Tag: "Mike Harmon"

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

| July 9, 2019

iHeartMedia Flips ‘Orange and Blue 760’ to ‘Freedom 93.7.’  Denver’s KDSP-AM changes calls to KDFD-AM and – with the addition of FM translator K229BS, Lakewood – flips to news/talk as “Freedom 93.7 Real News, Real Talk.”  The station had been a Denver Broncos-centric sports talk station for the past two years. It began stunting Monday (7/8) with a rotation of pop and rock songs with the word “freedom” in the title.  iHeartMedia has not issued a press release on the changes and it’s unclear exactly what the lineup will be but there’s been speculation that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program will move from sister news/talk KOA to anchor the lineup.

BIA Advisory Services Revises 2019 U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Projected to Get $14.5 Billion. Media consulting firm BIA Advisory Services updates its 2019 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast, predicting that the total local media marketplace in 2019 will be “slightly stronger than expected earlier in the year, with ad revenue reaching approximately $148.8 billion.”  The firm cites “a strong economy, an early start to the 2020 election, and most notably, increases in mobile and mobile-social advertising” as causes for the improved projections.  As usual, direct mail leads the pack with an estimated 25% share of that ($37.2 billion). Local radio is expected to get 9.8% of the total, or about $14.5 billion, thanks to online efforts by radio stations.  BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “It can be surprising to see that direct mail continues as such an important medium.  However, it directly targets more households than any other channel and mobilizes local consumers to make purchases, especially when combined with campaigns that make use of digital platforms.  The key for revenue growth (and protection) today is not just to look at the media in your sector, but across all local media because you compete across all ad channels today.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” One-On-One Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/9) post presents the one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”, Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serves as facilitator.  Posted yesterday: “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Adds FOX Sports Radio Shows for Overnights.  The Beasley Media Group sports talker announces it is adding FOX Sports Radio’s “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am slot and “The Ben Maller Show to air from 2:00 am to 6:00 am, effective July 18.  WBZ-FM, Boston will also air overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio on weekends.  Beasley national spoken-word brand manager Mike Thomas says, “For the second time in our 10-year history, ‘The Sports Hub’ will partner with FOX Sports Radio for late-night programming.  We’re happy to have FSR’s compelling brand of sports talk back on ‘The Sports Hub’ to keep our listeners informed and entertained.”

Sutterfield Appointed GSM for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa Cluster. Sales pro Phillip Sutterfield is promoted to general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa station group that includes news/talk KRMG-AM/FM three music brands and Cox’s three television stations in the market.  CMG Tulsa director of sales Joe Muller states, “Phillip has been an integral part of the CMG sales team for many years and has always been one of the most consistent leaders on the team.  He has built outstanding relationships in the community and is a creative force for our clients.  I know Phillip will thrive in this new role and help guide us through the next phase of our sales growth.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former White House aide to President Obama (and current executive producer of Funny or Die D.C.) Brad Jenkins teams up with PodcastOne to create a new podcast titled, “Fired Up!” PodcastOne says, “Jenkins and his guests will dig deep to explore political issues and other things that get them fired up to love, laugh, and inspire.”  PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris says, “Brad is a dynamic, outspoken, intelligent ball of fire!  His passion for igniting high energy and intelligent conversation is perfect for the podcast format, and is sure to get both his guests and listeners as fired up as he is when it comes to politics and other topics we all care about.”…..Skyview Networks and The Howard Hughes Corporation’s Triple-A baseball club the Las Vegas Aviators, announce today a multi-year contract for the team to use Skyview’s inventory management and live read capture software, AdView.  The Aviators – an affiliate of the Oakland A’s – play in the Pacific Coast League…..Voice and audio content provider SpokenLayer announces that Andy Lipset joins the company as CEO.  He takes over for SpokenLayer founder Will Mayo, who continues with the company as chief strategy officer.  Lipset served for the past six years with Pandora.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported on the programming changes at Forever Media’s WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9.”  In doing so we wrote that Ed Tyll’s early afternoon show was cancelled by the station.  Program director Dan Gaffney tells TALKERS that Tyll was not let go but resigned from his program.

2020 Presidential Race, Epstein Arrest, Trump Tax Returns, UK Ambassador Leak, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, Women’s Soccer Pay Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The 2020 presidential race and the Democrats running for their party’s nomination; the arrest of billionaire hedge fund managerJeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law allowing Congress access to President Trump’s New York tax returns; the leak of a cable from UK Ambassador Kim Darroch calling President Trump “inept” and “clumsy”; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the controversy over conditions at border detention centers; Iran’s continuing progress in enriching uranium; the Southern California earthquakes; and the issue of pay disparity between the men’s and women’s U.S. Soccer team 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. Tallahassee has a new music station as iHeartMedia turns WTLY-AM/W243EG into classic hip hop and R&B as “Throwback 96.5.”   The station will feature hip hop and R&B from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  Station program director D – Strong says, “Throwback hip hop and R&B is what’s hot right now and I’m glad that we’re the ones that get to bring that to Tallahassee!”.…..Some new acts are being added to the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.  Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello, and Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X have been added to the lineup…..Westwood One’s syndicated “Country Gold with Terri Clark” hits the 165-station affiliation mark with the addition of WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill, Illinois (Chicago market); WDRQ-FM, Detroit; WNKN-FM, Cincinnati; WSM-FM, Nashville; WPUR-FM, Atlantic City; KTJJ-FM, Farmington-St. Louis; and KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Monday, July 8, 2019

| July 8, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting” Panel Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/8) post presents the panel discussion titled, “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘Delaware 105.9’ Ends Local Susan Monday Show; Adds Syndicated Programming. The new owner of news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” is dropping local talk personality Susan Monday.  At the same time, early afternoon host Ed Tyll resigns from the station that Forever Media acquired along with nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting for $18.5 million earlier this year.  WXDE is adding Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher show in the late morning daypart and the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” show in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Monday is ready for her next opportunity.  She can be reached at suemo1955@gmail.com.

SB Nation Radio Launches New Afternoon Show. Current SB Nation Radio personalities Cody Stoots and Jake Asman are being paired up to co-host “The Main Event with Cody Stoots and Jake Asman” show in the SB Nation Radio lineup.  The network is operated by Houston-based Gow Media.  Stoots has been with Gow’ Sportsmap and Asman has been hosting the network’s 7:00 pm ET “The Power Hour” program.  The new show airs from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Gow Media and SB Nation Radio CEO David Gow comments, “It’s been a joy listening to Jake and Cody in various roles the last couple of years.  They both are so versatile.  The perfect combination of humor and constructive sports debate.  It’s going to be a very entertaining program.”

Levin Broadcasts from Israel. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio star Mark Levin (left) interviewing British intelligence and military officer Colonel Richard Kemp (right) in the Christian Broadcasting Network studios in Jerusalem. The two discussed Iran, the war in Afghanistan, and Kemp’s collaboration with the CIA and Israeli intelligence and defense agencies.  Kemp was one of a number of expert guests Levin interviewed during his international remote broadcast.

Confer Radio Institute Opens Today. Today at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 25 students are beginning the 10-day Confer Radio Talent Institute in which they will learn from a group of more than 40 broadcast professionals, including: Kristin Cantrell, CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media and Jim Loftus, COO of Seven Mountains Media; Lynn Deppen, president of Forever MediaJoe Bell, VP/market manager of Beasley Media Group Philadelphia; Karen Richards, VP/sales, Cumulus Media Harrisburg; Jon Zellner, president of programming operations, National Programming Group, iHeartMedia New York; Shelly Easton, VP of music programming, Entercom Philadelphia; Brian Check, SVP of programming, iHeartMedia Philadelphia; Eric Johnson, program director of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” and many more.  The institute is being underwritten by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and Kerby Confer to underwrite the institute.  Lifelong broadcaster Kirby Confer (pictured at right teaching at a previous institute) says, “We want to make a difference and give this next generation a firm foundation in the industry.  We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people and are so pleased the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters offer both their time and financial support, investing in radio’s future.”  All students will be certified Radio Marketing Professionals after completing the RMP sales training course from the RAB.

Beasley Unveils New XP Studio in Detroit. The new Beasley Media Group broadcast space pictured above will serve as the official headquarters for Beasley’s nationally syndicated Esports lifestyle-driven program, “Checkpoint XP.”  The program is seen daily on Twitch and heard weekly on 74 affiliate stations via the Sun Broadcast Group network, and via a lineup of original content Esports-focused podcasts.  Seen sitting in the state-of-the-art studios are (from l-r): “Checkpoint XP” personalities Norris Howard and Joe Sloan, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, Checkpoint XP’s Robbie Landis and Nate Bender.

Media Staffing Network and Radio Ink Partner for 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study. The 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study results will be presented at this year’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  It’s a partnership between Media Staffing Network (MSN) and our friends at Radio Ink.  The study begins with a two-minute survey for managers and sellers that launches today (7/8) and runs through Friday, July 26.  The goal of the study is to guide radio owners, operators, and managers to develop sales compensation packages that attract – and keep – the best candidates, including those from younger demographics, in today’s highly competitive hiring landscape.  All survey participants will be entered in a random drawing to win one of three licenses to MSN’s Local Sales Recruitment Online Learning Program.  Radio Ink EVP and president/publisher Deborah Parenti says, “We are delighted to team up with MSN in a project that will hopefully help provide guidance, especially to smaller groups and individual stations, in crafting the kind of compensation packages that encourage young people to consider radio sales as a career path. With so much competition from digital media, making radio ‘sexier’ to prospective hires has to, first and foremost, include a more competitive pay structure.”  To access the survey, click here.

WTEM, Washington Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming. Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “The Team 980” adds evening and overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio to its daily program schedule. Effective immediately, the Radio One-owned station begins airing “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker” in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am, and “The Ben Maller Show” in the 2:00 am to 6:00 am daypart.  The station also airs FOX Sports Radio’s full lineup of weekend programming when play-by-play sports is not on the schedule.

NAB to Honor Mary Quass with National Radio Award. At this year’s NAB Radio Show in Dallas, NRG Media chairman and CEO Mary Quass will receive the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award – given for “outstanding leadership in the radio industry” – will be presented during the September 25 luncheon program, “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top.”  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “We are pleased to honor Mary Quass for her many achievements and impact on radio.  She is a true catalyst in our industry who exemplifies the meaning of the National Radio Award through her leadership, integrity and success.”

Trump’s Fourth of July Celebration, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, U.K. Ambassador’s Trump Criticisms, Jeffrey Epstein Arrest, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Washington, DC Fourth of July celebration, including President Trump’s speech and the military component; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Iran’s uranium enrichment program and tensions with the U.S.; the earthquakes in Southern California since the July 4 temblor; British Ambassador Kim Darroch’s criticism of President Trump; the arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on sexual assault charges; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s World Cup victory 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. Air personality Jasmine Lee is named co-host of the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch” morning show on Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB, Fort Myers “B103.9.”   She was most recently morning host at Stillwater Broadcasting’s CHR KSPI-FM, Stillwater, Oklahoma.  WXKB operations manager Adam Star comments, “Jasmine has great charm and charisma on the air. Her energy and fun personality is infectious.  She is the final piece that we were looking to add to ‘Big Mama and The Wild Bunch Morning Show.’”…..In the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market, Don Harrison is the new brand manager at Adams Radio’s rock WZBH “The Beach” and classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7.”  He was most recently operations manager at Townsquare Media’s operations in the Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming markets.  Harrison says, “I’m honored to join Adams Radio Group and be working with the entire team.  It’s refreshing to be part of a company that believes in local radio, super-serving the community, and creating a great working environment.  I also can’t wait to team up with Lisa Layne – she’s a rock star.”…..iHeartMedia Boston brings Hisham Fayed aboard as director of marketing to work with the cluster’s music brands: WXKS-FM “Kiss 108,” WJMN-FM “JAM’N 94.5,” WBWL-FM “101.7 The Bull,” WZLX-FM, and WKAF-FM.  In this role, Fayed will work closely with the promotions, events, sales, and programming teams in developing and executing marketing plans.  iHeartMedia VP of marketing Adam Ralston says, “Hisham has a proven track record of impactful marketing campaign creation and execution in Boston. We are thrilled to add him to our superstar marketing team, and we know he will contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Friday, March 22, 2019

| March 22, 2019

Michael Savage Celebrates 25 Years in Talk Radio on Sunday. This Sunday (3/24) Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage celebrates his 25th anniversary in talk radio.  Savage hosts “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast.  He’s a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and is also a best-selling author.  Westwood One is recognizing Savage’s silver anniversary with a special program airing on Monday, March 25 that will feature clips of highlights from over the years, special call-ins, and other surprises.  In January, Savage repurposed his daily three-hour radio show into a new hybrid radio show and podcast that’s been named to Apple’s New and Noteworthy podcasts.  Commenting on his achievement, Savage says, “This has been my 5th career.  Social worker, teacher, medicinal plant explorer, author, talk show host.  Where have all the years gone?  I only hope I have made the world a better place.”  In June, HarperCollins will release Savage’s latest book, A Savage Life, featuring favorite stories and all-new, never published material.

Wheeler Morris to Lead Hubbard’s Corporate Podcast Strategy. This is a move from a focus on the Twin Cities market to a corporate focus for Wheeler Morris, who takes on the title, manager of corporate podcasting for Hubbard Radio.  Morris has been serving with the Minneapolis cluster developing and executing successful podcasts.  In this new position, Morris will lead the company’s expansion into the podcast space, overseeing content creation, distribution and sales, and marketing.  Hubbard Radio currently produces more than 150 unique podcasts that reach more than 500,000 listeners every month.  Hubbard Radio SVP programming Greg Strassell comments, “Wheeler has been very involved in original podcast launches over the past few years in the Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul studios, and recruitment of new outside opportunities for Hubbard Radio.  It is time to recognize his leadership to focus on the growing on-demand focus at a corporate level.”  Morris says, “Since Hubbard’s 2015 investment in PodcastOne the personnel within Hubbard’s markets have put a lot of great work into growing within this space.  I am very excited to help this initiative continue to grow from both an audience and monetization standpoint, working with all of our markets, PodcastOne, and podcasters outside of Hubbard.”  Morris will also work closely with Hubbard Radio VP/corporate digital strategy Jeremy Sinon in exploring and developing emerging technology to maximize distribution and discovery of Hubbard Radio podcast content.

Lineup Shift Takes Place at ‘SportsTalk 790’ in Houston; Adam Clanton Returns. With the recent departure of sports talk personality Josh Innes from the morning drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790,” the station announces a lineup shuffle that takes effect on Monday (3/25).  The station moves Sean Salisbury from afternoons to the morning drive daypart.  The new morning show features Michael Connor, Rachel Van Oranje, and Adam SagerMatt Thomas and “In the Trenches” hosts Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu remain in middays and the station brings Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton back to the station to host the afternoon drive program “The A-Team.” iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says that the station will announce Clanton’s co-host in the days to come.

FSR’s Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated late-night sports talk program “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” hits the 400-affiliate mark.  Syndicator FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks), announces the achievement adding that some of the newest affiliates include: WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte; WRNW-FM, Milwaukee; WHBQ-AM, Memphis; and WLVL-AM, Buffalo.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We are extremely pleased to welcome 400 affiliates to the club!  ‘The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon’ has proven time and time again to be the place to go for instant reaction to all of the big games in sports. When major moments happen on the field or court, Jason and Mike have every angle covered.”  Smith (left) joined FOX Sports Radio in 2014.  Prior to that, he hosted “NFL Fantasy Live” on the NFL Network.  Harmon (right) has been partnered with Smith since 2014 and he also hosts Sunday mornings on FOX Sports Radio.

WFAN Denies Adam Schein for Mike Francesa Scenario. Whenever WFAN’s Mike Francesa is the focal point of a story in the New York media, it’s a big deal – at least among sports fans and sports talk radio watchers.  Thursday (3/21) was no different when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Entercom had been in talks with SiriusXM and CBS Sports personality Adam Schein to join WFAN and take over for afternoon host Mike Francesa.  Marchand includes a statement in the piece from WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff that reads: “We are 100% committed to Mike Francesa, who is the #1 Sports Radio talk show host in afternoon drive.  There is absolutely no truth to any reports about Adam Schein joining WFAN.”  But Marchand explains that he never said Schein was joining WFAN, but that discussions were held about bringing Schein aboard to replace Francesa should he leave the station again. Read the Post piece here.

Envision Networks Appoints Peter Welpton Director of New Business Development. Longtime broadcaster Peter Welpton joins Envision Networks as director – new business development. The company says he’ll manage its newest office in Dallas.  Envision says that Welpton has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business and moved into the digital product ownership, development, and sales field in 2010.  He’s worked with major media brands such as Oprah, the Dallas Cowboys, NBC, Scripps, the NFL, and the Game Show Network.  Welpton says, “I can’t tell you how elated I am to be working with [CEO] Danno [Wolkoff] again.  I’ve admired his and [COO] Laura [Orkin]’s success as business owners and the growth they’ve achieved with Envision.  I look forward to bringing my background in digital products, sales, and experiences to their company and opening new lines of business.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new member of the Salem Media Group board of directors as Causeway Strategies founding partner Heather Grizzle is appointed to the unexpired term of Roland Hinz, whom she replaces.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “I am delighted that Heather Grizzle has agreed to serve on Salem’s board of directors.  Any shareholder who will take the time to review Ms. Grizzle’s background further, much of which is readily available online, will quickly come to appreciate what a tremendous resource she will be to Salem Media Group as a member of its board of directors.”…..Pollack Broadcasting will fire up FM translator W240EH, Evanston, Illinois and begin simulcasting news/talk WCGO-AM, Evanston on the 95.9 FM signal.  William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly” program that airs nightly from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, reveals the news to TALKERS magazine.  He tells us the station’s engineer says the primary coverage area will be similar to WCGO’s nighttime pattern – “about 15 miles west, southwest, south in a teardrop shape, along with North Shore up to about the Lake Bluff area.”

Robert Mueller’s Trump Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 18-22. The status and scope of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New Zealand gun ban and the aftermath of the mosques shootings. Coming in at #3 was the growing number of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, followed by the electoral college and reparations debates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia. Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018. The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media. Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications. “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world. Now, I have an opportunity to give back.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com. Don’t miss this!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston hip hop outlet WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” announces the launch of the “Ashlee & The New JAM’N Morning Show” on Monday (3/25). The cast is pictured here (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Santi DeoleoAshlee Feldman, and DJ4eign.  Feldman was most recently the station’s afternoon drive host.  Back in 2013, she was a co-host on the iHeartMedia station’s morning program.  She was also a cast member of the 24th season of MTV’s “The Real World.”  She’s served with radio stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.  Feldman says, “‘JAM’N’ has always been my family.  I remember playing basketball at Northeastern and worrying about how I could get my hands on some cash because I just had to buy a ticket to Summer Jam.  I’ve had many different roles at ‘JAM’N 94.5’ but I always knew where my home was and that is back in the mornings.”.….Entercom adds an FM translator to the hip hop station “96.3 The Block” – currently emanating from WFBC-HD2 – that allows listeners to hear it on W299BO at 107.7 FM.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “‘96.3 The Block’ has become the top choice for hip hop and R&B fans in Greenville and Spartanburg over the past four years.  We’re excited to answer the call-for-service in Anderson County by adding 107.7 FM.”…..Midwest Communications agrees to acquire WNFZ-FM, Knoxville from owner John Pirkle and is flipping it from alternative to adult hits as “94.3 JACK FM.” The station had been operated under a local marketing agreement by Oak Ridge FM.  Midwest assumed the LMA yesterday afternoon (3/21).  Station brand manager Randy Chambers says, “We’re excited to introduce a totally different radio station to East Tennessee.  The radio market and advertiser needs continue to evolve and we’re evolving with those needs.  ‘JACK-FM’ is a music-driven, innovative, and energetic format that is designed for an adult audience and built around the promises of variety, low repetition, fewer commercials. and less clutter.”  This acquisition adds to Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster that includes classic rock WIMZ, adult contemporary WJXB, and country WDKW.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. brokered the transaction.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) following December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from #11 to #12.

In four straight decreases, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is off a collective nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth consecutive time as well, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) and continues at #24.

On the heels of posting a January +1.6 (7.8 – 9.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT falters by six-tenths to 8.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.4 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK dials up a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Furthermore, “Spirit 105.9” reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.0. Piling on a +1.1 to January’s gain of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” cruises from ninth to sixth. “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The seven most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (4.6 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Even though hot AC cluster-mate KAMX logs a +.6 to interrupt three straight downturns that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), “Mix 94.7” slips from a sixth-place tie to seventh. After improving by +1.2 in January (3.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” surrenders half that increase (4.3, -.6, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. In “Holiday” 2018, KASE spiraled by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country contest, co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original,” which also posted a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), drops three-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but remains at #3. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). By picking up four-tenths (2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM  progresses from #16 to #13. When “Austin’s Country Alternative” dropped one-tenth in January, it suspended three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.5 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+), WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” pushes from sixth to fifth. Immediately prior to January, the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet had been -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). While it remains at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by three-tenths (1.6 – 1.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Returning half of January’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC continues at #17. Entering the January sweep, “99.9 The Fan” was an overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+).

After having notched a +1.0 in January (7.1 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” forfeits 60% of the increase (7.5, -.6, #2 to #4, 6+). January’s boost curtailed five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); and second to fourth (February, -.6).

Raleigh Music Formats – Having surrendered a -2.6 in January, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL roars back with a +1.6 (7.0 – 8.6, fourth to second, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix 101.5” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. With an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). In addition to snapping at five its successive streak of down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (3.9, +.2, 6+) returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). The five most recent fluctuations for urban AC cluster-mate WFXC are +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February (11.0 – 9.9, on top for the seventh time in succession, 6+). January’s 11.0 is the highest 6+-stat for “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” in the PPM-era. While it more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” repeats at #20. Without a loss in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps in which it more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is now -1.1 in January/February (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #16, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Rather amazingly, Emmis news/talk WIBC posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths for the fourth sweep in succession: -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (6.3 – 7.2, fifth to third, 6+). Previously, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (#14 to #16, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which drops one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) but advances from #18 to #17.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include +.8 (November/December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.5 in February (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom CHR WZPL  is +1.7 in January/February (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Furthermore, “99.5 ZPL” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6. In January, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” enjoyed a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” That lead, however, shrinks to just three-tenths in February as “Hank” gains seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, eighth to seventh, 6+), while WFMS erodes by -1.0 (7.2 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.0 (February 2019). Without an increase seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” rebounds with a January/February +.9 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+). As highlighted above, both of Indy’s country stations are accustomed to wild sweep-to-sweep fluctuations. The same applies to Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which slumps by -.7 (9.8 – 9.1, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its January +2.9 (to 9.8) virtually eliminated December and “Holiday” 2018’s -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Sputtering by six-tenths are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (7.6 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), “B-105.7” eroded by -8.8 in January. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since WYXB notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. “Alt 103.3” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 (6+).

An overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two major (commercial) news/talkers are separated by just one-tenth as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” dips one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” falters by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fourth to sixth). By picking up one-tenth in January, WTMJ halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+) for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Bucks, and Brewers. Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+). January 2019 marked the first time since May 2018 that WISN prevailed over WTMJ (6+). In that sweep, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 1.4 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” picks up one-tenth to .8 yet slides from #17 to #20. Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” doubled “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) but loses two-tenths in February (.4, #21 to #22, 6+); WRNW was formerly CHR “97.7 Now.” Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is unchanged from January in market share and market rank (.2, #24, 6+).

Even though University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM adds three-tenths to January’s +.9 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), it backslides from ninth to tenth. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD nearly doubles January’s .7 (1.3 +.6, #19 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) elevates Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to the five-share level (5.4) for the first time since September 2018’s 5.1. Down four-tenths in a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 mini-slide (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.4, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH “96.5 Hometown Rock” answers with a +.7 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). The four latest fluctuations for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); and +.6 in February (9.6- 10.2, 6+) as “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third straight time. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to #2 in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Gaining six-tenths as well in February is Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB (5.8 – 6.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), “B-93.3” sputtered in January by -4.5. In “Holiday” 2018, WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Co-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” nearly erases January’s -.6 with a half-share gain (2.5 – 3.0, steady at #13, 6+); January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ (PPM) stat. An overall +2.0 via three successive upticks (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” forfeits 55% of that increase with a -1.1 to 5.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without a direct country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018; +1.3 (January); and -.9 in February (7.5 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Slipping by one-half share are Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (4.2 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.8 – 1.3, #14 to #15, 6+). WJMR gained seven-tenths in January, completely erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). When “Energy” lost three-tenths in January, it halted five straight reports without a loss that netted +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” gains four-tenths to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s one-half share increase (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” carries on at #19.

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk/Tennessee Titans’ flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); and -.7 in February (5.1 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” notches a +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #18 to #17, 6+). A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

While it remains in sixth-place, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Without an increase five straight reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). Posting gains of seven-tenths are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (6.0 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (4.9 – 5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Jack” followed “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, which applied the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), with a January -1.3. “The River” had been -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). On the heels of a January +1.2 (4.2 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” tacks on another half-share to 5.9 (6+) as the country outlet repeats at #5. Prior to January, “Nash FM” last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0). Finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.0, -.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which is flat at 4.7 (6+), following a January gain of +1.2. Prior to that increase, “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+). In January, “Nash Icon” returned the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+). It was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Notwithstanding a January/February -4.8 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 14th successive ratings period. January’s  -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that netted a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); and -1.3 (February).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -1.0 via three successive down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds one-tenth (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Having erased December and “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) with a January gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is up two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” is now off four-tenths in January/February (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #18, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, steady at #21, 6+).

Unchanged in sixth-place, WVEI follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a dip of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+). The Entercom sports talker was a combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+).

Tied at #12 are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #11 to #12, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #14 to #12, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WHJY logs a 9.8 – matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018. Prior to taking over at #1 in January, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018; WHJY was +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Steady in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in January/February (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4, 6+), immediately following a collective -3.1 as a result of three straight declines (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has that streak halted with a one-half share decrease to 3.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI shakes off January’s -7.1 with a gain of two-tenths (9.1 – 9.3, 6+) and repeats at #2. “Lite Rock 105” posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finished at #1 six sweeps in a row before segueing to second in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Remaining in eighth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” is in a (6+) September 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8. Likewise, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February, (6.9 – 6.5, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Norfolk – In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” posts a +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). It has been quite a rollercoaster ride lately for iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV. Through seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+); and +.8 in February (1.6 – 2.4, steady at #8, 6+). When WPTE “94.9 The Point” recorded a January increase of two-tenths, it suspended four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Entercom hot AC tacks on seven-tenths in February to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #7. Up two-tenths (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL repeats at #1. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 36th time in the last 37 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After a “Holiday” 2018-only stay at #1, adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, flat at #4). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. On the heels of recording a +.8 to 6.7 (6+), which curtailed three straight downturns that accounted for a -1.0 (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” falters by one-half share (6.2, 6+) and carries on in fifth-place. After racking up consecutive gains of one-half share (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (unchanged at #2, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down seven-tenths (10.4 – 9.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that timeframe (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, flat at #20, 6+).

Although it remains at #12, public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.3 in four straight increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats

An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” bounces back with a January/February +1.3 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6, third to second, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” erodes by -1.8 in five successive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” is off one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). On the heels of January’s +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” surrenders nearly half that gain (5.6, -.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), recaptures that deficit in January/February with a +1.4 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and remains at #10. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” has lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is +1.1 in the same two sweeps (4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1, steady at #8). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. WEZI’s January +.7 halted a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being down three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. It is four-tenths ahead of co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, flat at #12, 6+). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In three consecutive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4, #13 to #15, 6+). Unchanged at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD gains two-tenths to .7, immediately after having its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The six most recent (up/down) fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); +.7 (January 2019); and -.3 in February (3.7 – 3.4, flat at #6).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to three upticks in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and is steady at #3. Off eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” erases three-quarters of that deficit with a +.6 to 5.5 (unchanged at #4, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” notches a one-half share increase to 2.8 (#11 to #9, 6+), which wipes away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). Repeating January’s 9.2 (6+), Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” sets the pace – just as it did this time last month. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A combined +1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WRMF sputtered by -1.0 in January. Immediately after posting a January increase of eight-tenths, erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), cluster-mate WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective +.8 owing to four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths (1.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Through four consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.3 (3.0 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” adds one-tenth (4.4, steady at #9, 6+). WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

While up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” falls from #16 to #17.

Locked at #13 for the tenth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up one-half share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat four straight times for roughly a 50% loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (6+) but backslides from #15 to #16.

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” progresses from #12 to #11. Its recent fluctuations include +.5 (August 2018); +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); a combined -.9 (December/“Holiday” 2018); and +.6 (February 2019). Also notching a February improvement of six-tenths is Winston-Salem State University-owned WSNC “90.5 Jazz In All Its Colors” which is trending .1 – .5 – 1.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January – February, #16 to #14, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” is an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Despite being -1.8 as the result of four straight setbacks (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. A +1.0 in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. For the third sweep in succession, country cluster-mate WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” has a shift of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019): and +.5 in February (5.2 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+ ). Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” substitutes January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+) as the two country rivals swap places. “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December. After each station posted January gains of nine-tenths, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.9, flat at #2, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) now register declines of six-tenths. “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to January’s increase to 6.3, its highest 6+-stat since resurfacing in print in February 2018, WKZL was off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only has iHeartMedia news/talk WREC improved in back-to-back sweeps by a combined +1.8 (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8).

In doing so, it leapfrogs Entercom sports talk WMFS (flat at 4.0, #10 to #11, 6+); “ESPN Sports Radio” was up six-tenths in January. Flat at #18, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase for the eighth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Replicating January’s increase of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). The six most recent moves for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); and +.7 in February (8.2 – 8.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Regaining 20% of January’s -1.5 (11.3 – 11.6, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is #1 for the fourth time in a row and in double-digits (11.6, 6+) for the 11th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +2.3 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). After being an overall +1.1 through four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7” plummets by -1.3 (4.3, sixth to tenth, 6+). Falling seven-tenths are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (5.6 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (5.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. “Kix 106” most recently has been -.5 (October 2018); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.7 (February).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a cumulative -1.8 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “News Talk 1080” is +.7 in January/February (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is unchanged from January in share and market rank (1.3, #14, 6+); January’s +.4 curtailed three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

The November 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 (#12 to #13, 6+).

After seven straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+). It was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 in February (6.1 – 5.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is up three-tenths in January/February (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Over and above answering January’s -6.9 with a February +1.0 (11.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 32nd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (12.1, 6+) for the 29th time in the last 31 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. A February gain of nine-tenths to 5.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+) by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM erases its “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -.8 (5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and gives “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” its best 6+-stat (5.3) since September 2018’s 5.4. Trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” improves by one-half share (5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). After being -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and +1.0 in January 2019, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is -.7 in February (7.7 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+). There is a similar significant shift pattern for Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM”: -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.4 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (7.7 – 7.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. Back-to-back at #10 and #11, respectively, are Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” (4.5, -.1, ninth to tenth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight improvements immediately prior to the February report, “Radio 104.1” was an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+).

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.