Tag: "Mike Valenti"

Friday, November 16, 2018

| November 16, 2018

WDAE, Tampa Names ‘Ron & Ian’ Afternoon Drive Show.  Longtime Tampa Bay and WDAE sports talk personality Steve Duemig focuses on his health as he continues treatment for a brain tumor.  He’ll step aside as the station names Ron Diaz and Ian Beckles hosts of the afternoon drive “Ron & Ian” show, effective Monday, November 26.  This is a return to the station for the duo who exited three years ago in a programming reshuffle.  Producer Jay Recher remains in the afternoon slot as a “key part of the program.”  Diaz says, “The band is back together and it’s about time to rock.  During the year that the show first began, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.  No pressure guys let’s do it again.”  Beckles adds, “I am super excited to reunite with Ron and Jay to create the Ron & Ian show 2.0.  Tampa Bay has been begging for its return, so I hope everyone is ready.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit Personality Mike Valenti to Launch Podcast on RADIO.COM. Motor City sports talk personality Mike Valenti – heard in afternoon drive on Entercom’s sports talker WXYT-FM – is the latest to launch a podcast on the company’s digital platform RADIO.COM.  Titled, “Always Aggravated,” the weekly program “is a chance for fans to go behind the scenes with Valenti and his cast of characters from his daily afternoon drive show.”  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “Mike is an extraordinary talent who is loved by Detroit sports fans.  This podcast will be an extension of his show, giving fans access to an unfiltered Mike Valenti.”  Valenti comments, “This podcast is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. It gives us the chance to go beyond what we are able to discuss in our daily show. Nothing is off limits and I am very excited about the opportunity to appeal to listeners around the country.”

Tennessee Won’t Prosecute Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Talk Host Jeff Styles. The good news for former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning personality Jeff Styles is that the state won’t be prosecuting him on an aggravated assault charge; the bad news is the road rage incident from last June cost him his job at the Cumulus Media talk station. Styles testified that Nick Bullington was driving recklessly toward him and waving a gun before Styles got out of his car at a red light and attacked Bullington’s vehicle with a tomahawk.  Bullington fired his weapon and Styles was hit in the arm.  The case was bound to a grand jury but now the state is electing not to prosecute.  The Chattanoogan reports Styles’ attorney Lee Davis told the court, “Jeff Styles called 911 after he was shot.  He cooperated in the police investigation and testified in court.  Jeff has done everything possible to be fully accountable for his actions.  I appreciate the care and deliberation that District Attorney Neal Pinkston has taken in the review of this case. On behalf of Jeff Styles, I want to express my support and appreciation of the state’s decision after careful review to dismiss this matter.”

iHeartMedia Monthly Operating Report: September Revenue Up 9.6%. As it has been doing while working its way through Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files another monthly operating report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  This report – for the month of September – notes that revenue was $325.9 million, an increase of 9.6% over August’s $299.4 million figure.  Operating income was down 20.6% to $62.4 million and net income was $11.9 million – down a dramatic 140% from August’s net income of $66.9 million. During September, iHeartMedia paid out $15.8 million to outside professionals assisting in the reorganization process.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s been no official communique from Entercom Minneapolis but after seven months with the cluster, operations manager Andy Bloom exits.  He’d been in charge of operations at heritage news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.”  Previously, Bloom had been with CBS RADIO as operations manager for sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT in Philadelphia.  Bloom simply tells the Pioneer Press, “WCCO is a legendary station.  I wish them luck.”…..The Boston Beasley Media Group stations are taking part in the third official “Massachusetts Civility Day” proclaimed by Governor Charlie Baker.  National Civility Foundation executive director Judith Bowman says the purpose of tomorrow’s (11/17) event is “to have every person in every family, every company…consciously perform a random act of kindness.  Day of Civility is timely given our coarse global climate and particularly fitting as we enter the Thanksgiving holiday season.”…..Pictured at left are some of the staff members of Alpha Media Alaska posing with their “Goldie Awards” from the Alaska Broadcasters Association.  The cluster garnered four awards: KFDQ-AM, Anchorage’s “Big Alaska Show” for Best Radio Show; sports talk KHAR for Best Sports Play-By-Play; classic hits KEAG-FM, Anchorage for Best Radio Commercial (:30); and country KBRJ-FM for Best Radio Commercial (over :30).  Pictured here are (from l-r): “Big Alaska Show” host Steve Stripling, KBRJ-FM program director Joe Campbell, Lindsey Dailey, Steven Franklin, and John Miller.

Talkin’ Turkey.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (dressed as a turkey) is pictured here broadcasting from inside a Walmart in Nampa, Idaho where he’s been living to collect turkeys for the Boise Rescue Mission.  This is Miller’s eighth year living at and broadcasting from the Walmart to help the cause.  With him in the photo are KTVB-TV, Boise’s Larry Gebert (left) and Boise Rescue Mission CEO Reverend Bill Roscoe (right).

CNN-White House Suit Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 12-16.  CNN’s suit against the White House for the pulling of reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was Florida election re-counts and the related allegations of voter fraud by President Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the migrant caravan and U.S. illegal immigration policy 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.

30th Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In New York City last night (11/15), 10 radio broadcasters were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.  A number of talk personalities were enshrined, including longtime New York radio talk host Joan Hamburg, pictured above with actor Alan Alda, who introduced her, stating, “She has the ability to interview anybody with grace and good humor.” Other talk hosts enshrined were: Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, SiriusXM personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Jonathon Brandmeier, Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin, WFAN legend Mike Francesa, and sports talker Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a., the Fabulous Sports Babe (who was unable to attend).  Music radio personalities inducted included WAXQ, New York morning host Jim Kerr and Kid Kelly, along with consultant Fred Jacobs.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Jacobs, Levin, Kerr, and Brandmeier.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country WQIK, Jacksonville promotes music director John Scott to program director, effective immediately.  Scott will report to iHeartMedia SVP of programming Gary “Geewiz” Christopher, who says, “We are thrilled to have John transition to program director for the number one country station in Jacksonville.  He understands our listeners and brings his passion and extensive knowledge of the market to this role and we know he will continue to contribute to our station’s ongoing success.”  Over the past 28 years, he has served WQIK as morning show host, midday personality, and afternoon drive jock…..Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle is presenting the fourth annual “Live Day.”  This year’s event will feature broadcasts of the station’s morning show “BJ Migs” and afternoon show “The Mens Room” in front of a live audience with no recorded commercials, sound effects or music.  More than 100 performers and producers are involved in creating eight hours of completely live radio.  “Live Day” will emanate from Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom on Tuesday (11/20) and feature a cast of local musicians, Foley artists and comedians, and station on-air talent including “BJ & Migs,” Ryan Castle, Taryn Daly, and talent from The Mens Room.  KISW legacy talent Kathy Faulkner and Spike O’Neill will also be in attendance…..WWPR, New York-based morning show “The Breakfast Club” raised more than $200,000 during its second annual #Change4Change to benefit PROJECT 375, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness of mental health, ending the stigma and raising funds for treatment. The Breakfast Club personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God worked in support of PROJECT 375, a charity co-founded by NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall and his wife Michi. PROJECT 375 offers several free community programs and resources addressing mental health such as Project Prevent, which provides technology-driven mental health first aid training for parents, teachers and anyone working closely with youth; and Mind Over Matter Talks, where members of the organization visit schools to speak with students, principals, community leaders and parents about mental health…..Bobby Bones show co-host Amy Brown is launching an iHeartRadio original podcast called “4 Things with Amy Brown,” focused on featuring “4 Things” listeners can do to promote healthy well-being and to “maintain an attitude of gratitude, while sprinkling joy and giving back in their daily lives.”   Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “Amy is an integral part of some of our most-popular Country radio programs.  We’ve seen firsthand how her loyal following of fans stays connected across any and every platform, so this podcast is a natural next step.”…..Sun Broadcast Group celebrates its 10th anniversary. The national radio network is now headquartered in New York City and Boca Raton and is home to “The Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister,” multiple nationally syndicated shows hosted by “Fitz,” “The Woody & Wilcox Show,” and Sun Latino among many others.

Monday, July 2, 2018

| July 2, 2018

Price: Who Else Must Die?  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes about the importance of security at media outlet offices in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Annapolis, Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette.  “This is not the time for the media to cower in fear.  This is the time for action.  This is the time to stop talking about this issue of violence perpetrated against members of the media – and start DOING SOMETHING…The work we do every day – and the toxic environment in which we do it now – exposes print and broadcast journalists, crews and support staff to unspeakable risks that would have been unheard of just a few short years ago, except in war zones and riots.  Yet, most often the response within our industry is – crickets.  Or a series of lame excuses.  Or an unending game of kick the can into the next budget cycle.  Or the next.  Or the next.”  Read what Price has to say about developing a security and safety plan here.

Iowa Sports Media Pro Larry Cotlar Dies in Des Moines Flash Flood.  Central Iowa sports radio personality Larry Cotlar died on Saturday (6/30) after being swept away by flash flood waters in Des Moines.  The 65-year-old broadcaster had been the voice of Drake University men’s basketball for the past 12 seasons and was currently hosting a weekly sports talk show on Saga Communications’ KRNT, Des Moines “1350 ESPN.”  According to WHO-TV, Cotlar’s van became stalled in high waters.  Cotlar and unnamed occupants left the van but Cotlar was swept away.  His body was found several hours later a couple of blocks from the van.  Cotlar started his sports radio career on WHO-AM in 1981.  He’s also served at Des Moines stations KXNO and KBGG in addition to producing and co-hosting the “Out of Bounds” show on KCCI-TV.  Saga issued the following statement: “All of us at 1350 ESPN and the Des Moines Radio Group are devastated by the loss of our voice, our colleague, and our friend, Larry Cotlar… today, our thoughts are with his wife, Deb and their son, Zach. There is absolutely no replacing Larry.  He will be thought of fondly and missed greatly by his family, friends, and his extended families in the sports and broadcasting communities.”

WCCO, Minneapolis’ John Hines to Retire at Summer’s End. Minneapolis-St. Paul news/talk station WCCO-AM announces that late morning talk show host John Hines is retiring from his position at the end of the summer (though he will continue to do part-time fill-in work for the station).  He’s been with WCCO since 2012.  He released a statement saying, “I am thankful to the many listeners who have supported me over the years and to WCCO in allowing me the opportunity to extend my career these past years.  I am also pleased that WCCO has invited me to stay on in a part-time/fill in capacity.”  During his career in the Twin Cities, he’s worked at WWTC, KSTP-AM, WLOL-AM, and KSTP-TV, among others.

Mike Valenti Signs New Deal with WXYT-FM, Detroit. Motor City sports talk personality Mike Valenti signs a new, long-term deal with Entercom sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” to continue as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Valenti is a native New Yorker who made his way to Michigan to study at Michigan State and began his radio career as a producer in the Lansing market.  Prior to joining WXYT-FM in 2007, he was co-host of “The Sports Inferno” on WXYT-AM. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Mike is an extraordinary talent who has a great rapport with Detroit sports fans.  He has built a dedicated listener base and we’re thrilled to have him on the 97.1 team for years to come.”

Ex-“stream”-ly Enlightening Net ResultsTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at how stations’ streams add to their (6+) ratings, based on data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Kinosian notes that during the most recent survey, “Among all formats throughout the entire 48 PPM markets, there are only 34 instances of a station’s online ‘stream’ appearing in print during the May 2018 sweep.”  See which stations are getting credit for streaming listening and how it affects their overall ratings in Kinosian’s report here.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation by WFAN, New York, Afternoon Drive Mega-Star, Mike Francesa.  Today (7/2), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s sixth installment features the special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan.   Videos already posted include:  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”  Last week’s posts also include the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Talk Host Phil Valentine and Book Publisher Question Google’s Ad Rejection.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, Nashville-based, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine is an author and filmmaker in addition to his radio work.  He just published his latest novel, a spy-thriller titled, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, and publisher Oxley Durchville created a 30-second video ad to promote the book and submitted it to Google Adworks.  They were surprised when the ad was rejected for “dangerous and derogatory content.” They’ve reached out to Google for further explanation but have not yet heard back.  You can see the ad here.  Oxley Durchville and Valentine are concerned the rejection has nothing to do with the ad but with Valentine being a conservative talk host.  After viewing the ad, the consensus among TALKERS editors is that a rushed and harried censor probably noted the tone of the ad, saw the phrase “politically incorrect” connected with the book cover’s swastika image, and arrived at this conclusion. Time will tell if the two parties can resolve this issue.

Giordano Hosts Eagles QB Nick Foles at Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (left) chatting with Philadelphia Eagles QB – and Super Bowl LII MVP – Nick Foles (right).  The interview was a special installment of the station’s “Speakers Series.”  Foles talked about his new book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure and Overcoming the Odds (2018, Tyndale Momentum).  WPHT says listeners who attended the live event made it the largest audience to date for the series.

Veteran Talk Show Host Mike Siegel Broadcasts from the Free Iran 2018 Rally in Paris.  Longtime radio talk show host and author Mike Siegel brought his microphone to Paris where he conducted numerous interviews on the site of yesterday’s (7/1) Free Iran 2018 rally.  The rally is an annual call for a democratic Iran and included hundreds of dignitaries from around the world joining tens of thousands of Iranians supporting the ousting of the nation’s authoritarian regime.  Pictured is Siegel (right) interviewing former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (left) who was one of the many speakers at the event.

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend “Hugh Hewitt Show” on MSNBC has aired its last episode.  During Saturday’s program – which was a “best-of” format – Hewitt announced the end of the show that began a year ago.  He offered no reason, but Mediaite’s coverage of the story notes that the weekend edition of “FOX & Friends” on FOX News Channel topped Hewitt’s program in the ratings.  The Salem Radio Network-syndicated radio personality did say he will remain with MSNBC as a contributor and a guest on “Meet the Press.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliates.  The Saturday night edition of the show is airing on Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.  Other new stations include: KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona; and WRKQ-AM, Madisonville, Tennessee.  “Free Talk Live” is heard on 190 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that journalist, author, and radio personality Amy Guth is named executive director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. Guth is a weekend personality on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.

Air Personality and Programmer Richard “Box” Bachschmidt Dead After Suicide. Radio programming and on-air pro Richard “Box” Bachschmidt has died after apparently committing suicide in Charleston, South Carolina.  Most recently, he’d been hosting an Internet morning program.  He left his gig with LM Communications where he was hosting AM drive on triple A WCOO, Charleston “The Bridge” in February.  During his career he’d also served with iHeartMedia as host and PD at news/talk WSC, Charleston and APD at Cumulus’ WTN-FM, Nashville.

Saturday Immigration Policy Protest Rallies/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Iran Sanctions/Regime Change, New Canada Tariffs/Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, Lopez Obrador Wins Mexican Presidency, LeBron James Signs with Lakers, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s “Keep Families Together” rallies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court Justice seat; President Trump’s call for renewed sanctions in Iran and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that the Trump wants Iranian regime change; Canada puts tariffs on more American goods and concerns about the effects of a global trade war; new intelligence suggesting North Korea is expanding its nuclear missile program; leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the Mexican presidency; LeBron James’ new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio Hall of Famer Wolfman Jack is back on the air as Envision Networks begins offering digitally remastered programs.  The classic radio show is available as a five-hour weekly show and contains Wolfman’s comedy bits, funny phone calls, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and great music from the 60s and 70s. Wolfman Jack Licensing executive producer Jay Harvey says, “We are delighted to be working with Danno and his team at Envision Networks.  The world famous Wolfman Jack Radio Show is back and sounding better than ever.”…..Country air personality Roxanne Steele exits Entercom’s WYCD, Detroit.  The company has scrubbed her info from that station website and Steele posted the following message, “I’m back from vacation but on a permanent vacation from WYCD.  I’m still having a hard time processing that I no longer wake up and go to a job I absolutely loved. This is like a bad dream that doesn’t seem real even though I’ve been through this before.”…..Anaheim Broadcasting’s rock KCAL, Riverside-San Bernardino is saying adios to longtime personality Kelli Cluque who is joining Cal State Bernardino to serve as operations manager for the school’s Coyote Radio station.

Friday, April 21, 2017

| April 21, 2017

iHeartMedia Reports Preliminary Q1 Results Expressing ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future Given Current Debt Obligations.  This report (filed yesterday, 4/20) to the SEC is designed to help the company achieve success with its debt exchange offer that expires for lenders today and for bondholders next Friday (4/28).  But the language is very strong as iHeartMedia preliminarily reports that consolidated revenue is down 2.4% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  The company explains in this filing that it is analyzing, on a quarterly basis, “whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.  Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017.  At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018.  Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers, management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended March 31, 2017 will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results, and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Terry Foster Retires.  The Detroit sports talk host – one half of the Valenti & Foster show with co-host Mike Valenti – had missed much of the second half of 2016 after suffering a stroke.  But now, after returning to the show in January, Terry Foster announces he’ll retire from the station to focus on his “health and his family.”  Foster says, “I am retiring from sports radio but I am not retiring from life.  It is time for me to move on to a more low-key career.  I want to thank Deb Kenyon and James Powers for helping me get through a difficult time of my life and for the support during my 13-year career with ‘97.1 The Ticket.’  I also want to thank the most talented man in radio, Mike Valenti, for showing me the ropes, and thank the men behind the glass and my main crew David ‘The Hatchet Man’ Hull and Mike Sullivan.  We were a great team.  I just could no longer keep up the brisk pace of talk radio after my illness.  I appreciate the love and show of support from the fans during my most trying days and through my career in radio and newspaper.  And I would love one last hug from my CBS Radio family in Southfield.  I found out over the past few months that health and family are the most important things in life.  I will see you at the next game.”  Mike Valenti comments, “It’s been a great run for Terry Foster and me on ‘97.1 The Ticket’ for more than a decade.  Working with Terry has provided some memorable on-air moments.  I want to wish Terry the same success in retirement that we have enjoyed together as a team.”

Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Sells Two Stations to Radio One. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder sells two of his five sports talk-formatted Red Zebra radio stations to Radio One for an undisclosed sum.  Radio One will assume control of both stations under an LMA beginning on May 1.  WWXT-FM, Washington (a Class A signal licensed to Prince Frederick, Maryland) will begin simulcasting Radio One’s urban AC WMMJ, Washington “Majic 102.3 FM.”  The other station is WXGI-AM, Richmond “ESPN 950” and Radio One plans to continue airing the sports format.  In fact, it will simulcast the station on its own WTPS-AM – bumping the urban talk format from the station – as well as on Petersburg-licensed translator W274BX at 102.7 FM.  WXGI-AM carries Redskins football, Nationals baseball and Richmond Spiders play-by-play in the Richmond market.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins is quoted saying, “I still believe in the power of terrestrial radio and am excited about this deal with Red Zebra.  I’m always willing to evaluate an opportunity that allows us to grow our radio assets and continue to diversify our radio group, not just through syndication and digital, but good programming that serves our listeners.”

Report: CBS RADIO Names New Sales Leader. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, CBS RADIO Chicago has promoted Chad Feldman to vice president and director of sales for the cluster that includes all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and sports talk WSCR.  Feldman has most recently been sales manager for those two stations.  Feder says this is the third change in 16 months for this position and “insiders say [market manager Tim] Pohlman is under increasing pressure to boost revenue as CBS RADIO is poised to merge with Entercom Communications.”  Read Feder’s story here.

Entercom and CBS Receive Requests for More Information from the DOJ.  This could slow the EntercomCBS RADIO merger down a bit, but Entercom says it still expects the deal to close in the second half of this year.  Here’s what Entercom says, in part: “On April 19, 2017, Entercom Communications Corp. received a request for additional information and documentary material, often referred to as a ‘second request,’ from the United States Department of Justice in connection with the Company’s previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into with CBS to combine with CBS’ radio business in a two-step, all stock ‘Reverse Morris Trust’ transaction…Consummation of the Transactions is conditioned on expiration of the waiting period applicable under the HSR Act, among other conditions.  Issuance of the second request extends the waiting period under the HSR Act until 30 days after all parties to the Merger Agreement have substantially complied with the second request, unless the waiting period is terminated earlier by the DOJ or the parties voluntarily extend the time for closing.”

North Korea’s Nuclear Threats and ‘Trump Armada’ Tie Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of April 17-21.  The nuclear weapons threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the controversy over the whereabouts of U.S. Navy ships tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was tensions between the U.S. and Russia and the latter’s jet fighter patrols off the coast of Alaska.  Coming in at #3 was Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News Channel, followed by the close race for Georgia’s open U.S. House seat at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Lawrence Pintak to Host Weekend Show on KXL, Portland.  Beginning Sunday (4/23), founding dean of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication will host a one-hour, Sunday program (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm) on Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL, Portland.  The station says “the deep political and social fissures that divide American society are the focus of a new weekly current affairs radio show, ‘American Fault/Lines,’” hosted by Lawrence Pintak.  He comments, “America is more divided than at any time in modern history.  The election of President Donald Trump brought these divisions into sharp relief.  It is also fundamentally altering America’s relationship with the world.”  Pintak is an award-winning journalist who covered the Middle East for years.  He has covered wars, coups, and revolutions on three continents for many of the world’s leading news organizations, and reported on the first suicide attacks against Americans in Beirut in the 1980s.  He is the author of four books on Middle East policy, Islam, and international journalism.  Pintak adds, “The goal for the program is to be syndicated nationally and to bring a perspective that breaks free of both the New York-Washington corridor media narrative and the dominant ethos of conservative talk radio, through fact-based interviews with guests who are not ‘the usual suspects.’”

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Welcomes Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes. The Emmis Communications news/talk station carries Todd Starnes’ daily, one-minute commentaries from Fox News Radio and Starnes was part of the recent, sold-out live event featuring the “Allman in the Morning” show hosted by Jamie Allman.  Hundreds of KFTK-FM “Newstalk 97.1” fans turned out to greet Starnes, who’s pictured above at the event with KFTK-FM staffers.  They are (from l-r): program director Jeff Allen, Tricia Siekmann, Denys Schaefer, Starnes, Jamie Allman and Katie Bailey.

Talk Host Wes Minter Dies at 63. Longtime talk show host Wes Minter had been working full time in sales with Waste Management in Pittsburgh, but he had also been doing some fill-in work for CBS RADIO’s KDKA-AM over the past few years.  Minter was a successful talk host during the 1990s and early 2000s, working at such stations as KRMG, Tulsa; WSB-AM, Atlanta; KCMO, Kansas City; WHIO, Dayton; and WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Minter suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday (4/18) at the age of 63.

KGO, San Francisco Afternoon Drive Host Chip Franklin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  For the past two decades, multi-talented Chip Franklin has performed top quality talk radio at leading stations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Diego, and now San Francisco, where he presides over afternoon drive (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm) on the revamped incarnation of the Cumulus Media heritage outlet, KGO.  He has also performed outstanding work as a comedian, writer, musician, video producer and television talking head along the way.  In a candid, in-depth conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program “Up Close and Far Out,” Franklin discusses his dramatic transition during the past several years from libertarian/conservative to progressive/liberal.  He also talks about his deftly produced, rapid-fire website videos critically targeting the day-to-day adventures of President Donald Trump.  In announcing Franklin as this week’s guest, Harrison states, “Not only is Chip a remarkable veteran talent still moving the ‘pertinence needle,’ but there are some exciting things developing at the ‘new’ KGO in terms of its talent diversity and market specificity that are worthy of industry attention.  This episode is sure to tickle the fancy of talk radio professionals and media freaks around the world.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning personality Heather Gersten is adding assistant program director to her title as Cumulus Media promotes the WWLI “Lite Rock 105” staffer.  In addition to co-host of the “Heather & Steve” show on the adult contemporary signal, Gersten is part of Lite Rock’s “2 Lite Chicks” with midday personality Amy Pontes.  The duo also hosts the “Wicked Awesome 80’s Show” Saturday nights at 8:00.  Cumulus corporate vice president-AC and ‘Lite Rock 105’ program director Emily Boldon says, “With her considerable talents, dedication and drive, Heather has repeatedly proven herself to be the perfect candidate.  She lives, breathes and loves this radio station with a passion I wish I could replicate.”…..At Radio One’s Houston operations, Madd Hatta adds assistant program director duties for urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.”  He continues to host the “Madd Hatta Morning Show” on sister rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box.”…..Galaxy Communications’ rock duo “KROCK” – WKRL, Syracuse and WKLL, Utica – adds local DJ Big Smoothie to the weekend program schedule.

 

 

Round Three of March PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of March 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – It has been quite a turnaround for KGON, which registered a +.8 in February to apply the brakes to eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). That February increase pushed the Entercom classic rocker from #14 to #11, but it apparently was only warming up, as KGON tacks on more than a full-share (4.0 – 5.1, +1.1, 6+) to cruise into the top ten at #6. This is the first time that KGON has crossed the five-share threshold (6+) since March 2015 (5.5). As was the case in February, eight-tenths of a share continues to be the distance between Portland’s two frontrunners as both iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” (7.7 – 8.6, #1 for the 34th time in the last 36 ratings periods, 6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB (6.9 – 7.8, 6+) chalk up impressive increases of nine-tenths. This time last month, “K-103” was off by nine-tenths; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February (following a 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.5 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Having registered four straight gains for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” coughs up roughly half that gain (5.5, -.9, 6+), sliding from third to fifth. Notching a 4.2 (6+) for the third straight month, Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” repeats at #9. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February, 6+), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC drops seven-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

2) Charlotte – See if you can spot a dominant theme in this particular market recap. The third straight increase by WHQC “Channel 96.1” is by a robust +1.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+), elevating the iHeartMedia CHR into the top 10 (#12 to #8). Not only that, “Channel 96.1” overtakes (by one-tenth) its format rival, Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to ninth), which is actually up or flat for the third consecutive sweep (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), netting a full-share. In addition to posting its third successive positive trend that has accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” is #1 for the third month in a row. A +8 (6+) by “The Fox” in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Regressing for … you guessed it … the third successive time and falling from third to fifth is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). A cumulative -1.8 since the “Holiday” 2016 report, WSOC has the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. After a -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and a +1.7 in January, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – has gained (in February) and then lost (in March) two-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). “The Kat” carries on in the runner-up slot. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) but now has a one-half share advantage. As is the case with WSOC, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-Love” is down by six-tenths as well (2.2 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Owing to a -.1 in February, “K-Love” had its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Powered by a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” posts its best 6+-stat since May 2016’s 3.9 and rises from #15 to #12. Ultra-consistent in its trending since October (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” busts loose with a gain of six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#20). Recapturing exactly half of February’s full-share loss (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” progresses from tenth to sixth. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #14, as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the sixth straight time netting a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, #12, to #14, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” drops two-tenths (3.3, #13 to #14, 6+), thus curtailing four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Repeating at #1 is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. KONO-FM departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. In back-to-back months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” erodes by a full-share (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4, 6+), dropping from first (January) to second (February) to third (March). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). After having recorded (modest) consecutive gains (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regresses by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+), moving from fourth to fifth. Six-tenths behind “Y-100” is iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (4.4 – 4.6, +.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). “KJ-97” was -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+). After trending .9 – 1.5 – 1.9 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air1 – Positive Hits” is off by one-half share to 1.4 and exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

4) Pittsburgh – Even though each registers a healthy gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9, 6+) and CBS Radio news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” continue at #2 and #6, respectively. In three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), KDKA-AM is +1.4; “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Flat at #8, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” is without a decrease for the third consecutive sweep for a +.8 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” (unchanged at #10) is a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the seventh consecutive sweep in which Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) is either up or flat for a +.6 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Improving by one-tenth (10.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (+1.6 in January) is #1 for the third successive time, matching December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but it returned to #1 in January. Flat at 3.3 (6+), alternative cluster-mate WXDX “The X at 105.9” is at #11 for the tenth straight ratings period. Following three successive uptrends that yielded a +1.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), CHR sibling WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by two-tenths to 8.1 (6+), but remains in third-place. February was the first time that “Kiss” reached the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). It is tied at #3 with Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob,” which has an identical 8.3 – 8.1, -.2 (6+) profile. A combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH has its third downward move in a row. Flat at #5, “Wish 99.7” has lost nearly half its 6+-stat (-6.0) in that stretch (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Trending 7.2 – 7.7 – 7.5 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Entercom-owned KSEG “Eagle 96.9 – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” registers a gain of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+), inching up from third to second. All three of the market’s FM country facilities improve from February and they combine for a +.8. Specifically, CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (steady at #4) picks up one-tenth (5.2 – 5.3, 6+), while Entravision’s KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” (+.3, #16 in February, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, #17 in February, 6+) are tied at #15. As the result of four successive increases (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), “The Wolf” is a collective +.8. Although it backslides from #15 to #17, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-Love” is without a decrease for the fifth successive time (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), more than doubling its 6+-share in that timeframe. Not only does KYMX “Mix 96” shake off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) to return to #1, the CBS Radio adult contemporary property repeats in the top spot (9.0, -.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, it was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Huge month-to-month swings continue for iHeartMedia news-talk KFBK, which drops from second to third (8.2 – 6.7, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September); +1.2 (October); -.7 (November) +.7 (December); +.8 (January 2017); -.5 (February); and now a massive -1.5 in March. KFBK finished in the runner-up slot six straight times before reaching #1 in January. Also in the news/talk arena, co-owned KSTE “650 – Sacramento’s Talk Station” sputters by six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the fifth successive ratings period for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is flat at #7.

6) Salt Lake City – On the strength of three straight increases (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by more than two full-shares and climbs from eighth in February to sixth. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Displaying gains of one-half share each are Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” (4.0, #11 to #10, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” (2.3 – 2.8, #18 to #15). Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, “My 99.5” rebounded with a +.6 in January, but returned all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+). Massive month-to-month movements are typical for KSL but the Bonneville news/talk station advances from second to first even though it is down three-tenths (6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Just before its March stats, KSL was +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Displaced from the penthouse is adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which dubiously suffers the loftiest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 decline of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (8.0 – 6.3, -1.7, 6+). It trades places with KSL in the runner-up slot. Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. Taking advantage of KSFI’s (March) -1.7 is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7,” which improves for the third consecutive sweep for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+), bumping up from #14 to #13. Unchanged at #17, co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), ending at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Several similarities exist in the profiles of the market’s two classic hits-oldies outlets. For example, Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 – The Arrow” (4.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 – Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (4.1, 6+) are down in March by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, after both were up two-tenths in February. This ends back-to-back progressive trends for “Arrow” (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), as well as for “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (3.3 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+). Ranked fifth and seventh in February, KRSP and KODJ finish seventh and ninth, respectively, in March. Off by one-half share to 1.0 (6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KDUT (#22 to #24) curtails three consecutive upward moves (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Over and above being #1 for the fifth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” puts an exclamation point on it by boasting the highest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (6.8 – 8.6, +1.8, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. It has a 3.1-share advantage over CBS Radio-owned KLUC (third to second), which is up for the third successive ratings period (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). An increase of seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.4, 6+) enables hot AC cluster-mate KMXB “Mix 94.1” to jump from fifth to third. It is the best 6+-showing for “Mix” since last June (5.4, as well). Commencing in August 2016 and ending in January 2017 with a 2.5, sibling KXNT strung together five straight increases that netted a +1.7 (1.4 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). As a result of a -1.1 in March (2.8 – 1.7, 6+) though, the news/talk facility departs the top twenty (#17 to #21). Flat at #13, iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drops three-tenths to 2.9 (6+), thus ending at six a string of consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF rolled out a +1.2 in January; relinquished -1.6 in February; and is now -.6 in March (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), drifting from #11 to #14.

8) Cincinnati – When Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” lost three tenths in February, it concluded one of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease – ten in a row. That impressive streak started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+). With a +.6 to 2.0 (6+), “Soul 101.5” wastes no time in launching another such series and inches up from #18 to #16. As a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEBN was a collective -2.2, but the rocker applies the brakes with a one-half share increase to 4.1 and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The order-of-finish of the top eight stations in February and March is virtually identical, although #1, #2, and #3 experience significant month-to-month erosion. Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first and has been there ever since; WGRR, however, is down seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+). It was once practically automatic to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+). The iHeartMedia news/talk outlet (flat at #2) hasn’t been on top since August though and it falters by nine-tenths in March to 7.2, the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard country outlet WUBE “B-105” (unchanged at #3) answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrenders six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+).

9) Orlando – On top for the third consecutive month, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” not only rebounds from February’s -.8 with a +.9 (12.5 – 11.7 – 12.6, 6+), it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.6 eclipses by one-tenth the previous record (12.5, 6+) set just two months ago. Prior to January, “Rumba” was at #1 in October, November, and December. Meanwhile, it remains a steady climb for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (#15 to #14), progressing for the fourth straight time – with each gain being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). “Rumba” has a nearly three-share advantage over its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the third consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7, 6+). In that stretch, it is a collective +2.5, more than wiping out the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is the strongest 6+-share for “XL-106” since September’s 10.4. A gain of three-tenths takes format rival – CBS Radio’s WQMP “101.9 Amp – Orlando’s #1 Source for New Music” – to 3.4 (6+), its best 6+-showing since November’s 3.5; “Amp” segues from #13 to #12. Without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” nonetheless drops from fifth to sixth. Unchanged at #19, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to four its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). While it sputters by six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 30th straight time and carries on at #14.

10) Cleveland – By picking up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX not only climbs from fifth to fourth, “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its best 6+-stat in more than four years (7.5, 6+, January 2013). Even though it is down for the third straight month for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI remains at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Slumping by six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+), rock sibling WMMS drops from ninth to tenth. At #13 for the 12th successive sweep, Ideastream’s WCPN regresses by one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Before February’s -.2, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+). Meanwhile, CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” picks up four-tenths (4.0 – 4.4, 6+) but refuses to budge from #12, where it has been the past 15 sweeps.

11) Kansas City – Logging increases of seven-tenths each are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (2.9 – 3.6, #16 to #15, 6+) and the HD2 channel of Cumulus Media’s KCMO (1.1 – 1.8, #20, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” gained seven-tenths in January as well, before forfeiting one-half share in February. Advancing by six-tenths are Carter Broadcast urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” (5.1 – 5.7, fourth to third, 6+) and Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix” posts its third straight improvement (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) for a combined +1.4, while “Hot 103” was up four-tenths in February. This time last month, Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” held a one-share lead over co-owned classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits.” The two cluster-mates are now tied at #1, with “The Fox” (third week at #1) dropping eight-tenths, while “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths (7.3 – 7.5, 6+). This marks the third consecutive decline for “The Fox” (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was off by one-half share in February. Before a loss of three-tenths in November, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. Slipping from fourth to sixth, Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM forfeits three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Owing to three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” is a collective +2.1 and is steady at #3. KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). The market’s other two country outlets though are each down three-tenths after being up three-tenths in February: “Country 94.1” sibling KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” is 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+) and Entercom-owned WDAF-FM is 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (#12 to #15, 6+).

12) Columbus – By registering a +.3 to 4.2 (6+), Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (ninth to eighth) pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that produced a combined -3.8 (7.7 – 7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Immediately prior to those declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). It is another rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL, which is +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). In the process, WCOL regains the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music,” which sputters by nine-tenths (9.8 – 8.9, 6+) and assumes the runner-up position vacated by WCOL. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February; however, prior to January, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. In addition to WNCI, Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” spirals by nine-tenths as well and slips from fourth to fifth. It is the third successive spike for “Sunny,” which is -2.6 in that timeframe (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after its benchmark 11.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” followed with a 5.4 (January, 6+) and 5.6 (February, 6+). The iHeartMedia adult hits outlet now regresses by one-half share to 5.1 (6+), but continues at #6. Unlisted for the third straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Monday, April 11, 2016

| April 11, 2016

kftklogoMarc Cox Takes Over Midday Show at KFTK, St. Louis.  Effective today, the Marc Cox show is being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot on Emmis Communications’ news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis.  Program director Jeff Allen tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that replacing Danacoxmarc Loesch with Cox has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with Loesch – who’s been with the station for the past seven years – but has more to do with the station’s desire to keep a live-and-local program schedule.  Loesch syndicates her show nationally via Radio America and re-located her family to the Dallas area loeschdanafrom St. Louis. About Cox’s promotion from Sunday nights to a daily program, Allen says, “We are thrilled to be able to expand Marc’s role at the station with a show that has already proven to have high appeal to our listeners.  We are returning this weekday show back to its local roots because we need to be ‘live and local’ in that part of the day to serve the St. Louis Metro area best.  We are excited about the debut of Marc’s show and I am sure our listeners will be too.”  Cox is an Emmy award-winning, 25-year veteran of television news.  He served with KMOV-TV, St. Louis as an anchor, reporter and producer for 19 years.  KFTK notes Cox has been honored by the Associated Press and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, receiving multiple Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards.

piscopohurley16WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Holds 8th Annual Charity Dinner at Congress Hall; Co-Headliner Joe Piscopo Hints at Gubernatorial Run.  Atlantic City morning radio giant Harry Hurley hosted his eighth annual dinner at the venerable Congress Hall in Cape May, New Jersey on Saturday.  It was an event that was co-hosted this year by WNYM, New York morning host Joe Piscopo.  WPGG, Atlantic City’s Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the evening was a “rousing success.  We had members of the New Jersey legislature and the highest-ranking county, constitutional and local officials, as well as presidents of major industries in New Jersey in attendance.”  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called in live and addressed the gathering that was being attended by Christie’s father Bill.  During a Q&A with Piscopo, the comic and “Saturday Night Live” alum told Hurley that he is interested in running for the New Jersey governor’s seat next year and is “seriously looking into it.”  Hurley will be honored with the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host by TALKERS magazine at the TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Long Island) on Friday, May 20.  See more information about the conference here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Boasts 30.1 Million Subscribers.  The satellite radio company announces today that it added 465,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter of this year, putting it over the 30 million subscriber mark for the first time in company history.  SiriusXM will report its financials on April 28 but says that as of March 31, self-pay net additions were 348,000 in the quarter, resulting in a self-paymeyerjim subscriber base of 24.6 million at quarter’s end.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has grown from a pioneering startup to a media powerhouse in less than 15 years of service by providing listeners with the best audio entertainment available.  Our exclusive, unmatched content and ease of use has led us to this important subscriber milestone. I’d like to thank our dedicated employees, our valuable content creators and brands, our automotive distributors, and most of all our paying subscribers for their contribution to our success.”

valentimikeWXYT-FM, Detroit Re-Ups with Afternoon Personality Mike Valenti.  Detroit sports talk personality Mike Valenti – co-host of the afternoon drive “Valenti & Foster” program (with Terry Foster) – signs a contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue in that role with WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” on a long-term basis.   Program director Jimmy Powers comments, “I am pleased Mike will continue to be part of many Detroiters’ drive home every day for years to come.  He has the uncanny ability to give listeners a unique perspective, honesty and strong opinions like very few in the industry.”  Valenti left his Upstate New York home to study journalism at Michigan State in 1998.  He joined CBS and WXYT in 2004 when he was partnered with Foster.  WXYT says Valenti & Foster have “maintained their #1 position among men 25-54 and adults 25-54 for more than five years.”

Odds & Sods.  News pro Molly Paige is now part of the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program on Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland, working with managing editor Jim Ferretti, fellow anchor Joe Simons and reporters Mikeconwaypuppy16 Turner and Brett Reckamp.  Paige had most recently been working in Washington for NBC News Radio as an anchor/writer and producer…..Anchorage, Alaska Assemblywoman Amy Demboski will be hosting a two-hour afternoon show on Alaska Integrated Media’s news/talk KVNT, Anchorage, effective April 20…..WHO, Des Moines-based afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway took his show on the road recently to raise funds for the Puppy Jake Foundation.  Conway tells TALKERS magazine that more than $75,000 was raised while he was on the air.  He’s pictured at right with service-dog-in-training Chris Kyle, named for the “American Sniper.”  The Puppy Jake Foundation is dedicated to helping military veterans through the assistance of well-bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs.

wtop logo NEW 1-15WTOP, Washington Nabs Eight National Headliner Awards.  The National Headliner Awards have been recognizing journalistic excellence since 1934.  They are awarded by the Press Club of Atlantic City.  This year, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is the recipient of eight National Headliner Awards, including: first place for best website for WTOP.com, first place for radio news series for Jamie Forzato’s “Heroin Epidemic,” and first place for online only writing by WTOP.com sports editor Noah Frank.  Second place honors went to J.J. Green for his news series, “Quiet Killer,” best station newscast for the September Pope coverage,  for feature and human interest story for “Canine Rehab” by Nick Iannelli, and for online only writing by WTOP.com living editor Rachel Nania.  The WTOP staff won third place for its breaking news coverage of the Freddie Gray riots.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “Our newsroom takes great pride in the recognition that comes with all awards, but the National Headliners are especially gratifying because of their long history and being judged on the national level.”

wbalHearst’s WBAL, Baltimore Honored with National Headliner Award for Freddie Gray Coverage.  Baltimore news/talk WBAL “NewsRadio 1090” took home the top national honor this week for “State of Emergency in Baltimore,” the best local radio newscast and coverage of Freddie Gray’s death the best breaking and continuing coverage.  WBAL’s Scott Wykoff took third place for best radio feature or human interest story for a piece on a horse named Talk Show Man, after the late WBAL host Ron Smith.  WBAL president and GM Cary Pahigian says, “These prestigious awards ratify WBAL NewsRadio 1090’s standing as Maryland’s No. 1 radio news source.  It also recognizes an extremely talented group of anchors, reporters, producers and writers.  It’s a great day for WBAL Radio.”

The Presidential Race/Colorado GOP Delegate Controversy, Boston Globe Trump Satire, Bill Clinton vs Black Lives Matter, North Korea Nuke Threats, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the controversy over Colorado’s GOP delegate wins; the satirical front page published by the Boston Globe forecasting a Trump presidency; the backlash after Bill Clinton’s taking on Black Lives Matter protestors at a recent rally; concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons build-up; and Friday night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Irv Brown Retires from ‘Mile High Sports’ in Denver.  Denver market sports talk personality Irv Brown officially retired from Mile High Sports-owned KDCO, Denver last week.  Brown co-hosted the show with his longtime partner Joe Williams.  The 81-year-old Brown recently had back surgery and his recovery has been slow and he’s still not cleared to drive a car.  Brown had been working in the media in Denver for most of the past 40 years.

Monday, November 23, 2015

| November 23, 2015

Paris Attacks Aftermath and Brussels Tensions Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, the question of how to deal with Syrian refugees and specific threats to Brussels, Belgium were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.  The Paris aftermath and the Syrian refugee question ended last week as the top stories, landing atop the weekly Talkers TenTM chart, and they continued to be top points of discussion for news/talk outlets that featured live and local programs or carried live national shows over the weekend.

hessbillCumulus Expands Bill Hess’ Role in DC to Operations Manager.  Programming pro Bill Hess – currently serving as program director for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk – is adding operations manager duties for the Washington. DC cluster.  Hess’ 38-year radio career has provided him with experience across numerous radio formats.  In addition to his news/talk and sports radio programming experience, he’s also programmed ACs WSNE, Providence;cumulus logo WHYN-FM, Springfield, MA; and WASH, Washington and classic rock WBIG, Washington.  Cumulus SVP, content and programming Mike McVay says, “Bill is an exceptional programmer.  The growth that WMAL has experienced under his direction is nothing short of astounding.  He has excelled as a corporate PD and will continue in that role.  Bill is deserving of this recognition.”  Hess says of his new duties, “On the heels of our team’s success at WMAL, I’m thrilled to be working with Louie Diaz on the rebirth of Washington’s legendary ‘Mix 107.3.’  Thanks to Gary Pizzati, Mike McVay, Jake McCann and Beth Cohen for this opportunity.”

spadeabillBill Spadea Replaces Jim Gearhart on New Jersey 101.5 AM Drive Show.  Back in September, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive personality Jim Gearhart suffered a severe concussion at his home while on vacation.  Recovery from the injury has been difficult, putting Gearhartgearhartjim on an extended leave of absence.  Now, Townsquare Media announces that Gearhart will not be able to return to his duties with the station and that Bill Spadea is assuming the role of host of the morning show.  Gearhart had been with the station for the past 25 years and is a member of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Spadea has been Gearhart’s chief fill-in since 2014 and voices the station’s daily feature “Bill Spadea’s New Jersey.”  Spadea says, “I’ve always looked up to Jim Gearhart as a legend in New Jersey media. His shoes are too large for me to ever fill completely, but I am honored and humbled and will try my best to live up to his legacy of unequaled radio and service to the people of New Jersey.”

valentimikeDetroit Lions Deny Trying to Silence WXYT-FM’s Mike Valenti.  Usually when a radio station ceases to be a pro sports team’s flagship, it’s because of money – either the rights got too expensive or the station was outbid.  But CBS RADIO Detroit market manager Debbie Kenyon says in a statement that Lions management wanted to pressure the station into firing talk host Mike Valenti for his staunchwxyt-fm logo criticism of the team’s performance.  Kenyon issued the following statement, “CBS RADIO and the Detroit Lions are parting ways.  ‘97.1 The Ticket’ has served as the flagship station for the Lions for more than a decade.  CBS RADIO says it has been negotiating with the Lions a wjr logolong time.  It is sad to say goodbye, but in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS — the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team.”  Crain’s Detroit Business reports the team says that isn’t true.  It quotes Elizabeth Parkinson, Lions’ SVP of marketing and partnerships, saying the mandate to fire Valenti in order to get a renewal with the club is “categorically a lie” and that Cumulus simply offered a better deal.  But in the Crain’s piece, Valenti’s manager, Mort Meisner, said the team made Valenti’s firing part of the conditions for renewing with the team and that team officials were regularly calling Kenyon to complain about Valenti’s criticism of the team’s performance and its management.  Read it here.

Odds & Sods.  Conservative talk pro Steve Malzberg – seen nightly on Newsmax TV – is sitting in for Salemmalzbergsteve Radio Network’s Bill Bennett on his morning drive show, “Bill Bennett’s Morning In America” this Friday (11/27)…..The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers will remain with iHeartMedia in the Steel City as the team and the company come to terms to keep games airing on rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH-FM.  The renewed deal extends through the 2018 season and contains elements of promotional support for the Steelers via iHeartMedia’s six Pittsburgh stations.

boonecharlieLegendary WCCO, Minneapolis Personality Charlie Boone Dies at 88.  As one half of the morning radio team “Boone and Erickson,” Charlie Boone was a fixture on Twin Cities radio for some 40 years, literally owning the daypart during the halcyon days of AM radio from the 1960s through the 1990s.  He died on Sunday (11/22) at the age of 88.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports he and Roger Erickson worked together for 37 years before Erickson’s retirement in 1998.  Boone continued to host a solo Saturday morning show from that point until 2010.  Boone arrived at WCCO from his previous gig in Fargo in 1959.  He and fellow air staffer Erickson hit it off personally and management put them together on the radio in 1961.

Bill Payne Dies at 76.  Oklahoma broadcaster Bill Payne passed away in Tulsa on Friday 11/20 at the age of 76.  Payne was the founder of the Oklahoma Academy of Radio.  Payne was a pioneer in the field of FM broadcasting putting KWHP-FM, Edmond, Oklahoma on the air in 1962.  His Payne Radio Group operates 13 stations across eastern Oklahoma.  The company continues to be led by Payne’s son Will Payne.

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