Tag: "Michael Savage"

Friday, January 11, 2019

| January 11, 2019

New Afternoon Show to Launch at KIRO-FM, Seattle; Jason Rantz to PM Drive at Sister KTTH-AM.  Talent changes take effect at Bonneville’s Seattle talk stations on Monday (1/14).  The new “Candy, Mike and Todd” Show launches with hosts Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd HermanHeather Bosch handles news updates twice hourly for the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’ve put together what we feel is a winning team.  Candy, Mike, and Todd are a fun, entertaining and intelligent trio.  They will be a perfect complement to the news, traffic, and weather elements that ‘KIRO Radio’ listeners expect every weekday afternoon.”  Candy Harper most recently served as the afternoon producer on KIRO-FM.  Mike Lewis has worked at KIRO-FM as a reporter and fill-in host since 2016, and Todd Herman moves over from sister conservative news/talk KTTH where he’s been the afternoon drive personality.  As a result of that move, Bonneville shifts KTTH morning show host Jason Rantz to the afternoon drive daypart and brings Saul Spady aboard to host the morning drive program.  Spady is described as “very active in local politics” and an accomplished businessman.  Candy Harper says of the new KIRO-FM show, “Mike, Todd, and I are three opinionated friends who may disagree on almost everything but love to talk about why.  Turns out, people are quite capable of disagreeing on issues and still being decent human beings. This show is going to be unique.”  About joining KTTH-AM for mornings, Spady comments, “I’m excited for this opportunity to create a new type of conservative talk radio show in mornings that gives a 21st century perspective both locally and nationally. I hope to connect with listeners both new and old, transplant and local alike in our quest to create a rational opposition to the rudderless leadership we have in Seattle and Olympia.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  There’s wasn’t great movement up or down for public radio news/talk stations in PPM markets from November to December – 48% were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) and 41% were down. Year-over-year, 39% of those stations were up with 55% of them losing audience share.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in December – KQED, San Franciscio; WAMU, Washington; and KPBS, San Diego – while four other stations ranked #2 in their respective markets. Also in this report is a chart comparing the performances of all-news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk. See the whole story here.

Timeless Wisdom from Radio Legends.  Consultant Bill McMahon, principal of The Authentic Personality, offers some advice to TALKERS magazine readers that he picked up a few years back that he says bears constant reinforcement:

TalenTrak was an annual event in Chicago created by The Conclave to inspire and educate radio personalities. The year I attended, it delivered big-time on both accounts.

Radio legends Larry Lujack and Jonathon Brandmeier were the featured speakers. They put on quite a show. Their passion for radio and its possibilities lifted the conference room at Columbia College. Their performance demonstrated radio’s unique ability to create intimate human relationships. The stories they told about their lives in radio — the ups and downs, the successes and failures — really resonated with the audience. Lujack and Brandmeier established a real connection and emotional bond with everyone in that room. It was great radio.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for aspiring radio personalities from the success stories of Uncle Lar and Johnny B:

Don’t copy anyone. Be yourself and you’ll be distinctive. There is nobody exactly like you. Lujack said it this way. “One of my advantages was not being able to hear big-city radio growing up in Caldwell, Idaho. I never copied anybody because I didn’t have anyone to copy.” Here’s Brandmeier’s perspective: “I don’t know what’s going on in radio.  I don’t listen to other shows. In my head, I’m the only guy on the radio.”

Constantly expand what you know. If you don’t know more than your listeners, you can’t add much to their lives. Lujack “read newspapers and magazines for seven hours a day” to expand his knowledge. Brandmeier said, “I read everything. You gotta to be aware of the world around you. The more you read the more you have to react to. It’s like filling a cooler with meat. I just keep filling it.”

Don’t present anything on the radio that you don’t really care about. If it doesn’t ring your emotional bell, if it’s not interesting, meaningful, or fun to you, forget it. It won’t matter to your listeners if it doesn’t matter to you. Brandmeier put it this way, “if you’re not curious about it or care about it, don’t talk about it. The audience knows.”

Find the right boss — someone who totally believes in you. Don’t go to work for people who want to change you and what you do. They’ll make your life miserable, destroy your confidence, and then fire you. Lujack and Brandmeier’s careers took off when they found PDs who believed in them. Lujack was fired repeatedly by bosses who didn’t understand or appreciate his often “cynical, sarcastic, negative attitude” on the radio and insisted he change. He refused because, “it was easier to be me than somebody I was not. I believed me would work.”  It sure did once he found Pat O’Day at KJR in Seattle. “He was the first PD who encouraged me to be me.” Brandmeier found Don Benson who heard him breaking format doing a midday music show in Milwaukee. Brandmeier recalled, “I would start talking to listeners on the radio the minute the programmers left the building for lunch. I figured they wouldn’t hear me while they were eating.” Benson heard him. He called Brandmeier with an offer that changed his life. “There’s a voice inside you that wants to get out. How would you like to let that voice out on a morning show in Phoenix?” Brandmeier took the job at KZZP. The “voice” Benson heard attracted a few listeners. “They let me do whatever I wanted”, remembered Brandmeier, “and the ratings tripled.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the partnering of Chicago radio personality Kathy Hart with Frank Fontana on Tribune Broadcasting’s news/talk WGN-AM continues with a regular, Wednesday evening show.  Hart, formerly the morning drive co-host on hot AC WTMX, has been sitting in with Fontana on his weekend show since October and now the two will have a regular, weeknight program…..According to a report by Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Laurel Highland Total Communications Inc. has flipped WAVL, Apollo, Pennsylvania (northeast of Pittsburgh) from news/talk as “Talk PA” to variety hits.  It has changed the call letters to WXJX.  The reason for the switch is reportedly due to the disappearance of Laura Ingraham’s daily live radio show and the re-configuration of Michael Savage’s program, combined with the loss of exclusivity for the “Quinn & Rose” show hosted by Jim Quinn and Rose Somma Tennent (pictured here).  Their show is also heard on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh.  Station executive David Waugaman states, “Then we found out Laura Ingraham would be quitting radio and staying with TV [and a podcast].  And finally, finding that Michael Savage was dropping away from radio as well.  So without great replacements, we felt it was best to go with a music format and we have had great success with our ‘Jack’ programming at our radio station down in Morgantown.”

Beasley and UNLV Hackathon Initiative Winners. Pictured above are the winners of Beasley Media Group’s Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019.  Done in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the initiative was launched in October 2018 with the goal of generating potential commercial products and services utilizing existing media technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as to conceptualize the kinds of transformative, disruptive technologies that will become mainstream in the next 20 years.  The first-place team (pictured above) won $5,000 for its work using AM/FM frequencies to charge devices.  The second- and third-place teams won $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Pictured are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, UNLV’s Dr. Mary Croughan, Consumer Technology Association senior director of Innovation & Trends Ben Arnold, Beasley’s Buzz Knight, UNLV students Erick Serrano and Yuria Mann, UNLV’s Zach Miles, UNLV provost Diane Chase, and Brian Beasley.

Celebrating ‘The Sopranos.’ Pictured above is “The Sopranos” actor Steve Schirripa (center), who played Bobby Baccalieri on the iconic HBO series.  He stopped by the WOR, New York studios yesterday (1/10) to talk about the 20th anniversary of the premiere of  the show with morning drive team Len Berman (left) and Michael Riedel (right).

Trump Border Wall Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 7-11. Tuesday evening’s Oval Office address by President Trump about the border wall issue was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing federal government shutdown. Coming at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the potential 2020 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Multi-Platform Performer Kate Delaney Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  She is a woman of many platforms and talents who casts a wide net.  Kate Delaney is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, top business and motivational speaker, best-selling author, and a weekend host for the NBC Sports Radio Network.  In addition, she hosts a long-running news/talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called “America Tonight” and a weekly online feature with Forbes Books showcasing movers and shakers in the business world.  Her most recent book published by Forbes is titled, Deal Your Own Destiny: Increase Your Odds, Win Big and Become Extraordinary.  Delaney is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Delaney discuss sports, politics, business, and breaking the glass ceiling.  Harrison says, “More people in the talk media industry should know about this hard-working renaissance woman and we are so pleased to launch this podcast’s fifth year by spotlighting her views and accomplishments.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3,” evening personality Jordan Alamat gets to take the “assistant” off his music director title.  In a statement, station program director Christy Taylor says, “Jordan has been a key member of Go 96.3’s programming since before I returned.  His knowledge of music as a fan and a musician gives him a passion I’ve rarely seen in a music director.  With great pride ‘GO Radio’ is happy to announce that Jordan Alamat has been officially elevated to music director of ‘GO 96.3.’  Along with his music director duties he will continue to host the most interactive night show in the cities.”…..Sarkes Tarzian’s Fort Wayne, Indiana alternative outlet gets another signal to expand its presence in the region.  The company bought WGBJ-FM, Auburn, Indiana last year and now adds its class A 102.3 FM signal to the “ALT 99.5” format airing on WAJI-HD2, Fort Wayne. Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne VP and market manager Lee Tobin comments, “This expands the reach of Fort Wayne’s only alternative station beyond Allen County into the surrounding counties of northeast Indiana.”…..The syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” show – distributed by YEA Networks – adds two new stations to its affiliate roster. KORQ, Abilene, Texas and KHQT, Las Cruces, New Mexico pick up the program.  It’s currently heard on almost 40 stations nationwide.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

| January 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files November Financial Report; Net Income Up 3.9%. The most recent Monthly Operating Report from iHeartMedia was filed with the Securities Exchange Commission for the month of November. iHM has been releasing the reports since April 2018 as required by the bankruptcy court as it makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Although revenue dipped 1.6% to $343.7 million compared to October, iHeartMedia’s net income was up 3.9% to $104.2 million.  Operating income also rose from $104.8 million in October to $107.1 million in November.  The company paid $12.8 million to outside professionals assisting with the reorganization.

Michael Savage Says Threats Force Move. A report by both the Washington Times and FOX News, says that talk radio personality Michael Savage has had to move to an undisclosed location due to a particularly violent threat against him that authorities are taking seriously.  Savage tells the Times that he’s received threats in the past and has largely ignored them, but this threat was different.  “[G]iven the violent, vile times we are living in and the specific nature of this threat, both I and some serious agencies are taking this threat very seriously.”  An email was sent to a restaurant Savage frequents demanding that it stop serving him. It said, in part, “I DEMAND THAT YOU REFUSE TO ALLOW MICHAEL … IN YOUR F***ING RESTAURANT AGAIN.  HE IS A RACIST WHITE SUPREMACIST PIECE OF S**T.”

WTIC-AM, Hartford’s Jim Vicevich Profiled in Hartford Courant. Late morning talk show host Jim Vicevich is the subject of a profile piece in the Hartford Courant.  The piece focuses on Vicevich’s daily struggles with the effects of lupus and how he’s able to do his daily “Sound Off Connecticut” program on Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford every day.  The piece explains how Vicevich preps for his show and gets to work each day with the help of fiancé Jane Benson.  See it here.

Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree Marks 30 Years with the Company. Longtime news radio pro Jamie Dupree is well known across the radio industry not only for his years of professionalism covering DC politics, but as well for the attention he’s received from his struggle with a rare neurological disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – and how Cox Media Group has helped him with his efforts to work around his inability to speak well and still report the news.  Last summer, listeners heard Washington, DC-based Dupree’s voice on Cox stations again thanks to a text-to-speech app that uses old recordings of him to create new news reports.  CMG’s WHIO, Dayton reports on that and on Dupree’s celebrating 30 years with Cox.  Read it here.

Patel Appointed EVP of SmartAudio Intelligence Insights for iHeartMedia. Research pro Hetal Patel is making a return to iHeartMedia as the new EVP SmartAudio Intelligence Insights. Previously, she served with the company for four years, rising to vice president of research, insights & analytics.  Most recently, she was head of sales research & insights for Vox Media.  In this new role with iHM, Patel will lead the SmartAudio Intelligence Insights team to “create research and insights that shape iHeartMedia’s value proposition.  Her responsibilities will include providing critical consumer insights, market intelligence and industry trends to iHeartMedia teams, markets and executives by leveraging expertise in areas such as audience analysis, advertising sales metrics and media and digital consumer research.  In addition, Patel will work closely with iHeartMedia’s partners on the development of next-generation analytics, techniques and products including artificial intelligence, machine learning, sentiment analysis and more.  She says, “It really is the golden period of audio.  I am thrilled to be returning to iHeartMedia where data and consumer are genuinely front and center, which means working on truly disruptive and future ready research initiatives designed to address the client and marketplace needs.  It’s truly humbling and an honor to be a story teller and voice for iHeartMedia.”

‘TalkErie.com’ Debuts with SRN and Local Talk Programs. After stunting over the holidays with readings of the U.S. Constitution, the Inspiration Time, Inc.-owned trio of signals in the Erie, Pennsylvania market officially becomes a news/talk outlet as “TalkErie.com.”  Two Erie-licensed translators W277DS at 103.3 FM and W290BI at 105.9 FM are fed by WZTE-AM, North East, Pennsylvania.  Local host Joel Natalie is star of the afternoon drive show.  The rest of the lineup consists of Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis PragerMike Elder, Eric Metaxas, and Joe Walsh.  The station says, “We are Erie, Pennsylvania’s brand-new twin FM talker at 103.3 and 105.9.  Erie News Talk Radio at its finest, with national news twice an hour 24/7 and local news daytime weekdays, you’ll be informed and challenged every minute you spend with TalkErie.com.”

Marc Ryan Named Midday Host at Entercom’s ‘ESPN Upstate.’ Sports talk pro Marc Ryan announces he’s accepted a position with Entercom’s sports talk “ESPN Upstate” – WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL – in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.  There he’ll host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show and serve as assistant program director.  Ryan has been working on air at the company’s KILT-AM, Houston.  It’s unclear what the status is of current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm team “G-Mack & Lonzo” at “ESPN Upstate.”

TALKERS News Notes. Just as the FCC is shutting down – mostly – due to the stalemate over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the country has a complete Commission for the first time in a while.  Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Democratic nominee Geoffrey Starks and confirmed Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr for a full term. Commissioners are not affected by the shutdown since their salaries come from a different source…..SiriusXM extends the employment of president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein, who gets a new deal that will last through May of 2022.  Greenstein will earn $1.6 million per year in base salary with the opportunity to earn a bonus of as much as 150% of his salary based on various incentives…..NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One are launching “The Daily Line,” a new, weekday afternoon drive show, that focuses on sports betting.  It’s being hosted by Michael Jenkins of NBC Sports Washington and 10-year sports radio pro Tim Murray.  The program airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It will be simulcast on television across multiple NBC Sports Regional Networks…..CBS Television’s daytime program “The Talk” names Carrie Ann Inaba a full-time host on the show.  She’s been serving as a guest host for the past two seasons. Her arrival comes on the heels of Julie Chen’s exit from the program in the aftermath of husband and former CBS chief Les Moonves’ sexual harassment allegations…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the National Football League with live, radio play-by-play of the playoffs, beginning with this weekend’s Wild Card games.  WWO is the official national radio partner of the NFL and will also air play-by-play of Super Bowl LIII…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston renews its deal with the NFL’s New England Patriots to continue serving as the flagship for game day broadcasts.  The station has served in this role since it launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009. 

WBZ-AM, Boston Traffic Reporter Joe Stapleton Dead at 55.  Boston radio traffic reporter Joe Stapleton died unexpectedly on December 31 at the age of 55.  WBZ station operations director Bill Flaherty says, “Joe was our overnight traffic reporter here at WBZ.  He never walked through the door without a smile and friendly greeting for everyone he met.”  During his career he worked on the highly rated “Maynard in the Morning” program on WBZ-AM in the 1980s.  He appeared on rock WAAF, Boston’s “Hill-Man Morning Show” for many years as “Major Dick.”  Stapleton also reported on traffic for WBZ-TV and WHDH-TV.  A lover of films, Stapleton also appeared in a number of movies, including: “Spotlight,” “R.I.P.D.,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Mystic River,” and “Edge of Darkness.”

Chicago Media Pro Robert Feder’s Wife Janet Loses Battle with Cancer. The staff of TALKERS magazine sends condolences to Chicago media writer Robert Feder and his family after the passing of his wife Janet G. Feder who died on December 31 after a battle with cancer.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

New Congress, Government Shutdown/Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2). Today’s swearing in of the 116th Congress and the Democrats’ takeover of control; the ongoing battle to fund President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall and the government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the early entrants into the 2020 presidential campaign; and this weekend’s first round of the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison:  Trump’s Impact on News/Talk Radio Unprecedented.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Donald Trump’s influence on the subject matter and tone of news/talk radio in America is greater in terms of one individual newsmaker’s impact than any other during the 29-years that the publication has been tracking content.”  In his first weekly address of 2019 to the TALKERS editorial board earlier this morning (1/2), Harrison added, “…and the president’s influence is reflected on all aspects of spoken-word radio beyond traditional news/talk from sports talk, all-news, and specialty genres to pop culture personalities doing talk shows on music stations.”  Stating, “We can expect more of the same in this new year and probably beyond,” Harrison compared Trump’s pop cultural impact on talk radio to the effect the Beatles had on top 40 radio in the early sixties “when the entire genre changed everything from playlists to imaging to accommodate a new attitude and a flood of new players during the height of the British Invasion.”  Harrison advises broadcasters to keep a watchful eye on their core audiences during the year ahead pointing out, “The polarized nature of today’s target audiences can lull programmers into thinking the makeup of their P1s is etched in stone.  However, the turbulent nature of the times coupled with the emotional investment on the part of listeners to the rapidly unfolding ‘reality show’ can undergo subtle changes or shift on a dime.”  Harrison concluded, “2019 is going to be a great year for talk radio – especially if we stay alert and maximize the extraordinary raw material that these wild times are providing in creative and productive ways – keeping in mind our deeper responsibility to pursue truth over victory and vigilantly respect and defend the First Amendment.”   Editorial Note:  The original artwork accompanying this story below is titled “The Show Must Go On” by Bobbie Winston (a.k.a. La Femme Bobbíe).  She is an award-winning American artist living and painting in Rio de Janeiro since 1988.  She has a world-wide following that enjoys her highly identifiable style.  She paints wildly abstract portraits, full human figures, and imaginative, surrealistic scenarios marked by dramatic features and bold, striking colors.  Her perspective on the human condition is cosmic, inclusive and evolved. Bobbie Winston’s Facebook page and art gallery can be accessed at www.facebook.com/bobbiewinstonartist.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta CHR WWWQ tweaks its station name, leaving behind the “Q100” moniker for the more accurate “Q99.7.”  Cumulus Media VP of CHR and rhythmic CHR Louie Diaz explains, “‘Q100’ has been one of the most successful top 40 radio stations in the country, but now is the right time to refresh and rebrand the station as ‘Q99.7’ for the current and new generation of listeners.  Rebranding ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ reflects the simple fact that listeners find the station at 99.7 on the dial.  Our transition from ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ is now complete.”…..Service Broadcasting – owner of “Dede in the Morning” flagship KKDA, Dallas “K104” – and syndication partner Compass Media Networks announce the continued expansion of the “DeDe in the Morning” franchise with the clearance of the program in Atlanta (on Core Radio Group’s WTBS “Mix 87.7”).  KKDA director of operations Geo Cook says, “We are thrilled with our progress nationally and appreciative to now be heard in Atlanta.  The launch of ‘DeDe’s Weekend Kickback’ is in response to our growing list of affiliates who want unique and compelling content for weekends, in addition to weekday mornings.”…..Bonneville’s adult contemporary KYMX, Sacramento “Mix 96” names Amanda Carroll and Darik Kristofer co-hosts of the its new morning drive program.  Carroll has been hosting a syndicated program via Christian FM…..Former WHUD Hudson Valley, New York morning host and original WMCA Good Guy Ed Baer has died at age 82.   Baer launched his radio career in New York in 1957. In 1986, he joined WHUD and worked there for 29 years.

December 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. December 2018 ratings information has been RE-RELEASED for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November – December 5. 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. 

Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders one-half share to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM era.  

Off a collective seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends(3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” remains at #14 with its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). While remaining flat at .9 (6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). 

After spending 11 straight ratings periods at #1, Hubbard all-news WTOP (off one-tenth) segues to the runner-up slot. Nonetheless, WTOP is within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the ninth successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+).

It is succeeded at #1 by American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” which is an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). This (9.5) is the best 6+-stat since November 2017(9.6) for WAMU, which was at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018. The exceptions were in July, when WAMU finished third, and now in December (#1). 

Flat at #24, Entercom business news outlet WDCHis down or flat for the fourth straight time (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – More than compensating for November’s -1.0 with a December increase in excess of 50% (4.8 – 7.3, +2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” glides from sixth to third. At this time last year, WASH posted a 7.8 (December 2017, 6+). Prior to November’s -1.0, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). In early-October, Entercom transitioned hot AC WIAD “Fresh” to classic hits-oldies “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits.” WIAD is up one-half share to 2.9 (#18 to #16), its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.1. A loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+) takes its former format rival – Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” – to its lowest 6+-showing since June (4.0, as well). Having logged a 2.4 – 2.9 (6+) for 11 straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC added four-tenths in November to 3.2, but “DC-101” relinquishes seven-tenths in December to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). The nine-tenths lead that Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” held over urban AC competitor WHUR in November expands to 1.5, as “Majic” is up one-tenth to 6.8 (fourth, 6+) while Howard University’s WHUR is off one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, fifth, 6+). “Majic” (-.9 in October) had been in third-place the past four months, while WHUR (-1.0 in October) finished fourth in each of the previous eight ratings periods. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. After four straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Unchanged at #12, Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” drops three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus snapping at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to September, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22ratings periods. Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” is a collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+). Steady at #18, Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” surrenders one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+). 

 

Boston 

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO surrenders 75% of that increase and tumbles from #12 to #15 (2.6, -.6, 6+). November’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). 

In November, the market’s two FM sports talkers combined for an 11.8 (6+), which represented a +1.4 from October’s 10.4. It is a different story in December though as Entercom’s WEEI-FM erodes by two full-shares (5.7 – 3.7, third to ninth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” sputters by one full-share (5.1, second to fifth, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox – WEEI-FM – has the dubious distinction of having the largest (6+) November 2018 – December 2018 decrease (-2.0) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we’ve seen thus far. WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Meanwhile, December’s -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspends four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England PatriotsBoston Celtics, and Boston Bruins

Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM is off a collective one-half share via three straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), “News Radio 1030” actually advances from eighth to seventh. 

It is a bit of a similar scenario for WBUR, which drops four-tenths (5.5 – 5.1, 6+), but improves from sixth to fifth; the Boston University news/talker had registered a 5.5 (6+) in September, October, and November. WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH answers November’s loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 2.6, 6+) with a gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #13, 6+). Its June 2018 – October 2018 (6+) topline was 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4, but November’s 2.6 was its lowest 6+-showing since June 2016 (2.6, as well).

Boston Music Formats – A modest November increase of three-tenths (5.3 – 5.6, 6+) by Entercom adult contemporary WMJX is followed by a massive +3.3 as “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from fourth to first. Its December 2018 8.9 (6+) is one-tenth better from what it logged this time last year (8.8, December 2017). Competing roughly 40 miles to the west from Worcester, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” nearly doubles (+.5) its 6+ Boston stat (.6 – 1.1, 6+) and checks in at #22. The station that “Magic” displaced at #1 is WSRS’ CHR sibling, WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.9 – 6.8, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Kiss” had been on top the past 11 ratings periods. By picking up two-tenths in November, WXKS-FM halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” improves by eight-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to third), its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). A collective +1.2 via five successive increases (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” climbs from #13 to #12. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 18thstraight sweep, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.4 – 2.8, +.4, 6+) advances from #16 to #13. By dropping two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT not only has its successive string of increases that produced a +.8 end at three (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), “Hot 96.9” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the sixth successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.0 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” actually remains in ninth-place. Without a loss the past four months for a collective gain of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is off two-tenths in December to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). 

 

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Remaining at #18, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” drops one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). 

May 2018 through December 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 (#28 to #26, 6+). Off three-tenths (.9 – .6, 6+), co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” slumps from #27 to #30. Its three-tenths’ increase in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). 

Unchanged at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN regains the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #16 to #11, 6+) takes Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7 – Cubaton y Mas” to its highest 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.2, as well). Carrying on in sixth-place, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” is without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a collective +.9 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Rebounding from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths (7.2 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is on top for the seventh straight month. Prior to November, “Easy” was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three consecutive months without a loss for an overall advantage of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. The market’s other AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” – improves by one-half share (5.7 – 6.2, 6+) and inches up from fourth to second. “Lite FM” wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. WLYF was a collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). In six of the last ten survey periods, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has posted a 4.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7, sixth to seventh,6+). After dropping two-tenths in November, the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share falters by another six-tenths as Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (3.2 – 3.0, -.2, #12 to #13, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #10 to #14, 6+). Prior to October’s gain of three-tenths, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+).     

 

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in November, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM regresses by another three-tenths (6.0 – 5.7, 6+), sliding from second to third. Its -.6 in November pulled the plug on three straight positive spikes which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Three increases in a row for a collective +.9 by co-owned KTTH (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) are wiped away completely with a December loss of nine-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as “Conservative Talk Radio” exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). A similar streak concludes as well as Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” up three-tenths since May through six straight reports without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), loses one-tenth (1.2, #24 to #25, 6+). 

A collective +.7 in October and November, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” regresses by two-tenths in December to 3.9 (6+), but remains at #9. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” returns one-tenth to 1.3 (flat at #23, 6+). 

In a statistical oddity, all-news KOMO had been making moves in increments of two-tenths. The Sinclair Broadcast Group facility was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and up two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+). It is down in December – but – by three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+).

Following four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW lost one-half share in November, but recaptures two-tenths in December (5.8 – 6.0, third to second, 6+); KUOW was #1 in September. October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5. Entering the August sweep, KUOW was an overall -1.1 in three straight down or flat sweeps (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+).  

Seattle Music Formats – Not only does Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM tack on a robust +4.7 to November’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8, 6+), “Warm 106.9” rockets from ninth all the way to first; KRWM logged an 8.1 (6+) in December 2017. Its improvement of seven-tenths in November applied the brakes to four successive setbacks that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015;“Warm” was #1 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. The station dislodged from the top spot and sliding to fourth is KRWM’s CHR cluster-mate KQMV (6.6 – 5.3, -1.3, 6+). In calendar year 2018, “MOViN 92.5” ranked first in February, March, June, July, August, October, and November. KQMV was +1.7 (July); -1.4 (August); -.6 (September); +1.0 (October); and now -1.3 (December). It has been just over one year since Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound.” In the September 2018 sweep, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), “The Sound” was an impressive +1.7.That streak though is stymied in December with a loss of eight-tenths (4.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” adds sixth-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, #20 to #16, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which lost approximately half (-.7) of its 6+-share through four drops in a row (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.3 (#23, 6+). A collective -1.6in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” fades from the top ten (#5 to #12). This (3.7) is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK in exactly one year (3.6, 6+, December 2017). Evaporating by one full-share and one-half share, respectively, are Hubbard-owned country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (3.1 – 2.1, #16 to #21, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “93.3 Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3 – 2.8, #14 to #17, 6+). Entercom’s KISW is without an improvement for the seventh straight sweep for a collective -2.0 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), but “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” continues in sixth-place. Co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in seven consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), but advances from #20 to #19. 

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Through four straight gains, Cumulus Media’s WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), but “News Talk 760” forfeits six-tenths in December to 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.2 in August interrupted three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). 

Following three upticks in a row that netted a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/PistonsRed WingsTigers flagship WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns one-half share to 5.9 (6+), slipping from fifth to sixth.  

Rebounding from November’s one-half share loss with a positive spike of two-tenths (6.6 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” progresses from third to second. Its -.5 in November halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 was WWJ’s strongest 6+-stat since March 2017 (7.4).  

Off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #18 to #19. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM halted eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains byWDET yielded an overall nine-tenths (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility drops two-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #22, 6+). 

Detroit Music Formats – Over and above logging its third straight increase for a cumulative +6.5, easily doubling its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” marches from third to first. Not only that, WNIC boasts the largest 6+-share (12.2) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we have analyzed thus far. This time last year, WNIC posted an 11.8 (December 2017, 6+). Ousted from the penthouse and segueing to #3 is Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 6.6, -1.2, 6+). Its +.5 in November curtailed three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. A -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, second to fifth, 6+) sends Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” to its lowest 6+-stat (6.0) since November 2017’s 5.9. After four straight up or flat moves that netted six-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). Four negative trends in a row by Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” have accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+). 

Phoenix 

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.2 as a result of four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM relinquishes two-thirds of that increase (3.5, -.8, 6+) yet actually improves from ninth to eighth. In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI falls from #15 to #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). 

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.1in three straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+) and repeats at #21. September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix SunsArizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #16 to #14. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ result in a collective +3.6 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7, 6+). KESZ, which notched a 12.1 (6+) in December 2017, is on top for the third straight time. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Doubling November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” climbs from fifth to fourth. In sevenstraight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI “The Oasis” is a collective +1.2(1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, #19 to #16, 6+). Eroding by -1.2(4.5 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Down by one-half share (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #13, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAI “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .3, #34, 6+). “Live” was upone-half share in November and off seven-tenths in October. Despite losing a collective eight-tenths through four straight decreases (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” actually advances from tenth to ninth. Without an increase for the fifth straight month, TheYucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, #18 to #19, 6+). Returning the one-half share it gained in November (2.8        3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” slips from #13 to #14. 

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Via five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is off by an overall six-tenths, dropping from #11 to #12. Earlier this year, “News Radio 830” was +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8 (June); and +.5 (July). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which sputters by four-tenths (4.1 – 3.7, #11 to #14, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY has that gain erased in December with a -.5 (2.4 #15 to #17, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).   

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” returns one-third of that increase (5.7, -1.0, second to sixth, 6+). That particular streak by the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild directly followed four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1(5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February 2018 through December 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slumps from #21 to #24. 

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0(3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW drops two-tenths in November and three-tenths in December (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, flat at #10, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). 

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roaring back from a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+) with a +2.1 in December (to 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” progresses from third to first. It succeeds Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” (7.3 – 6.3, -1.0, 6+), which shifts to fourth. Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), KSTP-FM logged four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August. Tacking on eight-tenths to November’s +.4 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” jumps from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since July’s 5.9. This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” for an overall gain of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, fifth to third 6+). Advancing by six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (6.7, fourth to second, 6+) and Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN (#17 to #15). In advance of its December growth, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+); KSJN is +.9 in four upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9, 6+). After notching consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” erodes by -1.0 to 4.6 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” (unchanged at #9) and Minnesota Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88 FM” (2.2 – 1.7, #18 to #19, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, KTIS-FM is off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+). Following three negative moves in a row for a cumulative August through November loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP adds one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and stays at #16.

San Diego 

Spoken-Word Formats –There is another major fluctuation for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO (4.7 – 4.0, -.7, sixth to ninth). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and now -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Finishing back-to-back are Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is up one-tenth to 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+), after three straight months at 1.6 (6+), and iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” (1.3 – 1.2, -.1, #24 to #23, 6+).   

Off three-tenths (1.2 – .9, 6+),Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” slips from #24 to #25; November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Repeating at #27 and #29, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.7 – .8, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (flat at .6, 6+).  

Despite being down six-tenths (6.8 – 6.2, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS is #1 for the third month in a row. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and segued from first to second (September).  

San Diego Music Formats– With an April 2018 – November 2018 topline within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY busts out a +2.5 (3.3 – 5.8, 6+) as it zooms from #11 to #3, surpassing by one-tenth the 5.7 it logged in December 2017. There are half-share December 2018 increases for iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+); Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+); and Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to #13, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Star” since May (5.2, as well). KFMB-FM is bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” – drops two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #15, 6+), thus suspending three straight up or flat moves that generated an overall +1.1 (2.2 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to picking up three-tenths in November, Entercom’s KSON was an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). In December, however, “103.7 New Country” plummets by one full-share (5.2 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Having logged a 4.6 in three of the last four sweeps (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KGB “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock” falters by nine-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+). A December loss of six-tenths by co-owned CHR KHTS erases November’s one-half share gain (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. Down or flat for the fifth report in a row for a collective -1.1(5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” skids from fifth to seventh. In three downward trends in succession, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4, stable at #17, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). 

 

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths (3.8 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #11 to #13. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. WFLA was +.5 in January and February; -.5 (March); +.8 (April); -.7 (July);+.6 (August); -.6 (October); and +.5 in November. It has tied with Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” (3.6 – 3.4, -.2, 6+), which is unchanged at #14. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

The collective +.6 iHeartMedia-owned WDAE racked up in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) disappears in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+) as “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” slides from #19 to #20. 

It is now one-tenth behind University of South Florida news/talk WUSF, which is down one-tenth to 2.2 (#19 to #18, 6+), thus snapping at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); November’s 2.3 is its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.8.

Tampa Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group’s WPBB a cumulative +1.4 in three straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7, 6+), it vaults from #18 to #11 with its highest 6+-stat (3.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.0. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Good news continues for iHeartMedia hot AC WTMX as “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in four positive spikes in succession (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3, steady at #7, 6+). Adding a +1.1 to November’s +.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” sets the pace for the 76th successive ratings period. This (10.8) is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9; WDUV was 10.4 (6+) in December 2017. Ending its (6+) 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.7 sequence with a one-half share increase to 4.2, iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). On the heels of November’s one-half share improvement, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” surrenders seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). November’s +.5 halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” forfeits six-tenths (6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but ranks #2 for the fifth sweep in succession. Off by six-tenths as well is co-owned CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), which drifts from the top ten (#10 to #15). Entering the November sweep, its format rival, iHeartMedia-ownedCHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” was a collective +.6 via three straight up or flat moves (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). WFLZ dropped two-tenths in November but bounces back in December with a +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 eighthto seventh, 6+).  

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The May 2018 through September 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a fairly even 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), but the last three reports have included a +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and now a -.6 in November (5.1 – 6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), as the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies falls from third to sixth. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” continues at both 1.5 and #21 (6+). 

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9(2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+),Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” returns eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM“Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche is off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), but advances from #30 to #29.

Even though it adds three-tenths (6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR – on top the past three months – segues to #2. A one-tenth decline in November suspended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5(5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Earlier in calendar year 2018, KCFR was #1 in January, March, and May. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC picks up two-tenths (1.2 – 1.4, 6+) and moves from #24 to #22.

Denver Music Formats – A collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” busts out of the slump with a +2.7 to 7.6 (6+), marching from fifth to first. KOSI was up or flat five consecutive months (February 2018 through July 2018) for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). This (7.6) is the strongest 6+-showing since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5 for KOSI, which was 7.8 (6+) in December 2017. Stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia’s KRFX erupts with a +1.0 to 5.0 (6+), as “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” leaps from #11 to #3 with its best 6+-stat (5.0) since March (5.2). Wiping away November’s one-half share loss with December’s +.9 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” zooms from #19 to #14. A one-half share improvement by Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.1, #17 to #15, 6+) interrupts four straight negative moves that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to six, 6+) thus snapping at three its consecutive string of improvements that generated a +.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately after posting a November gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” regresses by seven-tenths (3.5 – 2.8, #13 to #17, 6+). Declining by one-half share to 2.1 (#16 to #19, 6+) is Max Broadcast Group rhythmic hot AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5,” which was a collective +1.2 via three straight gains (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). By dropping one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” slips from second to third. In four consecutive decreases, Bonneville’s country KYGO is a cumulative -1.7 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). 

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, flat at #11, 6+), while HearstTelevision news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, flat at #13, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 (#27 to #29, 6+). 

Recapturing 50% of November’s -1.0 (4.1 – 4.6, +.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” advances from ninth to seventh. An overall +1.1 as a result of four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and now +.5 (December).  

Even though it erases November’s +.3 with a December -.3 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” progresses from #12 to #11. WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Conversely, American University-owned news/talk WAMU is up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), yet drops from #16 to #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Shifting from #25 to #27, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through December 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 ( 6+).  

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than doubled (+5.1) its 6+-stat via four straight gains (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” advances from third to first. This (10.1) is the highest 6+-share for WLIF since 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017; WLIF was 9.7 (6+) in December 2017. Registering a gain of nine-tenths is iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today,”which more than doubles (+1.1its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat Baltimore trends (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Exiting the top spot after holding that position the last 11 survey periods is Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (8.7 – 8.6, -.1, first to second, 6+). In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2,but it responded in June with a gain of three-tenths. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ “92-Q Jams” (7.7 – 7.0, -.7, 6+), which had been attached to the runner-up slot the past seven months, segues to third-place. Not having an increase three months in a row resulted in a loss of nine tenths for iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), but “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” is up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). A loss of one full-share by Entercom CHR WWMX (5.2 – 4.2, sixth to tenth, 6+) sends “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” to its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (4.2, as well). Off by seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (5.8 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (5.0 – 4.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). For the fourth month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping nine-tenths in November, Entercom news/talk KMOX surrenders another six-tenths (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slides from second to third. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” forfeits three-tenths to 2.5 (6+), but stays at #17. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it suspended three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). 

Four straight up or flat moves by Hubbard sports talk WXOS netted a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). In November and December, however, “101 Sports” is off a collective four-tenths (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), yet improves from #14 to #12. 

After being up or flat the past six ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU falters by three-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #15, 6+). St. Louis Music Formats – Flipping a combined -.7 in October and November (5.9 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+) into a whopping +4.6 in December (9.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” rockets from seventh to first. At this time last year, KEZK logged a 6.7 (6+, December 2017). It is a quick one-month (November 2018) stay at #1 for GatewayCreative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which segues from first to second. Since it returned in print this past April, KLJY has the following topline: 7.2 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 7.8 (August, #1) – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 (November, #1) – 8.0 (December 2018, 6+). After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improves by one-half share to 6.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having racked up a +1.4 in September and October (6.7 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” follows with a combined -1.9 in November and December (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.2, third to fifth, 6+). In four successive sweeps without an increase, co-owned CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -.9 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+). The last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).As the result of four straight up or flat moves, Hubbard-owned WIL was a collective +1.0 (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+) but “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” falters in December by four-tenths to 6.1 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2018

| December 13, 2018

FCC to Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules. At its open meeting yesterday (12/12), the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to launch the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The rules subject to this quadrennial review obligation are the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether these three rules continue to serve the public interest or whether they should be modified or eliminated in light of changes to the media marketplace.  Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and GOP commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and objected in part.  She wrote in her statement, in part, “Newspapers have collapsed, and stations are increasingly owned by national companies with limited ties to the communities they serve. What is emerging are news deserts – areas of the country where national news dominates but local news is disappearing. Competition matters.  It is axiomatic that more owners in more markets can mean more ideas.  It can mean more news.  The converse is also true.  Too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results…We seek comment on a proposal allowing a single company to own an unlimited number of FM and AM radio stations in most communities in this country.  That could mean one company controls every radio station in the town where you live…To the extent this rulemaking offers thoughtful reform, I approve.  But in other aspects, I dissent.  It fails to honestly assess the impact of too many changes we propose on the values of localism, competition, and diversity that have informed this agency’s media policies in the past—and I believe should still inform our efforts in the future.”

FOX News Channel and Hannity Finish 2018 on Top of Cable Ratings. A story in The Hill citing Nielsen data reveals that FOX News Channel finished 2018 in first place in the cable TV battle, posting its best prime-time audience ever: 2.5 million average viewers.  Liberal cable newser MSNBC also enjoyed its best year, wrapping the year in second place behind FNC with 1.8 million average viewers in prime time.  As far as individual personalities go, FNC’s Sean Hannity had the highest-rated show. His average viewership was 3.275 million.  Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s program was second behind “Hannity” with 2.881 million average viewers.  While both FOX News Channel and MSNBC enjoyed prime-time ratings increases this year over 2017 (up 3% and 12%, respectively), CNN was down 6% from last year with 990,000 average viewers in prime time.  Following Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in the list of the top five cable news/talk shows were three more FNC programs: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 2.827 million average viewers, “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham – 2.61 million, and “The Five” with 2.38 million.

Scripps Media Officially Out of Radio Biz; Lotus Communications, Bustos Media, and Family Life Broadcasting Close. Yesterday (12/12), the closings took place for the sale of stations related to Scripps Media’s exit from the radio station business.  After divesting of the first 26 of its radio station properties earlier in the year, Scripps sold its remaining eight radio properties in the Tucson and Boise markets to Lotus Communications for $8 million.  In order to comply with FCC ownership caps, Lotus spun off news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM, Tucson “106.3 The Groove” to Bustos Media.  Scripps Media was created in the 2015 merger of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications and Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps in which the print properties kept the Journal name and the radio stations joined Scripps’ television assets under the Scripps Media banner.

Cumulus to Air Ben Shapiro in PM Drive on WABC, New York.  New York news/talk WABC will air the new Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour radio show in addition to the one-hour podcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning January 7.  The Cumulus Media station already airs the podcast right after the “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.  In the New Year, Savage is transitioning to hosting a one-hour, daily live show and a one-hour podcast instead of his current three-hour live show. WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Ben is a fascinating host that completely cuts through the sameness that is political talk radio right now.  It’s the perfect time for us to expand his programming on 77 WABC.”

Paul J Schneider Wraps KBOI, Boise Morning Show Career Tomorrow. As announced earlier this year, longtime KBOI, Boise morning personality Paul J Schneider will leave his morning show duties after his regular broadcast tomorrow (12/14).   Schneider will continue to work with KBOI producing weekly features and a blog as well as continuing to cover Boise State Football for Learfield Sports.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”

WFNZ, Charlotte Host Frank Garcia Arrested on Assault Charges.  According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, afternoon drive sports talk host Frank Garcia was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female last Saturday (12/8).  The report indicates Garcia is not related to the 29-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries in the incident.  Garcia – a former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman – co-hosts the afternoon show on Entercom’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” with Kyle Bailey.  He is also an assistant coach for the Charlotte Catholic High School football team.

Harry Hurley Guests on Brian Kilmeade Show. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) on Monday morning (12/10).  Hurley is a regular fill-in for Todd Starnes on his FOX News Radio syndicated program.

ABC Radio Offering End-of-Year Programming. Affiliates of ABC Radio are being offered five long-form shows and eight short-form programs for year-end programming. The long-form shows include: “Journeys of Faith” featuring the most memorable moments from ABC News senior national correspondent Paula Faris’ popular podcast of the same name; “Playback 2018,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky featuring an in-depth look at the biggest stories of the year; “2018: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2018’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Perspective” is a special year-end edition of ABC News’ award-winning weekly newsmagazine; and “World News This Year” takes a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2018’s final edition of this weekly show.

Trump-Democrats Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Sentenced, Immigration Issues, Google Congressional Testimony, May Survives/Brexit Issue, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years; the migrants in Tijuana and immigration reform; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote and the Brexit challenges; Time’s “Person of the Year” are journalists from the U.S., Myanmar, the Philippines, and Jamal Khashoggi; the world’s financial markets activity; and NFL 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 Miami, Entercom names Jessie Penate, a.k.a. DJ JPS, evening personality and music director for CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  He’s been with the station since 2016 when he joined as a mixer after winning the station’s “Mix Master” competition.  He says, “I’m thrilled to continue this journey on the station I grew up listening to, working with a talented team filled with passion and energy.”…..iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company announce the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live Thursday, March 14, 2019 on FOX-TV, from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The event will once again broadcast live simultaneously on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This is a show that is truly controlled by music fans, because it celebrates the artists and songs that they listened to all year long on our 850 broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  FOX has established itself as a premier television destination for music fans, which has made it a natural home for our Awards.”…..February’s 61st GRAMMY Awards will once again include Westwood One as the official broadcast partner in which radio stations will be offered a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content.  Westwood One will welcome select local stations and national programs to its Westwood One Backstage at the GRAMMY Awards, which takes place in the days leading up to the February 10 television broadcast.  It will also offer a two-hour “GRAMMYs Nomination Special” airing February 2-3 in CHR/hot AC, AC, and urban formats; “GRAMMYs Week Highlights,” airing February 4-10; and the “GRAMMYs Red Carpet Countdown.”…..Marker Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KJJZ, Palm Springs “KOOL 95.9 FM” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah for evenings…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington announces the winning schools in its 2nd Annual mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition.  The competition was divided into two categories – kindergarten through 8th grade and high school.  North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland won in the first category and gets $2,500 for its music program and Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland won the high school division and will receive $5,000 for its music education program…..Entercom’s country WUSY, Chattanooga “US 101” is seeking a midday personality. Find all the information about applying here.

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Friday, November 9, 2018

| November 9, 2018

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Sebastian Gorka in 2019; Michael Medved Moves to New Platform. Beginning January 1, Salem Radio Network begins airing the “America First with Sebastian Gorka” program in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart, replacing the Michael Medved program.  Salem Broadcast Division president David Santrella says, “The listener feedback we receive each time Dr. Gorka fills in for one of our network hosts is overwhelming.  I think Dr. Gorka is the right person at the right time and the Salem Radio Network is definitely the right place.”  Gorka is FOX News Channel’s national security strategist and is a regular guest on “Hannity” and the FOX Business Network.  He writes for The Hill and is the author of best-sellers Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies (Regnery) and Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (Regnery).  Gorka was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump and served on the staff of the White House in 2017 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategy.  Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “There is a culture war going on in this country and Dr. Gorka is uniquely qualified to take this fight to talk radio.  His program will deal with the hot breaking news stories of each day, and help listeners understand what to make of it.”  Michael Medved comments, “I feel grateful for the more than 21 years I’ve worked with Salem Media Group and I wish continued success to my friends and colleagues at the network.  Together with my team of producers here in Seattle, we’ll be continuing our daily broadcast with no interruption, making it available to our devoted listeners in an exciting new format.  We’ll also move forward with our emphasis on history programs and commentary to encourage public appreciation of the real blessings of this amazing country. Stay tuned.”

Tom Langmyer Forms Radio and Digital Acquisition Firm. Radio executive Tom Langmyer – most recently the vice president and general manager for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee – is forming Great Lakes Media Corp., a company that will “invest in local broadcasting and digital media opportunities through the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in small markets.”  A press release indicates the firm will investigate acquisition of “properties in small markets, focusing on opportunities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”  The company is meeting with investors and brokers – and others who are interested in specific markets; and plans to announce appointments of officers and partners in the weeks ahead.  Langmyer says, “Smaller communities are making a big comeback.  This new generation of people, to whom quality of life and community are very important, are building their lives and businesses in these places.  Over the years, the shifting economy and technology had ended an era of localism in media.  Today, people are once again in search of real community and the greater connection that comes with being a part of a ‘place.’  Local media builds that connection – particularly in smaller markets. The need is clear as many of the broadcast media platforms have been providing white-labelled, generic, unremarkable content.  And while it’s growing, the digital space is in dire need of compelling content to make it a more robust advertising and revenue platform.  Radio and digital complement each other as it’s not an either/or proposition.  There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms – and expanding the emotional connection between consumers and local brands.”  Langmyer is president and CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.  Prior to managing WTMJ and WKTI for Scripps Media, Langmyer was general manager for Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  Earlier in his career he transitioned from programming CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis to serving as general manager.  He exited WTMJ and WKTI on October 31 upon the transfer of the stations from Scripps to Good Karma Brands LLC.

Report: Mancow to WLS-AM Mornings, Shapiro Show to Air in Afternoons.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder says he has inside info indicating Cumulus Media intends to insert Ben Shapiro – whose current one-hour, podcast-for-radio program will morph into a two-hour live show beginning in January distributed via Westwood One – will be heard in afternoon drive and that Mancow Muller may assume the morning drive show, bumping Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from AM drive.  This comes after the station announced it would be re-tooling the programming on WLS, and that includes the announced departure of Windy City icon Steve Dahl from afternoons (though he continues his podcast relationship with the company).  Shapiro’s new show will be distributed by WWO live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Recall that Westwood One’s Michael Savage – currently heard live in afternoons Eastern Time – is transitioning his show to a one-hour live program (live 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET?) followed by a one-hour podcast available to stations in 2019. Stay tuned.

The Fall of Craig CartonTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the case against former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton and the concert tickets scam that will likely send him to federal prison for a number of years.  Weisman writes, “It is common for scammers to take advantage of positions of trust.  People trust radio personalities who they feel they get to know over years of broadcasting.  But sometimes that trust, as was the case with Carton, is abused.”  Read the whole column here.

Rush Limbaugh Show Presents Fifth Annual Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway. In honor of Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11 but observed on Monday 11/12), the fifth annual military promotion from Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America is underway.  In recognition of the service and sacrifice of our military, all active and veteran military service members are eligible to enter for a chance to win a Mahindra 1000 Gas Standard utility vehicle with roof and windshield in “The Rush Limbaugh Show’s Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.”  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 11 at 11:59 pm PT at http://sweeps.rushlimbaugh.com/mahindra2018/.   The winner will be selected in a random drawing on Monday, November 12.  Limbaugh says, “My thanks to Mahindra, makers of the world’s number one selling tractor.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.”

USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions Partner for Trucker-Targeted Programming. This deal between USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions entails Oasis broadcasting USA Radio’s top-of-the-hour national news on its truckersmusic-radio.com and truckersrock-radio.com sites.  Additionally, the “Truckers Radio Network” has added USA’s syndicated late-night show featuring veteran Dallas icon Charley Jones from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and USA’s “Classic Radio Theater” on Sunday evenings.  USA Radio Networks COO Janet Bro (left) says this is the first of several new partnerships and ventures that the company will undertake in the next year.  “We’re definitely in a growth mode.”  Oasis COO Rex Allen, Jr. (right) comments, “We feel that this is a great opportunity.  Truckers Radio expands USA’s reach to millions of listeners both nationally and internationally and provides our listeners with quality information and programming.”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 5-9.  The midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the top story on news/talk this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related status of the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials by President Trump, and the deadly California bar shootings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is 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 and Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from country to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze” is iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento.  The company says the station will debut on Monday (11/12) at 3:00 pm with 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  Core artists will include: Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams, and more.  The on-air lineup for the station will be announced in the coming weeks.  iHM SVP of programming for Sacramento Curtiss Johnson says, “No doubt many in Sacramento will remember the station 92.5 for its decades-long heritage as an adult contemporary station and one of the top stations in the market.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing that format back.  ‘92.5 The Breeze’ is the perfect station for relaxing to favorites while you work, unwinding after a long day, or just for getting into that weekend frame of mind.”…..After more than 41 years in the industry Cox Media Group San Antonio market manager Ben Reed will retire at the end of this year.  Reed says, “When looking back on the last four decades and the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my career, all I can say is I’m blessed – it’s that simple.  The success we’ve achieved as an organization and the expectations we’ve exceeded year after year in the San Antonio market is truly remarkable.  The camaraderie I share with my team and colleagues at CMG will live in my heart forever.”…..Country radio pro Charlie Cook signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with the company as vice president, country formats; operations manager for the Nashville cluster; and program director for WSM-FM, Nashville “NASH Icon.”  Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay says, “Charlie Cook is not only one of the best known and most successful country programmers in the history of the format, he is a solid and strategic thinking multi-format radio expert.  We are excited to continue this partnership with him.”…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces today the debut of the new WBZY, Atlanta ‘Z105.3, Tu Estación Para Super Hits,’ effective immediately, flipping from regional Mexican to Spanish CHR. Core artists will include: Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Ozuna, Romeo Santos, Maluma, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Enrique Iglesias.  iHM Atlanta SVP of programming Brian Michel comments, “With the launch of ‘Z105.3,’ we are proud to continue the tradition of being the innovator and leader of Atlanta’s Hispanic media landscape. With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve our listeners, advertisers, and the community.”…..Westwood One announces affiliate sales pro Debbie Brand joins the company as manager of affiliate sales, country. Brand, who returns to Westwood One after having served with the company in the mid-1990s, takes over for Tim Closson.

PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on country. The number of country stations moving either up or down – weekly 6+ AQH Share – in PPM markets in October was split about 50/50 with the remaining stations unchanged, and the numbers were pretty similar comparing year-over-year.  Two country outlets were able to claim the 6+ #1 rank in their respective markets: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC, Charlotte and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus.  However, 10 other country stations finished in the top three in their markets.  See the whole report here.

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

| August 22, 2018

Report: New Allegations of Behavior Issues at CBS RADIO.  In today’s New York Post, a story by Kevin Dugan details allegations of inappropriate language on the part of WCBS-FM jock Dan Taylor in which he is accused of using racial and sexually demeaning terms in front of former producer Craig Lenti.  The allegations by Lenti are from a diary he kept of his experiences working at the station. This comes a month after sister station WFAN, New York (along with WCBS-FM now owned by Entercom) suspended midday personality Joe Benigno while it investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him made by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood. The Post piece also notes that six former CBS RADIO staffers have contacted the paper in the last month supporting Lockwood’s claims.  The story includes a statement on behalf of Entercom by Sard Verbinnen spokeswoman Liz Zale, who says, “We are deeply offended by this mischaracterization of our culture and work environment.  This handful of allegations from former employees of CBS Radio does not reflect Entercom’s culture or work environment.”  Read the Post piece here.

Salem Host Joe Walsh Teams with WVON’s Maze Jackson for Live Event Series Titled, ‘Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations.’ This series of live events featuring former U.S. Representative and current Salem Radio Network and Newsmax TV personality Joe Walsh and WVON, Chicago morning personality Maze Jackson is taking place at four locations around Chicagoland. It’s called “Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations” and will “feature authentic, uncensored dialogue with respectful, no-holds barred conversation about the issues affecting black and white men and women of all ages throughout Chicago.”  Topics such as taxes, gun violence, reparations, religion, family structure, education, “and other political topics that have been hijacked by an agenda-driven media.”  Walsh adds, “The ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ events will help us find common ground, which too many Americans have forgotten how to do.”  Jackson comments, “I’m looking forward to having some really uncomfortable conversations on race, politics, and culture with a very unlikely partner, former Congressman Joe Walsh.  I’m as pro-Black as you can be and Joe is as conservative one can be, so when we get together, fireworks will erupt.  But after we get through the bombastic words we’ll get to the core of finding solutions to benefit us all.”  The series takes place on consecutive Saturdays in September in Bolingbrook, Wauconda, Chicago’s south side, and Lake Forest, Illinois.

KSPN, Los Angeles Moves Sedano to Afternoons; Adds Travis Rodgers to Mornings. This new lineup takes effect on September 4.  Jorge Sedano, currently part of the morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, moves to the open afternoon drive slot hosting his own program from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  “ESPNLA 710” is adding Travis Rodgers to the morning show for the newly renamed “The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis.”  The midday schedule remains the same with Stephen A. Smith from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the “Mason and Ireland” show from 12:00 noon to 3:30 pm.  Sedano says, “There’s not a more exciting time to be in Los Angeles covering sports.  It’s an honor to take on the task of providing the best content possible for the city’s fans.  I’m pumped to be working with a great group both behind the scenes and on the air.”

TALKERS News Notes. On today’s edition of Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage, popular social media personalities Diamond and Silk, a.k.a. Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, will appear as special guests.  The African American comedy duo, whose pro-Trump social media activity on their YouTube channel “The Viewers View” has more than 180,000 subscribers.  They will also interview Savage for their upcoming documentary…..Walter M. Sterling’s “Sterling on Sunday” program – nationally syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating its one-year anniversary in national syndication. The show – billed as a mix of lifestyle, entertainment, and social conversations – airs live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET and is now heard on more than 60 affiliate stations a year after its August 19, 2017 debut…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WGN-AM, Chicago sports anchor and reporter Sam Panayotovich is coming back to the Windy City airwaves on Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” with weekly appearances on the Mike Mulligan and David Haugh morning show.  Panayotovich is a host for Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network).  He says, “Following the betting markets really changes the way you watch sports. I can’t wait to go back home for 12 minutes every Friday.”…..NPR is launching a midterm election-focused radio show called, “The Politics Show from NPR,” featuring Scott Detrow, Tamara Keith, and Asma Khalid.  It debuts September 14 and runs through November 9.  NPR VP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are thrilled to be expanding our platform, particularly at a time when reliable news is vitally important.  The 2018 elections will be as consequential as any in recent memory.  This show will provide comprehensive fact-based coverage that will help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box.”…..The New York State Broadcasters Association is naming ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir its 2018 Broadcaster of the Year.  The multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist has been with ABC News since 2003 and served as the anchor for the overnight program “World News Now” and as a network correspondent.  On September 2, 2014 he became the sole anchor and managing editor of ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir.”  Muir will be honored at the New York State Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 18 at the Javits Center in New York City at a luncheon held in conjunction with the NAB Show NY….Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita is a big winner at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters annual television and radio awards.  KNSS won first place for Complete Sportscast and for Station Website.  It grabbed second place honors for Complete Newscast.

WCBS-AM, New York Unveils New Logo and News ‘Anthem.’ The still shot above shows a scene from the recording of the new news “anthem” for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  The station is introducing the new music as well as the new logo seen at bottom left of the photo.  WCBS director of news and programming Tim Scheld says the new look and feel are part of the radio station’s strategy to build a brand for the next 50 years.  He states, “2017 was all about celebrating the brand that is WCBS Newsradio 880 and 2018 was all about rethinking the brand.”  Assistant program director Alex Silverman says of the new music, “We didn’t want the traditional, in-your-face, self-important news music.  We wanted a sound that was going to communicate that we are a trusted friend.” The station says that what it got was “an anthem filled with energy, percussion, and the passion with which the news is delivered on New York’s iconic news radio station.”  Check out the story and the video of the recording of the new music here.

Paul Manafort Guilty on Eight Counts, Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, Trump-Russian Investigation, Microsoft Finds Russian Hacking of Conservatives, Rep. Hunter Indicted on Campaign Funds Misuse, Mollie Tibbetts Case Arrest, Argento/McGowan #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Microsoft reports discovering Russian hacking of conservative think tanks; U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted on campaign fund misuse; Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged killer is undocumented alien; the flap over Rose McGowan’s comments about Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on adult hits.  Some 67% of adult hits-formatted stations experienced 6+ AQH share growth from the June 2018 survey to the July survey.  Comparing ratings from July of last year to this year, about half the stations in the panel were up and the other half were down.  Five adult hits stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets with iHeartMedia’s KYOT, Phoenix; Emmis Communications’ KBPA, Austin; Midwest Communications’ WCJK, Nashville; and Entercom’s WSMW, Greensboro ranking #2 in the July 2018 PPM survey.  See the entire report here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

| April 13, 2018

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host Karen Hunter Named Recipient of the TALKERS 2018 Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board announced this morning (4/13) that SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter has been named the 2018 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.  Hunter hosts the “Karen Hunter Show” daily between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the Urban View channel in which she discusses politics, public policy, and contemporary culture taking listener calls and interviewing guests.  The Urban Channel is billed as “African American talk… focusing on politics, race and social justice.”  Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) by TALKERS magazine for a number of years, Hunter has blazed a unique trail inspiring her listeners to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors bringing action as well as talk to the medium.  She regularly challenges her listeners to participate in the success they want to be.  A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Hunter served four of those years on the paper’s editorial board, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams.  She was also the paper’s first African American female news columnist.  As the head of Karen Hunter Books, an imprint with Simon & Schuster, she has published several number one New York Times bestsellers including True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, and My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.  Hunter also published the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Angry-Ass Black Woman, by Karen Quinones Miller, among others.  A New Jersey native and Drew University graduate, Hunter taught at New York University and is currently a full-time professor and distinguished lecturer at Hunter College.  In June of 2015, Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag.  Within two weeks, the flag was removed.  Past recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, which goes back 30 years, include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Howard SternThom Hartmann, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Lamb, Al Franken, Bob Grant and other top figures in broadcasting.  The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hunter in New York City on Friday, June 8 at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular.  According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others.  It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences.  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts.  It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive, and indispensable.”  Harrison continues, “Karen Hunter is a clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

New Affiliate Stations in the Southeast for ‘Stacy on the Right.’ The nationally syndicated “Stacy On The Right” program starring the Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, expands into three Southeast markets.  WDDQ-FM, Adel, Georgia; WLBB-AM, Carrollton, Georgia; and WJHC-FM, Jasper, Florida add the daily, two-hour show to their program lineups. The “Stacy On The Right” program is syndicated via Urban Family Radio Network, American Family Radio, America’s Voice TV and now on Talk America Radio, whose owner Ron Phillips says, “We’ve been huge fans of ‘Stacy On The Right’ for a long time.  We’re honored to include her show on Talk America Radio.  She’s the perfect addition to an already stellar schedule of talk shows. She’s professional and powerful, and she’ll fit right in.”  Washington has been a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network since 2016.  In addition to her own radio show, she has been a guest host for shows such as “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM; the Chris Plante and Larry O’Connor shows on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; “Cam and Company” on NRATV; and “The Dana Show” on Radio America.  She is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force whose commentaries have appeared in FOX News Opinion, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, and the Washington Times.

Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Launches on PodcastOne.  This new PodcastOne show stars personal finance expert Suze Orman.  The program, “Suze Orman, Women & Money” is targeted directly to women (and the men who want to understand them) with Orman’s trademark energy and compassion.  The series allows listeners to #AskSuze anything.  In yesterday’s debut show, the tables were turned as Refinery29 work & money director Lindsey Stanberry interviewed Orman about her own journey.  The show is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes every Thursday.

WTOP, Washington Honored with Two Headliner Awards. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM wins two National Headliner Awards from the Atlantic City Press Club.  The Hubbard Radio station picked up first place honors for Best Newscast for coverage the day of the Congressional Baseball Shooting in June of 2017.  WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green won third place in the radio stations news series category for his investigative work in reporting “Anatomy of a Russian Attack,” an in-depth look at what the U.S. Intelligence community has concluded was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We feel so honored to be recognized for our efforts to bring breaking news coverage to the nation’s capital at the moments when it matters the most.”  Since 1935, the National Headliner Awards are given to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks, and news syndicates from across the nation.

TALKERS News Notes. Bay Area Media blogger Rich Lieberman 415 Media – wrote recently wondering if Westwood One nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage is in contentious contract renegotiations with the company.  Citing recent statements by Savage on his radio show that “in case I’m not here” listeners can hear him on his website and via Twitter, Lieberman says Savage could become the “latest cost-cutting victim” by parent company Cumulus Media (a la Don Imus and Ronn Owens) as it works through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Lieberman says Savage offered him “no comment” when they spoke and notes Savage has “fairly strong” ratings in San Francisco and does very well in PM drive in New York.  He also says Savage’s contract is up this year and suggests both sides may be posturing during contract renegotiations…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that starting in May, it will offer national ad and affiliate sales support for “Remote News Service.”  It has also expanded its partnership with Envision Networks and will offer ad sales support for the new feature, “140 Characters.”  Remote News Service offers high quality, local, real-time news reports across 14+ major markets with a full team of anchors.  Envision Networks’ “140 Characters” is a new service featuring celebrity impersonators, voice and character actors as well as pre-written scripts to use for topic starters, phone scams, parodies and more…..A new memoir titled, Lucky from Virgin: An Unlikely Story (2018, CreateSpace), has been published by 40-year veteran network TV correspondent Lucky Severson.  The book tells “the inside stories of some of the world’s more interesting people, told by a kid who grew up in the tiny Mormon town of Virgin, unaware of the world outside.”  In the book, Severson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy in a jail cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just weeks before his escape and murderous rampage in Florida, for which he was ultimately caught and executed.  It was the only TV interview ever done with Bundy before his death-bed execution.  Severson also traveled with the campaigns of Vice President George H.W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.  He spent time with the Dalai Lama in the shadow of the Himalayas.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Legendary Quad Cities news/talk outlet WOC-AM, Davenport is seeking a new program director.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says that its program director of 20-plus years is retiring, and WOC-AM is searching for the right individual to take the reins of this heritage station.  If you’re interested, email Jim O’Hara and he’ll send you an overview of the job: jimohara@iheartmedia.com.

Trump-Russia Probe and Related Cohen Raid Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 9-13.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related raid of the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement he won’t run for re-election this year.  Coming in at #3 was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about users’ privacy concerns, followed by the allegations that the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman to suppress a story about Trump fathering a child with a Trump Tower staffer in the late 1980s 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.

Radio Hall of Fame Chairman and Mega-Talent Manager Kraig Kitchin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He says, “One of my greatest professional passions is identifying outstanding radio talent and giving them recognition.” Among the radio industry’s most influential, behind-the-scenes players, Kraig Kitchin, head of Los Angeles-based media firm Sound Mind, LLC, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and consultant to such media production companies as Real World Productions (jingles and imaging), the Mix Group (outsourced station production) and Source Audio (music libraries), Kitchin is one of, if not the, leading managers of radio talent in the business today. His client list includes such names as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Delilah, George Noory, Bill Handel and more…information he is reluctant to publicly share. He states, “I believe that a manager should always put the talent first and foremost while personally staying in the background.” According to Harrison, “Kraig Kitchin is one of the most level-headed, intelligent, and credible business people in radio that we’ve seen during the industry’s modern era and has quietly and responsibly been one of the most influential.” Regardless, Harrison drags him into the spotlight for a rare interview that takes a conversational deep dive into radio’s history (Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Networks and at one time was sales manager for Katz Media) and a look to its future, covering the state of consolidation, the podcasting phenomenon, the tenets of being a great talent, and the challenge of programming commercials in the era of short-term attention span. Do not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (4/16), Joey Vlazny is taking over the morning show on Bonneville’s San Jose classic rock outlet KUFX “98.5 KFOX.” Joey – who was most recently morning host at rhythmic CHR KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102” – bumps Chris Jackson to the afternoon drive daypart.  Jackson fills the afternoon slot left vacant when PD/host Tim Jeffreys exited last month. New PD Brian Figula says, “Joey’s smart work ethic, strong creativity, and passion for our business elevates our brand awareness.  I look forward to adding him to the team with Chris Jackson to dominate the San Jose radio market.”…..Saga Communications adds Courtney Ross (center) to the morning drive show at country WPOR-FM, Portland alongside incumbent morning personalities Jon Shannon (left) and Joe Lerman (right).  Ross fills the role of recently departed morning personality Adam Rondeau…..KHTS-FM, San Diego morning personality Geena The Latina – co-host of “Kramer and Geena Mornings” – is being honored by the City of San Diego on Tuesday (4/17) as the city proclaims it “Geena The Latina Day.”  San Diego City Council president Myrtle Cole will honor Geena for her work with girls and young women in the local community.  Geena is an active volunteer with local organizations and founded the Fearless Empowerment Conference in 2017.  The annual event assembles successful women from the community to share their journey and inspire hundreds of teenage girls to be fearless and confident leaders.

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, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

| March 16, 2017

Michael Savage in Altercation with Man at California Restaurant.  Several news reports indicate that Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage was allegedly assaulted by an unidentified man outside a restaurant in Tiburon, California.  According to TMZ, the Daily Mail and other media outlets, while Savage was eating inside Servino Ristorante with his pet poodle Teddy, the man taunted him by repeatedly saying “weener, weener” – a reference to Savage’s legal surname, Weiner.  It’s not clear how it escalated but one report says the two got into some sort of scuffle outside the restaurant, ending with each man declaring the other under a citizen’s arrest.  Police arrived, interviewed both men and released them.  The local district attorney’s office is reviewing the matter and will determine if charges will be filed.  Savage’s attorney – Daniel Horowitz – told the Mercury News that another restaurant patron who attempted to intervene was punched in the face by the heckler.

NPR Ratings at ‘All-Time High.’  Based on data from Nielsen Audio, NPR is reporting that “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of about 37.5 million in the fall of 2016 – a nearly 4 million person increase from the same period in 2015.  Listeners for NPR programming and NPR Newscasts account for about 30 million of that total.”  During the build-up to the 2016 election and in the months since, talk-oriented public radio has seen its 6+ ratings in Nielsen’s PPM markets improve.  NPR SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes states, “At a time when many news organizations have been forced to contract, NPR is expanding coverage and focusing resources on the local and national issues that listeners care about.  Now, more and more people are turning to NPR as their source for unbiased fact-based news.”  NPR also notes that flagship programs, “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” reached their largest weekly audience ever, at 14.4 million and 14.65 million listeners, respectively.  “The number of listeners for all NPR programming increased considerably this year, particularly in the coveted 25-44 age demographic which expanded by 26%.”  Additionally, NPR says that its digital content at NPR.org has average monthly users grow by 28%.

BFoA to Honor Jeff Smulyan with Lowry Mays Award. This honor from the Broadcasters Foundation of America will be presented to Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan at the BFoA annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually by the BFoA on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  The breakfast is complimentary to all, although pre-registration is required.

Westwood One Adds Two Shows to Podcast Offerings. Audio content syndicator and sales division Westwood One announces new partnerships with Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, known together as the comedic duo Frangela (right), and radio pro, author, blogger and cancer survivor Robin Marshall.  Callier and Shelton are hosting WW1’s first fully produced podcast titled “Frangela: The Final Word,” that promises “insights and witty perspective on news and culture.” Marshall’s “Sugar Mom” is for “smart and sexy women who want to try something new.”  Both programs are available via the iTunes and audioBoom platforms.  Westwood One president/Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Frances, Angela, and Robin are powerful women who inspire, motivate, and make us laugh.  Westwood One is proud to help these fresh and funny shows build audience and brand partnerships.”

TALKERS News Notes. Hard-working talk show host Simon Conway (left) is doing a couple days of triple duty this week.  Today and tomorrow, Conway will do is regular shows – afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and morning drive at the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids – as well as filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right)…..Pamplin-owned Portland news/talk KPAM drops the afternoon “Margie and Carl” show hosted by Margie Boulé (right) and Carl Wolfson (left) due to budgetary reasons.  Wolfson, who also hosted a program in the market for years on the crosstown, former news/talker KPOJ, posted a gracious message on the show’s Facebook page giving thanks and credit to his former co-workers…..Nationally syndicated morning talk personality Doug Stephan checks in with TALKERS magazine to report his show, “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria,” has added 17 new affiliates in the first two months of 2017, including: KPHX, Phoenix; WOMI-AM, Owensboro, Kentucky; KQAM, Wichita; WXDE-FM, Salisbury, Maryland; and KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona.  Stephan says, “The table for conversation is growing larger, and co-hosts Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan embrace the future and are constantly reinventing the program.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk radio stations WBAP-AM and KLIF-AM in Dallas picked up multiple honors from the 2016 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters contest.  WBAP won first place for “Spot News by a Station” for its coverage of the July 7, 2016 Dallas police ambush. For the third consecutive year, KLIF’s Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff (pictured at right) grabbed first place for “News Anchor/Anchor Team.”  WBAP’s Brian Estridge took home first place for “Sports Play-by-Play.”  Cumulus Media RVP for Dallas/Houston Dan Bennett states, “We are all extremely proud of our news team, news director Freda Ross and program director Kevin Graham.  These awards speak to them and the talent in our newsroom.  The awards honor a team that brings their news ‘A-game’ every day.”

Jones Receives RTDNF Award. At Tuesday evening’s 2017 Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (right) received the First Amendment Service Award.  He’s pictured above with ABC News’ Robin Sproul (left).

Trump Travel Order Blocked, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, Trump Budget Cuts, Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). A judge blocks the Trump Administration’s second attempt at a travel ban; Fed Chair Janet Yellen announces raising of key interest rate hike for overnight lending of a quarter point; the Trump Administration’s budget proposal that seeks to make drastic cuts to a number of federal departments; the accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes up short in Wednesday’s Netherlands elections; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 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 personality and programmer Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new program director and afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento “92.5 The Bull.”  He was most recently with CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix as music director and PM drive host.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “B-Dub thinks big.  He’s a fun and entertaining personality.  B-Dub is a destination, lean forward and pay attention type of air-talent.  I have no doubt he will put ‘92.5 The Bull’ front-and-center in the minds of Sacramento country fans.”  Washington also hosts the weekend syndicated country show “Buckwild Saturday Night.”…..Geoff “G-Off” Owens is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop KXJM, Portland “JAM’N 107.5” and KUBE, Seattle/Tacoma.  Owens has been serving as afternoon drive personality at both stations…..iHeartMedia’s Las Vegas hip hop outlet K280DD “REAL 103.9” announces that Roxy Romeo is promoted to APD and music director for the station, adding to her current midday air shift from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  About her new responsibilities, Romeo says, “I am beyond ready to enter the programming world and take on this new role here in Las Vegas.  In the short time ‘REAL’ has been on-air here, it has touched the people and I’m excited to help make an even bigger impact and take it to the next level…..Midwest Communications promotes Ron Allen to format captain for the Duke FM country format.  Allen will continue to program the company’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” in addition to his new duties.  He says, “My two great musical passions are adult hits and country.  To be able to continue as brand manager for ‘96.3 JACK FM’ and work with our Duke FM brand as format captain from my hometown of Nashville is the best of both worlds.”…..iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones show and its listeners joined forces to honor wounded United States Air Force Captain Nathan Nelson (pictured at right with his family), who was paralyzed from the chest down during his third tour in Afghanistan and in need of a home to accommodate his needs.  Bones and his on-air crew worked to donate proceeds from the sale of camouflage #PimpinJoy T-shirts on TheShopForward.com and, in just a few days, sold enough T-shirts to raise $100,000 – doubling the original goal of $50,000.  With the help of Building Homes for Heroes, a new ADA-certified custom home will be built for Nelson and his family.

Monday, March 6, 2017

| March 6, 2017

Art Bell and Michael Savage/Westwood One Agree to Settle Defamation Suit.  Back in December, Art Bell and his wife Aryn Ruiz Bell, filed suit against talk host Michael Savage and Westwood One for defamation after Savage said the following on his nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio.  I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show.  Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years.  You can’t do UFOs.  That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who even understand the business.  There are other topics you can’t do…”  Now comes word from Bell’s attorneys that the two sides have agreed to a settlement, saying they are “currently in the process of memorializing the terms of the agreement and should be in a position to dismiss this matter with prejudice within thirty (30) days.  This settlement will resolve this matter in its entirety.”  We’ll never know the terms of the settlement, but if all goes as planned in the next 30 days, the matter should be resolved.

Variety Piece Spurs Industry Chatter about iHeartMedia’s Future. The recent Variety story by Gene Maddaus has renewed media industry speculation about the health of debt-laden iHeartMedia – or more accurately – speculation about not if but when the company enters bankruptcy reorganization.  As Maddaus points in his story, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman has been working to transform the company into a digital-era media force as the same time he’s been trying to refinance some of its $20.5 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia has $8.3 billion in debt coming due in 2019 and, as Maddaus writes, “no realistic way to pay it off.”  Industry icon Irving Azoff sits on the iHeartMedia board and – though he’s not officially speaking for the company – says something has to give in the near future, telling Maddaus, “There will be a deal of some kind, at some point, that is the best that can be achieved under the circumstances.  You’re correct that a day of reckoning appears to be coming. That’s no secret.”  Read the Variety story here.

Legendary Detroit Sports Figure Eli Zaret to Host Feature for WJR, Detroit. Sports broadcaster and author Eli Zaret begins hosting a daily sports feature airing on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit during the Guy Gordon show weekdays at 4:36 pm.  The new program is called “After Further Review.”  Zaret comments, “I’m excited about the opportunity to play a role at one of America’s legendary radio stations that features a cast of hall-of-fame broadcasters.  Before starting in television at WDIV in 1980, I loved writing radio sports commentaries.  Now, over 40 years later, to be able to do them at WJR alongside my longtime friend and colleague Guy Gordon is a very cool thing.  I feel like I’m going back to my roots in radio.”  Zaret is known for his coverage of the Detroit Pistons as a sideline reporter.  He started in 1974 at WABX-FM. Detroit.  He became the lead sports anchor for NBC affiliate WDIV-TV in the 1980s and served a similar role at WABC-TV in New York.  He’s also served as sports director for rock outlets WCSX-FM and WRIF-FM, as well as WJBK-TV.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Trump Rally Clashes, Trump-Russia Allegations, Immigration/Deportation Policies, Concerns Over North Korea’s Missile Program, ‘Logan’ Film Opens, SNAP IPO, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Trump Administration’s allegation that the Obama Administration ordered a wiretapping of its campaign and the call for an investigation; clashes between pro-Trump forces and protesters in Berkeley, St. Paul, and Nashville; the allegations of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; questions about the Trump Administration’s immigration and deportation policies; North Korea launches more test rockets as concerns over its nuclear missile program deepen; the opening of the latest X-Men film “Logan”; the initial public offering for SNAP, the company that developed Snapchat; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cooke: Are We Really THAT Angry?  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the media tempest that is the Trump Administration.  He says that he sends memos to the talent he coaches saying, “Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to talk radio.  There are spontaneous statements at Executive Order photo ops, Alternative Facts, SNL, botched calls with friendly foreign leaders, Ivanka Inc., the Russia flap.  Twitter!  Wiretapping?  Expect a-story-a-day, and assume NO topic burnout at this time.  As ‘the Trump channel,’ we can enjoy tune-in from giddy supporters AND appalled or scoffing resisters.”  Read more about Cooke’s take on the impact of the new administration here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock.  Today, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes look at the performances of classic rock-formatted stations based on data (6+) from Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 PPM survey.  Two classic rock outlets – iHeartMedia’s WRFX, Charlotte and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City – ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January PPM survey, but classic rock ranks well with 14 other signals landing in the top five in their markets.  For a complete analysis comparing performances from Holiday to January, from January 2016 to January 2017, and much more, click here.

iHeartRadio Music Awards Televised from the Forum in Los Angeles Last Night. The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards were televised via TBS, TNT and truTV last night (3/5).  Ryan Seacrest hosted the “fan-fueled” music awards show that saw Drake win seven awards, including Hip Hop Artist of the Year, R&B Song of the Year, Hip Hop Album of the Year, Hip Hop Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Most Thumbed Up Artist of the Year and Most Thumbed Up Song of the Year.  The Chainsmokers followed Drake’s lead in wins with five awards including Best New Artist, Best New Pop Artist, Dance Album of the Year, Dance Artist of the Year and Dance Song of the Year.  Pictured above backstage at the awards are (from l-r): actor Ansel Elgort, model Karrueche Tran, Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, singer Halsey, and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Oxnard, California-based Lazer Broadcasting announces that Joshua Mednick is named the company’s chief operating officer.  Lazer president and CEO Alfredo Plascencia states, “With Joshua’s immeasurable expertise with 30 years in radio broadcasting and an extensive knowledge of the Hispanic market for 16 years, we are confident that he is the right fit to lead our operations.  We are very excited to have Joshua at Lazer Broadcasting and looking forward to his innovative ideas.”  Prior to joining Lazer Broadcasting, Mednick served as EVP for Casa Media Partners and has held senior leadership positions for radio broadcasting companies across the United States…..In the Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Chuck Lakefield the host of the morning show on classic hits WVBO.  Lakefield moves from middays to mornings after current WVBO morning ghost Dan “Skip” Willis announced his impending retirement from the business after a 45-year career.  Lakefield takes over on March 20…..Press Communications’  WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey re-brands as “107.1 the Boss” with a gold-based mélange of “classic rock of the ‘70s, ’80s and more,” named with a tip of the hat to native son Bruce Springsteen.

The Band Perry Launches Pop Career in Atlanta.  Grammy-winning country trio The Band Perry is pictured here with Cumulus Media’s SVP of content & programming Mike McVay at Terminal West in Atlanta where it kicked off its series of nine pop-up shows to officially launch the band’s pop career.  The group recently released “Stay in the Dark,” the first single off of its forthcoming pop album, My Bad Imagination, to be released later this year.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sharon Kilgo, Cumulus Media VP/Music & Label Relations John Kilgo, Reid Perry, McVay, Kimberly Perry and Neil Perry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

| December 21, 2016

WJR, Detroit Brings Motor City Broadcast Pro Guy Gordon Aboard for New Talk Show.  Longtime market television journalist Guy Gordon will debut a new talk show on Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit fromwjr 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning January 3.  Cumulus notes that Gordon has been a fixture on Detroit television news gordonguyfor more than 30 years and was recognized with two Emmy Awards for Best Anchor and six Emmy Awards for Best Writing, Reporting, and Documentary.   Cumulus Detroit VP/market manager Tom O’Brien states, “We are thrilled to have a media professional of Guy’s caliber join the WJR team and to kick off 2017 with this vibrant new program.  Guy has covered many of the biggest stories affecting Metro Detroit and its residents over the past three decades and has experienced the triumphs and challenges of our great city from a truly unique perspective and vantage point.  WJR listeners will be captivated by what is sure to be a lively and provocative two hours with Guy and his guests each weekday afternoon.”  Gordon’s show replaces “The Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Year Lineup.  With the New Year come changes at E.W. Scrippsjaglerjohn news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  With the retirement from radio of longtime WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes, the station moves midday personality Jeff Wagner to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  Hosting the “WTMJ Today” show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on an interim basis will be WTMJ alumnus John Jagler, who is now serving as a Representative for Wisconsin’s 37th State Assembly District.  Previously, Jagler co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” with Gene Mueller until 2010.  Jagler will work on air with WTMJ’s Erik Bilstad.

‘Brock & Salk’ Show to Air on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland.  The KIRO-AM, Seattle-based sports talk show “Brock & Salk” – featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk – is  branching out to another Northwestsalkhuard market as the show begins a run on Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game,” effective Monday, January 2.  The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and lead into KXTG’s “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano.”  Dave Pridemore, who manages KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” for owner Bonneville International, comments, “We are excited to expand our Seattle Sports Radio Network into the greater Portland area.”

Cumulus Pays Bonuses to Execs John Abbot and Richard Denning.  Two of Cumulus Media’s executives have received one-time bonuses, according to a filing with the SEC.  The Cumulus board of directors approved one-cumulus-logotime, discretionary bonuses for EVP, treasurer and CFO John Abbot ($421875) and SVP and secretary and general counsel Richard Denning ($165,000).  The filing notes that the bonuses are for “exceptional efforts and contributions made by those executive officers during 2016, both individually and as members of the management leadership team, in the initial phase of the company’s operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of December 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

‘Dogma Debate’ Launches on PodcastOne.  The popular podcast produced by author and media figure David Smalley is joining the offerings at PodcastOne.  “Dogma Debate” is described by Smalley as “fast-paced with a liberal slant…featuring discussion and debate on topics like atheism, science, politics and civil rights” and “priding itself on respectful debates, the show will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, think, as you dive into taboo territory with Smalley and his guests each week.”  Smalley comments, “For years, I’ve been aware of the quality and growth Norm Pattiz delivers, so I’m very excited about the future possibilities ‘Dogma Debate’ can have with PodcastOne.”

‘The Union Edge’ Talk Show Partners with the League of Women Voters. The nationally syndicated labor-oriented radio talk show “The Union Edge” announces a new partnership with the League of Women Voters that union-edge-logowill mean League leaders will participating in regular radio segments to discuss voting rights, public policy issues and advocacy.  Program host Charles Showalter says, “We are excited to partner with the League of Women Voters for their strong commitment to voter engagement, voter protection and education.  Union members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents; all should have the unimpeded chance to vote their conscience.  As a non-partisan organization, the League always brings a fresh perspective on the critical issues facing working people across the country.”

Talk Personality Rob Carson Building Digital Platform.  Since recently exiting Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, radio personality Rob Carson has been building his own digital platform for his various projects basedcarsonrob out of his new home-based broadcast studio.  He tells TALKERS that in addition to his digital content, he’s doing talk radio fill-in work (he’ll be on WTMJ, Milwaukee and WLS-AM, Chicago next week).  “I now have a fully functional broadcast studio in my home.  Since leaving KCMO a month ago, I was able to crowd-fund a new studio, complete with a Comrex Bric II.  I have built a podcast and am working on a one-stop website for my podcasts, syndicated comedy, social media and dozens of comedy/lifestyle/cooking videos.  As things grow, I’ve already started to talk to food processors and distributors about food products of my design to sell in stores and over the air.”  Check out some of his cooking videos here.

Odds & Sods.  January’s East-West Shrine Game – the nation’s longest-running college all-star football game – is airing on more than 100 stations via SB Nation Radio.  Program director and COO Craig Larson states, “It’s a great honor to air the East-West Shrine game on SB Nation Radio.  I have long supported the amazing work of Shriners Hospitals.  This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight many outstanding student-athletes and aconwaysimon tremendous organization.”…..One of the busiest talk radio hosts in America is at it again.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway will host that show, his regular morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids as well as subbing in morning drive on iHeartMedia sister station WFLF, Orlando today (12/21) through Friday…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at D.J. Broadcasting’s WKDE, Altavista, Virginia…..Sports media personalities Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti are launching a daily, 30-minute podcast titled, “Unmuted: The Daily Sports Podcast.”  Paige and Mariotti are well known for their work on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” program.

Trump Transition, Obama Drilling Ban, Berlin Terror Attack, Russian Diplomat Assassination Aftermath, U.S. Embassy in Israel Move, Pulse Victims’ Families Sue Social Media, and NFL Pro Bowl Players Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20).  The transition of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; President Obama issues order banning drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans; the search for the person responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara and its effect on international relations; controversy over the Trump plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the planned suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google by families of the victims of The Pulse nightclub massacre; and the announcement of the NFL’s 2016 Pro Bowl players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

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Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average 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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

| December 6, 2016

Will Art Bell’s Suit Against Michael Savage Be Successful?  On Friday (12/2), TALKERS magazine reported that talk show host Art Bell and his wife are suing fellow talker Michael Savage in U.S. District Court in Northern California for defamation after Savage said the following on his Westwood One nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio.  I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show.  Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years.  You can’t do UFOs.  That’s an in joke, by the way, for people whoweismansteven understand the business.  There are other topics you can’t do…”  For his take on Bell’s chance of success, we turned to TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman.  He says, “It is hard for public figures to win defamation lawsuits because they have to prove actual malice or a reckless disregard for the truth.  More telling in this case, however, may be for Bell to prove that he was harmed.  Rodney Dangerfield once won a defamation case against a tabloid that said he snorted cocaine with hookers in a hot tub.  He won the case, but only was awarded a dollar because the judge said his reputation wasn’t harmed.”

Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver Joins WGAC Talk Host Lineup.  Nine-year Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver exited the mayor’s office in 2014.  Now, he’ll join the on-air staff at Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WGAC, Augusta to host “There It Is” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily.  The station says thatcopenhavedeke Copenhaver “will bring an exciting brand of talk radio through his relationships with local, regional and national government officials, as well as high-level executive decision makers throughout the Southeast and beyond.  Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Mark Haddon comments, “We are delighted to have Deke join us on the air at WGAC.  He brings a fresh approach to the current issues of the day that are important to our local community.  We think Deke will have a little something for everyone, so it should be enlightening and entertaining…a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the Central Savannah River Area.”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallTrans-Atlantic Conversation on the American Election and Brexit.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth discussion about the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s recent public vote approving Brexit with award-winning British talk show host Graham Mack.  The two compare notes on both the American and English points-of-view regarding the surprising state of world affairs as we wrap up the politically and culturally mind-bending year of 2016 on both sides of the Atlantic.  It takes place on the latestmackgraham installment of the hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison states, “My dear friend Graham Mack really has his finger on the pulse of British public opinion and brings a refreshing objectivity and honesty to the discussion about the complex events taking place there following the Brexit referendum.  He also offers a fascinating look at the election of Donald Trump from the English perspective.”  Harrison adds, “This installment of the podcast also gives me the opportunity to express my own personal assessment of this past election and the impact it is having upon politics, journalism and the media in the US.”  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 and RadioInfo.com.

Chiasson to Lead Cumulus Lafayette.  At the Lafayette, Louisiana cluster of Cumulus Media, Scottchiassonscott Chiasson is named vice president/market manager.  The company says Chiasson is a Lafayette native with 18 years’ experience in broadcast sales and operations management.  He’s previously served with E.W. Scripps in Wichita, iHeartMedia in Colorado and Florida, Metro Networks in Orlando, Cox Media in Lafayette, and CBS RARIO in Tampa/St. Pete.  Cumulus Media SVP Jeff Brown states, “Scott is a great radio guy and a Lafayette native.  That combination is a terrific match for our powerful brands and our talented team.”

Beasley Media Group Names Jami Beasley Associate General Counsel.  Attorney Jami Beasley joins the family business as associate general counsel for Beasley Media Group.  Beasley has most recently been serving as beasleyjamipartner in Kopelowitz  Ostrow P.A.’s Ft. Lauderdale office, where she focused on commercial and complex litigation, as well as her previous experience in real estate litigation.  She comments, “It’s an honor to serve Beasley Media Group as associate general counsel.  This is an exceptional opportunity and I am eager to contribute to the corporate team.”  General counsel Joyce Fitch adds, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jami to Beasley’s corporate headquarters.  Jami’s experience will greatly enhance the legal department and I will rely on her talent and skills as we move forward in our dynamic, growing company.”

wmaltrio16WMAL, Washington Raises $491,000 for Fisher House.  The 13th Annual WMAL Fisher House Radiothon, benefiting Fisher House Foundation, raised a record-setting $491,064 from the station’s generous listeners in the Washington, DC area over the past weekend.  The two-day event concluded with a live broadcast from The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP of news/talk Bill Hess states, “I remain in awe of WMAL listeners.  They have generously donated some $5.4 million over the last 13 years in support of this wonderful organization and its mission.”  Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WMAL morning co-host Larry O’Connor, mid-morning personality Chris Plante, and morning co-host Brian Wilson.

Steve Deace Book Gets Movie Deal.  Talk show host and conservative media figure Steve Deace is getting a movie deal for his novel, A Nefarious Plot (2016 Post Hill Press).  Believe Entertainment principals Carydeacenefariousplot Solomon and Chuck Konzelman – producers of the film “God’s Not Dead” – have purchased the film rights to Deace’s book and will begin developing the story for a film to be released in 2018.  Konzelman states, “We’ve been looking for the right story to expand into the imaginative and compelling horror-thriller genre and we knew it was Deace’s book as soon as we read it.  We’re into developing movies with spiritual themes, and A Nefarious Plot represents a way to explore those themes in a whole new way for the faith-and-values audience.”  Deace, who writes about issues exclusively for Conservative Review, says of this project, “My goal with A Nefarious Plot was to literally scare the hell out of people.  I’m very excited to see how Believe Entertainment will do exactly that.”  A Nefarious Plot centers around a demonic force which has long sought to manipulate American history to the ruination of the world’s lone superpower.

Trump Names Carson HUD Secretary, Al Gore Visits Trump Tower, Trump Calls Taiwan President, Fake News/DC Pizzeria Incident, Iran Nuke Deal Status, Mistrial in Cop Shooting Death of SC Man, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  The Trump Administration transition and the naming of Ben Carson as nominee for HUD Secretary; Vice President Al Gore’s controversial visit to Trump Tower in New York; President-Elect Donald Trump breaks protocol and speaks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the incident in which a North Carolina man fired a gun in a DC restaurant that he believed may have been operating a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton; Iran’s concern over the status of its nuclear deal with Trump soon to be president; a mistrial is declared in the case against former officer Michael Slager, who shot unarmed black motorist Walter Scott to death in South Carolina; the aftermath of the deadly warehouse fire that took the lives of 36 people; the Dakota Access pipeline controversy and the recent Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling requiring the pipeline be re-routed; the four-team college playoffs tournament; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Northwest Missouri State to Host Radio Talent Institute.  The Missouri Broadcasters Association is working with six radio companies to bring the Radio Talent Institute to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville July 31 through August 9, 2017.  The Institute is a 10-day radio immersion program bringing broadcasting nationalradiotalentsystem-logostudents together with more than 30 broadcast professionals for on-air training in music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales and more.  Students will also become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  Missouri will be one of six states in the country hosting an institute with the National Radio Talent System.  Other locations are the Kellar Radio Talent Institute Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Confer Radio Talent Institute Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute Western Kentucky University, GAB Radio Talent Institute University of Georgia, and Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Central Washington University.  Missouri Broadcasters Association president Mark Gordon states, “We are pleased to bring in a program taught by industry professionals that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Broadcasting companies taking part include: Hubbard Radio, Eagle Communications, Emmis Communications, Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group, iHeartRadio, and Mid-West Family Broadcasting.”

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Sunday Night at CBS RADIO Philadelphia.  On Sunday evening, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling spoke with guests about Satan and the history of rock ‘n’ roll.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Sterling, former WYSP program director Tim Sabean, classic hits WOGL program director Anne Gress, and Get the Led Out author Denny Somach.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments 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.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

| November 22, 2016

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Moves Larry O’Connor to Afternoon Drive.  Air personality Larry O’Connor has been heard during the 5:00 pm hour on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington since 2014, while also serving as co-host of the morning drive show “Mornings on the Mall” alongside Brian Wilson.  Now, O’Connor will give up the morning co-host gig and host the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart solo, effective January 2.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP, news/talk Bill Hess comments, “Larry’s success, both on ouroconnorlarry morning and 5:00 pm shows, has positioned him perfectly to re-open the local afternoon daypart on wmal-logoWMAL.  He’s smart, entertaining, and an engaging storyteller who will anchor a program built on the stories of the day, with expanded service elements for our busy DC commuters.”  O’Connor adds, “During this time of unprecedented change and interest in Washington DC, it’s an exciting and humbling opportunity to help facilitate an entertaining and provocative conversation on a station as important and influential as WMAL.  During the four years I’ve been here in the Nation’s Capital, I’ve been so impressed with this community’s engagement in not only our government, but with issues that hit our kitchen tables every day – like pop culture, faith, and parenting.”  WMAL is not renewing “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage which is currently airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Meanwhile, the station is seeking a new co-host for the AM show.  Interested personalities should send resumes to Bill Hess at: Bill.Hess@Cumulus.com.

iHeartMedia Flips Alternative WXZX, Columbus to Sports Talk.  Using the brand “Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone,” WXZX, Columbus leaves alternative rock behind for sports talk.  iHeartMedia is using FOX Sports Radio wxzxprogramming plus a local morning drive program hosted by Bruce Hooley and featuring Maddie Spielman (daughter of Chris Spielman, former Buckeye All American, NFL All Pro linebacker and Fox Sports announcer).  The show will announce another co-host at a later date.  Former WTVN, Columbus sports anchor Matt McCoy will provide special reports.  The station will air play-by-play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cincinnati Bengals.  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy comments, “Columbus has one of the best sports fan bases in the country and they finally a have a new destination for Columbus-based sports and entertainment radio in the morning, plus the best national lineup available the rest of the day.

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy Takes Call from President-Elect Trump.  Conservative news pioneer Chris Ruddy – CEO of Florida-based Newsmax – tells TALKERS magazine he received a phone call from President-newsmax-logoElect Donald Trump, who praised Newsmax’s coverage of the presidential race.  Ruddy says he’s known Trump for about 20 years and, while the content of his conversation with the president-elect is private, says their talk revealed a man who is “remarkably relaxed and focused.”  Ruddy gives his readers a preview of how Trump and his administration might operate, saying, “Trump has the best retail political skills of any politician I have seen.  Only Bill Clinton comes close.  This will serve him well in the sausage-making process of getting his policies through Congress.”  Read Ruddy’s entire piece here.

Cubs Baseball Was Very Good to WSCR, Chicago.  WSCR, Chicago program director Mitch Rosen checks in with TALKERS magazine to report that the historic Chicago Cubs season – culminating in the club’s first World Series crown since 1908 – was a boon to the CBS RADIO station in its first year as the team’s flagship station.wscr-logo  Rosen reports that on November 2, more than 1 million people listened to WSCR throughout the day, including the extra-inning game seven.  “There were times in game seven that half of all Chicago radio listeners were tuned into ‘The Score’ to hear the hometown call of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.  What an amazing first year it’s been for WSCR as the radio home of Chicago Cubs games.  To experience the World Series on this station as we approach our 25th anniversary makes this even more momentous.  When ‘The Score’ first launched, the station was a day-time only frequency, now the same brand is the home of The World Champion Chicago Cubs.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of November 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  This Thursday and Friday, morning talk personality Doug Stephan and his crew will be live on thestephandoug nationally syndicated “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria” program.  Stephan is no stranger to working holidays, giving local morning hosts all over the country time off.  On Thanksgiving, Doug, Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan will again broadcast live and, while others are out spending their money on Black Friday, Doug and his team will be giving away an HP Laptop with a special Black Friday contest…..Genesis Communications takes back the operation of WIXC, Titusville, Florida and is airing the news/talk format also heard on its WWBA, Tampa on WIXC.  Meanwhile, John Harper’s “WMEL” talk format – which had been heard in WIXC – moves to Astro Enterprises-owned WWBC, Cocoa Beach-Melbourne.

Former WOAI, San Antonio PD Pat Rodgers Dead at 67.  The programmer who is credited with creating the modern version of WOAI, San Antonio died on Monday (11/21) at age 67 after complications from a massive heart attack.  The station published a bio of Pat Rodgers on its website.  It notes that Rodgers came to WOAI after a number of years at then-MOR/full service WTMJ, Milwaukee with the charge of turning WOAI into a contemporary news and talk powerhouse.  “Rodgers built a powerful news operation and a stable of talk show hosts which included Carl Wiglesworth, and well as Eliza Sonneland, who was his co-host on the chatty ‘Morning Magazine’ program, as well as news legends Bob Guthire and George Jennings, and sports talk host Jay Howard.  In fact, Pat created the Ticket Sportsradio 760.”  Rodgers left the station in 1998 to pursue his dream of becoming a Roman Catholic deacon.  He edited the Archdiocesan newspaper, managed Catholic Television, and was the press secretary to three Archbishops.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmall96-Year-Old PR Pioneer Leo Pearlstein Guests on Special Thanksgiving Harrison Podcast.  If you are looking for a simple, great approach to preparing a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings, check out this week’s fun installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  96-year-old Leo Pearlstein, founder and CEO of the groundbreaking LA public relations firm Lee &pearlsteinleo Associates was a pioneer in the promotion and marketing of food during the second half of the 20th century.  Pearlstein specialized in representing specific food industries (such as the egg farmers, salmon raisers and prune growers) and tying in celebrity endorsements to his remarkably creative PR campaigns.  He was especially influential in elevating turkey meals from being primarily a Thanksgiving custom to becoming a mainstay of people’s diets all year round.  He launched that campaign with celebrated sexy 1950s movie icon Jayne Mansfield.  He even played a role in inventing the heat-resistant plastic turkey thermometer that pops up when the meat reaches a safe 180 degrees in the oven.  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 and RadioInfo.com.

Trump Transition, Pence-‘Hamilton’ Incident, Trump Meets with Television News Figures, Weekend Police Shootings, Kanye West Incident, Russian Military Build-Up, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The process of the transition of the Trump Administration; the hullabaloo over VP-Elect Mike Pence’s encounter with the cast of “Hamilton”; President-Elect Donald Trump chews out television news figures at meeting at Trump Tower; the spate of deadly attacks on police officers that took place over the weekend; Russian military maneuvers and tensions over Vladimir Putin’s build-up of the nation’s forces; hip hop star Kanye West’s political rants and the sudden cancellation of his current tour; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, November 18, 2016

| November 18, 2016

WBAP, Dallas to Donate JFK Assassination Recordings to Sixth Floor Museum.  The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 was chronicled locally by WBAP, Dallas.  Now, the Cumulus Media news/talk station announces it is going to donate 21 original recordings of the events and coverage on WBAP leading up to, including and following the assassination to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.  WBAP says wbap16these original “day-of” recordings are key materials documenting how this historic news event was reported to local audiences in 1963.  Museum executive director Nicola Longford says, “The Museum is committed to preserving not only artifacts and documentation about the assassination itself, but also about the cultural legacy of that pivotal event in history.  We are especially excited for this generous donation because it shows the vivid local perspective of this tragic day.”  The donation project was spearheaded by WBAP operations manager Tyler Cox, who says the recordings will be officially transferred to the Museum on Monday, November 21 at 10:30 am.  “The preservation of these original recordings has long been a goal of ours at WBAP.  The Sixth Floor Museum is the logical place for this audio glimpse of life in Dallas/Fort Worth on this fateful day to be preserved, and we’re pleased to make this donation to the Museum.”

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The Class of 2016.  Last night in Chicago, the National Radio Hall of Fame class of 2016 was inducted in a ceremony at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  This year’s class consisted of: George G. Beasley, Delilah, The Jeff & Jer Showgram (Jeff Detrow, Jerry Cesak, Tommy Sablan), Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart), Steve Harvey, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Tony Roberts, Neil Rogers and Michael Savage.  Pictured above are (from l-r): MBC’s Bruce Dumont, Mix Group president Jason Garte, Tony Roberts, Delilah, Bob Kingsley, Kathy Hart, Eric Ferguson, Tommy Sablan, Jeff Detrow, Jerry Cesak; and NRHOF chairman Kraig Kitchin.

Jeff Katz Renews with WRVA, Richmond.  Talk radio pro Jeff Katz inks a contract with iHeartMedia to remain host of the afternoon drive program on news/talk WRVA, Richmond, where he’s been the host for the past three years.  iHeartMedia Richmond SVP of programming Zac Davis states, “We are excited to have Jeff build onkatzjeff his brand at Richmond’s legendary WRVA.  He has shown an immense effort at endorsing a portfolio of clients that’s beneficial to our advertisers.”  Katz says, “I’m energized by digital engagement and new engagement with our fans through our social channels on WRVA.  iHeartMedia is a leading media outlet in Richmond and its programming and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio.”

CBS RADIO Partners with Facebook for Amber Rose Podcast.  This effort by CBS RADIO, CBS Local Digital Media and Facebook is making the “Loveline with Amber Rose” podcast on the Play.it platform available lovelineroseamberfans as it “airs” live every Thursday evening at 10:00 pm ET via Facebok Live.  The show is hosted by feminist, author, model and actress Amber Rose, and features sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue plus guests who share intimate experiences and stories about love and sex.  CBS RADIO SVP of business development Jeff Shultz says, “Facebook is a great partner to help us realize our multi-platform vision for the future of CBS RADIO.  First we reimagined the iconic ‘Loveline’ franchise as a podcast with a fresh and authentic personality. Now we are presenting a live video version on an easily accessible social platform that has mass reach and appeal.”

Odds & Sods.  In the Dallas market, Jeff Mitchell is promoted from director of sales to general manager for Salem Media Group’s operations here.  Mitchell previously served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown cluster prior to joining Salem six-and-a-half years ago…..At Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network, “The Morning Blaze” co-host and producer Skip LaCombe exits.  LaCombe – away from his duties there on leave – Tweets that he will not be returning and underscores that he was not fired from the position.  “Glenn, Doc [Thompson] and TheBlaze were all great to me.  I needed change.”…..TuneIn is presenting live play-by-play and team-specific programming for the basketball games of 149 universities.  TuneIn states that each college station gives fans “worldwide 24/7, free access to live play-by-play audio streams, as well as on-demand programming.   Twenty-two of the current Men’s AP Top 25 teams are available on TuneIn as well as select women’s powerhouse programs.”…..Sun Broadcast Group celebrated its eight-year anniversary yesterday (11/17).  CEO Jason Bailey reflects, “When we opened our doors in November 2008 Barack Obama had just been elected president, the iPhone App Store had just opened and thetrumptranspodcast global financial crisis had started to grip the nation with the collapse of Lehman Brothers…Eight years later so much is different.  What hasn’t changed, however, is Sun’s commitment to this great industry and our unwavering goal to be a better kind of radio company while having fun along the way.”…..The newsroom of The Washington Examiner and personality Michael Graham are presenting a daily podcast on developments in the Trump transition, plus analysis of policy implications and names swirling in the rumor mill of Washington, DC.  You can check out the podcast here.

talkersten-logoTrump Administration Transition Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of November 14-18.  The actions of the transition team for President-Elect Donald Trump were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the various Trump protests across the country.  At #3 was the state of the Democratic Party, followed by U.S.-Russia relations 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.

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Brian Kilmeade Book Tour Hits Orlando.  Pictured above is Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade (right) being interviewed by WDBO, Orlando personality Gene Wexler (left) during Kilmeade’s visit to Orlando.  Kilmeade’s new book, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History (Sentinel 2016), is on the New York Times bestseller list.  Last Friday, Kilmeade did his daily radio show from WDBO’s studios, took part in a WDBO listener event in the Stanley Steemer Performance Studio at Cox Media Group Orlando, and attended a book signing where more than 600 fans waited for a selfie and an autograph.

klinCool Program Director Position Open.  Heritage station KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska is searching for the ideal candidate to program the top-rated news/talk/sports station in one of the nation’s truly vibrant cities.  And you’ll also lead the flagship station for one of the country’s most elite college franchise programs – the Nebraska Cornhuskers!  Strategic vision, leadership, ability to innovate and inspire.  If this describes you, then our PD opening may be the perfect fit.  In addition to directing a talented staff with local programming and news, your assets also include the nation’s leading talk programming, from Rush to Hannity.  Experience in programming a news/talk station is a requirement.  Must be self-motivated, possess excellent communication skills, have a real desire to coach, develop and build talent and have the drive to win on the air and in social media.  Send us your resume with ratings history, aircheck and anything that tells your story so we feel compelled to pick YOU!  Contact Steve Albertsen, Operations Manager, NRG Media.  4343 O Street, Lincoln, NE  68510.  E-mail salbertsen@broadcasthouse.com.  Please place Program Director in the Subject line.   NRG Media is an equal opportunity employer.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

| November 3, 2016

It’s Official: WIP, Philadelphia Announces Chris Carlin and Ike Reese Afternoon Show.  As has been rumored for more than a week, CBS RADIO is bringing former WFAN, New York personality and “Mike and the Mad Dog” producer Chris Carlin aboard to co-host the afternoon show with longtime station personality (and formercarlinchris Eagles star) Ike Reese.  Carlin has been working for SportsNet New York hosting the “Loud Mouths” show and as voice of Rutgers football broadcasts.  He also handled sports updates on WFAN’s “Imus in the reeseikeMorning” program for a while.  Carlin and Reese will broadcast the new program weekdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning Monday (11/7).  CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Chris Carlin understands the passion that major East Coast cities have for their sports teams.  It’s easy to be excited to add a seasoned talker who has hosted great shows.  I know he’ll fit right in at WIP.  Ike Reese has spent the last nine years developing a deep relationship with Philadelphia sports fans.  He’s passionate.  He’s opinionated.  He’s beloved.  We’re thrilled that he’ll be playing an even bigger role at the radio station.”  Carlin comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to come to Philadelphia.  When the opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer.  The passion of the Philly fans is legendary and that’s what I’m hoping to feed off.  Ike’s been a part of it for a long time and he’s got his finger on the pulse of the city.  I know I’ve worked in New York for most of my career, but to co-host in afternoon drive on one of the cornerstone stations of radio in Philadelphia is something I could never have imagined.”

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Ramsey’s Smart Money Event Sells Out in Grand Rapids.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey sold out his Smart Money event in Grand Rapids last night (11/2) at DeVos Performance Hall.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate News Radio WOOD to promote the event.  iHeartMedia local market manager Tim Feagan says, “We are so pleased to have Dave Ramsey back in West Michigan.  Grand Rapids and WOOD Radio have hosted many Ramsey events here over the years and our listeners continue to respond enthusiastically to his fresh take on money and life.  We will again have a great turnout this week and we, and more importantly, our clients, could not be more thrilled to have Dave back.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Phil Tower, director of content & programming for WOOD and WTKG; Ramsey; Feagan; and Kim Lozano, general sales manager for iHeartMedia West Michigan.

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces The Mix Group Sponsorship.  For this year’s 28th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on November 17, radio imaging and production company The Mix Group will serve as the exclusive presenting sponsor.  In a statement from the National Radio Hall of nrhofFame, The Mix Group will also serve as an annual supporter of other upcoming National Radio Hall of Fame events.  Additionally, CBS Radio, Hubbard Radio, Premiere Networks, Westwood One and DTS, Inc. have committed to the efforts of the National Radio Hall of Fame as annual supporting sponsors.  NRHoF chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re so pleased to have the most generous support of The Mix Group for this prestigious occasion and the year to come, along with CBS, Hubbard, Premiere, Westwood and DTS.  Together, we’ll shine a light on the best our industry has to offer through this fine institution.”  On November 17, the class of 2016 will be inducted at the Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.  It consists of: George G. Beasley, Delilah, Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Steve Harvey, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Tony Roberts, Neil Rogers and Michael Savage.

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Mel Gibson Speaks About Hacksaw Ridge at SiriusXM Town Hall.  Pictured here is Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson (second from right) with actors Vince Vaughn (left) and Luke Bracey (second from left) with SiriusXM’s John Fugelsang (right) at the taping of the SiriusXM Town Hall promoting Gibson’s new film.  The program will air on the satcaster’s “Insight” channel Friday at 4:00 pm ET.  Photo: Cindy Ord, SiriusXM.

Odds & Sods.  New York City radio legend Alex Bennett is releasing his autobiography – in audio form!  Bennettbennettalex calls it a “spoken-word history of my 77 years” titled, “Life in the Passing Lane.”  Bennett tells TALKERS that after being asked over the years when he was going write a book of his life, he finally did it in 67, 30-minute chapters that are available via his Gabnet.net website.  He says, “It covers all my adventures in broadcasting and the people and places I have encountered along the way.  I am very proud of it.”.…..At Magic Broadcasting’s Panama City, Florida station group, Marc Summers rejoins the company to serve as operations manager and program director for CHR WILN, urban AC WVVE, and news/talk WYOO.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, U.S. House and Senate Races, Battle Against Islamic State for Mosul, ObamaCare Premium Hikes, European Migrant Troubles, Iowa Cops Slain, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2).  The race for president between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the controversy over the FBI’s renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the races for U.S. House and Senate seats; the fight to re-take the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State; the outrage over premium hikes and plan choice for health care as the result of the Affordable Care Act; migrant-related violence in France and Germany; the slaying of two Iowa police officers; the build-up to game 7 of the World Series; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

smart-conferenceRamsey Hosts Smart Conference in Atlanta. Syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey hosted a daylong “Smart Conference” in Atlanta this past Saturday (10/8) at North Point Community Church. Promoting the event was Ramsey’s Atlanta affiliate, iHeartMedia talker WGST. “These events certainly increase tune-in and listenership as we lean into them,” comments iHeartMedia Atlanta region president Justin Schaflander. “Far more importantly, they truly impact the lives of our listeners as it helps them find inspiration and answers on everything from finances to parenting and just life in general. The events create a deeper relationship between our listeners and Dave’s team, which in turn, create a far more beneficial connection between our sponsors and clients as they interact with Dave’s audience. It is a win on all fronts.” Along with Ramsey were Chris Brown, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Inky Johnson, Dr. Meg Meeker, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. Les Parrott. Attendees were provided information on how to win with money; strengthen their marriages; build parenting skills; and excel in their careers.

kinosianmikemlb-logo2PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from August 2016 to September 2016; ratings comparisons from September 2015 to September 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. See it all here.

hughes-cathyhoward-logoHughes’ Howard University Honor. In a ceremony that will take place one week from this Sunday (10/23), Howard University‘s School of Communications will be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as a tribute to Radio One‘s founder and chairperson. The announcement comes after a multi-million dollar gift to the Washington, DC school from Hughes’ son, Radio One president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III. Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick comments, “The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications. The gift will have a transformational impact on the school’s commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists.”

caldwell-meghanCox Media Group Tampa Boosts Caldwell to Digital Sales Manager. Two-year Cox Media Group Tampa digital media strategist Megan Caldwell is promoted to digital sales manager for the company’s six-station cluster. Vice president and market manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Megan knows the digital cox-media-group-tampaspace, knows our marketing partners, and knows what it takes to compete and win in this competitive, fast moving space.” Director of sales Jason Meder comments, “We are so excited to have Megan lead our digital sales efforts in Tampa. With a background in digital content, Megan brings unique experience to this role. Her knowledge – combined with her ability to create solutions for advertisers – is an amazing resource for Cox Media Group Tampa.” Caldwell adds, “I am beyond excited to be leading our team in digital. As the digital sales manager, I will be focused on driving initiatives that help us continue to build long-term relationships with our clients.” The 2012 University of Central Florida graduate previously spent two years as Cox Media Group Tampa’s digital producer and was social media manager for New Age Skincare. With their September 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, CMG Tampa consists of adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” (9.3, #1); WXGL “Classic Hits 107.3 The Eagle” (6.0, #3); adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” (5.3, #6); CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.7, #7); talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” (2.3, #18); and alternative WSUN “97-X” (2.3, #18).

simon-conwayWHO’s “Puppy Jake Foundation” Raises $22,000. Last Friday’s (10/7) third annual “Puppy Jake Foundation” fundraiser brings in more than twice as much as the combined total of year one ($4,000) and year two ($6,000). WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talent Simon Conway staged a free sandwich giveaway in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia talker and – in two hours – collected more than $22,000 to benefit the charity, which acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Conway states he was “speechless for about two seconds. People drove long distances; handed over huge sums of money; and donated enough to acquire, train for two years and ultimately hand over for free a service dog for a wounded veteran.” Thus far this year, the charity has given 11 dogs to veterans; nine more canines will graduate the program next March.

bush-billyNBC-TV Suspends Bush. By now, you know it was a rough weekend for former radio talent Billy Bush, who was believed to be groomed as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer on NBC-TV‘s “Today Show.” The network has suspended the ex-“Access Hollywood” host for his role in a 2005 video with Donald access-hollywoodTrump that surfaced on Friday (10/7). Bush is heard laughing and encouraging the now Republican presidential nominee as they engaged in a vulgar conversation about women. The Washington Post published the tape of Trump, who is heard on a hot microphone boasting to Bush about kissing, groping, and having sex with women, saying that, “When you’re a star, they let you do anything – I don’t even wait.” At first, it seemed Bush was going to appear on “The Today Show” this morning (10/10) to apologize, but by last night, NBC decided he would not go on the show; instead, executive Noah Oppenheim issued the suspension. There is no immediate information about how long it will last. “Let me be clear,” Oppenheim writes in a staff memo, “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.” In a statement he released on Friday, Bush notes he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his role in the 2005 video. “This happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” His weeknight (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) “Billy Bush Show” debuted on April 14, 2008; Westwood One ended production of it in late-December 2014. Prior to that radio project, a mix of music and celebrity banter targeted to CHR and hot AC stations, Bush did wakeup duty on WWZZ “Z-104,” Washington, DC (now Radio One‘s WPRS “Praise 104.1”). In advance of starting his senior year at Maine’s Colby College, Bush scored a summer internship at Bill O’Shaughnessy’s WVOX in Westchester, New York.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

| September 27, 2016

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMichael Harrison Discusses Recently Revealed Yahoo! Hack with Cybercrime Expert Steve Weisman.  The recent massive Yahoo! hack of a half-billion internet users is scrutinized in an illuminating conversation between Michael Harrison and cybercrime expert Steve Weisman on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Upweismansteven Close and Far Out.”  Weisman is a prominent attorney, professor at Bentley University, prolific author, TALKERS legal editor, and publisher of the crime-fighting website, www.Scamicide.com.  In addition to the Yahoo! breach, the two talk about a wider range of online dangers facing individuals and business and their implications on freedom of speech as well as general privacy.  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Michael Savage Pre-Empted on WABC for Election Coverage; Technical Glitch Affects Network.  Syndicated talk host Michael Savage was livid for claiming not to have been informed by WABC his show would besavagemichael pre-empted for local, pre-debate coverage there.  But it had nothing to do with his commentary nor did the show’s failure across the Westwood One radio network – that’s the result of a technical problem beyond Westwood One’s control.  The matter was reported by Breitbart News and conservative news outlets picked it up and ran with a conspiracy-oriented explanation.  TALKERS magazine reported that earlier today.  Savage’s program is airing today as usual.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Dibley Partnered with Fortenbaugh and Neal for Mornings on KGMZ, San Francisco. Former KGMZ,dibleydan San Francisco “97.5 The GAME” personality Dan Dibley is returning to the Entercom sports outlet to work as a trio with Joe Fortenbaugh and NFL veteran Lorenzo Neal hosting the morning drive show.  The Bay Area sports personality was part of the station’s first morning show when the sports format launched back in 2011 and he also co-hosted afternoons with both Greg Papa and Damon Bruce.  He’s served as a sports anchor on crosstown all-news KCBS and worked for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo Re-Ups with SiriusXM.  Sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is staying with SiriusXM for at least another three years as he and the satcaster agree to a new contract.  Russo’s ownrussochris program, “Mad Dog Unleashed,” will continue to be heard in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel along with the slate of other sports talk hosts – including lead-in Stephen A. Smith.  Russo comments on remaining with SiriusXM.  “I am proud of what Mad Dog Sports Radio has become and continue to believe this is the best place in all of radio.  After 30 years of broadcasting, my excitement to come to work every day and talk sports with all of America is as strong as ever due to the freedom SiriusXM provides.  So stay tuned, America.  There’s plenty of bark left in the Doggie!”

The Presidential Race/Monday Night’s Debate, Charlotte Protests, Wells Fargo Scandal, Houston Shooter Injures Nine, U.S. Homicide Rate Soars, Death of Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the build-up to last night’s debate; the continuing protests in Charlotte over the shooting death of Keith Scott by police; the fake account scandal plaguing Wells Fargo and the suit being filed by fired former employees for not meeting unrealistic sales goals; a shooter in Houston injures nine before being killed by police; FBI statistics indicating the U.S. homicide rate rose 10% in the last year; Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in a boating accident; the National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Covering the Debate on CBS.  Pictured above at Hofstra University at last night’s presidential debate are (from l-r): WCBS, New York reporter Peter Haskell, CBS chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, and WCBS, New York reporter Steve Scott.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

| August 10, 2016

savage, michaelSavage, Westwood One Sign Multi-Year Renewal. Under terms of a just-signed pact, “The Savage Nation” host Michael Savage and Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One will continue their long-term relationship. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media’s executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “We are proud to extend our relationship with this top-notch talent [whoSavage Nation has] a unique voice in American radio. He has some of the most engaged fans and is a proven, consistent, ratings generator. We look forward to many more years together.” Savage states that his Westwood One deal, “caps my winning the National Radio Hall of Fame nomination. My show is famous for my ‘news, views, and reviews,’ and we will take it to new levels in January 2017. We will be doing a three-dimensional show on broadcast stations, as a live stream, and with special segments created only for subscribers.” With a Ph.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, Savage was the 2007 recipient of TALKERS‘s “Freedom of Speech” award. He has authored more than 25 books with his newest – “Scorched Earth” – coming out next month. First aired locally in San Francisco in 1994, “The Savage Nation” now airs nationally on 235 stations.

Top Earning RadioWho Are Radio’s Highest-Paid Talents? Whether it is professional athletes or movie/television stars, we are constantly fascinated by the salaries of those with an elevated profile. Some will find it curious – if not grossly unfair – for instance, that Alex Rodriguez will draw approximately $27 million next year from the New York Yankees to do basically nothing. There is a curiosity as well about the W-2 forms of certain radio personalities. In a Karen Blankfeld-written Forbes Magazine article, we discover the identity of the industry’s top six moneymakers. The names and perhaps even the order might not totally surprise you, but the figures could. Checking in at #6 is Glenn Beck ($13 million). “Aside from his conservative-leaning news site The Blaze, he makes a small fortune annually from his publishing imprint Mercury Ink,” Blankfeld notes. Bill O’Reilly ($18.5 million) is listed at #5 but his inclusion here is a stretch since the Fox News anchor does not have a long-form radio presence. Fox News stable-mate/Premiere NetworksSean Hannity ($29 million) comes in at #4 with Blankfeld remarking he “remains the go-to host for conversations and confessions with the GOP elite.” By now, you have probably correctly guessed the top three, but in a countdown hat-tip, the radio talent at #3 is iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” morning star and Premiere Networks’ “AT 40” host Ryan Seacrest ($55 million), who isn’t hurting too much without the “American Idol” checks. With a staggering $79 million, another Premiere Networks personality – Rush Limbaugh – is listed at #2. “He celebrated 28 years with iHeartMedia in August by renewing his contract,” Blankfeld states. Eclipsing everyone though at #1 is Howard Stern ($85 million) and it is perhaps fitting he is first, given his self-described “King of All Media” moniker. “His new five-year, eight-digit contract with Sirius will extend to a new app and video streaming of the show,” Blankfeld explains. Add the figures up for these six stars and the total is approximately $280 million. Forbes bases the list on estimated June 1, 2015 – June 1, 2016 pretax income, before deducting management and legal fees.

morgan, charlieEmmis New York City Makes Morgan SVP/Market Manager. It is quite a significant week for Emmis upper management. As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, Tuesday, 8/9), Chuck Williams takes over as senior vice president and market manager of the four-station cluster in the company’s home market of Indianapolis. There, he succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlier this year. Morgan now removes theEmmis “interim” title, as he officially is named Emmis New York City’s senior vice president and market manager. Company president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh declares that, “Charlie is one of radio’s truly gifted leaders. His inspirational leadership has been a catalyst in improving our results in Indianapolis and his deft skills are already having an impact in New York. I am thrilled he has decided to focus this next exciting stage of his career on ensuring [our New York City stations] continue to play an important role in the lives of listeners in the Tri-State area and these brands deliver on their enormous potential.” Morgan comments, “When a 35+-year radio veteran can honestly call his most recent seven years the most fun and most rewarding of his career, you know you are talking to one very fortunate man. That statement is true for me, thanks to the company and the culture that [founder, chief executive officer, chair] Jeff Smulyan, [president of radio programming] Rick Cummings, and Pat Walsh have built and nourished. Add to that the all-star team of talent I have worked with in Indianapolis, and you begin to understand my good fortune. For the past seven months, I have had the rare privilege of working with the talented team at Emmis New York. We have legendary brands in the most vibrant city in America. I have fallen in love with the people, the passion, and the opportunity to build on the legacy in New York.” Prior to joining Emmis, the Butler University alum spent more than 21 years as vice president and general manager of Susquehanna (now Cumulus Media) Indianapolis and he is a former president and chief operating officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions. In addition, Morgan is board chair of the Country Radio Seminar. Results from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM report indicate Emmis New York City urban AC WBLS is in fifth-place (5.1, 6+); rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” is tenth (3.5, 6+); and co-owned gospel WLIB is #31 (.4, 6+).

meltesen, jeffCumulus Media Nashville Names Meltesen Sr. AE/Sponsorship Sales. The former publisher of Nash Country Weekly Jeff Meltesen – is appointed senior account executive/sponsorship sales for Cumulus Media Nashville. He will focus on clients of the cluster’s two country stations (WKDF and WSM-FM) and Cumulus-Nashvillesponsorship sales of events/promotions for all Cumulus Media Nashville properties. WKDF “Nash FM” and WSM-FM “Nash Icon” general sales manager Rhonda Rollins comments, “We are thrilled to have someone of Jeff’s experience join our team. His sales, business, and marketing acumen are market tested and will help us elevate the conversation with our customers.” Meltesen remarks, “Cumulus Nashville’s high quality events featuring high profile artists present a unique opportunity for brands that want to make an impact in Nashville. Our sponsorships are backed by the power of our popular Nashville radio stations, so there is built-in media value for our partners.” Before joining Nash Country Weekly, Meltesen was marketing director for Nashville Songwriters Association International. Up a whopping +1.4 from June, WSM-FM “Nash Icon” finishes second (7.3, 6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 Nashville PPM sweep, nine-tenths behind Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” (8.2, 6+). Elsewhere in the Cumulus Media Nashville cluster, urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is #7 (5.2); WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is #8 (4.6, 6+); and tied at #12 – each with 3.7 (6+) – are sports WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WKDF “Nash FM.”

WABC-AMA Case of Copyright Infringement? Apparently, that is what Paul Bereswill is thinking, as he becomes the most recent photographer to sue a radio company over a copyrighted photo used on a radio station’s website. Specifically, the case in the southern district of New York has Bereswill alleging that Cumulus Media New York City talker WABC used his pictures of New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and a post-game photo of the NHL‘s New York Rangers on the WABC website without his prior consent. In addition to attorney’s costs/fees, Bereswill reportedly is seeking damages and profits or the statutory $150,000 per work.

lewis, jasonEx-Talkers Win Minnesota Political Contests. One of Rush Limbaugh‘s former guest hosts – Jason Lewis – defeated Darlene Miller and John Howe yesterday (Tuesday, 8/9) to win the Republican nomination for congress in Minnesota’s second congressional district. Lewis spent ten years on emmer, tomMinneapolis talker KSTP-AM and later was heard on cross-town KTLK-FM. Five years ago to the day, Genesis Communications Network began syndicating his show. Lewis will face Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Angie Craig and Independence Party candidate Paula Overby in November. Meanwhile in that state’s sixth district, another former talk show host – Republican representative Tom Emmer – won his primary race for re-election. Emmer was a state legislator before co-hosting morning drive with Bob Davis at KTLK-FM in 2011- 2013. Emmer was Minnesota’s Republican nominee for governor in 2010, losing in a very close race to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Mark Dayton.

Odds & Sods: Starting in four weeks (9/6), “The Sports Junkies,” the 6:00 am – 10:00 am program on CBS Radio WJFK-FM Sports JunkiesWashington, D.C. sports outlet WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” will be simulcast on regional cable sports network CSN Mid-Atlantic. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard comments, “‘The Sports Junkies’ are the most dynamic radio personalities in [the market] with a dedicated fan base of listeners on radio, streaming, and via podcast. We are thrilled to work with our partners at CSN on this important brand extension of our original programming.” ….. Topics ranging from research and insights affecting radio listeners and advertisers to storytelling will be featured in “Radio Impact Reports,” a new blog from the RAB. According to the first post, the blog will, “share current news, information and insights about broadcast radio, while using this social space to encourage an open dialogue with broadcasters, advertisers, agencies and even listeners. One thing is for certain – our focus will be on continued growth and innovations taking place, ensuring radio’s bright and exciting future.”   

freeman, dorisDoris Freeman Passes. The class of 2014 Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee died this past Saturday (8/6). Doris Freeman began her career approximately 80 years ago as a feature radio singer and tap dancer. She raised millions of dollars over the decades for organizations such as the West Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center, Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, March of Dimes, and the United Negro College Fund. Freeman hosted daily and weekly radio shows on Jackson, Tennessee’s WDXI; a daily children’s television show in Jackson; and headed up Cousin Tuny Enterprises, one of Jackson’s first advertising agencies. As a single mother of four, she became Jackson’s first female radio advertising representative with WDXI in 1948 and later at WTJS, and WJAK. For more than 20 years, Freeman produced/hosted live radio coverage of the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Visitation will be held tomorrow (Thursday, 8/11) 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Jackson, Tennessee’s Northside Methodist Church; funeral service (also at the Northside Methodist Church) is this Friday (8/12) at 11:00 am.

Monday, June 20, 2016

| June 20, 2016

iHeartMedia Partners with AdsWizz for Programmatic Marketplace for Premium iHeartRadio Inventory.  This programmatic private marketplace provides programmatic buyers access to iHeartMedia’s premium radio inventory across its digital properties on iHeartRadio.  iHM says that “agencies and brands will be kaminskybrianable to programmatically target iHeartRadio’s extensive audience using a combination of first- and third-party data segments.”  Last spring, iHeartMedia unveiled a programmatic and automated ad buying private network for itsadswizz logo broadcast radio stations, powered by Jelli.  This programmatic marketplace for its digital properties uses the AdsWizz platform.  iHM president of programmatic and data operations Brian Kaminsky says, “Audio has a significant and growing role in the lives of today’s consumers and iHeartMedia is committed to evolving the ways marketers can reach and influence their target audience through our audio channels.  Offering a programmatic approach to buying iHeartRadio’s digital listening audiences is a natural extension of our direct sales and broadcast programmatic initiatives and further enables us to capture even more of the $20 billion in ad spending that is projected for 2016.”

The Orlando Massacre Aftermath, The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Looming ‘Brexit’ Vote, Southwest Heatwave, and Cavs-Warriors Finals Among Top News/ Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Orlando massacre including the pending release of Omar Mateen’s cell calls and the push for gun control legislation; the activities of the candidates for president; U.S. policy and strategy in the fight against Islamic State violence; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the Syrian civil conflict; This week’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union; the intense heatwave in Arizona, Nevada and parts of California; and the NBA Championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Host John Rowland Loses Appeal of Corruption Conviction.  Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was working as afternoon drive personality on CBS RADIO’s WTIC, Hartford when he began to work for congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley via his political consulting firm.  However, prosecutors successfully argued that he attempted to hide his role as a paid consultant and obstructed authorities in their efforts to investigate the matter.  He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in March of 2015 but has been free on bond pending appeal.  Last week a three-judge panel in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld his conviction.  Now, his options are to ask for the entire judicial panel of the Appeals Court to hear his arguments or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.  Rowland was previously convicted of bribery in 2004 for actions committed while serving as governor and served 10 months in federal prison.  Rowland hosted a show on WTIC from 2010 through 2014.

nrhofPublic Voting for NRHoF Begins Today.  Today through June 30 is the public voting for radio personalities to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November.  Listeners nationwide can vote in two categories.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are:  Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Tom Kent, The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter), and Bob Kingsley.  For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are Sean Hannity, Mike and the Mad Dog (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo), Diane Rehm and Michael Savage.  Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “The listener response we received last year since reinstituting the public voting process after a five-year hiatus was overwhelmingly positive.  Fans want to engage and be a part of the process, which is a tribute to the dynamic personalities of each show.”  Winners of the two categories will be announced July 11.  Fans needing more information can visit each host’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, website, or the National Radio Hall of Fame website:  www.radiohof.org.

njba16New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference (NJBA) Set to Open this Week.  The 69th Annual NJBA Conference and Gala is set for Wednesday (6/23) and Thursday (6/24) at Caesars Atlantic City.  The theme of the event is “The Power of Broadcast” and it will feature a wide array of speakers from Garden State radio as well as industry leaders from across the nation.  Once again, NJBA’s dynamic president Paul Rotella and his team have organized an exciting agenda with solid speakers.  Topics covered will include programming and marketing in the digital era, the changing nature of automobile listenership, the role of women in broadcasting, the importance of mentoring new talent, the sensitive relationship between music radio and pure plays, and the state of the FM chip, plus more.  There will be the traditional awards ceremony, live broadcasts and displays of the latest technology.  The agenda includes a “Radio Reporters Roundtable,” discussing the state of Atlantic City’s economy and future.  Five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield will deliver the conference keynote address.  For complete agenda and registration information please click here.

hurleygolf16WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Raises More Than $55,000 for Charity.  Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley’s 9th Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Golf Open raised more than $55,000 for his Hurley Morning Show Foundation.  The annual golf event has raised more than $600,000 over the past nine years.  DIY television network star Jason Cameron was on hand to help announce and present a new annual grant – The Thomas J. Hurley vocational trades school grant.  Cameron also played in the event and his foursome won the 2016 Hurley Open Championship with a score of 56.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Margie Hurley, Jason Cameron, and Harry Hurley.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte, a family-owned company, has a rare opening for a director of sales for WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM.  The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success.  The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations.  Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business.  Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; implementation and compliance with CRM tools; set rates through yield management tools; meet or exceed all revenue goals; work as a coach, leader and problem solver; understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth.  Minimum requirements: candidate must be creative and possess an ability for generating local direct business; four-year college degree preferred; three to five years’ experience in radio sales management, preferably in a cluster or multi-station group; can demonstrate a proven track record out-performing the market as reflected in the Miller Kaplan Report on a consistent basis.  Please submit your cover letter and resume to hired@gmclt.com, or mail/fax to: Human Resources WBT/WLNK, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. 704-338-3079 (fax). EOE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

| May 24, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Prevails in Suit Against Creditors.  As reported by Reuters, iHeartMedia Inc wins its suit against a group of creditors that wished to have the company declared in default on its debt obligations after transferring $500 million in Clear Channel Outdoor stock to a shell company called Broader Media Inc.  The trial lasted just over a week in Bexar County, Texas.  The court ruled the transfer does not violate the terms of its loans.

wzzrCumulus Launches New FM Talker on 99.5 in Birmingham.  The former NASH Icon station becomes an FM talk outlet this morning (5/24) branded “Talk 99.5, Birmingham’s Real Talk.”  Cumulus Media announces WZRR-FM is featuring a live-and-local lineup of personalities starting with morning show “Matt and Aunie” – Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg.  Lindenberg handles the 10:00 am hour solo, followed by Richard Dixon from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Leland Whaley hosts “Leland Live” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  After that it’s Westwood One programming with Mark Levin from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, “Red Eye Radio from 12:00 to 5:00 am and “First Light with Evan Haning” at 5:00 am.  Matt Murphy is also the program director for the station and he says, “‘Talk 99.5, Birmingham’s Real Talk’ is designed not only to be a source for breaking news and information, but as a place for Birmingham listeners to talk about the issues important to them.  We are extremely excited to bring an all-star lineup to an all-star state.  Our commitment to live and local hosts represents our commitment to delivering the very best news, information and talk to the people of Alabama.”  The format is being simulcast on the company’s longtime news/talk-formatted WAPI-AM.

wylandrodgerAlbany Sports Talker Jumps Across Town.  Sports talk personality Rodger Wyland has left iHeartMedia’s WOFX, Albany and will reappear on Townsquare Media’s WTMM on July 5, according to a report in the Albany Times Union.  Wyland hosted the “Big Board Sports” show and had been with the station for the past 15 years.  The paper is reporting the WTMM show will air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Neither of the sides are commenting on the move but it appears, based on his start date at WTMM, that Wyland may be sitting out a 30-day non-compete.  How WOFX will fill the host role on “Big Board Sports” is unknown at this time.

The Presidential Race, EgyptAir Crash Investigation, Airport Security Wait/TSA Scrutiny, Obama Vietnam Visit, Freddie Gray Case Acquittal, Facebook’s Alleged Anti-Conservative Bias, McAuliffe FBI Investigation, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The activities of the candidates for president; the investigation into the cause of the crash of EgyptAir flight 804 and initial indications an explosion is a likely cause; public furor over long airport security wait lines and the dismissal of TSA security chief Kelly Hoggan; President Obama’s visit to Vietnam and the reversal of policy allowing the U.S. to sell weapons to the former adversary; the acquittal of Baltimore police officer Edward Nero in the case of the death of Freddie Gray; the charges against Facebook that it manipulated trending stories in a bias against conservative topics; the FBI investigation into Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for campaign finance violations; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  The Boston operations of CBS RADIO report that longtime WBZ-AM personality Jordan Rich is giving up his weekend overnight talk show role in order to spend more time with family “after working seven days (and nights) a week for so many years.”  CBS says Rich will still be producing the “New England Weekend” and “Connoisseur’s Corner” segments that air on the station.  Rich also operates his own Chart Productions audio production company…..“Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds an exciting new affiliate in London-based U.K. financial talk media platform Share Radio.  Hill tells TALKERS it’s the first American show the company is airing.

maederNakedDJRadio Pro Jo Maeder Publishes Novel Titled, NAKED DJ.  Former rock jock and talk show host Jo Maeder is publishing a novel set in the radio business titled, NAKED DJ (Vivant Press 2016).  The former “K-ROCK” New York air personality says of her novel, “NAKED DJ is an uncensored, all-access pass to one woman’s climb to the radio top.  Then her troubles really begin.  It’s also a great contemporary story.  How far do you go for your job?  And for love?”  Several years ago, Maeder wrote a best-selling memoir about her time caring for her aging mother titled, When I Married My Mother.  Now, she says she’s a full-time writer.  High-profile entertainment and media people quoted promoting the book include, musician Paul Shaffer, Premiere’s Delilah, and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The audio version of the book is read by comic and impressionist Rachel Butera who is booked to appear on SiriusXM with Mader’s old “K-ROCK” co-worker Howard Stern in June.

Monday, May 2, 2016

| May 2, 2016

kcmo logoTom Becka Returns to Kansas City as KCMO Re-Vamps Lineup.  Last week, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City cut ties with 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm personality Greg Knapp.  It turns out that was phase one of a programming lineupbeckatom restructure.  Talk host Tom Becka – who previously worked in the market at crosstown KMBZ – joins the station to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Local host Rob Carson remains in the morning drive slot.  Current KCMO personality Mike Ferguson moves to the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot, followed by Dave Ramsey from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Cumulus Media Midwest regional VP and market manager Donna Baker comments, “KCMO talk radio takes an exciting step forward today.  Welcoming Becka back to KC, Mike Ferguson continuing local community conversations over the lunch hour, and Dave Ramsey returning to three hours in the afternoon are powerful additions to our talented lineup.”

theblaze logoReport: ‘Nearly 40’ Laid Off at TheBlaze.  According to a published report by Lloyd Grove in The Daily Beast, close to 40 staffers have been let go from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – just a year after numerous staffers were laid off in May of 2015.  Grove’s piece says this is part of a restructuring required by the covenants of a “multimillion-dollar bank loan” recently taken out to keep the company going.  Layoffs reportedly affect some 20 at offices in New York, 12 in Washington, five at a dozen in Washington, five at a documentary studio in Columbus, Ohio, plus several in a Los Angeles office.  Back in February, Kraig Kitchin stepped down from his CEO role with TheBlaze to focus on “existing commitments.”  Director of advertising sales Jeremy Price and director of marketing Liz Julis also exited at that time.  The story says these changes do not affect Beck’s Premiere Networks-syndicated show.  Read Grove’s piece here.

baileykenettaKenetta Bailey Named SVP of Marketing for CBS RADIO.  Joining CBS RADIO as senior vice president, marketing is Kenetta Bailey.  She was most recently heading up her own consulting firm – KB Consulting – in which she worked with a variety of start-up businesses on subscriber growth, social media and branding.  She also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Wharton School of the University ofcbsradio logo Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Kenetta to our leadership team, and look forward to introducing her creative energy and brand expertise into everything we do.  We have a tremendous opportunity to expand the strength of our brands locally and nationwide, as well as define our long range position in the marketplace.  I know Kenetta will play an instrumental role in the telling of our story to the industry.”  Bailey will be responsible for the marketing and brand positioning of the company, its stations and its digital products.  She’ll also provide business-to-business marketing support and work with the division’s market managers and station management to develop and coordinate strategy for their local marketing efforts.

price howardWhen Your Station IS the News.  Last week’s attempted takeover of a media outlet in Baltimore by an allegedly deranged man happened at a television station.  But, it could just as easily have been a radio station group.  ABC Television Network director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column published today (5/2), that “comprehensive, well-resourced and well-rehearsed emergency planning not only assures your continued ability to operate in times of crisis, but more importantly, shows your staff and clients how much you care.”  He notes that the Sinclair-owned station and its staffers were prepared and it showed in how the situation was dealt with.  Read Price’s valuable advice for preparing for potential emergencies here.

entercom2015 Acquisitions Help Entercom to Q1 Net Revenue Hike of 23%.  During 2015, Entercom added stations to its portfolio in deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville.  Those deals helped the company’s first quarter 2016 net revenue soar tofielddavid $96.1 million.  Company CEO David Field says, “But the bigger news is that we had another great quarter of organic revenue growth.  Same station revenues increased 6% for the quarter… In sum, it was a terrific quarter. What is important to note is that is part of an increasingly consistent pattern of Entercom delivering solid growth quarter-after-quarter.  This now marks the fourth consecutive quarter of accelerating organic revenue growth for Entercom.”

The Presidential Race/Trump Protests, Iraq Parliament Protest, Seattle May Day Violence, 9/11 Report Controversy, White House Correspondents Dinner, and NFL Draft Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the California Donald Trump protests; the storming of the Iraqi Parliament by anti-government protestors; Sunday’s violent May Day protests in Seattle; controversy over the validity of the contents of the 9/11 report and Saudi Arabia’s threat to the U.S. if blamed for the terror attacks; the various political jabs from speakers at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents Dinner; and the 2016 NFL Draft were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

holdtheirfeet16FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Reports Record Attendance.  The immigration-oriented radio row scheduled for June 22-23 in Washington is filling up with radio talk show hosts fast.  The “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event is produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform and executive director Bob Dane calls it an all-time high attendance record and adds that it’s “no surprise given immigration is the hottest issue in a high-profile, turbulent campaign.”  FAIR says there are three remaining broadcast slots up for grabs.  The event on Capitol Hill pulls together talk hosts, lawmakers, law enforcement and media.  FAIR covers all expenses and engineering.  Call for details at 202-328-7004.

Odds & Sods.  Sports talk KDCO, Denver adds an FM presence in the market via translator K284CI at 104.7 FM.  Mile High Sports Radio operates the stations under an LMA from Kona Coast Radio….. The Red State Talk Radio Network-based talk show “Standing Ground” hosted  by Jeremy Leahy adds new affiliate station WJHC, Jasper, Florida (between Jacksonville and Tallahassee).  The show airs at 11:00 pm on Sunday evenings…..Alpha Media’s Mason City, Iowa stations news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB pick up 11 honors in the Small Market Division of the 2015 Iowa Broadcast News Association awards.  KGLO’s Bob Fisher won four first-place awards for Best Newscast, Sports Play-by-Play, Political Coverage, and Public Affairs.

Monday, April 4, 2016

| April 4, 2016

owensronnKGO, San Francisco Announces New Programming; Ronn Owens to Remain on KGO After All.  Citing listener outcry (who saw that coming?), Cumulus Media is changing its plans to move Bay Area talk legend Ronn Owens to drive time on sister talker KSFO and will keep him on KGO (with anbearmanethan3 hour trimmed off) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Beginning tomorrow (4/5), the new KGO lineup begins with KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – in morning drive.  After Owens is Ethan Bearman from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Bearman has been hosting weekend shows for KGO and sister KSFO for the past few years.  Brian Copeland, a copelandbrianlongtime weekend host at KGO, follows Bearman from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Chip Franklin is now afternoon drive host from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and DreX remains the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm personality.    Last week, the company moved away from its newsy heritage, dismissing most of its newsfranklinchip personnel in this move to re-make KGO a live-and-local talk station.  Program director Mike Anthony states, “We couldn’t be more excited about the new direction KGO 810 is taking, and we believe our listeners will love what they hear.  Ronn’s audience made it very clear to us yesterday that he belongs at KGO — so we listened.”

The Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict/Battle Against Islamic State, European Jihadists Investigation, European Migrant Issues, and the Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president in advance of Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary; the Syrian civil conflict, weekend attacks on al-Nusra leaders and the battle against Islamic State fighters; the investigation into the jihadists responsible for the Paris and Brussels terror attacks; the issues European nations are dealing with as they absorb refugees from Syria and other Middle East nations; and the Final Four games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wilsonamberAmber Wilson Joins WAXY-AM, Miami’s ‘Zaslow & Romberg’ AM Show. Florida broadcaster Amber Wilson is joining Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “Sports Talk 790 AM The Ticket” as a member of the on-air team on the “Zaslow & Romberg” show with Jonathan Zaslow and Brett Romberg.  Entercom notes that Wilson is “a veteran sports broadcaster, who began her career hosting a weekly sports television show, ‘Sports Bang’ on WFOR-TV alongside ESPN’s Jon ‘Stugotz’ Weiner.  She has previously appeared on a variety of sports radio programs, including CBS Network’s ‘The Players Club’ and as an anchor, reporter and writer for Open Sports Inc. and CBS Sports Interactive.”  Entercom South Florida VP and market manager Doug Abernethy states, “Amber has it all: in-depth sports knowledge and expertise, a fan’s enthusiasm and a lively on-air presence.  Her chemistry with Jonathan and Brett will be a winning combination that will resonate with our audience and our ad partners.  Listeners will benefit from her proven track record providing real time commentary and sports analysis.”

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt and Wife Lose Case Over Unpaid Legal Bills.  Talk show host Todd Schnitt and his wife Michelle were handed a legal defeat in a Tampa courtroom when the jury decided that the couple must pay their former legal team the fees it charged to sue former Tampa radio rival Bubba the Love Sponge.  The Schnitts had argued that they were deceived by former attorney Philip Campbell and would not have sued Bubba if not for “bad advice” from Campbell.  The Schnitts lost their bid to win a defamation case against Bubba.  In the end, the jury found the Schnitts had not been deceived by Campbell and they are being ordered to pay $669,000 in legal fees.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Public Radio Talk.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of three format analyses of spoken-word radio based on the February 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Previously we published reports on all-news and news/talk.  Today’s report focuses on non-commercial news/talk.  No public radio talk station ranked first in its market in February, however six stations finished in the top five: WAMU, Washington (#2); KOPB, Portland (#2); KQED-FM, San Francisco (#3); WUNC, Raleigh (#3); KCFR, Denver (#4); and KPBS, San Diego (#5).  In this report you’ll also find a chart comparing the performances of all-news, news/talk, and non-commercial talk.  See it here.

Odds & Sods.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM,levinmark Chicago is flipping the air times of Westwood One syndicated talk programs “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage and the Mark Levin program.  When the shows aren’t being pre-empted or partially pre-empted by White Sox baseball, Savage will be heard at 9:00 pm and Levin will go on at 6:00 savagemichaelpm.  Both shows will be streamed when baseball is airing…..Media sales pro David J. Halberstam has just published his new book titled, The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.  Halberstam – who began his career with Katz Media and spent a decade as EVP of sports for Westwood One – currently heads up the Halby Group.  He tells TALKERS the book is being released in both hardcopy and electronic forms via Sagamore Publishing.  Halberstam says, “The title is a first of its kind; a step-by-step handbook on developing new sports media and sponsorship accounts. Corporate sports account executives, veterans and rookies alike, should findconwaysimon the text of interest. From identifying prospects to closing a piece of business and the emotional roller coaster throughout the process, they are all covered.”…..Hard-working Iowa personality Simon Conway – heard on WHO, Des Moines in afternoons and on WMT, Cedar Rapids in mornings – is tripling up this hewitthughweek as he is also being heard on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando in morning drive today through Wednesday…..Bill Bennett officially passed the baton to new Salem Radio Network morning drive host Hugh Hewitt, who replaces Bennett in the daypart.  Hewitt had U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on his program and he wished Hewitt well, “Congratulations, welcome to mornings…you have some big shoes to fill!”

millerpatWOWO, Fort Wayne’s Pat Miller to Undergo Kidney Transplant.  Afternoon drive talk host Pat Miller recently shared with his listeners his battle with Chronic Kidney Disease and the news that a matching kidney donor has been found.  He said, “God miraculously has made a kidney available for me.  There’s a donor that has selflessly put themselves on the line…”  Miller is scheduled to undergo the transplant on May 24.

WBBM-AM, Chicago Reporter Dies in Car Crash.  A Sunday morning automobile accident in Merrillville, Indiana took the life of 60-year-old WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago reporter Dave Mitchell.  Mitchell had been with the CBS RADIO all-news outlet since 1992.  Chicago media is reporting Mitchell leaves behind a wife and four children.

Monday, March 28, 2016

| March 28, 2016

The Presidential Race-Sanders Weekend Victories, Brussels Terror Attack Aftermath, Taliban Terror Attack in Pakistan, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and Bernie Sanders’ three primary victories in Saturday elections; the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks; the Taliban orchestrated terror attacks in Pakistan on Sunday; and the weekend’s action in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

savagemichaelMichael Savage to Host Trump; Threatens End of Support.  Nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage has been a very vocal supporter of Donald Trump in the latter’s bid to win the GOP presidential nomination – more supportive than most other major talk hosts.  Savage has now made it public that he will drop his support of Trump if the campaign is responsible for a story published by the National Enquirer accusing GOP opponent Senator Ted Cruz of having had extramarital affairs.  Over the weekend, Trump said he or his campaign had not fueled the story and shot back that Cruz’s campaign “started it” – referring to an anti-Trump PAC’s use of a racy image of Melania Trump from her modeling days in an ad.  However, that Trump will be able to prove a negative – that he didn’t have anything to do with the Enquirer story – to Savage is impossible, and it’s unlikely the Enquirer will reveal its source.

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs to Close Practice; Takes Touro University Position.  Doctor of Family Medicine Daliah Wachs – a nationally syndicated talk host whose show is distributed by Genesis Communications Network – announces she’s closing her private practice and will join Touro University Nevada as director of community outreach and assistant professor.  In a statement, Wachs says, “After 16 years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to stop practicing medicine and to transfer my loving and wonderful patients to a medical organization who can conform and survive our new health care system…I will have the phenomenal opportunity to teach medical and physician assistant students!!  Nurturing baby doctors into full grown doctors has always been my passion as well as partnering with community leaders to make medical awesome happen!”

metaxasfreemanThe Story of God.  Pictured here are Salem Radio Network personality Eric Metaxas (left) and actor Morgan Freeman (right).  Freeman appears on Metaxas’ program in a two-part interview (part one airing today) about his new National Geographic series titled, The Story of God.  The series – which debuts on Sunday, April 3 – investigates mankind’s many different ways of worshipping and the cultural aspects of religion.  Currently, Freeman plays the vice president of the U.S. in the film London Has Fallen.

Odds & Sods.  Joining NPR in the newly created post chief digital officer is Thomas Hjelm.  He moves to NPR after a five-year stint with New York Public Radio where he headed up the digital strategy and operations.  In a press statement from NPR, it notes that Hjelm developed digital products for WNYC and WQXR, the WNYC app as well as content partnerships including the “New Yorker Radio Hour.”…..ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff is this year’s recipient of the NAB Distinguished Service Award, to be presented at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The NAB recognizes a member of the broadcast community who’s made “significant and lasting” contributions to the industry with this annual award.  Previous honorees include: Jerry Lewis, Jorge Ramos, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

| January 27, 2016

savagemichaelWestwood One’s Michael Savage and Mark Levin Playing Roles in GOP Primary.  The primary battle between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is gettinglevinmark heated and two Westwood One-syndicated talk show hosts recently played a role in the tensions.  First, Trump appeared on Tuesday’s “Savage Nation” program with Michael Savage during which Savage expressed his hope that Trump would skip Thursday’s Fox News Channel-produced debate.  Trump later announced that he would, indeed, skip the debate.  As for Cruz, he appeared on the networks’ Mark Levin program to announce he’s challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate that would not include a moderator.  Cruz included the no-moderator stipulation because of Trump’s issues with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly.

bensonchadChad Benson Scores Hal Linden Interview After News of Abe Vigoda’s Death.  Tuesday’s news of the passing of beloved actor Abe Vigoda brought many talk hosts to talk of the late actor’s work in The Godfather and in the iconic TV series “Barney Miller.”  But Radio America-syndicated talk personality Chad Benson scored an interview with Hal Linden, who played the title character on the television cop comedy and was a friend of Vigoda’s.  Benson and Linden reminisced about how Vigoda was constantly refuting reports of his demise after People magazine published a mistaken report of his death in 1982.  You can hear Benson’s interview with Vigoda here.

The Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Oscars Boycott, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Eastern Blizzard Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26).  Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in tomorrow’s GOP debate, the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Town Hall, and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the indictment of two involved in videotaping Planned Parenthood representatives discussing human tissue sales; the ongoing debate over the boycott of the Academy Awards by some black film industry people due to a lack of black nominees; languishing oil prices and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; and the effects of the blizzard that hit much of the East Coast over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kayemarkKaye: Social Media – You’re Doing it Wrong.  Jacksonville-based talk show host Mark Kaye writes, in a piece published in TALKERS today, that too many talk show hosts are only getting a little benefit out of what social media has to offer.  Kaye says, “Most of us look at Facebook and Snapchat and Periscope and Instagram as new and exciting ways to tell people what we do, what we think, and what we know.  Instead, as talk show hosts, we should be using those same platforms to ask our audiences, ‘Hey, what do you do? What do you think? What do you know?’”  Kaye says today’s audiences don’t use the phone to answer these questions the way they used to.  “They use Snapchat, and Periscope, and Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.  The phone has simply become a mini-access point to their favorite social media application.  They use it for one-way, non-verbal communication.  They use it to tweet, text, record video (and audio!) and briefly promote their own thoughts and opinions.”  Read more from Mark Kaye here.

Odds & Sods.  After almost 25 years at KCSJ, Pueblo, Colorado, sports director Tony Wright exits as iHeartMedia eliminates the sports director position.  Wright tells the Pueblo Chieftain that it was a business decision and he plans to continue working in sports radio elsewhere…..ESPN Radio’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby are getting a TV show that highlights the best segments from their daily radio program.  “Jalen & Jacoby” will debut on ESPN2 at 2:00 am ET on Thursday (1/28).  An audio version of the program launched as a podcast in 2011.  The “Jalen & Jacoby” radio show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET…..Daytona Beach-based Digital Sound & Video announces Greg Fadick joins the company as a producer.  The company says Fadick is a seasoned imaging pro who’s worked for both radio stations and production companies.  Fadick has imaged at WAAF, Boston; WIOD/WFLC/WHQT, Miami; Brown Bag Productions (Premiere Networks), and Download HDFX, among others.

nab logoNAB Producing Podcast Series Serving Broadcasters on ‘Timely and Relevant Issues.’  The  new, bi-weekly podcast focused on public policy issues, new technologies and proven business strategies for radio broadcasters debuts from National Association of Broadcasters.  NAB says “The NAB Podcast will feature new segments released every other Tuesday.  Each episode is 15 minutes long and is available publicly for two weeks.  At the end of that time, episodes will be archived for NAB members-only access at nab.org/podcasts.  Each podcast is dedicated to covering timely and relevant issues impacting America’s radio broadcasters.  NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “It is our hope that ‘The NAB Podcast’ will serve as a resource for broadcast professionals to help them navigate an increasingly complicated radio landscape.  The new podcast is an innovative way to reach our members and a broader audience with vital information on important issues affecting broadcasters.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

| January 13, 2016

savagemichaelSupreme Court Denies TRN’s Appeal of Savage Decision.  This is a case that goes all the way back to talk host Michael Savage’s 2010 suit to be freed of his contract with Talk Radio Network, claiming the company did not properly execute the right-to-match provision in that contract.  Savage won in arbitration in 2012 and was victorious at the Appeals Court level before TRN took the case all the waytrn logo to the Supreme Court.  On Monday (1/11), the Supreme Court denied TRN’s petition to hear the case, leaving the Appeals Court’s decision stand.  Savage, who’s been working for Westwood One since October of 2012, was awarded $863,454, plus other monies owed him by TRN, plus ownership of his archives by the arbitration panel.  Speaking to WND.com, Savage states, “After many, many years and over a million dollars of legal fees, justice has prevailed.  TRN has never paid me one dime of the money they were supposed to pay me.”

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Re-Organizes Senior Executive Structure; Four Promoted to Division President.  Saying that these structural changes will “push both decision-making and resources closer to the markets, with every market now better aligned to deliver more focused resources closer to their listeners and advertisers,” iHeartMedia announces the elevation of four EVPs of operations to division president titles, overseeing four new geographical regions.  New division presidents are: Hartley Adkins, president of the Northeast Division and Corporate Operations will also oversee multi-cultural and strategic initiatives and communication for the Regions, working closely with Corporate teams; Greg Ashlock, president of the West Division, will also serve as the senior business leader representing the company in the Western U.S. across all divisions; Matt Martin, president of the Central Division, will also continue to oversee the company’s Sales Operations Center as well as direct and develop the company’s internal training programs; and Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division, will also continue to work with the Regions on operational needs.  iHeartMedia says the new structure replaces its Major and Regional Market groups organization.  Now, the company will be comprised of four geographic Divisions, each led by a new Division President.  The Divisions are strategically organized into 36 Regions that will address the needs of both listeners and advertisers based on geography.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “The new structure under the leadership of Hartley, Greg, Matt and Tom adds nimbleness and new resources for our markets and stations.  We are taking advantage of our size and unparalleled assets to empower our people and our markets by giving them better access to all our cutting-edge resources, from digital to data, our programmatic automated ad buying system, research and technology and more, letting them take advantage of the big investments we’ve made and use them to benefit their listeners and advertising partners in their region.”

kfi logoKFI, Los Angeles Tweaks Show Times; Bill Carroll Not Being Replaced.  With the recent departure of midday personality Bill Carroll (announced last week), iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles talk outlet is shifting the show times to cover his three-hour show.  Bill Handel hosts mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00 am; duo Gary Hoffman and Shannon Farren air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; afternooners John & Ken are on from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and evening host Tim Conway Jr. now hosts the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.

ramseyChicago16Ramsey Sells Out in the Windy City.  The 2016 edition of nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour began with a sold out crowd in Chicago on Tuesday (1/12) at Willow Creek Community Church.  Ramsey’s event focused on “how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.”  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  The event was a part of Hogan’s Retire Inspired book tour, which launched in New York on January 11.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” to promote the Chicago appearance.  Station GM Jeff Reisman says, “WIND was thrilled to have Dave and Chris Hogan share their financial wisdom to more than 4,500 attendees.  Dave’s daily radio program provides practical and actionable financial advice so people can stop living paycheck to paycheck and provides sponsors with an established and highly credible forum for their commercial message.”  Pictured here with Ramsey are Salem Chicago director of sales Michael Mann (left) and Reisman (right).

arichanceKRDZDavid Chancellor Teams with Air Temkin on ‘ESPN San Antonio.’  Market sports broadcasting pro David Chancellor is joining Ari Temkin as co-host of the midday show “The Hardline with Ari and Chance” on KZDC “ESPN San Antonio,” airing daily from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Chancellor is an award-winning sports anchor for WOAI-TV “News 4 San Antonio.”  Alpha Media San Antonio station manager Bob Brown comments, “David has had a periodic presence on ‘ESPN San Antonio’ for some time and we realized a long time ago that he’s a TV guy who really gets radio.  We couldn’t be more pleased to have David join us full time as the co-host of the new, three-hour version of ‘The Hardline with Ari and Chance.’”

stigallFOX16O’Reilly Brings in Philly Perspective in Cop Shooting Case.  Covering the shooting of Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett by alleged gunman Edward Archer – a suspect who has told police he shot Hartnett “in the name of Islam” – Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly welcomed WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (pictured) to his show for the latest details and a local perspective.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago Cubs radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2015 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association…..At Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton, “New Jersey 101.5,” Fred Bennett exits the president and chief revenue officer role.  Taking over for Bennett is Ron DeCastro who was most recently with CBS RADIO serving as general sales manager for CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio.”

Presidential Race, State of the Union Address, Sean Penn ‘El Chapo’ Trip, Battle Against Islamic State/Istanbul Bombing, Sinking Oil Prices/World Financial Markets, Record Powerball Jackpot, and NFL Playoffs/Alabama Wins College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12).  The activities of the candidates for president; the build-up to President Obama’s final State of the Union speech last night; the controversy surrounding actor Sean Penn’s trip to Mexico to interview drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the fight against Islamic State and the terror bombing in Istanbul; plummeting oil prices and its effect on the world’s financial markets; the $1.5 billion record Powerball jackpot; and the NFL playoffs and Alabama’s victory of Clemson in the College Football Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

harrisonMHCNN16Michael Harrison:  Trump’s a “Shock Jock” That’s Now Running for President.  TALKERS publisher/founder Michael Harrison was invited to comment on the Donald Trump presidential candidacy yesterday (1/10) on the CNN media analysis program, “Reliable Sources.”  The premise of the segment was to discuss whether or not it was conservative talk radio that specifically set the stage for Trump’s surprisingly successful showing in the polls because the medium taps into the anger and frustration felt by a large number of Americans about the state of the country and the politicians in Washington, DC.  The insinuation was that conservative talk radio was stoking the aforementioned anger thus providing what program host Brian Stelter described as “fertilizer” for the early stages of Trump’s campaign.  Harrison disagreed that talk radio’s early coverage of Trump’s candidacy gave him the boost that launched his domination of the GOP field or that talk radio was fueling anger in the first place.  According to Harrison, the anger and frustration of American citizens has been building for a very long time now and that it isn’t just the far right that is angry, stating a case could be made that Bernie Sanders (popular among progressive hosts) appeals to a broad, angry segment of the left.  Harrison said it was a wide variety of factors that led to Trump’s success in the polls and that talk radio is but “one of many media” that are playing into it.  Harrison described the media, including talk radio, as basically serving its own “strategic” interests, thus giving tremendous coverage to Trump to capitalize on his proven appeal as a ratings attraction.  Harrison said, “Donald Trump is responsible for Donald Trump’s success and if any media can be credited with fueling it, you must credit NBC’s “The Apprentice.”  Speaking off-air, Harrison states, “The original premise of the segment was that conservative talk radio was one of the seminal causes of not just widespread anger in America – but hate as well – and that Trump is now feeding off of that… a suggestion that I cannot get behind whatsoever.”  Harrison adds, “Trump has all the skills of the great so-called ‘shock jocks’ who have been stirring up controversy for years.  He’s a talented blend of Howard Stern, Don Imus, and Rush Limbaugh all rolled into one extraordinary attraction.  Does that make a great talk media entertainer?  Yes.  Does that make a great provocateur?  Yes.  Does that make a great stimulator of important conversation?  Yes.  Does that drive great ratings in a fragmented media marketplace?  Yes.  Does that make a great president?  God help us if we actually have the chance to find out.”

Monday, January 4, 2016

| January 4, 2016

savagemichaelCumulus Shuffles Talent at WBAP and KLIF in Dallas; Rick Roberts Debuts Show on WBAP.  The new program schedule at Cumulus Media’s news talkers WBAP “News/Talk 820AM” and KLIF “News & Information 570AM” launches today.  Westwood One-syndicated “Savage Nation”robertsrick moves from afternoons on WBAP to the same 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot on sister KLIF.  That move bumps Grant Stinchfield’s “Stinchfield Report” to the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot on KLIF.  Meanwhile, at WBAP, Rick Roberts assumes hosting duties for the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm daypart.  Roberts was most recently with iHeartMedia at KTOK, Oklahoma City.  During the 1990s, Roberts served on air at crosstown KRLD.  Other changes at KLIF include Premiere Network’s Glenn Beck show starting an hour earlier at 8:00 am, the return of the Laura Ingraham show at 11:00 am plus the addition of Premiere’s “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory airing from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.

kaminskyrossiHeartMedia Denver Promotes Ross Kaminsky to KHOW Mornings.  A financial markets expert by trade, Ross Kaminsky had been hosting a weekend program at iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver for the past several years.  Effective today, Kaminsky assumed the morning drive duties at sister talker KHOW, taking over for Mandy Connell who is now the midday personality on KOA.  She just took over market legend Mike Rosen’s show.  Kaminsky spoke to Denver’s alt-weekly Westword, in which he says, “I’ve greatly benefited every step in my short radio career so far from people willing to give me a chance, and put me on the air, even when they didn’t have great reason to know what I could do.  I’m appreciative to all those people, and I still remember who every one of them is.”

cookeCES16CES 2016 Gets Underway in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS from the enormous Consumer Electronics Show 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  This morning he writes: Even this place can barely handle the crowd.  Last year, CES strained ‘Vegas hotel capacity and bent the airline ticket cost curve.  “This is the biggest thing here all year,” a cabbie grinned.  So this year they capped attendance at last year’s 176,000 of us.  And they even changed their name! What was “The Consumer Electronics Association” is now “The Consumer Technology Association,” because there’s more to tech than gadgets.  The world’s biggest retailer doesn’t own a single store: Amazon dot com. Google and Uber are verbs, not gadgets.  Uber – which now equals “car” to a growing worldwide customer base – has a bigger market cap than General Motors.  The world’s biggest taxi fleet doesn’t own any cars…it’s a social network.  The physical layout here — in the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center and other Exhibit Hall locations along The Strip — demonstrates where technology and we are taking each other:

  • There’s 40% more floor space than last year for health & wellness exhibitors. Hey, we’re getting older.
  • 80% more space than last year for virtual reality;
  • 25% more acreage for Automotive: Nine auto makers and over 100 auto tech companies are here;
  • Also bigger than ever: 3D printing.
  • And three times the exhibit space for…you guessed it: drones.

More than 2,200 companies’ products are on-display. 80% of them are small businesses, many of ‘em start-ups that presidential candidates call “the risk-takers.” Many of THEM are lining-up for ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” which is doing open auditions here.  Tech is big business, $285 billion this year in the USA alone, and I’ll tell you all about it all this week, here; and on “America in the Morning,” the Jim Bohannon show and Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” and my client stations.  Follow my real-time Tweets from CES @HollandCooke.

rosenbergsidRosenberg Out at WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale.  Longtime New York broadcaster and morning host at sports talk WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale since 2012 Sid Rosenberg has been let go from the station.  The move took place over the holidays and Palm Beach Broadcasters has replaced him in the morning drive daypart with FOX Sport Radio’s “Daybreak with Andy Furman and Mike North.”  Rosenberg worked for years on the “Imus in the Morning” program.

Odds & Sods.  The FM simulcast of Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana changeswowo15 from WFWI-FM at 92.3 (until recently using the calls WOWO-FM) to the translator W298BJ at 107.5.  Federated has launched a classic hits format on WFWI.  The new classic hits format features Mike Ragozino as morning drive personality.  He’d been serving as afternoon personality and program director at Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland…..Entercom announces that after a three-month national search, neveretttimthe company has named Tim Neverett as the new play-by-play host for Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts on the WEEI Sports Radio Network.  Neverett will work with color man Joe Castiglione, who’s been part of the broadcast team since 1983.  Neverett – a New Hampshire native who attended Boston’s Emerson College (and lettered in baseball for four seasons) – beat out some 200 other applicants for the plum gig…..A lack of enough revenue to keep the show going is what management at news/talk KFQD, Anchorage is citing for the end of the “Bernadette Live” program hosted by Bernadette Wilson.  Station manager Joe Campbell tells the Alaska Dispatch News that the 8:30 am to 11:00 am show was not generating enough revenue to continue in 2016.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmall1weismanstevenMichael Harrison Rings in 2016 – Discusses Scams and Cyber Fraud with Steve Weisman.  It’s a brave new world out there and the internet is rewiring our human nervous systems, let alone giving criminals around the world powerful and insidious new tools to steal from unwitting victims.   On the latest installment of the Podcast One hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” Michael Harrison talks with famous attorney and professor Steve Weisman about the latest hi-tech, low-tech, and even no-tech scams being cooked up for us in 2016. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand columns of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Saudi Executions/Iran Diplomatic Ties Severed, Oregon Standoff, New Year’s Holiday, and NFL Playoff Push Among Weekend Talk Topics.  The recent execution of 47 in Saudi Arabia – including a Shiite cleric – and the diplomatic problems the move has created; the standoff between armed protesters at an Oregon wildlife refuge; the New Year’s holiday; and the final weekend of NFL games before the playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

| November 24, 2015

weei logoWEEI, Boston Hopes to Re-Do Expensive Red Sox Deal.  From a story in the Boston Herald by Gayle Fee comes news that Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary is hopeful sports talker WEEI-FM and the MLB’s Boston Red Sox can begin operating with a re-negotiated deal that takes some of the financial burden off the station.  Fee reports that the station pays the Red Sox approximately $17 million per season and that steep figure has been tough on the station’s bottom line.  The deal is almost 10 years old, having been inked in 2006 before the Great Recession began, before the Red Sox’ play on the field took a nosedive, and prior to WBZ-FM’s arrival on the scene as a sports talk competitor.  The speculation is the station notified the team it would not pick up its option for the 2017 and 2018 seasons because of the cost and re-negotiations began.  Zachary tells the paper they hope to have a new deal before Christmas.  Read the whole piece here.

nielsen logoRound One of November PPM Data Released.