Tag: "Mike Calta"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

| June 12, 2019

Mike Calta and Cox Media Group’s ‘The Bone’ Extend Their Relationship. Tampa Bay talk host Mike Calta and Cox Media Group have signed a new, multi-year deal for Calta to continue as host of the morning program on WPHT “102.5 The Bone.”  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “Mike Calta leads the most entertaining weekday talk show in Tampa Bay.  We are excited that ‘The Mike Calta Show’ will continue to call ‘102.5 The Bone’ home for many years to come.”  Calta comments, “I’m excited to call both Tampa Bay and CMG my home and my family for the next couple of years and hopefully plenty more beyond that.”

Round Two of May PPMs Released.  The second round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets tomorrow (6/13).

Entercom Chicago Cuts Staff. According to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, a number of off-air positions have been eliminated at Entercom’s Chicago operations that includes all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  He writes that eight staffers were let go – five in the traffic/continuity department and three in sales.  Apparently, there are more cuts to come as Feder’s sources say “another four positions in finance will be cut in August with numerous additional staff reductions on the way.”

Brummel Appointed Group National Sales Manager at SummitMedia. Radio sales pro Jeff Brummel joins SummitMedia as group national sales director, effective June 24.  He’s most recently been serving in a similar capacity with Townsquare Media. During his career he’s served with radio stations in Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia as well as working on the national radio rep sales side in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago.  He says, “I am very excited to join SummitMedia as group national sales manager.  The enviable roster of top performing stations in each of Summit’s markets coupled with the company’s entrepreneurial culture aligned perfectly with my skill set and career goals.”

WREC-AM, Memphis PD and Morning Host Forrest Goodman Dies at 48. The details are few but the Daily Memphian reports that Forrest Goodman, PD and morning drive co-host at iHeartMedia’s WREC-AM, Memphis died Monday night (6/10) from “multiple health problems” at the age of 48.  Goodman also hosted the pre-game and post-game shows for University of Memphis football and basketball for almost 20 years.

ESPN Will Shutter ESPN Deportes in September.  The Spanish-language sports talk network launched in 2005 and currently has 44 affiliate stations across the U.S.  ESPN offers its reasoning for the decision to shut down the radio network.  “Hispanic audience consumer habits are changing rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well.  It’s no secret Hispanic fans skew heavily on digital and social which is why we made the decision to discontinue ESPN Deportes terrestrial radio (ESPN Deportes Radio) in September.  Moving forward, ESPN will continue serving Hispanic sports fans with the widest variety of sports through multiple platforms including television, digital, social, mobile, and audio podcasts.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former one-term congressman Jason Lewis – a longtime talk radio host and current part-time personality on iHeartMedia’s KTLK, Minneapolis-St. Paul – may run for office again.  The Pioneer Press reports that Lewis is being urged by Republican leaders to run for either Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district seat (he lost that seat in a re-election bid to Democrat Angie Craig last year) or to challenge U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) in 2020…..Programming pro Don Parker takes on new duties as iHeartMedia names him general manager for its “PRIDE Radio, The Pulse of LGBTQ America.”  Parker is regional SVP of programming for the company’s Northern California Region and will continue in that role.  As GM for “PRIDE Radio,” he’ll “oversee the day-to-day programming, marketing, sales, and operations of PRIDE Radio’ and help further expand the brand’s reach and business development to the LGBTQ+ community on the iHeartRadio app and HD2 stations across the country.  Additionally, iHeartMedia will soon conduct a national search for a program director for PRIDE Radio, reporting into Parker.”…..ABC News is presenting a new series titled, “Faith Under Fire” – a look at the violence waged against houses of worship in recent years.  The series is being hosted by chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas and features interviews with: Rev. Frank Pomeroy from First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas and his wife, Sherri; Pastor Eric Manning from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina; and Alan Hausman, vice president of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…..cabana adds 10 podcasts to its digital audio library with new titles coming from publishers such as Inc. Magazine, New Hampshire Public Radio, and celebrity hosts like Jen Kirkman.  cabana SVP of business development Frank DeSantis says, “We’re excited to welcome these engaging hosts and topics to cabana.  As podcast advertising matures, we have a variety of options and opportunities to help our advertisers engage with targeted listeners.”…..Pictured at right is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon emceeing the annual awards dinner for the Society of Professional Journalists, Washington professional chapter on Tuesday (6/11) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Beasley Honored at 2019 Service to America Awards. WMMR-FM, Philadelphia’s “Preston & Steve Morning Show” was honored with the “Service to Community Award for Radio-Major Market” for its Camp Out for Hunger Initiative and Beasley Media Group received the 2019 “Service to Community Award for Radio-Ownership Group” for its yearlong, company-wide Beasley Best Community of Caring Initiative, that shined the spotlight on issues including bullying, hunger, autism, and the opioid epidemic.  Pictured above at Tuesday’s event at the Anthem in Washington, DC are (from l-r): WMMR-FM program director & rock format brand manager Bill Weston, chief communications officer Heidi Raphael, Philadelphia VP/market manager Joe Bell, Cullen WilsonPreston Elliot, CEO Caroline Beasley, Steve Morrison, Philadelphia community affairs director Lora Lewis, Ft. Myers director of sales Allyson Hillman, vice president of digital marketing Jennifer Williams, and EVP of programming Justin Chase.

2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Hong Kong Protests, Kim Jong Nam-CIA Connection, and Dominican Deaths/Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11). The war of words between President Trump and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden; Democrats talk of impeachment; the protests taking place in Hong Kong against China’s new extradition law; the report that assassinated half-brother of Kim Jong UnKim Jong Nam – was a CIA informant; and the mysterious deaths of tourists in the Dominican Republic and the shooting of retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz 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. One staffer in the Westwood One music & entertainment division is promoted and a new one joins the company.  Todd Alan becomes vice president, affiliate sales, music & entertainment. He was most recently director, affiliate sales.  In his new role, he’ll manage and develop the company’s station relationships and distribution partnerships across its music and entertainment programming, including Westwood One Backstage live marquee events and radio row activations.  At the same time, the company brings Julie Bell aboard as director, affiliate sales, music & entertainment.   Westwood One’s Stuart Greenblatt says, “I’m thrilled that Todd will take command of our music & entertainment division here at Westwood One.  I’ve worked closely with him for many years and know him to be one of the best in the business, with solid industry relationships and impressive sales expertise.  I’m also delighted to welcome Julie Bell to our music & entertainment team.  Her 20 years’ experience selling entertainment programs make her the perfect person to round out our team, along with Westwood One veteran Neal Weiner.”…..Pictured below are iHeartMedia execs (from l-r) president, COO, CFO Rich Bressler; chairman and CEO Bob Pittman; chief programming officer and president, national programming group Tom Poleman; and president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes with their Music Visionary of the Year awards from the UJA-Federation of New York.  Tuesday’s luncheon was attended by 700 guests from the music industry and the event raised more than $1.6 million to benefit UJA-Federation.

Round One of May 2019 PPM Data. Information for the May 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a collective three-tenths in four straight down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #22 to #21. An overall -.4 as a result of five straight down or flat sweeps (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 1.3 (#23 to #22, 6+). Three straight dips by Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC have led to a loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.3 -1.2 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

An April spike of +1.2 by Entercom sports talk WFAN is followed by a decline of two-tenths (3.0 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), but the Yankees’ flagship continues in sixth-place. Having posted a 1.8 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN gains two-tenths to 2.0 (#20 to #19, 6+). By dropping four-tenths in April, “98.7 ESPN New York” curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Entercom all-news WINS, which was -1.1 in three successive down or flat reports (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), pulls the plug by adding two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and repeats at #9. Co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM is a combined -.8 in April/May (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6, #13 to #15, 6+). WINS was -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), while WCBS-AM gained three-tenths in March (3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

When WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM gained three-tenths in April, it halted four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). In May, however, WNYC-FM falters by one-half share (2.9 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The February 2019 through May 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 (#31 to #34, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – The combination of Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” adding three-tenths (6.5 – 6.8, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” dropping two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+) results in the two becoming tangled in a first-place tie. This is the 23rd consecutive ratings period that “Lite” has been on top. It posted a one-half share increase in March, but surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Meanwhile, an April decrease of four-tenths by WBLS interrupted three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). A very legitimate argument could be made that the Big Apple’s co-top story is the fact this marks the final hot AC monthly for WPLJ, which flips to contemporary Christian, following the sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation. Legendary WPLJ goes out on a very positive note, as it is without a loss for the fifth straight New York City sweep for a cumulative gain of +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 3.1, #17 to #13, 6+). It eclipses by one-tenth Entercom’s similarly formatted WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7,” which follows April’s gain of one-half share with a dip of one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, #11 to #14, 6+). Steady at #4, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 (6+). Advancing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains eight-tenths through four straight bumps (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Tied in tenth-place are WWPR rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 KTU” (#11 to #10, 6+) and its format rival – Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97” (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, flat at #10, 6+). This is the ninth time in a row that WKTU is within 3.1 – 3.6 range (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Hot 97” is a collective -.4 in April/May (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Before gaining one-tenth in March to 3.8 (6+), “Hot” notched a 3.7 (6+) in five of the previous six sweeps (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+); WKTU logged a 3.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. Without a loss the past four ratings periods for an overall net of eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” forfeits two-tenths to 2.6 (6+) yet inches up from #16 to #15. While unchanged in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is down one full-share via four successive down or flat moves (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ “Q-104.3” is off one-half share in three consecutive dips (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #6, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Having lost three-tenths in March/April (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. Ever since debuting in February, its internet stream has notched three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .6 – .7 – .8, #36 to #34, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which logged a .8 (6+) in five of the last six ratings periods (.8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) improves by two-tenths to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+). Off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” erases half that deficit with a one-tenth progression to .9 (#33 to #32, 6+). The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is .5 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (#39 to #38, 6+).

Three down or flat moves in a row by Disney-owned KSPN accounted for a one-half share decline (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), but “710 ESPN” benefits with a +.2 to 1.3 (#29 to #27, 6+). After nearly doubling March’s 6+-stat with an April +.6 (.7 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” basically levels off with a one-tenth loss to 1.2 (#27 to #28, 6+).

Without an increase the fourth time in a row, Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” falters by nine-tenths in that stretch (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

After an April gain of two-tenths, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is unchanged in May in 6+-share (2.3) and 6+-market rank (#18).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Via six straight sweeps without a loss, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH  is a cumulative +1.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+) as “K-Earth 101” repeats in the runner-up slot.  While unchanged in third-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “94-7 The Wave” is a collective +1.6 owing to five consecutive positive spikes (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it backslides from eighth to ninth, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” is a collective +1.0 in six consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). KLOS notches its fifth straight up or flat trend for a net gain of one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #12 to #11. Meruelo Media Holdings acquired KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and is programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). Pulling the plug on three straight setbacks that resulted in a net loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” registers an improvement of four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). In addition to recording an increase of three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” sets the pace in the “City of Angels” for the eighth straight time. After its “Holiday” 2018 13.0 (6+), “Coast” has followed with 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.6 (6+). Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). In four consecutive bumps, Entravision Riverside Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” has more than doubled (+1.5) its Los Angeles 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and progresses from #17 to #16. Four straight increases by Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” netted nine-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), but Los Angeles’ version of “Jack” relinquishes two-tenths to 4.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). April’s 4.2 is its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.2, as well). Steady in eighth-place, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary KXOL “Mega 96.3” has improved by one-half share through three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, sixth to fifth, 6+), while Entercom-owned KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 24th time in a row (2.4, +.1, #18 to #17, 6+). “Kiss” lost four-tenths in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+); “Amp” was off one-half share in the same stretch (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase, Entercom-owned KROQ regresses by a collective half-share (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, #22 to #21, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+). Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish” records a .7 (6+) for the fourth time in the last five reports (.7 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .7, #36, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While flat at #14, Tribune Media news/talk WGN has surrendered six-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); the White Sox flagship gained one-half share in February. This marks the fifth consecutive report without a loss for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, #21 to #22, 6+).

Tacking on one-half share to April’s increase of nine-tenth (2.8 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Cubs key station WSCR “670 The Score” jumps from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-showing since October 2018 (4.2, as well). Even though Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP is up a collective four-tenths in three straight bumps (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “ESPN Chicago 1000” slips from #24 to #26.

Conversely, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM, which has lost an overall nine-tenths in four successive down or flat moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), advances from fourth to second. Prior to April, WBBM-AM had been at #1 the previous three sweeps.

Repeating April’s 2.8 (6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ drops from #15 to #16.

Chicago Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC without a loss the sixth successive time for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). A combined +.9 in March/April (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” falters by four-tenths to 2.7 (6+), skidding from #13 to #18. Up or flat the seventh straight time for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” inches up from #23 to #22. It is chasing Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” whose February 2019 through May 2019 topline is 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 (#18 to #12, 6+). Recapturing in its entirety the six-tenths it forfeited in April (4.5 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” remains in fifth-place. Entering the April sweep, “Chicago’s Classic Hits” was up nine-tenths in three straight improvements (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Even though it returns 60% of April’s one-half share gain (5.9 – 5.6, -.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” repeats at #1. April’s 5.9 is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 6.3. Owing to four successive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO is -2.4 as “Que Buena 105.1” fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Its January increase of nine-tenths halted a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WLEY “La Ley 107.9” has lost seven-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9, #21, 6+). A collective +1.5 in four successive increases (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” returns roughly half that increase (4.7, -.7, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. April’s 5.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 5.5. Adult contemporary sibling WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which notched an overall eight-tenths via four consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), falters by one-half share to 2.8 (6+), spiraling from #9 to #16. Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WLIT, is an overall -9.4 as a result of five successive reports without an increase (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, fifth to seventh, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.3 (6+) in March and April, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops two-tenths to 2.1 (6+), falling from #16 to a three-way tie at #18. With a gain of three-tenths to 1.7 (#26 to #24, 6+), cluster-mate KGO applies the brakes to seven successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). For the fifth consecutive time, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” records a .2 (#34 to #36, 6+).

In addition to catapulting from #19 to #8 and boasting the largest (6+) April 2019 to May 2019 increase (+1.4) of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” catches Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.6 – 3.3, -.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Furthermore, “The Game,” which is the flagship of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, nearly doubles (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Giants’ key station KNBR was +1.0 in April.

Following four straight months in the runner-up slot, KCBS-AM picks up three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6, 6+) and marches to #1. The Entercom all-news operation had been off a collective seven-tenths in three straight dips (7.0 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), directly after three consecutive gains for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+).

It succeeds Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, which had been on top the past four sweeps, but falters by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, -.5, 6+), segueing to #2. San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is off four-tenths in three straight drops (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #28 to #29, 6+), directly after more than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ gain seven-tenths to 2.3 (6+), thus curtailing three straight decreases that resulted in an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), “La Raza 93.3” enters the top twenty (#23 to #16). On the other hand, despite posting its fifth straight up or flat trend for a gain of seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” answers with a +.6 to 4.2 (seventh to third, 6+). At the same time, its internet stream picks up one-half share (.3 – .8, #31, 6+). Flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-half share in four successive down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Before sputtering by two-tenths in April, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone” bounces back with a May increase of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, #9 to a three-way tie at #4, 6+). The other players in that three-way, fourth-place logjam are Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is a combined -1.0 in April/May (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.0, flat at #4, 6+). KOIT-FM, which completely erased February’s -.5 with a March +.5, improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares in December/“Holiday” 2018, (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but was a combined -6.4 in January/February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of six-tenths, “The Breeze” was an overall +1.2 via three straight gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). While iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 11th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+), it forfeits seven-tenths and departs the top ten (#5 to #11). April’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. Forfeiting one-half share each are Bonneville urban AC KBLX “Today’s R&B and Old School,” which surrenders nine-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #14, 6+), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.7 – 2.2, #14 to #17, 6+). KSOL’s Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KBRG “Amor 100.3,” which was +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), cedes four-tenths to 2.6 (#11 to #13, 6+). In April, “Amor” had its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the fifth time in a row for a +1.4 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” jumps from ninth to sixth. The overall “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019 +1.4 completely obliterates its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). Down one-tenth each are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (.9 – .8, #32 to #35, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.4 – .3, flat at #37, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KTCK “The Ticket All Sports All The Time” notches a 2.7 (6+) for the third report in succession and downslides from #16 to #17. As a result of four straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has lost roughly 52% (-1.6) of its 6+-share as the flagship of the Texas Rangers drops from #23 to #26. After six straight down or flat trends that resulted in its 6+-share being sliced in half (-.6) over that October 2018 through March 2019 duration (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+), Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is a combined +.3 in April/May (.6 – .8 – .9, #34 to #33, 6+).

In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a net gain of one-half share (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.3, -.2, 6+) exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, “News Radio 1080” has been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Repeating April’s 3.6 (6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA advances from tenth to a four-way tie at eighth. Before faltering by three-tenths in April, KERA was a collective +.8 via three improvements in a row (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Once again, contemporary Christian grabs the headlines in this Texas market. Specifically, WAY Media’s KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” wipes away March’s -1.2 with a combined April/May +1.2 (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, #23 to #21, 6+), while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Worship Now” regains the one-half share it lost in April (2.4 – 1.9 – 2.4, #21 to #20, 6+). This directly follows a March increase of six-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016 (2.4, as well). Elsewhere in the format, following an April bump of seven-tenths, Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” is flat in 6+-share (4.2) and market rank (fifth), while First Dallas Media-owned KCBI is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#32 to #30, 6+). Entering the May 2019 sweep, “90.0 Encouraging Music/Words of Hope” had its 6+-stat whittled exactly in half (-.9) via three successive dips (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – .9, 6+). On the heels of surrendering six-tenths in April, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” erases that deficit completely with a similar-size increase (3.0 – 3.6, +.6, 6+) and rockets back into the top ten (#15 to #8). “K-104” was a combined +.9 in February/March (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Up an overall eight-tenths in April/May (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” progresses from #17 to #15. Conversely, Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” is a combined -1.3 in April/May (4.2 – 3.8 – 2.9, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #16. The two Cumulus-owned country outlets gain one-tenth each: KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” is 4.2 – 4.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+), while KSCS “New Country 96.3” is 3.5 – 3.6 (#13 to #8, 6+). In addition to returning the four-tenths it accrued in April (6.7 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS halts at four a successive string of up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is #1 for the fifth month in a row; April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Immediately after posting an April improvement of nine-tenths, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” forfeits eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.6, third to eighth, 6+). In eight successive May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps without a loss, KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but then experienced three successive “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 drops (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” has lost six-tenths in five straight (slightly) down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2, #10 to #12, 6+). Departing the top ten in addition to “The Eagle” is Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (3.6 – 3.1, -.5, #10 to #14, 6+). Alternative sibling KVIL is up one-half share in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+) but “Alt 103.7” backslides from a three-way tie at #17 to #19.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Off three-tenths (3.8 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slips from #12 to #13. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Stuck on .4 (6+) in March and April, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” loses one-tenth in May to .3 (#29 to #30, 6+).

The flagship of the Houston Astros – iHeartMedia-owned KBME – has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat in three upticks in succession (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2, #23 to #22, 6+). “Sports Talk 790” is one-tenth ahead of Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which gains two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” logs a .8 (#24 to #25, 6+) for the seventh time in the last nine ratings periods (.8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

Despite being off an overall six-tenths in four straight slips (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF proceeds from #20 to #19.

Houston Music Formats – Up a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” advances from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (5.9, as well). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia’s KQBT “93.7 The Beat” extends its consecutive up or flat streak to seven and is +1.1 in that November 2018 through May 2019 period (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Worship Now” doubles its 6+-stat (.5 – 1.0, +.5, 6+) and checks in at #24. An overall -4.8 in four straight setbacks (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is nonetheless #1 for the 14th sweep in a row. Immediately in advance of this skid, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Seven successive up or flat reports by Cox Media Group classic country KTHT resulted in a net gain of eight-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) but “Country Legends 97.1” relinquishes that entire increase (1.8, -.8, 6+) and falls from #18 to #20. The five most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are: +.5 (January,  6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 (February, 7.0 – 6.2, 6+); +.5 (March, 6.2 – 6.7, 6+); -.6 (April, 6.7 – 6.1, 6+); and now -.6 (6.1 – 5.5, second to fourth, 6+). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Flat at #17, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KQQK “El Norte 107.9” has lost six-tenths in three consecutive reports without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Both of the market’s country FMs are off one-tenth in May with each dropping one ranker: Entercom’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” is trending 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 (fourth to fifth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q” has a March 2019 through May 2019 topline of 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three upticks in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+); “93-Q” gained eight-tenths in March. This is the fourth report in a row that iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ is without an increase; “94.5 The Buzz” (flat at #14) is off six-tenths in that stretch (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined eight-tenths in April/May (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM drops from second to third. It had slipped to the runner-up slot in April, following three straight months at #1. WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. In its final report in the spoken-word format, WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” repeats April’s 6+ market share (#25) and 6+share (.9), taking the station below a one-share for the first time in nearly seven-years (.8, July 2012). Coinciding with the sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation, WYAY is now contemporary Christian. Tied with a .3 (6+) are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.1 – .3, +.2, #31 to #29, 6+) and Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” (.4 – .3, -.1, flat at #29, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” has lost three-tenths via nine straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #31 to #34, 6+).

While unchanged at #14, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is an overall -1.1 in three setbacks in succession (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up one-half share in three straight up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #18.

Following a March decrease of -1.4 (4.8 – 3.4, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up three-tenths in April/May (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7, steady at #11, 6+). Despite dropping three-tenths in April/May (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS advances from #28 to #27.

Atlanta Music Formats – Good news continues for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish,” which is an overall +3.0 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+) via four successive upticks and repeats at #1. Furthermore, this (7.9) is its best 6+-showing since 8.6 in “Holiday” 2018. The market’s (6+) urban AC share improved by +1.4 (March); deflated by -1.5 (April); and now expands by six-tenths in May as both main format players jump one ranker. Specifically, Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” is up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” improves by four-tenths (5.2 – 5.6, seventh to sixth, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but eroded by eight-tenths in April. A combined +1.4 in February/March (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), “Kiss” returned half that increase (-.7) this time last month. For the third time in a row, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” posts a positive bump of two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.5, third to second, 6+). On the other hand, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall -1.3 via three consecutive negative moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+). Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, iHeartMedia’s WWPW gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and now busts out a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) as “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). Its format rival – Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” – has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January, but forfeited six-tenths in February. A combined -1.0 in April/May (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” drops from sixth to seventh. Unchanged in ninth-place, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” nets eight-tenths in three straight bumps (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Before eroding by -1.0 in February, “The Bull” was a collective +1.4 through four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Its country rival, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” forfeits four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+). Off three-tenths in March, “Kicks” rebounded from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase in February (2.6 – 3.2, +.6).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding one-tenth to 2.2 (unchanged at #20, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has dropped one-tenth three reports in a row (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, #23 to #24, 6+).

After improving by two-tenths in consecutive ratings periods (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+); the Phillies’ flagship was -1.3 in February. The October 2018 through May 2019 topline for Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” (#14 to #15) is 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+); “The Fanatic” is the key station of the 76ers and Flyers.   

Off a collective -1.0 via four straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KYW remains in ninth-place. “News Radio 1060” was down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, but responded in January with a gain of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.0, 6+).

The three most recent fluctuations for public news/talk WHYY have been by four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Having relinquished seven-tenths in April, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR regains one-half share (5.9 – 6.4, sixth to third, 6+). Prior to April, “93.3 Everything That Rocks” was an overall +1.7 in three successive improvements (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). Ever since Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” WBEB repeated at #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018, it has been a revolving door for the top spot. Entercom sports talk WIP was there in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; and Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK was on top in April. While trending 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7 (6+), WBEB has its turn again in May. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was Philly’s market leader from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Four up or flat trends in succession by format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Relaxing Favorites,” yielded a cumulative +2.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). “The Breeze” surrendered three-tenths in April but regains two-tenths in May (4.5 – 4.7, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Formerly rhythmic hot AC “Real 106.1,” WISX became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). Meanwhile, the station WBEB succeeds at #1 – “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” – follows April’s +1.0 to 6.8 (6+) with a loss of two-tenths (6.6, first to second, 6+). WMGK was a combined -1.3 in February/March (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). After busting out April’s +1.2 to 3.4 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” returns all but two-tenths of that increase (2.4, -1.0, #12 to #18, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group-owned WXTU falters by two-tenths to 5.6 (6+), thus interrupting four straight gains that netted +2.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+),“92.5 Philly’s Country Station” progresses from seventh to a sixth-place tie. April’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since July 2018 (5.8, as well). After its +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is a combined -1.1 in March/April/May (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #15, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is up four-tenths in April/May (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #25.

In addition to repeating at #1, Entercom sports talk WFAN is +1.0 in three straight positive spikes (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). The Yankees’ flagship has its highest 6+-share in Long Island (5.3) since October 2018’s 5.6. Similarly-programmed WEPN not only picks up one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), “98.7 ESPN New York” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #17).

In three straight slips, WINS lost eight-tenths (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) but the Entercom all-news outlet is up two-tenths in May to 3.0 (#14 to #12, 6+). After logging a one-half share April increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM spirals by nine-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13).

Down or flat the fourth time in succession for a net loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM slips from #24 to #25.

Long Island Music Formats – Tied in fourth-place are Cox Media Group CHR WBLI, up seven-tenths in three bumps in a row (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, fifth to fourth, 6+), and iHeartMedia New York’s similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 4.6, +.1, flat at #4, 6+). These same two group owners are keeping the classic rock contest tight as well. Cox Media Group’s WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, steady at #6, 6+), while iHeartMedia New York’s WAXQ “Q-104.3,” which had lost one-half share in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), adds four-tenths (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Having shared the lead in April with sports talk cluster-mate WFAN, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM is flat at 5.1 (6+) and drops to a second-place tie. An April gain of six-tenths by “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” suspended four successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up or flat the fifth report in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU advances into the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” hasn’t had a decrease in each of the last four reports for a half-share increase (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and enters Long Island’s top twenty (#21 to #19). Connoisseur Media-owned adult contemporary WKJY “98.3 K-JOY – Long Island’s Place to Relax” falters by a combined eight-tenths in April/May (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). In four consecutive declines, hot AC sibling WALK-FM lost over half (-5.5) its 6+-share (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+) but “97.5 – Real Variety” applies the brakes with a gain of one-tenth to 5.1 (steady at #2, 6+). A combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+), WALK-FM spent five straight sweeps at #1 before shifting to the runner-up slot. Entering the top twenty at #20, Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” has a September 2018 through May 2019 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 (6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Following seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23, 6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” disappears from print.

The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” is: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 (unchanged at #23, 6+). For the 17th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

In April/May, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR has lost more than three-quarters (-1.3) of its 6+-share (1.7 – .8 – .4, #13 to #17, 6+). Down or flat the past three monthlies for a net decrease of two-tenths (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” erases that shortfall with a +.2 to .3 (#23 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Over and above being a combined +1.2 in April/May (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0, 6+), KOLA repeats at #1. The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet last reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). Prior to April, KOLA had been at #2 in each of the previous 11 survey periods. It hit #1 exactly one year ago (6.5, May 2018, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to April’s +.9 (.3 – 1.2 – 1.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Entering the April sweep, “Air 1 Worship Now” was a collective -1.9 via four successive negative trends (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .3, 6+). Even though Good News Radio’s similarly-formatted KSGN is off eight-tenths in four setbacks in succession (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+),“Family Friendly 89.7” progresses from sixth to fifth. Wiping away the collective +.7 it recorded in February/March/April (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) with a May loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” slips from fifth to sixth. In three successive improvements, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE was a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” is now a combined -1.0 in April/May (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7, seventh to ninth, 6+). A cumulative -4.1 in six straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” repeats at #2. In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. All-Pro rhythmic hot AC KHTI “Hot 103.9 – The I.E.’s Best Mix” is without an increase the fourth straight time for a net loss of three-tenths (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .5, #15 to #16, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to this being its eighth straight San Jose sweep without an increase for an overall -1.3 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO’s departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which netted a one-half share increase via four straight up or flat moves (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), surrenders two-tenths to 1.3 (6+) but continues at #23.

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” repeats April’s 6+-share (4.2) and 6+ market rank (seventh); the Giants flagship was +1.1 in April. In three consecutive positive spikes (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” nearly doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat as the key station of the Golden State Warriors zooms from #19 to #11.

All-news sibling KCBS-AM is -1.9 in March/April/May (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+), directly after a collective +1.4 in four straight ratings periods without a loss (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+).

After an April-only stay at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED falters by eight-tenths (6.9 – 6.1, 6+) and segues to #2. A combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), KQED erased that deficit in its entirety with a March gain of nine-tenths. Off two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW falls from #26 to #27.

San Jose Music Formats – There is considerable movement within San Jose’s top five this month. Most notably is Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY roaring back from April’s -1.5 with a rousing +1.3 (6.2 – 7.5, 6+), allowing “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” to return to #1 after an April-only stay at #2. Prior to the April sweep, “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three upticks in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). It was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erases April’s loss of eight-tenths with a similar magnitude May increase (5.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). In three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends, “Mix 106” gained six-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Format rival, iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3,” is a collective -1.1 in four straight sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5, flat at #8, 6+). “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). Steady at #15 is yet another hot AC, Entercom’s KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is trending 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 (6+). Piling on one-half share to April’s massive +1.5 (3.8 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” jumps from fifth to third. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is a combined -.8 in April/May (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+), while co-owned regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” falters by one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). University of Southern California classical KDFC is -1.7 in four drops in a row (3.6 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). For the fifth straight month, KOIT-FM “Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of four successive setbacks, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is -1.0 (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), but is #1 for the fifth month in a row; “New Jersey 101.5” was +1.2 in January. Up two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR climbs from #18 to #16. Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat the fourth month and has a 40% (-.4) reduction of its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .7 – .6, flat at #27, 6+).

Off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees key station WFAN departs the top ten (#10 to #13). A collective -1.1 in six straight ratings periods without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” answers with a May gain of seven-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and jumps into the top twenty (#24 to #19).

Having improved by seven-tenths in March/April (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom all-news/Mets flagship WCBS-AM forfeits one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #20, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-programmed WINS has an August 2018 through May 2019 topline of: 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+). WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM stumbles by three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, #20 to #21, 6+); WNYC was up a combined eight-tenths in January/February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – By registering a May uptick of seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” catapults into the top five (#14 to #5) and pulls the plug on four straight decreases that led to an overall -2.4 (5.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” is a cumulative +1.2 as a result of five consecutive monthlies without a decrease (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7, #13 to #12, 6+). As noted above in the New York City summary, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has been sold to Educational Media Foundation and flips to contemporary Christian. In its last Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep as a hot AC, however, “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” notches a one-half share uptick (3.3 – 3.8, #15 to #11, 6+). WPLJ posted a +1.0 in April. Moving from an eighth-place tie to a ninth-place stalemate is Entercom’s WNEW “NEW 102.7” (3.8 – 3.9, +.1, 6+), which carries on in the hot AC format. The combination of iHeartMedia’s WKTU “103.5 KTU” dropping one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, #16 to #17, 6+) and Emmis’ similarly-formatted WQHT “Hot 97” adding one-tenth (2.7 – 2.8, #19 to #17, 6+) results in the two rhythmic CHRs deadlocked at #17. While remaining in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia New York mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” falters by four-tenths to 5.8 (6+), thus curtailing four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately before this streak, “Z-100” was without an increase four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+).

Thursday, March 14, 2019

| March 14, 2019

KBME, Houston Drops Josh Innes Morning Show. Houston Chronicle writer David Barron reports that iHeartMedia has dropped sports talk radio host Josh Innes from its morning drive daypart on sports talk KBME, Houston.  Innes’ info has been scrubbed from the KBME website and Barron reports that Innes tweeted yesterday that his show was dropped for “budget reasons” and “I do not have a show anymore.”  Innes joined KBME in October of 2016 after returning to Houston from Philadelphia where he had served with sports talker WIP for three years.  Barron reports that ratings appear to have been the cause for Innes’ departure, writing, “Innes’ ratings have mirrored those of the station and of Houston sports radio in general.  KBME’s morning drive audience share as of the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings ranked 25th among all Houston radio stations among men 25-54, the key demographic for sports radio, and trailed the station’s competitors at KILT and KFNC ‘97.5 FM’.”

Bubba the Love Sponge Sues Cox Media Group, Personality Mike Calta, and Former Cast Member Matthew Lloyd. Florida-based talk radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, is suing Cox Media Group for anti-competitive actions and two individuals for allegedly playing roles in a purported conspiracy to ruin his show.  The complaint, filed in Pinellas County, Florida alleges that Cox, along with the help of its own WHPT-FM, Tampa show host Mike Calta and former Bubba show staffer Matthew “Spice Boy” Lloyd, worked to destroy Bubba’s show that was airing at that time on Beasley Media Group’s then-WBRN-FM, Tampa.  Bubba alleges Cox took actions that caused Nielsen Audio to ultimately sue him for damages due to allegations of ratings tampering.  (Nielsen and Bubba reached a confidential settlement over that matter.)  Bubba’s complaint says that the result of the tampering allegations was Nielsen not listing WBRN-FM’s ratings in October of 2015, thereby hurting the station’s ability to sell his show and that ultimately led to Beasley dropping Bubba’s show in Tampa and Fort Myers.  Bubba also alleges that the defendants stole and leaked to Gawker a video of pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan having sex with Bubba’s then-wife.  Hogan sued and settled with Gawker, netting a large award that forced Gawker out of business.  The motive for all of this alleged behavior on the part of the defendants is Bubba’s success at the expense of former employer Cox, its station and staffers. Bubba is seeking damages (over $15,000) to be determined at a jury trial.

New Director of Sales at Entercom’s Greenville Station Group. Radio sales pro Devon van der Merwe is named director of sales for Entercom’s Greenville, South Carolina station group that includes news/talk WORD-FM “WYRD-FM”, sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate” and five music-formatted stations.  Devon van der Merwe moves up from her general sales manager position.  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Devon has displayed an exceptional ability to lead sales efforts since she joined the Greenville market, and I am fully confident in her continued success.  Under Devon’s direction, our sales teams will continue to thrive and reach new milestones.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Partners with ‘Coaching Boys Into Men.’ The Bonneville sports talk station announces it is partnering with the local nonprofit Coaching Boys Into Men to focus on the goal of helping teach student athletes – as well as school coaches and athletic department leadership – to learn youth leadership skills, prevent domestic violence, and achieve healthy relationships.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “We are excited to partner with an organization that makes such an important difference in our community.  Coaching Boys Into Men has a unique ability to positively affect young people by helping them grow as leaders, while also changing long-term views on consent and respect.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NHL’s Washington Capitals and Entercom sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington renew their deal for the station to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play of the team’s games.  Caps games will also air on the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We are thrilled to bring Capitals hockey to D.C.’s top-rated sports station ‘106.7 The Fan.’  In addition to all games, the station will provide fans with full coverage of their favorite team through premiere programming on air, online and on demand.”…..The Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid are broadcasting live from this weekend’s National Fantasy Baseball Championships (3/15-16) via their Fantasy Sports Radio Network (FNTSY Radio).  The broadcast team includes FNTSY Radio host Gregg Sussman, sports analyst and author of the best-selling Fantasy Black Book series Joe Pisapia, and former Major League Baseball pitcher Brad Ziegler…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks Entertainment, and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new interview series on the hit podcast “What Really Happened?”  Written and hosted by documentarian Andrew Jenks, in the interview series he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical or widely-publicized events while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).

Manafort Sentenced/Trump-Russia Investigation, College Entrance Cheating Scheme, Boeing 737 Maxs Grounded, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/O’Rourke Joins Race, Clinton Email Matter Testimony, Brexit Chaos, Bomb Cyclone Hits U.S., NFL Signings, and NBA and NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13). Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort receives his second sentence and the related Trump-Russia investigation; the college entrance cheating scheme; the U.S. grounds Boeing 737 Maxs after pressure following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance into the race; just-revealed testimony from former FBI attorney Lisa Page that the agency was directed by the Obama DOJ not to charge Hillary Clinton in the email server investigation; the political chaos in England over Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed Brexit plan; the Mountain West and Midwest hit with bomb cyclone weather effects; the trades and free agent signings in the NFL; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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 Philadelphia, Entercom announces that former country WXTU personality Frank Lario is joining current morning host Marilyn Russell for the new “Frank and Marilyn Morning Show” on classic hits WOGL.  The duo debut on Monday (3/18)…..On-air pro Sean Strife moves from iHeartMedia’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa CHR KOSY “HOT 95.7” to the company’s Madison CHR WZEE “Z104” where he’s the new afternoon host and APD/MD…..Air personality Audrey Constant is named afternoon personality at CodComm’s adult contemporary WKFY, East Harwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod).  She was most recently with Plymouth Rock Broadcasting’s AC WPLM-FM, Plymouth and takes over for Rob Walker…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

| January 2, 2018

Holland Cooke and Michael Harrison Present TALKERS 2017 in Review on RT America.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke was joined by Michael Harrison during a special year-end wrap up of 2017 on Cooke’s RT America show, “The Big Picture.”  The two counted down the 10 most-talked-about topics and people on talk radio in America during 2017 according to TALKERS, offering personal insights and commentary along the way.  To view the entire segment, please click here.

CMG, Mike Calta and Matt Loyd Sued by Hulk Hogan in Sex Tape Case.  The infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape is back in the news in Florida as the former pro wrestler (real name Terry Bollea) is suing Cox Media Group, WHPT, Tampa air personality Mike Calta, and former WHPT staffer Matt Loyd for unspecified damages.  According to a report by WFTS-TV, Tampa, the defendants had asked that the case be dismissed, but a Pinellas County court judge has ruled the case can move forward.  If you remember, Hogan sued Gawker over its posting of a video of him having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem and won a $100 million judgement.  But Gawker’s subsequent bankruptcy declaration and sale make it unlikely he’ll collect on that.  So, now Hogan is going after CMG, Calta, and Loyd, claiming that the defendants are guilty of “stealing, disseminating, using and exploiting illegally-recorded video.”

Mike Felger Re-Ups with Beasley’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’  Boston sports media personality Mike Felger – co-host of the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show on WBZ-FM – signs a multi-year contract extension with Beasley Media Group to continue his duties with the station.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley says, “We are thrilled to have Mike continue entertaining Boston’s loyal and dedicated sports fans.”  The company says the afternoon show – co-hosted by Tony Massarotti – has finished #1 with Men 25-54 for the 22nd consecutive quarter.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo to Leave ‘Mighty 1090’ San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo announces he’s exiting the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for a new, yet-to-be-announced gig.  Sileo says, “It’s with GREAT sadness that I informed the ‘Mighty 1090’ that I will be moving on to a great opportunity! But, I want to thank the folks at 1090 for SAVING my career.  Mike Shephard has been amazing to work for! JT I see why Jim Rome had so much success.  I love the on-air guys like Scott Kaplan and Darren Smith…amazing lineup.  Once again SD, Sileo is NOT going anywhere.  Stay tuned!”

Great Stock Market Gains For 2017; But Not in Radio.  In 2017, Wall Street had its best year since 2013 with the Nasdaq jumping 28% and the Dow Jones gaining 25%.  However, those stellar double-digit gains didn’t extend into the radio sector as the majority of radio stocks saw double-digit decreases, led by Cumulus Media, whose stock has evaporated following the company’s late-2016 8-for-1 reverse stock split and subsequent bankruptcy filing.  Stock in Entercom (ETM) – despite its buyout of CBS RADIO, Townsquare Media (TSQ) and Salem Media Group (SALM) all slid about 25% in 2017.   E.W. Scripps (SSP) and Saga Communications (SGA) sank nearly 20% for the year.  Shares of Urban One (UONE) underperformed, losing more than 40% last year, and Pandora (P) plummeted from a closing high of $13.58 on February 17 to $4.82 on December 29.  Shares of Emmis Communications (EMMS) were basically flat, closing at $3.52 on December 29 – which was 10 cents higher than the stock closed for trading on January 3, 2017.  There were two noticeable radio winners, however.  Radio’s bright light was Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI), which opened at $6.15 on the first day of trading of 2017 and closed at $13.55 on the last day of trading for the year.  SiriusXM (SIRI) delivered a gain of more than 20% in 2017.

TRN Receives Permission from Appeals Court for Extension; Status of Programming Uncertain.  Just before Christmas, a number of affiliates of Talk Radio Network reported that they were receiving no programming from the syndicator and had received no notice relative to the missing programming.  At this point, it’s still unclear what the status of the company’s operations is, but the appeal of its suit against Cumulus, Westwood One, Lew Dickey, and Charles Steinhauer is continuing.  TRN was granted an “extension of time to file” its brief to January 26.  As you may recall, TRN sued Cumulus/WW1 and others alleging anti-trust practices.  That suit was dismissed.  TRN’s second suit against many of the same parties was dismissed because the claims were almost identical to the previous, already-dismissed suit.  Back on September 20, TRN filed an appeal.  But, because of the November Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Cumulus/WW1, those parties have been granted stays.

What Have You Learned Doing Television?  That’s the question recently put to media consultant Holland Cooke a couple months into his gig hosting “The Big Picture” Fridays on RT America.  Ever the consultant, Cooke happily offers his thoughts on what the medium has taught him relative to the talk radio business.  He says his first lesson is the importance of scripting his opening monologue – something he’s had a difficult time selling to talk radio hosts who prefer to “wing it.”  Check out his thoughts on that and six other items he’s taken away from his television talk hosting experience here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI raised more than $462,000 last month during its seventh annual “KFI PastaThon.”  The iHeartMedia station’s on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need benefits Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 3,500 underprivileged children five days a week in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  During the 17-hour, live broadcast on December 8, KFI personalities Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, Tim Conway Jr. and Aron Bender were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Over the past seven years ‘KFI PastaThon’ has raised over $1.8 million dollars and 347,000 pounds of pasta and sauce.  We are honored to join our listeners in support of chef Bruno Serato and his outstanding organization, Caterina’s Club that helps thousands of children in Southern California.”…..Beginning on January 8, the nationally syndicated Steve Sanchez show expands to a daily program via Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez says, “I still will be hosting my Sunday night live flagship show but GCN wanted me to expand and utilize my large social media platform and live stream as I do the show.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliate stations WCGO-AM, Chicago and KLAY-AM, Tacoma are both airing the weekday program…..Entercom Communications names Gene Vidler director of sales for the New Orleans station group that includes news/talk WWL-AM/FM and CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM/W297DF “HOT 103.7,” and AC WLMG “Magic 101.9.”  has joined the New Orleans cluster as the Director of Sales for B97 (WEZB-FM), BAYOU 95.7 (WKBU-FM), HOT 103.7 (WWWL-AM), MAGIC 101.9 (WLMG-FM) and WWL AM-FM.  Vidler was most recently VP of sales for Tyler Media’s nine-station cluster.

Iran Protests, North Korea Nukes, Trump Pakistan Criticism, the New Year Holiday, Frigid Winter Weather, NFL Playoffs, and College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests taking place in Iran; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s overture to South Korea; President Trump criticizes Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism; the New Year holiday; the unusually cold weather affecting much of the U.S.; the NFL playoffs scenario; and the College Football Playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A new adult hits station takes to the airwaves in Oklahoma City as Cumulus Media launches KQOB “ALICE 96.9 FM.”  Cumulus OK City VP/market manager Jay Davis says, “We created ‘ALICE’ for the listeners who wanted something compelling and different from the traditional radio fare.  ‘ALICE 96.9 FM’ lives by the mantra ‘We Play Anything,’ and surrounds the great music it plays with a playful, clever, and authentic persona.  While ‘ALICE 96-9 FM’ does not have traditional ‘announcers,’ listeners will find plenty of personality on the station.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KITS, San Francisco ‘The New ALT 105.3, The Bay Area’s New Alterntive.”  The move marks the end of the “Live 105” moniker after 31 years.  At the same time, Michael Martin is named program director for the station…..Cumulus Media appoints radio programming pro Paul Horton program director and morning show host for adult contemporary WMXS, Montgomery “Mix 103.3.”  Horton joins Cumulus from Back Door Broadcasting’s crosstown Christian contemporary WVRV Montgomery…..Cumulus flips WRWM, Indianapolis from classic hip hop to CHR as “ENERGY 93.9.”  The on-air lineup will be: the nationally syndicated “The Bert Show,” (PD) Jay Michaels from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Rachel Ryan from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Justin Luvv from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and the syndicated Zach Sang from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Gary Nolan program director and midday host for KQHN, Shreveport “Q97.3.”  He was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WMAG, Greensboro…..Alpha Media launches adult hits KSAJ, Topeka “98.5 Jack FM.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRDA, Atlanta “ALT 105.7” adds “The Woody Show” for mornings, effective tomorrow (1/3)…..Cumulus Media Amarillo will flip the frequencies of country stations KPUR-FM “The Armadillo” and KARX.  KPUR moves from 107.1 on the dial to the more powerful 100,000-watt signal 95.7.  KARX-FM will segue to its new home at 107.1 as “NASH Icon 107.1 FM.”

Round One of December PPM Ratings. Information for the December 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6.  More often than not, sharp November 2017 – December 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – In four straight gains, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a collective +2.8 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8, 6+). On top for the fourth straight time, “106.7 Lite FM” has its best 6+-share since 13.3 in “Holiday” 2016 and is one-half share ahead of December 2016’s 8.3. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), regains half that loss and carries on at #11 (3.5, +.5, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it and remaining at #10 is its format rival, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97” (3.6, +.2, 6+). When “Hot 97” picked up one-tenth in November, it ended three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3). The market lost one of its two CHR players on November 9, as Entercom transitioned WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through December 2017 6+ topline is a very consistent 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1; WBMP slips from #17 in November to #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from eighth to seventh. In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WCBS-AM picks up one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+), while co-owned similarly-formatted WINS declines by that same margin to 5.8 (6+) and remains in second-place. Immediately prior to this ratings period, WINS was a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+); its 6.3 in November 2017 represents the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. By recording a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In two-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, WCBS-AM reaches the three-share threshold (6+) for the first time since its 3.0 in October 2016. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), inching up from fourth to third. It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Also in that Entercom cluster, sports talk WFAN-FM plummets by -1.3 to 3.9 (fifth to eighth, 6+). “The Fan” had been without a loss since June for a collective +1.7 (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). The 5.2 that it registered in October and November is the station’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” dialed up a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. Down or flat for the sixth straight time for a combined loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” remains in sixth-place.

2) Los Angeles – So, how did the transition to all-Christmas music affect KOST “Coast 103” in sunny Los Angeles? The iHeartMedia adult contemporary nearly doubles October’s 4.4 (8.7, +4.3, 6+) to march from third to first and is 2.3 shares better than its 6.4 (6+) in December 2016. As a result of “Coast 103” picking up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after a run of ten (10) straight months there is co-owned hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which is flat at 5.9 (6+) and shifts to second-place; KBIG was down one-half share in November (6.4 – 5.9, 6+). In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, KBIG posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the sixth time in a row for a collective +.8 and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 since January (6+). Having recorded a 1.9 in three of the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, 1.9, 6+), Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC “89.3 Southern California Public Radio” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.5, reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1 (6+) and cracks the top twenty at #15. Tied at #13 are iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” (2.6, -.1, flat at #13, 6+) and its format rival, Entercom’s KROQ (2.6, +.2, three-way tie at #18 to #13, 6+). With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row for without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its final ratings performance, “The Sound” notched a 2.8 to finish at #12 (November 2017, 6+). The last song played by “The Sound” was The Beatles’ “The End.” Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuts in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+), freefalling to #28. Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a net loss of seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” bounces back with a gain of four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and is steady at #3. At the same though, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in four successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. Even though it is down three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) to end at seven its streak of up or flat trends that yielded a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – improves from #30 to #29. After trotting out a +.7 to 1.7 (6+) in November, matching the audience draw in Vin Scully’s swan song after 67 consecutive years as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1.7, 6+, November 2016), iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM 570 Sports” falters by -1.2 to .5 (#25 to #36, 6+).

3) Chicago – The noteworthy accomplishment of iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” doubling its November 2017 stat (see above) is taken one step further by its “Windy City” hot AC sibling WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which more than triples November’s 2.8 to 8.5 (6+). In the process, “93.9 My-FM” rockets from a four-way logjam at #12 all the way to #1 and is 2.2 shares in front of December 2016’s 6.3 (6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Knocked out of the penthouse where it resided in October and November is its hot AC foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which segues to #3. After registering six straight improvements for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), WTMX surrenders eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+). Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Stuck on 2.4 (October, November, 6+) and within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the past nine sweeps, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” explodes with an increase of two full-shares to 4.4 (6+) and catapults from #22 to #5. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling); “The Long & Winding Road” (Beatles) and “Changes” (David Bowie) were the last two songs played by WJMK before the format flip. The last time the former WJMK reached a four-share (6+) was in July 2015 (4.1). It is a tough sweep for the market’s sports talk outlets. Not only is Entercom-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR a combined -2.8 in November and December (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” sinks from #6 to #21; WSCR posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, after being a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off by nine-tenths to 1.5 (#22 to #24, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.3 – 2.7, #9 to #14, 6+) and Merlin Media alternative WKQX (#12 to #20, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat for WGCI-FM (2.7) since March (2.6); WKQX is a cumulative -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Off for the fourth straight sweep for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. With a +.1 in November, Entercom-owned WBBM-FM ended five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) but “Chicago’s B-96” returns that one-tenth and is back at 3.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) San Francisco – A November 2017 – December 2017 increase of +2.3 (4.5 – 6.8, 6+) elevates Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” from third to second. December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016 and represents the station’s highest 6+-share since 9.2 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of KOIT-FM finishing second, it ends 11 straight months of KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot, as KOIT-FM’s all-news sibling shifts to #3. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -.4 in November and December (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Down one-tenth in each of the last four ratings periods (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” ends the pattern with a gain of six-tenths to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in San Francisco since 3.3 in “Holiday” 2016, and jumps from #14 to #7. From October 2016 through November 2017, the 6+ high/low variance for KMEL was just seven-tenths. Up one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” checks in at #21. While this marks the 12th successive time that KQED-FM sets the pace in San Francisco, the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), but relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). At this time last month, KQED-FM hung out a +1.3 (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and again exits the top ten (#9 to #14). Having doubled its 6+ stat via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate KSFO surrenders four-tenths in December (3.0, 6+), falling from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.9 in October and November (#11, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips one-half share to 2.4 and is tied with KNBR at #14. A collective +.9 as the result of six straight up or flat moves (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), University of Southern California classical KDFC gives back one-tenth in December to curtail the streak (2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). For the ninth month in succession, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Not only does KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” nearly double its 6+-share (2.6 – 5.0, +2.4, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet zooms from #17 all the way to #4 with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Seven-tenths of a share separates the top seven December 2017 finishers. Included in that scrum (in addition to “Star”) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which bounces back from November’s half-share decrease with a December gain twice that margin (4.2 – 5.2, +1.0, 6+); November’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In the process, KLUV vaults from seventh to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5, which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive increases (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). “Lone Star” repeats as a co-occupant at the top spot. Its November partner, however, was Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” which after 11 successive months on top, tumbles to fifth. “The Wolf” posts its fourth straight negative trend for a collective loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+). On the heels of trending 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” notches a gain of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and continues at #8. This is the sixth month in succession that iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ is either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, ninth to tenth, 6+). Once a heritage adult contemporary facility, KVIL in recent years repositioned itself to hot AC and then to CHR as “Amp.” Simultaneous with Entercom officially closing on its ownership of KVIL (11/9), the station became “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). Down an overall half-share in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), KVIL moves from a four-way logjam at #17 in November to #20. Meanwhile, steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “Kiss” improves in back-to-back sweeps by a cumulative seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Following nine straight up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), co-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” returns six-tenths of that +1.7 (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). In 13 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#21 to #19) has been within a high of 2.4 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” slumps from #11 to #15.

6) Houston – The significant up/down pattern continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; surrendered eight-tenths in November; and now logs a whopping +2.8 in December (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #2, “Sunny” cruises to #1. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3; KODA was 7.3 in December 2016. Trading places with “Sunny” is Radio One urban AC KMJQ, which is actually up one-tenth to 7.5, but shifts to #2 after three straight months at #1. When “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Somewhat similar to its AC sibling KODA, cluster-mate KTBZ has a bit of a yoyo effect, as “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” was up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+); dropped eight-tenths in November to 3.8 (6+); and now regains six-tenths in December (4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+). Having entered the top twenty in November with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, 6+), co-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” forfeits nearly twice that increase (.6, -1.5, #20 to #26, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -1.8 in November and December (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5, 6+) and dips from third to sixth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and now -1.3 in December. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. A loss of one-half share by Entercom adult hits KKHH (fifth to ninth) takes “95.7 The Spot” to 4.3, its lowest 6+-showing since 3.5 in January.

7) Atlanta – A November decrease of one-tenth by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+); however, “104.7 Fish” answers in a big way with a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), swimming from fourth to second. This marks the first time that Atlanta’s “Fish” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.1. Even though it replicates November’s increase of seven-tenths (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” backslides from a second-place tie to third as it is leapfrogged by WFSH. Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #6, Radio One-owned and similarly-formatted WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) following a November improvement of six-tenths. “Majic” was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). By chalking up a one-half share uptick (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” records its best 6+-stat since May’s 6.5, yet must settle for a fourth-place finish (down from November’s #2 tie with WALR). Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is now a combined -1.1 in November and December (10.0 – 9.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 24th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, City of Atlanta Board of Education-owned WABE surrenders one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result of declining by seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” has its lowest 6+-share since April (3.1, as well). Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW picked up two-tenths in November, but “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share in December to 3.7, its softest 6+-share since 3.6 in March, and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WWWQ – is down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) as “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” slips from eighth to ninth. Having lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, 6+), Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” adds one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #28, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” returns to the top ten with its third straight modest increase (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, #11 to #8, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” returns November’s +.3 but remains at #13 (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is an overall -.8 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth.

8) Philadelphia – Ousted from #1 in November, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB roars back with a gain of five full-shares as it returns to the top spot from #2. In four straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +6.1 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016; WBEB logged an 11.1 in December 2016. It is the only station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here to reach double-digits (6+). Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Owing to a gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN “88.5 Vinyl at Heart – Rhythms, Not Algorithms” registers its highest 6+-share since August (1.6, as well) and it enters the top twenty (#20). In five straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF was a modest +.3 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” spirals by one full-share in December to 3.0, fading from #7 to #13 (6+). The market’s (6+) sports talk share erodes by -1.4 as two positive streaks come to an end. Specifically, Entercom-owned WIP forfeits nine-tenths (7.1, first to second, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” regresses by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+). Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP was a combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+) and reached #1 in November for the first time in the PPM-era by recording its best-ever 6+-stat (8.0). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. Prior to December, “97.5 The Fanatic,” the key station of the Philadelphia 76ers, notched five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” returns one-third of that increase (3.0, -.5, 6+) yet actually improves from #14 to a tie at #13 (with WRFF). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. Although unchanged at #5, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fifth straight month for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – Over and above repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM is a whopping +3.3 in November and December (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7, 6+), following an October loss of nine-tenths. “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In five successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5, 6+) as New York City’s “Lite FM” soars from #13 to #4 with its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to being up or flat for the fourth month in a row more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), public news/talk WNYC-FM breaks into the top twenty at #15. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” relinquishes all but four-tenths of that increase (4.4, -1.5, 6+), skidding from second to sixth. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” falters by twice as much as that +.5 (4.5, -1.0, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Although within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 37th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) and drifts from #14 to #18. Its urban AC cluster-mate, WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row but is down two-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). Recording a negative trend for the fourth time in succession Cox Media Group CHR WBLI is an overall -2.1 since July (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Ending at 13 its consecutive string of three-share showings (6+) in Long Island, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

10) Riverside – On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” recaptures all but one-tenth of November’s -.8 (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. Winning ways continue for Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly,” which is a combined +1.1 in five successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Climbing from ninth to seventh, KSGN, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Albeit that it slips from fourth to fifth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” notes its fourth straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), repeating its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. It is tied with Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” which is an overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). Having doubled its 6+-share in November (1.2 – 2.4, +1.2, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI forfeits all of that increase and two-tenths more (1.0, -1.4, 6+) as “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” falls out of the top ten (#8 to #14). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Four consecutive up or flat moves by LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE netted an overall gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” coughs up more than twice that increase with its 6+-share cut by one-third (2.6 -1.3, sixth to eighth, 6+).

11) San Jose – It has been a rollercoaster ride for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now +1.6 in December to 5.6 (6+). September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. It is tied in third-place with Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which has an identical 4.0 – 5.6/eighth to third November 2017 – December 2017 profile. KOIT-FM’s adult contemporary rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – tacks on nine-tenths to the one-half share it added in November (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) to zoom into the top ten (#11 to #6). Prior to November, “The Breeze” had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths boosts Universal Media Access world ethnic KSJO “Bolly 92.3 – The Bay Area’s Bollywood Station” to 1.0 (6+, #28). Doubling its 6+-share since October (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” checks in at #23. When Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KSOL lost one-tenth in November, it ended at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, “Que Buena” is -1.1 in December (3.8 – 2.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.9 was its best 6+-share in San Jose since last December’s 4.1. Likewise, as a result of returning 90% of November’s full-share increase (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, 6+), Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” exits the top ten (#6 to #11). While it is on top in San Jose for the fifth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by one-tenth to 8.1 (6+), thus halting three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from #3 to #1. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Eroding by eight-tenths each are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, steady at #2, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5, third to sixth, 6+); and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which was off six-tenths in November (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). At the same time, as a result of four straight upticks, Entercom sports talk KGMZ nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+), but “95.7 The Game” is off in December by one-tenth to 1.0 (6+, #28). For the third straight time, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KNBR has a fluctuation of one-half share (3.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), yet “The Sports Leader” actually climbs from #13 to a three-way tie at #12. With a -.1 in November, co-owned KSFO ended three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +.7 (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and now the news/talk slips by another seven-tenths (2.1 – 1.4, 6+), tumbling out of the top twenty (#20 to #26).

12) Middlesex – In addition to notching its fifth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall whopping +4.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City’s WLTW “Lite-FM” marches from third to first as it practically doubles its 6+-share. Moreover, 8.5 is its best 6+-showing in this New Jersey market since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.7. It displaces WKXW, which had been #1 the past 11 ratings periods. The Townsquare Media news/talker surrenders all nine-tenths of November’s +.9 – and one-tenth more – to segue to #2 (7.2 -1.0, 6+). November’s 8.2 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. A +1.5 (2.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” to reach the three-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 3.0. Moreover, “Star” rockets from #20 all the way into the top ten at #8. Having registered a 2.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM breaks out a +.6 to 2.8 (6+), entering the top twenty in a three-way tie at #15. By dropping two-tenths to 5.0 (6+), sports talk sibling WFAN-FM concludes three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “The Fan” manages to inch up from fifth to fourth. Having logged a 2.8 (6+) eight times in the previous ten sweeps – including the past four – iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+, #15 top #13). On the heels of dropping one full-share in November, Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” sputters by another nine-tenths (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+) to exit the top ten (#6 to #11). After three straight increases for a collective +1.1 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and – likewise – departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” a combined -1.2 in three straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3,” which was off by eight-tenths in November (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), fading from #16 to #22.

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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen and Files Third Party Complaints Against Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta.  The battle between Florida-based, syndicated morning talk host Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, and Nielsen Audio just got more complicated after Bubba’s attorneys filed a countersuit against Nielsen Audio and fresh complaints against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  As industry watchers are aware, Nielsen is suing Bubba claiming that his attempts tobubba manipulate the PPM ratings in the Tampa market have caused damages to its business.  During the discovery phase of this case, Bubba’s lawyers have requested documentation and Nielsen responded by ultimately providing some 71,000 pages, but not in a manner deemed timely by Bubba’s team.  In fact, they state that their work in the discovery phase has been “seriously delayed as a result of Plaintiff’s untimely nielsen logoproduction of discovery materials and broad-brush approach to making confidentiality designations.  Moreover, Defendants’ use of the discovery materials has been severely limited by the terms of the Protective Order.  As a result, on November 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Amend Case Management and Scheduling Order to extend the discovery cut-off from December 9 to January 9, 2016.  The Court entered an Order granting Defendants’ motion on November 29, 2016.”  If Nielsen’s tactics were intended to cause Bubba to settle the matter, it didn’t work.  He’s doubling down with the aforementioned countersuit and new complaints against Nielsen, Cox and Calta for: Defamation (Counts I and II), Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships (Counts III and IV), Violation of thecoxmediagroup Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Count V), and Civil Conspiracy (Count VI).  Bubba’s lawyers say their counterclaims and third-party claims “are based on various documents that were produced by Plaintiff in response to Defendants’ discovery requests.”  Here’s the breakdown according to the court filing: “In early 2015, Plaintiff entered into a conspiracy with Cox (one of Nielsen’s largest subscribers) to, among other things: (i) utilize Nielsen’s monopoly power over the audience measurement and ratings for the Tampa Market to prevent Defendants from broadcasting their morning radio show on WBRN in competition with WHPT; (ii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ caltamikecontractual relationships with Beasley Media Group and their other affiliates; (iii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ current and prospective business relationships with WBRN’s advertisers and US-based syndication partners; (iv) improperly manipulate Nielsen’s ratings for the Tampa Market to simultaneously increase WHPT’s market share to the benefit of Cox, while decreasing the share of WBRN to the detriment of Beasley, Clem and BRN; (v) publish knowingly false, defamatory allegations of ratings distortion activities against Defendants in an effort to conceal the fraudulent conduct of Nielsen’s employees with respect to the data included in Nielsen’s monthly ratings reports; (vi) unfairly apply Nielsen’s rules and impose unprecedented sanctions pressure on Beasley to bring about the termination of its contract with BRN and Clem; and (vii) engage in unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive behavior, and various unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair acts or practices in violation of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, in order to further the interests of a large Nielsen subscriber over those of a smaller subscriber.  As a result of Nielsen, Cox, and Calta’s conduct, and the conduct of those conspiring with them, Defendants have incurred several million dollars in damages.”  As noted, much of Bubba’s evidence for the complaints comes from Nielsen documents but it is heavily redacted to protect Nielsen’s proprietary PPM information.  Regarding the complaint against Mike Calta, Clem’s lawyers allege Calta defamed him during an on-air phone conversation in which he made the following false statements: that Clem was cheating Nielsen’s ratings system; that Clem had control over PPMs; that Clem had PPMs on watch winders in a shed and/or a shipping container; that Clem had purchased a PPM from his dentist’s nurse; and that after Clem left WHPT, he stopped using the PPMs he allegedly had control over to benefit WHPT, causing its ratings to fall.  Bubba also alleges that Cox conspired with Nielsen for the latter to de-list heavy listeners to Bubba’s WBRN show and that Cox and Nielsen concocted a “sting operation” to entrap Bubba into engaging into ratings manipulation.  The complaint also states that “Nielsen admits that none of the PPM data obtained from any PPM panelist alleged to have engaged in ratings tampering activities with Clem was ever included in any of its monthly ratings reports and, therefore, it was unnecessary for Nielsen to reprocess or reissue any of its monthly ratings reports as a result of the ratings tampering activities allegedly engaged in by Clem.  Nevertheless, at the urging of Cox, Nielsen imposed its most severe response to the alleged ratings distortion activity by delisting Beasley’s WBRN for the month of September 2015.”  Neither Nielsen, Cox or Calta have commented publicly on the suit.

WEEI, Boston Promotes Alex Reimer to ‘Brand Personality.’  Sports media personality Alex Reimer has been part of the “third-chair rotation” for the “Kirk and Callahan Morning Show” on Entercom’s sports talkreimeralex WEEI, Boston since the fall.  Now, the company announces that he’s coming aboard full time as a brand personality.  Calling it a “move designed to augment both the on-air and online components of its media ecosystem,” Reimer will join the WEEI.com staff “creating columns, blogs, and podcasts” while continuing his rotating co-host position on the morning show.  The Boston University grad has previously served with Forbes, The Boston Herald and SB Nation.  WEEI program director Joe Zarbano comments, “Since joining the Kirk and Callahan third-chair rotation last fall, Alex has done a terrific job delivering opinionated and entertaining sports talk.  I’m excited that WEEI.com will now be an outlet for Alex’s insightful writing to our massive online audience.”

WVLK, Lexington Names ‘Kruser’ Program Director.  Eighteen-year WVLK-AM, Lexington air personality Dave “Kruser” Krusenklaus is appointed program director at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  As part krusenklausdaveof the change, Krusenklaus will move from his midday talk show slot to the afternoon drive daypart.  Current station PD Scott Johnson transitions to the news director role for WVLK and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.  Prior to his work as a talk host at WVLK, “Kruser” worked as a programmer and air talent in both the rock and classic hits formats.  Cumulus Media Lexington vice president and market manager Scott Frazier states, “I look forward to ‘Kruser’ delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky’s heritage news/talker, 590 WVLK!”

Trump Inauguration Protests, Trump NATO and EU Comments, Russian Hacking Allegations, World Economic Forum, GOP ObamaCare Plan, Istanbul Terror Suspect Caught, Wife of Orlando Terrorist Arrested, Eight Billionaires Statistic, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The planned protests for Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the boycott by numerous Democratic Members of Congress, and security plans; controversy over Trump’s comments about NATO being obsolete and his prediction about the end of the European Union; the allegations that Russia hacked the DNC emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. election; the World Economic Forum taking place at Davos, Switzerland; the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; the capture and confession of the man responsible for the deadly terror attack in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve; authorities arrest Noor Salman, wife of Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen; the report that eight of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than half of the rest of the world; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Recalibrating Talk for the Trump Era.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today with thoughts about what talk radio can do to take advantage of the Trump era.  Cooke says that as social media flourishes, talk hosts should take that to mean that listeners expect to be heard and he adds that “the smartest thing talkers can do now is listen.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Red Eye Radio” show from Westwood One is being simulcast by C-SPAN during the Wednesday (1/18) broadcast from 1:00 am to 6:00 am ET.  The full live show plus break banter with hosts Eric Harley and Greg McNamara will be simulcast by the cable news network…..“Thecarollaadam Forbes Interview” podcast debuts today on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  The show is the first podcast to be developed jointly between Forbes and PodcastOne and delves into the minds of the most significant leaders of today – the people who have been, or easily could be, on the coveted cover of Forbes magazine.  The first interview by Forbes senior editor Steve Bertoni is with podcast superstar Adam Carolla.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘KISS FM’ Chicago’s Angi Taylor Joins ‘The Rendezvous.’  Chicago radio personality Angi Taylor is signed up for double duty as Premiere Networks announces she’ll partner up with Simon Marcel as the new co-host of the syndicator’s evening show “Thetaylorangi Rendezvous.”  Taylor will continue her role at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “KISS FM” where she’s one half of the “Fred + Angi” morning show.  “The Rendezvous” is described as “the nightly radio program featuring insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.”  Taylor says, “I couldn’t be more excited to host ‘The Rendezvous’ along with the French captain of romance, Simon Marcel!  I’m so thankful for everyone at Premiere Networks for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Hosting a syndicated show is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the love, romance, and FUN with a national audience!”

erickathy17Hubbard Re-Ups Eric & Kathy at WTMX, Chicago.  Chicago morning show stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart sign a multi-year contract extension with Hubbard Radio to continue hosting The Eric & Kathy Morning Show on WTMX “101.9fm THE MIX.”  The station says that over the past 20 years the show “has been a consistent market leader, ranking number one among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old Adults, for most of their tenure at the station.”  Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz comments, “I’m thrilled to have the most successful morning show team in Chicago radio history continuing their run on ‘THE MIX’ and remaining an integral part of Hubbard Radio.”

iHeartMedia Announces Lineup for Fourth iHeartCountry Festival.  The iHeartCountry Festival is comingiheartcountry17 back to Austin this spring.  iHeartMedia announces the big country show will again take place at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, May 6.  The lineup will feature acts including: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots, plus more to be announced.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes comments, “The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music.  These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

| October 20, 2016

Salem Has Deal to Buy KTRB, San Francisco for $5.1 Million.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group has been broadcasting the conservative news/talk format – as “860 Am The Answer” – on KTRB, San ktrbFrancisco since July of this year under an LMA.  Now, Salem’s East Bay Broadcasting is entering into a deal with station receiver Susan Uecker (she assumed control of the station from Harry Pappas in 2010) to buy the signal for $5.125 Million.  Prior to Salem’s LMA of the station, it was airing Spanish sports under the operation of David Jacobs-run Deportes Media.  Salem is programming the station with largely Salem Radio Network personalities including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder, plus Jay Sekulow, Phil Grande and Steve Deace.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS reported that WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning personality Mikecaltamike Calta would begin co-hosting an afternoon show on SiriusXM with Gregg “Opie” Hughes.  That is not the case.  Calta’s agent – Tony Burton of Don Buchwald & Associates – tells TALKERS that Calta may be filling in on Opie’s SiriusXM program in December, schedule permitting, but that’s the extent of it.  Our erroneous report was based on a Tweet sent out by Calta that misled a TALKERS reporter.  Our reporter first learned about the Tweet in an article by Dan Jackson at Thrillist.com alleging the “shock jock” radio style is dead.   You can read that piece here.

WBEN, Buffalo Afternoon Drive Personality Tom Bauerle’s Incredible Tale Told in Canadianbauerletom Publication.  The strange series of events that affected the life of popular Buffalo talk radio personality Tom Bauerle are chronicled in a piece in the Canada Free Press.  This fascinating story of surveillance, cloaking technology and sleuthing that engulfed Bauerle’s life for much of the past five years can be found here.

WIP, Philadelphia Names Joe DeCamara and John Ritchie Midday Hosts.  Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM is reconfiguring its midday and afternoon shows and announces that former crosstown WPEN-FM personality Joe DeCamara is partnering with sports broadcaster and former Philadelphia Eagles player Jondecamarajoe Ritchie for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, effective October 24.  The CBS RADIO station says that it will make an announcement regarding a new afternoon show in the coming weeks and that it will include current ritchiejonmidday personality Ike Reese, however Michael Barkann exits. CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are thrilled to add this new show featuring Joe and Jon.  As a player, Jon Ritchie embodied the hard-working nature of our fine city.  As a host, he will connect with the fans and share their passion for our local teams.  Joe has proven himself to be a strong voice for the Philadelphia fans. We are excited to have them.”  After retiring from football, Ritchie has worked at ESPN.  He was co-host on the “Artie Lange Show” on DirecTV, served with NBC Sports Network and currently is on air all day Sundays as the color commentator for DirecTV’s Fantasy Zone channel, part of NFL Sunday Ticket.

dubrowterryheatherTerry and Heather Dubrow Launch ‘Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig’ on PodcastOne.  “Real Housewives of Orange County” stars Terry and Heather Dubrow (pictured at left) are starring in a new podcast on the PodcastOne platform called, “Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig.”  The show brings the couple’s self-experimentation to the airwaves.  PodcastOne says the couple goes “beyond their authored anti-aging secrets in this interactive show, and take calls to answer listener questions about beauty secrets, plastic surgery, exercise, style and more.  Plus, they’ll share what they’re testing and learning along the way in this variety of categories.  The first episode brings many stories and lots of advice, including conflicting views on weight loss technique.  Most surprisingly, this week’s Housewives Fireball flask wasn’t the first time Heather traded in her “champs” for shots, as the couple reveals their test process of hangover IV hydration therapy.

Anderson New NTR Director at Beasley Tampa.  Tampa radio promotions and sales pro Voncile Anderson is named director of non-traditional revenue sales for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster.  Voncile has workedandersonvoncile in the market for two decades, including beginning as a promotion director at WRBQ, Tampa Bay.  She has worked with notables in the industry, including Q105’s Mason Dixon.  In this new position she’ll be responsible for assessing the area’s special event opportunities and determining the venues with greatest potential to grow revenue for the Tampa Bay cluster.   Speaking about her new gig, Anderson says, “I like to say I have earned ‘market equity’ because I have invested my entire career doing events that entertain, raise money for charities, and help our Tampa Bay businesses grow.  I’m so proud to have been chosen for this new, unique NTR opportunity!”

The Presidential Race/Wednesday Debate Build-Up, Voter Fraud/Poll Hacking Issues, Mosul Campaign, NYC Cop Kills Mentally Ill Woman, Russian Military Role in Syrian Civil Conflict, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19).  The race for president and the build-up to last night’s debate; the concerns over potential voter fraud and poll hacking; the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the shooting death of a mentally ill black woman by a NYC cop; Russia’s expanding military role in the Syrian civil conflict; the Major League Baseball Playoffs, and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Former NFL star Dante Hall is leaving his role as one-third of the midday show on CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM, Houston where he worked with sports talk personalities Cody Stoots and John Lopez, according to the Houston Chronicle.  The paper reports that Hall told PD Ryan McCredden that the gig “just wasn’t for him.”  McCredden will not fill Hall’s spot on the show…..SiriusXM names Jeff Cooper vice president, advertising sales sports.  He’ll report to SVP of advertising and sponsor sales Bette Rockmore.  The company says this is the first time it has named an executive to lead advertising sales across its sports related channels.  Cooper joins SiriusXMabcmielkestone16 from ESPN, where he served as publisher of ESPN The Magazine and led advertising efforts for FiveThirtyEight.com, Grantland, and more…..Pictured at right are ABC NewsBrad Mielke and Alex Stone covering last night’s presidential debate from Las Vegas.  ABC News Radio provided coverage of the third presidential debate starting with an 8:00 pm ET preview program anchored wormccarthyrose16by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky from New York and continued with post-debate analysis until 11:00 pm ET.  Joining Katersky were Mielke, Stone, Kenneth Moton from Washington, DC, and ABC News Radio political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin.….The nationally syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” show adds new affiliate stations KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KELE, Mountain Grove, Missouri; and WNTW, Chester, Virginia in the Richmond market.  Gresham’s program is syndicated by Talk Shows USA.….Earlier this week on the “WOR Sports Zone” with host Pete McCarthy (left), New York Mets radio voice Howie Rose (right) appeared on iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York to recap the 2016 Mets’ season on the flagship station.  Mets fans had the opportunity to call in and talk with Rose who – earlier in his career – hosted a sports talk radio show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

| October 19, 2016

Melanie Morgan to Leave KSRO, Santa Rosa.  Bay Area news and talk pro Melanie Morgan tells her listeners that she will be stepping down from her position hosting the “Sonoma County’s Morning News” at morganmelanieAmaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned news/talk simulcast KSRO/K278CD, Santa Rosa, California before the end of the year.  Telling her listeners that she’s basically tiring of the lifestyle of a morning radio personality, i.e. getting up hours before dawn, she wants to spend more time with her husband – KCBS, San Francisco director of news and programming Jack Swanson – and dedicate more time to her Move America Forward group.  Morgan, who co-hosts the program with Larry Olson, has not set a specific date for her exit.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Rigged Election Claim, the Hillary Clinton Document Dump, Battle with ISIS for Mosul, Ecuador Restricts Assange’s Internet Access, Philippines Anti-U.S. Protest, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Nominees, MBL Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The race for president and the build-up to this evening’s final debate; Donald Trump’s ongoing claim that the election is being rigged; the effects of the Wikileaks document dump on Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq to take control of Mosul; the restricted Internet access of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by the Ecuadoran embassy; anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte courts China for a new military partner; debate over which nominees for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame should be included; the Major League Baseball playoffs; 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.

NPR Reporting Big Ratings Increases in 2016.  From a story posted at NPR.org, the public media organization is announcing that multi-platform journalism efforts have seen across-the-board audience growth this year.  President and CEO Jarl Mohn is quoted saying, “NPR’s increased ratings and digital engagement can benpr attributed to first-rate journalism, riveting storytelling, revamped newsmagazines, live reporting, and better user platforms.  And that means we are all doing a far better job of our public service mission, community engagement and local impact.”  Mohn concedes that the unusual election cycle is certainly part of the reason for the growth but says that NPR stations have outperformed many of their commercial news counterparts, who’ve also experienced growth during the period.  “Commercial news radio, which operates in the same news cycle and is affected by the same events, is up 15% in the morning; NPR is up 26%.  In the afternoons, commercial news radio is up 19% in the top markets; NPR is up 43%.”  NPR says that “All Things Considered” hit an all-time weekly audience high of 13.3 million, and “Morning Edition” is at its second-highest at 13.5 million.

Talk Radio Pioneer Barry Farber Being Honored by Hungarian Government for Role Assisting Refugees of 1956 Revolt.  This Saturday, talk radio pioneer Barry Farber is being honored in Budapest, Hungary for his role in helping Hungarians revolting against Soviet oppression escape from Hungary into Austria.  farberbarryFaber was one of two correspondents for the Greensboro Daily News at the Austro-Hungarian border in October of 1956.  Farber met an old friend from Norway who was part of a team of Norwegians assisting fleeing Hungarians.  Farber volunteered on the spot to work the “Freedom Navy” – an old rubber raft with two oars.  When the refugees, about forty at a time, would gather on the Hungarian side of the border canal the two oarsmen would row across, load the boat with about five refugees at a time.  They would pull the raft over to the Austrian side.  Then the oarsmen would row back and repeat the process. Farber and the others helped about 200 refugees out on Christmas night of 1956.  Hungarian Consul-General Ferenc Kumin reports that the government asked Hungarian communities around the world to look for people who’d taken part in the refugee exodus.  Of all the names on the 60th anniversary, Barry Farber is the one still alive!  Farber, who still hosts a show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, says, “We owe the Hungarians big time.  That heroic freedom fight marked communism’s high-water mark.  Things went steadily downhill from there.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

| July 5, 2016

Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show.  Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7”burkeshannon wyay logo newduring the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.”  As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY.   Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.”  Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke.  The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of marrtomcomplications from recent back surgery.  WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers.  Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station.   Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.

Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch.  Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi rhodesSandler16Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014.  Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.”  The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com.  Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign.  Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.

Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station.  For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth ofshepard4th16 July Parade yesterday (7/4).  Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’  We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community.  This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens.  It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”

haskewgaryWGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74.  Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack.  Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station.  WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters.  In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people.  We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”

talkers16MillennialsTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing.  TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order):  Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags”pagliarulojoe Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade.  Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary.  As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs.  CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming.  StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network.  This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their wwweMoH16agrowing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award.  This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September.  This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others.  Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

| May 3, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation.  The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect.  This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media.  The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not.  If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy.  The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.

wieneradamAdam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media.  Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position.  He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn.  Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation.  Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets.  Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”

The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

caltamikeHulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants.  The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea,  over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors.  Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE.  In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released.   Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners.  On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen.  Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism,benedettovince patriotism, leadership, and virtue.  We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.”  The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.  The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.

Odds & Sods.  This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network.  The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018.  The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One.  The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

| March 16, 2016

cbsradio logoCBS to Explore Options for Radio Division.  The company has always enjoyed the cash flow that the CBS RADIO division brought to its bottom line but CEO Les Moonves has often indicated that radio is not a core business for CBS Corp.  Yesterday’s announcement by Moonves at a CBS investor day that the company will explore “strategic options” for the radio division in order to “hone its asset portfolio” is being greeted by the radio industry with mixed emotions.  Potential buyers are thrilled by the thought of acquiring CBS’ heritage, major market signals, but few operators have piles of cash on hand and it will require taking on debt tomoonvesles buy these stations in a climate where debt can be difficult to pay off.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison offers the following comments on the Moonves announcement, “Broadcast (FM/AM) radio can still be a very viable business if stations can be acquired at realistic prices.  There is still a lot of life left in the medium if it can run within a business model that makes sense per the times.  Also, broadcast radio has a large audience and provides a vital set of services for millions of Americans.  It just needs to be relieved of stifling debt.  Radio has to be able to afford to do radio.  Fresh capital within a realistic debt structure and the influx of invigorated, passionate ownership will create a much better product for radio which will further add years of vitality to the industry.”  However, Harrison points out, “CBS has been and still is one of the better-run major companies in radio, so its decision to get out – although advancing the cause of de-consolidation – is not an act of desperation as much as it is indicative of their long-term asset strategy.”  Moonves told investors that it views CBS TV and Showtime as its premium brands.  The company is focusing intently on its digital efforts CBS All Access and Showtime via the Internet to cater to consumers’ growing on-demand preferences.  CBS owns 117 signals in 26 markets, many of those clusters are in major markets.  Given what CBS hopes to get for the stations it is unlikely that one buyer will be able to swallow the whole group.  Since radio is not considered a growth industry by investors, finding favorable financing for radio station acquisitions – especially in light of the enormous debt fellow operators iHeartMedia and Cumulus are dealing with – will be a challenge.  Moonves said all options are on the table, meaning the company would consider a spinoff or a split as well as an outright sale.  CBS RADIO’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was down 5% compared to the same period in 2014.

harrisonRadioDays16wcaptionAmerican Broadcasters Participate in Radiodays Europe.  Several prominent US radio broadcasters participated as speakers in the just-concluded seventh annual installment of Radiodays Europe – the growingly popular international radio convention that took place March 13-15 in Paris.  Among them were TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison who delivered a speech titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio During the Dawn of the Digital Era” and moderated a “Fast and Curious” roundtable discussion titled, “Making Radio Indispensable;” Jacobs Media CEO, Fred Jacobs who participated in a group presentation titled, “”Radio in Car: Dashboard Disaster;” Geller Media International  president Valerie Geller who conducted a workshop titled “Create Powerful Radio,” spoke in a group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” and debuted the brand new French language edition of her book Creating Powerful Radio; iHeart Media syndicated personality Elvis Duran and VP of talent development Dennis Clark who both appeared on the panel titled “Morning Radio SuperstarsgellerRadiodays16 – In Talent We Trust; NPR producer Bianca Giaeve, who presented a session titled “Storytelling in New Medias” and appeared in the group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes;” and Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig who presented a session titled “Winning the First Tune-In Occasion of the Day.”  It was announced that next year’s Radiodays Europe will take place in Amsterdam.  Pictured at right is Valerie Geller with her Puissance Radio French publishing team (l-r) Philippe Chapot, Francois Quairel and Frederic Bruhaltour at the debut of the French version of her classic Creating Powerful Radio. 

tidwelllanceCumulus Kansas City Names Lance Tidwell Cluster OM and KCMO PD.  Programmer Lance Tidwell joins Cumulus Media’s Kansas City station group to serve as cluster operations manager and program director for news/talk KCMO-AM.  He’ll also supervise the Chiefs Radio Network.  Tidwell was previously SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster.  On KCMO-AM, Tidwell replaces Steve Sutton who recently exited the PD and talk host roles at the station.

Odds & Sods.  The photo at right shows a billboard in the Tampa market for “102.5 The Bone” morning personalitycaltaBillboard16 Mike CaltaCox Media Group-owned talk outlet WHPT is also promoting the afternoon drive Drew Garabo show with a similar ad.  “Bone” program director John Brennan comments on the Trump-inspired boards saying, “We’re kicking off 102.5 The Bone’s ‘CamPAINFUL’ coverage and have launched a series of parody billboards ‘Trumped’ in ridiculousness only by the 2016 Election itself.”  Calta will appear at the Talkers 2016: hennermariluBridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on May 20 on the “Millennials and the Media” panel…..It’s being reported that the Marilu Henner talk radio show will wrap after its last broadcast on March 31.  The program is no longer listed on the Sun Broadcast Group site.  It is distributed by Genesis Communications Network.  “Free Talk Live” principal Ian Freeman reports the news to affiliate stations.  His show is also distributed by GCN…..Speaking of “Free Talk Live,”janoffgreg the show announces it has added new affiliates in WWHP-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; KQQQ, Pullman, Washington; simulcast KEIR, KEII, and the four translators in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello, Idaho; and WSDT, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee…..Greg Janoff returns to CBS RADIO New York as director of news sales for all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  Janoff was most recently with Townsquare Media as regional VP for New Jersey.

ppmunitRound Two of February PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of February 2016 PPM 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 survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Super Tuesday II/Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict-Russian Involvement, Scalia Replacement, U.S Immigration Policy, and ‘Pawn Stars’ Cast Member Bust Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15).  Yesterday’s Super Tuesday II primary elections and the issues surrounding the presidential race; the Syrian conflict and Russia’s announcement it is removing its troops from the region; the controversy over the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S.; and the arrest of “Pawn Stars” cast member Chumlee were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.