Tag: "Michael Harrison"

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.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) is pictured engaged in a conversation with President Trump (left) Sunday night (2/18) at a special Presidents Day Weekend dinner at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Harrison and his wife Bernadette Duncan were the guests of Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a personal friend of the Trump family.  Trump was joined at the dinner by First Lady Melania Trump and his children Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as well as select friends and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.  Harrison reported back to TALKERS, “Trump was basically in a solemn mood, the weight of the Parkland shooting was obviously on his mind and the breaking story about the Russian election meddling operation was swirling in the air.  However, a lot of the conversation was purely social.  It was interesting seeing the President – amazingly relaxed and informal – among personal friends, associates and family…away from the press.  Up close, he has a snarky sense of humor, like a Millennial, that rivals the best of his comedic media critics.”  Harrison added, “It is clear that Chris Ruddy and Newsmax are held in extremely high regard by this administration.  If you recall, Newsmax was one of the earliest supporters of Trump.  They even ran a cover story speculating on the prospect of a Trump GOP candidacy more than a year before he announced his intentions to run.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hartford, Connecticut radio personality David Fisch is named morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s adult hits WHCN “The River 105.9.”  Fisch is well known in the market for his work as morning drive co-host and APD at Red Wolf Broadcasting’s crosstown alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.”  iHeartMedia Hartford SVP of programming Dave Symonds states, “After a long national search to find the perfect host for ‘The River’ morning show, he’s right here in Hartford.  Fisch has years of experience entertaining the Hartford audience and being completely engaged in the local community.”  During his career Fisch has also served as the producer for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” when it was on ESPN Radio…..Programming pro Lee Cagle is the new operations manager for SummitMedia’s four-station Louisville cluster that includes country WQNU “Q-103.1,” classic country WRKA “The Hawk 103.9 FM,” adult contemporary WVEZ “Play 106.9 FM,” and classic rock WSFR “Eagle 107.7.”   SummitMedia Louisville president Todd Pitt comments, “We chose Lee due to his extensive experience in New Orleans; Redding, California; Memphis; and Atlanta.  He is the right person to guide our four stations to their fullest potential.”…..On-air pro Kristy Knight is being named the new midday personality and APD at Cox Media Group’s adult contemporary WWRM, Tampa “Magic 94.9.”  She makes the move from iHeartMedia’s crosstown hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” where she’s been hosting the evening show.  WWRM programmer John Larson says, “We are so thrilled to have Kristy join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience and well-known name in the Tampa Bay market, along with her stellar reputation, will be an incredible addition to our ‘Magic’ team.”…..Advanced Media Partners announces it has hired Noah Sherwood to assume the program director and morning drive co-host role at triple A WWCT, Peoria.  He’d most recently been operations manager at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFYR and CHR WZPW.  About his new gig, Sherwood says, “The timing for this opportunity is incredible, joining Advanced Media Partners and programing WWCT is a huge blessing!  My wife and I really enjoy living in Central Illinois and are very excited to continue raising our family here.”  He takes over for Marc Alghini, who exited the station last month.

Monday, February 19, 2018

| February 19, 2018

iHeartMedia Strikes Deal for UConn Athletics in Hartford. On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported that University of Connecticut sports play-by-play is leaving Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford at the end of this basketball season after a 26-year relationship.  The impression, based on Entercom Hartford market manager Phil Zachary’s comment that he “couldn’t justify what they [UConn] were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions” is that the two sides couldn’t come together on the cost of the rights from rights-holder IMG Radio Networks.  But, Zachary subsequently spoke with the Manchester Journal Inquirer and it appears money was not the primary issues.  He told the paper, “The school felt the conservative programming that WTIC airs is at odds with the best interest of the university.  WTIC has a successful programming recipe. We’re not going to change it just to have two hours of sports programming at night.”  To that end, the university has struck a new 10-year deal with iHeartMedia to air UConn Huskies games on sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN.”  This new deal provides for pre- and post-game shows as well as the “UConn Women’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Geno Auriemma,” the “UConn Men’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Kevin Ollie,” “UConn Football Coach’s Radio Show with Randy Edsall,” and the “UConn Hockey Coach’s Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.”  iHeartMedia region president Steve Honeycomb says, “This partnership joins three iconic brands.  Having UConn sports on iHeartMedia’s ‘97.9 ESPN’ has been our long-term goal.  This is the perfect partnership and offers even more entertaining programming for UConn Nation.”

Invite to Speak at Radio Week Africa Turns into Money-Losing Odyssey.  U.K. talk show host Graham Mack reports to TALKERS about his bizarre experience being “hired” to speak at last week’s Radio Week Africa conference that took place at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.  Well, Mack never went to Uganda to speak at the conference because, as he puts it, even though the invitation to be a paid speaker smacked of one of those emails from a Nigerian prince who wants to give his money away and, he responded to the inquiry and although he was hired to speak, the result was the same as the Nigerian prince email – he never saw a shilling.  In fact, he lost about £350 in medical bills for vaccinations etc.  Mack – who hosts the morning show on “BOB FM” that serves London’s “Home Counties” – learned that he’s not the only radio expert who was promised a fee and paid expenses only to find it hard to actually get paid.  American consultants Valerie Geller and Sean Ross found themselves in the same boat.  Mack tells TALKERS what the conference organizers are really up to.  “It looks like what this conference does is book radio people from all over the world to speak at their conference, agree to pay them a fee, provide flights and accommodation, and then, after they’ve sold tickets at $125 a piece they cancel the speakers (or in a lot of cases, including mine, they just stop returning phone calls and emails) but leave their names and picture on their website until after the conference has started.”  Read Mack’s blog about his travails here.

Herskovitz: Radio Language Changes Along with Advertisers. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz shares his thoughts about the changing nature of language on the radio and the evolving categories of advertisers using radio to sell their goods and services.  Read it here.

WGN, Chicago Lines Up White Sox Baseball Talent.  Now that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago has signed to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago White Sox baseball, the station announces that Andy Masur will host the pre-game shows and Mark Carman and Adam Hoge will split hosting duties for the post-game shows.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the station also hired Dave Zaslowsky as executive producer for the broadcasts.  He held the same position with Cumulus Media when the games aired on WLS-AM.  Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson remain in the booth for the play-by-play.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, New Manafort Problems, Trump on Oprah Presidential Run, Iran Nuke Deal Violation Allegations, Ingraham vs LeBron, Black Panther Film, Winter Olympics, and NBA All Star Game/Fergie’s National Anthem Rendition Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre, including gun control issues and failures at the FBI; the controversy over allegations Russian hackers have and are still attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is accused of bank fraud; President Trump’s tweet about Oprah Winfrey possibly challenging him in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech alleging proof Iran has violated its nuclear deal by selling weapons; talk host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” attack on LeBron James after his criticism of President Trump; the Black Panther film’s weekend success; the PyeongChang Winter Olympics; and the NBA All-Star Game 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. In Los Angeles, Meruelo Media makes air staff changes, moving midday KDAY personality Cece to hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as part of “The Cruz Show with J Cruz” morning program.  At the same time, Krystal Bee moves from the J Cruz show to her own program airing from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Assuming the midday show at classic hip hop and R&B simulcast KDAY, Los Angeles/KDEY, Ontario is former crosstown KISS-FM personality Bryhana…..iHeartmedia announces today that Quinn is named assistant program director and music director for country WMIL.  Quinn continues hosting the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia Milwaukee VP of programming Kerry Wolfe states, “I look forward to having Quinn take the reins as my right-hand person.  She always brings great energy to the team.  She also has great ears, impressive social skills, and can help keep me in line.”…..Hudson Valley radio personality Mark Bolger exits Townsquare Media’s hot AC WCZX, Poughkeepsie “Mix 97.7” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Taylor Dickson.  Bolger tells the Poughkeepsie Journal that he hopes to return to the air in the market saying he thinks he has many years left to broadcast…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is hosting its 11th annual Birthday Celebration concerts, presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers, taking place on June 17 and June 30 at the BB&T Pavilion.  The June 17 lineup will feature performances by Thirty Seconds To Mars, Portugal. The Man, Walk The Moon, CHVRCHES, Misterwives and The Neighbourhood.  The  June 30 lineup will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Judah & the Lion, AJR, Sir Sly and Missio.  WRFF program director John Allers states, “The ‘Radio 104.5’ Birthday Celebration is always a highlight of the year for many of our listeners along with our sponsors and staff.  We are very excited once again to host the biggest names in alternative rock on one stage for our amazing group of listeners.”…..Edison Research proudly announces that VP Megan Lazovick is being named one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital for 2018 in the “Rising Star” category. The award recognizes the most influential women in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Chats On Air with iHM CEO Bob Pittman.  During a visit to the Houston offices of iHeartMedia, company CEO Bob Pittman took a few minutes to sit in on the Michael Berry show based at flagship station KTRH, Houston.  He talked with Berry about his belief in the audio experience.  “I’m bullish on audio…depends on how you count it, we’re probably the number two podcaster in the U.S., behind NPR.  Podcasting has shown that, oh my gosh, people actually want to listen to people go in depth.  Certainly, radio has this enormous listenership…but we’re adding these pieces to it to make this even better and we’re doing this because the audience wants it.”  He also expressed his belief that smart speakers – such as Google’s Alexa – are the new clock/radio for the consumer’s home, citing their growth in popularity and ease of use.  Check out the segment here.

PodcastOne Series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” Rebranding with Expanded Scope.  Beginning this week, in marking its third anniversary, the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” will transition to a new name and incorporate a wider scope of guests and topics.  Under the new title, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the program will be less targeted to the talk media and radio industries and more aimed at a worldwide general audience consisting of what its host,TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, describes as “media freaks,pop culture aficionados, political junkies and the philosophically curious.”  Although the newly positioned podcast will still include guests from the talk media field, it will also delve deeper into politics, science, the arts, technology, sociology, sports and philosophy.  As far as the weekly audio interviews with talk media figures that “Up Close and Far Out” has encompassed are concerned, Harrison will continue to conduct them and post them on Talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “Nothing will change in that regard.  We have been very successful with the Talkers interviews and will continue to do them.  I will basically be doing an extra podcast each week with this expanded vehicle.”   In announcing the expansion of the PodcastOne series, company founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “I met Michael Harrison decades ago in Los Angeles when he was managing editor of Radio & Records.  He also was a leading major market music and talk personality on KMET and syndicated nationally as a star performer on several of the top networks including Westwood One.  He had an amazing range and skill set as a broadcaster.  He voluntarily gave that up as the years passed to concentrate on his role as a trade magazine publisher and industry thought-leader.  In time, most folks in the business forgot that he was one of the best interviewers and all around broadcasters in radio.  I’m pleased to say that his performance on ‘Up Close and Far Out’ these past three years caused many people in the industry to take notice of his outstanding talent as an interviewer beyond just the topic of radio.  It has led to a number of stand-out, major market fill-in appearances and now, this new podcast.  I’m delighted to roll out one of the best kept secrets in the radio business – Michael Harrison as a world class talk show host.”  To listen to the debut installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” featuring a deep-dive conversation with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, please click here.

Judge Shoots Down Request by Nielsen and Bubba Attorneys to Use Electronic Devices in Pre-Trial Conference.  When the pre-trial conference gets underway on Friday (2/9) at 11:30 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the lawyers for both sides in the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge case will be without their laptops, iPads and smartphones.  Lawyers for both parties filed a Joint Motion to Permit Use of Electronic Equipment, but were denied.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for $1 million for damages related to the ratings manipulation case in the Tampa market.  Bubba is countersuing.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a programming change at Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG, Atlanta “680 and 93.7 The Fan” as the morning drive and late morning shows flip-flop.  “The Front Row” with Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden, and Brian Finneran moves to the morning drive slot and the Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino show moves from mornings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The rest of the program schedule stays as is…..Another high-profile departure from NPR happens amidst allegations of sexual impropriety.  This time, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Zwerdling exits the organization, according to a report in The Current.  The story says that all NPR would confirm is that Zwerdling is no longer on the staff.  Zwerdling himself states that allegations of sexual harassment are untrue and that he retired from NPR in January.  But, the story notes that “at least two NPR staffers reported Zwerdling to human resources in November.”  It also reports that subsequent allegations go back to the mid-1990s.  Zwerdling is quoted saying, “The allegations are not true.  When the movement started sweeping across the nation recently to expose sexual harassers and predators, I applauded it.  I still do.  The current national reckoning regarding sexual harassment is a momentous opportunity for America to make itself a better, safer and more equitable country.  Yet as many have already observed, there are also perhaps predictable and troubling collateral casualties along the way. The allegations against me are one of those instances.”

Former WFNI-AM/WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Staffer Loses Harassment Case Against Emmis.  The complaint against Emmis by former WFNI and WIBC, Indianapolis digital brand manager Kristine Esser Slentz was dismissed after Emmis sought a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgement and was granted those motions.  The court also sustained Emmis’ objections to Slentz’s evidence as hearsay.  In her complaint, Slentz said that two show producers with whom she interacted in the course of her job, called her a “bitch” behind her back and criticized her work, among other actions she says created a hostile work environment.  But the court granted Emmis’ motions due to its agreement that any name-calling was hearsay – never heard by Slentz herself, and that the actions alleged on the part of the two producers, if true, did not cross the thresholds necessary for a hostile work environment claim.

Nominees Being Accepted for National Radio Hall of Fame. March 30 is the deadline for nominations for the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction that will take place in New York City in November.  The NRHOF nominating committee wants you to know you should make suggestions for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary in New York City.  As we prepare for the special evening, it’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of it, starting with suggestions for our 2018 nominees.”

RAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017.  This data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates study called, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues.”  This is the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report that analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.  Among the findings: 1) 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together; 2) digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year; 3) digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million.  The forecast for 2018 is even higher; and 4) radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank social media and radio as the top two methods to achieve those goals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off.  As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”  RAB members can get the full report here.

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; 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. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  The Holiday survey is usually a bonanza for adult contemporary outlets since Christmas music is such a part of their programming and the fluctuations in 6+ numbers from the December survey to the Holiday survey bear that out as “eight of 10 adult contemporary facilities noted here (80%) are up December 2017 – Holiday 2017, while 18% are down; the remaining 2% are steady.”  Looking at a comparison of Holiday 2016 to Holiday 2017, “approximately the same number of adult contemporary stations on this sample decline year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while the remaining 5% are flat.”  An amazing 38 AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

| January 24, 2018

‘Rip City Radio’ Portland Begins Partnership with NBC Sports Northwest.  The content simulcast of KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” and NBC Sports Northwest began today (1/24).  This collaboration means the iHeartMedia sports talk station is re-branding to “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  The deal provides for nine hours of combined content with NBC Sports Northwest producing its own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  The rest of the lineup is: “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel”; “Dwight & Aaron” (with sports journalists Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress,); and “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad.”  KPOJ is also simulcasting NBC Sports Northwest’s “Outdoors GPS” program.  All shows will originate from a new, state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.   iHeartMedia president, Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all-in-one destination.”

FAIR Names Joe Gomez Press Secretary.  News/talk radio pro Joe Gomez joins the Federation for American Immigration Reform as the organization’s press secretary.  He was most recently serving with NBC News Radio as a Washington, DC-based correspondent.  During his career, he’s served with KTRH, Houston (covering the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexico border); KOA-Denver; KIRO-AM/FM, Seattle; and CBS Radio News based in Texas.  He says, “I’m very passionate about immigration reform.  I look forward to using my experience in radio to expand FAIR’s presence on news/talk stations across the country.”  His duties with FAIR include working directly with news/talk radio stations to provide FAIR’s expert voices on immigration issues and serving as an additional spokesperson.  He can be reached at: jgomez@fairus.org or phoned at 202-742-1843.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley as one of the two morning keynote speakers at Talkers 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  Beasley will be the other half of a one-on-one “fireside chat” double-header that will be conducted by Michael Harrison.  The other is Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star in the radio industry and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading going forward.  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.  I am thrilled to personally have the opportunity to conduct one-on-ones with these two individuals – Hannity and Beasley – who are situated at the tip of the spear – as we kick off an amazing day.”   The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry, with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes.  For the 18th straight year, FOX Sports Radio is broadcasting from the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game.  As part of the network’s coverage, several programs will broadcast live from Minneapolis next week, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” and “J.T. The Brick,” who will broadcast live from the NFL Media Center at the Mall of America.  DIRECTV’s Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen will broadcast live from downtown Minneapolis, overlooking U.S. Bank Stadium…..Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) announces that the featured keynote speaker at his 10th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner Event – being held on Friday, April 6 at the Resorts Casino – Hotel – is FOX News Channel television and radio superstar Brian Kilmeade (right).  As part of the evening’s program, Kilmeade will be doing a book signing for his latest historical work, Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (2017, Sentinel).  Hurley tells TALKERS that his Harry Hurley Charity has raised more than $750,000 and written grants to hundreds of worthy not-for-profit organizations, including an annual grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America…..ABC News announces plans for coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the Democratic response on Tuesday, January 30.  For the radio side, ABC News Radio will provide a special, one-hour program titled, “Preview to the State of the Union,” at 8:06 pm, ET and live coverage of the president’s address with anchor Aaron Katersky and correspondents Karen Travers from the White House and Stephanie Ramos from the Capitol, as well as analysis by Rick Klein and contributors Steve Roberts and Alex Castellanos…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and the New England Patriots announce a multi-year extension of their agreement that includes broadcasting rights for “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that features Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Entercom is enthusiastic of and committed to its role as the nation’s premiere sports audio producer.  Continuing this winning combination of WEEI and the Patriots, one of Entercom’s over 40 professional team partnerships, is a strong sign of that commitment and passion to our listeners.”

Westwood One Is Exclusive Radio Partner for Super Bowl LII.  Syndicator and sales unit Westwood One is the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League and this year’s Super Bowl LII.  Parent company Cumulus Media reminds us that this is the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.  Calling the game are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason.  Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren will also contribute throughout the game broadcast.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for second straight year as sideline reporter, and this year will be joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder.  Jim Gray anchors the pre-game and halftime coverage.  Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will also contribute to the pregame show coverage.

Trump-Russia Probe, FBI Missing Texts, DACA Status/Border Wall, Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Torture House Case, Oscar Nominations, and Super Bowl LII Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; five months of missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; the battle between Democrats and President Trump over the Dreamer Act and a funding mechanism to build the Mexican border wall; a school shooting in Kentucky claims the lives of two students; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; the North Korean nuclear weapons threats; the case of the California couple charged with child abuse of their 13 children; the Academy Award nominations are revealed; and the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Patriots and the Eagles 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 Sacramento, Amanda Burd is the new midday personality and assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s contry KBEB.  She takes over for Michelle Buckles…..Sarah Lanieu is named director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay cluster that includes news/talk WFLA-AM, news/talk WHNZ “Impact Radio,” and sports talker WDAE, as well as CHR WFLA-FM and country WFUS “U.S. 103.5.”…..Programming and on-air pro Chris Ryan moves to Memphis to take on the morning show co-host role using the air name Ryan Anderson at Entercom’s hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100.”  He’s partnering up with current morning host Michelle Lewis.  He’s most recently been serving with Neuhoff Media’s hot AC WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois as PD and morning host.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. Information from the “Holiday” 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). More often than not, sharp December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Over and above being on top for the fifth straight time and boasting a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” posts the largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (+4.3, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” however, drops seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM picked up two-tenths in December to 5.7 (6+), but “New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits eight-tenths in “Holiday 2017” (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. On November 9, Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through “Holiday” 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1; WBMP remains at #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in the last three sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from seventh to sixth. Down or flat for the seventh straight time for a combined loss of -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” (8.7 – 11.9, +3.2, 6+) is in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Off the past three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” hauls out a +.8 to 2.9, rocketing into the top ten (#20 to #8, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH “Radio Free 102.3” improves by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, #21, 6+) and reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1. Down or flat for the third month in a row, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+) is a collective -1.3 in that stretch and plummets from #10 all the way to #22; this is the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Cross-town competitor, 93.9 License KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” falters by six-tenths (2.0 – 1.4 #22 to #26, 6+). One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuted in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+) and now erodes by another seven-tenths to .5 (6+), freefalling from #28 to #36. Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (6+) since September, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” drops one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11).While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In the alternative tussle, Entercom’s KROQ drops two-tenths (2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and remains at #1, while iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is off four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, 6+), drifting from a #13 tie with KROQ to #19. With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.8 in five successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September.

3) Chicago – Not only is WLIT “93.9 My-FM” the first station in the market to reach double-figures since it did so exactly one year ago with a 13.7 (“Holiday” 2016, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned hot AC stays at #1 and is a remarkable +10.2 in three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Its format competitor, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” sputters by an overall two full-shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to fifth. “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). Following an increase of +2.0 in December, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” tacks on an additional +1.0 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from fifth to third. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling). Dropping by one-half share is co-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” down or flat for the third straight time for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off by -.5 as well is Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” which is -1.4 in three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, #10 to #15, 6+), and adult contemporary cluster-mate WSHE “100.3 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2K, and Today” (2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #18, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.5 (#20 to #15, 6+), Merlin Media alternative WKQX applies the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Similarly, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 3.2 (ninth to seventh 6+), ending four straight sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entercom-owned WSCR is a combined -2.8 in the last three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “670 The Score” is steady at #21; the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+).

4) San Francisco – By adding a +2.4 to December’s +2.3, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” occupies the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016. Ironically, it accomplishes the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016. With KOIT-FM advancing from second to first, it ends 12 successive times that KQED-FM (7.6, -.1, first to second, 6+) set the pace in San Francisco; the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet was off by nine-tenths in December to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Having picked up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR regressed by seven-tenths in December, but “The Sports Leader” bounces back with a one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2017 and returns to the top ten (2.4 – 2.9, #14 to #10, 6+). When KOIT-FM finished second in December 2017, it curtailed 11 straight months of Entercom all-news KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), but carries on at #3. October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined full-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), falling out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips by one-half share in consecutive sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #14 to #18, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is its Spanish adult hits sibling KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.0 – 2.5, #9 to #12, 6+).

5) Dallas – Doubling December 2017’s +1.0 with a +2.0 (4.2 – 5.2 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” takes sole possession of first place. Whereas 7.2 is KLUV’s highest 6+-share in two years (10.6 in “Holiday 2015”), November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). It shared the lead in December 2017 with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which dips to fourth (4.8, -.4, 6+), and ends at three a string of consecutive increases that netted seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that accounted for a +.9 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling, KDGE, is a combined +3.8 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 as “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” progresses from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Leaping back into the top twenty (#21 to #14), Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up eight-tenths (2.2 – 3.0, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since September’s 3.3. Tied in tenth-place are “Smooth R&B” urban contemporary cluster-mate KKDA-FM “K-104” (3.2 – 3.7, +.5, up from #11 in December, 6+) and Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (3.1 – 3.7, +.6, up from #12 in December, 6+). In addition to “K-104,” Entercom’s KVIL adds one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, #20 to #16, 6+). In recent years, once heritage adult contemporary KVIL has repositioned itself to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.5, as Cumulus Media’s KPLX “The Wolf” (fifth to sixth) suffers its fifth straight negative trend for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to a three-way tie at sixth, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “LA Grande 107.5” surrenders nine-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly, a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (unchanged at #5) curtails at three a streak of positive spikes that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). After six months in succession of being either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ drops four-tenths to 3.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, steady at #3, CHR sibling KHKS “Kiss” is up or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In 14 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#19 to #17) has been within a high of 2.5 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Houston – After back-to-back stays at #2 in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is now #1 in consecutive reports. An up/down pattern which saw “Sunny 99.1” gain eight-tenths in August; lose it all in September; pick up one-half share in October; surrender eight-tenths in November; and then log a +2.8 in December ends in “Holiday” 2017 as it racks up a +3.6 (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9 – 12.5, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station has reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Gaining one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” (4.6 – 5.1, fifth to third, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KEYH “La Ranchera” (.3 – .8, #25, 6+). Conversely, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KGLK “The Eagle” (5.3 – 4.3, third to sixth, 6+) and Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (3.1, #11 to #16, 6+) are each off by one full-share. “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” (7.5 – 6.9, steady in second-place, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Positive Hits” (1.6 – 1.0, #23, 6+). When “Majic” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. A collective -1.4 in four straight negative trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slides from #17 to #19.        Following three upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+) Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” slips by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), moving from sixth to ninth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December.

7) Atlanta – On the heels of a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” adds another +1.3 to 8.5 (6+) and carries on in second-place. A November decrease of one-tenth curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fish” trails Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM (-.5, 6+) by just one-tenth. Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WSB-AM is now a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the 25th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. On the flipside, co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” garners a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to sixth, 6+), thus erasing its -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Owing to a +.5 (1.5 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDA “Alt 105.7 – Atlanta’s Rock Alternative” reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.0 and cracks the top twenty at #19. The market’s urban AC takes a -2.1 hit as Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is -1.6 to 4.9 (third to fifth, 6+), while Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” is off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to the -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Following a November improvement of six-tenths, “Majic” is -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017; it was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Having returned November’s +.3 in December (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” coughs up another half-share to 2.9 (6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Steady at #9, CHR cluster-mate WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.1, -.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), which had posted three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Even though it lost the honor of largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets summarized here by one-tenth to iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW (see above), Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” claims bragging rights for highest 6+-share in these 12 metros (12.8 – 17.0, +4.2, 6+). Displaced from #1 in November, WBEB hung out a +5.0 in December to return to the top spot. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and has its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #15. Advancing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL picks up four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight declines for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+). A loss of one full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) drops Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” from third to fifth and below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. Included among those eroding by six-tenths from December 2017 are public news/talk WHYY (3.8 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+); Entercom news/talk WPHT (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), WISX returned one-third of that increase in December (-.5, 6+). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. The last time WPHT fell below a two-share (6+) was nearly two years ago (1.7, January 2016). It is déjà vu for Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.8 – 3.3, -.5, #eighth to #tenth, 6+), which registers its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (3.3, as well).

9) Long Island – As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has easily more than tripled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+) as New York City’s “106.7 Lite FM” progresses from fourth to second; “Lite” had a 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. More than four full-shares ahead of WLTW in Long Island though is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM, which is an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well as for the last three sweeps. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In ten (10) straight Long Island ratings periods without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), WWPR “Power 105.1” was off by a collective one-half share, but the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet recaptures the entire loss with a gain of six-tenths to 2.2 (#21 to #17, 6+). In the CHR arena, WWPR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” surrenders six-tenths and is down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (seventh to eighth) erodes for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WBLI, Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” (4.4 – 3.7, flat at #6, 6+); Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); and public news/talk WNYC-FM (1.8, #15 to #20, 6+) all slip by seven-tenths. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), “The Fan” relinquished all but four-tenths of that increase in December (4.4, -1.5, 6+). Prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, WNYC-FM had been up or flat the past four months, more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+). Forfeiting six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.3 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+), which had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 15 sweeps. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” has since faltered by three times as much as that (-1.5) in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 38th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) to progress from #18 to #14. Even though Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), it advances from #13 to #12.

10) Riverside – Applying the brakes to four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-2.3) of its 6+-share (4.2 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” improves by six-tenths to 2.5 (tenth to eighth, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gains one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+).  Logging a 1.5 in four of its last five survey periods (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” breaks out a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+) and carries on at #11. Notwithstanding that it remains at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +1.2 in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Setting the pace for the 27th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” slides by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After four straight monthlies without a decrease netting nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” returns one-half share (3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); December’s 4.1 was its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9.

11) San Jose – Six-tenths of a share separates the top three stations in San Jose’s “Holiday” 2017 report and there’s a new #1 in this Bay Area market. Registering an increase of two full-shares after December’s +1.6, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” advances from third to first (5.6 – 7.6, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (8.4 in “Holiday” 2016). Following five straight sweeps on top, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by six-tenths (8.1 – 7.5, 6+) and takes over at #2. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. It has a one-half share advantage over Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0 (6+); 7.0 represents its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. An improvement of six-tenths (1.2 – 1.8, #23, 6+) takes Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” to its best 6+-showing in San Jose since February’s 1.9. Freefalling by one full-share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.4 – 3.4, eighth to tenth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), but eroded by eight-tenths in December. Not only does iHeartMedia-owned KOSF slip by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, 6+), “iHeart80s @103.7” exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).

12) Middlesex – In three separate metros – New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” is a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Regarding its performance in this New Jersey market, “Lite-FM” spikes by +3.0 (8.5 – 11.5, 6+) and repeats at #1; WLTW logged an 8.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. Furthermore, this is its sixth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). Spiking by 20% of WLTW’s +3.0 is Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is an overall +1.5 in three consecutive progressive trends (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+). Posting gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing here since May’s 4.0. After dropping two-tenths in December to conclude three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM flounders by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” segues from fifth to seventh. In three declines in a row, Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” has lost more than 50% (-1.8) of 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, #22, 6+), which had recorded a 2.0 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods. This is the third downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.0 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; 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. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’  She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people.  We are all excited to have her join this winning team.”   Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’  Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity.  I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”

New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements.  2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey.  His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017.  The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month.  Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right.  Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content.  We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”

Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease.  Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure.  Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result.  But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read.  More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana.  I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’ll be filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments.  First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital.  He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales.  Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth.  Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.”  Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.

Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).   The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar.  Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation.  Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox.  Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more.  He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists.  And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday.  The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”).  On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.  And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea.  And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart.  Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.  The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research.  Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003.  In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities.  We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show.  She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true.  Thanks for all your support.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program.  Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway.  Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station.  Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host.  Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles.  Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to cohost@thebertshow.com…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash.  The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads?  WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads.  Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms.  These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements.  AM/FM radio sees a much different story.  On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads.  Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6.  Emmis CommunicationsCharlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format.  Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.”  During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See the rest of the report here.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

| January 3, 2018

KFYI, Phoenix Inks James T Harris for PM Drive.  Former KQTH, Tucson and WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host James T Harris is the new afternoon drive personality at iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  Harris’ show, “The Conservative Circus,” will air from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, effective January 15.  iHeartMedia West Division EVP of programming Steve Geofferies comments, “James is a special talent.  He has created demand not only from his radio audience, but a national demand through his social following.  The addition of James continues our strategy of acquiring top tier talent in Phoenix.”

Noted Talk Producer and Personality Rich Carbery (Angry Rich) Rejoins John Gibson on Syndicated Show.  The independently produced, GCN-distributed John Gibson (left) show has hired well-known talk media figure Rich Carbery, a.k.a. Angry Rich (right), to serve as its producer, guest-booker and featured on-air sidekick.  Carbery most recently has been booking and producing for Newsmax TV, working with Steve Malzberg, among others. During his career he’s been at WLS, Chicago and WRKO, Boston working for PD Mike Elder.  Elder brought him to Fox News Radio in 2005 where he became the original producer of John Gibson’s talk show that was a staple of the network for many years.  Gibson tells TALKERS, “Rich was the original producer of my Fox Radio talk show from the earliest days in the fall of 2005 through all those years on Sirius.  He is a spectacular booker, an experienced pro who brings name-brand guests and inside information and analysis to the audience.  Rich is also a great voice on air. While he is reliably conservative, he also has a sharp ear for spotting and calling out foolishness and weak arguments whether right or left.  As longtime listeners of my show also know, he is very funny and always added an extra dimension of both information and hilarity to the show.  I am delighted that he has joined me again.  It is a great way to kick off 2018!”  Gibson’s new show has been growing at a rapid rate and is heard weekdays live between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET.  For more information, please click here.

Leahy’s Talk Show Expands. Talk show host and conservative media figure Jeremy Leahy’s program “Standing Ground” is expanding to two hours this month.  The program is heard via both Red State Talk Radio and Talkamericaradio.us.  Leahy’s program launched in May of 2015 and also airs on WJHC, Jasper, Florida and WDDQ, Adel, Georgia “Talk 92.1.”  Leahy’s radio career includes time spent serving with Entercom in Boston, the former Greater Media talk station WTKK-FM, Boston, and CBS RADIO in Boston.  For the last several years, he has been actively producing an independent podcast discussing politics, law, and current events under Leahy Media.

Herskovitz: Woe Unto Us.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about recent examples of radio’s “self-inflicted wounds.”  Herskovitz says that over the past week or so he’s heard numerous programming errors – from Christmas music being played after Christmas to a best-of sports talk show discussing upcoming games that, in fact, had already been played.  He says that programming flaws such as these current holiday examples are just recent signs of incidents that can be heard over an entire year.  Read his column here.

Harrison and Neer Take a Long Look Back at 2017 and Peer Ahead to 2018.  Music and sports talk radio pioneer Richard Neer of WFAN, New York is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The lengthy conversation between the two alumni of golden era album rockers WNEW-FM, New York and WLIR, Long Island (where their 50-year friendship and broadcast association began) engage in a New Year’s Eve chat based on the TALKERS chart of the 15 most-talked-about people and topics of 2017.  In addition to covering the people and politics of news/talk media, they talk about new movies, the revival of interest in Winston Churchill and the passing of legendary musical pop stars such as Fats DominoChuck Berry and Tom Petty.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Nuclear Saber-Rattling, Iran Protests, Hatch Retirement/Romney Senate Run, Trump ‘Dishonest Media Awards’ Tweet, Trump DACA Stance, Logan Paul Suicide Image Controversy, Frigid Weather, NFL Playoffs and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  The war of words over each other’s nuclear “buttons” between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the political protests taking place in Iran; Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to retire and the possibility Mitt Romney will run for his seat; President Trump tweets about his forthcoming “dishonest media” and “fake news” awards; Trump’s policy on DACA and sanctuary cities; the controversy over YouTube star Logan Paul’s use of an image of a Japanese suicide victim; the frigid weather engulfing much of the U.S.; and the NFL playoffs and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Dallas sports talk outlet KTCK “1310/96.7 The Ticket” raised more than $540,000 for the Austin Street Center during its 17th Annual Normathon, held from December 7-26, 2017.  The Austin Street Center provides safe shelter and meets the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless in Dallas.  Cumulus Media’s “The Ticket” has helped raise more than $4.7 million through the Normathon over the past 17 years…..In the Bay Area, Cumulus Media San Francisco’s stations, including news/talk KGO, talk KSFO, and sports KTCT recently reached the set goal of raising $500,000 for the Bay Area Fire Relief Fund, bringing relief to victims of the recent Northern California wildfires. The wildfires destroyed homes displacing thousands of Northern Californians and scorched areas including Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties…..The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the addition of three new members to the RAB board of directors: Erik Hellum, EVP, radio for Townsquare Media; Bill Hendrich, EVP, Cox Media Group; and Christine Travaglini, president, Christal Radio + Katz Partnerships.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Erik, Bill and Christine are welcome additions to the RAB board of directors.  Their industry stewardship and business acumen complement the board of directors and continue to enhance RAB’s mission.”

Envision Networks Announces January 18 Webinar. This series of webinars presented by Envision Networks is designed to “provide information and educate attendees on common goals radio professionals pursue while looking ahead to