation as a whole saw revenue at $3.17 billion – up 3% from the same period a year ago.  But the CBS RADIO revenue was $300 million in the third quarter – down 5.5% from Q3 2016’s $317 million.   This will likely be the last full quarter CBS reports its radio revenue with the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger expected to close on the 17th of this month.

Entercom Sees $100 Million in Post-Merger Cost Synergies.  That’s from one of the slides Entercom has prepared as part of its presentation to investors ahead of the consummation of the merger with CBS RADIO.  Among the points Entercom makes in the presentation is that the new company will be “one of the country’s two largest radio broadcasters,” “reaching and engaging” more than 100 million people with “combined reach in top markets” that rivals iHeartMedia’s.  The post-merger Entercom will operate 235 stations in 48 markets with the ability to reach 87% of the 12+ population in the top 50 radio markets.  The slide presentation also highlights the new company’s all-news radio portfolio calling it “the gold standard in news radio” and pointing to highly rated all newsers WINS and WCBS-AM in New York; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KYW, Philadelphia; and WWJ, Detroit.  Returning to the cost synergies, the company states that of that expected $100 million, $68 million of that should come from “eliminating redundant costs in overlap markets, consolidating operations, rationalizing station expenses, and realizing purchasing savings.”

What Is Your Liability When Endorsing a Product?  Yesterday’s story published here in TALKERS magazine reported on the matter of an ad for an investment that the SEC is calling a fraud that aired on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  Not only did it air, but talk host Drew Garabo endorsed the investment.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says that although it’s rare that the FTC comes down on stations and personalities that endorse such products, there is liability for both written into the law and broadcasters should be aware of them.  Read this important column here.

Hannity Crowned Cable News/Talk King for October. The prime-time cable news/talk ratings – based of course upon Nielsen numbers – are out for October and FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity rose to the top of the ratings heap in October, averaging almost 3.2 million total viewers and 686,000 adults 25-54.  Hannity’s show moved to the 9:00 pm ET hour after Bill O’Reilly’s departure but during the July, August, and September months, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had scored some ratings victories.  In total viewers, FNC’s Tucker Carlson finished second in October (2.8 million) and Maddow came in third with 2.5 million average total viewers.  On a side note, Hannity was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last night (11/2), but he chose to remain in New York to do his program live rather than travel to Chicago to accept the honor in person.

WFAN, New York AM Drive Sub Profiled in NYPost.  New York native Gregg Giannotti – who left the area to gain experience as a sports talk radio host in Pittsburgh – has been sitting in with WFAN morning star Boomer Esiason recently.  With the departure of embattled former co-host Craig Carton, Giannotti has been spending a lot of time on the WFAN morning show, causing the New York Post to wonder if he’s the odds-on favorite to get the full-time gig alongside Esiason.  Check out the Post piece here.

ESPN Radio’s Bomani Jones the Subject of Cancellation Rumors. After a Tweet by FOX Sports’s Clay Travis alleging that ESPN Radio is on the verge of cancelling Bomani Jones afternoon show on the network because it’s lost more than 90 affiliate stations, speculation is swirling about what’s really going on.  ESPN is not making comments specific to Jones’ radio show but says he’s an important part of its “audio strategy.”  Another part of the story is that Jones is starting a new ESPN cable show and rumor has it he’d be delighted to end his radio show duties.

The Mueller Investigation and Indictments Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The investigation into Trump campaign-Russia connections and indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 30-November 3.  At #2 this week was the New York City terror attack that left eight dead.  Coming in at #3 was criticism of the Obama Administration’s Uranium One deal, followed by the allegation by Donna Brazile that Hillary Clinton assumed control over the DNC before she’d won the primary 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.

 

 

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Hot Pick to Click.  TALKERS/RadioInfo in-house music director, the fabulous Duane Doobie Jr., occasionally finds something out there on the way up that catches his keen eyes and ears.  There is one such group in LA that falls into this category and word on the street is they have the attention of several major labels.  The Doob says, “This hot West Coast ensemble that you may not yet heard of – but will be kicking yourself if you don’t follow up on this – is the band WOLVES.  They just dropped the video for their hit-bound indie single, ‘Animal,’ which is bringing them the necessary critical mass to get CHR/hot AC/rock listeners’ attention.” KIMN, Denver and WRMF, Palm Beach are all over this #33 on the Nielson Billboard Indicator Charts track with multiple plays per day in prime-time slots.  Some background: Marc AverySean Carney and Rockwell Sands came together last year to form what they thought “the ultimate project” would be – a band with pop sensibilities that married urban and rock music into one unique sound.  Sands writes about the band’s influences, “We wondered what it would be like if we took all these different influences we loved – artists like Michael Jackson, the Eagles, and Coldplay – and rolled them all into one band today.”  From the forthcoming EP Hold On For The Night, “Animal” is full of dazzling synths and bass that embrace lead singer Avery’s unique Jackson-esque vocals.  Doobie says, “Play this song and watch what happens!”  You can listen to the track here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves — Heritage rock station KSHE, St. Louis is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Tuesday (11/7).  As the station says in its press release, “Back in 1967, KSHE became one of the first radio stations in the United States to play rock music on the FM band and was a pioneer of the Album Oriented Rock radio format.”  The Emmis Communications station is featuring 12 hours of special programming (6:00 am to 6:00 pm) that will include not only the music that made the station but classic imaging, recordings of historical personalities, and messages from rock greats…..On Thursday (11/9), iHeartMedia Chicago’s urban stations – hip hop WGCI, urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” and Gospel WGRB – will take part in a radiothon called “Music in the Schools” to benefit Scott Joplin Elementary School, a school located in the heart of Chicago’s South Side.  Proceeds from the event will go the school’s music programs…..Classic rock KLKK, Mason City, Iowa “103.7 The Fox” is adding Envision Networks’ and Sun Broadcast Group’s “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” program to its lineup…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is announcing that Weezer will headline its fourth annual “Movember Gala” on Friday, December 1 at The Block inside of Harrah’s Philadelphia.  The event is a culmination of the “Movember Mondays” fundraisers happening throughout the month in which all proceeds will be donated to the Movember Foundation, a global men’s health charity investing in programs to address prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity…..The lineup for the annual “Ten Man Jam at Bill Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth is set.  The show is a production of Cumulus Media’s country KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and this year fans will hear:  Darius Rucker, Gary Allan, Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager, Tyler Farr, Scotty McCreery, Jerrod Niemann, Midland, Carly Pearce, and Brandon Lay…..iHeartMedia’s Atlanta alternative rock WRDA “Radio 105.7” announces the lineup for its annual holiday concert “Holiday Spectacular 2017” will feature X Ambassadors, Portugal.The Man, and Welshly Arms on Friday, December 1 at Coca Cola Roxy.

Round Four of October PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11. View all the numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Not only does University of Texas at Austin-owned KUT repeat at #2 and post its third straight gain for a stunning +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), the news/talk outlet has its highest 6+-share in nearly a year (9.0, November 2016). It trails Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” by just four-tenths. While on top for the ninth successive month, “Bob” is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). KBPA was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. Following five straight up sweeps for an overall +1.0 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” drops three-tenths to 2.8 but continues at #15 (6+). Prior to September, KGSR had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 19 consecutive sweeps; September’s 3.1 is its best 6+-stat since February 2016 (3.1, as well). All three of the market’s FM country properties are (modestly) up from September, including “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which is without a loss for the eighth time in succession for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at #16, this is the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). Meanwhile in the iHeartMedia cluster, KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” adds one-tenth (6.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #3) and co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seven to fifth) is up three-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since January’s 5.5. As the result of three straight declines, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+) has lost roughly half of its 6+-share (-1.8) and stumbles from #16 to #18. This is the first time “Spirit” is below a two-share (6+) in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) since May, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI regresses by one-half share as well (to 4.6, fifth to eighth, 6+) as “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its softest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5.

2) Raleigh – A cumulative +1.9 via three straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC posts its best 6+-stat since 4.1 in March, as “99.9 The Fan” cracks the top ten (#14 to #10). Off by -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC roars back with a combined +1.4. in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+). It continues in the runner-up slot with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.5 in March. In four consecutive increases, Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+). Up two full-shares since June, “89.7 The Classical Station” climbs from #15 to #14. Even though it surrenders September’s half-share gain, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the fifth straight month. October’s -.5 to 8.7 (6+), however, curtails six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Without an increase for the eighth successive sweep for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” carries on in fifth-place. This is the first time WRAL is below a six-share (6+) since February 2013’s 5.9; “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June. Having registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” has spiraled by a combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), dropping from sixth to seventh. A May increase of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not reappeared. Down by one-half share as well is its CHR sibling WPLW “The Pulse FM” (3.9 – 3.4, #13 to #15, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since February (3.4, as well). An overall -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #7 with its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013’s 5.0.

3) Indianapolis – Whereas Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” hangs out a +.8 to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6 and leaps from sixth to third, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” falters by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, 6+), segueing from second to fifth. WFMS was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; and now -.7 in October (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “Hank” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which tacks on sixth-tenths to September’s +.5 (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5, third to second, 6+). Like other stations in the market, the aforementioned three properties are chasing Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK, which is up for the third straight month for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this is a true benchmark for WJJK, which registers its highest 6+-share in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Three straight gains by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0, unchanged at #14, 6+) lift “The Fan – Indy’s Sportscenter” to the three-share level for the first time since March 2016’s 3.1. Advancing from seventh to sixth with a two-tenths gain to 6.3 (6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” halts at three a consecutive string of losses that generated a -2.1 (8.2 – 7.7 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+). After dialing up a +.8 in August, hot AC cluster-mate WNTR is a combined -1.5 in September and October (4.9 – 5.7 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+); “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). As a result of July’s -.1, “The Mix” snapped at five its string of up or flat trends that produced a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths as well is the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies HD2 channel of WNOW (1.1 -.4, #21 to #23, 6+). Putting an end to its July – August – September (6+) trending of 6.5 – 6.9 – 6.5, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” falters by six-tenths (to 5.9, fifth to seventh, 6+) and falls below a six-share (6+) for the first time in nearly five years (5.3, November 2012).

4) Milwaukee – It is another strong month for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is an impressive +2.2 via three straight gains (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+) to move from fourth to third. Moreover, this is WHQG’s highest 6+-share since it began appearing in print in December 2014. Prior to a -.6 in July, “The Hog” posted a 5.5 (6+) in three of the previous four survey periods. Two-tenths ahead of it is Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” which ironically, scores a September 2017 – October 2017 +1.2 as well (6.1 – 7.3, 6+) to progress from third to second. The Green Bay Packers’ flagship registers its best 6+-stat since December 2015’s 8.2. A combined +1.1 in June and July (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WJMR surrendered a whopping -1.8 to 3.7 in August and September, but urban AC “Jammin’ 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” answers with a +.7 in October as it returns to the top ten (4.4, #11 to #9, 6+). Setting the pace for the 31st consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4, 6+). After being up or flat for four straight sweeps for a net gain of +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WMIL is a combined -1.5 in September and October (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+) as “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” falls from sixth to eighth. Prior to the August ratings period, the last time WMIL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) was in July 2016 with a 6.3. After posting three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+), format foe – Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” – is off by a collective four-tenths in September and October (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), yet moves from #10 to a three-way logjam at #9. On the heels of September’s one-half share loss, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” regresses by an additional six-tenths (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). A +.8 in August to 6.3 gave “Mix” its highest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 6.5. Even though iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is without an increase for the fourth consecutive month for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” improves from seventh to sixth; 5.4, however, is its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). No higher than 1.5 (6+) or lower than 1.1 (6+) over the course of the last 21 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through October 2017, Milwaukee Public Schools’ triple A WYMS “88 Nine” (flat at #18) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3.

5) Nashville – A combined +2.3 in three straight hefty positive spikes (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” enters the top ten (#11 to #10) with its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans plummeted by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Simultaneous with co-owned country WSM-FM racking up eight-tenths to 5.1 as “95.5 Nash Icon” reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.5 (tenth to ninth, 6+), similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops one-half share to 3.2 matching its 3.2 in August 2016 (#12, to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” adds four-tenths (5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and advances from eighth to seventh. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Classic country WSIX-HD2 is flat at .8 and remains at #21, while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fourth consecutive survey period. Following September’s one-half share improvement, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM adds another seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.7 – 6.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) propelling the “NPR News and Classical Music” outlet to its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, eclipsing the 5.7 it established this time last month (September 2017). A mere three-tenths of a share separates Nashville’s first four October 2017 finishers, including Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which vaults from fourth to second. With its best 6+-showing since April’s 7.7, “Mix” is a collective +1.0 in three straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4, 6+). Just one-tenth ahead of “Mix” is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which surrenders two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its 8.5 this time last month is its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). For the second straight month, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” spirals by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6 – 5.7, 6+) to slip from fifth to sixth, with its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.4. Three straight increases doubled the 6+-share of WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+), but “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” returns 80% of that collective +1.0 (1.2, -.8, unchanged at #16, 6+).

6) Providence – Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI progresses from eighth-place to seventh as the Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate has its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. In another spoken-word arena positive streak, iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920” has nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). In a similar vein, Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” practically triples its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) and is unchanged at #14. Carrying on at #5, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” erases September’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8, 6+). The September loss of four-tenths curtailed five straight increases that netted a cumulative nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Having lost two full shares over the course of the last four survey periods (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” pulls the plug by registering a +.4 to 8.2 (6+), moving from fourth to third. While 9.8 in May is its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8), 7.8 in September is its weakest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.7. An aggregated +1.6 via three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dips two-tenths to 11.2 (6+) but is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period; 11.4 in September is its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. “Lite Rock” dropped six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). While it occupies the runner-up slot for the fourth time in the last five sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” returns in full September’s one-half share increase (8.5 – 9.0 – 8.5, 6+). The string of four straight decreases for an overall loss of -1.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+) ended for hot AC cluster-mate WSNE in September when it registered a +.2, but “Coast 93.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.8, shifting from fifth to sixth. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Coast” since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

7) Norfolk – Between June and October, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE has been a model of consistency as “101.3 2WD” (unchanged at #5) hasn’t had a loss in that stretch and is up an overall three-tenths (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Three straight improvements by urban AC cluster-mate WVKL netted +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+), but “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” slips in October by one-half share to 13.7 (6+). Nevertheless, it is #1 for the tenth time in a row; earlier, it was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods. WVKL registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 18th time in the last 19 ratings periods; September’s 14.2 is the highest 6+-stat ever reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A September gain of seven-tenths by hot AC sibling WPTE erased August’s -.4, but “94.9 The Point” erodes by nine-tenths in October (4.4 – 3.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall increase of +1.4 concluded at seven in August (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). Having hauled out a +1.4 in September to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat in two years (10.4, 6+, September 2015), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders exactly half that gain in October (8.1, -.7, 6+), sliding from second to third. April through August, “103 Jamz” was trending 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 7.4 (6+). Flat at #12, rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV is down for the fifth straight month (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). In that timeframe, “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” has lost approximately 64% of its 12+-share (-1.8).

8) Greensboro – The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH, which cobbled together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), only to follow with five successive losses accounting for a collective -3.9, including September’s massive -1.8 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6 – 8.6 – 6.8, 6+). Rebounding in October though, “102 Jamz” regains exactly half of September’s decline (7.7, +.9, 6+) and vaults from sixth to third. Over the course of the last 16 survey periods (August 2016 – October 2017), “Jamz” has been in double-digits (6+) 10 times, missing out this year in January, February, July, August, September, and October. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.1 in four consecutive increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share since July 2016 (10.9, as well). Despite being off eight-tenths (12.7 – 11.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the fifth straight time and posts double-digits (6+) for the eleventh sweep in succession. It has occupied the top spot each month this calendar year except April and May and posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” posts its fourth consecutive increase for an overall +1.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+); WPTI was 4.7 in April. A combined +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+) immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” is now a combined -.9 in September and October (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3, 6+). It slips from fifth to sixth; 7.2 in August was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2. After improving by seven-tenths in September to 7.8 – its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016 – co-owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” forfeits one-half share (7.1 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+) and dips from third to fourth.

9) West Palm Beach – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” advances from #14 to #12 with its best 6+-stat since June 2016 (2.1, as well). After sputtering by one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, co-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” regains 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+), rocketing from seventh to third. The 5.2 in August by “KOOL” was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.9. Following three successive months without a gain in which it was a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), WOLL was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Up one-tenth to 4.2 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted WEAT “Sunny 107.9” applies the brakes to four straight negative trends for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September’s 4.1 is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. In addition to ranking first for the tenth consecutive month, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is up by one-half share to 11.3, the strongest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015 (11.3, as well). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. It is a yoyo effect for WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF, which had a July – August mini-slide that led to a cumulative -.9; followed by a September +.8; but “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real WAY-FM” falters by -1.0 in October (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 4.0, 6+). WAYF drifts from third to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since January’s 3.7. In the runner-up position for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia’s WKGR “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” registers a loss of seven-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus suspending at six its consecutive string of positive trends that accounted for an overall +2.2 (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). The 7.0 it logged in September represents the station’s best 6+-performance in more than four years (7.1, 6+, August 2013). Trending 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 (July – August – September, 6+), Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” is off six-tenths to 4.3, slipping from fourth to sixth with its lowest 6+-share since August 2014 (4.3, as well).

10) Jacksonville – A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK has more than compensated in September and October with an astounding overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). Over and above being on top for the tenth straight time, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” boasts its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January, and its +1.9 in October is the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase in the 48 PPM-markets. Conversely, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is a cumulative -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #3, WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” makes quite the impressive rebound as it dials up a +1.4 to 7.7 (6+) as the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet takes aim at an overall -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). The majority of that massive loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Via three gains in a row, iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” is +1.5 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) and records its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). By a margin of one-tenth, “Kiss” overtakes its direct competitor – Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” – which erodes by a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+) to drift from fifth to eighth. WAPE had been up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). A one-half share increase to 3.7 (6+) enables Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s Alternative” to crack the top ten (#11 to #10). One hefty September 2017 increase (+1.3 to 9.7, 6+) by news/talk cluster-mate WOKV leads to a nearly equal October decrease (-1.2 to 8.5, 6+) but “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” (8.4 – 9.7 – 8.5, 6+) remains at #2. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level (6+) in April (9.3). Given that it is a combined -1.5 in September and October (5.7 – 4.9 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” has nearly exhausted its August +1.9. No station in any of PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets had a higher (6+) July 2017August 2017 increase than WWJK’s +1.9; August’s 5.7 is its best 6+stat since June 2016 (5.7, as well).

11) Memphis – The battle between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” has to be one of the closest contests for the top spot in any of the 48 PPM-markets. In the ten 2017 survey periods thus far, “V101” has emerged victorious six times (February, March, May, June, July, and October); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. That, however, only tells part of the story as the (6+) difference between the two has been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. The bottom-line in October finds “V-101” up four-tenths (10.0 – 10.4, 6+) and WRBO adding two-tenths (10.0 – 10.2, 6+). Fighting back from September’s mammoth -1.7, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” posts a gain of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+) and continues in seventh-place. September’s 4.6 is the lowest 6+-share for “Halleluiah” in its PPM-history and the first time it ever fell below a five-share (6+). Co-owned WEGR continues its rollercoaster ride: It was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+) and now +.7 in October (2.3 – 3.0, 6+). “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” jumps from #14 to #10. Duplicating September’s -.7 (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” falls from #12 to #14. In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKIM “98.9 The Vibe” has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 2.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). On Halloween, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.”

12) Hartford – Tacking on nine-tenths to September’s one-half share gain (4.4 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM jumps from ninth to seventh. September’s +.5 halted seven straight decreases in which its 6+-share was carved exactly in half since January (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). The 4.4 that WTIC-AM registered in August was its weakest 6+-share in the PPM-era. Conversely, Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR surrenders nearly half of September’s staggering +1.6 (6.3 – 5.6, -.7, 6+), sliding from fifth to eighth. Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Returning to the CBS Radio cluster, rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” dusts itself off from September’s -1.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.6, with a +.8 (6.4, eighth to fifth, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WRCH “Lite 100.5” (10.2 – 10.3, +.1, 6+) finishes first for the 14th successive ratings period. Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August; it returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); but vanishes again in October. “Lite” has a 2.5-share advantage (6+) over iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music,” which despite not having an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.0 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), climbs from third to second. Ever since Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” began reappearing in print in August 2016, it has not been above or below the two-share range. That changes in October though as “Radio 104.1” (unchanged at #10) posts its third straight gain for a collective eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). Down or flat for the third straight sweep, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM is a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+). It segues from second to third with its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. Steady at #4, CHR cluster-mate WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” netted nine-tenths in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), but is off one-tenth in October to 6.5 (6+).

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

| September 26, 2017

NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig.  As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him.  Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station.  But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Read the Post piece here.

Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show.  Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more.  The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage.  Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’  He is no stranger to Philly sports.  His reputation is incredible.  Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!”  At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station.  WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.

Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew.  Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football.  CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise.  We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.”  Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak.  “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.

Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start.  One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin.  He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares.  Check out the site here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27).  Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there.  The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill.  See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27.  It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity.  “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.

Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65.  Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.  Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.

 

 

Sitting Down with Dolly.  “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You.  During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves Country radio pro Matt McAllister is named the new morning personality at Entercom’s KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf,” replacing the Ellen Tailor-hosted AM program.  McAllister comes to Seattle from his most recent position hosting mornings at iHeartMedia’s KNIX, Phoenix.  He’s won Personality of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.  KKWF program director Drew Bland says, “Matt is creative, innovative, competitive, and laser-focused on bringing audiences compelling content for their morning commute.  We are excited to welcome him to our team in Seattle, leading the next chapter of mornings for ‘100.7 The Wolf.’”  The station says both a new show name and additional cast will be announced at a later date…..Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave.  A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA…..Country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri is presenting the “4th Annual KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on October 25.  It will feature a concert from Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music Award winner Maren Morris, plus special guest Russell Dickerson.  The station says this is Springfield awards show with winners decided by local votes on a ballot at the station’s website.   Local and national artist and song category winners will be announced during the awards ceremony portion of the evening.

Monday, September 18, 2017

| September 18, 2017

Cramer Says Market Is Wrong About Entercom-CBS Merger.  Markets and investment expert Jim Cramer – a former radio talk show host himself – said on his “Mad Money” program on CNBC that the market may be wrong about its ho-hum attitude toward the EntercomCBS RADIO merger.  About the post-merger Entercom he says, “They’ll be the #1 creator of local audio content in America.  More important, they’ll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams.”  He also noted that the new Entercom will become the second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the radio biz.  The CNBC.com story says Cramer believes that Entercom “will also create a bustling live events business with some 4,500 live events a year.  Cramer says This alone should make the stock a strong play on the rise of the experiential economy, one of his favorite trends.”  Read the whole story here.

Not So Fast! Leslie Marshall Show to Stay on AM/FM Radio.  Last week’s report from WYM Media Management that progressive media personality Leslie Marshall would be ending her eponymous AM/FM syndication efforts and focus on Internet broadcasting of her radio program was premature.  WYM tells TALKERS magazine that they “were able to work out an agreement” with new partner Progressive Voices to feed the program to Marshall’s terrestrial radio affiliates. Progressive Voices will air the show live weekdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET beginning October 2 and will continue building relationships with terrestrial radio partners.

Herskovitz: Light in the Darkness.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about his experience in his Florida home dealing with Hurricane Irma.  He points to the importance of radio during emergencies such as catastrophic weather.  His story – and so many others like it – backs up what a lot of Americas are saying as they ask smartphone manufacturers – especially Apple – to turn on the FM chip in smartphones.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new content partnership between NPR and iHeartRadio brings more than 30 of the former’s podcasts to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartRadio says that it has seen a 60% uptick in listenership from its more than 100 million registered users.  They are now able to access podcasts including: “Up First,” “Fresh Air,” “Invisibilia,” “Planet Money,” “How I Built This” and more.  The addition of the NPR shows means iHeartRadio now offers more than 9,000 shows across 19 different categories…..FOX News Radio announces the premiere of the new podcast “Children of Song.”  It is a new show hosted by music author and historian Robert K. Oermann and former New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood.  Each week, “Children of Song” features interviews with artists who were exposed to the music business through their famous parents, as well as performers who began playing music at an early age. The artists share their backstories and the inspiration behind many of their biggest hits, as well as sing their most memorable songs that highlight those remarkable journeys.  Guests featured on the show include: Vince and Jenny Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, the Orbison boys, Kristin Chenoweth, David Cassidy, Neil Sedaka, Steve Cropper, Felix Cavaliere, and many more.

St. Louis Protest Violence, California Sanctuary State Bill, Irma and Harvey Aftermath/Climate Change Debate, North Korea Sanctions/Trump at UN, Harvard-Chelsea Manning Controversy, Emmy Awards, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The arrest of more than 80 after three days of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley; California’s move to pass a bill making it a “sanctuary state”; the social and political effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the related debate over man-made climate change; the sanctions levied against North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S., and President Trump’s appearance at the UN this week; criticism of Harvard University for naming Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow; Sunday evening’s politically laden Emmy Awards show; the MLB’s playoff push; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

BFoA Golf Tourney Raises $250,000.  Last week’s Celebrity Golf Tournament benefitting the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need.  This year, the annual fundraiser took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of emergency assistance.  Our colleagues braved dangerous winds and rain from these massive hurricanes to remain on the air, broadcasting vital, life-saving news and information to their communities.  It is up to us to help these dedicated broadcasters now, in their time of need.”

Renee Brady Passes at 68.  Media figure Renee Brady, wife of radio industry pro Bill Brady (currently CEO of Futures & Options, Inc.) died recently at age 68 after a battle with cancer.  Renee Brady was an “acclaimed astrologer with an impressive media career.  She hosted radio programs in the New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach markets and appeared on hundreds of radio programs across the country.  Her work would also take her to London and the U.K. where she was seen on the nationwide Channel 4 Network and heard on BBC Radio.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Minneapolis radio personality Tom Barnard is being sued by the estate of his late attorney, Ron Rosenbaum.  The Ron Rosenbaum Trust – led by his widow Lucy Quinlivan – alleges that Barnard is in violation of his contract with Rosenbaum that requires him to pay five percent of his salary to Rosenbaum through the duration of the contract, which is the end of 2019.  Rosenbaum died in May of 2016.  Barnard made payments to Rosenbaum, and then the Trust, from January 2015 through February of 2017 for Rosenbaum’s work negotiating Barnard’s current contract with rock KQRS.  KSTP-TV reports that Barnard attorney Chris Madel says, “Tom Barnard has done so many charitable things, not only for the Rosenbaum family but for others in the community.  To me, this is sad someone else is trying to take advantage of him like this.”…..Radio management pro Lori Heerden joins Alpha Media’s San Jose duo as market manager.  She’ll oversee classic hits KBAY “Bay FM 94.5” and hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  During her career, Heerden has served with CBS RADIO, Beasley Media Group, Americom, and EZ Communications…..KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” announces the lineup for its annual “The REAL Show” hip hop concert event.  It takes places at The Forum on November 18 and performers will include: J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz and Cozz, with a special performance from Young California…..Connoisseur Media Connecticut launches alternative rock “Mod 102.3” on FM translator W272DO, fed by WPLR’s HD2 channel.  Connoisseur Connecticut operations manager Keith Dakin is programming the station.  The company says it made the decision to bring current alternative music to the signal after an extensive music study for sister stations in the New Haven market.  The study showed a clear void for the format, making it a natural fit to launch “Mod” on 102.3.  Station personalities include Ed Oliveira and Christian TurnquistTristan Haller is handling the marketing for “Mod.”

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the August 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, focusing on rhythmic CHR.  Kinosian reports that “only about three of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up July 2017 to August 2017 (29%, 6+), while more than half (55%) are down; the remaining 16% of the sample is flat.”  He adds that comparisons of August 2016 to August 2017 pretty much mirror the month to month changes; 60% of rhythmic CHR stations in the sample are down year-over-year.  Entercom’s WJMH, Greensboro is the rhythmic CHR station that ranks highest in its respective market, ranking #3 in August.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

| February 2, 2017

CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue.  The rumors of a CBS RadioEntercom merger turn out to be true as the two firms announce a stunning deal to make Entercom the second largest radio company – based on revenue – in the nation with 244 Stations, including 23 of the top 25 markets.  CBS Corp’s plans for spinning off the radio division via an IPO never really took off, probably due to the fact that radio is not viewed by investors as a growth industry.  This merger will be tax free for CBS as it’s being accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust.  Here’s how it will work: CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares.  Immediately following the completion of this exchange offer, CBS Radio will merge with an Entercom subsidiary, with the new CBS Radio shareholders receiving Entercom shares in exchange for their CBS Radio shares in the transaction.  After completion of the merger, CBS Radio shareholders will receive approximately 105 million Entercom shares, or 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  The big question for CBS Radio staffers at the corporate level is how this merger – expected to close sometime during the second half of this year – affects their positions.  Obviously, there will be redundancy at the corporate level, but how Entercom will ultimately choose to organize its corporate staff remains to be seen.  Media consultant Holland Cooke monitored this morning’s investors conference call during which Entercom president and CEO David Field stated that the company expects to realize “$25 million in synergies [cost cuts] within 12-18 months,” mostly in corporate administration.  Field noted that there will be 15 divestitures in markets where CBS and Entercom together own more stations than permitted under the FCC ownership cap.  As for the news/talk and all-news stations soon to be owned by Entercom, Field called them “trusted pillars of their local communities” and “seven of the most-trusted all-news stations in the U.S.”  He referred to the local, on-air talk talent as “major influencers with strong connections to their audiences.”  From today’s press release we know that Andre Fernandez will remain president of CBS Radio through the closing.  The presser also stated that the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, “with a significant ongoing presence in New York.”  Upon closing, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members: five current Entercom directors, including David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio.  Entercom president and CEO Field states, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth.  We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.  Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation.  This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers.  The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”

Cumulus Names Brian Joyce PM Drive Host at ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  Beginning Monday, February 13, talk radio personality Brian Joyce will begin hosting the afternoon talk show on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.”  Joyce is currently the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host at the company’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3.”  He will continue in that role as well.  It’s unclear if Joyce will move to Atlanta or remain in Chattanooga and do the WYAY show from there.  The current afternoon show is “Atlanta News” featuring news pro Cheryl Castro and station program director Greg Tantum.  It’s unclear if Castro will remain with the new show.  Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We live in a world where dialogue on matters of substance has become increasingly difficult, with politically slanted news/talk outlets and social media platforms that feed consumers with stories that confirm their existing political belief systems.  ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ breaks that confounding and polarizing mold.  We are committed to delivering a forum ruled not by any agenda or by an algorithm, but by the unique value we can create for our listeners.  We present multiple sides of the story when we’re delivering the news, ensuring we both inform existing opinions and provoke opposing opinions on every side of the story.  In the process, we create a rare media experience facilitating respectful and spirited discourse where there is as much value in listening as there is in talking.”  Speaking about this new position, Joyce says, “I’m looking forward to joining [hosts] Shannon [Burke], Kimmer and the rest of the team at ‘NewsRadio 106.7!’  These guys have built a unique and entertaining lineup for the listeners of Atlanta, and it’s my hope that my show will continue to build on the great programming and strong ratings they’re known for.”

CNN Dips into a Slice of Conservative Talk Radio to Get a Read on Caller Opinion About Trump Moves.  Last night’s installment of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” presented a string of listener calls on WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano’s show presenting an array of opinions about Donald Trump’s moves as president focusing on the role of key strategist Stephen K. Bannon.  To view the segment, please click here.

Stephanie Miller Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta.  WMLB, Atlanta is owned by JW Broadcasting, airs a variety format and is branded “AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts.”  Beginning February 20, the WYM Media Management-syndicated Stephanie Miller show begins airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Miller’s program aired on the station in the past when it was an Air America affiliate.  WMLB general manager Jeff Davis comments, “Given recent events, the timing is perfect for a progressive voice on Atlanta radio.  We’re thrilled to have a recognized professional who’s built a reputation for standing up for liberal causes.”  On a related note, Stephanie Miller is preparing to embark on her second consecutive year touring as the headline of the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  The 2017 tour is titled, “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.”

Cody Welling to Lead Cumulus Media’s Shreveport Cluster.  This move takes sales and management pro Cody Welling from Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster where he’s been serving as director of sales to the company’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group consisting of sports talk KRMD-AM/K264AS “The Ticket,” hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN “i97.3,” urban contemporary KVMA “Magic 102.9,” and country KRMD-FM.  Cumulus regional vice president Mark Sullivan says, “This is a terrific move for the company and for Cody.  Cody’s strong track record of success and dynamic management style are already paying dividends in Shreveport and I look forward to his success and professional growth as our VP/market manager.”

TALKERS News Notes.  This year’s 5th annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes,” presented by the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning drive personality, takes place on Thursday, March 2, at the Lexus Club at PPG Paints Arena.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who are giving back to the local community in extraordinary ways.  The keynote address will be presented by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett.  This is Garrett’s second appearance at “Larry’s Heroes.”  In 2015, Garrett was scheduled to appear but a late winter storm kept him in Washington, D.C.  Instead, he addressed attendees via video from the snow-covered White House lawn.  Richert states, “It’s our fifth year to shine the spotlight on ordinary individuals in the community doing extraordinary things.  This year’s edition may be one of our strongest collections of heroes assembled.  Their contributions to our community are awe inspiring.”…..This is the fourth consecutive year that Westwood One is presenting the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards in which it challenges its advertisers to push their creative boundaries to create the best commercials to air during its Super Bowl LI broadcast.  WW1 is driving fans and a panel of advertising professionals to TheSoundAwards.com to vote for their favorite ads, all leading up to the big reveal of the top five the day after Super Sunday.  Voting runs through Monday, February 6…..WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 25 gets underway tomorrow (2/3) at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center and will feature an appearance by special guests professional wrestler Ric Flair and Grammy Award-winning artist Coolio.  Wing Bowl 25’s “Legends Division” (with legendary Wing Bowl eaters returning from the past) will feature a head-to-head competition between five-time champ El Wingador and two-time champ Molly Schuyler for a prize of $5000.  National recording artist and retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson will perform the National Anthem.  WIP morning show host Al Morganti, who co-founded Wing Bowl 25 years ago with radio partner Angelo Cataldi says, “Trust me.  Just be here.  That’s all I can say.  Be here.”

Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, DeVos Nomination Status, Tillerson New Secretary of State, Iran Missile Test, Beyonce Pregnancy Pic, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and speculation about how Democrats will handle it; two senators announce they will not support Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, possibly endangering her chances of assuming the post; Rex Tillerson is confirmed and sworn in as the new Secretary of State; the U.S. puts Iran “on notice” for its latest missile test; Beyonce posts a nude photo of herself to announce she’s pregnant with twins; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI 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 MovesTucson.com reports that Tucson market radio pro Bobby Rich was let got from his afternoon drive gig with Scripps Broadcasting’s hot AC KMXZ “94.9 MIXfm.”  Rich posted a Facebook message explaining that he “made a big mistake and said something I should not have said.  Even though I regret it and apologized, I own it, and now it becomes necessary for my association with ‘MIXfm’ and Scripps Tucson to conclude.”  Rich would not elaborate on what he said – or in what context…..Curtis Media Group brings Jud Heussler aboard to program CHR simulcast “Pulse FM” – WWPL, Goldsboro/WPLW, Hillsboro, North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham market).  Heussler has been with Entercom’s Bufflo CHR WKSE “KISS 98.5” serving as APD, music director and afternoon personality…..In the Corpus Christi, Texas market Convergent Broadcasting II, LLC announces its intent to sell CHR KKPN, classic rock KPUS, and classic hits KAJE to ICA Radio Ltd. for a sum yet to be announced…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting the 6th Annual Family Affair Expo on Saturday, March 11at The Wisconsin Center.  The event will feature local exhibitors in the areas of health & wellness, finance, education, small business, and recruitment to help make a positive impact on Milwaukee families.  Station PD Bailey Coleman says, “I love our Family Affair Expo because it’s fun and free, plus it brings our listeners together with the resources their families need to succeed.”

NOW PLAYING: A Video Tribute to Herb Oscar Anderson.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo produced a wonderful tribute to the recently departed New York City radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday (1/28) in Bennington, Vermont.  Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio in the 1950s.  He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968.  He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida.  View Vuolo’s video tribute in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this main page.

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