Tag: "Michael Harrison"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case.  Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones.  According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed.  Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.”  Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money.  Read the American-Statesman piece here.

Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas 
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left).  A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.”  Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community.  We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape.  We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”  Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign.  But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.”  Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.”  The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.

Gallagher Mingles with Fans at Film Premiere.  Pictured above being photographed with a listener is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher.  He was at the Camelot Cinema in Greenville, South Carolina for the standing-room-only screening of the new Dinesh D’Souza film Death of a Nation.

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between United Stations Radio Networks and celebrity and entertainment news website TheBlast.com results in the availability of exclusive content for affiliated radio stations.  USRN says that to kick off this new relationship, the majority of the content will be delivered as customized live reports from top producers at The Blast.   “Eventually, USRN and The Blast will expand their collaborative coverage of celebrity and entertainment news to include pre-recorded reports and feeds that allow stations to maximize the share-ability of this exclusive content.”…..Univision Deportes and SiriusXM announce the launch of the Univision Deportes Radio channel on the SiriusXM satellite service.  Spanish-language content is also available via the SiriusXM app and on the streaming web player at SiriusXM.com…..Podcast and talk show producer Joel Meyer joins pubcaster KUER, Salt Lake City – the statewide NPR affiliate – as its director of programming and promotion.  Meyer was most recently an executive producer at WNYC Studios.  Prior to that, he was an executive producer of talk programming at WBEZ Chicago, a managing producer of podcasts at Slate.com and the executive producer of Soundcheck at WNYC.

L.A. Newsman Dave Zorn Passes at 73. Longtime KNX, Los Angeles news anchor Dave Zorn died recently at a hospice in Michigan at age 73 after a battle with liver cancer.  Zorn served with the station for 25 years and for many of those years was afternoon drive anchor.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Giuliani’s CNN Interview, Manafort Trial, Religious Liberty Task Force, Child Immigrant Order, ICE vs Portland Mayor, ‘Quiet Skies’ Monitoring Program, North Korean Rocket Program, the California Wildfire, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with the related Rudy Giuliani interview on CNN regarding the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian delegation; the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of new “religious liberty task force”; a California judge rules on policy for authorities’ handling of immigrant children; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents criticize Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for ordering Portland police not to assist ICE agents; the revelation of the government’s “Quiet Skies” programming monitoring airline passengers who are not on watch lists or suspected of anything; new information indicating North Korea is continuing its ICBM program; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and imaging pro Chris “Fish” Shatek moves from Entercom’s WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country 99.9” to the company’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N @ 102.9” as midday personality and imaging director, effective August 1. Shatek says, “I am so grateful to not only be back in the Twin Cities, but also back on ‘BUZ’N @ 102.9,’ a station I helped to get started. I get to work in my hometown, at a station I love, and with an incredible group of people. I couldn’t be more excited.”…..In Charlotte, morning drive co-host Meg Butterfly is exiting her full-time position at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat” for a gig outside the radio business.  She’ll continue to pull a weekend shift and host her blog on the station’s website.  She has worked for the past nine years on the station alongside morning personality Paul Schadt…..Philly rock personality Debbi Calton is celebrating 25 years as host of the midday program on Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  On Friday, August 17, the station will mark the occasion with a live broadcast with Andre Gardner celebrating Debbi’s big day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Tap 24 in Calton’s hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. Calton says her favorite aspect of her gig at WMGK are the listeners.  “I’ve formed 25-year relationships with so many of them.  We talk on the request line or see each other at concerts. Yes, we’re still going to plenty of rock concerts.”…..Programming pro Scott “Lugnut” Dwyer joins Max Broadcasting Group’s rhythmic CHR KFCO “FLO 107.1” and rhythmic AC KJHM “JAMMIN’ 101.5” in Denver as program director.  Dwyer comes to the Mile-High City after serving most recently at Ohana Media in Anchorage.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

Mark Wainwright Exits Morning Gig at WSYR, Syracuse. WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Mark Wainwright says of his departure from the station’s full-time morning host gig, “I’ll skip over a lot of the details, but the end result is that my contract ended in July and I decided to move on.  It was as amicable and as mutually respectful a separation as anyone could want.  We parted on good terms and I would not hesitate to work for iHeartMedia again if the right situation came along.  In fact, the management at WSYR and several other iHeart stations indicated they would be happy to bring me back as a fill-in or guest host as the need arises, and at least one program director told me he definitely plans to call on me at some point. I’m looking forward to that.”  He says in a good-bye message on WSYR.com, “I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR.  I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today (7/20).  While it’s certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute – come on, at some point [Bob] Lonsberry has to take a vacation.” He relates how he filled in for the ailing Joe Galuski and eventually replaced him on the morning show after his passing.  He also thanks management for sticking by him while he dealt with his own throat cancer.  Read his entire post here.

Stephanie Perl Named Entercom Hartford Market Manager. Before moving into the television business as local sales manager for Tribune’s WTIC-TV and WCCT-TV in the Hartford-New Haven market, Stephanie Perl was general sales manager for CBS RADIO Hartford.  She returns to that radio cluster now owned by Entercom as SVP and market manager.  She’ll lead heritage news/talk WTIC-AM and sister stations CHR WTIC-FM, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5,” and urban contemporary WZMX “HOT 93.1.”  Entercom regional president Mark Hannon says, “We are happy to welcome Stephanie to the Entercom team and back to our stations in Hartford.  Her business acumen and leadership will help us provide our partners with premier solutions that reach our loyal and engaged audience in Hartford.”

TALKERS News Notes. This fall, award-winning journalist and author Alison Stewart begins hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program on public radio news/talk WNYC, New York.  New York Public Radio says the show will focus on culture, the arts, local news, and life in the New York area.  New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker comments, “Alison Stewart is the perfect host for our new midday show that will lead the New York conversation.  She is intelligent, lively, and experienced, and has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, the arts, and news in a way that is deeply of the moment.”…..Westwood One reports its plans for this week’s Podcast Movement conference.  It says one key element is the Westwood One “Pitch Pod” on the 5th floor lobby of the Marriott.  “Podcasting talent can tell their story right at the conference, recording a sharable video pitch for consideration for a roster slot on Westwood One Podcast Network.  Reporters and media contacts are also welcome to stop by the booth to record a video about their experience at Podcast Movement.”   Tomorrow, Westwood One Podcast Network’s Tim Sabean, Opie, and Carl Ruiz will present “The Art of Storytelling” for attendees…..The second season of the Jim Breslo-hosted podcast “Hidden Truth” is launched.  Following the first season of the weekly hourlong podcast titled “Hidden Truth:  Las Vegas Shooter,” comes “Hidden Truth: Transgender Movement.”  In this series, Breslo “embarks on a journey to discover what it means to be transgender and what impact the movement is having on society.” Episode one features the first of a three-part interview with Breslo’s fraternity brother Dave Richmond, a divorced accountant and father of two who, much to Breslo’s surprise, recently became Sabrina.  “No subject is left off limits as they discuss everything from sex and surgery, to parenting and pronouns.”…..Changes are coming to ABC-TV’s daytime talk program “The View.”  The New York Post reports that Sara Haines is exiting “The View” to work alongside Michael Strahan on the third hour of “Good Morning America.” It’s being reported that FOX News Channel “rising star” Abby Huntsman is in talks to become a cast member on “The View.”  She is the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and current Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Abby Huntsman, like her father, has some centrist tendencies, and is not reflexively conservative.  She made some headlines on July 15, when she appeared to ding the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin by tweeting, ‘No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.’”…..The NFL’s Oakland Raiders flagship radio station will still be an Entercom property but it is changing from sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” to all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM.  Games will continue to air on KGMZ as long as there is no conflict.

SRN’s Larry Elder Supporting Angel Tree Camp. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (right) at the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Camp that provides fresh air and summer camp activities for children whose mother or father are in prison.  Elder is a regular fundraiser for the program.  He tells TALKERS, “Children of prisoners haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t pay for the misdeeds of a parent.”  Elder notes that 70% of prisoners’ children eventually end up behind bars themselves, a cycle that is being broken by the Angel Tree Camp program.  Pictured here with Elder are Calacinto Ranch director Angela Cerda (center) and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).

KBA-WKU Radio Talent Institute Underway. Taking place this week on the campus of Western Kentucky University is the 6th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association-Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute. All week long, more than 40 broadcasters from Alpha Media, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Forever CommunicationsCapCity Communications, Forcht Broadcasting, The Cromwell Group, Cumulus Media, and iHeartMedia are working with students in sessions dedicated to on-air skills, sports, news, promotions, digital, production, as well as being certified by the RAB as Radio Marketing Professionals.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie comments, “It is great to have the solid support of the KBA, who are such early believers in and supporters of the Talent System, now for 6 years; and WKU, who embraced this from the moment it was introduced to the university.  Working together – broadcasters, universities and the National Radio Talent System – we are building the talent farm for the industry and discovering and preparing the next generation of broadcasters.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Trump Security Clearance Issue, U.S. Illegal Immigration Policies, Ozarks Duck Boat Tragedy, Toronto Shooting/Deadly BART Knife Attack, Southwest Heatwave, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Trump’s desire to remove security clearances from former intelligence officials who are critical of him; the policies relating to treatment of illegal immigrants and their children; the deadly Ozark duck boat capsizing; the fatal shooting in Toronto and the knife slaying on the BART train; the heatwave affecting the U.S. Southwest; the opening weekend for the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Big Lip joins to work alongside Shelby Rushin as co-host of the afternoon drive program, effective July 30…..Cumulus Media names 26-year radio pro Don Brake program director and morning personality for country KAYD-FM, Beaumont, Texas “NASH 101.7.”  Brake joins Cumulus from WKKQ, Morgantown, West Virginia where he was music director and midday personality…..Pictured below are WJBR-FM, Wilmington staffers (from l-r) Brandi Tigani, Chris Leonard, and Diana Beasley volunteering to cook for 50 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The effort was part of the radio station’s Beasley Best Day of Caring event.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 5, 2018

| July 5, 2018

Talk Media Personality Ed Schultz Dead at 64.  Details are few at this time but Fargo-based InForum.com is reporting that progressive talk media personality Ed Schultz has died of natural causes at his home in Washington, DC.  Schultz began his media career working as a radio and television host in the Fargo market.  Schultz started his broadcast career working in sports on TV.  He served as the sports director at WDAY-TV, Fargo during the 1980s. He was a conservative when he launched his talk radio career but a life-changing encounter with the woman who would become his wife turned his politics around.  He originally started on radio on WDAY-AM, Fargo in 1992 and moved to KFGO, Fargo in 1996.  His radio show went into syndication via Jones Radio Network and Dial Global.  He began hosting “The Ed Show” on MSNBC in 2009.  Various forms of the show aired on the cable network until 2015.  Most recently, he had hosted a program on RT America.  In a statement, the network said, “We at RT America are sad to announce the passing of Edward Andrew Schultz.  Ed Schultz passed quietly early morning on July 5 at his home in Washington, D.C.  This announcement comes as a shock to all of us here at RT America.”  Upon learning of Schultz’s untimely death, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “The passing of Ed Schultz is a terrible loss to the talk media community and industry.  He was a powerful media presence known for his independent thinking and courage in the face of both ideological and corporate obstacles.  In addition, his entrepreneurship was an inspiration to literally hundreds of broadcasters who followed his example of taking one’s career into one’s own hands in the dawn of the digital era.  I am stunned and deeply saddened by this news.”

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation About Smart Speakers and Radio by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein.  Today (7/5), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s eighth installment features the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs.   Videos already posted include a special presentation by PodcastOne Chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Personality Brad Shepard Emcees Huge Western Mass July 4th Parade.  For over a decade, Springfield, MA-based online media station, Pioneer Valley Radio’s morning host and GM Brad Shepard has been the master of ceremonies/announcer from the reviewing stand for the East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade.  This parade has become the signature Fourth of July Parade for the entire region featuring the participation of most of its cities and towns.   Shepard tells TALKERS, “I’ve just realized that I’ve been doing this long enough – first as morning man on WHYN radio and now as a personality with Pioneer Valley Radio – to be able to recognize folks marching in the parade and to do first name ‘shout-outs’ from the stage!  It’s tremendously gratifying to hear them returned!”  The excessive 94-degree heat did not deter thousands of all ages from coming out and lining the parade route and cheering on many service organizations, groups and dignitaries in Western Massachusetts.  “I look forward to this every year; it’s an honor to be their choice and it is fantastic exposure and community-connection for our exciting 21st century platform.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Trump-Putin Meeting, Fourth of July Holiday, Rising Gas Prices, Summer Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/4).  The Trump administration’s illegal immigration policy and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court seat; President Trump’s impending meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the rising cost of gas at the pump; the Fourth of July holiday; the summer heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Randy Fox joins American General Media to serve as program director for rhythmic CHR KKSS “Kiss 97.3” and hot AC KKRG “Mix 105.1” in Albuquerque, effective July 23.  Fox was most recently program director at hip hop KSFM, Sacramento before its transfer from CBS RADIO to Entercom.  AMG Albuquerque general manager Larry Lemanski says, “I am very happy to welcome Randy to the AGM cluster in Albuquerque.  We actually competed with each other in California.  It’s nice to now have such a pro on our team here.”…..Air personality Justin Pierce is named afternoon drive jock at Riverbend Communications’ country KTHK, Idaho Falls “105.5/105.9 The Hawk.”  He takes over for Cory Daniels, who exited the station in April…..Nationally syndicated rock radio morning show “Free Beer and Hot Wings” is pictured below in Green Bay entertaining a sold-out house as part of its “Morning Show at Night” summer tour.  The tour started in Nashville at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon, hit home market Grand Rapids, went on to Albany and Portland, Maine before stopping in Green Bay.  The next tour stop is at the Jersey Shore on July 13.  The program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

| July 3, 2018

Report: Morning Show Change Coming at WSCR, Chicago. This report comes from Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He says Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is not renewing Brian Hanley’s contract as co-host of the morning show with partner Mike Mulligan.  Hanley will work through July and then transition to a part-time/fill-in role on the station.  Feder says Mulligan will stay and the odds-on favorite to replace Hanley is Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh.  Back in March, the station removed Matt Spiegel and Jason Goff from their co-host roles and named Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins afternoon co-host and Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight co-hosts of the midday program.  “Mully & Hanley” have been the morning show hosts at “The Score” since 2008.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation by PodcastOne Chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz.  Today (7/3), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s seventh installment features the special presentation by PodcastOne Chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting.”  Pattiz is introduced by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin.   Videos already posted include a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

PodcastOne Announces New Programs.  More new podcast shows are being unveiled by PodcastOne this summer.  They include a new program titled, “Baseball and Chill” hosted by MLB Network’s Scott Braun and Kelly Nash covering “big storylines and trending topics on and off of the diamond.” Another program launching on the PodcastOne Sportsnet is “Revenge of the Jocks” with host Martellus Bennett.  The former NFL tight end is also a musician, producer, filmmaker, sketch artist, children’s author and social media influencer.  A new political show that just debuted is “Ground Game,” produced in a partnership with the Associated Press to deliver a “weekly conversation about the top issues in American politics,” hosted by AP digital editor Magan Crane.

TALKERS News Notes. From its most recent filing with the SEC comes information about Jeff Smulyan’s new contract as CEO of Emmis Communications.  First, his new deal runs through February of 2022; he’ll make a base salary of $1,025,000 that will increase by $25,000 each February.  He’s also getting a $1 million signing bonus…..Thirty-three-year-old California resident Markara Man has been charged with threatening to murder a family member of a U.S. official after sending a series of emails to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over his disagreement with Pai on the net neutrality issue.  According to prosecutors, Markara sent three emails to Pai back in December. One of the emails listed a number of pre-schools in Arlington, Virginia with the message, “I will find your children and I will kill them.”  Man has sent a letter of apology to Pai admitting he went “over the line.”…..Former Howard Stern cast member “Stuttering” John Melendez has hired attorney Michael Avenatti to represent him as authorities investigate his prank call to President Trump aboard Air Force One.  If you’re not familiar with the story, Melendez – who is a comic and podcaster – called the White House as a prank for his podcast pretending to be Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Melendez was eventually patched through to Air Force One and had a conversation with the president that was used on Melendez’s podcast.  Avenatti – who also represents Stormy Daniels tells the Washington Post he is concerned the president will try to “make an example” out of Melendez.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Loyalty Statement/FBI Surveillance Allegation, AMLO Wins Mexican Presidency, Trapped Teen Soccer Team, Cleveland Terror Plot, Rising Gas Prices, Fourth of July Holiday, Summer Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/2). The Trump administration’s illegal immigration policy and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court seat; the Trump campaign-Russia investigation, former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s “loyalty” statement, and Congressman Devin Nunes’ call to broaden the scope of the investigation into allegations the Obama-era FBI surveilled the Trump campaign; leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins Mexican presidential election; the teen soccer team trapped in an underwater cave in Thailand; the foiled terror plot planned for Cleveland on the Fourth of July; the rising cost of gas at the pump; the Fourth of July holiday; the summer heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Tampa market, evening personality and mixer Joey Franchize inks a new, multi-year contract to continue his position with Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “WiLD 94.1.”  Franchize says, “It’s been a blast! is the man and I am hyped about continuing to learn more from the GOAT.  The whole ‘WiLD’ staff has been amazing to work with since joining the squad two years ago.”…..Brian Fisher exits Curtis Media’s country WMMY, Boone, North Carolina after a 14-year stint with the company.  On his Facebook page, Fisher says, “I am so thankful to have had such a great opportunity there and to have worked with so many awesome people.  I’ll begin a new chapter at The Light and I couldn’t thank my friends and family enough for all of their support.”

Ex-“stream”-ly Enlightening Net Results

| July 2, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A little over three weeks ago (6/8) in New York City, an uncommonly tight-knit community gathered for “TALKERS 2018,” making it the 21st chapter of talk media’s longest-running and most relevant national convention.

Panel discussions and gathering-area locations alike were abuzz with optimism about spoken-word formats and recent ratings success stories.

There was justifiable reason for the palpable upbeat “Full Speed Ahead!” attitude pervasive at this year’s confab, especially given that literally within 72 hours after founder/publisher Michael Harrison gaveled the seminar to adjournment, May 2018 PPM results were released.

Five news/talk outlets chalked up top-two results (6+): WSB-AM Atlanta (7.5, #1); KMOX, St. Louis (8.3, #1); WOKV, Jacksonville (9.3, #1); WISN, Milwaukee (7.7,  #2); and WKXW, Middlesex-Somerset-Union (6.0, #2).

An equal number of news properties finished no lower than second as well (6+): WTOP, Washington, DC (9.7, #1); WBBM-AM, Chicago (4.9, #2); KCBS-AM, San Francisco (5.4, #2); news – talk hybrid KFBK, Sacramento (6.7, #2); and KCBS-AM, San Jose (6.4, #2).

A half-dozen sports talk representatives placed in the top five (6+), including WFAN, Long Island (4.7, #3); KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (7.4, #3); WFAN, New York (4.7, #5); WIP, Philadelphia (6.1, #5); WBZ-FM, Boston (5.7, #5); and WXYT-FM, Detroit (5.3, #5).

The May 2018 sweep included six instances of public news/talkers being (6+) pacesetters in their respective markets: KQED, San Francisco (8.1, #1); KPBS, San Diego (6.4, #1); KCFR, Denver (6.0, #1); KOPB, Portland (8.0, #1); KUT, Austin (8.2, #1); and KQED, San Jose (6.9, #1).

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

| June 27, 2018

Marske Named PD at WOC, Quad Cities.  Moline native Kirk Marske is named program director for iHeartMedia’s Quad Cities news/talk WOC.  Marske has served with the cluster for 17 years, producing programs on WOC, classic rock WCQQ “Q106.5” and CHR KUUL “101.3 Kiss FM.” In this position, Marske will program WOC and be part of the “AM Quad Cities” morning show hosted by Dave Levora with contributions from Dan Deibert.  Marske takes over for Dan Kennedy, who retired from the station in May after 20 years there.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jim O’Hara says, “Kirk is just the guy to program WOC.  Born and raised in Moline – and with more local connections than anyone – he has a real passion for news/talk radio.”

Beasley Media Group Files with SEC Announcing Sale of Up to $250 million in Stock. In an S-3 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Beasley Media Group announces its intent to offer securities for sale on the Nasdaq Global Market using a “shelf” registration process that allows the company to “sell securities from time to time and in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $250,000,000 …”  This is Class A common stock has one vote per share.  Class B common stock is owned only by the Beasley family and enjoys 10 votes per share.  What would Beasley use the influx of cash for?  Acquisition of more radio stations is the popular bet.  Although iHeartMedia – currently in Chapter 11 reorganization – has said it’s not in sale mode, the company has been willing to deal in recent years.  And then there’s the Scripps stations currently on the block.  Stay tuned.

Doug Hall Named Digitial PD for iHM San Francisco. There are just two spoken-word stations in iHeartMedia’s San Francisco cluster – progressive talker KKSF “Real Talk 910AM” and KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” – but the company says that its San Francisco cluster has “been an innovator in podcast content creation, generating 30 podcasts locally with nearly 100 episodes each week published.” It will be part of new digital program director Doug Hall’s charge as he moves from iHeartMedia Miami to the Bay Area for his gig. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “After an extensive search inside and outside of the industry, Doug stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area.  With Doug’s knowledge of our goals and priorities along with his sense of urgency and enthusiasm, I’m confident he will grow iHeartMedia San Francisco.”  Hall takes over for Matty Staudt, who was recently elevated to vice president of podcast programming at iHeartMedia.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Brian Kilmeade.  Today (6/27) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s third installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity.  Yesterday’s post presents opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted this week: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Going for the Gold.  The fourth annual fundraising dinner for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place last night (6/27) at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The sold-out event featured FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel personality and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade as keynote speaker, with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison warming up the crowd with special remarks.  Kilmeade delivered an inspirational speech discussing the ups and downs of his career as well as a number of others making the point that facing the challenges that life throws at you head on while remaining humble and grateful is one of the keys to achieving and maintaining success.  Harrison discussed the importance of education in preparing future generations of broadcasters to live up to the responsibility of preserving the First Amendment and the vibrant free marketplace of ideas in the rapidly evolving digital era.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation is a dynamic non-profit working to raise funds to support the education of young broadcasters.  It has been instrumental in helping develop the outstanding program offered at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, including the building of the school’s award-winning radio station WRFH.  Pictured at the event (l-r):  Harrison, Kilmeade and Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation president Vince Benedetto.  Benedetto is also the CEO of the Bold Gold Media Group, with a growing roster of news/talk, sports talk and music radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

Report: Colin Cowherd Renews Deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports. According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, sports media personality Colin Cowherd has inked a renewal deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports that will pay him in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Marchand’s piece reports that Cowherd’s three-hour radio show will continue (and remain simulcast on TVs’ FOX Sports 1), but he will exit the “Speak for Yourself” television program co-hosted by Jason Whitlock. Cowherd is expected to continue hosting the “FOX NFL Kickoff” TV show that returns in September.

iHeartMedia and Anna Faris Strike Deal for Expansion of ‘Unqualified’ Programming. Actress and podcaster Anna Faris – who produces her “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast via her Unqualified Media production company – is partnering with iHeartMedia to bring her show to CHR broadcast radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.  “Unqualified” features interviews with celebrities and cultural figures who tackle a variety of topics such as dating and relationships, in addition to taking phone calls from listeners seeking relationship advice.  Faris created the podcast with her longtime friend and co-host Sim Sarna, who produces the show and runs the production company.  The deal will have Unqualified Media produce a long-form “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” radio program that will air weekends across CHR broadcast radio stations nationwide.  In addition, iHeartMedia will create short-form content that will air weekdays promoting “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” nationwide.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday, news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga released a statement regarding the status of morning drive personality Jeff Styles, who was arrested on June 15 after a road rage incident left Styles with a gunshot wound to the arm and the other party with damage to his car left by Styles’ weapon – a military-grade tomahawk.   Cumulus Media has placed Styles on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Meanwhile the station says, “Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so.  He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting ‘The Morning Press’ along with Jim Reynolds.”…..Talk show host Tom Donahue is returning to the radio airwaves on July 1 as he launches a weekly, Sunday evening program available via Talk Stream Live and distributed to radio stations by Salem Radio Network.  The program will air live at 11:00 pm ET. Donahue says, “I am thrilled to have this broadcast opportunity that has eluded me for some time.  I will independently syndicate my show distributed by SRN and TSL, thus allowing me to reach a broader audience with satellite access and delivery to so many radio stations and markets. To be an impactful player in talk radio, your game plan must include broadcast stations. In recent years, my program has been confined mostly to online streaming, digital, and podcasting platforms, with the exception of a few independent stations.  I plan to make the most of my airtime each week!  I will be open to show expansion based on demand.”…..Boston morning show duo Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, a.k.a. “Toucher & Rich,” were honored by readers of Boston Magazine with the “Radio Personalities of the Year” award in the 2018 Best of Boston poll.  Toucher & Rich anchor mornings on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “We are so proud to have Toucher & Rich on our team in Boston.  They are so amazing at all of the things that we truly value at Beasley – community and top quality local content.  I’m thrilled that Boston Magazine recognized them!”…..Two sale closings to report that involve Salem Media Group.  First, the International Church of the Grace of God closes on the $1.73 million acquisition of WBIX, Boston from Salem. Since Salem bought the signal in 2015 it had been airing its syndicated conservative talk programming on the station with not a lot of success.  Second, Salem closes on its purchase of KDXE-FM, Cammack Village, Arkansas from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  The station serves the Little Rock market and Salem airs much of its Salem Radio Network conservative talk programming on the station branded “101.1 FM The Answer.”…..Cumulus Media appoints radio management pro Chuck Poet vice president and market manager for its Erie, Pennsylvania cluster that includes four music outlets and sports talk WRIE-AM/W242CU.

Illegal Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, Harassment of Administration Officials, Tuesday Primaries, Germany’s Migrant Issues, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  The U.S.’s policies in enforcing immigration laws; the Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries; the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass administration officials when they appear in public; Tuesday’s primary races and the ouster of New York Democrat Joe Crowley at the hands of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Germany’s Angela Merkel deals with political pressure to reverse policy welcoming migrants; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

JAM Media Buys Outer Banks, NC and Iowa Radio Clusters.  Originally founded as a media planning and buying agency, JAM Media Solutions, LLC is entering the radio station ownership business with the acquisition of two clusters of stations – one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and one in Muscatine, Iowa.  JAM has entered into an agreement to acquire Max Radio’s four music-formatted radio stations in the Outer Banks region, as well as the company’s interest in North Carolina E Paper, LLC, publisher of The Outer Banks Voice.  The radio stations are: country WCMS-FM, hot AC WCXL-FM, triple A WVOD-FM, and classic rock WZPR-FM.  The price tag for those properties is $1.85 million.  In Muscatine, Iowa, JAM enters into an agreement to buy Prairie Communications’ classic rock KMCS-FM and farm news KWPC-AM/K236CF, plus newspaper The Voice of Muscatine for $965,000.  JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan. A. Mason Sr. says “Having worked in radio since 1995, let me state for the record that I believe in the power of local radio.  Our goal is to unite local on-air personalities, local salespeople, and local advertisers together in an effort to deliver a first-rate experience for our local listeners.  JAM Media Solutions will also be very committed to the local communities in which we exist.  A portion of our income will be donated to non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people our stations touch.  We are thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making the concerns of the listeners our top priority.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air staff tweaks at Entercom Las Vegas include the addition of Audrey Lee to CHR KLUC as midday personality, effective July 2.  Also, music director and on-air host Yung Jon Que will host KLUC’s afternoon drive from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective immediately.  This role is in addition to his current position as assistant program director and music director for KLUC-HD2.  Finally, Hector ‘DJ CO1’ Minjarez has been elevated to the role of APD at sister urban contemporary KXQQ “Q100.5” in addition to his role as evening personality.  Lee was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster…..The North American syndicated rock radio show and website “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” celebrates its 30th year of national radio syndication.  “IN THE STUDIO” first launched the broadcast week of June 27, 1988 with rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash as inaugural guests and program host Redbeard.  He says, “When original ‘IN THE STUDIO’ executive producer Stephen R. Smith conceived 30 years ago of bringing the superstars of rock to radio every single week through one-on-one interviews about the stars’ most popular music, he was keenly aware that the rock audience had matured.  Now, the audience wanted an intimate, direct relationship with the musicians who actually created the soundtrack to their lives, lifting the curtain on the ‘wizards of rock.’  Over that time, the innate desire of the fans to get closer to the flame of inspiration has only intensified.”  The hourlong, weekly show is heard on 35 affiliate stations nationwide.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

| June 26, 2018

Entercom Shifts Digital Audio from TuneIn to Its Own Radio.com. In an internal memo, president and CEO David Field outlines Entercom’s strategy for building Radio.com into the digital audio platform he believes it can become.  It starts with the migration of Entercom’s digital streams from TuneIn to Radio.com over the next couple months.  Entercom acquired the Radio.com platform with the merger with CBS RADIO and will have moved all radio streams there by early August.  Field says, “One of the benefits of our scale and the quality of our brands and content is the ability to compete effectively in the rapidly growing digital audio sector.  As the nation’s No. 1 creator of live, original, local audio content with a lineup of 235 outstanding stations, and the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio, we have assets no other company can match and an enviable reach of over 112 million listeners per month — plus tens of millions more on our digital and social platforms.”  Even iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform is far behind leaders Pandora and Spotify in terms of listening, so Entercom has an uphill battle ahead of itself to make Radio.com, as Field hopes, “a daily habit for many millions of Americans.”  He says, “We are committed to making Radio.com a leader in the digital audio space. We have added a number of highly talented leaders to our team to help lead the charge.  Over the next several months, we will be rolling out new product features, distribution partners, advanced advertising products, and other improvements to enrich the user experience and enhance our value to customers.” Entercom will mount an aggressive promotional campaign across its AM and FM radio stations to embed awareness of Radio.com in the minds of its radio consumers.

Sports Radio Pro Eric Spitz to Join SiriusXM. After six years as program director for CBS Sports Radio, Eric Spitz is leaving that company to join SiriusXM as vice president of sports programming.  He’ll work with senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen and be based in New York.  The company says Spitz will “be involved in the daily operation of SiriusXM’s sports channels, including the hiring of talent, programming development and live sports scheduling.”  Spitz began his career as a desk assistant at WFAN in New York in 1987 and rose through the producer ranks to be become the station’s assistant program director.  In 2002, Spitz was named vice president, operations and programming for Westwood One’s Shadow/Metro Traffic, a position he held for three years before returning to WFAN as program director in 2005.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Introductory Statements.  Today (6/26) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s second installment features the opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted from yesterday: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Mark Levin Slides into Early Evenings at WPHT.  Native Philadelphian Mark Levin will soon be heard in his hometown as Entercom news/talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is adding his Westwood One syndicated talk show to its program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add Mark Levin to our already impressive list of marquee hosts at ‘Talk Radio 1210’ WPHT.  As a native Philadelphian, Mark’s show is the ideal complement to our local hosts, Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.”

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-newser KYW “Newsradio 1060” announces the recipients of this year’s “KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards.”  In its ninth year, the awards honor women in the Delaware Valley who have made a positive impact in the region through business leadership and community service.  This year’s “Rising Star” category honors local women under the age of 40 who were all selected by the community through the use of social media.  The awards will take place on Thursday, June 28 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are honored to use the influential voice of KYW Newsradio to showcase the dedication and service of these five exceptional rising stars in our community.  Their efforts embody what the ‘KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for, and the very reason the program launched nine years ago.”…..The nationally syndicated weekend program “America Outdoors Radio” begins airing on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KJR, Seattle on July 7.  The John Kruse-hosted show is now heard on more than 60 stations across the country…..Pictured at left is Westwood One “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan with his “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” award.  Harlan was honored at the National Sports Media Association’s 59th awards banquet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Maxine Waters Speech, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, SC Trump Rally, Heather Locklear Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25). The controversy over the Trump administration’s policy to deal with illegal immigrants; reaction to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ speech in which she encourages people to harass Trump administration staffers in public; the Trump tariffs and concerns over a global trade war; Monday’s Trump rally in South Carolina at which CNN’s Jim Acosta was singled out as a purveyor of fake news by attendees; the two recent arrests of actress Heather Locklear and concerns about her health; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Tells TALKERS That Dan Ingram Practiced “Early Irreverence” on the Radio.   Legendary disc jockey “Cousin” Bruce Morrow who, in his eighties, is still going strong as a major personality on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s 60s Channel, worked at WABC, New York for many years in the 1960s and 70s in the same historic lineup with the Dan Ingram.   For many of those golden years, Morrow did the early evening show directly following Ingram’s afternoon drive slot.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Morrow via cell phone at his upstate New York country home yesterday afternoon (6/26) to discuss his reflections on his late station-mate Dan Ingram.  Unfortunately, the cell reception was not clear enough to merit being presented as an audio podcast.  However, the following is a transcription of the parts of the conversation that lent themselves to print:

MH:  Congrats on the great work you’re doing on SiriusXM.

BM: I love it and I’m having a great time.  Talking with people that grew up with me as well as new people.  I feel great.

MH:  You have the same spirit that marked your work in the 60s and 70s but there’s nothing dated about it.  It is very contemporary.

BM:  Thank you, Michael.

MH:  Did you and Dan Ingram know the impact what you were doing back in the WABC days was having on teenagers?  That you were larger-than-life cultural gurus?

BM:  Although I’d like to say yes, the answer is no.  We knew what we were doing professionally as far as broadcasting is concerned but we didn’t realize that we would be part of people’s DNA and culture.  It was all relatively new. Fortunately, Dan and I were allowed to experiment and we did.  They left us alone to do our thing.  Of course, Dan and I were different sides of the ruler.

MH:  How so?

BM:  One of Dan’s major contributions to radio history was what I call ‘EI’ – early irreverence.  He was a precursor to what would eventually be known as “shock jocks” although I hate to use those words.  Dan would take a lot of the culture, the things that were happening in everyday life that we all experienced, and he twisted it a little bit and made it bigger than life and made us look at it and laugh at it. That was great.  It shocked a lot of people.  I must tell you, it even scared me a little bit because I didn’t know how people were going to react.  I didn’t know how our sponsors would react.  In those days, you know, we had to keep our sponsors happy.  In order to keep them happy, we had to get the ratings and get the people to listen… and I always used to say to him, “Ya know, do you think maybe you went a little too far?”  He’d respond, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.  Wait ‘til tomorrow!”   And then he’d go a step above.

MH:  What about management.

BM:  The guys in the suits upstairs – they were kind of scared.  Their knees were shaking.  They didn’t know what to do with him.  But they let him do his thing… but Dan Ingram was a professional.  He knew he was ripping at the envelope but he also knew where to stop.  In those days, anyhow.  In those days, he knew just how far he could take it.  Then he was a great lead in for me because I was a complete opposite… I was into my “Cousin” Brucie family, it was family-oriented and it was fun… it was sometimes a little silly, but never blue.  Dan was a little, shall we say, sky blue.  He would never get blue-blue, but he would get a little sky blue on the radio.  People would listen to it and say – hey did you hear what Dan said?  It was kind of fun.  So it was a great lead in for me.  It was a wonderful experience.  We did it together for years and years.  I miss him.  But we have his legacy which continues with a lot of the young people who are on the air today who were obviously influenced by him.  They try, they experiment.  And I always tell young broadcasters at lectures I give and classes I teach, never to be afraid to experiment.  If you make a mistake, just don’t do it again.  Dan knew when he had to stop.  He had this great intelligence about him.  He would do parodies and say things that people would repeat… everything was irreverent.

MH:  He was into comedy and day-to-day social commentary.  You were more into the music and artists and the lingo of the kids and the street.  It is amazing looking back at how this tightly formatted radio station had enough flexibility within its staging, so to speak, to accommodate two very different back-to-back approaches to the pop culture and still maintain its amazingly unique and recognizable stationality!

BM:  Exactly!  And that’s because they trusted us.  They knew that Dan and I would know where the edge of the water was.  They didn’t do that so much with anyone else on the station.  I could do what I wanted with the music.  Dan would follow a format but within that format he could do his own thing.  Sometimes we’d come on each other’s shows, sometimes we made fun of each other but we had a real, jolly-good time.

MH:  Did you get along off the air?

BM:  He and I always got along professionally.  Were we bosom buddies on the outside?  No.  None of us at WABC were really that close.  A few of the guys would go out after their shows and have drinks.  I was never into that.  Wasn’t my thing.  Dan and I respected each other professionally and we got along great.  But, outside the station and station business we went our own ways.  We were two different personalities, as we were on the air.  What you got on the air was exactly the way we were.   I was into sweetness and didn’t want to make anyone angry.  Dan would like to make people a little angry, stir up the pot.  I didn’t want to do that.  We were two different guys but it worked beautifully.

MH:  How did those days compare to today’s radio?

BM:  The thing about Dan and I and all the jocks at WABC that we had in common was the desire to make people feel good and not be uncomfortable.  In his case, Dan made people comfortable who wanted to “get off” a little bit.  But, it was still a feel-good experience and wasn’t dangerous.  That was the best part of it.  There are things that are happening on the radio today, lyrics and things, that are in my opinion a little dangerous… makes me nervous and doesn’t make me feel good.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Karina Farias joins the programming team at Bonneville’s Bay Area duo of adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco and classic rock KUFX, San Jose.  She’ll handle music director and on-air duties.  Farias has been doing part-time on-air work at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston and working full time at Bryan Broadcasting in College Station, Texas. She says, “I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime!  I’m so excited to join the team at Bonneville San Francisco!  My dream has always been to end up in California working alongside programmers and air talent I can learn so much from, and I now get to make that dream a reality.  Getting to work alongside Brian Figula, whom I’ve looked up to for the last year makes this even sweeter!  I want to thank Brian Figula, Carl Gardner, and everyone at Bonneville San Francisco for believing in me.”…..Philadelphia radio personality Ray Koob is back on the air in the city doing part-time evenings on Entercom’s classic hits WOGL (Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  Koob had been the evening jock at Beasley’s crosstown classic rock WMGK for the past 16 years.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

| June 19, 2018

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Names ‘World’s Best Radio Programs’ – Westwood One and CBS News Radio Win Gold Medals. Last night at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse, the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs were announced. The NYF’s Grand Jury awarded global networks and content creators from 31 countries, celebrating trophy-winning digital content, podcasts and audiobooks, live events, dramas and documentaries, breaking news coverage, multi-genre music specials, sound art, and promos from around the globe.  New York Festivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson says, “As the radio landscape evolves to accommodate the shift in the way individuals consume audio, New York Festivals Radio Awards is at the forefront celebrating all popular forms of audio content available today.”  In the News and Talk/Interview category, gold medal winners included: CBS News Radio for “CBS World News Roundup,” Westwood One for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” and National Press Club for “The Kalb Report.”  See the entire list of winners in all categories here.

Former Blackhawk Eddie Olczyk to Join WMVP, Chicago’s ‘Kap & Company.’ Former Chicago Blackhawk center Eddie Olczyk will join WMVP’s David Kaplan two days per week (generally Mondays and Fridays) during the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon “Kap & Company” program.  “ESPN 1000” VP and general manager Jim Pastor states, “What fans may not realize is that Eddie is not only a legendary hockey and horse racing broadcaster, but having grown up here, he’s also a huge fan of all Chicago sports teams.  Pairing him twice a week with his good friend David Kaplan will give him a chance to put those passions on display for ESPN listeners.”

WMAL, Washington Legend Frank Harden Dies at 95.  One half of the team that ruled the morning drive airwaves on WMAL-AM, Washington has died at age 95.  Frank Harden, described as the straight man to Jackson Weaver on the long-running Harden and Weaver morning program died on Friday (6/15) at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The show ran from 1960 to 1992 when Weaver died.  Harden continued on the air with Tim Brant and Andy Parks as co-hosts until 1998.  Read the Washington Post obit here.

Bo Brown to Lead Cumulus Beaumont, Texas.  Radio management pro Bo Brown is joining Cumulus Media as the new VP and market manager for the Beaumont, Texas cluster that includes sports talk simulcast KIKR-AM/KBED-AM “Sports Radio 1450AM/1510AM,” as well as three sister music outlets.  He was most recently with Rhino Marketing in Houston.  Brown says, “I’m excited about getting back to my roots and coming home to where I started my radio career.  I want to thank Mary Berner, Bob Walker, and Mark Sullivan for this opportunity.  I’m looking forward to being a part of an already very talented team and helping them to become even more successful.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WHP, Harrisburg afternoon drive talk show host Ken Matthews is a busy man.  Over the next 10 days he’s pulling a lot of double duty.  In addition to his regular show on WHP, he’s filling in for late morning host Dom Giordano on WPHT, Philadelphia a couple of days this week.  Then on Friday (6/22), he’s sitting in for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh.  The following week he’s back on WPHT filling in for morning drive host Chris Stigall June 27-30…..WCBM, Baltimore staffer Nino Mangione’s campaign for state delegate is the subject of an investigation by the Maryland state prosecutor’s office.  According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, Mangione’s work as the webmaster at his family’s radio station and the website’s reporting on Mangione’s campaign could be interpreted as an in-kind donation to his campaign, says a complaint filed with the state. The state prosecutor’s office doesn’t comment on the status of investigations and only reveals details if charges are filed.  Mangione had hosted a weekly, Friday night radio program but ended that show in April after filing for the campaign…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is honored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales with its “Innovation in Sales” award.  WTOP director of national and federal sales Jeffrey Wolinsky says, “With a desirable audience, WTOP’s sales staff continues to grow its value to local, regional, and national clients through custom marketing solutions that begin with the clients’ needs and end with continual renewals as 91% of the companies that invest at the super key account level renew each year!”…..Pictured below is nationally syndicated GCN host and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) celebrating her 47th birthday with a party at her Las Vegas home on Sunday (6/17).  Pictured celebrating the event are KMZQ, Las Vegas personality Heidi Harris (left) and KDWN, Las Vegas news/program director John Shaffer (center).  Word from Las Vegas is that Harris and Wachs have been bringing down the houses at a number of local events with their dynamic singing act! Wach’s show is carried locally on KDWN.

Illegal Immigration Enforcement, Trump vs Merkel, Trump-Russia Investigation/Roger Stone Allegation, Inspector General’s FBI-Clinton Probe Report, Trump Trade Wars/Additional China Tariffs, Audi Emissions Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18). The Trump administration’s illegal immigration enforcement policies and the controversy over separating children from parents; President Trump’s criticism of Germany’s immigration policy and his relationship with Angela Merkel; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegations against former Trump adviser Roger Stone, the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email server probe; Trump’s placing of tariffs on foreign goods, the fear of a trade war, and addition tariffs added to Chinese goods; Audi’s CEO accused in new emissions scandal; and Major League Baseball action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A partnership between Sun Broadcast Group and Alpha Media brings the weekend countdown program, “The Hit List with Fitz,” to more than 20 of Alpha’s country stations.  This addition means the program is heard on more than 100 affiliate stations each week.  Fitz says, “We are ecstatic about our new partnership with Alpha Media across their whole country platform.  Scott Mahalick has been an important creative partner and mentor of mine for over a decade and when Mahalick and I collaborate, crazy stuff happens! Together we aren’t afraid to take risks.  It’s about to get fun again!”…..Envision Networks announces the panelists participating in its June 27 webinar on programming underperforming station for success using 24/7 formats.  Taking part will be Howard Kroeger of Kroeger Media, creator of the HANK FM and BOB FM formats; Brian Burns, creator of the brand new innovative No Borders Radio bilingual CHR format; Mike Marino, legendary producer and creator of Jammin’ Radio and MOOD FM formats; George Gimarc, the creator of Today’s Comedy Network and Stand Up Rock; and Neal Sabin of MeTV-FM fame.  The panel will share the processes behind formatting, imaging, and marketing a 24/7 format. The webinar begins at 2:00 pm ET…..CMT personality Cody Alan recently hosted the latest “Story Behind The Songs” event in the Bahamas featuring Broken Bow Records’ award-winning artist Jason Aldean and rising country star Dustin Lynch.  The four-day getaway at the Sandals Royal Bahamian was held from June 13-16 and included live performances on the beach from the artists, as well as personal stories from the road, which were also broadcast live from paradise on “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan”…..The fourth annual country music talent search conducted by Cumulus Media is getting underway. The “NASH Next 2018” contest began in more than 54 markets across the United States including: Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville.  The winner of the four-month-long national competition will receive a record deal under the Big Machine Label Group.  The “NASH Next 2017” winner, Radio Romance, released their debut single, “Weekend,” in April 2018 and cracked the top 50 country charts their first week on the radio.  They also appeared at CMA Fest this June and will start their Summer/Fall tour this August.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

| May 29, 2018

Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations.  The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson.  Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November.  His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.

Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies.  Holland Cooke Pens Tribute.  One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25).  Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations.  He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business.  Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s.  He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era.  Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.  Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.”  Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster.  To read it, please click here.  In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to a  clip from that conversation, please click here.

WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality.  What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan.  According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community.  Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit.  See the story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season.  They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2).  Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Read the whole report here.

Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand.  By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend.  While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers.  Read his piece here.

Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64.  Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years.  During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks.  He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014.  CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood.  He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people.  Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations.  In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.”  Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint.  Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community.  I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond.  Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community.  Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’”  She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1”  Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next.  He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”

RIP, Nick Michaels

| May 29, 2018

Tribute By Holland Cooke

 

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

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

| May 22, 2018

Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington.  Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum.  The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows).  Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017.  Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues.  Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM).  We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.

Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart.  Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc.  He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC.  He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear.  The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”

Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.”  Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN.  About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”

Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk.  After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge.  Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger.  A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”

Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM.  Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio.  In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales.  Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years.  She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey.  Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience.  The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday.  The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group.  First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.”  Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11.  At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program.  iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family.  With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level.  Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.”  Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”

Friday, May 18, 2018

| May 18, 2018

Edison: Streaming Makes Up Less than 10% of Radio Station Listening. Media research firm Edison Research is presenting at this week’s American Association of Public Opinion Researchers conference in Denver.  Company VP Randy Brown’s presentation documents issues that come from implementing surveys online that attempt to measure internet behaviors.  One conclusion of his is that streaming behaviors will be overstated in a survey implemented online because it is difficult to reach lighter internet users from internet sample frames, even if one is using high-quality internet samples. In creating its Share of Ear studies, Edison has determined that “8% of the combined listening to broadcast radio content is from the streams and 92% is from over-the-air…these numbers would be vastly higher (and incorrect) if we did not take the steps we do to correctly represent all listeners and all listening.”  Edison goes on to say, “It is worth noting that we see quite a difference based on the type of content.  For news, sports and personalities, streams comprise 12% of the total listening, whereas for music the streams are 6%.  Perhaps this speaks to streaming being more vital for radio’s more unique aspects.”  You can download Brown’s presentation here.

Dennis Green to Exit Westwood One. After a 22-year career with radio syndicator Westwood One, SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green is exiting the company to accept a new, yet-to-be-announced position. Westwood One chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer says in a memo to affiliates that the company sincerely thanks Green “for his absolute dedication and excellent contributions made during his successful 22-year tenure at Westwood One.”  Green says, “I want to thank my Westwood One family for a 22-year ride that was everything you could want in a media career. Serving radio stations around the country and the world with the best in programming and services was an honor and privilege that I’ll never forget.  As I embark on my next challenge, I’m proud to be part of the legacy that Westwood enjoys in the industry, and will continue to enjoy for years to come.”

Andi Poch Promoted to EVP of Integrated Partnerships at Entercom. This new role of executive vice president, integrated partnerships puts Andi Poch in charge of leading Entercom’s strategy, creative development and execution for multiplatform, client partnerships. The company says she’ll focus on integrated solutions across audio, digital, branded content, live events and experiential partnerships. Additionally, she will be responsible for the development of new and expanded content franchises and innovative, customizable opportunities to drive national business and new revenue streams.  She will continue to report to Bob Philips, chief revenue officer at Entercom.  Philips comments, “We are excited about Andi’s new role at Entercom. This is a strategic shift in the way we go to market and an opportunity to leverage our national, multiplatform scale across audio, digital, social, live events and branded entertainment to offer national advertisers the innovative marketing solutions they need to connect their brands to our loyal and engaged consumer base.  The additional scope will provide Andi the opportunity to expand on the terrific work she has already done for Entercom.”

Francesa ‘Talked Into’ Joining Twitter. Now that Mike Francesa is back in afternoon drive on WFAN, New York after a roughly five-month retirement from the Entercom sports talk station, he’s surprising his fans again by joining Twitter.  He’s been a famous critic of social media but tells the New York Daily News that since rejoining the station, he’s been “talked into” launching a Twitter account.  He’s making his initial, official tweet from Twitter’s New York headquarters this afternoon. Francesa had always avoided social media, arguing that if he tweets his takes, it gives people less reason to tune into the radio show.

A Visit to Old Stomping Grounds. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to the legendary New England powerhouse WTIC-AM, Hartford “NewsTalk 1080” for an on-air chat with his old buddy, afternoon drive host Todd Feinburg, yesterday (5/17).  The two discussed many of the hot economic issues surrounding Connecticut state politics.  Harrison was the first full-time host launching WTIC’s modern era as a pure news/talker when he did middays on the 50k outlet back in 1991-92.  He currently joins Feinburg as a regularly featured guest and occasionally serves as fill-in host for the program.  According to Harrison, “WTIC has long played a key role in Connecticut’s history and culture.  The station has maintained a great news department and a deep commitment to community service, not to mention really smart callers.”  Harrison (center) is pictured above with Entercom Hartford VP of operations and programming Steve Salhany (left) and Feinburg (right) in the station’s main studio.

Cool Morning News Opportunity. News Radio KFBK, Sacramento, an iHeartRadio station, is looking for a highly skilled, experienced executive news producer to lead and manage its top-rated “KFBK Morning News” – a four-hour, fast-paced, market-leading live newscast. Candidates need large-market, long-form newscast producing experience, immaculate writing and editing skills, along with strong problem-solving and leadership abilities to excel in this key position within the news management team.  Strong digital and social media skills are essential. Some on-air reporting/anchoring required.  For more info and to apply, click here.

KCBS-AM, San Francisco Snags Seven AP Television Radio Association Honors.  Bay Area all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco was recently honored with seven 2017 Associated Press Television and Radio Association awards.  The organization honors important journalism across 13 Western U.S. states through its annual awards contest.  The Entercom station picked up first place honors for Best Continuing Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; Best Feature Story “Sonic Gentrification” by Doug Sovern; Best Spot News Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; and Best Weather Reporting for “San Jose Flood.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Fisher House Foundation – the charity that provides housing for the families of military personnel who are being treated at VA centers – is working with the Jeff Wyatt Group for its special radio programs. The Jeff Wyatt Group is working with Fisher House to assist with affiliate relations for the Memorial Day special, “The Gift” – hosted by Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery – as well as on the Christmas time program “Home Away from Home.” On the latter, Jeff Wyatt Group will write, produce and distribute the show…..American Public Media is ending the “Marketplace Weekend” program. Lizzie O’Leary hosts the program and will remain with APM to handle fill-in work on the daily “Marketplace” program.  Affiliate stations will get “best-of” shows through July…..The sale of WFGA-FM, Hicksville, Ohio from Talking Stick Communications to Swick Broadcasting Company for $300,000 cash closes.  The exclusive broker for the deal was Jason James of Patrick Communications.

Trump-Russia Investigation Returns as Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 14-18, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the scheduled meeting between North Korea and the U.S. and the hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-China trade negotiations, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security 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.

Craig Carton Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Major sports talk personality and newsmaker Craig Carton gives an exclusive interview to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Carton is the former co-host of the mega-successful morning show “Boomer and Carton” (with Boomer Esiason) on WFAN, New York that dominated in the coveted male 25-54 demographic Big Apple ratings wars for a decade between 2007 and 2017. The duo had replaced Don Imus in that position after the station’s then-owner CBS RADIO cut the legend loose in the wake of the infamous incident in which he insulted the women basketball players of Rutgers University on-air with a poorly-executed racial quip. Craig Carton was one of the biggest stars in sports talk radio and the sky appeared to be the limit. However, it all came crashing down in 2017 when he was arrested by federal agents at his home in New York City on criminal charges of securities fraud. Then after a few months of laying low, while professing his innocence and awaiting trial in October, a fascinating comeback began to take root. It started with a podcast and that led to a daily online 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET radio show with a video simulcast on the FNTSY Sports Network. Now, after two months of positive reviews and significant audience growth, the show will be offered to terrestrial broadcast stations coast-to-coast by Sports Byline USA and Focus 360. It will debut on May 29, as a 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program, with a roster of 25 stations and the hope is it will grow well beyond that to at least 100 stations by the year’s end. Of course, much of this depends on the results of Carton’s forthcoming day in court. In a remarkably candid conversation, Carton tells Harrison that he is innocent and patiently looking forward to his day in court to tell his story and clear his name. The two also discuss the new show as well as the general state of sports talk radio and media. Harrison says, “Craig Carton is an outstanding talent and his new show sizzles with his unique personality and skills. I believe he is innocent until proven guilty and deserves the support of the radio industry until the facts of the case are finally revealed in court. The radio business is better off with Craig Carton on the air. I hope this all works out for him.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Chicago market, Alpha Media talk show host Kevin Kollins – heard daily on WJOL, Joliet in afternoons – is adding a second show to his duties as he assumes the morning program at sister adult contemporary WSSR-FM “Star 96.7.”  Kollins joins Lisa Jordan as her new co-host, replacing Josh Cooper, who exited last month…..SiriusXM is broadcasting performances and backstage interviews from this weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas on its new Insomniac Radio channel.  EDC Las Vegas will also air on Diplo’s new and exclusive SiriusXM channel, Diplo’s Revolution.  This year marks the ninth year SiriusXM has broadcast EDC Las Vegas…..Pictured below at the kickoff event for the inaugural ACM/Live in the Vineyard Goes Country on Tuesday, May 15 at Peju Province Winery in Napa Valley, California are (from l-r): Chris Clare, PD, WNNF-FM, Cincinnati; George King, VP, programming, Westwood One; Tom Martens, Warner Music Nashville; Leslie Caraccilo, VP, music & entertainment, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Aaron Roberts, VP, programming partnerships, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Mac Daniels, PD, KSCS-KPLX, Dallas; Brian Thomas, PD, WKHX-FM, Atlanta; and Steve Pleshe, PD, KSKS, Fresno.  (Photo: Royce Risser)

Round Four of April PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 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 April 2018 survey period covered March 29 – April 25. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January – February – March (6+) topline of 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.2, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT posts a +.7 to 7.9 (steady at #2), its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Three upticks in a row by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), but “News Radio 590 AM” drops one-half share in April to 4.1 (flat at #9, 6+). The majority of that +1.8 is rooted in January’s +1.3. Immediately in advance of its positive streak, KLBJ-AM was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). In the market’s sports talk arena, both Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, flat at #19, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3, unchanged at #24, 6+) are without an increase for the third time in a row, with each station losing three-tenths in that stretch.

Austin Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM advances from fifth to third with its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It bypasses co-owned/similarly formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which is +1.7 via four straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, sixth, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #20, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” pulls the plug on six negative or flat trends in succession that accounted for a loss of 60% (-1.5) of its 6+-share (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+). Not only is Emmis adult hits KBPA #1 for the fourth month in a row, “Bob” flashes a +1.0 to 8.9, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately before picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). Off by six-tenths (6.4 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” slides from third to fourth. Stymied at 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share in both March and April (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it repeats at #2, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” erodes by -1.0 (8.8 – 7.8, 6+). January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. A loss of two-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three consecutive positive spikes in a row that netted +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just ahead of that streak, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to being the third time in a row that Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF posts a 1.0 (6+), “News Radio 680” is anchored at #19 for the ninth straight sweep. Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4, #12 to #13, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the eighth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20 to #21, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Three negative moves in succession by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), but “Mix 101.5” answers with an April gain of seven-tenths to 5.8 (6+), climbing from seventh to sixth. Adding one-half share to its +.3 in March (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” moves from #17 to #16. Albeit a combined -1.8 in three dips in a row (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Co-owned gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a +1.4 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and bumps up from tenth to ninth. February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -2.0 in three successive decreases (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.5 owing to four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” progresses from eighth to seventh. Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan” remains the same from March in 6+-share (2.3) and 6+-market rank (#15). The same is true for iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” which is flat at 1.8 (6+) and remains at #17. After trending 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI surrenders seven-tenths to 2.6 (flat at #14, 6+); WFYI notched a +1.1 in January.

Indianapolis Music Formats – This market’s top three April 2018 finishers are separated by just three-tenths of a share. Included in that trio is Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which registers a +1.1 (6.2 – 7.3), enabling “95.5 The Country Station” to rocket from #6 all the way to #1. This (7.3) is WFMS’ best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.5 and the first time at #1 since November 2013. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); and now +1.0 in April. Its format rival, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” is +1.3 via four consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Displaced at #1 after two months there and dropping to #4 is Entercom CHR WZPL (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” notched a +1.4 in January and gained one-tenth in both February and March. Within 1.1 – 1.8 range (6+) in each of the last 12 sweeps, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (#18 to #16) posts a +.7 to 2.1, its best 6+-stat since April 2017 (2.1, as well). Stuck on 6.4 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” improves by six-tenths to 7.0 (its strongest 6+-showing since December’s 7.7), advancing from fifth to third. Gaining one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” (6.7 – 7.2, third to second, 6+) which posts its best 6+-stat since last August’s 7.6 and University of Indianapolis-owned jazz outlet WICR (.8 – 1.3, #21 to #19, 6+). Up or (mostly) flat three sweeps in a row (4.8 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by -1.2 to 4.7 (seventh to ninth, 6+). Owing to a -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” skids from second to sixth. “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). A combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW follows with a collective -1.5 in March and April (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) as “100.9 Radio Now” departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Meanwhile, urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.1 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #12, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Matching February’s +.9 (6.0 – 7.9, 6+), Scripps news/talk and Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ jumps from fifth to the runner-up slot. Before that February gain of nine-tenths, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). After finishing second the past six survey periods, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+) falls to fourth. WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 12th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM (#14 to #15) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range and fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a +.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is a combined -.6 in three negative trends in a row (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Over and above tacking on a gain of one-half share to its +.6 in March (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 38th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. As a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.8 since “Holiday” 2017. This (3.6) is its lowest 6+-showing since 2.9 last November. Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix,” which is -1.2 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, flat at #7, 6+). This (4.5) is the first time “Mix” has slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. It is tied at #7 with iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams,” which regresses by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); +1.1 in March; and now -.5 in April (7.4 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In four upticks in succession (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” (unchanged at #6) is a cumulative +1.9. Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Although off one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” is in the top ten as well (flat at #9). February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – After trending 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 (6+), Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” improves by seven-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #14). Similarly-formatted/Cumulus Media-owned WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#10 to #12) is -3.1 in three consecutive losses (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9. Co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” adds two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” was a combined +1.3 but it forfeits three-tenths to 5.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Despite recapturing the two-tenths it lost in March (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” segues from #17 to #19.

Nashville Music Formats – April’s “Music City USA” country battle is a mixed bag. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” counters March’s -.5 with a +.6 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” answers its -1.2 in March with a +.5 (4.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #10, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” falters by one-half share after March’s -.3 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. WSIX was +1.1 in January to end three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). By gaining eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.9, flat at #17, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “WAY-FM” logs its strongest 6+-share since September’s 2.0. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-programmed WLVU returns seven-tenths of its mammoth+2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+) but regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9). Following back-to-back increases of one-tenth (.5 – .6 – .7, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” posts a +.5 to 1.2 (its best 6+-stat since last November’s 1.2) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). Adding one-half share to March’s +.7 (.2 – .9 – 1.4, 6+), TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” climbs from #20 to #18; March 2018 marked the first time “Activa” reached the top twenty. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in March (8.7 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the third month in a row. The Midwest Communications adult contemporary property ranked #1 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). The market’s (6+) CHR share shrinks by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” sputters by nine-tenths to 5.7 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off one-half share to 2.3 (#15 to #16+). As a result, “The River” suspends three straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), while WNFN halts four straight up or flat moves that generated six-tenths (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An affiliate of the Red Sox Radio Network, WVEI trots out a +.6 to 3.4 (6+) and continues in eighth-place. The Entercom sports talker was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+); however, leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Unchanged at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” improves by eight-tenths via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Down one-tenth each are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.3 – 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (2.2 – 2.1, #11 to #12, 6+). This is the fourth straight time that these two stations have finished back-to-back. Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns half of it in March and April (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, -.3, 6+) to drop from #12 to #13. Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” which gained one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, 6+) loses one-tenth to .5 (flat at #16, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Over the course of the last nine sweeps, WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” has scored a 6+-share no lower than 7.8 and no higher than 8.3 (8.3 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 8.1). In April, the Cumulus Media CHR improves by six-tenths to 8.7 (fourth to second, 6+). Progressing by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” (5.9 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+), and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106,” which enters the top ten (1.8 – 2.4, #12 to #10, 6+). Up nine-tenths in March, “B-101” had been within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) the past 12 sweeps. Co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” gains two-tenths (9.2 – 9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. February’s 9.6 is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well). As a result of four straight up or flat trends (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.1 and has its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4, yet backslides from third to fourth. Off by one-half share each are Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.1 – 8.6, second to third, 6+) and Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” (2.8 – 2.3, eighth to tenth, 6+). This is the softest 6+-share for “Lite Rock,” which was -1.1 in March, since October 2015’s 7.2; “Holiday” 2017’s 12.3 was the strongest 6+-share for WWLI since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, “Latina 100.3” was down six-tenths in February and up seven-tenths in March.

Norfolk – While it continues in fourth-place, Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +2.4 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). In five straight (slightly) up or flat trends, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (flat at #8) has gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Recapturing the two-tenths it dropped in March (12.3 – 12.1 – 12.3, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 17th time in a row. In addition, it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 25th time in the last 26 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 this past November, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). After being an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” falters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Following three downtrends in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” notches a +.3 to 1.1 (#12 to #10, 6+). As the result of four successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (flat at #10) spirals by -3.9 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). At #12, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). By dropping one-tenth to .6 (flat at #13, 6+), Saga Communications-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three decreases in succession (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a cumulative -2.1; WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. Following three positive spikes in a row for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” drops two-tenths to 2.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Having registered a .9 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC drops two-tenths to .7 (#13 to #15, 6+). In three straight (slight) increases, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+), but “Triad Sports” is off two-tenths in April to .6 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only does it roar back from its -1.1 in March with a +1.2 (11.0 – 12.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” remains at #1, recording double-digits (6+) for the 18th sweep in a row. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. After being a collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY dropped six-tenths in March, but “La Ley 101.1” rebounds in April with a +1.0 (3.0 – 4.0, 6+), yet backslides from ninth to tenth. In a similar context, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” shifts from eighth to ninth despite being +1.5 through six successive sweeps without a loss, including April’s +.5 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well in April is co-owned adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today,” which nets +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, steady at #4, 6+). Conversely, a loss of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to sixth, 6+) by Entercom country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” curtails three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMH was a combined +1.1 since January (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+), but “102 Jams” is off one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth straight sweep without a loss for Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (1.0 –  1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 –  2.0, #14 to #12, 6+), which is +1.0 in that timeframe. As the result of four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO was a collective -1.3, but “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” scores a +.3 to 2.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, WJNO was up six-tenths via three consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR notches a +.3 as well (to 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). After posting a 3.2 (6+) three sweeps in succession, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is (also) up three-tenths (to 3.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). A one-tenth uptick to .2 (#19 to #18, 6+) by Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” ends five successive down or flat trends that generated a loss of six-tenths (.7 – .6 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .1, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Gaining six-tenths to 4.3 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three successive downtrends that accounted for a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” posts a one-half share increase (4.7 – 5.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” falters by twice that margin (5.9, -1.0, flat at #2, 6+). “Kool” had been +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Its six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; +.5 in March; and now -1.0 in April. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. While on top for the fourth month in a row, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is a collective -1.0 in March and April (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive months on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). A combined +1.2 in February and March (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” surrenders two-thirds of that increase (1.5, -.8, 6+), drifting from #10 to #15. Unchanged at #3, Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is off one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), thus snapping four straight improvements that accounted for a +1.7 (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” logs its third straight decrease for a collective -2.2 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, eighth to ninth); WAYF was +.9 in January (4.4 – 5.3, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Completely erasing March’s -.9 with an April +.9 (8.2 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” progresses from #4 to a three-way scrum at #2. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth in both March and April (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) yet improves from #12 to #11. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at .3 (6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Continuing an alternating pattern that started in December, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.1 – 9.2, +1.1, 6+) succeeds iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (9.0 – 8.2, -.8, first to second, 6+) at #1. WQIK was on top in December; WEJZ in “Holiday” 2017; WQIK in January; WEJZ in February; WQIK in March; and it is now WEJZ’s turn in April. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), WQIK posted a +1.1 in March. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The respective format rivals of WEJZ and WQIK enjoyed April gains. Specifically, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9” bumps up by one-half share to 4.6 (tenth to seventh, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” rebounds from its -.6 in March with an increase nearly twice that size (4.8 – 5.9, +1.1, eighth to sixth, 6+). Having logged a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five ratings periods (5.5 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” hangs out a +.8 to 6.3 (steady at #5, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat since last August’s 6.6. An overall +1.7 in three increases in succession (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” relinquishes -1.1 to 4.2 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined +1.6 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL repeats at #2; “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). As the result of three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL is a collective -1.6; “97.9 Kiss-FM” was +1.0 in January to stop three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat the last three monthlies for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS drops one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which is without an increase for the third successive sweep for a -.3 (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). WREC was -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017.

Memphis Music Formats – Tacking on a robust +1.2 to March’s +.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on at #3. This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” since last October’s 10.2. Off one full-share in February and March (4.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 102.7” erases 80% of that deficit with a +.8 to 3.8 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). By gaining six-tenths (following a +1.0 in March), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” (9.2 – 9.8, 6+) marches from second to first. It swaps places with urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (9.7 – 9.4, -.4, first to second, 6+), which had been #1 the past three months. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range since December (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” (flat at #8) falters by six-tenths to 3.9, its lowest 6+-share since last July’s 3.8.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three down or flat trends in succession (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR is -1.7 but continues in eighth-place. “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. The last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). A loss of one-tenth to 5.8 (unchanged at #7, 6+) by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM pulls the plug on three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Immediately prior to this streak, “News Talk 1080” was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” gains four-tenths (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Flat at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in March and April (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR – which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz – was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – In addition to registering its fourth successive improvement for an overall +2.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since last October’s 7.8. Frozen on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, then slipping in March by six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” breaks out a +.8 to 7.5 (6+), jumping from fifth to second. After hauling out a +1.1 in March (13.2 – 14.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH surrenders that increase in its entirety and is back at 13.2 (-1.1, 6+). Nonetheless, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 18th time in the last 20 sweeps – and tenth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Having improved three times in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 forfeits roughly half that gain (2.1, -.6) but carries on at #11.

Friday, May 11, 2018

| May 11, 2018

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Will Be SOLD OUT by 5:00 pm Today! The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – will be officially SOLD OUT this afternoon (5/11) at 5:00 pm ET.  That will be the absolute cutoff point past which new registrations will not be taken – although according to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We might have to stop taking registrations before that because the number of bodies we can accommodate at this intimate gathering is finite.”  The power-packed program will feature more than 65 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals.  See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as registration and sponsorship information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations today!

Danny Clinkscale Downsized at WHB, Kansas City.  He’s been serving Union Broadcasting’s sports talk WHB, Kansas City “Sports Radio 810” co-hosting the afternoon drive “Between the Lines” program with Kevin Keitzman, but Danny Clinkscale’s departure from the station is apparently a budget issue, although WHB hasn’t commented publicly.  According to the Kansas City Star, Clinkscale used the term “downsizing” in his Tweet about his departure from the station.  Clinkscale tells the paper, “I don’t know where it (the future) leads.  It (the parting of ways) wasn’t expected and isn’t ideal.  But 18 years in one place in the radio business is a remarkable run.”  Read the piece here.

Cumulus Gets ‘Go-Ahead’ from Bankruptcy Court.  Filed yesterday in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York is the Confirmation of Cumulus Media’s First Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  The filing allows Cumulus to proceed with its plan to exit bankruptcy protection and eliminate about half of its $2 billion in debt.

Michael Harrison Reveals His Position on President Trump.  Those who have followed the long and colorful radio industry career of Michael Harrison (pictured above with the president), both on-air and behind-the-scenes, know that the TALKERS founder has made it a point to avoid being tagged as a partisan or ideologue when it comes to the discussion of politics.  A devout champion of the First Amendment who is known for aggressively defending the rights of those with whom he disagrees and always supporting the talk media industry as a platform for all legitimate points of view, Harrison has avoided personally aligning himself with or endorsing any one singular candidate, office holder, or party.  His mantra has long been, “Do not seek victory at the expense of truth.”  However, this morning during his weekly appearance on the syndicated “Talk Radio Countdown Show,” Harrison was pressed by host Doug Stephan into revealing exactly how he feels about President Donald J. Trump.  His answer has received a lot of comment.  To hear it, please click 

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The U.S. Exit from Iran Nuclear Deal Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 7-11. The decision by President Trump to have the U.S. exit the Iran nuclear deal was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the release of three Americans held in North Korea and the related scheduled meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was Israel’s strikes at Iranian targets inside Syria, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation at #4.  The Talkers TenTMis 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.

WABC Host Rita Cosby Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Three-time Emmy and six-time Gracie award-winning talk radio and TV personality Rita Cosby is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cosby is co-host, with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, of the recently launched “Curtis and Cosby Show” heard 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily on WABC, New York. Cosby is a veteran Washington correspondent and multiple best-selling author, who anchored highly-rated primetime shows on FOX News Channel and MSNBC and is considered one of the best interviewers in the media today. She has an extraordinary list of interviews to her credit in which she has conducted one-on-one media dialogues with more than 20 world leaders including a pope, six U.S. presidents, numerous presidential candidates and countless page one newsmakers going all the way back to the days when she was the youngest senior correspondent in the country for a national TV news network. Her book, QUIET HERO: Secrets From My Father’s Past (Threshold Editions, 2010), details her fascinating discovery about her own father, a Nazi prisoner of war, who was saved by American troops. Having spoken at the United Nations, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon, her critically acclaimed memoir has become required reading at major U.S. universities and used as a centerpiece for discussions on those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress and their families. She has traveled to six continents and captivated audiences with her powerful and deeply personal stories. In 2016, she was honored with the Jan Karski Humanitarian Award, named after one of the heroes of the Holocaust. Because of her “extraordinary journalism and exemplary service on behalf of her community,” October 11th, 2010 was officially named “Rita Cosby Day” in the State of New York. In 2011, she was recognized by the U.S. Congress for her professional and charitable achievements. Harrison and Cosby discuss the blurry line between journalism and entertainment in today’s news media, the balance between covering local and national in the nation’s number one radio market, the #MeToo movement, and her views on fascism, tyranny and the First Amendment. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  There’s a change at Entercom’s Denver station group as Sam Hill leaves her midday show on-air duties at hot AC KALC “ALICE 105.9” to focus on her program director position at classic hits KQMT.  Hill will continue to handle music director duties for KALC…..Riviera Broadcasting names Steve Giannini general sales manager for the Phoenix station group that includes hip hop KKFR “Power 98.3,” CHR KMVA “Hot 97.5,” and classic hits KOAI “95.1 The Oasis.”  He was most recently general sales manager at Salem Media Group’s Phoenix operations…..The iHeartRadio KIIS FM Wango Tango concert announces that it has added The Backstreet Boys to the roster of performers.  The Ryan Seacrest-hosted show will feature Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, and more. It takes place at Banc of California Stadium on June 2.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

Entercom Reports 2018 Q1 Financial Data; Same-Station Net Revenue Down 7.7%. This is the first full quarter that Entercom is reporting since closing on the CBS RADIO merger back on November 17 of last year.  As a result, the company’s net revenue jumped from $99 million in Q1 of 2017 to $300.6 million in Q1 of this year.  However, on a same-station basis, net revenue for the quarter dipped 7.7%, from $324.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $300.6 in the first quarter of this year. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Since closing on our merger in November, we have moved quickly to implement rapid change and have made good progress on our various integration, synergy and transformation goals.  We have built a terrific leadership team and are driving strong ratings growth and launching a number of revenue-driving initiatives to capitalize on our scale and compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of ad spending.  Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Entercom Audio Network, which will enable us to use our scale to participate directly in the $1 billion network radio market.  Our first quarter financial results were adversely affected by soft general local advertising conditions and a number of temporary factors, most notably the exclusion of $12 million in revenue due to financial issues at USTN.  As these temporary factors abate and our growth initiatives take hold, we look forward to driving meaningful sustainable growth as we capitalize on the compelling brands, assets and capabilities of this exciting, emerging company.”

Entercom Audio Network to Launch in July. As mentioned by Entercom president and CEO David Field in the story above, the company is introducing its new ad sales network dubbed, Entercom Audio Network, on July 1.  The company says, “The national network will allow advertisers to leverage Entercom’s scale with targeted offerings across its portfolio of 235 top-rated radio stations reaching over 112 million listeners monthly.” Company chief revenue officer Bob Phillips states, “Entercom now offers brands the national scale they need, including seamless activation and superior ROI. We are the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio and #1 or #2 in virtually all music formats. Our connection to consumers is coveted by many national brands.”  Field adds, “As one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to offer national brands a very compelling and effective unwired network with our premier collection of leading radio brands across the country.”

Townsquare Media’s Q1 2018 Net Revenue Up 5.9%.  That figure represents the net revenue for Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions division – the broadcast and digital operations – and not the live events-oriented Entertainment division.  Combining both divisions, the company’s net revenue was up 6.6% over the same period in 2017.  Townsquare co-CEO Bill Wilson comments, “Once again, our Local Marketing Solutions segment drove the Company’s growth, with net revenue growth of 5.9%, or 5.6% excluding political revenue.  First quarter growth in this segment was driven by continued strength across our local broadcast and digital product offerings, which culminated in our 17th consecutive quarter of positive, organic revenue growth.”  Net revenue in the Local Marketing Solutions in the first quarter was $80.6 million.  The company also reports that it paid off $9.5 million in long-term debt.

Saga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Rises 7.1%.  Michigan-based Saga Communications reports 2018 first quarter net revenue was $28 million – an increase of 7.1% over the same period a year ago.  Operating income from continuing operations increased 17.5% to $2.3 million and station operating expense increased 9.6% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  The company notes that its quarterly results were affected by the sale of its Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina TV stations last September.  On a same-station basis, net revenue increased 0.3% to $26.2 million and operating income from continuing operations increased 26.3% to $2.5 million.  Saga reports having $47.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31 and $49.8 million as of May 1.  The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of March 31.

Scripps Radio Division to Be Sold in Pieces.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, there was just a brief mention of E.W. Scripps’ plans to sell its radio division.  Local Media division president Brian Lawlor responded to a question about the status of the radio stations, saying, “Yes. The radio sale, the process continues. We’ve made a decision in order to maximize the value of the assets to sell the division in several pieces instead of one big bang. I think that’s where we see the greatest value for the company and for shareholders. And so, it’s just a little bit more complicated, I would say, than if it were just a singular transaction.”  That’s not surprising since the company owns two signals in Milwaukee – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI – and stations in much smaller markets including: Omaha, Boise, Tucson, Knoxville, Wichita, and Tulsa.  As we reported yesterday, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that Entercom is talking with Scripps about the Milwaukee stations.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Greg Neft Named Program Director at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Talk radio pro Greg Neft joins iHeartMedia as program director for news/talk KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7.”  Neft previously worked in the market as a news anchor and reporter.  He has served as morning news anchor at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville and as an NFL reporter for SiriusXM.  Most recently, he was corporate director of news and content programming for Cherry Creek Media.  iHM Fresno SVP of programming Steve Weed comments, “Greg joins us at a very opportune time, heading into a crucial election season for our region and our state.  I look forward to his skills and experience elevating our breaking news coverage.”

Former Seahawk Cliff Avril to Co-Host KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talk Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” announces that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is partnering with the station’s Jason Puckett for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, effective July 9. Puckett is a 15-year veteran of the iHeartMedia station and Avril retired from the NFL after being released by the Seahawks after a five-year stint.  Avril says, “I’m excited to join the KJR team!  Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNBC-TV, New York is reporting the former Port Authority police superintendent may have violated policy by providing a “lights-and-sirens” escort from the Newark airport into Manhattan for Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh.  The station says Michael Fedorko announced his retirement suddenly, about a week after it became known WNBC-TV reporters were investigating the allegation.  The report says the escort was to get Limbaugh to a charity dinner at which he was a “last-minute” speaker.  It also says Limbaugh talked about it on his radio show, saying, “So they sent the superintendent of the Port Authority to Newark to meet me for lights and sirens into Manhattan to make sure I got there in time.  And we did.”…..Radio sales pro Tim Robisch is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN.  He most recently served with Great Plains Media in suburban Kansas City.  He’s also held positions with Cox Media GroupEntercom Communications, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, and Katz Radio (at which he was served as regional vice president)…..New affiliate stations sign up for the John Kruse-hosted outdoors radio programs “America Outdoors Radio” and “Northwestern Outdoors Radio.”  Both shows focus on fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.  KDZR, Portland and KBOI, Boise recently added both shows to their program schedules…..Patrick Communications managing partner Larry Patrick is delivering the 2018 Commencement Speech for the College of Communications and Information at the University of Tennessee this Saturday (5/12).  Patrick is a 1973 graduate of UT.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Schneiderman Allegations, John McCain Illness/Book, W.VA Senate Race, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The looming decision by President Trump whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran nuclear deal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; New York attorney general – and Donald Trump critic – Eric Schneiderman resigns amid allegations of abusing four women; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in West Virginia and President Trump’s urging voters to reject controversial GOP candidate Don Blankenship; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs 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. CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” announces that on-air pro Zann is the iHeartMedia station’s new afternoon drive personality.  She was most recently with Cumulus Media’s KLIF-FM, Dallas as midday personality. She was also heard on Westwood One’s Hot AC and Hits Now 24/7 formats. At the same time, Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt is the new midday personality who will also serve as APD and music director.  He moves to Seattle from the company’s Central Texas Region where he was director of CHR…..Programming pro Matt Johnson is appointed program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7.”  iHM SVP of programming Jules Riley comments, “Matt is a solid addition to the KSLZ and iHeart St. Louis team.  We look forward to watching him grow this heritage CHR brand.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Matt’s drive, creativity, and talent development made him our ideal candidate.”…..Cumulus Media announces that radio and television marketing pro Marty Wall is joining the Detroit cluster as director of marketing for country duo WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and WDRQ-HD2 “NASH Icon” and hot AC WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Marty’s work at ‘Z100’ in New York is legendary.  That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients.  He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster.  I’m looking forward to his working with me, promotion manager Rochelle Burk, and promo director/street team captain Adam Ficorelli.”…..There are two appointments in the sales department at iHeartMedia Chicago.  First, Khatija Mohiuddin is named general sales manager for hip hop WGCI and CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.”  Also, Brian McGhee is the new general sales manager for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103” and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano states, “We put a priority on recognizing our high performers with advancement opportunities and these two staff promotions are true testaments to Khatija’s and Brian’s leadership skills and ability to form strong client relationships.”  Mohiuddin most recently served as local sales manager for WGCI and WGRB-AM.  McGhee most recently served as sales manager for the company’s St. Louis cluster.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

| May 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases Q4 2017 and Full Year Financial Figures. The company did not release its 2017 fourth quarter and full-year financial numbers at the usual time due to its status in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but now gets permission from the court to do so.  For all of 2017, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was $6.17 billion – down 1.4% from 2016.  Excluding the outdoor divisions (Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor), audio-focused iHeartMedia’s 2017 revenue was $3.44 billion – up 1.2% from 2016. For the fourth quarter of 2017, iHeartMedia was basically flat – up 0.3%.  In reviewing 2017, the company reports that growth in national revenue and other revenue were partially offset by lower local revenue. “National revenue grew due to an increase in national trade and barter, as well as increased sales in response to investment in our national platforms, including our programmatic buying platforms, primarily offset by a decrease in national traffic and weather revenue and lower political revenue.  Other revenue increased partially as a result of higher talent appearance fees. Local revenue decreased primarily as a result of lower spot and political revenue, partially offset by an increase in local trade and barter.”  See the filing here.

Bowen to Lead Sports Sales for Entercom in Chicago.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen is joining Entercom’s Windy City operations to serve as director of sports sales for sports talk outlet WSCR “The Score” plus play-by-play for Bears, Bulls, and Cubs broadcasts.  Feder notes that Bowen is rejoining some of his old CBS RADIO colleagues at WSCR.  Bowen was director of sales for CBS’ Chicago and Los Angeles markets prior to taking the Cumulus gig in 2015.

Edison Research Releases ‘The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners’ Report. The 2018 edition of Edison Research’s “The Infinite Dial” looks at the media habits of American consumers and the “Heavy Radio Listeners” report “looks at the 30% of the American population ages 12 and over who are ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day.”  One of the findings is that one-fifth of radio’s biggest listeners currently own a smart speaker.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences.  This look at the ‘Heavy Radio Listener’ from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ compare to the population at large.  Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ is very strong.  This is the kind of information that radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.” See more about the study here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, Sunday podcast from Ben Shapiro becomes available this weekend as The Daily Wire and Westwood One launch “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special.”  The idea behind the Sunday series is to provide more in-depth interviews, while not disrupting the fast-paced daily news format of the weekday show.  Shapiro says, “This show is going to be a long-form discussion about ideas with the nation’s best thinkers and biggest names. It’s all about enlightening and fascinating dialogue.  You can expect to know more when you’re done than you did when you hit play, and I’m supremely excited to be working with Westwood One to bring these conversations to listeners.  Even better, current Ben Shapiro Show subscribers don’t even need to hit a separate button to listen – these episodes will show up in their feed.”…..A round of cost-cutting changes have taken place at Salem Media Group’s RedState.com conservative media site.  According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, an internal memo from Townhall general manager Jonathan Garthwaite states: “We had to make some tough changes to RedState today.  While these changes are painful, they were necessary once we reached the conclusion that we could no longer support the entire roster of writers and editors.”  The CNN report cites a number of people associated with the site saying that although bloggers are paid based on “per-click” rate, those who were more “pro-Trump” survived the round of cuts.  RedState.com was founded 13 years ago by Erick Erickson, who hosts the 5:00 pm “Atlanta’s Evening News” on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  It was acquired by Salem as part of the Townhall Media addition to its portfolio…..“The Soul Brother Kevin Show” is the new evening program on Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The program airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm an features Soul Brother Kevin, A Cat Named Moe and Geo.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “Kevin is a dynamic and special radio talent.  He has strong opinions and is unbelievably funny – the most important tools needed to host on ‘102.5 The Bone.’  I’m very excited to hear him on the host mic!”…..The Houston Chronicle’s Dave Barron reports that sports talk radio pro Adam Clanton has exited iHeartMedia’s KBME where he was co-host of the afternoon drive show with Jayson Braddock and Sean Jones.  Barron writes that neither iHeartMedia nor Clanton have commented publicly on his departure.  In the Houston market, Clanton has served with sports talk outlets KILT-AM and KGOW-AM.…..This weekend’s 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is being covered for radio by Westwood One in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna of the Horse Racing Radio Network anchors the Kentucky Derby coverage and will be joined by analyst and Keeneland announcer Kurt Becker.  Longtime horse race owner and radio executive Dan Mason, and horse racing reporter Tom Leach, will contribute to the coverage, while former jockey Jeff Bloom will serve as trackside reporter.

Alpha Media’s Bill McElveen Presented with BFoA’s Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award. Pictured above receiving the Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Alpha Media executive vice president Bill McElveen (center).  Presenting the award to him are BFoA chairman Dan Mason (left) and BFoA president Jim Thompson (right).  The Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award recognizes career contributions to the broadcast industry. McElveen says, “It is a great honor to receive the Ward L. Quaal Award for lifetime leadership to our industry.  I am grateful for all the mentors and coaches I’ve had throughout my career and I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of my Alpha Media family.”

Chuck Harder Dead at 74.  Talk radio host Chuck Harder died on April 10 at age 74, according to a story published at WorldNetDaily.  Harder was a pioneer in the early days of talk radio syndication with his Sun Radio Network and his Tampa-based “For The People” talk radio program.  Harder’s regular involvement in the talk radio business was sporadic in recent years with health issues reportedly taking their toll on him.

Stormy Daniels Sues Donald Trump, White House Correspondents Dinner, Israel Claims Proof Iran Cheats on Nuclear Deal, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Talks, Rising Gas Prices, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  Porn star Stormy Daniels sues President Donald Trump for defamation; criticism of comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims proof Iran is defying nuclear weapons restrictions; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of caravan asylum-seekers; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the peace talks between North and South Korea; the steadily rising price of oil; Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs 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. Country programming pro Ginny “Rogers” Brophy is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull.”  iHeartMedia Boston SVP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “If you are doing country in Boston you better have Ginny on your team.  She is a great leader with years of success under her belt.  She is uniquely connected to the country music scene in both Nashville and New England, and most importantly, she is a fierce competitor who is eager to win.  We can’t wait to see what Ginny and the entire ‘Bull’ team can do together.”…..In the Kansas City market, Cumulus Media adds program director duties for alternative KCJK “X105.1” to the responsibilities of KCHZ-FM “95.7 The Vibe” PD and afternoon host Mike O’Reilly.  At the same time, the company announces that Al Payne joins the cluster to program urban AC KMJK. Kansas City native O’Reilly began his career at KCHZ in 1997.  He was named PD of the station in 2015.  Payne comes to Cumulus from his most recent gig with Beasley Media Group’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce.”  Cumulus Media Midwest RVP and KC market manager Donna Baker says, “Mike O’Reilly’s exceptional knowledge of these formats, passion to win, and respect as a leader on our team and in our community have earned this well-deserved promotion.  He is one of the best in the business.  Al Payne brings proven leadership with a clear vision of winning to the helm of our talented ‘Magic 107.3’ team. He is the perfect choice to rekindle KMJK to a new level of success.”…..Entercom announces that Kyle Matthews joins KFRG, Riverside “K-FROG” as midday air personality and imaging director. Southern California native Matthews says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be headed home to do what I love with a station that I’ve always wanted to work for.  Entercom Riverside has made a great impact within the community and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”  Matthews most recently served with NRG Media in Lincoln, Nebraska…..Albany country outlet WKLI-FM “100.9 The Cat” unveiled its new morning show today (5/1) with new co-host Kristina Carlyle partnering with station midday personality Pete Kelly for the “K.C. and Kelly in the Morning” program.   Carlyle joins the 6 Johnson Road Licenses station from Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa.  Station general manager A.J. Bodden says, “We could not be more excited about this dynamic duo taking over the airwaves and knocking the socks off ‘Cat’ listeners every morning. Kristina is an industry veteran with a tremendous track record that will be the perfect complement to Pete’s energy and enthusiasm.  Together they will bring a renewed energy and fresh sound to the mornings on ‘100.9 The Cat, Albany’s #1 for New Country.’”  The station moves morning host Kevin Richards to the midday slot to make room for the new show…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay announces that Brandon “Buster” Satterfield is the new assistant program director for CHR WFLZ, Miami “93.3 FLZ.”  In this role, Satterfield will be responsible for the station’s music and programming content, as well its personalities and digital extensions.  He’ll report to WFLZ PD and iHM Tampa SVP of programming Tommy Chuck, who comments, “We’ve had our eyes on Buster for several years, so I’m excited – we’re lucky to have him join our team in Tampa Bay.  He’s creative, driven, and has performed at a high level during all of his previous stops.  Now, with all of the tools, resources and talent around him at iHeartMedia, I can’t wait to see how much of a winner he will be!”…..Morning personality Stacy Barton exits the morning show at Tyler Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KMGL, Oklahoma City “Magic 104.1” to spend more time with her family.  The morning show will continue with Steve O’Brien and “Magic Man” Jeff Roberts as “Steve and the Magic Man.”…..iHeartMedia is again presenting the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 21 and 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, along with its Daytime Stage, that will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Saturday.  The Daytime Stage will feature live performances by both popular and emerging artists including first-revealed performers: Dua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, Bazzi, Belly, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, and Greta Van Fleet with more to be announced.  The main stage performance lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival will be announced at a later date…..Moyes Research Associates says it is now offering its ratings building services to stations in smaller markets.  MRA managing partner Bill Moyes says, “Lots of managers would love to achieve the ratings success of MORE-FM at Jerry Lee Radio’s WBEB, Philadelphia – a 38-year client of Moyes Research. Now, after more than three years of development work, we’re able to bring that kind of success to smaller markets at a price they can afford.  The success of MORE-FM is based on three elements: a strong brand, the secrets of an effective brand introduction, and a music product that is guided by research with format clocks and categories to rotate the music in a way that maximizes listening.  You have to have all three of those ingredients to win.”  Moyes says they tested a pilot program on Nicolet Broadcasting’s WRKU, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and the station has realized a 400% audience increase since then.

Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

| April 24, 2018

Hannity Named to TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential.’ Talk radio and talk television superstar Sean Hannity is named to TIME Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2018.”  The annual list highlights “pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons with insights from peers and contemporaries detailing the honoree’s impact” and the Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality is listed in the “leaders” section.  Each list-maker’s entry is written by a fellow celebrity or newsmaker.  Hannity’s entry is written by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says: “Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day.  His fans listen to him and learn from him.  One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker.  Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election.  Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state.  He has made and is making a difference.”  See the whole list here.

New York Media on a ‘Mike Francesa Watch.’That New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa misses being on the radio talking sports is no secret – he’s said as much publicly.  But is he, as the New York Post puts it, “desperate?” The Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Francesa is “desperately” trying to get back on the New York airwaves four months after retiring from the afternoon drive gig at Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan.”  Marchand reports that sources indicate he’s talked with ESPN about a gig on WEPN and iHeartMedia about a sports talk show on WOR.  When asked by Marchand about a return to WFAN, he replied, “I’m not answering questions about any specific stations.” See the Post piece here.

Freund Joins PodcastOne as Co-COO.  Digital media and sales pro Billy Freund (left) is joining PodcastOne as co-chief operating officer, based in Beverly Hills. Freund will work with fellow COO, East Coast-based Greg Batusic.  In making the announcement, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz (right) says, “Billy – his actual legal name – and I worked together at Westwood One for several years.  He understands the space, and his background – not only in sales but also technology, operations and affiliations – will provide us with even more unique and valuable input to power the growth of the company.”  Freund’s experience includes time spent with Chancellor Media and the Katz Media Group, Westwood One/Metro Networks, and his work co-founding Triton Digital Media.  He later served with Clip Interactive.   Freund comments, “I am very excited to join the PodcastOne team, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Norman Pattiz, Kit Gray, and Greg Batusic to continue the company’s explosive growth across its 250 exclusive podcast programs and highly effective, non-cluttered advertising environment in more than 2.9 billion annual user sessions.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated radio talk show “Phil’s Gang” featuring host Phil Grande – is added to the program schedule at KCAA, Loma Linda, California.  Program executive producer Thomas Biggs Sr. says, “Over two decades now, radio listeners consistently turn to Phil Grande and his ‘Phil’s Gang’ show for the most up-to-date market business news and what Wall Street will not tell you.  We are always looking to partner with the strongest programming affiliates and we are excited to be teaming up with KCAA Radio.”…..The news division of Westwood One is being honored with the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists for its breaking news coverage of the Las Vegas concert shooting last October 1.  The “Radio Breaking News Reporting Award” recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Westwood One News says that its winning entry “represents the scope and scale of Westwood One News coverage, including on-scene reporting by lead correspondent Jim Roope and contributions from the entire Westwood One News staff.”…..The Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association is honoring Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with nine awards – including five first place finishes.  WTOP was recognized for Best Website and Best On-Air Newscast.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We are proud of the work our team does as a whole to provide relevant news coverage, in a timely and creative fashion. We all share in these awards and consider our successes as a team, a testament to the work we do each day in an effort to serve our community.”…..ABC News names Amy Robach the new, permanent co-anchor for its “20/20” news magazine program.  She’ll work alongside current anchor David Muir…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of this week’s 2018 NFL Draft.  In addition to broadcasting round-by-round coverage of the draft itself, SiriusXM will present four days of special programming, live from Arlington, Texas featuring the on-site broadcast team of: Gil BrandtPat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil SavageMark Dominik, Jason Horowitz, and Alex Marvez.

Radio News Pro Reid Collins Dies.  Radio news pro Reid Collins has died at age 88.  Collins spent 20 years of his career with CBS Radio Network – a stint that saw him serve as anchor for the network’s flagship news program, “CBS World News Roundup.”  Prior to his time with CBS, he worked at such signals as WHAM, Rochester and WNEW-AM, New York.  After leaving CBS, he served with CNN.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, Trump-Macron Meeting, Iran Nuclear Deal, Waffle House Killer Apprehended, Pompeo Nomination, Kanye West’s Trump Support, and MLB and NBA Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the van attack in Toronto that took the lives of 10; the meeting in Washington between French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; President Trump’s threat to exit the nuclear deal with Iran; alleged Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking is apprehended; the confirmation process for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo; the controversy over Kanye West’s professed love of President Trump; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley Named TALKERS Woman of the Year. The TALKERS editorial board has announced this morning (4/20) that Caroline Beasley has been named the 2018 recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year award. The award (officially titled “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman”) will be presented to Beasley at the forthcoming national talk media industry convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! in New York City on Friday, June 8 during her morning fireside chat with Michael Harrison. Caroline Beasley was appointed chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. on January 1, 2017, previously serving as interim chief executive officer from March 18, 2016 until December 31, 2016 and as executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary beginning in 1994. Beasley has served as a director of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. since she joined the company in 1983. Over her tenure prior to 1994, she was employed in various positions, including business manager, assistant controller and corporate controller. She also serves as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board of directors and is a past chair of the NAB radio board. In addition, she is of the BMI board of directors and the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors. Beasley received the 2016 “Distinguished Service Award” from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was the 2012 recipient of the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW), a national organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women to senior positions in the radio industry. Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star among the captains of industry in the radio business and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading. She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise. Radio is in her DNA.” Recipients of the prestigious award include: Mary Berner, Ginny Morris, Julie Talbott, Robin Quivers, Robin Bertolucci, Heather Cohen, Grace Blazer, Laurie Cantillo, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Laura Ingraham, Kim Komando, Adriane Gaines, Lynn Distler, Lisa Evers, Gloria Allred, and more going all the way back to 2000 when it was originally presented posthumously to pioneering talk show host, Judy Jarvis. For information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” returns to the San Francisco market after a four-year absence.  But this addition to the program’s roster is not an iHeartMedia station, it’s Cumulus’ KFOG.  Beginning April 30, Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” with Woody, Ravey, Greg, Menace, and Sebas will be heard on KFOG and KFFG, Los Altos (San Jose market) from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  KFOG program director Matt Bates says, “The opportunity to align KFOG with such unique and compelling talent doesn’t come along often.  We recognized this and locked them in.  As a fan of ‘The Woody Show,’ it’s remarkable that it’s taken this long for them to have a major platform from which they can take back the Bay.  ‘The Woody Show’ represents that bright and entertaining spot in our morning routine. YOU KNOW!”…..iHeartMedia is rewarding KISQ, San Francisco “The Breeze” morning personality Jack Kulp for his success as co-host of “The Morning Breeze” with Carolyn McArdle with a contract extension.  At the same time, the company happily boasts the two-year-old adult contemporary station is “the #1 music station in total audience share (6+) — up from # 17 when it was a rhythmic oldies station.”   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the San Francisco region Don Parker says, “Launching ‘The Breeze’ was a game-changer for KISQ.  The station’s steady growth pattern to # 1 station in the market, surpassing such an iconic brand as heritage KOIT, is a direct result of the right mixture of programming and talent that resonates well with the Bay Area community.  Ricci Filiar, the station’s program director, has really done a fantastic job establishing ‘The Breeze’ as one of the Bay’s premiere radio stations.  We are also thrilled to extend our relationship with talent like Jack who joined the station at launch and continues to build a strong relationship with our listeners.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Adam “Kash” Kashner to assistant program director for country WFMS, Indianapolis.  Kash retains his roles as on-air host, weekends/fill-ins on WFMS and on sister classic hits WJJK.  Cumulus Indy VP and market manager Tom Stemlar says, “Adam is an essential piece of our programming, sales and marketing organizations and I couldn’t be more excited that he’s decided to continue his career at Cumulus Indianapolis as APD of WFMS.”…..iHeartMedia elevates media management and sales pro Aaron Hyland to market president for the company’s Baltimore market, including country WPOC, CHR WZFT, adult hits WQSR, and Gospel WCAO-AM.  Hyland will also continue to oversee sales for the Washington, D.C. region as regional senior vice president.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

| April 18, 2018

Financial Broadcasting Pioneer Ken Dolan Dies at 75.  One of the most influential pioneering figures in the genre of personal finance talk media, Ken Dolan (pictured here with wife Daria), has died at the age of 75.   He passed away yesterday afternoon at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida after a long battle with lymphoma.  Dolan, with his devoted wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, was half of one of the most successful husband/wife teams in the history of talk radio – The Dolans.  Known as “The First Family of Finance,” the Dolans were primarily known for their 20-year historic run at WOR, New York from 1985 through 2005 during which they advised a massive audience on a wide range of personal financial matters while entertaining listeners with their unique form of clever banter and lifestyle chat that broadened their appeal beyond the money talk realm.  The Dolans’ radio popularity extended nationally as they were heard on several hundred stations during the heyday of the WOR Radio Network, at which they, along with such icons as Dr. Joy Browne, were among the platform’s star attractions.  Prior to that, they were carried nationally on NBC Talknet.  At their height, the Dolans also hosted programs on national television.  They anchored “Dolans Unscripted” on CNN, as well as a pioneering show on the now-defunct CNNfn, and a three-year stint on CNBC.   They were regular contributors to “CBS Money Editors” and “CBS This Morning.”  The Dolans authored six books on personal finance, published successful newsletters and, until recently, continued to host money seminars across the nation.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The Dolans were not only a great American talk media success story in terms of the ratings and revenue they generated year after year, they also brought an element of grace, glamour and most important, credibility, to the financial talk genre paving the way for highly respectable players like Dave Ramsey and Ric Edelman.”  Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, of Salem Media Group’s WNYM/WMCA, New York was VP/GM of WOR during the final years of the Dolan era at that station.  He tells TALKERS, “Ken Dolan knew exactly who he was in life and who he wanted to be on air.  He played both roles to the highest levels.  Always ebullient, always warm and embracing, always focused on the mission at hand. In my years with him at WOR, surrounded by large broadcast personalities, Ken always stood out as the biggest star in the galaxy.  He relished this role and managed it with great humility.  Ken and Daria – a team that made history.  It’s time to rest, Kenny.”  WOR APD, Scott Lakefield tells TALKERS, “I am truly devastated to learn of Ken’s passing.  Never was there a harder working, more genuinely caring man. He and Daria got me my start in this crazy business and I have so many wonderful memories of my eight years working with them – first as their intern and then as their executive producer.  He will truly be missed. God bless you, Ken. You’ll never be forgotten.”  Services will be private, attended by family only, with a “celebration of life” memorial to be announced shortly.  Industry people interested in reaching out to Daria Dolan can do so through Michael Harrison via michael@talkers.com.

Jamie Allman Disputes Company Line on His Exit from KFTK-FM, St. Louis.  In the category of “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” St. Louis talk radio personality Jamie Allman – longtime morning host on news/talk KFTK-FM (owned by Emmis but being operated by Entercom under an LMA while in the process of buying the station) – says his leaving the station was not termed properly.  Allman explains via Facebook that the “David Hogg hot poker” quip is not the reason he left.  He and the company were planning his exit but, Allman alleges, Entercom jumped the gun in announcing they had “parted ways.”  The Riverfront Times reports that Allman says he never signed the documents detailing the terms of his exit.  Allman says in his Facebook video, “Now, after refusing to sign an agreement to repeat their lies in return for money, they have taken their noble offer off the table and told me that if I do not take the truth down off of my Facebook page, they’re going to fire me for cause.”  He says his lawyer is on the case.  Stay tuned.

Wisconsin Talk Host Mike Crute to Run for Governor. WMTV-TV, Madison is reporting that progressive talk radio host and Milwaukee radio station owner Mike Crute (right) will run for governor as a Democrat.  Crute and partner Dominic Salvia (left) host the “Devil’s Advocate” radio show heard on Crute’s WRRD-AM, Milwaukee.  The station reports that Crute told his listeners, “You’ve never seen bold like I’m about to bring down on the state of Wisconsin.”  The Democratic primary in Wisconsin is August 14.  It’s not clear when Crute plans to step down from his radio show in order to comply with the equal time rule.

More Gracie Awards News. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported that the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has revealed the winners of 2018 Gracie Awards at the national and local levels.  Some being honored this year that were not mentioned in yesterday’s story include a number of Cumulus Media/Westwood One personalities.  They include: WMAL-FM, Washington, DC’s “Mornings On the Mall With Mary & Vince,” which earned a Gracie for Crisis Coverage-Local; WABC, New York’s “The Joan Hamburg Show,” for Talk Show-Local; and WABC, New York’s “Rita Cosby Exclusive With Hillary Clinton,” for Talk Interview Feature-Local.  This marks Cosby’s sixth Gracie Award in four consecutive years.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes today that Entercom’s Windy City sports talker WSCR “The Score” is being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  The station will be among several other inductees at a ceremony on October 3 at Wintrust Arena.  WSCR operations manager Mitch Rosen told staffers in a memo, “This is a true tribute to our brand, which celebrated its 26th birthday on January 2nd.  October 3rd will be a great night for all former and current ‘Score’ teammates.”…..The Daily Beast is reporting that Glenn Beck is selling his private jet.  The story says that, according to FAA records, the 1966 DC9-15 belonging to Mercury Radio Arts is for sale, though no asking price is listed.  The plane was purchased in 2015 for $1 million…..Westwood One News is simulcasting next week’s “CNN Town Hall” program with former FBI Director James Comey.  The Anderson Cooper-moderated event will take place at Comey’s alma mater William and Mary College on April 25 from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm.   The program is available to Westwood One affiliate stations…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate in Queen B Radio-owned KXLY-AM/W264CH, Spokane.

Mignon Clyburn to Exit FCC. She’s not saying what her plans are – specifically if she intends to run for Congress in South Carolina – but Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will leave the agency soon. Her father, Jim Clyburn, is 78 and has held the Sixth District seat in South Carolina since 1992.  It’s been speculated upon that Mignon may want to run for her father’s seat but she’s been pretty tight-lipped about it.

NPR Icon Carl Kasell Dies at 84. Public radio icon Carl Kasell passed away on Tuesday (4/17) after complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 84. Kasell retired from NPR in 2014 where he’d been hosting the weekly “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” comedy quiz show.  He spent three decades as a newscaster on NPR’s “Morning Edition” radio news magazine.  During his career he also served for a number of years in the news department (and as news director) at WAVA, Washington.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Cohen-Hannity Flap, Trump Syria Policy, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Russia Sanctions Controversy, Congressman Charlie Dent to Resign, Barbara Bush Dies, Alex Jones Sued, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related James Comey book, A Higher Loyalty; the flap over the relationship between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity; the splintering of the GOP over President Trump’s Syria policy; the revelation that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Trump’s reversal of U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement there would be further sanctions against Russia; Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent to leave office in the near future; the death of Barbara Bush; the suit by three Sandy Hook parents against talk host and Internet publisher Alex Jones; and Major League Baseball 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. Boston morning drive radio program “The TJ Show” with TJ Taormina, Loren Raye, and producer Matt Shearer re-up with Entercom’s CHR WODS “103.3 AMP Radio” after signing a multi-year contract extension. Entercom Boston SVP and market manager Mark Hannon says, “‘The TJ Show’ is Boston’s next-generation morning show.  We are thrilled that TJ, Loren Raye and Producer Matt will continue to entertain Boston morning listeners for years to come.”  The duo of Taormina and Raye joined the station in April 2013…..New York-based, nationally syndicated radio personality Charlamagne Tha God – of Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” was back on national TV on Monday night (4/16) on CBS-TV’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote his new book, Black Privilege (2018, Touchstone)…..After a nine-year stint as executive director of The Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar, Bill Mayne is stepping aside as of next month.  Mayne has led the non-profit organization’s operations since 2011. Prior to that, he served on its board of directors.

Round Two of March PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL dialed up a +1.1 in January; was -.2 in February; and is now +.4 in March (5.0, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this is the first time that the combined WMAL-FM & WMAL-AM has reached the five-share level (6+) in the PPM-era. In addition to regaining half of the four-tenths it dropped in February (10.2 – 10.4, +.2, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the third time in a row. After four consecutive months in the driver’s seat, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since 10.6 in March 2011. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January 2017 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. At this time last month, it held a one-share advantage over runner-up WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” but that lead extends to 2.3 shares as American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -1.1 (9.2 – 8.1, unchanged at #2, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Disappearing from print in February after six straight down or flat trends (.5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .0, 6+), Radio One news/talk WOL returns with a .2 (#24, 6+), while Hubbard news/talk WFED “Federal News Radio” repeats February’s .1 (#24 to #26, 6+). Steady at #18, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” registers a 2.4 (6+) for the third successive sweep. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Since appearing in print in May 2017, co-owned business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 (flat at #21, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Most of the combined +1.1 in three straight positive spikes by Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS is from the current +.8 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+) as “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8) with its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Progressing by one-half share each are Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” (3.0 – 3.5, unchanged at #13, 6+) and Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3,” which is an overall +.9 in four straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+). Before breaking out a February +.8 to 4.5 (6+), WPGC was within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 15 survey periods. In March, however, the Entercom rhythmic CHR surrenders 75% of that +.8 (3.9, -.6, eighth to ninth, 6+). Its 4.5 in February represented the first time “95.5 PGC” reached the four-share level (6+) since December 2016’s 4.0.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is heritage iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM a cumulative +1.5 in three straight improvements, (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), “News Radio 1030” progresses from fifth to second with its finest 6+-share (6.4) since January 2017’s 6.6. Picking up one full-share in March as well is Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR (4.9 – 5.9, eighth to fifth, 6+). In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 and +.7 in January – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share improvement. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). At the same time, fellow public news/talker – WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH – is off by two-tenths in consecutive sweeps but stays at #9 (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). As was the case with WBUR, WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January. Completely wiping out February’s -.3 with a March +.4, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” moves from #14 to #13. Off four-tenths (5.6 – 5.2, 6+) after February’s -1.5, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” shifts from third to sixth. In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); it surrendered three-tenths in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, on the heels of a massive -1.3 in February, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM erodes by -.7 (4.1 – 3.4, 6+) but stays at #10. WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the sixth sweep in a row without an increase for similarly-formatted WEEI-AM (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, flat at #28, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – On top for the third straight sweep, iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” gains four-tenths (7.2 – 7.6, 6+), matching its topline stat in October and November. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, “Kiss” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Steady at #7, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country” is a collective +.6 in four consecutive reports without a loss (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” is up (slightly) or flat for the third straight time (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) and remains at #12. Via five straight up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO nets four-tenths. A combined +1.2 in January and February (1.8 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders two-thirds of that increase in March (2.2, -.8, #13 to #16, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to six straight positive or flat trends (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD is up nine-tenths; “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” carries on at #20. With its third straight .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” continues at #25, while co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is without an increase for the third successive sweep for a total loss of seven-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8, unchanged at #26, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, iHeartMedia-owned WINZ “940 – Miami’s Sports Station” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.2 – .3, #34 to #31, 6+). After picking up one-half share in January, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN dips by two-tenths in both February and March (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, (6+) and leaves the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to January’s +.5, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Advancing from tenth to seventh, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” is an overall +1.3 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+). The last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1). Adding six-tenths each are Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” (4.1 – 4.7, steady at #8, 6+) with its best 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.7, as well) and iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “Miami’s 93.9 MIA” (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), which enters the top twenty at #16. While it repeats at #1, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” falters by one-half share (7.3 – 6.8, 6+). February’s +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia-owned mainstream CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). Its format competitor, Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” is down or flat for the seventh sweep in a row for a collective -1.1 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+) but actually improves from #11 to #10. These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Tied with WFLC at #10 (up from #12 in February) is Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country,” which scores its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a combined +1.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Following five increases in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits” forfeits three-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and stays at #6.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite logging its fourth up or flat trend in succession for a collective +1.0 (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” backslides from second to fourth. Between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017, WWJ was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+). Sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” which was +1.0 in January, is a combined -.6 in February and March (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row prior to January’s full-share gain, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2. Co-owned WXYT-AMCBS Sports Radio 1270” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.1 – .2, #25 to #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WDFN “1130 The Fan” is flat at .1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Off four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Radio One news/talk WDMK-HD2 is off one tenth (.4 – .3, flat at #23, 6+), while Adell Broadcasting’s WFDF “Superstation 910 AM” is flat at .2 (6+) and unchanged at #24. After three straight times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM posts a 1.8 but stays at #20. Up one-tenth to .9, Wayne State University news/talk WDET continues at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – As a result of +.9 to 5.5 (eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” puts an end to a repetitive December 2017 – February 2018 sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+). This (5.5) is the best 6+-stat for “Mix” since June 2017’s 6.4. After dropping one-half share in February, adult contemporary sibling WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” answers with a gain of eight-tenths (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+), shifting from fourth to second. Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). In addition to being #1 for the third straight time, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC is an overall +1.1 in three sweeps in succession without a loss (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+); 7.2 is the best 6+-stat for “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2015 (7.2, as well). While it is unchanged at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is +1.3 in three upticks in succession (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). In a down/up pattern, co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is -.5 (“Holiday” 2017); +.6 (January 2018); -.5 (February); and now +.2 in March (4.4 – 4.6, tenth to eighth, 6+).

 Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, 6+) takes Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” from #20 to #16 and its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 3.6. Concurrently, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” recaptures half the four-tenths it squandered in February (.8 – 1.0, #26 to #24, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share (6.8 – 6.3, 6+), KUOW nonetheless remains in the runner-up slot. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it dropped six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, the Northwest Public Radio news/talker ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Seven-tenths of a share behind KUOW is Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM (flat at #3), whose seven most recent (6+) trends are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” forfeits all of February’s +.3 and one-tenth more (2.1 – 1.7, -.4, flat at #21, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO is a combined -.6 in February and March (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, #18 to #19); co-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is flat at 1.0 yet moves from #25 to #24 (6+).

Seattle Music Formats – Having registered a 2.9 in three of the last five ratings periods (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 –  2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 for New Country” notches a +.7 to 3.6 (#15 to #13, 6+). As a result of its fourth straight uptick, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is an overall +1.6 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since May 2017’s 5.3. The market now has two top ten adult contemporary outlets, as Entercom-owned KSWD “94.1 The Sound” boasts a one-half share gain (3.6 – 4.1, 6+) to jump from #13 to #10. “The Sound” was formerly country KMPS before flipping to AC in early-December (2017). It is challenging Hubbard incumbent KRWM “Warm 106.9,” which is flat at 4.9 (sixth to seventh, 6+), following a combined -6.9 in January and February. Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Without an increase three consecutive times for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), CHR cluster-mate KQMV answered with a combined +1.9 in January and February (5.2 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it drops three-tenths to 6.8 (6+), “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. Prior to February, the last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in June 2017 (7.4). Following four positive or flat trends in a row for a +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety” drops three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#9 to #11). It is tied with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5 – Today’s Best Mix” (3.7 – 3.8, +.1, #12 to #11, 6+). Unchanged at #4, Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle,” which was an overall +1.9 in four straight gains (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), slips by one-tenth to 5.5 (6+); February’s 5.6 was its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 5.7.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, iHeartMedia-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” drops one-tenth to 2.3 (6+) thus ending at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is now a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 (6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is flat at #11. Four consecutive down or flat trends resulted in Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM losing 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), but “98.7 Arizona Sports” picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (6+) and stays at #25. KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk arena, co-owned KTAR-AM returns the one-tenth it gained in February (.3 – .2, #35 to #36, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” is up one-tenth to .7 (#31 to #30, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” inches up from fourth to third. Albeit a combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ is #1 for the fifth time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was a combined +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Continuing in the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive sweep, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the third time in succession (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+). In four positive spikes in a row, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” is a cumulative +1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9, sixth to fifth, 6+). Having logged a 3.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” falters by seven-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). After six successive up or flat sweeps for an overall +1.0 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” surrenders three-tenths to 2.0 (6+) as it departs the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping out in its entirety February’s -.7 (5.2 – 5.9, +.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW advances from seventh to sixth. Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Four straight up or flat moves by Hubbard talk KTMY generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), but “My Talk 107.1” forfeits three-tenths to 3.0 and continues at #15. Stuck on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February, Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (unchanged at #9, 6+). Up nine-tenths to 3.4 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” was flat in February, and picks up one-tenth in March (flat at #13). Despite adding one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan,” -1.5 in February, backslides from sixth to seventh. In back-to-back reports, Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is off by one-tenth (1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #19 to #20, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective +.8 via three consecutive positive or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), Minneapolis Public Schools-owned KBEM “Jazz 88.5” carries on at #18. The jazz outlet had been within 1.0 – 1.5 range (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods. Its internet “stream” – which appeared at #24 in February with a .6 (6+) vanishes in March. Owing to a gain of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4, fifth to third, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2017 (6.0). Off by a combined six-tenths in January and February (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom country property KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” erases all but one-tenth of that deficit with a +.5 to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” – is +1.9 in three upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+) yet backslides from a seventh-place tie to eighth. January’s +1.1 pulled the plug on six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Not only is Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM #1 for the third sweep in a row, “KS-95” is a collective +2.5 in three successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). In a February four-way tie at #19, iHeartMedia urban oldies KTCZ-HD3 falters by one-half share (1.0 – .5, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#23).

 San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS proves that one-tenth of a share can make a big difference. For example, in February, it lost one-tenth (6.2 – 6.1, 6+), which bumped it from a first-place tie in January to #2; KPBS was -.1 in January, as well. Now, in March, it gains one-tenth which is sufficient to boost it from second (back) to first. Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” which eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); responded in January with a +.8; was -.7 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.3 – 5.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Three straight up or flat moves by Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM yielded a +.5 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), but “AM 760” slips by one-tenth in March to 2.1 (flat at #22, 6+). Down six-tenths in February, iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” picks up one-tenth to .8 (#27 to #25, 6+). Flat at #23, Interamericana de Radio’s similarly-formatted XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” which netted four-tenths in three up or flat trends in a row (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+), sputters by three-tenths to 1.3 (6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Entering the February sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS had been within 4.0 – 4.8 range (6+) in ten straight reports but plummeted by -1.2 to 3.5 (6+). Rebounding with a gain of seven-tenths (4.2, 6+), “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). On a roll, Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is up for the third straight time for a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), advancing from third to second. KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Duplicating its February +.5, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” (2.3 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+) jumps from #16 to #13 with its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (also 3.3). Improving by one-half share as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which is +1.0 in three upticks in succession (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #14, 6+). Five straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN generated a +1.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+), but “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” surrenders all but three-tenths of that increase (5.1, -1.6, 6+) to tumble from first to fourth. Immediately after improving by one-half share in February (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), cluster-mate KEGY erodes by -1.2 to .4 (#23 to #28, 6+). The station transitioned to a hybrid talk-comedy-classic rock mix as “97.3 The Machine – Talk That Rocks” at the conclusion of the February sweep and is the flagship of the San Diego Padres. Off six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), UniRadio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” spirals from #13 to #20.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of a +.4 (5.4 – 5.8, second to first, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR is back on top as it was in January. When KCFR lost six-tenths in February, its consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Immediately after faltering by nine-tenths in February to 2.7 (6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” answers with a +1.0 in March to 3.7 (#16 to #13, 6+). Its +.4 in January to 3.6 (6+) halted three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Advancing from tenth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), after January’s one-half share loss; January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Displaying a steady November 2017 – March 2018 (6+) topline of 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1, news/talk cluster-mate KHOW “Talk Radio 630” carries on at #18. Meanwhile, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC is flat at .7 (6+) and remains at #26.

Denver Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to February’s +.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS cracks the top ten (#14 to #10); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. Classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined +1.8 in three upticks in a row (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and leaps from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since 5.7 in August 2017. Progressing by one-half share as well is KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+). The last time “Kool 105” reached the five-share level (6+) was January 2017 (5.5). A combined +1.2 in January and February (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” returns half that increase and drops from first to fourth (5.2, -.6, 6+). Its +.5 in January curtailed four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share erodes by -1.3, as KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off eight-tenths and exits the top ten (3.9, #7 to #11, 6+), while Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” – which was locked on 4.2 (6+) in January and February – loses one-half share (3.7, #12 to #13, 6+). The -.5 by “Mix” stymies three straight gains that netted +1.2 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) by iHeartMedia CHR KPTT sends “95.7 The Party” from #13 to #15.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In three (modest) upticks, Cox Media Group hot talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is up by one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, steady at #16, 6+). Its January +.3 stopped four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a fluctuation of one-half share. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), but in March, it is a -.5 (3.7 – 3.2, #13 to #15, 6+). While up (slightly) or flat in each of the last three survey periods for a +.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” remains at #20. As a result of four straight down or flat ratings periods, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.4 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – By notching a full-share increase (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.0, March 2017) and enters the top ten (#15 to #10). The market’s pacesetter for the 67th successive ratings period – Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” – picks up one-half share to 8.9 (6+). “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (6.8, -.1, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fifth sweep in a row. “The Eagle” was frozen on 5.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and notched a +1.0 in February to 6.9 – its best 6+-showing since July 2017’s 7.1. A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Three straight positive spikes accounted for a +1.1 for Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+) but “The Joy FM” relinquishes eight-tenths to 4.5 (6+), skidding from fifth to eighth.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #13, Hearst Television news/talk WBAL has been ultra-consistent the past 13 sweeps: 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3 (6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. WBAL is one-tenth ahead of independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.0 – 3.2, +.2, #13 to #14, 6+) and Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station,” which replicates February’s -.5 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February and is missing in March, as well. After picking up six-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” hands over all of it in February and March (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), slumping from sixth to ninth. When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Co-owned WJZ-AM “1300 CBS Sports Radio Baltimore” is without an increase for the eighth time in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 -.3 – .3 – .2 -.1 – .1, #26 to #24, 6+). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU drops three-tenths in Baltimore (1.4 – 1.1, 6+), slipping from #15 to #16. WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Without a loss the past eight sweeps for an overall +3.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” slips by one-tenth to 11.5 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four months in succession before segueing to #2 in December. Entering the November sweep, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary facility dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (#1 in both of those sweeps); was -10.2 in January; +.9 in February; and now -.7 in March (7.0 – 6.3, second to fourth, 6+). There’s a somewhat similar scenario with iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February; and a much more modest +.2 in March (6.2 – 6.4, fourth to third, 6+). From May 2017 through November, however, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). Inching up from sixth to fifth, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” is a collective +1.3 as the result of three successive positive spikes (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+). For the third ratings period in a row, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 4.3 (eighth to seventh, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a full-share January increase, Entercom news/talk KMOX is a combined -.6 in February and March (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, fourth to fifth, 6+). As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Down by one-half share in March as well (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) is Emmis-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” which is anchored at #16. Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A one-tenth uptick (3.4 – 3.5, 6+) boosts Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” from #14 to #12. WXOS was a combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+); posted a +.8 in January; but was -.6 in February. Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU falls from #13 to #15. By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” makes up 40% of that loss with a +.8 to 8.3 (6+) and is #1 for the third month in a row. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Owing to a one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), cluster-mate KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) with its best 6+-share since July 2017 (4.2, as well). At the same time, Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” is without a loss for the fourth sweep in succession for a +1.0 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), marching from fourth to second. After trending 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+), Emmis rocker KSHE sputters by eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and swaps places with WIL (second to fourth). Owing to four straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +1.4 and carries on at #9 with its best 6+-performance (4.6) since November 2016’s 4.7. A cumulative -1.5 in four downward trends in succession (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” is up two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) jumping from #15 to #12.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

| April 11, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Parts Ways with Jamie Allman.  A day after TALKERS magazine reported that St. Louis morning drive talk host Jamie Allman was still with news/talk KFTK-FM hosting his morning show after losing his KDNL-TV show, “The Allman Report,” it now appears Allman has left the radio station.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman reports that Entercom (operating KFTK-FM under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the station from Emmis) has canceled his show and cut ties with Allman.  This comes after Allman Tweeted a March 26 statement regarding Parkland, Florida’s David Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  The Post-Dispatch report cites a statement by Entercom’s Esther-Mireya Tejeda saying, “I can tell you on the record KFTK has parted ways with Mr. Allman and that his show is canceled effective immediately.”  This morning, former Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones is hosting “97.1 Mornings.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW:  Hogenson Communications, LLC President Scott Hogenson Profiled.  Operating for decades at the dynamic intersection between talk radio and politics, media pro Scott Hogenson has been a key player in the dissemination of information about public policy in the media.  Hogenson served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was the lead executive for media relations and communications strategy.  He worked on four presidential campaigns as a senior member of the press office at the Republican National Committee and directed talk media operations during the 2016, 2004, 1996 and 1992 presidential election cycles.  He also managed or consulted on radio operations for every Republican National Convention since 1992.  An award-winning journalist and academician in his early career, Hogenson now runs a full-service public relations firm, Hogenson Communications, LLC, that specializes in talk radio.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison catches up with Hogenson and gets his views on the current state of talk radio/political relations.  To listen to the entire audio conversation, please click 

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TALKERS News Notes. New York-based talk show host John Catsimatidis is providing a bonus service to affiliate stations with custom local interviews.  He hosts “The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis” – a nationally syndicated Sunday morning show featuring “interviews with A-List guests from politics, business, science, and more.”  Catsimatidis says that this past weekend, he spoke with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and distributed the interview exclusively to local affiliate WSYR.  Last month, Catsimatidis interviewed Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and sent the segment to WJAS, Pittsburgh, and WNAE, Warren, PA, exclusively.  He says, “Whenever it makes sense and the opportunity presents itself, I want to conduct more of these locally focused interviews for our radio station partners.  Combined with interviews of the biggest national and global leaders, our affiliates can win in their markets.”…..The NAB announces the winners of the 2018 Crystal Radio Awards for “outstanding year-round commitment to community service.” Spoken-word stations honored this year include: Entercom’s all-newsers WINS, New York and WWJ, Detroit; Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; and Neuhoff Media’s WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois. See the full list here…..KLBJ-AM, Austin morning personality Jeff Ward recently presented to the Lost Creek Civic Organization a speech titled, “Social Media’s Effect on Society.”  The Austin Statesman reports on Ward’s speech, in which he told the attendees, “People are consuming what’s easy…eating what they like, staying in one place and super-serving themselves 24/7 and 365 days a year…I will tell you that my industry has worked really hard to replace news; it’s wrong, and I feel the responsibility and try to tell people that it’s wrong.”…..The Tampa trial of morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge (he’s being sued by Nielsen Audio for $1 million for causing damage to the company for allegedly tampering with that market’s PPM panel) has a date.  If you remember, the trial was supposed to start on April 2 but was postponed at the last minute.  The new trial start date is June 18…..Entercom is launching a Spanish-language sports talk station in the Washington, DC market on WJFK-AM/WLZL-HD2 branded “El Zol Deportes.” The station will use content from ESPN Deportes and will also offer Spanish play-by-play of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” Major League Baseball and the NBA playoffs…..Pictured at right are Valerie Geller (left) and Kipper McGee (right) yesterday in Las Vegas at the 2018 NAB Show.  The two consultants were signing editions of their latest books, Beyond Powerful Radio by Geller, and Brandwidth by McGee.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Open with Two Back-to-Back Fireside Chats Featuring Sean Hannity and Caroline Beasley. It will be a morning blockbuster double-header as TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! opens with Michael Harrison hosting back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” with two key industry players – Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. After that, the conference will blast forward as its subtitle “Full Speed Ahead!” indicates with presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Salem Radio Network VP, Phil Boyce; and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. See the agenda and registration information here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/FBI Raids Cohen Offices, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Israel’s Gaza Response, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Trump Cancels ‘Summit of the Americas’ Trip, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related FBI raid on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s offices; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress on the Cambridge Analytica data usage; U.S. military policy in Syria; criticism of Israel’s response to Gaza protests; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity over Kimmel’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; President Trump cancels trip to “Summit of the Americas” to focus on Syria; the state of security on the U.S.-Mexico border and the fate of the caravan asylum-seekers; China eases up on U.S. auto tariffs; and MLB 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. As the result of iHeartMedia’s hiring of Lance Houston as program director and midday personality on its Chicago country outlet WEBG “BIG 95.5,” Steve Stewart exits the PD/midday host role.  Also, Mason Schraeder and Zach “Remy” Hoesly exit the morning show and Amber “Alabama” Cole goes forward hosting the program solo…..The Johnjay& Rich Show appealed to some of their artist friends to encourage the girlfriend of U.S. Army-bound Anthony to say “yes” to his invitation to the prom.  Anthony is shipping out to boot camp soon and Johnjay and Rich called in The Chainsmokers (seen in lower right inset of the photo below) to convince Andrea to accept his proposal.  She did.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB 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. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; 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. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership.  Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia.  This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy.  As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity.  The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix.  Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction.  Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted.  Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it.  Franklin is leading the senior creditors group.  One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.

Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host.  It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement.  Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program.  In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.  iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.”  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR.  He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades.  He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.”  Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman.  I loved working with him when he was guest hosting.  We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports.  Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”

The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage?  Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat?  The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience.  Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California.  Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though).  The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.

FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel.  The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.  FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me.  Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.

TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored.  WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience.  It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament.  Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments.  Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.

Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; 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. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.”  Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program.  He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality.  He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.”  Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings.  Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix.  A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization.  A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany.  He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business.  Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations.  He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

| February 20, 2018

Brian Wilson New Morning Host at WWTN-FM, Nashville.  His exit from on-air work with Cumulus Media was short-lived as former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington personality Brian Wilson is named the host of the morning show on the company’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”   Wilson left his co-host role at WMAL in May of 2017.  WWTN program director Dan Mandis says, “Brian has spent decades telling stories, whether covering the White House in Washington, DC or local stories from America’s heartland and he’s seen it all.  As Brian has been covering ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ on WWTN, listeners have already been responding to his perspective and insights.  I’m thrilled that he’s committed to moving to Nashville and hosting ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ full time.  He’s a great addition to an already outstanding radio station.”  Wilson previously served as a senior correspondent and anchor for the FOX News Channel.  He also co-anchored the Emmy Award-winning “FOX 5 Morning News” on WTTG-TV, Washington.

Philly Radio Legend John DeBella Accused of Sexual Harassment.  Longtime Philadelphia morning radio personality John DeBella is being accused of sexual harassment and groping by former traffic reporter and show cast member Jennifer Neill.  Numerous Philadelphia media outlets are reporting the story. DeBella hosts the morning show at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  Neill filed a suit in federal court alleging that over the course of her employment with WMGK that started in 2002, DeBella engaged in approximately 30 acts of unwanted sexual advancements.  According to the complaint, those incidents include physical groping and verbal requests for oral sex.  The account in the PhillyVoice states that Neill filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on September 19, 2016.  “After filing the complaints, management told Neill she could continue working with DeBella or take a leave of absence, the lawsuit claims.  She returned to work for one day before taking a leave of absence.  Management also launched a six-week-long investigation into the situation, according to the lawsuit.  As part of that investigation, DeBella allegedly dismissed his conduct as ‘jokes’ and ‘mutual.’”

WECK, Buffalo Hires Local News Pro. The Radio One Buffalo-owned station is broadcasting a nostalgia/full service format and announces that it is bringing aboard native broadcaster and journalist Steve Cichon to serve as news director, effective February 26.  Cichon will be part of the morning drive “WECK Coffee Club” program with co-hosts Tom Donahue and Gail Ann Huber.  Cichon began his career at crosstown WBEN in 1993.  He’s also served with WIVB-TV/WNLO-TV and WNSA/Empire Sports Network.  Radio One Buffalo president and CEO Buddy Shula says, “We’re very fortunate to have a well-known and respected journalist like Steve at WECK.  He’s a true Buffalonian who is woven into the fabric of our community – and he’s an excellent broadcaster.”  The station simulcasts on WECK-AM and W275BB at 102.9 FM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk host Walter Sterling announces the launch of his new podcast called, “Old Dad Secrets.”  Sterling tells TALKERS magazine, “I have created an authentic, original podcast that is not an edit of my Westwood One network show.”  He says a new episode drops every Wednesday.  “I am in fact the oldest Dad in three different public schools.  My basic position with the schools is, ‘Screw you with your stupid rules.’  I get to live out my revenge fantasies against dumb school rules.  What are they going to do me?  I’m too old to mess with.  Plus, I reveal secrets from my decades in business.  I share the challenges and success of running a successful consulting business that has worked up-close in the C-suite at NBC, ABC, CBS, RKO, Sirius, Conde Nast, National Geographic, AMC Theatres and the top investment banks in the world.  The business books have it ALL wrong, let me tell you stories that will shock even you.”  It’s available at iTunes.  Check it out here…..CBS Sports Radio and SiriusXM have struck a deal to make the radio network’s lineup available on the satellite radio service on its own channel, beginning tomorrow (2/21).  The full CBS Sports Radio slate includes: Jim Rome, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, Scott Ferrall, Amy Lawrence, Damon Amendolara, Bill Reiter, Taz and Marc Malusis, among others…..Hillsdale College has a booth on media row at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland starting tomorrow (2/21).  During the conference, Hillsdale students will conduct two-to-three-minute interviews with the speakers, personalities, and other CPAC attendees and will make those available for stations to upload and use in their broadcasts.  The FTP site from which to get the audio is here.  It will be updated every two hours throughout the day…..PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz made the grade in the Los Angeles Times.  In the paper, he’s pictured wildly gesturing at Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James at the NBA All-Star game as he lobbies James from his courtside seats to join the Los Angeles Lakers.  At the game on Sunday, Pattiz spent time hanging out with PodcastOne Sportsnet podcasters and partners, including Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, sports personality and actor Rob Riggle, sportscasters Rich Eisen and Suzy Shuster, longtime NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.  See the LA Times story here.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, Trump-Russia Investigation, Israel-Iran Tensions, Syrian Civil War Heats Up, Black Panther Film, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  The aftermath of the Florida school massacre, including protests, gun control measures, and FBI failures; the mounting evidence that Russia has been and still is attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; tensions between Iran and Israel increase over evidence implicating Iran in providing weapons to the Palestinians; reports of a Syrian government attack on a Damascus suburb; the weekend success of the Black Panther film; and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Chatting it Up with the President