Tag: "Minneapolis"

July 2019 PPM Ratings

| August 6, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

| June 27, 2019

Cumulus to Sell WABC, New York to Red Apple Media for $12.5 Million. As TALKERS magazine tipped earlier today, Cumulus Media Inc. is agreeing to sell New York City heritage AM WABC to John Catsimatidis-controlled Red Apple Media, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Red Apple Group, for $12.5 million in cash.  Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner says, “Today’s agreement with Red Apple is yet another step in the execution of our portfolio optimization priority to drive Cumulus’s long-term success.  Consistent with our financial goals, we intend to use the sale’s net cash proceeds to pay down debt and invest in the company to better serve our 250 million listeners and the advertisers who want to reach them.  We are also pleased that WABC’s excellent team will work with Red Apple following the transaction’s close to continue building this iconic station’s legacy.”  Under the terms of the agreement, Red Apple will take responsibility for programming WABC immediately following the close of the sale, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2019. Catsimatidis says, “I am very pleased that Red Apple Media Inc. has agreed to acquire 77 WABC Radio.  The station is a real New York legend with a rich history in broadcasting.  I started a radio show five years ago which is now available in 14 states and on the internet.  It has gained a large and loyal audience.  Our purchase of 77 WABC Radio is the next step in building a new broadcasting business, and we look forward to considering the acquisition of more broadcasting assets.  We plan to retain the excellent staff and talent working at the station now and look forward to working with them.”  Catsimatidis is the owner, president, chairman and CEO of Gristedes Foods, a large Manhattan-based grocery chain and the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company with about $2 billion in holdings in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.  He is also the chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group subsidiary, United Refining Company.  He hosts a Sunday morning talk radio show on a number of stations along the East Coast out of his flagship, Salem Media’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Catsimatidis was the runner-up for the Republican nomination for Mayor of New York in 2013.

Exclusive! TALKERS Publisher Michael Harrison Speaks with John Catsimatidis.  Listen to Michael Harrison‘s conversation about his company’s acquisition of WABC, New York here.

Cox Enterprises Announces Sale of Cox Media Group Radio Assets to Apollo Global Management. This sale of the Cox Media Group radio station portfolio to private equity fund manager Apollo Global Management – the price not disclosed in the press release – will be less disruptive to the operations than a typical transfer of ownership of this size as it appears the new company will keep management in place. The deal calls for Cox Media Group’s radio station portfolio as well as its CoxReps and Gamut national advertising businesses to become part of a newly expanded media company called Cox Media Group, based in Atlanta, that acquired Cox’s broadcast television group and the company’s radio, newspaper, and television properties in Ohio back in February.  Cox Enterprises is maintaining a minority stake in the new company.  This deal affects some 52 radio brands in 10 markets – including heritage news/talk stations WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa.  The new Cox Media Group will operate more than 60 radio stations across 11 markets.  The presser states that “the buyer plans to maintain the successful operating structure of Cox Media Group’s television, radio, CoxReps and Gamut businesses and leverage these assets to continue building a national media company with station properties in key markets across the country.”  However, the sale means Cox loses the grandfathered ownership status in Tampa and Orlando and will divest WPYO-FM, Orlando and WSUN-FM, Tampa in order to comply with FCC ownership caps.  Cox Enterprises CEO Alex Taylor says, “We are happy our Cox Radio and national ad platforms will continue to be operated with our television group.  Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company.  We have spent many years fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation across these businesses and are pleased to see that work will continue.”  Apollo senior partner David Sambur adds, “We are thrilled to acquire the Cox Radio station portfolio, CoxReps and Gamut and combine them with the Cox Television business to form a new media company focused on quality local broadcasting.  Cox has deep roots in the media industry and has stood for the highest quality in local journalism for the past 120 years.  As we shepherd these businesses into the future, we are committed to investing in high-quality programming and fostering innovation in local media.”

‘Coach’ John Kentera Moves to Middays at ‘97.3 The Fan’ in San Diego. Market sports talk pro “Coach” John Kentera will take over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Entercom’s sports talk KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan,” effective July 1.  Kentera will continue to host 97.3 The Fan’s pre- and post-game shows for Padres baseball games, “The Fan’s High School Football Show,” on Thursday nights in the fall, and serve as the color commentator on “The Fan’s Friday Night High School Football Game of the Week” broadcast.  Kentera served with former sports talker XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” from 2003 through 2015.  His show replaces FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “We’re thrilled to add Coach Kentera to 97.3 The Fan’s weekday lineup.  Coach has a rich history in San Diego and is truly beloved by the community, sports fans, and advertising partners alike.”

WGMN-AM, Roanoke Flips to News/TalkThe Roanoke Times reports that 3 Daughters Media has flipped WGMN-AM/W270CU, Roanoke from sports talk to news/talk.  The station dropped its 21-year affiliation with ESPN Radio and is airing FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show, Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and van Camp” show, and the syndicated Tom Sullivan program.   3 Daughters owner Gary Burns tells the paper that more competitors in sports talk radio in the market have “watered it down.”  He also says of the flip, “I just think there’s a larger available audience in Roanoke for talk radio…than there is for sports radio.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Thom Hartmann Show” is now heard on Genesis Communications’ “News/Talk Florida” – the duo of WIXC, Titusville and WWBA, Tampa — airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..Radio personality Susie Wargin – midday jock at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KRFX, Denver “103.5 The Fox” – is joining the radio broadcast team for Denver Broncos games this fall.  Wargin will serve as a sideline reporter alongside play-by-play voice Dave Logan and color commentator Rick Lewis. Games air on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA and KRFX-FM…..cabana announces it has published its 2019 Guide to Buying Podcasts.  The report includes new features, such as white-labeled case studies, “Ask an Ad Ops Expert” section, and insights into dynamic ad insertion.  cabana VP of digital sales Ilwira Marciszek says, “We’re seeing bigger brands with different goals entering podcast advertising, so we wanted to speak to their concerns directly.  Podcast advertising has worked for direct response, and it can work for all kinds of campaigns when used smartly.”  You can download the Buying Guide here…..Coastal Broadcasting’s sports talk KLRZ-FM, New Orleans “ESPN 100.3” is the new flagship for New Orleans Pelicans basketball beginning with the 2019-20 season.  Last season, games aired on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO-FM.  Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha says, “We could not be more excited to begin this new era of Pelicans basketball with our new flagship radio partner and its devoted listening audience.  ‘ESPN New Orleans’ offers a tremendous daily sports lineup with a significant focus on the Pelicans, along with all of the local professional, collegiate, and high school teams.  This is an outstanding and natural alliance for our city and region.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM weekend talk host David Plier is taking over the interim chairman position with the Museum of Broadcast Communications.   Plier has been and will continue to be a member of the museum’s board of directors.  He assumes the role from Larry Wert, who has been interim chairman since 2016.

44thAnnual Gracie Awards Luncheon Held in New York City. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon yesterday (6/26) at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.  Sheinelle Jones, co-host of “3rd Hour of TODAY” and co-anchor of NBC News’ “Weekend TODAY,” led the program alongside presenters Angela Yee from Premiere Networks’ syndicated “The Breakfast Club”; supermodel, TV personality and podcast host Emme; Roula Christie of “The Roula and Ryan Show” on KRBE, Houston; and Duarte Geraldino from Al Jazeera Digital and “PBS NewsHour.”  Winners in the Radio Local category included: Julie DiCaro and Maggie Hendricks, hosts of “The Julie and Maggie Show” on Entercom sports talker WSCR, Chicago; “The Jason & Alex Show” on Hubbard Radio’s KTMY, Minneapolis’; Jillian Barberie, morning personality on Cumulus Media’s  KABC-AM, Los Angeles; and Tara Granahan, talk show on Cumulus’ news/talk WPRO-AM, Providence.  See all the winners here.  The National Gracie Award honorees were recognized at the Gracies Gala on May 21 at The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Democratic Debate/2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities/Wayfair Protest, G20 Summit, Mueller to Testify, Iran Tensions, and Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  Wednesday night’s debate featuring half of the Democrats seeking their party’s nomination; the Trump administration’s Southern border policies, the conditions at U.S. detention centers, and Wayfair employees’ protests over contracts to supply furniture to child detention centers; the G20 Summit in Osaka and President Trump’s plans to meet with Vladimir Putin; former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee; the diplomatic break between Tehran and Washington; and the deaths and illnesses affecting travelers to the Dominican Republic 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. Urban programming pro Kenny Smoov is promoted to vice president, urban formats for Cumulus Media, a role in which he will serve as a corporate programming resource for the company’s 37 urban outlets.  Smoov has been with Cumulus since 2003 and is program director and morning host for urban contemporary WQQK, Nashville “92Q,” role in which he will continue…..Also at Cumulus MediaPatrick Scott is upped to program director for CHR WLTO-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “Hot 102.5.”  For the past three years, he’s been promotions and marketing director for Cumulus’ five Lexington stations…..Adams Radio of Delmarva names Angela Caswell senior account manager for the five-station music radio cluster that includes rock WZBH, Millsboro, Delaware “The Beach”; CHR WOCQ, Berlin, Maryland “OC 104”; classic rock WGBG, Fruitland, Maryland “BIG 107.7”; country WUSX, Seaford, Delaware; and WOQC-HD2 “KOOL Oldies.”  Caswell most recently served in the sales department at Delmarva Broadcasting, which recently sold its radio properties to Forever Media.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

| May 22, 2019

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  The performance of the all-news format is very important to Entercom as it owns nine of the 12 all-news stations in our panel.  Almost 60% of these stations went down (weekly, 6+ AQH share) from the March PPM survey to April.  Comparing April 2018 to this year, 6+ ratings movement was even, with half the stations going up and the other half going down.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington again ranks #1 in its market (the only all-newser to do so this month), while Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WWJ-AM, Detroit both ranked #2 in their markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s full report here.

Cumulus Asks FCC to Allow Up to 100% Foreign Investment.  The FCC has a rule that no more than 25% of an American broadcast entity can be owned by foreign investors.  As Cumulus Media emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in 2018, foreign ownership of its voting stock was no more than 22.5%.  The company made sure of that in order to facilitate the proceedings. Now, Cumulus is asking the FCC to allow foreign investment of up to 100%. The FCC public notice states, “Cumulus now requests approval to permit up to a 100 percent aggregate foreign investment to enable holders of warrants and non-voting stock to convert or exercise these instruments in exchange for voting stock and allow non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to 100 percent of its voting stock and capital stock generally in the future.  Specifically, Cumulus explains that upon grant of the Petition, the special warrants would be automatically exchanged, and foreign ownership of Cumulus immediately following such exchanges would then be approximately 34 percent on a voting basis and 31 percent on an equity basis.  Notwithstanding that the foreign ownership which would result from exercise of the special warrants is expected to be much less than 100 percent, Cumulus states that it is requesting a ruling that would permit non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to and including 100 percent of its voting stock and 100 percent of its capital stock generally.  Cumulus believes that elimination of the overall limitation on foreign ownership of its shares will, inter alia, enhance the market liquidity of its stock and ‘provide the Company with the greatest degree of flexibility in accessing foreign investment capital.’  Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is entirely consistent with the public interest. In support of the Petition, Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is consistent with the reorganization plan, which has enabled Cumulus to emerge from bankruptcy in a stronger financial condition, and which, in turn, will enable Cumulus to raise capital, enhance its programming, better serve the public, and compete with non-FCC regulated entities on a more level playing field.  Cumulus also maintains that grant of the Petition aligns with U.S. foreign trade policy and the U.S. government’s desire to ‘promote inbound foreign investment’ and encourage reciprocity with U.S. trading partners.”  The public comment period is open through July 8.

Alpha Media Stations Moving into Chicagoland Mall. After almost two years of negotiations, the local village board in Gurnee, Illinois (near the Illinois-Wisconsin border) has voted to pay Alpha Media $200,000 to assist in the cost of moving its four north suburban stations – news/talk WLIP-AM, Spanish sports talk WKRS-AM, rock WIIL-FM, and hot AC WXLC-FM – into space at the Gurnee Mills mall complex.  According to a report in the DailyHerald, mall owner Simon Property Group is paying Alpha $600,000 to help with the cost of the estimated $847,000 renovation project.  In return, Alpha will produce at least 32 public events at the mall to drive foot traffic and will air ads for the mall.

TALKERS News Notes. The Kirk MinihaneEntercom relationship appears to be turning sour again with the sports media personality now threatening to take legal action to get the platform he desires.  Brandon Contes at Barrett Sports Media writes an account of Minihane’s displeasure over his situation at Entercom that he expressed while broadcasting recently on Periscope.  Minihane wants his own “network” on Entercom’s Radio.com platform within a month or he says he’ll sue.  Minihane officially left the WEEI, Boston morning show last fall.  At the time, Entercom said it wanted Minihane to do a show on Radio.com…..Media personality Michele Tafoya – whose work includes serving as co-host of “The Tom Barnard Show” on Cumulus Media’s rock KQRS, Minneapolis – was honored Monday at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York with the Outstanding Sports Personality award for her work as an NBC Sports sideline reporter for NFL games.  Tafoya also won the award in 2012 and 2014.  Cumulus VP, classic rock and Twin Cities operations manager Scott Jameson says, “All of us at Cumulus Minneapolis are very proud of Michele winning this prestigious Emmy award.  We’re quite fortunate having her on our legendary morning show hosted by National Hall of Fame inductee Tom Barnard and the rest of the morning team.”…..Westwood One News picks up another honor for exceptional reporting as the organization and correspondent Jim Roope receive a Deadline Club Award for best “Radio or Audio Feature Reporting.”  The award recognizes Roope’s 2018 report, “Las Vegas: Remembering and Healing,” in which he returned to Las Vegas one year after the deadly mass shooting and spoke with the community and the victims about how they were remembering, coping, and healing. The Deadline Club Award is bestowed by the NY Society of Professional Journalists for reporting across all media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, radio, digital, and TV…..Radio personality Walter Sterling is guest starring on news/talk KFBK, Sacramento this holiday weekend.  He’s sitting in for Pat Walsh on both Friday and Monday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Sterling’s syndicated program is heard Sunday evenings on the iHeartMedia station…..Forever Media closes on its acquisition of the 10-station group in Delaware and Maryland it purchased from Steinman Communications for $18.5 million. The signals include news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, Wilmington and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. was the exclusive broker for the deal.

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, 2020 Election Politics, New Anti-Abortion Laws, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The request from congressional Democrats for President Trump’s tax returns and financial records; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; Iran’s increased production of enriched uranium and the possibility of U.S. military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; and NBA/NHL playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, iHeartMedia names programming pro Brandon “Buster” Satterfield program director for CHR WIOQ-FM “Q102,” effective June 17.  Satterfield moves north from his most recent position with the company as APD for CHR WFLZ-FM, Tampa.  iHeartMedia Philadelphia SVP for programming Brian Check says, “Brandon brings a unique combination of top 40 radio experience on and off the air, as well as knowledge of the market and passion for everything Philly.  His dedication to the brand and keen eye for programming and the latest music make him the perfect fit.”…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” brings two-time Grammy nominee and radio personality Monie Love aboard to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show, effective today (5/22).  Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “We are so excited to have Monie Love join the ‘KISS 104.1’ team.  Her love of hip-hop, entertaining personality and star power make her a great addition to our afternoons here in Atlanta.”…..Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” announces Adrian Kulp joins the show as senior executive producer.  WWO says Kulp brings a wealth of creative experience across multiple entertainment mediums to the show.  He served for almost 10 years as a television executive with positions including vice president of TV development at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, vice president of TV development at Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing, and a stint at CBS’s “The Late Late Show.”  NASH Network director of programming John Shomby says, “Ty Bentli continues to build a team that is focused on maximizing creativity!  Adrian brings a different perspective to the table that will help the show build a unique vision and bring that to our listeners each morning!”

Thursday, March 21, 2019

| March 21, 2019

Sam Shane Named KFBK, Sacramento Morning Co-Anchor. Sacramento news/talk KFBK names market news pro Sam Shane co-anchor for its “The KFBK Morning News” program, beginning April 1.  Shane – who has served with KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV in Sacramento, KGO-TV, San Francisco; KCPQ-TV, Seattle; and MSNBC – will work alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendonsa.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Sam’s deep roots in our community and his connections in the Capital City mean that he has a wealth of experience, perspective and views to draw upon that will give clarity and perspective to the day’s events.  It’s that wealth of experience, intellect, and analysis that will help make ‘The KFBK Morning News’ so much more than just a utility and download of daily data.”   Shane assumes the role left open when Dan Mitchinson exited.

Laurence Holmes Gets New Midday Show at ‘The Score.’ Chicago media writer Robert Feder breaks the news that WSCR “The Score” evening personality Laurence Holmes is moving to a new, daylight hours show at the station.  Effective March 28, Holmes will be on the air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  In order to carve out a couple of hours for Holmes’ show, program director Mitch Rosen is trimming the end of the late morning Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight show and the beginning of the Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins afternoon drive program.  Rosen tells Feder, “This really expands our ‘Score’ brand and highlights Laurence’s tremendous strength of interviewing different personalities.  I really feel what the expansion does is make ‘The Score’ brand bigger and better, while giving our consumers more options over the air and through all digital platforms.”  The evening daypart is often affected by play-by-play.  The station says weekday morning update anchor Joe Ostrowski will handle the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show when there are no games.

Hoffman to Lead Sales Effort at Entercom Minneapolis. Radio exec Ben Hoffman continues his career with Entercom, taking on the vice president of sales role for the company’s Minneapolis stations that include legendary news/talker WCCO-AM, country KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.”  Hoffman was most recently serving as SVP and market manager for the company’s Indianapolis stations being acquired by Cumulus Media.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Ben has a great track record within our company and we are looking forward to a continued trajectory of success for our sales team.”

Will Cox Sell Its Remaining Radio Assets? The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s David Allison is reporting that Cox Enterprises Inc. is considering selling off its radio properties. After the consummation of the recently announced deal for Cox to sell a majority stake in its Dayton media properties – including news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO, and classic hits WZLR – to Apollo Global Management, Cox will own 58 radio stations in markets such as Atlanta; Athens, Georgia; Miami; Orlando; Jacksonville; Tampa; Long Island; Houston; San Antonio; and Tulsa.  Allison reports sources say the company is “exploring options” for the radio group.

Newsmax TV Inks Carriage Deal with WOW! Broadband Provider. News/talk cable channel Newsmax TV signs a deal with internet, cable, and phone provider WOW! to be carried across the network’s 19 markets.  WOW! serves an area that encompasses more than 3 million residential, business, and wholesale consumers. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “We are honored that WOW!, one of the most respected broadband carriers in the nation, decided to add Newsmax TV to its news lineup.”  Newsmax TV says it is currently available in 65 million U.S. homes and it expects to be in 80 million homes by year’s end.  Newsmax TV personalities include radio talk hosts Chris SalcedoBrett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe Pags, as well as Newsmax hosts Nancy Brinker and John Bachman.

KVOI-AM, Tucson Adds ‘Creative City Show’ to Weekdays. The Bustos Media-owned news talk station is promoting Zach Yentzer’s ​“Creative City Show” to full-time status, airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, beginning April 1.  KVOI operations manager Ray Alan says, “Zach has established himself as a strong emerging voice with his Saturday show.  Zach is very involved in the Tucson community and will do a great job bringing together many diverse voices.”  The move means “A Morning Affair” with host Mark Bishop is canceled.  Bustos Media chief Amador Bustos says, “We are very thankful to Mark Bishop, he was an integral part in launching the newest version of ‘1030 ​The Voice.’  We wish him the best.”

Westwood One to Present NCAA Action on Google Assistant. This year’s presentation of the NCAA March Madness play-by-play action by radio syndicator Westwood One will also happen on the Google Assistant, thanks to a collaboration between WWO and Google LLC.  Westwood One is the Official Network Radio partner of the NCAA.  Google is the Official Public Cloud provider of the NCAA. A press release from the companies says, “Bringing the live NCAA live stream to listeners together breaks new ground for both companies, coming just as Triton Digital released new data that 19% of total listening hours to AM/FM radio streams occurred on smart speakers in January 2019.”  Cumulus Media and Google will promote the integration across multiple owned-and-operated properties for the duration of NCAA March Madness through the Final Four games.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Mitch Henck is launching a new talk show on Woof Boom Radio’s WHBU, Anderson, Indiana.  Henck, who served for years as a host on iHeartMedia’s Madison, Wisconsin progressive talker WXXM-FM, will be on WHBU from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Radio news pro Matt Pieper is named overnight anchor for CBS News Radio.  Pieper’s on-the-hour newscasts will be heard daily starting at 12:00 midnight ET on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country.  Pieper has served as a reporter for CBS News Radio since 2015.  He’s covered such major news events as the sexual assault cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein; the 2016 presidential race; 9/11 anniversaries; and terror related-incidents in New York…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Trump’s appearance at the Lima, Ohio operations of General Dymamics.  Clugston served as the “pool” reporter for all networks on Air Force One. He also filed exclusive reports for Salem’s 24/7 news services SRN News and TOWNHALL News.

Mueller’s Trump Investigation, NZ Gun Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Release of Migrants in Texas, Boeing Criminal Investigation, Conway-Trump Spat, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19). The status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; New Zealand bans military-style semi-automatic guns and large capacity magazines in the aftermath of the deadly mosques attacks; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; ICE releases migrants into Texas due to overcrowding at detention facilities; Boeing under criminal investigation for certification process; the spat between George Conway and President Trump; the devastating floods affecting the Midwest; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Florida on-air and programming pro Jeff Zito is named afternoon drive host and APD at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WPBB, Tampa “98.7 The Shark.”  Zito was most recently program director and midday host at the company’s WRXK, Ft. Myers “96K-ROCK.”  He also programmed the old WBRN-FM, Tampa for Beasley back in 2016.  Zito says, “I’m excited to join my mentor, [program director] Ted Kamikaze, back in Tampa at ‘98.7 The Shark.’  I want to thank Justin Chase, Travis DailySteve Triplett, and the Beasley family for allowing me this incredible opportunity to grow within the company I’ve had the privilege to work for over the past 20 years.  I can’t wait to get started, but, will miss my radio family in Ft. Myers.”….Cumulus Media and PD Duane Shannon sign a multiyear deal for Shannon to continue his role programming country WGKX “KIX 106” and adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” in Memphis.   He is also co-host of WGKX’s “Duane and Abby in the Morning” program.  Cumulus Memphis VP and market manager Morgan Bohannon says, “Duane has become part of the fiber of both ‘KIX 106’ and Memphis.  He has exhibited a great knowledge, appreciation, and passion for what is a historic, heritage, and leading brand in Memphis.”…..In Philadelphia, Angel Donato moves from overnights at adult contemporary WBEB “B101” to the evening show at sister classic hits WOGL…..Air personality Shay Lewis, a.k.a. Shay Shay, exits Beasley Media’s rhythmic AC WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” in order to take a gig outside of the radio business.  She was co-host of the original morning team “The Morning Bounce with Bigg & Shay Shay” when the station flipped to urban from sports talk back in 2017.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. 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 these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Three straight negative moves by Alpha Media news/talk KXL accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+) but “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” erases 60% of that deficit in January/February with a +.9 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains four-tenths in January/February (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+) and continues at #19. Off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” slips from #23 to #25.

Four consecutive decreases by Entercom sports talk KFXX led to an overall -1.4 (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), but “1080 The Fan” bounces back with a January/February +.4 (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #22, 6+). Three-tenths behind is Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” is unchanged from January in 6+ share (1.0) and 6+ market rank (#23). After logging a .7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” drops two-tenths to .5 (#27 to #28, 6+).

The +1.2 that KOPB posted in January vanishes as the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by -1.6 (9.3 – 7.7, 6+). Moreover, KOPB segues to second after a one-month (January) stay at #1. It previously was on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and -1.6 (February).

Portland Music Formats – Dislodging KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” which follows January’s +1.7 with a February +1.0 (7.1 – 8.1, second to first, 6+). Furthermore, KLTH, which was -1.6 in “Holiday” 2018, reaches the eight-share level (6+) for the first time in nearly eight years (May 2011, 8.1, as well). In addition to “The Eagle,” Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” posts a February improvement of +1.0 (2.6 – 3.6, #18 to #13, 6+). On the heels of January’s -9.2, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW answers with a gain of seven-tenths (16.2 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and advances from third to a second-place tie. In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9); KKCW was on top in April 2018, September, December, and “Holiday” 2018. Recapturing in its entirety the collective seven-tenths it lost in three straight down or flat trends (4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” cracks the top ten (4.4, +.7, #12 to #8, 6+). Adding one-half share to January’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1, #13 to #11, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” has its highest 6+-stat (4.1) in exactly one year (4.7, February 2018). A cumulative +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON surrenders all but two-tenths of that increase (4.8, -1.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). While it is without a loss the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” backslides from seventh to eighth. Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland,” which has been a collective -1.7 (October 2018/November); +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Up seven-tenths in January, Entercom-owned KNRK “94/7 – Portland Alternative” surrenders one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk WBT replicate January’s +.4 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), the Carolina Panthers flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Conversely, by dropping four-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #18, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Charlotte Hornets key station WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” suspends seven straight positive or flat moves that nearly tripled (+1.1) its 6+ share (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to January’s +.9 (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” repeats at #16. Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fifth straight time and is down one-half share in that October 2018 through February 2019 timeframe (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Faltering by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG responds with a January/February +2.1 (3.9 – 4.8 – 6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+); “Power 98” has its best 6+-stat (6.0) since August 2015’s 6.5. Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” jumps from third to a first-place tie. It is deadlocked with cluster-mate WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits,” which – despite sputtering by one-half share following a January improvement of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) – advances from second to a share of the lead. Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Ousted from #1 (after a January-only stay on top), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO shifts to #3. The three most recent fluctuations for “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -1.4 in February (7.7 – 6.3, 6+). Immediately in advance of that -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Four consecutive negative or flat trends by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS resulted in a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+) but “Kiss 95.1” snaps that streak with a +.4 to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). After adding six-tenths in January, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” surrenders all of it (4.7 – 5.3 – 4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). The six most recent shifts for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #12 to #15, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is a collective +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship backslides from sixth to seventh. The July 2018 – February 2019 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (flat at #24, 6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” moves from #29 to #28.

A combined -.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+).    

San Antonio Music Formats – Seven recent shifts for Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); and now +.6 in February 6.9 – 7.5, steady at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Six-tenths ahead of “Y-100” and repeating at #1 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (8.0 – 8.1, +.1, 6+). Similar to KCYY, significant fluctuations are common for “KJ-97” as evidenced by +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and a monstrous +3.0 in January 2019 (5.0 – 8.0, 6+). Country rivals “KJ-97” and “Y-100” were tied in June 2018 and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Occupying the runner-up slot for the fifth straight time, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-tenth to January’s +1.9 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+). Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which was -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+) gains two-tenths to 2.4 (#19 to #17, 6+). Posting an August 2018 through January 2019 topline high of 1.4 and low of 1.0 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio classical KPAC breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#22, 6+). A one-half share increase to 4.5 (eighth to sixth, 6+) by Cox Media Group-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” pulls the plug on three straight downturns that resulted in a -1.4 (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” forfeits nine-tenths to 2.4 (#15 to #17, 6+). Erasing nearly half of January’s +1.2 with a February loss of one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” tumbles from fifth to ninth. “Magic” was down six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Owing to five consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -2.2 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” drops from #12 to #13.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative -.9 in three straight October – “Holiday” 2018 declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK has since been +1.5 (January) and -.6 in February (7.6 – 7.0, 6+); “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” slips from a first-place tie to second. Returning the two-tenths it scored in January (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Even though it is unchanged at 1.2 (6+), Bonneville’s KHTK enters the top twenty (#22 to #20); “Sports 1140” gained three-tenths in January. In four successive down or flat reports, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” erodes by more than 50% (-.9) but stays at #25, (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Skidding from sixth to ninth, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ spirals by -2.5 in three consecutive decreases (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through February 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +1.0 to 8.6 (6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” breaks January’s first-place tie with KFBK (see above) and has sole possession of the top spot. In the lead ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.0 (February 2019). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB a combined +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), “92.5 The Breeze” enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Up until early-November (2018), KBEB was “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country.” It was up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. One of the country stations it competed against is Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” whose recent history includes a combined -.9 in August/September; an overall +1.5 in three straight September–October–November-December gains; -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and now +.8 in February (4.7 – 5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Having lost nearly half (-1.1) its 6+ AQH share in three straight setbacks (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), Entravision Communications’ KXSE “La Suavecita 92.7” rebounds with a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #17, 6+). Off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is a combined +1.6 in January/February (4.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, steady at #4, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.7 (November 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KGRB “94.3 Radio Lazer” falters by six-tenths to 1.1 6+) and fades from the top twenty (#17 to #23). After logging three upticks in succession for a +1.1 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” drops one-tenth to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent moves by Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”  are -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (5.1 – 4.6, seventh to ninth, 6+).

A combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by six-tenths (7.1 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Flat at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has a September 2018 through February 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Anchored at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is +1.2 in January/February (3.1 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – There is major news at the top of this Pennsylvania market’s leader board as iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW – Pittsburgh’s pacesetter the past 24 ratings periods – is a combined -5.9 in January/February (13.6 – 8.1 – 7.7, 6+) and segues to the runner-up position. Prior to January’s -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), “94.5 – 3WS” was up or flat three successive reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Taking over at #1 is co-owned rocker WDVE (7.6 – 8.4, +.8, third to first, 6+). Its December loss of one-half share suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE plummeted by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. As a result of three straight improvements (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” jumps from tenth to seventh with its best 6+-number since July 2018 (4.9, as well). Dropping from second to third, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is down by -1.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Separated by one-tenth are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (unchanged at 5.2 and #6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 5.1, +.4, steady at #7, 6+). KSL was -.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January, while KNRS obliterated “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January +1.4.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted for the second straight month.

Steady at #12, University of Utah news/talk KUER adds two-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and has its largest 6+-stat (3.1) since August 2018’s 3.5.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Owing to three positive spikes in a row (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP is an overall +1.3 as “103.5 The Arrow” advances from third to second. Logging three successive gains as well is  Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93,” which is +1.7 in that timeframe (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.8, unchanged at #8, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KUBL was an overall -2.8 via five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Co-owned CHR KENZ was trending 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.4 (November 2018 through January 2019), but “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#15 to #13, 6+). Still in that Cumulus Media cluster, KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah,” which more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), forfeits seven-tenths to 2.0 (#13 to #16, 6+). Despite eroding by -14.4 in just two (January and February) sweeps (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” is the market leader for the fourth consecutive ratings period. Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the heels of gaining eight-tenths in January (1.9 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” relinquishes one-half share to 2.2 (#13 to #15, 6+). Entering the January sweep, KBER was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to building onto January’s +.6 with a February +.2 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” progresses from #17 to #15 with its best 6+-performance (2.4) in exactly two years (2.8, February 2017). It doubles the 6+-stat of Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which is a combined +.3 in January/February .9 – 1.1 – 1.2, flat at #23, 6+).

Unchanged at #25, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is in a repetitive sequence of .8 – .7 – .8 – .7 (6+).

Even though it adds one-tenth to January’s +.7 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from #10 to #11. KNPR was a combined -.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – The +1.2 by Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) coupled with an eight-tenths shortfall by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” (7.5 – 6.7, 6+) results in KKLZ moving from second to first and “Sunny” dropping from first (where it had been the past six sweeps) to second. This (8.3) marks the first time in its PPM-history that KKLZ, which was +1.0 in January, has reached the eight-share level (6+). The last time KKLZ hit #1 was in August 2018. A combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), “Sunny” is now -6.1 in January/February. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. After regressing by eight-tenths in January (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” regains 75% of that deficit with a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). With a (6+) December 2018 – January 2019 topline of 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.9, iHeartMedia’s country KWNR “95.5 The Bull” spirals by nine-tenths to 4.0 (fifth to ninth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.2. In January, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” each gained six-tenths; however, in February, “Hot” is down eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+) and KUNV forfeits one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). “Hot” was a combined +1.1 in November/December and -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. In addition to KUNV, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.0, steady at #4, 6+) and co-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+) regress by one-half share. In eight straight up or flat survey periods, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). Owing to February’s -.5, KOMP continues its recent “one-half share” theme: It gained one-half share in January which curtailed a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Via three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS was an overall +1.1 but the streak concludes as “SOS Radio” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) but stays in sixth-place.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from eighth to seventh, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), following a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.6  (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+). Following five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is up seven tenths in January/February (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+).

A January/February +1.0 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+) lifts news/talk cluster-mate WFLF from #15 to #14. Its January gain of four-tenths applied the brakes to three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

After a January increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+), Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” has its 6+-stat sliced in half (.8 – .4, #20 to #22, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly 70% (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share in six consecutive down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

A January/February +.8 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+) by Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE erases all of its “Holiday” 2018 -.8; “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” climbs from #13 to #12.

Orlando Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” makes that disappear with a February +1.2 to 5.4 (tenth to eighth, 6+). On the heels of January’s robust +2.0 (4.9 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” tacks on an additional +1.0 to 7.9 (fourth to third, 6+), officially clearing out its cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” result in a +1.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4, steady at #2, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WRUM roars back with a January/February +1.7 (7.8 – 9.3 – 9.5, 6+) as “Rumba 100” repeats at #1. The Spanish tropical outlet spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top, before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7,” which replaced WRUM at #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018, is -8.4 in January/February (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). That follows its combined +8.5 in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. After racking up a January/February +1.3 (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” surrenders all but three-tenths of that increase (5.4, -1.0, sixth to eighth, 6+). A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – It is just a one-month (January) stay at #1 for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW as the flagship of the Reds and Bengals drops two-tenths (9.9 – 9.7, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. The two previous sweeps were quite volatile for WLW: -2.1 in “Holiday” 2018, followed by a +2.4 in January. In a slight statistical oddity, co-owned WKRC was up one-half share in January yet slipped from #10 to #11, while in February, “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” drops one-tenth yet improves from #11 to #10.

Likewise, sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” returns the two-tenths it picked up in January (1.0 – 1.2 – 10, 6+) but climbs from #18 to #17; it was up two-tenths in January but fell from #17 to #18.

In five successive sweeps without an increase, WVXU lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+); however, the Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk facility is now +.6 in January/February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – By gaining eight-tenths to 4.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” wipes away in its entirety the -.8 it squandered through three straight losses (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Adding six-tenths to January’s +1.5 (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” marches from second to first. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR eroded by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). This (10.2) is the highest 6+ stat and first time in double-digits (6+) for “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” since March 2018’s 10.4. In addition to entering the top ten (#12 to #9), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is +1.0 as a result of three straight upticks (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+) and records its best 6+-number in roughly two years (3.6, as well in March 2017). Improving by one-half share as well in February is Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country 105.9 & 106.7,” which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, flat at #15, 6+). Following January’s +1.0, Hubbard-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” returns 70% (9.4 – 8.7, -.7, 6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) dispatches Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” out of the top ten (#9 to #13). While steady at #6, co-owned classic rock WOFX  surrenders roughly one-third of January’s +1.4 (5.7 – 5.2, -.5, sixth to sixth, 6+). Prior to January, “92.5 The Fox” had a collective loss of nine-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase, (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the seventh time in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective downturn of six-tenths (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Spiraling by -1.2 (5.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from eighth to tenth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After swapping “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is in 6+ share (3.2) and 6+ market rank (#13).

Cleveland Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); and +.8 (9.0 – 9.8, February, 6+). “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third sweep in succession. Logging a February +.8 as well is Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (6.0 – 6.8, sixth to third, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +4.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+) but plummeted by -4.3 in January. In four successive losses, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ was a collective -1.0 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+), but “Z-107.9” recaptures 60% of that decline with a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fifth, 6+). A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive setbacks (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” answers with a January/February +2.2 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) and repeats at #4. While it remains at #11, Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” is an overall -1.6 owing to three successive negative moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 in “Holiday” 2018; +.8 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (6.9 – 6.4, third to fifth, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October 2018, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” is unlisted for the second consecutive month.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” answers in January/February with a +2.2 (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, seventh to fourth, 6+). KMBZ-FM was +.7 in October/November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #18, co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) is up nine-tenths in January/February (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). After trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” doubles January’s .7 (1.4, +.7, 6+) and carries on at #22. The last time “Talk Radio 710 AM” reached the one-share level (6+) was in March 2018 (1.0).

The market’s (6+) sports talk share shrinks by -1.8 as Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” erodes by -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, #6 to #11, 6+), while Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is off by half as much (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, #16 to #17, 6+). A combined -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), WHB erupted in January with a +1.3. In three consecutive decreases, KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but was +.3 in January.

The -.7 that University of Missouri news/talk outlet KCUR logged in “Holiday” 2018 is wiped away with a January/February +.7 (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7, #14 to #12 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – The wild ride continues for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, which was +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); and +1.2 in February (5.4 – 6.6, fourth to third, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” curtailed eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Registering positive spikes of seven-tenths (each) are Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” (steady in the runner-up slot) and Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which is back in the top ten (#15 to #10, 6+). Enjoying its fourth uptick in a row for a collective +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), “Hot 103” notches its highest 6+share (6.9) since July 2018’s 7.1. A combined +2.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), KCKC cratered by -3.8 in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. While it is on top for the tenth straight time, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” plummets by -1.9 (10.1 – 8.2, 6+), the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decline by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. January’s 10.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (4.9, third to sixth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” (4.2 – 3.4, #10 to #14, 6+). An overall -1.6 in three straight dips (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+),“Q-104” was a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Magic 107.3,” which was +2.0 in four consecutive gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), lost one-half share in January. CHR sibling KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to January, “The Vibe” was +1.4 through five consecutive positive or flat moves (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dialing up a +1.3 (5.7 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN relinquishes all but two-tenths of that increase (5.9, -1.1, flat at #5, 6+). “News Radio 610” was off a combined six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+).

Repeating at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). For the second month in a row, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted. Among fluctuations for the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship since reappearing in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December); and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+).

Ohio State University news/talk WOSU follows January’s +1.1 with a gain of two-tenths (4.5 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Trending 7.2 – 6.8 – 7.2 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” erupts with a +.9 to 8.1 (6+) and advances from fourth to second. Adding seven-tenths to January’s eight-tenths’ increase (10.6 – 11.4 – 12.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 15th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January +.8 halted six straight setbacks that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); and +.7 (February). Recording a February +.7 as well is One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #8, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat (4.0) since October 2018’s 4.1. Following a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +3.7 (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is -4.6 in January/February (8.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its December positive spike halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

| February 26, 2019

Cumulus Media Preliminary Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up Near 5%. The company will not release its actual fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data until March 18.  But Cumulus Media filed an 8-K form with the Securities Exchange Commission on Monday (2/25) that indicates it expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 to be up in the 4.5% to 5.2% range.  For the full year of 2018, it expects net revenue to be in the $1.14 billion neighborhood – basically flat compared to the full year of 2017 when net revenue was $1.135 billion.  Cumulus notes that these preliminary unaudited results are not adjusted to reflect the impact of the recently announced divestiture of six stations to Educational Media Foundation.  That would have lopped $23 million to $25 million off the full-year net revenue figure.  The filing also reveals that the company is pacing flat for the first quarter of 2019.

Henry Lake to Host Late Nights on WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. The Entercom Twin Cities news/talker adds a new, late-night show to its program schedule hosted by Henry Lake.  WCCO-AM’s new “Lake Night” will debut on March 11.  Lake comes to Entercom from his most recent gig as an air personality at the company’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City.  He’s served with Upper Midwest sports talk giant KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” as a host in the past.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “The introduction of a new late-night show allows for our station to better serve our listeners as they are winding down their days.  We are thrilled to welcome Henry to our broadcast team in the Twin Cities and look forward to his fresh perspective on the daily events and topics that matter most.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Announces New Programming Additions. Seattle sports talk KIRO-AM is adding air personalities Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps to the evening “Seattle Sports At Night” show hosted by Curtis Rogers.  Rost is a reporter, website content provider and Seattle Seahawks insider for the Bonneville station and former Seahawk Heaps joined KIRO-AM last year as a part-time host and weekly guest on the “Bob, Groz, and Tom” midday show.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “Curtis has done an incredible job hosting this spot solo, but we are excited to add Stacy and Jake as hosts as well.  Stacy has made a huge impact on our building and we are thrilled to add a regular hosting spot to her 710Sports.com writing duties. Jake has been a huge contributor as a guest host, football analyst, and digital/video star.” Curtis Rogers is also part of the new weekend show, “Seattle Sports Saturday,” with co-hosts Lydia Cruz and Taylor Jacobs that debuts on March 2 in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.

iHeartMedia Acquires Audio Tech Firm Radiojar. The press release makes no mention of the financial aspects of this deal but iHeartMedia says that, through its subsidiary RCS, it will acquire Greece-based Radiojar Information Technology S.A. – a firm whose technology is “a centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform.”  The release further states that “with Radiojar’s sophisticated cloud-based assets and engineering, iHeartMedia and other RCS clients, will now have a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music, and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute, and monetize streams, podcasts, and other audio content in real-time from anywhere.”  iHeartMedia COO Rich Bressler says, “We recognize that broadcast radio has a very unique set of programming tools that make listening a smoother and more enjoyable experience.  These new capabilities will allow for the seamless nature that has only been available on radio to transition to other audio mediums including digital stations and podcasts.”

SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Sues Neo-Nazi for $1 Million.  According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Muslim-American comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah is suing neo-nazi Andrew Anglin – founder of The Daily Stormer – for $1 million for falsely accusing him of being the mastermind behind the May 2017 terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.  Obeidallah is asking the court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Anglin.  Obeidallah’s complaint charges that Anglin libeled him by falsely naming him as mastermind of the attack and went so far as to plant fake Twitter messages claiming responsibility that appeared to come from Obeidallah’s account.

TALKERS News Notes. This week’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is being covered extensively by the news networks. ABC News is broadcasting from Hanoi, Vietnam and will present coverage and analysis via ABCNews.com (in addition to regularly scheduled TV coverage) and ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, including special reports and one-minute status reports.  The “Start Here” podcast will provide a special episode focusing on the summit…..Westwood One News is also in Hanoi for the summit.  White House correspondent Bob Costantini is there providing dozens of live custom reports for affiliates, appearing on Westwood One long-form news and talk programs, and reporting on Westwood One newscasts.…..Bay Area progressive news/talk KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910” adds “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather to its program schedule.  The show is being produced by AXS TV and is distributed by KMG Networks…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, two new podcasts are coming from radio broadcasters in the Windy City.  First, WSCR “The Score” personality Julie DiCaro is launching “The Score: Behind the Headlines.”  The first subject will be the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James.  Second, urban talk WVON morning host Maze Jackson and Salem Radio Network/WIND host Joe Walsh are producing a weekly podcast titled, “Uncomfortable Conversations,” an extension of their recent co-hosted live events of the same name…..Crossover Media Group is taking on ad sales responsibilities for the new podcast from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called, “Dr. Laura Call of the Day.”  CMG is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the show’s social-media channels.

Trump-Kim Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Testimony, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration Vote, Kraft Arrest-Sex Trafficking Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, Sunday Night’s Oscars Show, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  This week’s meeting in Vietnam of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the effort to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for it; the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on prostitution soliciting charges and the larger issue of human sex trafficking; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro tries to remain in power; Pope Francis addresses the numerous sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church; Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Kashon Powell is promoted to vice president of programming for Radio One’s Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia markets.  She’s been serving as operations manager for the six-station DC cluster while programming its urban contemporary WMMJ as well as the syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “Love and R&B with John Monds” programs.  Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “I’m delighted to have Kashon in this position.  Not only has she proved to be an outstanding programmer with the huge success of our Washington cluster, but it will be great to have the voice of a woman, our primary demographic, among our senior programmers.  I know Kashon’s contributions to the company will be enormous.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WRTB, Rockford, Illinois “95.3 The Bull” promotes afternoon drive personality Gordon Mays to assistant program director.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

| January 30, 2019

Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee.  Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6.  He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis.  Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’  I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations.  I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.”  Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family.  His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”

FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12.  The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates.  Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11.  The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer.  iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’  When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.”  Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal.  I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience.  I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature.  The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program.  Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.”  Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago.  The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market.  His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend.  Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.”  Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo.  January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month.  Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.  For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000).  It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%.  Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year.  For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.

iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets.  At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets.  iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt.  Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton.  Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus.  Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February.  She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis.  Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show.  Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others.  Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City.  Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists.  It was crazy.  Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”

Monday, January 14, 2018

| January 14, 2019

Talk Radio Host Lars Larson Banned from Twitter for 12 Hours. The story in the Willamette Week has the details of KXL, Portland-based, nationally syndicated talk host Lars Larson’s 12-hour ban from Twitter for his exchange with a Portland activist over a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of man reportedly schizophrenic and legally blind.  Former Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone tweeted, “We know the police kill. [The] question is whether we will ever stop funding this deadly paramilitary force and start funding things that actually keep the people of Portland safe.”  Larson was suspended for the following response, “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?”  Responding to the ban Larson received for the tweet, Iannarone said Larson’s words “may not seem like much on the surface.”  But complained that “whenever that account retweets me, it brings commenters into my sphere who hurl insult and innuendo my direction. I reported three other accounts resulting from the retweet that day that Twitter admins agreed were abusive or harmful.”

Ron & Don Fans Baffled by Show’s Abrupt, Unexplained Exit. This story in the Seattle Times was published on Saturday (1/12) and includes comments from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Friday’s launch of a new afternoon drive program – “Candy, Mike and Todd” – on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM Seattle caught fans of the “Ron and Don” show off guard.  The story notes some 1,000 comments on the “Ron and Don Nation” Facebook page expressing their dismay at the show’s departure and anger with the lack of Bonneville’s explanation.  Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill had been with the station for 13 years.  They didn’t shed much light on the controversy, either, probably due to a non-disparagement clause in their contracts.  They wrote, “Life is not about what you got, it’s what you give. We are very appreciative to all our great advertisers and everyone in the Ron and Don Nation for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your resources over the last 22 years. Together we raised over 11 million dollars for causes in the community we all care about. From our families to yours, Thank You Seattle, Tacoma, Fife, and Fremont.”

KSTP-AM, Minneapolis Re-Brands as ‘SKOR North.’  Tomorrow (1/15) will be sports talk KSTP-AM’s first day as “SKOR North” as it shucks the “1500 ESPN” brand.  Hubbard Radio says in a press release that the brand is now “a digital-first sports brand that will create and distribute content across multiple traditional and digital platforms, including 1500 AM, 94.5 FM HD2, streaming, a dedicated SKOR North app, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.”  In September, Hubbard dropped the “Garage Logic” show with host Joe Soucheray from the lineup, as well as Patrick Reusse’s show (PD Brad Lane exited as well).  The new program schedule will still consist of ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” in morning drive, followed by the “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” show.  Local afternoon program includes the new “SKOR North Live with Matthew Coller,” followed by the drive time “[PhilMackie and Judd [Zulgad] Show with Ramie,” and a return to the airwaves of Patrick Reusse as one of the four 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm programs that will rotate throughout the year, depending on the season.

Monday Memo: CES 2019.  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo here at TALKERS magazine summarizes some of his takeaways from last week’s enormous CES 2019 in Las Vegas.  Cooke reports that Consumer Technology Association vice president of market research Steve Koenig says we’re at the beginning of the “Data Age of Consumer Tech” and that means, “information about our listeners – whom advertisers want as customers – is gold.” See his entire report here.

WICC, Bridgeport Announces Programming News. Connecticut news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport announces it will continue to serve as an affiliate for New York Yankees baseball.  In addition, the Cumulus Media station is adding FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  It also is carrying Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.

Mike Rich to Lead Townsquare Media Danbury. Radio management pro Mike Rich is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut group of sports talk WINE-AM “Sports Radio 940,” rock WRKI-FM “i95,” and WDBY-FM “Kicks 105.5.”  Rich comes to Townsquare from his most recent position as CEO of digital media firm Irish Studio.  He’s also served with Time Inc., Radio One, and AOL.

TALKERS News Notes. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM’s new afternoon drive personality – former, longtime rock KZRR “94 Rock” morning personality T.J. Trout – is an unabashed “left of center,” “social liberal” who will take over 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s conservative news/talk station on January 22.  Trout talks about getting the gig and how he views his role on the station in a piece with Albuquerque Journal here…..The podcast “Red Pilled America” – an iHeartRadio original podcast – got some love from The Washington Times recently in an article about story-focused podcasts that target conservative listeners.  The podcast is the work of husband and wife creative duo Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez and the piece delves into how the program highlights stories rather than monologues to get the message across to listeners…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation are holding the second annual Patrice Bergeron & 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Pucks & Paddles event on Thursday, February 7.  The table tennis tournament will feature players from the active Boston Bruins roster, on-air personalities from Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” and patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center with all proceeds to benefit the hospital…..Beasley Media Group announces Jennifer Sulik is named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s esports division.  Sulik was most recently founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a digital media advertising agency.  Previously, she worked in the digital sales division at WXYZ-TV, Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where she developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com…..Across the pond, “Fix Radio” – the station for builders and tradespeople – will launch in Manchester, England today (1/14).  Fix Radio is programmed by British talk radio pro Graham Mack and is based in London.  Mack and Gaz Drinkwater present the daily morning show on the format.

The Trump-Putin Relationship, U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Government Shutdown, Jayme Closs Case, Paris Bakery Bombing, Bezos Divorce, 2020 Presidential Race, Dems in Puerto Rico, Winter Snow Storm, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to weekend stories indicating the FBI was concerned about President Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the battle over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; the ongoing government shutdown; missing teen Jayme Closs is found after escaping her captor; the deadly bombing at a bakery in Paris; the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; potential presidential candidates in the 2020 election; Democrat legislators are criticized for “partying” in Puerto Rico with lobbyists; the winter storm that swept across the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKER magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Terri Avery is the new PD at Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1,” effective January 22. Avery was most recently radio station manager and an instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte.  Prior to that, she was OM/PD at WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte for 14 years. CMG Atlanta director of operations Chris Eagan says, “Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry.  She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in urban AC.  Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the ‘Kiss 104.1’ team.”…..Cumulus Media rock KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” officially names Chasta Michaelis midday personality.  She’s been interim host of the daypart since Steven “The Weedman” Seaweed in 2017.  Chasta also serves as a cast member on the station’s “Lamont& Tonelli Morning Show,” a role she will continue along with her daily production of her daily Facebook Live chats from “The Bone” studios following each morning show…..Through a partnership between iHeartMedia and LiveXLive Media Inc – a global digital media company focused on live entertainment – the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 19 – will stream live. LiveXLive chairman and CEO Rob Ellin comments, “Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house’ for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists.  iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit.”…..According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots” show with Bob Stroud that’s heard weekly on Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is getting another play.  The show has been airing Sunday mornings from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but, as program director Rob Cressman says, “The ‘Stroud Crowd’ has been relentless in their quest to get ‘Roots’ scheduled a bit later in the day.”  So, now the show also airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Kelly J moves from evening jock to a member of the Jeff Pope morning show on All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino…..Condolences to the family and friends of radio personality Michael “Mike” Walker, who died on January 7 at the age of 60.  Walker worked at numerous radio stations during his career, including WIFM, Elkin; WKBC North Wilkesboro; and WWWC, Wilkesboro in North Carolina.  He was the founder/operator of The Production Room where he produced and voiced more than 530 weekly episodes of the syndicated “Saving the 70s” show that focused on 1970s music and pop culture.

PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on contemporary Christian. See the report here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

| December 10, 2018

Report: Cumulus Interested in WGN-AM, Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media – owner of news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM and alternative WKQX – is interested in buying legendary news/talk WGN-AM.  Television station company Nexstar has bid to acquire Tribune Media – 42 TV stations, numerous digital properties and cable channel WGN America – for $4.1 billion.  A report in Crain’s Business Chicago indicates that although Nexstar is “in no hurry” to sell WGN-AM, it is not planning to build out a  radio division and will likely sell the station.  None of the major radio operators are up against the AM ownership cap in Chicago so Cumulus, Entercom, Hubbard or iHeartMedia could be contenders to acquire the station.  Feder says that Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner told staffers Cumulus would be interested in the station.

John Hanson Named Program Director for WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Taking over after the departure last month of station OM and PD Andy Bloom as program director for news/talk WCCO-AM is John Hanson.  He joins the station from the company’s Kansas City sports talk duo KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and KWOD “1660 The Score.”  Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “John brings extensive knowledge of the Minneapolis community to his new role with 830 WCCO. I trust our listeners will enjoy the innovative and exciting programing that he will add to the station.”  Prior to joining Entercom in 2013, Hanson co-hosted “Twin Cities Live” on KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.

Jeff Styles Returns to the Air in Chattanooga. Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality Jeff Styles is back on the air in the market today on Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ “NoogaRadio 92.7 FM” for a daily show in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Styles was let go from WGOW by Cumulus Media after being arrested during a road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm by the other motorist.  The case was bound over to a grand jury but the charges against him were dropped.  WGOW subsequently named midday host Brian Joyce host of “The Morning Press” with co-hosts Jim Reynolds and Kevin West.  Styles’ new program is called “Fred the Show” – Fred stands for Free Radio Every Day – and Styles says, “I’m excited to have a platform to listen, and talk to, listeners again…I’m chomping at the bit, excited to stir things up!”

Doug McIntyre to Exit KABC, Los Angeles. Longtime KABC-AM, Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media news/talk station after his contract expires at the end of this month.  McIntyre is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.  In a Tweet, McIntyre says, “Time for me to say goodbye.  After 22 years, I will do my last show at KABC this Friday, December 14th.  What a great run and wonderful experience it has been.  This was a tough call, but I appreciate KABC management for for respecting my decision.”

Nielsen Audio: News/Talk Top Format in PPM Markets.  According to data from Nielsen Audio, overall (Persons 6+), news/talk is the most-listened-to radio format of 2018 to this point with 10% of the AQH audience. Looking at the 25-54 demographic, CHR was again the dominant format with 8% of the AQH audience.  Although news/talk’s audience skews older, it still was the third most-listened-to format (tied with adult contemporary) with 7% of the AQH audience.  Keep in mind that Nielsen lumps public radio news/talk in with its commercial brethren and that certainly adds some youth to that figure, as it likely does with the 18-34 demo, in which news/talk scores 4.3% of the AQH share.

The Bob & Tom Show Renews with iHeartMedia for 13 Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show announces it has struck a renewal deal with iHeartMedia to continue being carried by 13 of the company’s radio stations, including home base WFBQ, Indianapolis; WQMF, Louisville; WTUE, Dayton and more.  The program is distributed by Westwood One.  Show host Tom Griswold says, “Thanks to [EVP/GM iHeartMedia national programming group] Brad Hardin and all the folks at iHeart for keeping our long relationship moving forward.  Many of these stations have been with us for years, so they are jewels in the ‘Bob & Tom’ crown.  Actually, we started our syndication at WFBQ and we’re happy to continue our close and unique tie with that special group in Indianapolis.”

Kim Komando Show to Air on Bloomberg TV in January. Beginning on Saturday, January 5, the new, television version of the weekly Kim Komando program will air on the Bloomberg Television Network at 4:00 pm ET.  Komando’s show is produced by her WestStar Multimedia Entertainment firm and the TV show will be produced at WestStar’s $8 million broadcast center in Phoenix.  Komando says, “We’re thrilled to take our content to an international audience.  We’re taking what we’ve perfected on the airwaves over the last 20 years, reaching millions of Americans each week and sharing it worldwide.  How cool is that?”  The press release says that the program “will be expertly produced to speak to Bloomberg’s loyal audience of business executives, industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.”  Komando adds, “We’re all about tech wellness and helping consumers use technology to enrich their lives and improve their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. In a report by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, it’s revealed that NPR employs “an army of temps” that for them creates a “workplace of anxiety and insecurity.”  Farhi writes, “Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR.  Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them.  Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.”  Temp workers are covered under NPR’s union contract and they make a base salary as per that contract.  According to the piece, about 20%-22% of NPR’s 483 union staffers are temps…..iHeartMedia and Learfield announce that new Milwaukee sports talk outlet WRNW “97.3 The Game” will serve as the new radio home of the Wisconsin Badger Sports Network in Milwaukee.   iHeartMedia division president Jeff Tyler comments, “We have enjoyed great success with many of our new sports/talk and entertainment brands and are excited about the launch of ‘97.3 The Game’ for Milwaukee and Southwestern Wisconsin.  We are also pleased to continue and expand our longtime partnership with Learfield’s Badgers Sports Properties and the University of Wisconsin with ‘The Game,’ ‘The Big 920’ and all the other Milwaukee stations and of course our iHeartRadio brand.”…..National radio rep firm Gen Media Partners announces its acquisition of  Regional Reps and The Tacher Company.  In a press release, GMP says, “While the newly acquired companies will continue to operate on behalf of the radio stations they represent, Gen Media Partners’ combined roster of 4,000 radio station partners will create more opportunities for national advertisers, particularly when they are looking for scale in radio.”  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “With the increased scale and reach, we can develop more national opportunities and generate more agency business for our independent radio partners, while we continue to provide the exceptional service and support that are our hallmark.”  Regional Reps chairman Stuart Sharpe exits while Greg Tacher and Joe Costello of The Tacher Company and Jeff Slivka of Regional Reps remain with their respective companies and take on expanded roles within the Gen Media Partners organization.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Cabinet, Financial Markets Activity, Charlottesville Murder Conviction, Southeast Winter Storm, Paris Riots, Huawei CFO Arrest, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; changes in the Trump cabinet as William Barr to be nominated for attorney general, Heather Nauert to be UN ambassador; and questions arise about a new chief of staff; the huge stock selloff and the activity on the world’s financial markets; James Alex Fields Jr. is convicted of murder in the death of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville protests; a winter storm dumps heavy snow in the Southeast; France continues to deal with violent protests over economic matters; the tense U.S.-China relations after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today looking at urban contemporary.  Three PPM market urban contemporary stations had improved more than a share over the November 2017 survey: Urban One’s WQOK, Raleigh “K97.5” (up 1.5); iHeartMedia’s WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3” (up 1.4); and Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” (up 1.1). There are no urban contemporary outlets that rank #1 in their markets (6+), but WQOK, WERQ, and iHeartMedia’s WUBT, Nashville all ranked #2 in their respective markets in the November 2018 survey. See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Toledo Blade reports a major shuffle of morning show talent at the Cumulus Media cluster in Toledo.   Beginning next Monday (12/17), classic hits WRQN morning hosts Cliff and Lyn will join Gary Shores on country WKKO-FM, 99.9 “K-100.”  Denny Schaffer’s morning team moves from hot AC WQQO-FM to WRQN.   Meanwhile Eric Chase, who handles evenings on WQQO, assumes mornings on the station.  The following Monday (12/21), Jeremy “Pyke” Peterson takes over mornings on classic rock WXKR-FM as Mark Benson retires after a 22-year stint with the station…..In Seattle, Michael Kraig exits Hubbard Broadcasting’s country KNUC where he’d been handling the evening show.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Monday, August 27, 2018

| August 27, 2018

Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10.  Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC!  Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”

Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago.  Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN.  Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”

Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event.  At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.”  The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.”  Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance.  Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success.  As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.”  The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.

iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL.  iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb.  Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio.  ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”

TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company.  As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry.  Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM.  Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR.  Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network.  The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left).  Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.

Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time.  The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org.  Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat.  The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering.  The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating.  If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent.  We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards.  The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley

John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program.  She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family.  We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.”  She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.”  Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey 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 July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Friday, August 3, 2018

| August 3, 2018

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Up 1%; Station Operating Income Up 3.5%. Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $61.6 million for Beasley Broadcast Group – an increase of 1% over the same period in 2017.  For the first six months of 2018, net revenue was $116.8 million – up from $114.8 million in 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s second quarter results reflect our ongoing execution of strategies to drive revenue, productivity and growth across our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms.  The 1% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues combined with essentially flat station expenses and the operating leverage related to the top-line growth resulted in a 3.5% increase in second quarter SOI.  Overall, our second quarter results again demonstrate the efficiencies we are realizing related to our expanded scale and the operating leverage in our model, which collectively led to a 28.6% increase in earnings per share.  During the second quarter, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements.  In this regard, we declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately 20% year-over-year to $3.8 million, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points.  We used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of $2 million in the second quarter and ended June 30, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $220 million.”  As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, Beasley completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby it exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM.  The results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results also reflect one month of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the three-month period, and four months of contribution in the six-month period ended June 30, 2017.  The $0.6 million, or 1.0%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion of WBZ-FM Boston, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations.

E.W. Scripps Radio Revenue Hit by Write-Down of Stations Value. The sale of its radio stations has been the focus of industry news about E.W. Scripps as it re-aligns to concentrate on its television and OTT businesses.  As a result, it has been reporting its radio segment as “discontinued operations” in recent quarterly reports.  In the second quarter of 2017, the radio segment’s income was $1.7 million.  The second quarter of 2018 has produced a loss of $2.9 million as the result of “non-cash charges of $25.9 million to write down the assets of the radio business to fair value.”  Scripps has agreed to sell its five-station Tulsa cluster to the local Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and its Milwaukee duo to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.  The company has 27 stations in six markets for which it continues to seek buyers.

Report: Cain to End Talk Show on WSB-AM, Atlanta.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is exiting his daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM 750.”  Cain – who assumed the late morning show slot after Neal Boortz’s retirement in 2013 – will continue with the station doing a daily, two-minute commentary leading up to the noon newscast.  To fill the hour, Eric Von Haessler’s program will expand to the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Spotify Pulls Some Alex Jones Podcasts For Violation of ‘Hate Policy.’ Media personality Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded that the episodes violated its hate content policy.  According to the Associated Press report, the episodes became notorious on social media, forcing the company to act.  It issued the following statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.  Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” According to the AP story, Jones said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Perry Stone Named OM for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. Programmer and air personality Perry Stone joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois four-station cluster to serve as operations manager for news/talk WMAY-AM/W234CC and rock WQLZ-FM, effective August 6.  In addition to his OM duties for both stations, Stone will host the afternoon show on WQLZ.  Stone was most recently with Saga Communications in Charlottesville, Virginia as operations manager for news/talk WINA-AM/FM and rock WWWV.  The company says Stone “has worked on-air in markets as large as New York City and San Francisco and as small as Carbondale, Illinois.  So, he not only knows Illinois, but he understands the opportunities and challenges in markets of all sizes.” Mid-West Family Springfield general manager Harvey Wells says, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and Perry’s experience both in management and on-air made the difference.  I’m looking forward to him joining our off and on-air team.”  Stone remarks, “It’s great to get back to the Midwest.  I spent time in Carbondale and in Milwaukee and have always enjoyed the people and places there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all that Central Illinois has to offer.  In addition, Mid-West Family Radio is one of the most respected companies in radio. I could not be happier.”

Wilson and Parcell New Midday Hosts on WFNZ, Charlotte ‘The Fan.’ After Chris Kroeger was named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Entercom sports talk outlet WFNZ “The Fan” conducted a search for his replacement in middays and announces that Nick Wilson (inset) and Josh Parcell (right) begin as the new midday stars on Monday (8/6).  Wilson was most recently with the company’s WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” where he hosted the evening program.  Parcell has done fill-in work on WFNZ and has served as a producer for ESPN.

Smith Promoted to VP of Engineering for Beasley Media Group. Moving up from his regional engineering director & corporate project manager position with Beasley Media Group to vice president of engineering is Lamar Smith.  He’s been with the company for the past seven years and he’ll continue to be based in Charlotte where he’ll manage large corporate projects throughout the country as well as assist in overseeing the company’s engineering staff.  Smith also currently serves as vice president of the Emergency Broadcast Association.

Mickey Moore Appointed VP of Sales at iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Media sales and marketing pro Michelle “Mickey” Moore is the new vice president of sales at iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK and sports talk KFXN “The Fan.”  iHM Minneapolis also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota.  Moore joins iHeartMedia Minneapolis from Franklin Covey, where she served as a client partner.  She previously worked at iHeartMedia as the general sales manager for KDWB-FM from 1994 to 2001.  Moore’s sales background also includes American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, where her positions included managing director of inclusion and community impact, senior director of organization development and senior director of underwriting sales.  Region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander says, “We are pleased to have such a respected, seasoned leader like Mickey join iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Her wealth of industry experience and her ability to blend creativity and sales strategy will benefit both our sales team and our clients.”

TALKERS News Notes.  It was a frightening experience for WWJ-AM, Detroit reporter Mike Campbell as an apparently disturbed man smashed the window of his station vehicle while he was filing a live report on a fatal car crash in the city.  He was unhurt in the incident and was able to successfully file his report. Numerous reporters form various outlets were on the scene when the suspect (who was subsequently tasered and subdued by police) used a metal baton to smash the windows of two station vehicles while shouting obscenities and racial slurs…..Former NFL tight-end Martellus Bennett debuts his new podcast, “Revenge of the Jocks,” on PodcastOne Sportsnet.  The company says the weekly program “goes beyond Martellus, the athlete, as the Super Bowl champion explores the infinite world of creativity.  Speaking firsthand, as an entrepreneur, musician, animator, sketch artist, children’s author and app creator himself, Bennett will be joined by fascinating friends to discuss a broad spectrum of topics, including what it means to be a creative, activist, and overall culture-shaping world-changer.”…..Entercom sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia relaunches the “Go Birds” podcast hosted by station personalities John Barchard and James Seltzer.  The radio show will continue to air on Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “SportsRadio 94WIP.” The podcast will be available on Radio.com.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Both the podcast and radio show have been Eagles fan favorites and we are excited to continue the tradition.  The name of the show might be changing, but fans can expect the same insight into their favorite football team.”…..VSiN – the network dedicated to sports gambling information – announces a partnership with sports talk KNBR, San Francisco that taps VSiN to deliver daily Bay Area-focused updates for the station. Starting Monday (8/6), KNBR will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Bay Area sports teams. VSiN will supply one report in the 9:00 am hour and another in the 5:00 pm hour each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.   KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are excited to partner with VSiN in bringing top-notch gaming updates to the KNBR airwaves.  VSiN continues to be an industry leader in this space and VSiN founder Brent Musburger has had his finger on the pulse of sports gambling for decades.”…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio announced that they have reached a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that will add per diem and temporary employees working in SAG-AFTRA covered titles to the union’s longstanding contract that currently covers more than 100 full-time workers at NYPR.  The Agreement adds more than 30 people to a larger group that has been represented by SAG-AFTRA since 2000…..Longtime Purdue University sports broadcaster Larry Clisby is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and metastic brain cancer.  The problem is Medicare doesn’t cover all of his medical bills.  Family have started a GoFundMe page to which people can donate.  Clisby became the radio voice of Purdue men’s basketball in 1984.  He also called Boilermakers football for 10 seasons.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 30 – August 3.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Donald 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 trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s immigration policy tied with the related story of the Portland mayor’s battle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, followed by the midterm races and the reports of continuing Russian election interference 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 the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A GoFundMe page has been set up for former triple A KINK, Portland program director and air personality Sean Demery.  He is battling to recover from a brain stem stroke suffered in January of this year and his insurance has run out, causing financial struggles for him and his family. You can donate here.…..An ill-advised Facebook post has cost classic rock WKLR, Richmond morning personality his job.  Brady DeAngelo posted a picture of the back of a woman sitting at a bar and a caption that contained coarse language. You can see WTVR-TV, Richmond’s coverage, including a screen capture of the post here.  DeAngelo commented, “I made a joke that some thought was inappropriate on my personal Facebook page and it became more of an issue than I believe it should have become.”.….KLAL, Little Rock “Alice 107.7” morning show personalities Heather (left) and Poolboy (right) were honored with the Best Radio Personality award from The Arkansas Times.  This marks the fourth consecutive win in the Best Radio Personality category for the duo.  CHR KLAL was named Runner-Up Best Radio Station for 2018, a category it has won or received runner-up in each year since 2010…..iHeartMedia announces it has partnered with Super Hi-Fi to introduce “new AI capabilities” that will make the iHeartRadio digital platform sound more like a live radio show.  iHeartMedia says, “The new integration brings the best of live broadcast radio to digital streaming music by delivering flawless song transitions, including precise crossfades, volume leveling and truly gapless playback to iHeartRadio’s listeners.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

| July 10, 2018

WSJ: Liberty Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  After taking its offer of $1.2 billion for 40% of iHeartMedia off the table a couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that now Liberty Media is “working on revamping its original offer.”  The story goes on to say that Liberty’s return to the table could signal a bidding war between it and private equity firm Silver Lake.  Last week, the New York Post reported that Silver Lake is in talks with iHM.  The Wall Street Journal story says Silver Lake has made an offer for 20% of the reorganized iHeart, though a dollar figure is not being reported.  Both Liberty – owner of a controlling interest in SiriusXM and a minority interest in Pandora – and Silver Lake are also said to be in talks with iHeartMedia creditors Franklin Advisors Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., both of which are expected to control the post-reorganization iHeartMedia.  For Liberty, the obvious synergies make it an attractive suitor with iHeart itself stating in a recent filing that Liberty’s original offer didn’t take into account some $500 million in annual synergies.

TALKERS News Notes. A Louisburg, Kansas woman prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled a lower court should not have dismissed her civil rights complaint against local police officers who ordered her to stop praying in her own home. The case developed after neighbors called police on Mary Anne Sause because she was listening to Michael Savage too loudly.   She claims police didn’t tell her why they were there, and she became frightened and asked to pray.  She says the officers then attempted to stop her from praying.  Read the account in The Hutchinson News here…..At the Podcast Movement event in Philadelphia on July 24, Edison Research will present the results of its latest podcasting study.  Titled, “Podcasting’s Next Frontier: 100 Million Listeners,” the address promises to “provide a research-based road map for the podcasting industry to grow audience and increase exposure to podcasts.”  It will provide “attendees with a look at the tens of millions of Americans who say they know what podcasting is but haven’t (yet) become regular listeners to the medium.”…..Fort Myers rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock” drops the Bubba the Love Sponge program from the morning drive daypart.  The Beasley Media Group station had Bubba’s show in morning drive there for the past 10 years and says an announcement about the new morning show is forthcoming. Beasley’s decision comes just days after Bubba Clem and Nielsen settled their lawsuits against each other…..Entercom Atlanta inks a deal with Georgia State University for sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” and sister news/talk WAOK to broadcast the school’s football and men’s and women’s basketball games, beginning with the 2018-19 season.   Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Expanding our sports content is an important part of our strategy to remain the leaders in sports radio.  We remain strong advocates of our local community and of delivering quality content to our city and beyond.  This agreement with Georgia State University is another step in that direction and we look forward to an exciting season with an excellent sports program.”  As part of the partnership, “92.9 The Game” will also host weekly interviews with Georgia State football coach Shawn Elliott on “Mornings with John and Hugh.”  Men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter will join “Dukes and Bell” for a weekly interview.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Luncheon Greetings by WNYM (AM 970 The Answer), New York Morning Host Joe Piscopo and “Humanitarian of the Year” Award Presentation to the Late Matt Patrick.  Today (7/10), 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 11th installment is a video of convention luncheon greetings by WNYM (970 AM The Answer), New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce; and the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan.   Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a 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;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; 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.

Former KSTP, Minneapolis Talk Host Barbara Carlson Dies at 80.  Twin Cities talk radio fans are remembering Barbara Carlson, the former KSTP-AM, Minneapolis talk show host who died yesterday (7/9) at age 80 after a battle with lung cancer.  Carlson was a two-term Minneapolis city councilor during the 1980s. Prior to that, she was married for more than 10 years to former Minnesota Republican Governor Arne Carlson.  She hosted her talk show at KSTP from 1990 to 2002. See the Twin Cities Pioneer Press obit here.

Trump Supreme Court Nomination, Illegal Immigration Policy-Judge Rejects Trump Request, Trump-Russia Investigation/Impending Putin Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War, U.K Brexit Complications, Thailand Cave Rescues, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The anticipation and announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as nominee for Supreme Court Justice; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration policies and a federal judge’s rejection of administration’s bid to modify child detention policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the planned meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin; new tariffs and concerns over a U.S.-China trade war; the challenges facing British Prime Minister Theresa May in executing the British exit from the EU; the rescue of the boys’ soccer team from flooded caves in Thailand; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer and air personality Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra joins iHeartMedia’s Fort Myers station group to serve as program director for hip hop WBTT “105.5 The Beat” and hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1.”  He was most recently music director and an air personality at Entercom’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento.  iHeartMedia Fort Myers SVP of programming Louis Kaplan states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Short-E to iHeartMedia Fort Myers. He genuinely understands our market and brings adept format experience and lively energy to our team.  He’ll be leading two of our most popular brands, ‘105.5 The Beat,’ which has been a huge success for over 15 years, and ‘Y100,’ the area’s home for the Elvis Duran show, and I know his vast industry knowledge and creativity will take our stations to even higher levels.”…..iHeartMedia Los Angeles names Tamo Sein midday personality at alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7,” effective July 16.  KYSR program director Lisa Worden says, “We believe the ‘ALT 98.7’ audience will immediately take to Tamo’s relatable and down-to-earth approach.  Plus, she loves alternative music and is a food and wine enthusiast!  She’ll fit right in with LA.”  Sein comes to LA from iHeartMedia Charlotte where she was APD and music director at alternative WEND “105.5 The End.”.….Hubbard Radio’s country WIL-FM, St. Louis officially welcomed Mason and Remy to their new gig as afternoon drive team on the station. They take over for Stacey and Jonah, who move over to the company’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for afternoons.  The changes took effect yesterday (7/9)…..S-R Broadcasting flips KRKO-AM/K237GN from sports talk to classic hits. General manager Chuck Maylin says the new station is “custom designed to meet the musical appetites of local listeners, with a strong focus on information and activities of importance and interest in the greater Snohomish County area.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.

Monday, March 12, 201

| March 12, 2018

WABC Officially Names ‘Bernie & Sid’ New Morning Show.  On Friday (3/9), TALKERS magazine wrote that Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg will replace the “Imus in the Morning” show on WABC, New York on April 2.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “It is nearly impossible to replace a legend like Don Imus.  Bernie and Sid have been part of the Imus cast for decades and the new show represents an evolution more than a replacement.”  Sid Rosenberg says, “I used to joke with Bernard over a decade ago about possibly working together.  After all my trials and tribulations, that looked like a pipe dream not that long ago.  I love working with Bernard and appreciate his friendship even more.  Of course, none of this happens without Don Imus.  I’ll always appreciate what Imus did for me personally and professionally.  He’s a true legend and I’ve stolen as much as I can from him without being too obvious!”  McGuirk adds, “This is a dream come true for me and an honor for my longtime friend Sid and I to assume the morning slot on the legendary WABC Radio from the irreplaceable and legendary Don Imus.  We owe it all to Mr. Imus!  To quote the great Conor McGregor, ‘We’re not here to take part.  We’re here to take over!’ Brooklyn and the Bronx booming from your radio!!”

Kevin Barrett Exits Desert Broadcasters’ News/Talk KKGX, Palm Springs.  Talk programming pro Kevin Barrett exits Desert Broadcasters operations in Palm Springs, California where he was station manager/program director at news/talk KKGX “Real Talk” and adult standards KWXY.  Barrett says, “Both stations had gone dark in 2016 under the previous ownership, so it was very exciting to rebuild – literally – studios and brands from the ground up.  The stations are in a position for success.”  Barrett is available for his next opportunity.  He’s previously served as PD at KTRB, San Francisco; KTRS, St. Louis; KABZ-FM, Little Rock; and KEEL, Shreveport.  Reach him at: barrettkevin41@gmail.com or 415-283-9201.

Dave Ramsey Profiled in Politico. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is profiled in Politico.  The name of the piece is intriguing: “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America.”  The story draws the connection between Ramsey’s core listeners – those who likely voted for Donald Trumpand the numerous Americans who, according to Ramsey, believe that they are in financial dire straits and are not hopeful about being able to get out of the mess they are in.  Ramsey says he senses that there are more people who feel they are in over their heads and not hopeful of being able to get out that there were 25 years ago.  Ironically, given how many white Rust Belt Americans voted for Trump because of his job creation promises, Ramsey is dismissive of a president’s – any president’s – ability to create jobs.  “The office does not have that much power.”  Read the piece here.

Salem Adds FM Translator to Twin Cities News/Talker.  WWTC, Minneapolis adds an FM translator at 107.5 FM.  W263BS began simulcasting the programming of “1280 The Patriot” on March 1.  Salem Media Group Minneapolis general manager Nic Anderson says, “Our goal with adding the FM translator is to continue to give our loyal audience in the north and west metro an additional option to hear their favorite radio station.  We are now able to add FM radio to our heritage AM signal, along with listening through our mobile apps, website, and smart speakers.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new trial date has been set for former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Originally, the first court date was set for September of this year.  That now moves to October 29.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Carton – formerly paired up with Boomer Esiason on the WFAN morning show – was charged with fraud in connection with what the feds say was a Ponzi scheme involving the resale of concert tickets.  The feds’ case alleges that Carton’s motivation was to pay off gambling debts.  Carton has maintained his innocence while endeavoring to get a fresh start in media via a podcast and videocast…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive live coverage of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning tomorrow (3/13).  Action from all 67 games, including the First Four, eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One will broadcast live coverage of the Final Four on Saturday, March 31 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 2.  Kevin Kugler, Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, and Clark Kellogg will call the Final Four games…..Futuri Media announces that rock radio pro Michael Sharkey joins the company as product manager for #engage and Futuri Mobile.  Jim Roberts joins as national account manager.  He was most recently with Mid-West Family Broadcasting managing the South Bend market.  Also, Jim Tarantine becomes national account manager for Futuri.  He was most recently with Nielsen Audio as director, client solutions.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Tariffs-Trade War, Stormy Daniels Case, Putin’s NBC Interview, MIT Fake News Study, Trump PA Rally, New Florida Gun Law, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum and speculation about trade wars; the legal battle between Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels; Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly and his suggestion Russian Jews may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election; the MIT study showing fake news spreads through social media faster than real news; President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally; Florida’s new gun law in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: January’s Highs & Lows.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey and presents an in-depth, format-by-format look at the stations that went up or down by a full share or more from the Holiday 2017 to January 2018 survey.  It’s not unusual to see adult contemporary stations come back down to earth after the Holiday survey and to see other stations get listeners back after that period.  So, which stations stood at the tops of the gains and losses columns?  Country WCOL, Columbus led the gainers (6+) with a 3.1 share rise from Holiday to January and KSFI, Salt Lake City went from a 23.2 share to an 8.1 share – a difference of -15.1 shares.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Last week, we reported that Steve Dahl would host the final program on legendary Chicago rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” prior to the start of its LMA by Educational Media Foundation on Saturday when began airing the company’s K-Love Christian contemporary format.  (EMF is paying Merlin Media $21.5 million for the signal.) That happened on Friday night as the Dahl-hosted broadcast included numerous “Loop” personalities from its colorful history.  Absent, however, was Garry Meier.  As Chicago media write Robert Feder reports, Dahl tried to get Meier on board, to no avail.  Interestingly, Meier also backed out of a WGN-AM program honoring the rock station.  Read Feder’s column here…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay names AJ Malone has been named program director for WXTB, Tampa “98ROCK.”  Senior vice president of programming for Tampa bay Tommy Chuck says, “As assistant program director, AJ has played a key role in driving great ratings and revenue gains for ‘98ROCK.’  This upgrade in role and responsibilities is one she has certainly earned!” Prior to joining WXTB in August of 2017, Malone was program director at WXSR-FM, Tallahassee.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA 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.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games 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. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate 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.

 

 

New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”

 

 

John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

| October 31, 2017

Lars Larson to Attend Second White House Radio Row on Tax Reform.  That second White House radio row to get the administration’s tax reform plan out to the public is scheduled for Thursday (11/2).  Alpha Media says that KXL, Portland-based Lar Larson has been invited to the White House’s East Room for the live broadcast.  Larson will have the opportunity to speak with senior cabinet members to discuss the president’s agenda and priorities on tax reform.  Larson comments, “I endorsed Donald Trump, I voted for Donald Trump, I believe Donald Trump is making a difference in America.”

WVFN, Lansing Adds More Local Sports Talk.  Market sports talk personalities Beanie Howell and Brock Palmbos return to Townsquare Media’s sports talk WVFN, Lansing, Michigan to host the new midday program, “Beyond the Game with Beanie and Brock,” airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and replacing the CBS Sports Radio-syndicated Jim Rome program.  The pair previously were hosts of the station’s morning drive program until recently being replaced by the Spartans Sports Network’s Will Tiernan for the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show.

New FNR Podcast Launches Tomorrow. A new, daily podcast from FOX News Radio debuts tomorrow.  It’s called “The FOX News Rundown,” and is hosted by Dave Anthony, Lisa Brady, and Jessica Rosenthal.  FOX News Radio calls it a “story-driven podcast, providing listeners with the information they need to know while taking them beyond the basic headlines. Each weekday, ‘The FOX News Rundown’ will feature insight from top news makers, along with reporters and contributors from across all FOX News Channel platforms.”

WCCO, Minneapolis Legend Roger Erickson Passes at 89.  The man who enjoyed a 38-year career at CBS RADIO’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis passed away yesterday (10/30) at age 89.  Roger Erickson joined the station in 1959.  He met fellow jock Charlie Boone there and soon the two were partnered for mornings beginning in 1961.  That “Boone and Erickson” show would last until Erickson retired from the daily program in 1997. They would work a Saturday morning show at WCCO-AM until 1998.  The Star-Tribune reports that Boone died in 2015 at age 88.

Special Counsel Charges, Clinton/DNC Russia Dossier, Kevin Spacey Assault Accusation/Hollywood Scandal, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, World Series, NFL Trade Deadline-Sunday Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  Special counsel Robert Mueller returns indictments against Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos; the allegation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; reactions to allegations actor Kevin Spacey attempted to sexually assault a 14-year-old actor decades ago and the ongoing sexual assault in Hollywood issue; the GOP-authored tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and concerns about radioactive problems at its test sites; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and NFL deadline trades and the weekend’s games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Bill Wills and Walter Sterling.  WTAM, Cleveland morning drive star Bill Wills (left) poses for a pic with Walter Sterling (right), host of the Westwood One syndicated Sunday evening program “Sterling on Sunday.”  Wills is enjoying his 20-year mark as the morning host on WTAM and Sterling’s WPHT, Philadelphia-based show is now heard on KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and more.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Milwaukee country outlet WKTI “94.5 KTI COUNTRY,” local on-air pro Carol Vonn is promoted to permanent midday personality, taking over for Jillene Khan.  She’s exiting for a yet-to-be-announced gig in another market.  Vonn – who’s been hosting the morning show on an interim basis as the station searches for a permanent morning program – will also take on the community relations director role.  WKTI program director Ryan Wild says, “‘KTI COUNTRY’ is thrilled to feature another locally known and talented host in Carol Vonn.  In addition to hosting the midday show, Carol will lead the station’s community relations effort.  From fundraising for the USO of Wisconsin, appearing weekly around the area for the Hunger Task Force, to coordinating on-air interviews and events, Carol will help ‘KTI COUNTRY’ further deepen its commitment to serving our community.”…..Meruelo Media brings the two Los Angeles market “KDAY” stations back into a simulcast of the classic hip hop format that’s been airing on KDAY, Redondo Beach.  Now, KDEY, Ontario’s return to the simulcast brings the classic hip hop format back to the Inland Empire.  Meruelo Radio vice president of programming Jimmy Steal says, “We’re pleased to bring ‘93.5 KDAY Hip Hop Back in the Day’ back to the Inland Empire.”  Meruelo Media president Otto Padron adds, “With 93.5 KDAY’s increased reach and focus on 90s ‘Hip Hop Back in the Day’ and ‘Power 106 #1 for Hip Hop,’ the newly super-sized and expanded Meruelo Radio merger efficiently and effectively reaches hip hop fans of all ages!”…..CBS RADIO Washington’s hip hop WPGC announces that DJ Flexx adds music director duties to his afternoon drive air shift role…..Entercom announces that WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton afternoon personality Jumpin’ Jeff Walker signs on for another five years at the CHR station.  Walker has been with WKRZ for 37 years and general manager Ryan Flynn says, “We are thrilled to extend Jeff’s legendary run on ’KRZ, which has spanned generations here in Northeast PA.  His show is special because it is always evolving, he is constantly creating new ways to entertain generations of fans with unique and compelling content.”

 

 

Round One of October PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey period covered September 14 – October 11. View all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Winning ways continue for CBS Radio sports talk WFAN-FM, which not only posts its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.7 since June (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+), this represents its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, New York Yankees flagship “The Fan” registered a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 this time last month (6+, September 2017). All-news sibling WINS inches up from third to second by adding one-half share for the second straight sweep (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+). When it notched a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). For the third time in the last five ratings periods, co-owned and similarly formatted WCBS-AM (-.2, unchanged at #13, 6+) posts a 2.7 (2.7 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+). A gain of two-tenths to 1.4 (6+) enables WABC to pull the plug on eight straight sweeps without an increase (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+) and the Cumulus Media news/talker moves from #22 to a three-way tie at #21. The (repetitive) 6+ July 2017 – October 2017 line for Emmis Urban AC WBLS (steady at #3) is 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.6. In addition to WINS, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW picks up one-half share as “106.7 Lite FM” repeats at #1 (6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Its loss of seven-tenths in August (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Although steady at #9, co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” drops three-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus halting at eight a successive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase for the third consecutive sweep for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” drops from second to fourth. It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. Its one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Sliding from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for a combined loss of seven-tenths (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+), while Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT is off by a cumulative nine-tenths in three consecutive dips (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3) with “Hot 97” falling out of the top ten (#10 to #11).

2) Los Angeles – Without a decrease for the fourth time in a row and remaining at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 (January through October, 6+). Co-owned, similarly-formatted KEIB’s March through October line is 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 (#35 to #31, 6+). It is tied with sports cluster-mate – and flagship of the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers – KLAC (flat at 1.0, 6+). Without a decrease in the past six ratings periods for a net gain of four-tenths, KSPN “ESPN LA 710” checks in at #28 (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+). A combined -.7 via three consecutive declines (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” adds one-tenth to 2.2 to climb from #20 to #19. On top for the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” regains in its entirety the four-tenths it squandered in September (6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, “My-FM” posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). When KBIG dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends, which produced a combined full-share gain (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1. Although nearly two full-shares behind market leader “My-FM,” three City of Angels’ stations are locked in a tie for second-place. By picking up two-tenths to 4.5 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST “Coast 103” ends at three a consecutive string of off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+); “Coast” jumps from fifth to the three-way runner-up logjam. Meanwhile, mainstream CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” advances from fourth to second, but is down a collective one-half share in four straight down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). After posting a 4.8 in four of the last five sweeps (4.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” falters by three-tenths to 4.5 (6+), yet climbs from third to second. Following six straight sweeps in second-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.6 in September and October (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+) and segues to fifth. Between March and July, “The Wave” trended 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+), but now has its softest 6+-share since September 2016 (4.3, as well). From May 2017 through September 2017, the 6+-line for Meruelo Media Holdings rhythmic CHR KPWR was a very steady 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, but “Power 106” regresses by eight-tenths to 2.3, plummeting from #10 to #18. After nine consecutive up or flat monthlies for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), CBS Radio alternative KROQ stumbles by two-tenths to 2.6 (6+) yet climbs from #15 to a tie at #14. September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – is down or flat for the eighth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+) but moves from #18 to #17. Flat at #28, University of Southern California’s classical KUSC is down or flat for the fifth consecutive time (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+) for an overall loss of three-tenths.

3) Chicago – One of only four stations in the 12 PPM-markets noted here to improve by at least one full-share (September 2017 to October 2017, 6+), CBS Radio-owned sports talk/Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR “670 The Score” (3.9 – 4.9, +1.0, 6+) carries on in fourth-place. Without an increase in each of the last three sweeps (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO erases that cumulative -.4 with a gain of six-tenths to 3.9, its best 6+-showing in nearly three years (4.6, November 2014, 6+); “Que Buena 105.1” cruises from ninth to fifth. The combination of a six-tenths increase by Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (to 5.8, 6+) and a nine-tenths decrease (to 5.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” results in “Mix” cruising from second to first and “V-103” slipping from first to second. Moreover, this marks the fifth straight increase for “Mix” for a collective gain of +1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+); it had finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Rebounding from an August loss of seven-tenths with a September gain of six-tenths (6.6 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), “V-103” had been on top the past eight successive survey periods. The -.7 in August halted four consecutive up or flat trends for a +1.0 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Following three straight modest increases netting four-tenths (2.8 -3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrenders all of that increase to slip from #11 to #15 (2.8, -.4, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the eighth straight ratings period for a collective -1.7 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN actually improves from #19 to #17. Immediately prior to this particular streak, WGN posted three consecutive sweeps without a loss for an overall one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Having lost a collective one-half share in five successive down or flat trends (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WLS-AM adds two-tenths in October to 1.5 (6+) and repeats at #25. Down or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” falls from eighth to ninth, while iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -.5 in September and October (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6, fifth to eighth, 6+). Unlisted in July, August, and September, Window to the World classical WFMT returns in October with a 1.0 (#27, 6+).

4) San Francisco – Two impressive streaks continue at the top of the Bay Area ratings board, as – for the tenth successive time – Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (flat at 7.3, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned all-news KCBS-AM remain at #1 and #2, respectively. The twist though is that KCBS-AM picks up eight-tenths to 6.8, its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well) and now trails KQED by just one-half share. After adding one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KQED-FM relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Improving by three-tenths to 4.6 (6+) and repeating in third-place is Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday,” which rebounds from five negative trends in a row for an overall loss of -1.2 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Off six-tenths as the result of five straight (minor) decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” wipes out half that loss with a gain of three-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18, 6+). After regressing by six-tenths in September, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL not only recaptures all but one-tenth of that decline (2.4 – 2.9, +.5, 6+), “Que Buena” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Prior to September’s -.6, “Que Buena” was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Making an identical 2.4 – 2.9 #16 to #10 (6+) move as well is Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO, which records its third straight uptick for a cumulative +1.2 (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+) and notches its highest 6+-share in nearly a year (3.1, 6+, November 2016). Co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), as “The Sports Leader” drifts out of the top ten (#10 to #13). Elsewhere in the sports talk arena, the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” – picks up two-tenths to 1.2 (#26 to #25), pulling the plug on three successive sweeps without an increase in which it lost more than 50% of its 6+-share since June (2.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+); May’s +.3 put an end to a 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. While significantly consistent October 2016 through October 2017, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#11 to #14) is nonetheless down one-tenth for the third straight time (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+). This is the seventh month in a row that Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – As a result of eight straight up or flat trends, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, #18 to #14, 6+). From the first of the year through September 2017, the 6+-line for KBFB “97.9 The Beat” was 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, but the Radio One rhythmic CHR adds one-half share to 3.2, ironically moving from a three-way tie at #15 to a three-way logjam at #11. The last time “The Beat” reached the three-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (3.0). Improving by one-half share as well (to 2.7, #20 to #17, 6+) is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” which was off a combined eight-tenths in three straight decreases (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Following four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). With a +.3 to 4.8 (6+) in October though “Lone Star 92.5” progresses from sixth to third. Co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ (tenth to ninth) has been trending 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 (6+) since April. Not only does Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX notch its eighth consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), “Latino Mix” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Trending 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 (July – August – September – October, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” is #1 for the tenth successive time. July’s 5.6 was the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Up in August and September (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by four-tenths in October to 4.3 (6+) and slides from fourth to sixth; September’s 4.7 was the highest 6+-share for KSCS in its PPM-history. Down for the fourth straight time for a combined -1.4 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” segues from third to fifth. Owing to six straight down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104 Hip-Hop and R&B” (#13 to #15) is off by a collective six-tenths. Its urban AC sibling KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” erodes by eight-tenths to 2.5, its lowest 6+-showing in almost four years (2.1, 6+, November 2013) and spirals from #11 to #19. In eleven trends since “Holiday” 2016, CBS Radio’s KRLD-AM (unchanged at #22) has been within a high of 2.3 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

6) Houston – Boasting the highest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.7 – 6.3, +1.6, 6+) climbs from fourth to third; this is the station’s best 6+-stat since April (6.3, as well). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; and +.7 in August. Owing to seven straight up or flat trends, similarly-formatted sibling KQBU “Que Buena 93.3” has more than quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .9, #25, 6+). It’s a bit of a yoyo effect for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; and now picks up one-half share in October (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Displaced from the top in September and falling to third, “Sunny” moves to the runner-up slot in October. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and notched its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). This is the eighth consecutive sweep without a decrease for CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which has improved its 6+-share by 2.5 times (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0, #22 to #21, 6+). In addition to repeating at #1, Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” posts its third straight gain (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January – February – March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. After a September improvement of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) lifted Liberman regional Mexican KTJM to its highest 6+-share since April 2016 (2.9, as well), “La Raza” sputters by -1.1 to 1.8 and departs the top twenty (#17 to #22, 6+). Up or flat for a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, February through July, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK stumbled in August with a -1.1, but responded in September with a +1.3 to 6.7, the strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. A loss of eight-tenths in October though sends “The Eagle” from second to fourth (5.9, 6+). Spiraling by eight-tenths as well (4.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KQBT “93.7 The Beat – Houston’s Real Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” fades from #5 to #11 with its softest 6+-stat since 3.7 in September 2016. After posting a modest +.2 in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, co-owned KTRH “AM 740 Houston’s News, Weather, & Traffic Station” is off by three times as much (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, #12 to #14, 6+). A combined +.7 in August and September (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” falters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), falling from fifth to ninth. While flat at #23, CHR cluster-mate KROI “92.1 Radio Now” slips by one-tenth to 1.3 (6+), thus curtailing five consecutive up or flat trends for a collective gain of one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+).

7) Atlanta – Following four straight downward trends that accounted for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” regains one-third of that loss with a +.6 to 5.5, inching up from fifth to fourth. A loss of one-tenth in June concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that generated a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). In addition to registering its third straight increase for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), news/talk sibling WSB-AM is #1 for the 22nd successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Not only does WABE “Atlanta’s NPR Station” post a gain of six-tenths, the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk outlet is in four-share territory for the third consecutive sweep (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) and marches from tenth to sixth. Having been down or flat the past four ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 4.0 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Flat at 4.7 (6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” slips from sixth to seventh. Within 4.2 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” falters by eight-tenths (4.5 – 3.7, 6+), exiting the top ten (#8 to #13). Its urban AC sibling, WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta,” drops a combined one-half share in September and October, slipping from seventh to eighth (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), while format rival – Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” – records its fourth consecutive decline for a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, third to fifth, 6+). This marks the fourth month in a row without an increase for Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, #18 to #20, 6+), which is -.6 in that timeframe.

8) Philadelphia – It’s nothing but great news in October for CBS Radio sports talk outlet WIP, which – rather remarkably – matches September’s +1.1 and is up three full-shares via three straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+), vaulting from fifth to second. The market’s other FM sports facility – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” – records its fourth straight up or flat trend for a collective gain of eight-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4, 6+) and is steady at #18. Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August and now trails the market frontrunner, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” (7.2 – 7.6, +.4, 6+), by just one-tenth. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there; this is the station’s highest 6+-share since February’s 7.9. After forfeiting six-tenths in September (2.8 – 2.2, 6+), format rival – CBS Radio-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains half that loss (2.5, +.3, 6+) and remains at #17. An uptick of one-tenth to 3.6 (steady at #13, 6+) by Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” ends at four a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths since May. Unchanged at #6, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” is up four-tenths to 5.0 (6+), thus stopping five straight down or flat trends that resulted in a combined -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A combined +.5 in August and September (6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WMGK “102.9 Classic Rock MGK” erodes by twice that amount to 6.0, slipping from third to fifth (6+). On the heels of September’s +1.1 (6.0 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” surrenders seven-tenths to 6.4 (6+) and drops from second to third. The +1.1 in September applied the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -1.0 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Flat at #10, co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock,” which had registered a 3.8 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, improves by one-tenth to 3.9 (6+). Urban-rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WISX “Real 106.1 – #1 for Throwbacks” is a collective +.9 via four consecutive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9, #15 to #14, 6+). Dipping from sixth to seventh, CBS Radio all-news KYW regresses by six-tenths to 4.1, its lowest 6+-share in more than three years (4.0, 6+, September 2014).

9) Long Island – At this time last month, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” was in first-place with a 1.4-share (6+) advantage over (#5) iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100.” Fast-forward to October though and WALK-FM drops nine-tenths (6.3 – 5.4, 6+) to slip to #2, while “Z-100” gains nine-tenths (4.9 – 5.8, 6+), advancing to #1. It has a four-tenths lead over WALK-FM, which had been #1 the past four months. After three consecutive gains that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; and surrendered six-tenths in September. A full-share decrease in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. “Z-100” had a June 2017 – September 2017 pattern of 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9 (6+). In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.3 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” (sixth to third) has its highest 6+-stat in Long Island in exactly one year (5.5, 6+, October 2016). Tacking on six-tenths to September’s one-half share increase, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ is not only up or flat for the seventh straight time for a cumulative +1.6 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+), “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Having witnessed its 6+-share in the Long Island report cut by more than 50% in six straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+), news/talk sibling WABC gains two-tenths to 1.6 (6+) to climb from #23 to #22. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 35th straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” regains the one-tenth it lost in September (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and carries on at #16. A dip of three-tenths to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+) stymies at nine the successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 for iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a -1.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

10) Riverside – No sooner does KOLA roll out a whopping +1.4 in September (5.1 – 6.5, 6+), the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet follows with a full-share increase to 7.5 (6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot that it held between January and July; KOLA was in second-place six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), KOLA echoed June’s -.2 in July (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). Its -.4 in March ended at five a string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. Just two-tenths ahead of KOLA is Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (flat at 7.7, 6+), which is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period. When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+); “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In three straight sweeps without a decrease, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +.5 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, tenth to ninth, 6+). KSGN had been trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Owing to three straight increases, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” has bettered its 6+-share by 2.5 times (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.5, #13 to #11, 6+). This marks the third consecutive (modestly) up or flat trend for LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6, seventh to sixth, 6+), which is +.3 since July. A combined +1.1 in August and September (.6 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” relinquishes one-half share to 1.2, slipping from #11 to #12. It is tied there with co-owned KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music,” which is off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Unchanged at #5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI is down for the third straight month for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+).

11) San Jose – Adding seven-tenths to September’s +.4, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (7.3 – 8.0, 6+) is #1 in San Jose for the fourth straight time. Recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), KQED-FM advanced from third to first in July. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. This represents the highest 6+-share for the station since reappearing the first of this year. An overall +1.1 in four consecutive up or flat trends (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” moves from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-share in San Jose since December’s 4.1. Improving by a cumulative +1.4 via three successive gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” jumps from seventh to fourth. Immediately after adding one full-share in August, KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” surrendered -1.1 in September (3.8 – 4.8 – 3.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-share in San Jose since last November’s 2.9. The Entercom adult contemporary property bounces back in October with a gain of one-half share to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). August’s +1.0 ended at four its consecutive streak of negative or flat trends that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Notching a 1.7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO advances by one-half share as well to enter the top twenty (2.2, three-way tie at #19, 6+). Following an impressive combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” returns roughly half that gain with a -1.1 (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Trending 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 (July – August – September, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” flounders by one full-share to 3.2 (eighth to tenth), its lowest 6+-share in San Jose since 2.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. A combined -1.6 in September and October (6.0 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” skids from fourth to seventh. In August, “Mix” was +.6 to 6.0, its highest 6+-share since March 2015 (6.0, as well). Without an increase in San Jose for the sixth straight month, Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” (#12 to #15) is an overall -1.5 since April (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+).

12) Middlesex – Following a September gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+), CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” tacks on eight-tenths to 5.1 (6+), progressing from seventh to fifth. Jumping by eight-tenths as well is public news/talk WNYC-FM, which cracks the top twenty (2.0 – 2.8, #21 to 15, 6+). Trending 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 (6+) since June, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by six-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-stat in Middlesex-Somerset-Union since 4.5 in March. Up three-tenths (7.0 – 7.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the tenth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to an impressive eleven straight up or flat trends, Press Communications’ WKMK “Thunder 106 – Jersey’s Best Country” has more than doubled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and remains at #25. For the seventh time in the last nine sweeps (and third straight), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU registers a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). Down or flat for six months in a row for a collective -.7 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” posts a +.4 to 3.2 (6+), advancing from #14 to #11. A collective +1.4 as the result of six straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up nine-tenths to 4.1 (6+), drifting from fourth to eighth; September’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since reaching 5.1 in February 2016. After progressing by one-half share in August and September (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” surrenders 70% of that combined full-share (5.3, -.7, 6+), but carries on in third-place. The 6.0 in September qualified as its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market since 6.0 in September 2016, 6+). It regressed by six-tenths in July to curtail at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The ups/downs continue for Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor,” which was -.5 in August; +.5 In September; and is now -.6 in October (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.1, #17 to #20, 6+). The four most recent (6+) Middlesex trends for New York City’s WPLJ are 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, but the Cumulus Media hot AC regresses by one-half share in October to 2.9 (#12 to #14, 6+).

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

| October 4, 2017

Larrimore to Program WPRO, Providence.  News/talk programming pro Neil Larrimore is named program director for Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence “News Talk 630 and 99.7 FM.”  Most recently, Larrimore was serving with iHeartMedia managing talk stations in the Phoenix and Tucson markets.  Cumulus Providence vice president and market manager Holly Paras comments, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, I am pleased to have Neil Larrimore joining the WPRO team.  The impact of Neil’s vast experience in the spoken-word format will no doubt be felt immediately.  His ability to think strategically and use the digital platforms to grow the already-successful brand will be a welcome addition to WPRO.”

Talk Host Chris Merrill Exits KFYI, Phoenix.  After three years hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFYI, Phoenix, Chris Merrill exits the station, saying in a Facebook post last Friday, “Can’t handle the crazy. Stepping away from radio for a bit.  Today is last show.”  In 2014, Merrill moved to Phoenix from San Diego where he’d been hosting at the company’s news/talk KOGO.  Prior to that, he’d been a talk host at KMBZ, Kansas City.

Amanda Guerra Named to KRLD-AM, Dallas Mornings. At CBS RADIO’s all-news KRLD-AM, Dallas, Amanda Guerra is named to the “KRLD Morning News” program as co-anchor alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams.  KRLD program director Paul Mann states, “Amanda is a trusted voice in Dallas-Fort Worth news.  We look forward to her assuming an even bigger presence on KRLD in this new role.”  Guerra has been a midday news anchor and reporter for KRLD since October 2016.  Prior to that, she was an EMMY Award-winning anchor and reporter for KXAS-TV.

Sales Exec Moves at Scripps Milwaukee.  At the Milwaukee operations of E.W. Scripps, Bill Herriott comes aboard as director of sales and national sales manager.  The company says he’ll lead the revenue team for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  In this role, he’ll also concentrate on the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers radio networks.  Herriott comes to Scripps from his most recent role as general sales manager for news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago.  At the same time, the company announces that Eric Lauer – general sales manager for WKTI – adds the same duties for WTMJ.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “Bill is a dedicated, mature, battle-tested, experienced leader who knows how to accomplish goals in a very competitive marketplace – and he most certainly understands how to lead at legendary stations like ours.  Bill has driven strong results, selling major league teams.  I saw this firsthand at WGN in Chicago with the Cubs, Blackhawks and other team partners – and it will be great to see what he’ll do here with the Packers and Brewers.  We’re also very fortunate to have the confident and encouraging leadership of Eric Lauer.  Eric has already made a big difference with our WKTI team – and he’s earned the opportunity to formally bring his passion and knowledge to the WTMJ team, as well.”

Two Execs Join PodcastOne.  Podcasting giant PodcastOne announces the addition of two media executives to the company.  The company says it is expanding its focus on scripted programming and is building on the recently announced PodcastOne Sports Network and names Casey Jacobs vice president of sports and development and Allyson Marino as director of special programs.  Speaking about his new position, Jacobs says, “I’m thrilled to join the PodcastOne team as we build the premiere sports podcast network.  In fact, this will be the first all-podcast sports network.  Not only do we have top talent like Shaq, Steve Austin and Dan Patrick, but an incredible pipeline of new programs, including Jim Harbaugh’s new show, the legendary Dick Enberg, pro-football personality Dave Dameshek, and more.”  Marino comments, “I am excited about my new role at PodcastOne because they have made a strong commitment to enter the narrative and scripted content world.  Our founder and chairman Norm Pattiz has 40 years of success in personality driven programming, and our CEO is an expert in development, as the studio head behind The Help, Lincoln, Contagion and 50 other great films.  We see narrative and scripted podcasts through a filmmaking lens, and know listeners, artists and brands all benefit from elegantly crafted brand messages that are additive to the podcast content.  My role combines development and brand partnerships to execute this mission.”

TALKERS News Notes.  A college basketball referee is suing Kentucky Sports Radio alleging tortious interference with a business, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.  The civil suit stems from a game between the University of Kentucky and North Carolina during last year’s NCAA tournament in which referee John Higgins was criticized for calling excessive penalties on Kentucky players.  In the aftermath, the Kentucky Sports Radio network is alleged to have shared personal information about Higgins and his business that resulted in fans harassing him and his family and issuing death threats, according to the complaint.  Higgins is seeking more than $75,000 in damages…..CBS RADIO’s WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” comes to terms with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to serve as the flagship station for Washington Capitals hockey this season.  The games will also be heard on the team’s Caps Radio 24/7 digital service…..Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Elder is vising Minneapolis for a live event called, “An Evening with Elder” on October 24.  Elder is heard in the market on Salem O&O WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot.”  Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com is moderating the event that will entail Elder and Morrissey discussing current events and the top 2017 news headlines.

Las Vegas Massacre/Gun Laws, Trump Visits Puerto Rico, SCOTUS Gerrymandering Case, 20-Week Abortion Ban, Trump Tax Plan, Yahoo Hack, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  The aftermath of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and the related gun control issues; President Trump’s visit to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico; the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Wisconsin district gerrymandering case; the House passes a bill making abortion illegal after 20 weeks; the Trump Administration’s plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code; the report that all Yahoo accounts were breached in the 2013 hack; Major League Baseball’s playoffs begin; and NFL action and the national anthem protests issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool On-Air Opportunity.  In Charlotte, Entercom on-air personality positions for their three stations: news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ, and hot AC WLNK.  The company says if you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person— you’ll love it here!  We are looking for experienced on-air talent.  Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player?  Do you have a strong hand in social media?  The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content.  Experience is preferred.  To be considered for this position, please apply here.  No phone calls.  Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At adult contemporary WKQC, Charlotte “K 104.7,” Melany Myers is named the new midday personality.  Beasley Charlotte operations manager and “K 104.7” program director John Reynolds states, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Melany to Beasley’s Charlotte team.  Not only is Melany a native from the Carolinas, but she has also been very successful at being on the air in this market for a long time.  We are very excited to have her in the Beasley family.”…..The suit filed by Guaranty Broadcasting against self-syndicating morning duo Walton and Johnson – John Walton and Steve Johnson – has been “settled amicably,” according to a statement by Guaranty.  Walton and Johnson recently left Guaranty’s rock WDGL, Baton Rouge “Rock 98.1” for iHeartMedia’s crosstown WJBO and clearance on iHM’s WRNO, New Orleans.  Guaranty had claimed that there was an auto-renewal clause in the contract and since neither Walton and Johnson nor Guaranty notified the other about ending the deal, the auto-renewal was effective.  No terms have been announced other than that it’s been settled…..Radio pro Kerry Collins returns to the radio biz, joining iHeartMedia’s Hartford cluster as director of production.  Collins left iHeartMedia’s Connecticut operations, and the radio business, in 2005 but had recently been doing part-time on-air work at adult hits WHCN, Hartford.  During his career, Collins has also served with Cumulus Media‘s news/talk WPRO-AM, Providence and CBS RADIO‘s WTIC-AM, Hartford.

 

 

Round Three of September PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of September 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’s September 2017 PPM survey period covered August 17 – September 13. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The market headline here is found at the top of the leader board where Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB, which had occupied the runner-up position in each of the past 21 sweeps, takes over at #1. Recent trends for the news/talk outlet are +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; +.6 in August; and now a whopping +1.4 in September (7.7 – 9.1, 6+). It replaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which was #1 in 39 of the last 41 ratings periods but segues to #2. “K-103” is a collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+). June’s 9.1 was the highest 6+-share for KKCW since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. Down by a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew Portland’s Rock Station” recaptures all of it – plus two-tenths more – (5.2, +1.1, 6+), jumping from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-share since September 2015’s 5.5. Huge fluctuations are nothing new for “The Brew” which has been +1.0 in April; -.6 in May; +1.1 in June; -.6 in August; and now +1.1 in September. In the process, it bypasses Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which is down for the third straight time for a collective loss of one-half share (5.6 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+) but remains at #5. Within 3.2 – 3.9 (6+) range in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 – Uniquely Portland” dials up a +.8 to 4.3 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for KINK since June 2016’s 5.1. After improving by six-tenths in August to 5.4 – its best 6+-showing since 6.0 in March – Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” surrenders eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.6, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by just over one-share as “The Buzz” cluster-mate KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” (-.4 in July) sputters by six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” returns in its entirety the one-half share it achieved in July (4.9 – 4.4, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, April – May – June, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. A -.5 cuts the 6+-share of Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” in half (1.0 – .5, #28, 6+). Having posted a 2.6 (6+) six times in the previous seven survey periods, iHeartMedia-owned KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #16 to #17, 6+), while Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KWEE “WE 96.3 – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” gains three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, #20 to #19, 6+).

2) Charlotte – This is the third month in a row that WKQC notches an increase with “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” up one full-share in that timeframe (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Moreover, the Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary outlet advances from tenth to seventh. Logging a one-half share August – September increase as well is iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” (3.3 – 3.8, #15 to #13, 6+), which posted a 3.1 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps. By picking up four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+), Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” pulls the plug on seven straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.7 since January (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Up two-tenths in both August and September (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” marches from second to first. In four straight decreases between March and July, WRFX lost two full-shares (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fox” had been #1 in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June by co-owned WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 For New Country.” Turnaround is fair play as “The Fox” now succeeds “The Kat,” which falters by one-half share, segueing from first to third (6.1 – 5.6, 6+) with its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. Its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” – is without an increase for the fourth straight month for an overall -.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+) and moves from fifth to sixth. WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in July and WKKT supplanted WSOC at #1 in August. Sputtering by one-half share – in addition to WKKT – are Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” (sixth to seventh, 6+) and its CHR sibling WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to ninth, 6+). “Power” is a combined -1.1 in August and September (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), while “Kiss” has lost an overall full-share in three straight declines (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+). As far as the direct competitors of those two stations are concerned, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC posted a +1.2 (2.2 – 3.4, 6+) in July, but “92.7 The Block” has squandered all of it in August and September, returning to 2.2 (#17 to #18, 6+). Following five consecutive downward trends for a collective -1.4 (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 and carries on at #14 (6+). In March, “Channel 96.1” had its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Trending 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.5 (June – July – August, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” breaks out an impressive +1.4 to 5.9, its strongest 6-share since February’s 6.6, and rockets from eighth to second. On the other hand, Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KSAH “Norteno 104.1” records its fourth consecutive loss for an overall -1.2 (3.8 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, #16 to #18, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “Que Buena” is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the eighth successive time (6.6 – 6.3, -.3, 6+). It departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; and August’s -.5. Down or flat in each of the last six ratings periods for an overall -.6 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” applies the brakes by adding four-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to fourth, 6+). A similar streak ends for iHeartMedia’s KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which was off eight-tenths in three down or flat trends (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7- 2.7, 6+), but picks up three-tenths to 3.0 (#17 to #15, 6+). When co-owned WOAI gained one-tenth in August, it curtailed six straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). The news/talk facility adds one-half share in September (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) to advance from #15 to #13. Prior to June, the last time WOAI fell below a four-share (6+) was September 2014 (3.7). At the same time though, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (#13 to #15) erodes by eight-tenths to 3.0, its lowest 6+-share since April’s 2.5, 6+). Having regressed by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+), KSTX recouped that loss in its entirety with a +1.0 in August. It had been two years since KSTX last reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+) and owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, it nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). In the market’s always intriguing country contest, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” forfeits one-half share to 5.1 (second to fourth, 6+) and is within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) for the eleventh straight time. This, however, represents its lowest 6+-share in almost five years (5.0, “Holiday” 2012) and the decrease ends three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” recaptures 60% of August’s one-half share loss (4.7 – 5.0, +.3, 6+), but actually backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to August, “KJ-97” registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths.

4) Pittsburgh – Owing to a +.2 to 7.2, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” (steady at #4, 6+) concludes a skein of three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+); August’s 7.0 was its lowest 6+-share since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Locked on 9.6 (6+) in June, July, and August, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” erupts with a +1.1 to 10.7 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth straight month with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.7. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). In second-place for the third consecutive sweep – after being tied at #1 with WWSW in June – rock sibling WDVE posts its third straight decline and is off one full-share (9.6 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.6, 6+) with its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.4. A combined +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is now a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). Its format rival – CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” – adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, 6+) to climb from ninth to seventh. A -.1 in August snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Following three straight improvements for an overall +.9 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” returns roughly half that gain (4.6, -.5, 6+) to skid from seventh to nine. At the same time, Steel City Media’s similarly-programmed WLTJ drops one-tenth to 3.3, curtailing at four a consecutive streak of up or flat moves for a cumulative gain of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “Real Variety Q-92.9,” however, actually inches up from #12 to #11. Dropping by one-half share in addition to WBZZ is Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP (1.4, unchanged at #14, 6+), which gained six-tenths in August to 1.9, the best 6+-stat in the station’s PPM-history.

5) Sacramento – With a +.8 in September to 4.8 (6+), Entercom’s KRXQ jumps from ninth to fifth and more than erases its combined -.6 in July and August (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “98 Rock” since “Holiday” 2016 (4.8, as well). In seven consecutive sweeps without a decrease, co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” is up one full-share (2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+). Moreover, it cracks the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #9) and has its best 6+performance since March 2016’s 3.8. Not only is this the third straight improvement for KFBK netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the iHeartMedia news/talk hybrid advances from third to second with its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 8.2. Regaining the one-half share it lost in August (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” elevates from #19 to a four-way scrum at #15; 1.4 in August was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 1.4. Picking up one-half share as well (3.0, steady at #14, 6+) is Entravision-owned country KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf,” which pulls the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of a loss of one-tenth in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 end at five (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+). Following August 2017’s +1.4 to 9.7, its strongest 6+-showing since 9.9 in August 2016, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” surrenders all but four-tenths (8.7, -1.0, 6+) but is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to August, “The Eagle” posted an 8.3 (6+) three times in the previous four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+). The classic rock format takes a further hit in September as iHeartMedia’s KYRV “93.7 The River” falters by seven-tenths (4.5 – 3.8, 6+) to drift from fifth to ninth; 3.8 is the lowest 6+-share for “The River” since March (3.5). There are more ups and downs for CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” (second to third, 6+), which was a combined -.6 (February – March – April); +.6 in May; a collective -1.4 in June and July; +.5 in August; and now -.8 in September to 7.5, its softest 6+-share since November’s 6.6. Ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” rebounded from January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). As Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.9, -.2, flat at #8, 6+) concludes four straight gains for an overall +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KHTK “Sports 1140” (#16 to #15, 6+) extends to four its string of up or flat trends that has netted three-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT is a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” in exactly one year (6.6 in September 2016) as it inches up from fourth to third. In only three straight downward moves (5.7 – 5.2 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), format foe – Broadway Media’s KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” – has eroded by -2.6 and drops from #11 in August to #15. “Mix” was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; and +1.6 in June to 5.7, the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Repeating in the runner-up slot is Bonneville news/talk KSL (5.8 – 6.9, 6+). Eleven recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); and now +1.1 (September). Improving by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (seventh to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (#16 to #10, 6+). This is the fifth consecutive improvement for KODJ for an overall +1.7 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+) and its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6; “B-98.7” has its third successive gain for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+) and matches March’s 3.5. More than four full-shares ahead of “B98.7” is Bonneville’s similarly-formatted KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which occupies the #1 slot for the fourth straight month (7.4 – 7.8, +.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My-99.5 More Music, More Variety” surrenders one-half share to 3.0, spiraling from #11 to #16 (6+). Off by one-tenth (5.8 – 5.7, 6+) and dropping from second to fourth is Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was +.5 in August and -.6 in July. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 16th consecutive sweep, Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18. Separated by just one-tenth and finishing back-to-back at #7 and #8, respectively, are country rivals Cumulus Media’s KUBL “K-Bull” (5.1 – 4.7, -.4, 6+) and independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.9 – 4.6, -.3, 6+). A -.1 in July by “Z-104” halted at four its streak of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). June’s 6.1 represents the strongest ever 6+ PPM share for “Z-104,” which was -1.1 in August.

7) Las Vegas – While ratings information for the 12 PPM-markets listed here was released one day after the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas (and covered August 17 – September 13), any impact of associated listening will not be seen until results from the October sweep (September 14 – October 11). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE “The Coyote – We Are Country,” which logged three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+) before faltering by an overall two full-shares in June, July, and August (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). It answers in September though with a +.7 to 3.6 as it returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). Replicating August’s +.6 is CBS Radio hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which inches up from third to second in what is actually its third successive gain (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). A positive spike of one-half share nearly doubles the 6+-stat of Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KYLI “Campesina” (.6 – 1.1, #23, 6+). This is the third straight month at #1 for Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (6.7 – 6.9, +.2, 6+). July’s 7.1 was its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 7.2. Following an August +1.3 to 5.3, its best 6+-stat since March (5.5), CBS Radio-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas #1 Hit Music Station” relinquishes all but three-tenths of that increase (4.3, -1.0, third to sixth, 6+). In an up/down pattern, Lotus classic rock KXPT “97.1 The Point” was off by six-tenths in July; up one-half share in August; and now down eight-tenths in September (5.4 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 4.5, third to fifth, 6+). Via three straight decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” erodes by nearly two full-shares (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6, second to third, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; -.8 in July; and now -.7 in September. Owing to a one-half share decline to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio for Life” returns 50% of the full-share it gained through three straight increases (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Despite being an overall -1.9 in three straight decreases (6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KOAS “Old School 105.7” actually improves from eighth to seventh.

8) Cincinnati – Powered by a gain of one full-share to 4.8 – its highest 6+-performance since November’s 5.3 – iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” erases the combined half-share it lost in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) and progresses from tenth to sixth. Owing to a +.7 to 4.3 (6+), co-owned CHR WKFS pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). When Educational Community Radio’s WOBO dialed up a +.7 in August to 1.6 (6+), that became the highest 6+-share “The Station with Something for Everyone” reached since first appearing in print in April 2014, eclipsing November 2016’s 1.0. It is a short-lived record though as WOBO follows with a +.5 to 2.1 (#18 to #16, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (9.6 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW repeats at #1. It had been one year (August 2016) since WLW was last in sole possession of the top spot – it was tied for the lead in May 2017. “The Big One” returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back stays in the runner-up slot. Locked on 5.5 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” (fifth to eighth) sputters by -1.1 to 4.4, it lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.8. Falling by one-half share each are co-owned WFTK “96 Rock” (#8 to #13, 6+); Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); and Cincinnati Public Radio-owned classical WGUC “Music For Your Heart, Mind, and Spirit” (1.9 – 1.4, #16 to #18, 6+). “96 Rock” ends at three a consecutive string of increases that netted one full-share (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

9) Orlando – No doubt influenced by recent hurricane activity that ravaged Florida (and neighboring locales), news/talk scores huge points in September. Heading the list is Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM, which follows August’s positive spike of nine-tenths with a whopping +2.0, the largest 6+ August 2017 – September 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. With a robust 6+ July – August – September line score of 3.2 – 4.1 – 6.1, WDBO-FM cruises from tenth to sixth. Prior to August, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Having lost more than two full-shares of its 6+-share as the result of six consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” roars back in September with a +1.1 (2.6, #17 to #15, 6+). Spiraling by two full-shares in July, Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” was flat in August, but chalks up a +.9 to 11.6 (6+) and is #1 for the ninth consecutive month. The 12.8 it registered in April was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The +2.2 co-owned WJRR achieved through five consecutive increases (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) is sliced in half with a -1.1 to 4.8 (sixth to seventh, 6+). “Orlando’s Rock Station” previously showed a (6+) December 2016 – March 2017 line of 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. A loss of eight-tenths (7.9 – 7.1, third to fourth, 6+) takes Cox Media Group classic rock WMMO to its lowest 6+-share since April’s 7.0. Registering a 5.4 in three of the last four ratings periods, CBS Radio hot AC WOMX falters by six-tenths to 4.8 but “Mix 105.1” remains in eighth-place. Co-owned CHR WQMP was without an increase in each of the last three sweeps for an overall +.7 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “101.9 Amp” drops one-half share to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Actually advancing from fourth to third, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is -2.4 in five straight monthlies without an increase (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), following a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Three consecutive declines by Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB result in a collective -1.3 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+) yet “Star 94.5” progresses from eighth to seventh. In June, “Star” bounced back from May’s -.9 with an increase of six-tenths.

10) Cleveland – A combined -.7 in July and August (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Cleveland Indians flagship – WTAM (sixth to third, 6+) trots out a whopping +1.3 to 7.9, its highest 6+stat since November’s 9.1. The key FM station of the Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, CBS Radio sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan,” is up a collective full-share through three straight gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #12. The combination of a one-half share loss by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” (8.9 – 8.4, 6+) and a three-tenths gain by Radio One urban AC WZAK (8.1 – 8.4, second to first, 6+) results in a tie between the two at #1. WMJI progressed from second to first in July with a +1.1 to 9.1, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016. “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April and was in the runner-up slot in May and June. WZAK logs its third consecutive positive move for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” (sixth to fifth) is a combined +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a decrease (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). With a +.3 to 2.4 (steady at #13, 6+), Ideastream news/talk WCPN pulls the plug on four negative trends in succession that produced a collective -1.3 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the September sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK was trending 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 7.6 (6+), but “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by one full-share to 6.6 (third to sixth, 6+). Unchanged at #9, CBS Radio adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” regresses by six-tenths to 5.4, its softest 6+-share since November 2013’s 5.3.

11) Kansas City – Registering an August – September improvement of eight-tenths is Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” (4.6 – 5.4, seventh to fourth, 6+), which notches its strongest 6+-share since January’s 6.0. This marks the fifth straight increase for Steel City Media’s KFKF (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+), which is +1.3 in that timeframe; “Country 94.1” holds down the #3 slot for the fifth month in a row. Co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 #1 for New Country” gains four-tenths to 3.8 (#15 to #12, 6+), applying the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” is off four-tenths to 4.4 (fifth to seventh, 6+) after August’s +.7 to 4.8, the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 4.9 in April 2015. Perhaps things are setting down for Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox,” which is a modest -.2 to 8.5 (6+) and #1 for the ninth consecutive time. A -1.6 in August halted five straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). By reaching 10.3 in July, it marked only the fifth time a Kansas City station has registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, it recorded three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends in which it nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom’s sports talk and Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” returns six-tenths of that +3.2 (3.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Trending 4.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 (June – July – August, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All the Hits” drops one-half share to 4.0 (eighth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” is off by one-tenth to 2.8 (flat at #16, 6+), thus drawing to a close seven straight up or flat trends for an overall gain of one full-share (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

12) Columbus – Roaring back from July’s loss of seven-tenths, Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM follows August’s +.9 with an even greater +1.2 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+) as “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” enters the top ten (#12 to #7) with its best 6+-performance since May’s 4.1. “The Fan” ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by slumping -1.5 in June to 2.6 (6+). After sputtering by six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” answers with a full-share gain to 5.5 (seventh to fifth, 6+). It is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since February’s 5.6. Without an increase the past five ratings periods for an overall loss of
seven-tenths (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WTVN picks up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+) to climb from fourth to third. Albeit off a combined -1.5 in August and September, country cluster-mate WCOL is #1 for the third straight time. In June and July, WCOL produced a whopping +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; and now -.6 in September (11.8 – 11.2, 6+). After being an overall +1.9 in four straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU-FM relinquishes roughly half that gain (3.8, -.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Another positive streak concludes as Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind” drops seven-tenths to 2.2 (#10 to #14, 6+), halting three successive upticks that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+).

Friday, July 21, 2017

| July 21, 2017

CBS RADIO Names Paul Douglas and Jordana Green PM Drive Hosts at WCCO-AM.  The new afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis will be hosted by Paul Douglas and Jordana Green and officially launch on August 1.  The change was necessitated by longtime WCCO personality John Williams’ decision to move to Chicago and focus on his 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WGN. (Williams had been doing both shows from Minneapolis.)  Jordana Green moves to the co-host role after five years with the station hosting the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm show and working with Williams in afternoons.  Paul Douglas is the head meteorologist at WCCO-TV and KARE-TV in the Twin Cities.  CBS RADIO says Douglas is “a nationally respected broadcaster and meteorologist, with 34 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience.”  He also launched the national weather channel, WeatherNation TV in 2011. He provides daily weather for the Star Tribune, the St. Cloud Times, Conservation Minnesota and WeatherNation, and is an author and regular contributor to TPT’s Almanac. WCCO operations manager/program director Lindsey Peterson comments, “Our goal is to have a show that speaks to our community and brings listeners relevant and entertaining topics each day.  Paul and Jordana are passionate about speaking to our community and we are excited to have them as part of the station.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. In the first of a four-part analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the public news/talk format.  Eight stations ranked in the top five in their respective in PPM markets – led by KQED, San Francisco and WAMU, Washington, both of which ranked #1.  Comparing year-over-year 6+ share, “more than seven of ten stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (71%, 6+) while 27% decline; the remaining 2% are steady.”  WNPR, Hartford was tops in that category, rising from a 3.1 share in June 2016 to a 5.2 share in June 2017.  See the entire piece here.

PodcastOne Debuts New Mobile App with Video and Social Components. Digital content network PodcastOne launches a new platform and mobile app that the company says “offers unique video and social capabilities designed to enhance the listening experience and offer new and exciting ways for fans to engage with their favorite shows and hosts.”  The press statement goes on to say, “The new PodcastOne mobile app offers fans a collaborative destination where they can participate in conversation around shows, access exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, message one another, read trending articles and take polls.  In addition, a new loyalty program rewards users with virtual currency, which can be redeemed for access to special events in virtual reality (VR), premium content and merchandise discounts.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norman Pattiz adds, “The launch of our new PodcastOne mobile app is a milestone for our company, as we are providing a host of features for our listeners to choose from to enhance their listening experience that no other network provides.  Now, with our partners at MANDT VR, we can offer a truly immersive experience that allows the listener to sit in the recording studio, right across the table from the host.”

TALKERS News Notes. York, Pennsylvania news/talk WSBA-AM is now also airing on FM translator W253AC, recently moved in to York from Reading.  The Cumulus Media station now brands itself “Newstalk 93.9 & 910 WSBA.”…..In Fargo, Forum Communications fires up FM translator K261BA, Fargo at 100.1 MHz – recently moved in from Rolla, North Dakota – to air the programming of news/talk WDAY-AM…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Fate of ObamaCare/GOP Health Care Plan Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 17-21.  The state of the Affordable Care Act and a GOP-authored health care plan were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, tying for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s approval rating, and following at #4 was Senator John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis.  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.

CLARIFICATION.  In yesterday’s story in TALKERS, “WRRD, Milwaukee Owner Challenging WTMJ Translator Deal,” detailing WRRD owner Michael Crute’s filing of an Objection with the FCC to translator owner Frank McCoy’s Construction Permit Amendment filing, we wrote that “Scripps and translator owner Frank McCoy have filed applications with the FCC to move the translator to a tower owned by Scripps and to carry WTMJ programming.”  It should be noted that Scripps is not involved in the filing as the translator is owned solely by McCoy.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/21) with John T. Mullen, Scot Bertram and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/21), the first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram (facilitated by WOR, New York APD, Scott Lakefield).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click