Tag: "Monday Memo"

Monday, August 19, 2019

| August 19, 2019

Monday Memo: Your Donald Trump Elevator Speech?  In these dog days of summer when everyone seems to be on vacation, phones can be slow.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke invites you to rip off a call-in topic that he says has never failed.  See it here.

TALKERS News Notes. San Diego sports talk personality Scott Kaplan tells KUSI-TV, San Diego personality Paul Rudy that his recent negotiations with the owners of Mexican radio station XEPRS-AM, Rosarito to return the sports talk format – “The Mighty 1090” – back to the station has failed, at least for now.  Kaplan, co-host of the “Scott and BR” program, says after a lot of number-crunching discussions, his attempt to lead a new company that could operate the sports talk radio station isn’t being realized because the numbers show it to be an uphill battle from a financial standpoint.  As you recall, Broadcast Company of the Americas lost its lease of the signal after it was unable to keep up the payments to the Mexican owners. Still, Kaplan says his sports talk show continues to be available on digital platforms, including TuneIn and YouTube…..WEEI, Boston staffer Alex Reimer announces he’s exiting the Entercom-owned sports media outlet after a three-year stint to become the director of communications for Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser.  Reimer has been a featured personality on the station’s radio programs as well as a writer for WEEI.com…..Entercom’s Washington, DC station group is celebrating National Radio Day tomorrow (8/20) with live broadcasts from its District Live studios at 1015 Half Street in Southeast Washington, DC.  Four radio programs will be broadcast live for listeners to watch, including the afternoon drive Chad Dukes program – heard on sports talk WJFK-FM – from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm…..ADX Communications is adding WEBY-AM and translator W256DL at 99.1 FM to the multicast of its sports talk “ESPN Pensacola.”  The station emanates from WYCT-HD2 and is also being added to the company’s WYCT-HD4.  The station is heard on translator W233CM at 94.5 FM but that will cease after September…..Talk show host Jeremy Hanson is exiting the libertarian-themed digital platform MOJO 5-0.  He tells TALKERS magazine he’s had a good relationship with operator Ron Phillips but that his show as “outgrown the platform.” His program remains available via Spreaker.com and his website www.ujhlive.com.

Entercom Launches RADIO.com Sports Digital Network. The new digital, subscription-free sports platform from Entercom debuts today (8/19) with live programming and podcast content.  RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network includes daily live shows such as “Home & Home with Ross Tucker and Dave Briggs” (8:00 am to 11:00 am ET), “Swings & Mrs.” with Cody and Jennifer Decker(1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET); and “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET).  It also makes available new podcasts including, “Prevent Defense” and “Love @ First Fight.”  The programming is available in both audio and video.

Salem Media Group to Sell 20 Signals to Relevant Radio for $17 Million. This deal delivers 20 radio signals – a mix of stations and translators – from Salem Media Group to Christian operator Relevant Radio for $16.95 million.  The signals are located in 10 markets across the country.  They include: WAFS-AM, Atlanta; WWDJ-AM, Boston; KTNO-AM, Dallas; KTEK-AM, Houston; KRDY-AM, San Antonio; WSDZ-AM, St. Louis; KXFN-AM, St. Louis; and WHKZ-AM, Youngstown.  This deal comes after Salem CEO Ed Atsinger’s recent statement that the company would seek to sell assets if the moves aligned with the company’s long-term strategy.

Michael Harrison: The Notion of “Mass Appeal” Was a Temporary 20th Century Construct!   TALKERS founder Michael Harrison was a guest on Holland Cooke’s “The Big Picture” television program this past Friday evening (8/16) on RT America to discuss the subject of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary.  Legendary radio programmer Jay Clark (SiriusXM Satellite Radio, WABC, etc.) was a guest panelist as well.  Cooke asked Harrison if he thought that popular music would ever be able to return to mass appeal status via radio as it did back in the day of the 1969 iconic festival.  Harrison replied, “‘Mass appeal’ is a term we really have to do some thinking about in this modern world of the 21st century digital era.  Maybe ‘mass appeal’ was just a temporary construct of the 20th century because I don’t think there was such a thing before electronic media.  The country and world were very fractionalized in the 19th century and certainly earlier than that.  Maybe these notions of the ‘general public’ and the ‘mass media’ were a temporary juncture in the evolution of media and society from the 19th century when it took forever for everybody to be on the same page because it wasn’t instantaneous by far and now when everybody has their own page.  I don’t know if that’s the natural way of homo sapiens communication.  We are going through a major transition in which the human nervous system is being rewired by the way we communicate in the digital era.”  To view the entire segment please click here.

SRN Presents Christian Films Series. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (left) with Christian filmmaker Alex Kendrick (right) during a break while recording the network’s week-long special series on Christian films.  Kendrick directed and stars in the newest Sony/Affirm Films production Overcomer that opens nationwide this Friday.  Others profiled by SRN include Cameron Arnett, the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Miami Vice” star who has devoted his career to sharing Christianity with others.

Epstein Suicide Ruling, U.S.-China Trade War, 2020 Presidential Race, Peaceful Hong Kong Protest, Portland Antifa-Proud Boys Clash, Kabul Wedding Massacre, Russian Nuke Weapon Test, and Woodstock Anniversary Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The official ruling that the prison death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was a suicide; the economic effects of the trade war between the U.S. and China; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the peaceful protest in Hong Kong; the violent clash between members of the Proud Boys and Antifa during a march in Portland; the Islamic State-credited bombing of a wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed more than 60; the explosion that rocked a Russian missile test and killed five scientists; and the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Dave O’Brien is the new morning show host at Entercom’s classic rock KQMT, Denver “99.5 The Mountain,” effective August 27.  He was most recently morning host at Emmis Communications’ country WLHK, Indianapolis.  He says, “I’m very excited to join the talented team at Entercom Denver and can’t wait to start rocking Denver awake every morning on ‘99.5 The Mountain.’  I’m eager to embrace the Colorado lifestyle and I’m more than ready to return to my classic rock roots.”…..Programming pro Brad Austin exits his role with Forever Media as corporate director of programming.  He also had been serving as program director and afternoon drive host for the company’s country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland.  Austin had been serving in a similar capacity with Delmarva Broadcasting prior to its being acquired by Forever Media…..iHeartMedia hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1” announces the lineup for its annual live music event, “Powerhouse,” presented by AT&T and produced by Live Nation taking place on October 26 at Prudential Center in Newark.  Performers will include: Migos, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Da Baby, DavidoMegan thee Stallion, Saweetie, Polo G, Lil Tjay, with more to be announced.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Kansas City, Columbus, San Jose, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Middlesex, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM-markets.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Ups/downs continue for Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather,” which was -.8 in March/April  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+); +.7 May/June (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+); and now -.6 in July (5.5 – 4.9, flat at #4, 6+). The February 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is much more consistent: 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 (#19 to #20, 6+). Off two-tenths through three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) before picking up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) in June, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” coughs up two-tenths to 1.1 (6+) and is anchored at #22.

A June increase of two-tenths by Union Broadcasting’s WHB suspended four straight negative or flat trends that led to a -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” is off four-tenths in July to 2.8 (6+) and repeats at #15. A combined -1.5 in June/July (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP slumps from #14 to #18; “610 Sports Radio” was +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Answering June’s loss of eight-tenths with a July increase of two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR jumps from ninth to seventh.

Kansas City Music Formats – Not only is Cumulus Media-owned KCFX +2.6 in four upticks in succession (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6 – 9.9, 6+), “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” advances from second to first. This (9.9) is the highest 6+ showing for KCFX since January 2019’s 10.1. Albeit +3.8 via six successive sweeps without a loss (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2 – 9.2, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” backslides from first to second. Five recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); and +1.3 (June). In the seven survey periods in calendar year 2019, KCFX has been on top four times (January, February, May, and July), while cluster-mate KCMO-FM has been at #1 the other three (March, April, and June). By gaining one-half share to 2.6 (#20 to #16, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” erases the -.5 it lost in three straight decreases (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share in July as well is Carter Broadcast Group’s KPRT “Gospel 1590,” which doubles June’s .5 to 1.0 (#23, 6+). An increase of three-tenths to 3.1 (#16 to #13, 6+) by Cumulus Media-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” halts three drops in succession that resulted in a -1.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). A combined +1.5 in May/June (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” forfeits roughly half that increase (4.1, -.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In June, “The Point” crossed the four-share threshold (4.8) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.3. In five consecutive reports without a loss, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW was an overall +2.0 (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), but “Life 88.5” relinquishes 30% of that gain (2.9, -.6, #12 to #14, 6+). In June, KJNW had its strongest (6+) performance since January 2018 (3.5, as well). Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is trending 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 (April – May – June – July, fifth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” is -1.8 in three drops in a row (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.2 – 4.1, flat at #8, 6+). July’s 4.1 is the weakest 6+-stat for “Q-104 since December 2018’s 3.7. The market’s other country FM, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” gains an overall seven-tenths in its third successive up or flat trend (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -2.3 via five consecutive negative or neutral trends (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” breaks out a +.6 to 5.3 (6+) and remains in sixth-place.

Since reappearing in print several months ago, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM was 4.7 (April, 6+); down one-tenth to 4.6 (May, 6+); and off seven-tenths in June to 3.9 (#9, 6+). In July, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is once again unlisted.

The ultra-consistent January 2019 through July 2019 topline for Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is: 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Replacing June’s -.5 with a July increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 5.6, +1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” drives from seventh to fifth. Prior to the June sweep, WODC notched three consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted a +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). This (5.6) is its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018. Owing to three straight declines, co-owned WCOL is an overall -2.2 (13.0 -11.7 – 11.1 – 10.8, 6+); however, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 the 20th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Sample WCOL fluctuations include 1.5 (November 2018); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); and -.6 (June). Not only does Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND extend its consecutive string of upticks to four for a collective +1.2 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), “Rewind” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). In June, WNND reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. When “Rewind” cluster-mate WLVQ gained three-tenths this time last month, it stopped an April/May slide that resulted in a combined -1.4 (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+). In July, “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” erodes by -1.3 (7.6 – 6.3, 6+) and slips from second to fourth. In three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 increases, WLVQ netted a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). For the third time in the last six survey periods, hot AC cluster-mate WVMX “Mix 107.9” logs a 2.5 (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #13, 6+). June’s 3.0 was the highest 6+-stat for “Mix” since October 2018 (3.2). Immediately following May’s +1.4, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.5 in June/July (8.6 – 7.4 – 7.1, 6+) yet actually advances from third to second. May’s 8.6 was its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. Prior to May, WNCI was a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Nine consecutive sweeps without a loss by Ohio State University’s WOSA resulted in more than doubling (+.7) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+), but WOSA forfeits one-tenth in July to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – The last time Cumulus Media news/talk KGO logged an increase was October 2018 (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Since then, KGO has lost more than 50% of its 6+ AQH share (-1.6) in ten straight San Jose sweeps without an increase (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4, #21 to #23, 6+). Likewise, co-owned news/talk KSFO has lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+-stat in three successive setbacks (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .8, #23 to #27, 6+) and falls below a one-share (.8, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (.9).

Sports talk cluster-mate/Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” erases June’s half-share loss and posts a 4.2 (+.5, 6+) for the third time in the last four reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). KNBR was +1.1 in April. Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” which lost one-half share in June as well, regresses by another eight-tenths (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.6, 6+) and fades from the top twenty (#15 to #21). In three consecutive positive spikes (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.9, 6+), “The Game” nearly doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat.

Returning in full June’s increase of four-tenths, all-news sibling KCBS-AM drops from fourth to fifth. KCBS-AM was -1.9 in three straight March through May decreases and has an April 2019 through July 2019 topline of 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 (6+).

Three straight dips by KQED accounted for a collective -1.1 (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+) but the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk facility picks up three-tenths in July to 6.3 (6+) and carries on in third-place. In June, KQED slipped from second to third, after an April-only stay at #1. Stuck on .9 (6+) in March and April and then on .7 (6) in May and June, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW erupts with a +.6 to 1.3 (#27 to #24, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – An overall -1.1 in three successive declines (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” recaptures all but two-tenths of that shortfall with a +.9 to 5.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Somewhat similarly, in five consecutive sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI was a collective -1.4 but “Star 101.3” erases half that deficit with a +.7 to 3.9 (ninth to eighth, 6+). “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). On top the third month in succession, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” has a March 2019 through July topline of 7.7 – 6.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 (6+). “Bay FM” answered April’s -1.5 with a +1.3 in May (6.2 – 7.5, 6+) as KBAY returned to #1 after an April-only stay at #2. Prior to the April sweep, “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three bumps in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9” is a combined -1.1 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). “Wild” falls below a three-share (2.3, 6+) for the first time since November 2018 (2.9). Faltering by one-half share each are Entercom alternative KITS “Alt 105.3” (2.3, #12 to #13, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” (2.2, #13 to #15, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KJLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.1, #28 – #31). Both KITS (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and KMEL (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+) were a combined +.5 in May/June. “K-Love” popped on with a .6 (6+) in June. This is the seventh month in a row that KOIT-FM is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), “Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites”  was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains in ninth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is an overall -1.8 in four straight downturns (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), basically neutralizing three successive up or flat trends that netted a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). This is the 20th time in a row Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (1.9 – 1.8, -.1, unchanged at #16, 6+) has recorded a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9; June marked the first time it reached 1.9 in that timeframe.

For the fourth successive month, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” posts a 2.2 (6+) and finishes at #15. Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through July 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 (#26 to #24, 6+).

Repeating in the runner-up slot, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC  follows June’s gain of eight-tenths with a loss of three-tenths (7.8 – 7.5, 6+); “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was +1.0 in January and -.6 in February.

Raleigh Music Formats – In addition to jumping from fifth to third by gaining two-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” pulls the plug on four successive sweeps without a gain that resulted in a -2.1 (8.6 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.5, 6+). June’s 6.5 was the lowest 6+- showing for “Mix” since October 2018’s 5.3. In June, Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life/Your Music” and iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” each logged gains of six-tenths. As WBBB replicates that accomplishment and is an overall +1.8 in six straight sweeps without a loss (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), WRDU spirals by -1.4 to 5.5 (6+), virtually negating its +1.5 in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+). WBBB jumps from eighth to fifth, while “Classic Rock 100.7” tumbles from fourth to eighth. Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” has followed its combined March/April -1.6  (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+) with a +.7 (6.9, May, 6+); -.7 (6.2, June, 6+); and +.5 in July (6.7, sixth to third, 6+). Notching a June 2019 – July 2019 half-share gain as well is Curtis Media Group’s WPLW, netting a +1.3 in three successive sweeps without a loss (3.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+). Steady at #11, “Pulse FM” has its best 6+-showing (4.5) in just over two years (4.9, June 2017). Setting the pace the 12th consecutive survey period, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 in six straight down or flat sweeps (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). A half-dozen recent “Foxy” fluctuations include: +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.1 (February); and -.6 (July).  January’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. In that same vein, the four most recent shifts for Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” are: +.7 (April); -.5 (May); +.6 (June); and -.8 in July (7.3 – 6.5, third to sixth, 6+). “Today’s Best Country” logged a 6.5 (6+) in March, as well. After having wiped away its combined March/April -.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) with a May/June +1.1 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” “G-105” surrenders six-tenths in July (5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Owing to seven consecutive down or flat Raleigh reports (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6); “La Ley 101.1” continues at #17. Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM debuted in print in “Holiday” 2018. In five up or flat reports, “Just Right Country – AM 570” progressed from a .1 to 1.0 (.1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0, 6+). Roughly halfway through the June sweep (6/4), the station switched to hot AC; changed call letters to WPLW-AM; and adopted a new handle  “Star 92.9.” Raleigh’s new “Star” is a combined -.8 in June/July (#20 in May to #23 in June to #24 in July, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady in fifth-place, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” follows June’s gain of nine-tenths with a loss of four-tenths (6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Ten recent WIBC fluctuations are: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); and +.9 (June).

Even though it is off a combined half-share in June/July (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), WIBC cluster-mate WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” advances from #17 to #16. It has a nine-tenths advantage over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which has lost a total of eight-tenths in six successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) but progresses from #19 to #18. Following 16 consecutive sweeps of logging either a .1 or .2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT disappeared in June; “CBS Sports AM 1430” resurfaces in July though with a .1 (#22, 6+).

Having lost seven-tenths in June (4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI rebounds with a +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Not only is Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK #1 the seventh consecutive month, “Classic Hits 104.5” chalks up a robust +1.4 to 11.1 (6+), obliterating its May/June -.5 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.7, 6+). Furthermore, 11.2 is the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing April’s 10.2. Among  WJJK’s 2019 shifts are: +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); and +1.4 (July). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. A combined +1.1 in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+), Emmis’ WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank” jumps from sixth to fourth. The last time “Hank” reached the seven-share threshold was May 2018 (7.1). It is three-tenths behind Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which has a May – June – July topline of 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.5 (second to third, 6+). The day after the June sweep commenced (5/24), WFMS’ CHR sibling, WYRG “Energy 93.9,” flipped to rock WNDX. In June and July, “93.9-X” responds by nearly tripling (+2.3) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+, 6+) and has jumped from #18 (May) to #16 (June) to #12 (July). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), “Energy” gained one-tenth in May. By improving four-tenths in July to 7.8 (third to second, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” ends a May/June slide that accounted for a -1.4 (8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4, 6+). April’s +1.9 (to 8.8, 6+) suspended three negative moves in succession that resulted in a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). On the heels of losing one-half share in June, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” falters by another eight-tenths in July (7.2 – 6.7 – 5.9, 6+), skidding from fourth to seventh. “Q-95” hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since March 2017’s 5.8. A May loss of four-tenths by WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” curtailed four successive up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). The Radio One urban AC rebounded with a one-half share increase only to drop seven-tenths in July (5.5 – 4.8, eighth to ninth, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (3.6 – 2.9, #12 to #14, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – April/May provided Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” a +3.5 (5.9 – 8.8 – 9.4, 6+), but the Brewers flagship is -1.8 in June/July ( 9.4 – 8.7 – 7.6, second to third, 6+). Recent WTMJ shifts include +2.5 (October 2018); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); +2.9 (April 2019); -.7 (June); and -1.1 (July). The six-tenths iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” gained in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+) evaporates with June/July’s -.7 (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, seventh to ninth, 6+).

Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets combine for a 2.3 (July 2019, 6+), down one-tenth from June. Leading the field is iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game,” which has tripled its 6+-stat since April (.3 – .6 – .8 – 9, #17 to #16, 6+). In late-November (2018), CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” and this (.9) is the best 6+-stat on that frequency since 2.8 (December 2018). Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” and Entercom-owned WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” were tied in May (1.0, 6+) and again in June (.6, 6+). The ties are broken in July though as WKTI is up one-tenth to .7 (#19 to #18, 6+), halting three straight winless sweeps in which it lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+ audience (1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .6, 6+). Meanwhile, WSSP is a collective -1.0 in five straight dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .6 – .4, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). WRNW cluster-mate WOKY “The Big 920” posts a .2 (6+) for the seventh time in the last nine sweeps (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, #24 to #22, 6+). After popping on in November 2018 with a .5 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK disappeared from print the next seven ratings periods. It returned in June with a .2 (6+) but drops one-tenth to .1 (#24 to #28, 6+).

In five straight negative or neutral moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM is a collective -1.8 but is anchored at #13. This directly follows three reports in a row without a loss that netted a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Off one-half share as a result of five straight negative or neutral moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.8, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD slips from #16 to #17.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Four straight down or flat moves by Saga Communications’ WKLH resulted in a -1.1 (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), but “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” makes that shortfall vanish completely with a +1.4 to 8.4 (6+) and advances from third to second. Doubling June’s increase of six-tenths with a July +1.2 (5.3 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” climbs from fifth to fourth. This (7.1) is the highest 6+-stat for “Milwaukee’s Best Country” since 7.5 in January. Four positive or neutral moves in succession by co-owned urban contemporary WKKV yield a +1.1 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+) as “V-100.7 Jams” rockets from tenth to fifth. Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is +1.1 in June/July (8.6 – 9.4 – 9.7, 6+). WRIT occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before segueing to #2 in May with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, “Big FM” shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Eight of its recent moves are: -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.8 (June). Absorbing a -1.6 is Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (6.7 – 5.1, 6+), slumping from fourth to eight with its lowest 6+-stat (5.1) since November 2018’s 4.8. A loss of seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.4, 6+) by Saga Communications’ WHQG sends “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” from ninth to tenth.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – While this is the sixth time in a row that Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW hasn’t had an increase and is -1.2 in that stretch (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 the sixth successive month. After logging a 3.0 (6+) in May, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is stuck on 2.9 in June and July (#15 to #17, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC started 2019 by recording a 1.0 (6+) in January, February, and March. Since then, its April through July topline is: .7 – .6 – .7 – .9 (#27 to #25, 6+).

An improvement of three-tenths by Entercom sports talk WFAN takes the Yankees flagship to a four-share (3.7 – 4.0, steady at #10, 6+) for the first time since October 2018 (4.2). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” which added seven-tenths in May, is down a combined nine-tenths in June/July (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.6, #21 to #23, 6+).

A collective +.3 in three straight gains of one-tenth each (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS jumps from #24 to #21. Co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM is off four-tenths (2.5 – 2.1, 6+) and falls from #18 to #19.

Tied with WINS at #21 is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM, which is off six-tenths in three consecutive setbacks (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, #22 to #21, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – As a result of three positive spikes in succession (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is an overall +.9 and progresses from #13 to #11. This is its best 6+ performance in Middlesex-Somerset-Union since November 2018 (3.6, as well). WQHT’s format rival, iHeartMedia-owned WKTU, posts a gain of three-tenths to 3.1 (#17 to #15, 6+), thus suspending three down or flat moves in a row that led to a loss of two-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Advancing from eighth to sixth, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” is up one full-share in three consecutive positive or neutral trends (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Four successive improvements by Entercom hot AC WNEW yield a +1.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+) as “NEW 102.7” continues in fifth-place. Meanwhile, its former hot AC competitor, WPLJ, is a combined -3.4 in June/July (3.8 – 2.0 – .4, 6+) and fades from #22 to #30. Cumulus Media sold WPLJ to Educational Media Foundation, which shifted the station from hot AC to contemporary Christian on May 31. On the heels of June’s gain of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia New York mainstream CHR WHTZ forfeits seven-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. When “Z-100” faltered by four-tenths in May, it halted four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” is off an overall one-half share in three sweeps in a row without an increase (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+). Down or flat the third straight time as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9,” which has faltered by seven-tenths since April (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 30, #13 to #16, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – A June gain of four-tenths by Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN ended three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a collective one-half share loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Now, “Super Talk 99.7” repeats June’s 6+ AQH-share (3.5) and 6+-rank (#12). Although flat at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 98.3 & 1510” improves by four-tenths to 1.8, its best 6+-stat in nearly four years (2.0, October 2015).

In three straight decreases (5.5 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX had its 6+ AQH-share sliced approximately in half (-2.8), but “104.5 The Zone” picks up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and continues at  #14. Prior to June, the last time WGFX fell below a three-share (6+) was July 2017 (2.7, as well). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” is a combined -1.1 in three straight down or flat moves (1.9 – 1.1 – .8 – .8, #22 to #21, 6+).

May/June’s +1.2 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+) by Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” essentially wiped away March/April’s -1.3 (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), but the news/talk/classical hybrid outlet falters by one-half share in July to 5.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – The market’s three major country FMs were separated by just three-tenths of a share in June, but the gap widens to 1.5 (6+). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia’s WSIX, which is a whopping +2.7 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.2, 6+). Not only does “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” jump from eighth to fourth, it reaches the six-share level (6.2, 6+) for the first time since April 2017’s 6.1. Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” logs a 5.0 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+) and advances from ninth to eighth. After posting a collective +2.2 in five straight gains (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a combined -1.6 in three setbacks in succession (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.7, sixth to tenth, 6+). It’s been a rollercoaster ride lately for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which was +.7 in April (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); a combined -1.7 in May/June (3.7 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+); and is now +.8 in July (2.8, steady at #15, 6+). June’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 1.0. Tacking on six-tenths to June’s positive spike of nine-tenths (7.2 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNRQ progresses from third to second. Entering the June sweep, “105.9 The Rock” was an overall -1.2 in three successive down or flat reports (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). An overall +1.6 in three successive upticks (8.2 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+) – which immediately follows four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -5.9 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA is #1 the third month in a row. Before forfeiting six-tenths in April, “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” had been on top the previous 15 ratings periods. Seven recent WJXA fluctuations include: +1.9 (December 2018); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); and +1.0 (May). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. On the other hand, in three consecutive negative or neutral sweeps, co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack” is a collective -1.6 (8.4 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+) and segues from second to third. After dropping one-half share in June, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” falters by another seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share (5.6) since December 2016 (4.9). Following five positive spikes in a row which nearly quadrupled (+1.3) its 6+-stat (.5 – .6 – .8 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.8, 6+), TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa 105.1 & 1240 AM” forfeits roughly half that increase (1.2, -.6, #16 to #20, 6+). A collective +1.0 through four straight bumps (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH “The Fish” is off one-tenth to 4.4 (6+) but repeats at #11. June’s 4.5 was its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.7. Unchanged in sixth-place, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” has a March 2019 through July 2019 topline of: 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 (6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – While down seven-tenths via three consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” inches up from eighth to a seventh-place tie. Five downturns in a row by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ have resulted in a more than 50% reduction (-1.2) of its 6+-AQH share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9, 6+) as “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” drifts from #14 to #17. Even though Cumulus Media’s WPRV forfeits two-tenths (.7 – .5, 6+), “AM 790 Talk & Business” is back in the top twenty (#21 to #20).

A one-half share loss (3.6 – 3.1, flat at #7, 6+) sends Entercom sports talker WVEI to its lowest 6+-stat (3.1) since March 2018’s 2.8.

Even though iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news – talk WBZ-AM is off by three-tenths in three consecutive Providence reports without an increase (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), “News Radio 1030” advances from #18 to #16.

By gaining six-tenths (1.6 – 2.2, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH jumps into the top ten (#12 to  #9). WGBH, which notched a 1.6 (6+) five times in the last seven survey periods (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), overtakes The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which has lost three-tenths in three successive down or flat sweeps (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). WELH exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

Providence Music Formats – Albeit unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WSNE vaporizes June’s -.7 with a July increase twice that size (4.3 – 5.7, +1.4, 6+). Prior to June’s loss, “Coast 93.3” was a collective +1.2 in three consecutive improvements (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). This is its best 6+-performance in just over two years (June 2017, 5.7, as well). Despite dropping four-tenths (10.2 – 9.8, 6+), co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 the third month in a row. An April loss of nine-tenths forced WHJY from the top spot after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. Locked on 7.4 (6+) in May and June, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO-FM” (flat at #5) sputters by six-tenths to 6.8, its lowest 6+-stat since January (6.8, as well). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Boston’s similarly-programmed WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is up a collective half-share via five successive up or flat Providence moves (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Also in the CHR arena, Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” sees its 6+-stat erode by two-thirds (-2.8) in six negative or neutral reports in succession (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) and drops from #11 to #14. Immediately in advance of this stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-stat as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” has lost six-tenths in June/July (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8, ninth to tenth, 6+) and is below a two-share (6+) for the first time since October 2018 (1.8, as well). Disappearing from print in July are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Highly noteworthy here is the return to print of Max Media stations that had been unlisted the past three years. Included in that group is sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1,” which has a July 2019 1.2 (#16, 6+); its internet stream appears with a .1 (#19, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Other Max Media outlets listed again after a hiatus of exactly three years (July 2016)  are country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” (4.7, #7, 6+); adult contemporary WVBW “92.9 The Wave” (3.4, #9, 6+); CHR WVHT “Hot 100” (3.2, #10, 6+); urban AC/talk hybrid WGH-AM “1310 The Power” (.1, #19, 6+); and the internet streams of WGH-FM and WVBW (both at .1, #19, 6+). Among stations affected by the reappearance of Max Media stations from a ranker standpoint are iHeartMedia alternative WNOH “Alt 105.3” and Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point.” Notwithstanding that it has nearly tripled (+1.4) its 6+-stat in seven straight survey periods without a loss (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), “Alt 105.3” exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Meanwhile, “94.9 The Point,” an overall +1.2 in three consecutive up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 4.0, 6+) backslides from seventh to eighth. Moreover, this (4.0) is the best 6+-showing for “The Point” since September 2017’s 4.4. Setting the pace the seventh consecutive month, WPTE’s urban AC cluster-mate – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – nonetheless spirals by -1.4 (11.4 – 10.0, 6+). WVKL was a combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+) and then added a +1.0 in May to 11.5 (6+). Just prior to logging a 10.5 this past April, WVKL had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Following four successive positive or neutral moves that netted eight-tenths (7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+), Saga Communications-owned classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (second to third) surrenders a -1.2 to 7.0, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 6.1.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above pulling the plug on five consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -2.9 (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM (7.5 – 8.0, +.5, 6+) marches from second to first. Tied for the top spot in May, WOKV-FM 104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” had sole possession of first-place in January, February, and April.

Without an increase the ninth consecutive time for a net loss of 75% (-.6) of its 6+-stat (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3 – .2 – .2, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” drops from #19 to #20.

Down or flat the fourth straight sweep for a net decrease of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), public news/talk WJCT repeats at #12. Immediately prior to April, “Your Community – Your World” was a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – A May/June mini-slide by Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths concludes with a July improvement of eight-tenths to 4.3 (6+) as “99.9 Gator Country” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from a fifth-place tie to a fourth-place tie with identical (6.0 – 6.6, +.6, 6+) June 2019 – July 2019 profiles are Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat.” WAPE had been an overall -1.3 in three straight sweeps without an increase (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.0, 6+) with June’s 6.0 its weakest 6+-stat since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Meanwhile, “The Beat” – +1.4 in June – has its best 6+-showing (6.6) since May 2017’s 7.2. Improving by six-tenths as well in July is iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD3, which erases June’s loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Prior to the June sweep, WKSL-HD3 had shown a net increase of seven-tenths in four straight positive or neutral sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s adult contemporary battle tightens as the two principals are now separated by just nine-tenths of a share. Specifically, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a collective -1.5 in four setbacks in succession (8.7 – 8.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” nets +1.8 in four consecutive bumps (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+) and is anchored at #7. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 by WEJZ is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. A combined +1.1 in January/February, WEZI surrendered roughly half that increase with a March loss of six-tenths. In three straight reports without an increase, Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ lost seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), but “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” answers with a one-half share gain to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #13. On the strength of June’s +1.0, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WKSL crossed the five-share level (5.2, 6+) but “97.9 Kiss FM” craters by -1.4 to 3.8 (6+) and drops from eighth to tenth. In addition to being -1.3 in June/July (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” segues from first to second. After a March-only stay at #1, “The Eagle” shifted to a second-place tie in April; progressed to a first-place tie in May; and had sole possession of first-place in June. WJGL’s April loss of six-tenths interrupted three upticks in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Off nine-tenths in June/July (2.7 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WOKV-HD2 drops from #14 to #16.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – There seems to be no stopping iHeartMedia-owned WJNO, which is a collective +1.7 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+) as “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” zooms from ninth to sixth. June marked the first time WJNO reached the three-share level since December 2017’s 3.3. Up a combined seven-tenths in June/July (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” advances from #13 to #11. In three straight down or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” loses four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+) and slips from #13 to #14. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD “610 News Radio” is up three-tenths in June/July (.6 – .8 – .9, 6+) and reenters the top twenty (#22 to #20).

Co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) in August 2018 but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent 12 ratings periods.

While it repeats at #10, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is up two-tenths to 3.1 (6+), its best 6+-stat since March (3.1, as well).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Adding one-half share to June’s +1.2 (2.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” jumps from eighth to sixth. On top the seventh time in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” is nonetheless an overall -3.4 via four successive downturns (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+). This (7.8) is it lowest 6+-share – and first time below an eight-share (6+) – since “Holiday” 2016 (7.7). On the other hand, WRMF logged a +2.0 in March to 11.2, its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. Cluster-mate WIRK “South Florida’s New Country 103.1” is down seven-tenths in June/July (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), slipping from seventh to ninth. Regressing by eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” segues from second to third. Whereas June’s 7.2 was the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5, this is its softest since March (6.4, as well). An overall -1.7 via three straight decreases (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” applies the brakes with a one-tenth increase to 6.6 (6+) and leapfrogs “Kool” (third to second). In six straight positive spikes, iHeartMedia CHR WLDI was +1.6 (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.1, June 2019, 6+) for the first time since August 2018’s 4.0. In July, however, “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-tenth to 4.0 (6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Hubbard Broadcasting urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is a collective -2.2 in three straight setbacks (5.9 – 5.0 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+) and dips from fourth to sixth. An April gain of six-tenths took WMBX to 5.9, its highest 6+-share since May 2018’s 6.2. While off a full-share in three drops in succession (2.7 – 2.5 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting – Upbeat – Real” climbs from #16 to a tie at #15.

Monday Memo: Social Media Headlines That Drive Traffic

| July 29, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — As listeners’ attention – and advertisers’ do-re-mi – continue drifting-digital, clicks are currency.  We earn those clicks, and invite occasions-of-listening, with well-constructed social media posts.

For decades, smart DJs and talk hosts and news people have used email to engage; and my June 17 column detailed techniques for THE most-important part of the message you email followers, the Subject line. ICYMI: here

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Monday, July 22, 2019

| July 22, 2019

Cumulus Makes $50 Million Debt Prepayment. This latest debt payment by Cumulus Media is in the amount of $50 million and was funded by the net proceeds from the previously announced sale of KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media that closed last week (7/17), plus cash on hand.  Cumulus says, “With this prepayment, the Company has reduced its debt by approximately $250 million since emerging from Chapter 11 on June 4, 2018, bringing the Company’s total debt to approximately $1.05 billion.”

Monday Memo: Say What? Part Deux. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about things you and your on-air talent should never say on the radio.  From expressions that are dated to common English-language snafus, HC lists some of the most-often-heard mistakes that broadcasters should never make.  See his column here.

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Adds Another Hour to ‘Hammer and Nigel’ Show.  The Indianapolis Business Journal published a big piece on WIBC-FM, Indianapolis’s afternoon drive program, “Hammer and Nigel,” hosted by Jason Hammer and Nigel Laskowski revealing the Emmis Communications news/talk station is adding the 3:00 pm hour to the show’s current 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm air time.  The reason for adding the hour is the show’s outstanding success has created such a demand for local advertising that the station wants more inventory.  Quoted in the piece is Kristine Warski, a media director for the local ad agency MKR, who says, “‘The Hammer and Nigel Show’ is a bit different from your traditional news/talk show.  They’ve fused news and entertainment and, by doing so, are attracting a younger audience than news-talk has traditionally.”  See the IBJ piece here.

The New Yorker Piece Looks at Allegations by KABC’s Leeann Tweeden The Brought Down Al Franken. A lengthy story by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the case of former U.S. Senator — and one-time Air America talk radio host — Al Franken, who resigned his senate seat after a photo showing him pretending to grab the breasts of KABC-AM, Los Angeles talk host Leeann Tweeden appeared in the media.  Now, more than 18 months after Franken left the senate, he’s interviewed for the story that addresses due process, the #MeToo movement, and whether Franken should have resigned at all.  (Spoiler alert: Franken regrets resigning his position.)  See the story here.

Is Talk Radio Responsible for the Tone of Today’s National Conversation?  Former longtime talk radio host Tom Becka (KMBZ and KCMO, Kansas City; KFAB and KOIL, Omaha) expresses his feelings about his responsibility as part of the talk radio industry for the polarized state of public discourse in America.  Becka, in an op-ed on KPTM-TV, Omaha “FOX 42,” says, “ I don’t think I personally contributed to what is going on, but I worked for stations with syndicated shows that did – shows that stoked fears about Muslims, stoked fears about minorities, shows that stoked fears about liberals and others that were different than them.”  See his entire commentary here.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Presentation of the Freedom of Speech Award to Brian Kilmeade.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/22) post features the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session is moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Also already posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Siegel: Talk Radio Can Impact Regime Change in Iran.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Siegel writes in a piece today about the efforts to foment regime change in Iran and what role talk radio hosts in America can play in helping achieve that goal.  Siegel says, “Now there is a real and tangible option being offered as a new government in Iran by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).  Led by Madame Maryam Rajavi, this organization has grown in stature and respect over the years and has offered an option of peaceful government living as a civilized neighbor to other countries in the Middle East.”  Read Siegel’s piece here.

WABC’s John Batchelor Broadcasts from Tokyo This Week.  WABC, New York’s late-night John Batchelor show is broadcasting live from the center of Tokyo all this week (7/22-26).  The broadcast is being sponsored by global digital technology company Scala Inc. in conjunction with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  All week long, Batchelor will travel widely to meet with and interview leaders from across Japanese culture, including: the Nippon Professional Baseball Association; the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 asteroid probe program; the celebrated Cherry Association maintaining the pantheon of Japanese cherry trees; Toyota’s Autonomous Vehicle development; and the Central Japan Railway’s MAGLEV project.  Also scheduled to appear on the show is Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano.

TALKERS News Notes. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Saga Communications’ news/talk WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts has named its studio the Barbara J. Kuschka WHMP studio in honor of station traffic manager Barbara Kuschka, who recently celebrated 50 years of service to the radio station.  The article says, “Since she began work in 1969, Kuschka has been a behind-the-scenes figure, who one person described as the glue that holds the station together in her work as traffic manager.”…..Entercom Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Athletics announce they’ve signed a new, multi-year extension of their broadcasting partnership.  As part of the deal, sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” will serve as flagship station for Panthers football and men’s basketball. Sister stations news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” hot AC WBZZ “100.7 Star,” and country WDSY “Y108” will provide coverage and promotional support.

Mueller Testimony, New Trump Impeachment Talk, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Alleges CIA Arrests, Immigration Reform/Border Wall, and Summer Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  This week’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller; House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” charge against Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claims it has arrested 17 CIA spies; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and the border wall status; and the weekend’s hot weather in much of the country 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. Programming pro Josh Wolff is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  This is an internal move for Wolff, who was most recently marketing director and APD at the company’s Phoenix station group for adult contemporary KKEZ and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  Wolff takes over for Derrick Cole, who accepted a role with the company’s National Programming Group as contemporary hit radio program director…..At non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” morning personality Dori Zori is named assistant program director. WYMS PD Jordan Lee comments, “Dori’s 20-plus years in non-commercial radio make her the perfect fit for the role.  Dori will also lead some new and exciting programming plans that are in the works at ‘Radio Milwaukee.’”

Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime

| July 15, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Observant TALKERS readers: Thanks for noticing my absence here last week when, like many Americans, I took some V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N time.  Note: Two 1962 song references in two sentences.  THIS time of year is THAT timeless.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

| July 1, 2019

Emmis and Standard General Form New Company to Buy New York’s WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM. This new company will be called Mediaco Holding and it will buy urban radio stations WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM “Hot 97” for $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note receivable, and 23.72% of the common equity of Mediaco.  Emmis will distribute this common equity of Mediaco pro rata to its shareholders in a taxable dividend.  Mediaco will be a public company expected to be listed on NASDAQ, and Emmis will remain a separate public company, as well.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will serve as CEO of Mediaco and Emmis will remain active in the management of WBLS and WQHT and provide certain corporate services to Mediaco pursuant to a management agreement between the parties.  Investment firm Standard General will appoint a majority of the board of directors of Mediaco and Soohyung Kim, CEO, managing partner and chief investment officer of Standard General L.P., will be chairman of Mediaco.  After this deal gets regulatory approval, Emmis Communications will still operate New York’s WLIB and WEPN (through an LMA with ESPN Radio), four radio stations in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Monthly, and Digonex, a dynamic pricing company.  Emmis recently announced it is selling its 50.1% ownership stake in eight Austin, Texas stations to Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million.   Smulyan says of this latest deal, “This is a landmark day in the 40-year history of Emmis. We look forward to continuing to manage two of the world’s most iconic radio brands in ‘HOT 97’ and WBLS and employ our award-winning New York team as we partner with Soo Kim and Standard General to form a new public company to invest in media opportunities.  The transaction provides Emmis significant capital to aggressively pursue new business opportunities that align with our entrepreneurial spirit and management skills.  We are also excited to work with Soo and Standard General to grow Mediaco Holding.  We have already been evaluating great investment opportunities and I’m incredibly excited about the future. Today is a great day for the future of Emmis.” Emmis says that no personnel changes are planned, and all New York employees will continue to be Emmis employees with Emmis benefits as part of an Employee Leasing Agreement with Mediaco.

Kietzman Exits WHB-AM, Kansas City in Aftermath of Andy Reid Comments. Kansas City sports talk personality Kevin Kietzman has exited Union Broadcasting’s sports talk WHB-AM “Sports Radio 810” where he’s been hosting “Between the Lines” for the past 22 years.  Last week, Kietzman was suspended from the station after he referenced Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s two sons Britt and Garrett – both of whom battled drug issues and Garrett died of an overdose in 2012 – during a monologue about Reid’s ability to fix players with personal problems.  In an apology issued last week, Kietzman said his intent was not to blame Andy Reid for Garrett’s death, but he understood how his comments could have been interpreted as such.  Union Broadcasting president Chad Boeger issued a statement saying Kietzman’s departure was mutual, but it’s likely Kietzman would have preferred to return to his job. Kietzman was allowed to issue a final statement: “It’s been my honor and privilege to host ‘Between the Lines’ for the past 22 years and I’m proud of being a founding partner of this great local company that is so committed to our community.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Begin Posting Today with Erica Farber and Cousin Brucie Receiving AwardsTALKERS has begun posting key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention today (7/1).  The first two videos being posted today are RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award.  The convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Nielsen Releases Total Audience Report for Q1 2019. The latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen has been published and although the time spent with radio relative to other media options shrank from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, in the audio universe it is still the most popular platform with 92% of the 18+ U.S. population.  Looking at the daily hours and minutes spent with each platform, among adults 35-49 radio listening dipped from 1:50 minutes per day to 1:45 minutes.  In the Millennial group – adults 18-39 – listening time went from 1:25 in Q1 of 2018 to 1:20 in Q1 of 2019.  Which platform is seeing the largest growth? It’s the use of an app or the web on a smart phone.  That category is up across the board, even with upper demos.  In the adults 50-64 demographic, for example, use of an app or the web on a smartphone rose from 2:24 minutes per day to 2:47 minutes from Q1 of 2018 to Q1 of 2019.  See more about the report here.

Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying. Too much commercial and promo copy is…typical.  In-one-ear-out-the-other.  In this week’s Monday Memo column, consultant Holland Cooke offers examples of effective messages, most of which include “The Two Magic Words.”  Read his column here.

Chris Williams Signs Four-Year Extension to Remain with iHeartRadio. Digital executive Chris Williams will continue as chief product officer for iHeartRadio as he signs a four-year contract extension.  In this role he oversees digital programming initiatives, product marketing, UXD, and product strategies.  He joined the company in 2013 and rose to his current post in 2014. The company says that during his tenure as CPO, he has “expanded the iHeartRadio footprint to over 280 platforms and 2,000 devices and more than tripled its audience to where it currently stands with a registered user base of 130MM.  He also led the product initiative to launch two on-demand services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access.”

TALKERS News Notes. Newsday’s Neil Best writes that Entercom New York regional president Susan Larkin “would love” for WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa to continue hosting his radio show “forever.”  Best’s column speculates about Francesa’s future with the station, addressing both Francesa’s own musings about the challenges of hosting his radio show and doing his digital content for his app as well as the fact that the company is paying eight personalities to host four shows.  Larkin tells Best the company is pleased with the ratings and revenue from Francesa’s show.  Read it here…..WREX-TV, Rockford, Illinois reports that Midwest Family Broadcasting’s sports talk WNTA-AM is canceling its live and local sports talk shows and replacing them with syndicated fare.  Gone from the station are “Randy & Co.,” a two-hour morning show hosted by Randy Ruef and featuring a rotating cast of co-hosts as well as producer Jordan Goethe, and “Full Court Press,” the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm show co-hosted by Jake Logli and Jackson Schwartz…..Pictured at left is Westwood One talk host Jim Bohannon as Santa Claus bringing Christmas in June to kids at the Collins Children’s Home of Seneca, South Carolina.

G20 Summit/Trump Meets with Kim Jon Un and Xi Jinping, Hong Kong-China Tensions, Immigration Reform, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, and Stonewall Anniversary Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan and President Trump’s meetings with China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the protests in Hong Kong against Chinese rule; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform policies; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Iran’s production of weapons grade uranium; and the anniversary of New York’s Stonewall Riots 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. Hartford hot AC WTIC-FM names Ryan “Salt” MacMillan the new morning drive host, taking over for Gary Craig, who recently announced his retirement.  Salt began hosting the Entercom station’s morning program with incumbent morning personality Christine Lee today (7/1).  Salt comes to Hartford from the company’s Boston hot AC WWBX-FM “Mix 104.1” where he was part of the “Karson & Kennedy” morning program. He says, “Boston has given me so much over the past seven years both on and off the air and I will forever be thankful, but it’s time for a new adventure in Hartford.  Gary Craig is a Hartford radio legend and with his long-time partner, Christine Lee, I am honored to try and continue his legacy.”…..Award-winning CMT host and radio personality Cody Alan just celebrated his 2,000th episode as host of “CMT After MidNite.”  Alan was surprised with in-studio appearances by Garth Brooks and Keith Urban, as well as a phone call from Thomas Rhett.  In addition to this major milestone for “CMT After MidNite,” Alan is also celebrating the 100th episode of his “Cody Cast” podcast and the 10th anniversary of the Premiere Networks-syndicated program “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.”…..Programmer Kat San Andres adds music director duties for Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic AC XHRM “Magic 92.5” to her responsibilities that also include serving as music director and APD for sister CHR XHTZ “Z90.”  She joined “Z90” in 2004 as a morning program intern and has worked her way up through the programming department…..Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation announces its new venture in which Radio Disney has agreed to license Radio Disney video content to SBC. SBC will “telestream” the Radio Disney video content: the audio will be broadcast on SBC’s radio station WIGO-AM, Atlanta and simultaneously the video will be streamed at wigoam.com. Sheridan has a patent which covers telestreaming.  SBC says it will launch a one-hour daily program featuring Radio Disney video content in the near future that will tentatively be called “The Radio Disney Hour.”  SBC COO Ron Davenport, Jr. says, “We are honored and extremely flattered to be the first radio broadcaster licensed by Disney to use Radio Disney video content. The Radio Disney team has been incredible to work with, and we are very excited about the possibilities going forward.”…..Sun Broadcast Group and “The Michael Baisden Show” announce a renewal of the show’s distribution deal through December 31, 2020.  Baisden says, “Now that the show is hitting on all cylinders it’s time to do what I do best…engage with people.  I began my career hosting relationship seminars and producing upscale events, it’s time to get back out there and connect with my listeners face-to-face and have some fun!”…..SiriusXM is launching a limited-run music channel called “Madonna’s Madame X Radio” that will be available during the month of July.

Monday, June 24, 2019

| June 24, 2019

Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately.  He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!”  Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games).  For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.”  Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks.  It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.

Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio.  At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio.  Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today.  Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.”  Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976.  During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville.  In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011.  Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”

Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons.  See what those reasons are here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station.  The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending.  He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting.  The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others.  The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk RadioTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share.  Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver.  See the whole report here.

The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success.  The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years.  Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.

Partying with Howie Carr.  The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21).  Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.

Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years.  There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin.  He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever.  Welcome home, Steve.”

Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”

Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home 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. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities.  Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM.  She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager.  With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’  His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none.  It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market.  Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo.  Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice.  We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market.  Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.”  Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute.  MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”

Monday Memo: Your Email ‘Envelope’

| June 17, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — This week, #3-of-3 in our series of experts’ advice for crafting the digital content now so fundamental to broadcasters’ repertoire.  If you missed previous columns, here are:

  • Camera Tips for Radio: here
  • Writing for Digital Consumption: here

This week, THE most important words in emails you send your tribe.

Read More

Monday, June 17, 2019

| June 16, 2019

Monday Memo: Your Email ‘Envelope.’  Consultant Holland Cooke wraps up his three-part series of tips from digital professionals with technique critical to hosts’ engagement with listener tribes (and sales reps’ approach to prospects).  “Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with listeners.  It’s a relationship that Pandora can’t emulate.  Smart syndicated hosts exploit email well, and if you’re local you can be even more relatable.”  Read more here.

Jarecki to Host Evening Show at ‘Sportsradio 610’ Houston. Sports talk host Matthew Jarecki comes to Entercom’s Houston sports talker KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” from Flagstaff, Arizona where he’s been serving as a sideline reporter for KAFF-FM and Northern Arizona University’s NAU-TV and as morning drive host on the school’s KLJX-LP radio outlet.  His new show on KILT will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Matt’s a natural when it comes to sports radio.  He has an innate ability to create unique and passionate opinions around Houston sports. His relentless work ethic will shine through and has helped him earn this opportunity.”

iHeartMedia Unveils Project Listen at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. American audio company iHeartMedia announces a partnership with London-based creative conglomerate WPP as they launch Project Listen “to develop next-generation insights, planning and creative capabilities in audio.” A press release states that “the two companies will help brands better engage with consumers and win across all audio platforms: broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers and live events.”  It goes on to say, “The study shows consumers say they are listening to audio content for an average of 17 hours a week, with millennials and younger generations listening the most.  This ramp up in listening is the direct result of the rapid growth of digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers, and airpods, on top of the massive and consistent scale of broadcast radio.”  The three-pronged partnership is composed of:  1) Creative Audio Studio – Audio will be pushed higher on the agendas of creatives and media strategists with the launch of a new studio at GroupM’s headquarters at 3 World Trade Center in New York.  Clients and creatives from across WPP will experiment with modern audio marketing programs, working with creative producers in a series of pilots; 2) Empowering Planning – iHeartMedia’s Smart Audio Insights and audience tools will be integrated with GroupM’s proprietary data and insights tools to uncover new insights and support novel measurement approaches, all of which will be shared in quarterly intelligence reports for clients and the market.  A new audio certification program for planners at GroupM’s agencies will roll out later in 2019; and 3) Raising Audio IQ – A new Project Listen monthly podcast is launching in Cannes with plans for 18 episodes through 2020. Lessons from the client pilots and research will be shared to help inspire more advertisers to embrace audio’s new capabilities. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Project Listen is about tapping into the scale of audio and moving from the traditionally transactional radio business to the future of audio advertising where insights and ideas lead the way to growth for brands.  Simply put, audio is the biggest greenfield for growth in media today, and we could not be more excited to partner with the talented teams across WPP to develop the tools and skillsets needed to unlock that growth.”

The Weiss Agency and John Wiley & Sons Partner on ‘For Dummies: The Podcast.’ A partnership between The Weiss Agency’s newly established podcast division, TWA Podcast Studio, and publishing firm John Wiley & Sons is producing a new podcast series titled, “For Dummies: The Podcast,” hosted by NBC daytime star Eric Martsolf.  Capitalizing on the more than 250 million books in print in the “For Dummies” series, each weekly episode of the podcast adaptation will be a distillation of one of the “For Dummies” titles presented in a highly- entertaining and informative format.  Eric Weiss says, “Dummies is an iconic media brand that has successfully educated readers around the globe for over three decades.  I am thrilled to partner with Wiley to produce an informative and entertaining podcast that will allow us to share this gold mine of instructional information with listeners around the world.”  “For Dummies: The Podcast” debuts today (6/17) on all major podcast platforms.

Nielsen Audio Releases Audio Today Report. The June 2019 Audio Today report from Nielsen Audio is released and contains data and insights “regarding listening trends, in all its various forms – including podcasting and smart speakers.”  Nielsen says AM/FM radio reaches 272 million Americans each week (92% of adults 18+), “more than any other platform.”  The study concludes that “radio is in high demand and has a diverse listenership when considering how many people tune in across age, gender, and ethnicity.  Not surprisingly, adults 18-49 are the demographic that tunes in the most.  The monthly reach for these listeners is 132.4 million (98% of the population), and country is the format they prefer most.  Adults 25-54 are the second most reached demographic for radio, with 123.6 million (99%) of the population listening each month.” The study breaks out listening by demographics and, as you can see in the graphic here, news/talk is the preferred format among Men 25-54, but note that this is combined commercial news/talk and public radio news/talk.  Nielsen does look at commercial news/talk separately and reports that among Adults 25-54, commercial news/talk is the 8th most-listened-to format, garnering a 4.9 share (country is tops with a 13.1 share).  See more here.

TAB Radio Institute at the University of Tennessee Opens Today.  Last week, TALKERS tipped readers that the Beasley Radio Talent Institute is beginning today at Emerson College in Boston.  It so happens that today is also the opening of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Over the course of the next 10 days, students will learn from more than three dozen broadcasters teaching in their areas of expertise.  TAB president Whit Adamson says, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station.  They are exposed to all facets of a station and will be capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and be prepared to add something.” Twenty-two students were accepted into the institute from eight universities, including: University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee StateAustin Peay State University, Tennessee Tech, Georgia State University, Jackson State Community College, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and Dalton State College in Georgia.

Begnaud to Anchor ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ for CBS News Radio. Four-year CBS News Radio Network journalist David Begnaud is named anchor of the daily CBS News Radio and CBS Audio feature “Reporter’s Notebook.”  Begnaud was recently named lead national correspondent for the network’s “CBS THIS MORNING” program.  Each edition of “Reporter’s Notebook” will give listeners insight and context to the day’s biggest news stories.  Begnaud’s reports will be broadcast at 4:25 pm ET Monday through Friday.  CBS News Radio vice president and general manager Craig Swagler says, “David represents true compassion in his storytelling that affects our listeners.  Our affiliates can depend on David to bring the best original reporting to their audiences with ‘Reporter’s Notebook.’”  Begnaud’s coverage of Hurricane Maria earned him the prestigious George Polk Award for public service in 2018.  He also received the RTDNA’s First Amendment Leadership Award for his significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Lieberman to Head Up Sales at WTEM, Washington. Sales pro Stephen Lieberman is appointed general sales manager of Radio One’s sports talk WTEM, Washington “The Team 980,” effective July 8.  He was most recently general sales manager for NBC Sports Washington.  Prior to that Lieberman was the local sales manager at ESPN O&O WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN Radio 1000.”  Lieberman says, “I’m truly excited to return to the place where I started my sports radio career.  I’m humbled to have an opportunity to build on the great work that my colleagues have devoted to ‘The Team 980,’ and I’m looking forward to collaborating with this talented group to strengthen our ties to the community while building deeper partnerships in the marketplace.”

2020 Presidential Race/Poll Numbers, Impeachment Talk, Kellyanne Conway Hatch Act Allegations, Iran Suspected of Tanker Attacks, South American Blackout, and Hong Kong Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the leaked poll numbers that indicate Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead Trump in several states; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s report that White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act numerous times; the U.S. accuses Iran of torpedoing oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman; the blackouts affecting millions in Argentina and Uruguay; and the Hong Kong protests over the Chinese extradition policy 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 Los Angeles, Nick Cannon is joining Meruelo Media’s hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as the station’s new morning drive personality.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Nick is the quintessential entertainer and content creator who will take our media game to the next level.  His tremendous success across television, film, and music is testimony of his unique talent, work ethic, and impeccable reputation.  Nick is the absolute right talent to start our mornings on ‘Power 106’ – this is an incredible match and we’re fortunate to have him in our family.”…..Beasley Media Group rebrands KOAS-FM, Las Vegas “Jammin’ 105.7” and officially kicked off the newly tweaked format by playing “Smile” by Li’l Duval & Snoop Dogg.  With the change, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show takes over the AM daypart.  Zenja Dunn remains in middays while Paco Lopez joins the afternoon drive show and Connie Breeze hosts evenings…..Hubbard Radio announces that programming pro and country radio specialist Bruce Logan will take the helm as operations manager and brand/content director of country WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach and sister adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9.”  Logan was most recently the VP of programming for Entercom’s Houston market and program director for country KILT-FM and adult hits KKHH-FM.

Round Four of Takeaways from May PPM Survey. May 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It was announced last week that Emmis is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in six Austin stations to Bob and David Sinclair-led Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million. Included in the deal are news/talk KLBJ-AM; classic rock KLBJ-FM; adult hits KBPA-FM; adult contemporary KGSR-FM;  alternative KROX-FM; regional Mexican KLZT-FM; and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.” The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media. Until the sale is finalized, we will include any mention of these stations in “Takeaways” columns as “Emmis-owned.”

A combined -1.0 in three straight drops (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” dips from #12 to #13 with its lowest 6+-stat (2.8) since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.7.

This marks the fourth successive time that Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” (#19 to #18) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6; 1.6 – 1.7; 1.7 – 1.8; 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, the February 2019 through March 2019 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .4 – .6 – .6 .4 (#24 to #25, 6+).

On the heels of April’s gigantic -2.0 (9.5 – 7.5, 6+), KUT surrenders another one-tenth to 7.4, its lowest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.1, but the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk facility continues in the runner-up slot. KUT’s previous shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); and +.7 (March).

Austin Music Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country KVET-FM erodes by -1.3 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), but “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” rallies with a +.9 to 5.8 (6+) and jumps from eighth to fourth. The just-concluded negative streak directly followed its January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). It is tied at #4 with co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which is +1.5 in three straight upticks (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, fifth to fourth, 6+). April’s +1.2 halted its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that stretch, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Locked on 2.0 (6+) in March and April, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” adds one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) and continues at #16. A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) KOKE-FM’s 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.8 range (6+) the fourth straight time including May’s increase of one-half share (5.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” progresses from seventh to fourth. This is its best 6+-showing in nearly one year (5.8 as well in June 2018). Despite dropping one-half share (8.7 – 8.2, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” repeats at #1. Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). In back-to-back (April and May) reports, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” spirals by eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1, 6+), drifting from fourth to eighth. “La Z” was +1.2 in March and, prior to April, last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). Off one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary KKMJ-HD3 slips from #18 to #20. In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erased that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, 6+) but forfeits one-tenth in May (1.9, #16 to #17, 6+). The station it is chasing – Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday” – falters by three-tenths to 6.2 (6+) and carries on in third-place. In advance of May’s -.3, “Majic” was -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 (April). Having posted a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” is unlisted in April and May.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK  was an overall +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” is now a combined -.7 in April/May (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8, flat at #7, 6+). Even though it returns the one-tenth it gained in April (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” advances from #17 to #16.

Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is unchanged from April in 6+-share (2.2) and 6+ market rank (#15). Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through May 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 (#27, 6+).

While off four-tenths (7.4 – 7.0, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC followed January’s +1.0 with a -.6 in February.

Raleigh Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (3.2 – 4.0, 6+) enables Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW to reach the four-share level (6+) for the first time since July 2017 (4.0, as well). By regressing one-half share in April, “Pulse FM – All The Hits” concluded three consecutive up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). A combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by four-tenths to 5.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). “G-105” was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). Radio One urban contemporary sibling WQOK dials up an increase of seven-tenths to advance from sixth to fourth. Three straight sweeps without a loss yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+); however, “K-97.5” was then -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+). Albeit a collective -1.9 in four straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the tenth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570,” has a 6+ topline of .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20). Surrendering all but two-tenths of April’s +.7 (7.2 – 6.7, -.5, 6+), co-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” drops from fourth to fifth. After posting a gain of nine-tenths, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” – repeats April’s 6+-share (2.9) and market rank (#13). April’s increase erased February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight Raleigh reports without an increase, Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6) but remains at #16 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – April 2019 to May 2019’s shift of (only) three-tenths is a unique change-of-pace for Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” (5.2 – 5.7, +.3, eighth to seventh, 6+). It is quite a contrast from its nine most recent fluctuations: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 (April).

All three of the market’s sports talk outlets have April 2019 to May 2019 moves of one-tenth. Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” gains a collective four-tenths in three straight up or flat trends 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4, flat at #16, 6+). It has a two-to-one lead over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses six-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, #18 to #20, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it picked up in April (.1 – .2 – .1, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” (#22 to #24) notches either a .1 or .2 (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep.

Repeating at #11, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI answers April’s -1.4 with an improvement of three-tenths (4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Prior to April’s loss, WFYI was +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – It had been well over seven years ago since Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS last appeared in print (February 2012, 2.8, #16) but it resurfaced as a Nielsen Audio subscriber in April 2019 with a 3.1 (6+) and ranked #14. “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” hauls out a May +1.0 to 4.1 (6+) and progresses to #12. A cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” ends the slide with a +.8 to 5.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” adds one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and moves from #15 to #14. April 2019 was a benchmark ratings period for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK. “Classic Hits 104.5” recorded a massive +1.7 to 10.2, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. While a modest May dip of three-tenths sends WJJK back under a ten-share (9.9, 6+), “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the fifth consecutive time. This calendar year, WJJK has been +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); and -.3 (May). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. As a result of four consecutive decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has lost roughly 37% (-1.5) of its 6+-stat (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #12 to #15). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is up one-tenth to 1.3 (#19 to #18, 6+). This time last month, WYXB “B-105.7” logged a +1.9 to 8.8 (6+). Now, the Emmis adult contemporary outlet relinquishes roughly 31% of that bounty to 8.2 (-.6, 6+) but remains in second-place. April’s +1.9 suspended three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). Faltering four-tenths to 5.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” has its successive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths end at four (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). As Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” sputters by six-tenths (8.0 – 7.4, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” drops four-tenths (6.5 – 6.1, 6+); the country rivals continue at #3 and #5, respectively. WFMS followed March’s +1.1 with an April gain of seven-tenths. WFMS was +.9 (October 2018); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Hank” returned one-tenth in April. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, WLHK was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – It is exceptionally rare to see a station make a mega-move (+1.5 or more) one month and then actually “add-on” the next sweep. That is exactly what happens in Milwaukee though where Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” made one of the largest-ever (non-Christmas music period) month-to-month gains (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) and manages to follow with an additional six-tenths to 9.4 (6+). The whopping April/May +3.5 propels the Brewers flagship from second to first. Recent WTMJ shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Remaining at #6, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which as +2.2 in January, is up a combined six-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+).

Albeit flat at 1.0 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” pushes up from #18 to #16. Prior to February’s one-tenth increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). It catches Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which loses four-tenths in three straight (modest) dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, flat at #16, 6+). In addition to recapturing the three-tenths it lost in April (.6 – .3 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game” enters the top twenty (#22 to #20). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” logs a .2 for the fifth time in the last seven sweeps and remains at #24 (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Three straight reports without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is a combined -.9 in April/May and exits the top ten (4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9, #10 to #13, 6+). Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is off three-tenths via three straight down or flat moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) yet proceeds from #17 to #16.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Owing to four negative or flat reports in succession, Entercom hot AC WMYX  forfeited an overall seven-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+); however, “99.1 The Mix” obliterates that shortfall with a +1.2 to 6.6 (6+) and marches from seventh to fourth. This (6.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Mix” since December 2015’s 6.8. A collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV ends the slide with a one-half share increase to 4.8 (6+). Moreover, “V-100.7 Jams” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Immediately prior to the February sweep, WKKV was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+). Following five straight sweeps at #1, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.5 (10.1 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to #2 with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its seven most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); and -1.5 (May). While it is off a collective eight-tenths in three straight negative or flat trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+) Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” remains in third-place. As a result of dropping three-tenths to 4.0 (flat at #11, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” snaps at three its string of consecutive increases that netted a +1.8 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, while April’s 4.3 is its best since August 2017’s 4.3.

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN is off a collective one-half share in three straight down or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), “Super Talk 99.7” moves from #14 to #13. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in April (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” advances from #19 to #17. Entering the April sweep, WLAC netted seven-tenths in three straight improvements (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

The market’s (6+) sports talk share shrinks by -1.4, nearly equally divided between Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (4.8 – 4.2, -.6, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” (-.8, #16 to #18, 6+). This (4.2) is the lowest 6+-share for “The Zone” since August 2018’s 3.6. Meanwhile, “The Game” continues an alternating up/down pattern that began in October 2018 (1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.1 (6+) and fades from the top twenty (#16 to #21).

A -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” erases all but three-tenths of that shortfall with a +1.0 to 5.4 (tenth to seventh, 6+); WPLN-FM was a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – An overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” answers with a +1.0 in May and recaptures the top spot (9.2, second to first, 6+). Prior to surrendering six-tenths in April, “Mix” had been on top the previous 15 ratings periods. Twelve recent WJXA fluctuations include: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); and +1.0 (May). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. On the flipside, adult hits sibling WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (8.4 – 7.6, -.8, 6+) is dislodged from #1 (after an April-only stay there) and segues to second. The May loss of eight-tenths pulls the plug on three straight January 2019 through April 2019 bumps that netted a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+). In April, “Jack” reached the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its six most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +.6 (April); and -.8 (May). Not only does TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL triple (+1.0) its 6+-stat in four upticks in succession (.5 – .6 – .8 – .9 – 1.5, 6+) “Activa 105.1 & 1240 AM” enters the top twenty at #18. Immediately after posting an April increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” relinquishes nine-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #14, 6+) and falls below a two-share (6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.6. Elsewhere in the format, Salem Media Group’s WFFH “The Fish” is up a collective six-tenths via three straight gains (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, flat at #12, 6+), notching its best 6+-stat (4.1) since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.7, while WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” – down six-tenths in March and up one-half share in April – drops two-tenths in May (1.5 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). Having recorded a collective +2.2 in five straight gains (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 5.8 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. Notwithstanding it amasses a +1.7 in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” backslides from seventh to eighth. It is tied there with Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which is up two-tenths in three successive up or flat moves (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2, steady at #8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – In a bit of ranker oddity, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” added one-tenth in April yet reversed from seventh to eighth – and now in May – it returns April’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but advances from eighth to seventh. As a result of three (modest) dips in succession, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” forfeits four-tenths (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+) and drops from #12 to #13.

Despite being up one-tenth, following a decline twice that much in April (8 – .6 – .7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

The four-tenths’ gain that WVEI logged in April vanishes as the Entercom sports talker sputters by one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to eighth.

A loss of one-tenth sends iHeartMedia-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” from #15 to #17.

The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH is unchanged from April in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (tenth), while WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH – locked on 1.6 (6+) in March and April – is up one-tenth to 1.7 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Three mainstream CHRs appearing in Providence’s top twenty combine for a 10.8 (6+). Leading the way is Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM. Its April -.6 to 7.2 (6+) suspended three straight gains that netted a +1.4 (6.4- 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); however, in May, “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” is up two-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. March’s 7.8 is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4. Flat at #11, Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in four straight reports without an increase (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-stat as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Reaching the market from Boston (where it’s tied for #1 in May with a 7.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is up a collective four-tenths through three straight up or flat Providence moves (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, #17 to #14, 6+). A ratings “no-show” until February 2019, Hall Communications’ classic hits-oldies WNBH (+.5 in May) not only more than triples (+.7) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.3 – .4 – .5 -1.0, 6+), “Big 101.3” breaks into the top twenty (#21 to #18). Improving by one-half share as well in May and also logging three consecutive improvements (for a collective +1.2) is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). While it remains at #6, “Coast” reaches the five-share level (5.0, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 5.5. A four-tenth gain by co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (9.6 – 10.0, 6+), coupled with an equal magnitude decrease by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.7 – 9.3, 6+), results in WHJY moving from second to first and WWLI dropping from first to second. These two stations did the exact opposite dance in April. An April loss of nine-tenths forced WHJY from the top spot after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. In second-place three sweeps in a row, “Lite Rock 105” posted a one-half share increase in April to progress to #1. Before shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. While it carries on in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” surrenders two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus curtailing four straight gains that accounted for a +2.2 (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+). That streak followed a collective -3.1 via three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+).

Norfolk – Answering March/April’s combined -2.4 (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+) with a May +1.0 to 11.5 (6+), WVKL is #1 for the fifth successive month. Up until logging a 10.5 in April 2019, the Entercom urban AC had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Even though iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gains six-tenths in five straight reports without a loss (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” has an April-only stay in the top ten (#10 to #11). Tied at #11 and extending their particular positive streaks are Saga Communications adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs/Great Memories,” which gains six-tenths in five straight up or flat trends (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4, #13 to #11, 6+), and Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1,” which improves four-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight down or flat trends, Entercom CHR WNVZ is an overall -1.0 (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+) but “Z-104” remains in sixth-place. Ever since appearing in print in November 2018, its internet stream is trending .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .5 (flat at #14, 6+). The January 2019 through May 2019 toplines of Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are extremely similar. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8 (steady at #2, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 7.6 (second to third, 6+). Including aforementioned WAFX (7.8, 6+) and WNOH (1.4, 6+), five of the 14 stations appearing in Norfolk’s May 2019 sweep are unchanged from May in 6+ AQH share. The other three are Saga Communications rock WNOR (6.0, fourth, 6+); Entercom adult contemporary WWDE (5.8, fifth, 6+); and its hot AC cluster-mate WPTE (2.8, seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.8 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM is tied for the lead in May; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” had sole possession of first-place in April. While November 2018’s 11.2 is WOKV-FM’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era, this is its lowest since September 2018 (8.6, as well).

Down or flat the seventh consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” repeats at #19.

Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), public news/talk WJCT  continues at #11. Immediately prior to April, “Your Community – Your World” was a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – A robust May +1.9 to 6.4 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned WQIK blows up slightly more than three-quarters of its collective -2.5 resulting from seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+) as “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – was within one-tenth of WQIK in April, but WGNE completely wipes away March/April’s +.6 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) by faltering six-tenths to 3.8 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Segueing to a second-place tie in April after a March-only stay at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is up three-tenths to 8.6 (6+) and returns to the top, where it is tied with news/talk cluster-mate WOKV-FM (see above). An April loss of six-tenths by “The Eagle” interrupted three upticks in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a combined -1.1 in April/May (8.7 – 8.3 – 7.6, second-place tie to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds two-tenths to April’s +.4 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1, steady at #7, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+); “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. A combined +1.1 in January/February, WEZI surrendered roughly half that increase with a March loss of six-tenths. At the same time that iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD3 shows a net increase of seven-tenths in four straight up or flat moves (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+), co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print for the second month in a row. Unchanged at #19, Spanish contemporary sibling WQIK-HD2 gains two-tenths in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

 Spoken-Word Formats – Up seven-tenths in three straight reports without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” continues at #9; 2.7 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 2.9. Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is flat at 2.3 (6+) but backslides from #11 to #12. Immediately after posting an April gain of eight-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” forfeits half that increase (2.1 – 1.7, -.4, 6+) and slips from #12 to #15. Three straight sweeps without a loss by WIOD resulted in the iHeartMedia Miami news/talker doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), but “610 News Radio” returns four-tenths to .6 (6+) and exits the West Palm Beach top twenty (#20 to #22).

Co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) in August 2018 but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent ten sweeps.

By picking up one-tenth to 3.0 (flat at #8, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN halts three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of lost eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – A combined +1.2 in April/May (2.7 – 3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” jumps from seventh to fifth with its best 6+-showing (3.9) since September 2018’s 4.2. Notching its third successive West Palm Beach increase for a collective +1.0 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100” jumps from #14 to #11. Not to be outdone, co-owned/similarly-formatted WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” is +1.4 in five straight upticks (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9, sixth to fifth, 6+) and posts its best 6+-stat (3.9) since August 2018’s 4.0. Setting the pace the fifth month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF is nonetheless a combined -2.4 in April/May (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8, 6+); “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” enjoyed a +2.0 in March. Its March 11.2 is WRMF’s highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well); May 2019’s 8.8 is its lowest since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.2. Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. Unchanged at #4, urban AC sibling WMBX “X-102.3” erases its April gain of six-tenths to 5.9, its highest 6+-share since May 2018’s 6.2, with a shortfall of nine-tenths (5.3 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+).  The market’s two adult contemporary stations post modest April 2019 – May 2019 decreases. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down one-tenth to 7.0 (6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” is off two-tenths to 6.8 (6+); “Kool” and “Sunny” continue at second and third, respectively. “Kool” gained seven-tenths in April to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5. That followed March’s loss of one-tenth, which snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). On the heels of a March increase of seven-tenths, “Sunny” eroded by -1.2 in April (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). WEAT-FM was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – After being +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” directly follows with three successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+).

Even though Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS regains the one-tenth it lost in April (.9 – .8 – .9, 6+), “Triad Sports” backslides from #14 to #15.

Holding down the #13 position for the 13th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” answers April’s loss of seven-tenths with a May gain of two-tenths (2.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC recaptures April’s -.3 in its entirety (.8 – .5 – .8, 6+) and carries on at #17.

Greensboro Music Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); and +1.1 in May (8.2 – 9.3, third to second, 6+). Prior to its March-only stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March 2019’s 9.8 is its best 6+-performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April 2019’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In three straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia’s WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” erases 70% of that deficit with a +.7 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – is off four-tenths in May and continues an alternating up/down pattern that has kept it within 5.2 – 5.7 range (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Tacking on one-half share to April’s +.7 (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” continues at #11 with its best 6+-showing (3.7) since November 2018’s 4.0. Notching a May increase of one-half share as well is Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR “Rock 92,” which improves by seven-tenths in April/May (5.8 – 6.0 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+) and flashes its highest 6+-stat (6.5) since July 2018’s 6.6. Up one-tenth (9.7 – 9.8, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. An April increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). On top in January and February, WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. A collective +1.8 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains in ninth-place. In April, “Kiss” reached the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since its 4.1 in April 2018. Unchanged at #7, Dick Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.3 (6+). Despite a one-half share decline (4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1 FM” improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #8, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is trending 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.1 (February – March – April – May, 6+).

Off one-half share in four straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” remains at #12. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; but logs a .1 (6+) for the third straight time (flat at #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the 11th straight time (including nine consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – A +1.0 to 4.8 (tenth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” wipes away more than half of its cumulative February/March/April -1.8 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). “FM 100” was -.7 in “Holiday” 2018  and +1.5 in January. While unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” is +1.7 in four straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5, 6+) and logs its highest 6+-stat since June 2018 (8.5, as well). An increase of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+) propels Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #9). The last time “The Max” reached the four-share level (6+) was July 2018 (4.0, as well). Three straight increases by iHeartMedia gospel WHAL yield +1.3 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+) as “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” advances from fifth to fourth with its best 6+-showing since April 2018 (7.1, as well). It is a similar scenario for classic rock sibling WEGR “Rock 102.7,” whose consecutive trio of improvements nets nine-tenths (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.2, flat at #6, 6+). Albeit down or flat the third straight time for a collective -1.2 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4, 6+), co-owned urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 the seventh time in a row and in double-digits the 14th successive sweep. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to being an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” slips from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-figure (6.5) since June 2017’s 6.0. Seven recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); and -1.2 (May). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Not benefitting from WRVR’s recent setbacks, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” has squandered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, #15 to #16, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (.9) since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia’s WDIA -1.8 in four successive decreases (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four straight bumps that netted +2.4 (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” surrenders three-tenths to 7.3 (6+) but remains in third-place. Albeit down an overall one-half share in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” repeats at #15, after finishing at #14 in January, February, and March. This marks the 12th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” falters by two-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and continues at #12.

Unchanged at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is off nine-tenths in April/May (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is a combined +.5 in April/May (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #14 to #12.

Hartford Music Formats – Owing to three straight increases, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. Notwithstanding that it is #1 for the 35th consecutive time, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has experienced considerable shifting in each of the past eight ratings periods. Specifically, “Lite 100.5” has been -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); and now +1.0 in May (9.8 – 10.8, 6+). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. Even though hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM forfeits all but one-tenth of April’s +.9 (8.5 – 7.7, -.8, 6+), “96.5 TIC-FM” continues in second-place. April’s 8.5 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Still in that Entercom cluster, rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.9 in three setbacks in succession (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, fifth to seventh, 6+), following January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). By adding two-tenths to 6.3 (steady at #6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXSS “Kiss 95.7” curtails three straight negative trends that produced a loss of eight-tenths (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). While it remains in fourth-place, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” falters by an overall nine-tenths in four consecutive reports without an increase (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ hasn’t had an increase this calendar year yet is only down two-tenths (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, January 2019 through May 2019, 6+) and “Radio 104.1” actually improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie.

Monday, June 10, 2019

| June 10, 2019

TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story Rocks New York City.  The 22nd edition of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/7) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing 400 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story conference featured more than 65 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, and networking/meal receptions.  The entire conference was recorded to video and in the days and weeks to come, most panels and speeches will be made available for viewing at Talkers.com.  Visit regularly for details. Pictured above, Sean Hannity (r) being interviewed by Michael Harrison (l) during the convention’s Keynote Fireside Chat.

Kilmeade Accepts Freedom of Speech Award. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the 2019 Freedom of Speech Award.

Bill O’Reilly Addresses Conference.  Just a little more than a month after the debut of his Key Networks-syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” program returned him to AM/FM radio, Bill O’Reilly addressed the attendees at Friday’s TALKERS conference.

Rome Delivers.  Sports talk radio star Jim Rome presented a keynote speech illustrating how he got into the sports talk radio business and how he’s adapted to the evolving talk media industry.

Woman of the Year.  Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (l) with Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber (r), who received the 2019 Woman of the Year Award.

Humanitarian of the Year.  Seen above accepting the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year honor from TALKERS magazine is Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.

A Legend Is Honored. Pictured above is SiriusXM disc jockey Cousin Brucie, a.k.a. Bruce Morrow, reading his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to the iconic radio personality.

Helping Our Own.  WPGG morning host Harry Hurley (r) donating $3,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America from the Hurley Morning Show Foundation – a yearly tradition at the Talkers Convention.  Renee Cassis (l) accepts the gift on behalf of the BFOA.

Emmis Agrees to Selling Controlling Interest in Austin Cluster to Sinclair Telecable Inc. for $39.3 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation has had a controlling interest in the six Austin, Texas radio stations since 2003. Now, it is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in the partnership to Sinclair Telecable, Inc., for $39.3 million. This is not the television company Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns KEYE-TV, Austin.  Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair and the company owns seven FMs, two AMs, and 2 FM translators in Norfolk, Virginia and in Sonoma County, California.  The stations and brands involved in this deal are: news/talk KLBJ-AM, classic rock KLBJ-FM, adult hits KBPA-FM “Bob FM,” adult contemporary KGSR-FM “Star 93.3,”  alternative KROX-FM “101X,” regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Zeta,” and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.”  The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture.  I can’t say enough great things about the performance of our incredible team in Austin. Our focus at Emmis now will be on transitioning to new areas of growth.  I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team.  The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.”  Moelis & Company LLC represented Emmis as exclusive financial advisor.

Monday Memo: Digital Diction. As listener attention and advertiser dollars drift digital, radio broadcasters’ tool box gets bigger; and consultant Holland Cooke continues his three-part series of tips from Internet professionals. This week’s Monday Memo focuses on writing for the web.  Cooke relays the advice, “Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that’s ideal for online reading…writing for digital is different than writing for print.  Text that works best on the Web is text that gets right to the point fast and that makes it easy for readers to pick out information.” Get some tips for accomplishing that goal here.

Business Talker Ray Lucia to Retire from Broadcasting. Financial talk pro Ray Lucia is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990.  The show was syndicated nationally in 2000 on Business Talk Radio Network, now known as BizTalkRadio.  In 2006, the TV version of The Ray Lucia Show debuted on BizTV.  Lucia says that after discussing it with his wife, they agreed the time is right.  “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.”  BizTV and BizTalkRadio COO Scott Miller says, “Very rarely does a radio and television program come along that both entertains and informs listeners and viewers.  There is no doubt in my mind that thousands of families have benefited from Ray’s wisdom on how to manage money.  He is from a generation of broadcasting that will be deeply missed.”

Radio Hall of Fame Names Nominees for Class of 2019. The 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 are named and voting begins today.  The nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  Then, beginning on July 15, listeners nationwide will have the opportunity to vote on the other two categories.  Inductees will be announced on August 5.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve.  We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.”  The inductees in the four categories voted by the industry are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Charles LaquidaraHarry Harrison, and Jack Harris. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Angie Martinez, Kevin and Bean, Preston and Steve, and Sarah and Vinnie.  Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Jim Rome, Robert Siegel, Sid Mark, and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!”  Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): George Noory, Glenn BeckJohn Tesh, Kim Komando.  The two categories voted by the public are: Music Format On-Air Personality: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, Mark & Brian Show, Ryan Seacrest.  Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.

Lis Wiehl Exits WOR. There’s no press statement from iHeartMedia about the change in the evening show on news/talk WOR, New York, but Lis Wiehl has left the “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” program that aired from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Wiehl and Concha were partnered for the show at the beginning of this year.  Concha now hosts the show solo, according to the station’s website.  Wiehl is an attorney, best-selling author, and has served as a legal analyst for several media platforms.

Sports KYAL-FM, Tulsa Names RJ Young Host of Midday Show. The station names RJ Young host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show, previously titled “The Sports Mix” that featured a rotating cast of hosts. The Tulsa World reports that Young came to the attention of KYAL-FM management after he posted more than 1,000 videos of his sports commentary to YouTube.  He tells the paper, “Unbelievable opportunity.  If you had told me a few months ago that I would have this platform, I would have kicked you in the shins. I would have laughed.  To do sports talk radio in such a great sports state — this is an amazing privilege and honor.”  At the same time, the station names market sports personality Erik Gee as co-host of the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Pat Jones.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway Today. Today the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins on the campus of Central Washington University.  Over the coming 10 days, students enrolled in the program will hear and meet radio pros from Hubbard, Alpha Media, Bonneville, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and others.  Each broadcaster teaches in his or her area of expertise, ranging from on-air, sports, news, sales, digital, podcasting, promotions, videography, engineering, and practically all aspects of the business. All sessions are on the CWU campus except for one day in Seattle when students are welcomed to Bonneville Seattle Media Group by VP/market manager David Pridemore, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and others, followed by a trip to KIRO-TV.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is the third of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, along with the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; Kellar Radio Talent Institute, Appalachian State University in North Carolina; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Trump in England/D-Day Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Mexico Tariffs Averted, Hong Kong Protest, U.S.-China Relations, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and NHL/NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. and the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy; the Democrats vying to face Trump in 2020; the intensification of Democrats’ impeachment talk; Trump pulls back on Mexico tariffs threat; the massive Hong Kong protest against new extradition to China law; U.S. relations with China and Trump’s tariffs; the investigation into possible anti-trust practices by Big Tech firms; and the NHL and NBA finals 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 Tampa Bay, iHeartMedia names Nick Wize assistant program director and afternoon drive host at CHR WFLZ-FM. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I’ve known Nick for years and have seen his love for radio up close.  He’s creative, driven and has performed at a high level throughout his career.  I am excited to have Nick by my side as we continue to build on 93.3 FLZ’s incredible 30-year history!”  Wize comes to Tampa after having served iHeartMedia as APD and air talent at the company’s KRQQ, Tucson…..Sad news in the iHeartMedia family as WLLR, Quad Cities afternoon personality Bo J. Spates died in his sleep on Saturday night (6/8).  The station is paying tribute to Spates during his show today (6/10).

Monday, June 3, 2019

| June 3, 2019

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published Today.  The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published.  This is the 25thedition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERSmagazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important.  That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.”  See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

Cumulus Makes PD Changes in New York; Craig Schwalb Exits WABC. TALKERS magazine hears from several sources that program director Craig Schwalb has exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC.  The change was made on Friday and our sources tell us that programmer Dave LaBrozzi – until Friday the program director for hot AC WPLJ – will program WABC and sister urban contemporary WNBM.  Cumulus also let WNBM PD and VP/urban programming Ken Johnson go on Friday.  Prior to joining WABC, Schwalb served as program director with Cumulus at Providence news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM.

FAIR Announces Dates for 2019 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces today that the 13th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25-26 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. DC.  As in years past, this event brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  FAIR says the event has evolved greatly since the first one in 2006.  “F2F now hosts 70 stations and has become the largest annual radio row and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media.  Unfortunately, several things have not changed – a stagnant status quo of lax enforcement and open borders, obstructionist Democratic positions, hostile courts and a complicit mainstream media.  So, in September, radio hosts are back at it discussing, debating, sorting truth from fiction, hearing first-hand accounts and considering reasonable solutions.  At a minimum, barriers have to be built, asylum loopholes closed, more resources brought to bear, and the rule of law enforced.  Most importantly, Americans – not special interests – will be heard from.”  Talk hosts and programmers wishing to take part should know that reservations are required, and hosts/producers should call FAIR now to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Contact Matthew Tragesser, event manager, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org.

Monday Memo: Camera Tips for Radio.  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke presents the first in a three-part series of tips from digital professionals.  With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which they share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), HC begins with advice from photo pros for taking and presenting quality pictures. Read the column here.

WGDJ, Albany Suspends Host After Controversial Social Media Post. “Talk 1300” general manager Paul Vandenburgh announced on the website of news/talk WGDJ, Albany that afternoon drive talk host Kevin McCashion is suspended from his program after issuing a social media post that some are calling insensitive.  McCashion’s tweet attacked the Albany Times Union for its coverage of the Memorial Day death of a former local female high school basketball star. Twenty-one-year-old Ayanna Hunter died after being shot at a cookout.  McCashion’s tweet showed two images, one of Hunter posing with a stack of money, with the text, “another.@timesunion W H I T E W A S H just an innocent basketball player ha ha.”  Vandenburgh stated, “Ayanna Hunter was shot and killed in Niskayuna and Kevin posted an untimely, unwanted and unnecessary Twitter comment and rightfully so, many people were upset.”  He says he’ll address the situation with McCashion today (6/3).  See the Times-Union story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch adds new affiliate stations.  Syndicator Radio America announces: KXRA-AM Alexandria, Minnesota, KONA-AM, Tri-Cities, Washington, KGYN-AM, Guymon, Oklahoma; KMPT-AM/FM, East Missoula, Montana; WMJD-FM Grundy, Virginia; WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, New Haven; WSNG-AM, Torrington, Connecticut; WJML-AM, Petoskey, Michigan; WJNL-AM, Kingsley, Michigan; WHAK-AM, Rogers City, Michigan; WWMN-FM, Thompsonville, Michigan; and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan all add “The Dana Show” to their program lineups…..The Westwood One-syndicated “Mark Levin Show” joins the program schedule at Entercom’s news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD.”  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Mark Levin is a seasoned radio host and has one of the biggest shows in talk radio.  His program is topical and drives passion. This addition delivers on our commitment to continuously provide the best and most relevant content to our listeners.”…..Former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane – who recently cut a deal with Entercom to get out of his contract with the company – is joining Barstool Sports.  The sports media personality said during a Periscope video that he’ll be doing a daily podcast “live to tape” starting June 15…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-distributed program is adding WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana to its roster of affiliate stations…..iHeartMedia Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and its multimedia rightsholder, Gopher Sports Properties, announce an extension of the broadcast agreement for KFXN “KFAN-FM 100.3,” KTLK-AM/K278BP, and “KFAN Plus 96.7 FM” (K244FE) to continue to serve as the Gophers’ flagship radio stations through the 2022-2023 athletic season…..Shep Rose, star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Southern Charm,” launches a new podcast on PodcastOne titled, “Enough About Me.”  The program will also feature interviews with athletes, teachers, soldiers, stunt men, and even himself in this “weird, wild, funny and dramatic,” weekly show.

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Mueller News Conference/Impeachment Talk, Trump Visits UK, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, Middle East Peace Plan, and Rocketman Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center that took the lives of 12; the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference and Democrats’ talk of impeachment; President Trump embarks on an official visit to the UK; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the tariff wars and the tense relations between the U.S. and China; Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calling it “unexecutable”; and the Elton John biopic, Rocketman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Health Media Personality Asa to Executive Produce and Co-Host Discovery Life TV Show. Radio host, author, television personality and medical doctor Asa Andrew will serve as executive producer and co-host for the second season of the Discovery Life series, “Reversed.”  Co-hosting the show with Asa will be celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The first season of the show was designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  This new season will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of individuals living with cancer as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  Asa says, “This season is personal.  Cancer took my father’s life at age 68, now I’m on a mission to help others before it’s too late.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with cancer. Asa and Mattocks are producing the show via their company, WellTent Media Group LLC.

13thAnnual Kellar Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 13th annual Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina begins today.  Twenty-four students from three universities have been accepted into this year’s 10-day institute during which more than 40 broadcast pros from Beasley Media Group, Entercom, iHeartMediaRadio One, Capitol Broadcasting, Dick Broadcasting, along with Doug Rice, president and voice of Performance Racing NetworkMick Mixon, play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, Don Anthony from Talk Show and Morning Show Bootcamp, Warren Kurtzman president of Coleman Research, and others, will lead sessions for the students.  This summer, National Radio Talent System Institutes are taking place across the country. They include the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; GAB Radio Talent Institute, University of Georgia; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP for the Virginia-Carolina region Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “DZL’s unique insight on the market, coupled with his talent, creativity and innovative style of thinking will ensure that the station continues to do great things in Charlotte.  Because of his vision and passion, I’m thrilled to have DZL lead our team at ‘96.9 The Kat.’”…..On-air pro Shelby Sos is named evening personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”  She comes to Baltimore from the company’s WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” where she was an assistant producer for “The Kane Show.”   iHM Baltimore SVP of programming Mike Preston says, “Shelby brings so much experience from ‘The Kane Show’ to her new position at ‘Z104.3.’  Shelby is immensely talented and really knows how to engage an audience.  We can’t wait to have her on the air in her hometown to shake things up!”…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated “Woody & Wilcox Show” adds new affiliate stations.  Now airing the show are: WCYY, Portland; WQRR, Tuscaloosa; and WVWB, Clarksville, Tennessee…..Programming pro Brian Thomas joins Townsquare Media where he’ll serve as operations manager for the company’s Grand Rapids stations as well as the company’s 17 classic hits-formatted stations.  Thomas was most recently with Cumulus Media Atlanta as PD for country WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

| May 28, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS 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 news/talk radio.  The transition from the March PPM survey to the April PPM survey was good to about a third of the news/talk stations on our panel who saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up.  But, 44% of news/talkers saw their numbers fall.  Comparing April 2018 to April 2019 data, almost half of the news/talk stations on our panel were down (49%) and 41% were up, led by Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford (+1.8), Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas (+1.5), and iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis (+1.2).  In April, three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Middlesex; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See all the data in Mike Kinosian’s report here.

FOX Sports Radio’s Clay Travis Debuts New ‘Wins & Losses’ Podcast. Sports media personality Clay Travis – host of FOX Sports Radio’s daily “Outkick the Coverage” program – is premiering a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast called, “Wins & Losses with Clay Travis,” on the iHeartPodcast Network.   The show will feature “candid, in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports, entertainment, business, and beyond, who will discuss their inspiring journeys to success, including their wins and losses along the way.”  The first episode includes a conversation with sports journalist Jason Whitlock. Travis says, “I love doing daily radio, but most of the time, it’s about reacting to the most recent 24 hours of news – the game that ended the night before, the big free agent signing, the latest player, coach or owner to run afoul of the law.  My goal with this new podcast is to create a series of long-form conversations with fascinating people that are just as good a year from now, or even five years from now, as they are today.”

Monday Memo: Be Yourself.  This week’s Monday Memo from consultant Holland Cooke comes a day late thanks to the Memorial Day holiday.   Today, Cooke shares some simple advice for talk radio hosts and DJs from Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Oscar Wilde, and even Dr. Seuss, who happens to share a birthplace with HC. Read it here.

Trump’s Japan Visit, Midwest Weather, U.S.-China Relations/Trade War, 2020 Presidential Race, European Nationalist Movements/Anti-Semitism, Memorial Day Holiday, and Mt. Everest Deaths Among Top News/Talk Stories over the Weekend.  The president’s visit to Japan; the devastating storms that swept across Ohio; China’s anger over John Bolton’s meeting with Taiwan leaders and the U.S.-China trade war; the Democrats vying to challenge Donald Trump in 2020; the weekend’s elections in European nations that saw victories for nationalist politicians and the related rise of anti-Semitism across the Continent; the Memorial Day holiday; and deaths on the crowded peak of Mt. Everest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Saga’s Nystrom on Brand Building and Digital Attribution. In a piece published in Medium, Saga Communications VP of digital media Matt Nystrom pens an “open letter to my colleagues in the radio industry” in which he says that “appetites for on-demand information have traditional media sellers feeling compelled to measure the efficacy of their products in ways that undermine their core strengths.”  Specifically, he notes that digital attribution – measuring hits on a client’s website shortly after their spot airs on the radio to monitor traffic – is fraught with accuracy problems.  It’s understandable that radio wants to compete in the digital landscape, but it shouldn’t do so at the expense of its strength as a brand builder.  The problem is that brand building takes time and advertisers want immediate results.  Read his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. The program schedule at Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul “Skor North” changes this week with the addition of the daily “Twins Show” airing from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  The station’s Vikings show, “Purple Daily,” moves to the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot hosted by Matthew Collier…..WFMZ-TV, Reading, Pennsylvania reports that a local businessman may be the savior of news/talk WEEU, Reading.  The station is owned by the Reading Eagle Company – currently in bankruptcy protection – whose assets are being sold to MediaNews Group.  MediaNews Group does not want the station and says it will shut it down after the sale closes.  Enter local businessman Hamid Chaudhry.  He says he is interested in buying the station, telling the TV station, “I can’t imagine Berks County without WEEU.  It has a strong base.  It just needs somebody with a little bit of a vision who can change things.”…..Chicago media reporter Robert Feder writes that Entercom is promoting Chicago news pro Jim Gudas to full-time reporter on the afternoon/evening shift on WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, taking the position that opened up when Bob Roberts retired last month.  Gudas previously served with Tribune’s crosstown WGN-AM and with the old WMAQ-AM…..Pictured below is “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo (right) with Indianapolis 500 winner  Simon Pagenaud (left).  Vuolo was in Indy to visit the Bob & Tom Carb Day remote broadcast at the Indy 500 grounds when he took the pic with Pagenaud.  Little did he know that Pagenaud would win the race!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “The Ace & TJ Show” is now the morning program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WMKS, Greensboro “100.3 KISS FM.” Station program director Keith Allen says, “Pop culture fans in Greensboro have been dying to have a morning show to call their own and I’m excited for them to be able to wake up and listen to this top-rated show. Ace and TJ’s morning show is incredibly entertaining and I know it will truly resonate with the Triad audience.”…..Entercom appoints Andrea Hansen station manager and director of sales for its Madison trio of music stations – triple A WMMM “105.5 Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “MIX 105.1.”  She’s been serving the stations as general sales manager since 2015.  Entercom Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “Andrea has done a tremendous job leading our sales team and is an invaluable resource to the culture of our company.  She has been instrumental in the growth of our client base and the training of the team.”…..Adams Radio Group LLC is agreeing to sell oldies WLYV-AM and translator W282CH in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Brian Walsh, owner of oldies WIOE-FM, South Whitley, Indiana.

Monday Memo: Them

| May 20, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Yes, your consultant was a young high school English teacher…until the hypnotic VU meter lured him away to broadcasting.  Although no longer empowered to assign reading, I highly recommend a book I’ve sent to clients: Them: Why We Hate Each Other – And How To Heal by U.S. Senator Ben Sasse R-NE (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).

If Sasse didn’t describe himself as the second-most conservative member of the Senate, you might not guess which political party he’s in.  And he acknowledges that his refreshing curiosity makes him an outlier: “Liberals and conservatives no longer believe the same things, we don’t understand how our opponents believe what they believe, and we soothe our lonely souls with the balm of contempt.”

Read More

Monday, May 20, 2019

| May 19, 2019

Vince Benedetto Selected to Receive TALKERS 2019 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  One of the rising stars in the field of independent radio station ownership, Vince Benedetto, founder and CEO of Bold Gold Media Group has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2019 recipient of “The Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster” – also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  Locally owned, operated and programmed, Bold Gold was founded by Benedetto in 2005 with the aim of becoming the preeminent radio broadcast group in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. Bold Gold serves three primary regions: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, The Pocono Lake Region (Northern Pocono Mountains), and the Catskill Mountains of New York.​  It consists of a combination of 14 music- and talk-formatted stations.  Before entering broadcasting as an entrepreneur, Benedetto was a U.S. Air Force captain who also served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (known as OSI).  Special agents for OSI are responsible for conducting felony level investigations and engaging in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities world-wide in support of our Air Force and Department of Defense operations.  Benedetto came under consideration for the TALKERS award for the work he has done in establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with a mission of supporting the education and training of tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Bold Gold, through its fundraising and charitable efforts, provides education and training support, as well as funding to educational institutions and organizations who are preparing America’s future communicators.  The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of young thought-leaders seeking a career in the field of broadcasting, media, and journalism. One of the Foundation’s first major projects was to build WRFH-FM (101.7 FM)/WRFH-LP “Radio Free Hillsdale” at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.  The new campus-based radio station that signed on the air in 2015 offers students an opportunity to receive both academic and first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to large audiences.  The foundation’s second project was to build a recording studio at the Allan P. Kirby Center of ​Constitutional Studies and Citizenship located in the heart of Washington, DC.  The studio, also dedicated in 2015, is used by the Kirby Center to further its mission of teaching the U.S. Constitution, the debate that brought it to life, and the principles that give it meaning.  In addition to Kirby Center staff, the studio is also used by Hillsdale College faculty and students, visiting broadcasters and journalists, and national leaders.  The “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented to Vince Benedetto at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is four days away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

ONLY FOUR 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.

Monday Memo: Them. Long-ago English teacher Holland Cooke turns in a book report sure to challenge those of us in talk radio.  In Them: Why We Hate Each Other, How to Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, details how media feed and exploit our angry national conversation; and where we go from here.  See HC’s entire column here.

‘Andy and Randy’ New Midday Show at ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” announces its new midday show is “The Midday Show with Andy and Randy,” – hosted by Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael.  Bunker moves to middays from his evening show with the station and McMichael – who enjoyed an 11-year NFL career – has been hosting the Saturday morning “College Game Time” show at the station.  They take over for John Michaels and Rick Kamla, who exited the station in March. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Andy has been a listener favorite since he joined ‘92.9 The Game’ and has built great chemistry with Randy.  Andy and Randy’s collaboration, along with their bold and honest take on Atlanta sports, will be a great addition to our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest book from nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin bump’s Howard Stern’s newest memoir from its perch as the top-selling book on Amazon.  Levin’s book is titled, Unfreedom of the Press (Threshold Editions, 2019), and has achieved the top ranking based on pre-order sales…..Former KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive personalities Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill are launching a weekly podcast and a real estate company 18 weeks after being let go by the Bonneville news/talk outlet.  The Seattle Times reports that the popular duo, whose contracts were not renewed, have both earned their real estate brokers licenses and have formed Ron and Don Brokers with Windermere Real Estate.  Read the story here…..Alexandria, Minnesota news/talk outlet KXRA-AM is adding another FM signal to its broadcasts.  The Paradis Broadcasting-owned station broadcasts on its 1490 AM frequency as well as on translator K262AT at 100.3 FM.  Now, the company is adding a second translator at 105.7 that will allow it to cover Pope County…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of WVON, Chicago overnight personality Alpheus “Ywain” Fields, who died at his home on Saturday (5/18) at the age of 57.  Fields first joined WVON in 1983 as an intern.  He was soon hired as a board operator and production assistant.  During his 36-year career with the station he served in numerous capacities in the programming department.

Nashville Talk Host Phil Valentine Renews with WWTN-FM. Talk radio pro Phil Valentine inks a new, long-term deal with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his daily, afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 SuperTalk.”  Cumulus says that in addition to hosting his program, the new deal includes Valentine working with the company “on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events.”  The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by his father, Phil Valentine.  The show is “a dynamic conversation between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial with thought-provoking and hilarious discussions on everything from what they would possibly do if the grid went down, to spies, to the top historical events that changed the world to religion.”  Phil Valentine says, “I was the morning guy when we launched ‘SuperTalk 99.7WTN’ back in 1995.  That’s where I started in talk radio.  I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road.  This is home, and I’m glad to be here for the long haul.”

Nolan to Lead Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations. Sales and management pro Libby Nolan is joining Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal, Missouri operations to serve as market president and chief revenue officer.  Nolan was most recently with Entercom and Emmis in St. Louis as general sales manager.  Townsquare’s Quincy-Hannibal cluster includes news/talk KHMO-AM, country KICK-FM, classic country KICK-AM, and adult contemporary KRRY.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Libby is a perfect match for what we look for in a leader at Townsquare.  She brings with her exceptional experience in building sales teams and utilizing local talent to its fullest potential, which will enhance our ‘Local First’ approach in Quincy-Hannibal.”

Justin Amash Impeachment Tweet, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran War Talk, New Anti-Abortion Laws, Trump Immigration Plan, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash issues a tweet saying President Trump has committed impeachable offenses; the tariffs the U.S. and China are planning to place on each other’s exports; President Trump’s warning to Iran to “never threaten the U.S. again”; the highly restrictive abortion law passed in Alabama and a similar bill expected to become law in Missouri; the Trump administration’s immigration plan; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoff 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. Programming pro Michelle Stevens joins Entercom’s New York operations to serve as assistant program director for hot AC WNEW-FM and classic hits WCBS-FM.  Stevens comes to Entercom from her most recent position as director of brand management for Connoisseur Media.  Entercom New York market manager Susan Larkin states, “Michelle possesses valuable expertise in programming and talent development, and she will be a much-welcomed asset to our stations.  She has a stellar track record for developing top-rated brands and we are looking forward to her contributions at two of New York’s most loved stations.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “New Country 98.9 The Bull” names Wingnut the station’s midday personality, hosting the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, he’ll serve as APD and music director.  Station PD Scott Mahalick says, “You can have the best strategy in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’.  I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”  Wingnut was previously afternoon drive host and APD/MD at Entercom’s crosstown country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”…..At Milwaukee non-commerical triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” music journalist Evan Rytlewski is named web editor for the station’s site.  Rytlewski served as music editor for the local alt-weekly Shepherd Express for 13 years and has been a regular contributor to Pitchfork, among other national music publications…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated rock show “The Chop Shop” celebrates its 15th anniversary.  The program is hosted by WRIF-Detroit’s Steve Black, who says, “My love of rock ‘n’ roll directed me into radio nearly 30 years ago.  It was that same passion that opened these shows to syndication 15 years ago.  And I see the impact music makes on our lives every day.  Some of my happiest moments are helping listeners find new music or remember a special moment attached to one of their favorite songs.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven-tenths in March/April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

In back-to-back reports, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” gains one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 -1.8, 6+) yet drops from a tie at #17 to #19. This marks the third time in the last five ratings periods that iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” logs a .6 (.6 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .6, flat at #24, 6+).

January 2019 through April 2019 fluctuations by KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); and a mammoth -2.0 in April (9.5 – 7.5, 6+). On top the past three months, the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet segues to second-place with its lowest 6+-showing (7.5) since August 2018’s 7.1.

Austin Music Formats – The (6+) adult contemporary share in Texas’ capital city balloons by +2.4. Leading the way is Entercom’s KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” whose nine latest report-to-report shifts are: -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 in April (5.0 – 6.5, seventh to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erases that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, #20 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned triple A KGSR-HD2 debuts with a .8 (#23, 6+). A robust +1.2 by iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (5.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) puts an end to its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that timeframe, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and lost six-tenths in February. Directly after posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.3 in three straight decreases (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other country player – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (#16). A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Improving by three-tenths in March/April (8.4 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot to #1. This is the first time that “Bob” occupies the top spot since December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z,” which was +1.2 in March (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), surrenders two-thirds of that increase (5.9, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to March, KLZT last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). After finishing with a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” vanishes from print.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – By dropping four-tenths to 6.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Progressing from #18 to #17, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” improves by four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

In an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has a topline of: 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Contrast that to co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” (#25) whose August 2018 through April 2019 topline is: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Regaining half (+.1) of March’s two-tenths decrease (7.5 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC was -.9 (November 2018); +1.0 (January 2019); and -.6 (February).

Raleigh Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” are +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.9 in April (5.4 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this (6.3) is its best 6+-showing since September 2015’s 6.5. Co-owned WNCB posts an impressive April gain of nine-tenths as well (2.9, #15 to #13, 6+), wiping away February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). “New Country B-93.9” logs its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (also 2.9). Meanwhile, its format foe – Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” – tacks on seven-tenths to a March gain of three-tenths (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+), and climbs from fifth to fourth. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, classic country cluster-mate WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570” has a 6+ topline of: .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 (#21). Even though it is a collective -1.5 in three straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the ninth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. A combined -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WQOK “K-97.5” drops from third to sixth. This follows three straight sweeps without a loss that yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). On the heels of a March decrease of six-tenths, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” falters by another seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #20, 6+). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” concludes at three its consecutive string of up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). March’s 3.7 is its highest 6+-stat since June 2018’s 3.8. Similarly-formatted WDCG, which was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), is a combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) as iHeartMedia-owned “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective -1.4 in four straight reports without an increase (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), but advances from #17 to #16.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – To say the least, the nine most recent ratings periods have been a wild rollercoaster ride for Emmis news/talk WIBC. In that stretch, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” has been: -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 in April (6.4 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). The high points (7.2, 6+) came in November and February, while April’s 5.2 is the lowest 6+-stat in that timeframe.

While remaining steady at #16, sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” improves by three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and opens up a full-share advantage over iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, #17 to #18, 6+). After five straight times of logging a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT doubles it to .2 (#22, 6+); this is the 15th consecutive sweep that “CBS Sports AM 1430” has notched either a .1 or .2 (6+).

All but one-tenth of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI’s collective +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) is obliterated by an April -1.4 to 4.3 (6+); WFYI departs the top ten (#7 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – While perhaps not quite as volatile as the recent ratings history of Emmis news/talk WIBC (noted above), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” has experienced some significant shifts lately. It was a whopping +2.9 in January (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 in April (8.5 – 10.2, 6+). Not only is WJJK #1 for the fourth month in a row, it registers the highest 6+-share (10.2) in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. A non-Christmas music month +1.7 would usually grab top honors for largest increase in a market, but WJJK’s feat is outdone by Emmis adult contemporary WYXB, which is +1.9 to 8.8 (6+), as “B-105.7” progresses from third to second. The huge uptick applies the brakes to three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 58% (-9.5) loss of its 6+ AQH share (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). It leaps over Cumulus Media’s WFMS (second to third) even though “95.5 The Country Station” follows March’s +1.1 with a gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 7.3 – 8.0, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and is +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by Emmis-owned/similarly formatted WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Country 97.1 Hank FM” returns one-tenth in April to 6.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” gains eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and advances from ninth to seventh. The last time Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS appeared in print was more than seven years ago (February 2012, 2.8, #16). “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” resurfaces in April with a 3.1 (#4, 6+). As both Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” and Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” drop one-half share, they display identical March to April profiles: 5.1 – 4.6 (6+), tenth to ninth. WNTR’s March 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 5.5; “Hot” is a cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, flat at #12); while co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in succession for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2, #22, 6+). In four consecutive down or flat reports, Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is off six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – No station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets makes a greater (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 escalation than Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) as the Brewers flagship leaps from fourth to second. Its March 5.9 marked the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” slipped below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). Some of its representative shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which sputtered by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), regains four-tenths to 5.5 (6+). “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2.

Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” slips from #15 to #16. Surrendering half the six-tenths it gained in February/March (1.3 – 1.0, -.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” tumbles from #15 to #18. Prior to February’s increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). In late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game.” The station’s December 2018 through April 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 – .3 (#21 to #22, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it picked up in March (.2 – .3 – .2, #23 to #24, 6+). After popping up with a .5 (6+) in November 2018, Good Karma Brands’ WAUK has disappeared from print.

Three straight sweeps without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet surrenders four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). While flat at 1.1 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD advances from #18 to #17.

Milwaukee Music FormatsMilwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is an overall +1.8 in three straight bumps (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+) and moves from #12 to #11. Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.3) is its best since August 2017’s 4.3. Rebounding from a March loss of eight-tenths with an April improvement of nearly the same magnitude (9.4 – 10.1, +.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in succession. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its six most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.7 (April). After scoring back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” forfeits approximately 78% (-1.4) of that February/March bounty with a -1.4 to 4.9 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. With a 6.3 in March, “Kiss” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). Hot AC sibling WMYX “99.1 The Mix” has lost seven-tenths in four down or flat reports (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is a collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, and then on 3.6 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” sputters by four-tenths and is back at 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). In three straight improvements, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 1510” forfeits three-tenths to 1.4 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (5.5 – 4.8, sixth to ninth) continues an October 2018 through April 2019 alternating up/down sequence: +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and -.7 (April). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (+.2, #17 to #16) is also in an up/down pattern: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, (6+).

Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #10, 6+). With an April loss of seven-tenths, its internet stream all but disappears, as evidence by this January 2019 through April 2019 topline: 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .1 (#28, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Six-tenths proves to be particularly noteworthy this sweep for two stations in the Midwest Communications cluster. In the case of adult hits WCJK, a gain of six-tenths to 8.4 (6+) pushes “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” from the runner-up slot to #1. From January 2019 through April 2019, “Jack” nets a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+) and reaches the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its five most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.6 (April). On the flipside, adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which had been #1 the past 15 ratings periods, forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and assumes WCJK’s vacated position at #2. “Mix” is an overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Eleven recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); and -.6 (April). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Continuing to enjoy its progressive roll, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a collective +2.2, owing to five straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) and advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. There is a similar story for iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which racks up a +1.7 in four consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. Unchanged at #8 is the other country FM in “Music City USA,” Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which has lost two-tenths in four successive mostly flat/modestly-down sweeps (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Posting increases of seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Educational Media Foundation WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+) and WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (1.5, #21 to #18). Both of these contemporary Christian outlets were down six-tenths in March; WAYM was actually a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+). Up six-tenths in April, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (seventh to sixth) has an alternating down/up “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 pattern of: 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.9 (6+). Flat at #4, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3, fourth, 6+), directly after logging a +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Down two-tenths in March, WPRO-AM’s February gain of one-tenth halted three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). For the third report in a row, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#11 to #12) has a month-to-month shift of two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). After having lost a collective four-tenths through three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and advances from #18 to #15. By returning the two-tenths it acquired in March (.6, flat at #20), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” suspends four straight (modest) increases that nearly tripled (+.5) its 6+-stat (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in January onto to return a combined six-tenths in February/March, Entercom sports talk WVEI dials up a four-tenths gain in April (3.6 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+).

After being tied at #12 in February and March, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (flat at 1.6, #12 to #13, 6+) get a bit untangled. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In January, WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) following “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Shaking off a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (fifth to fourth) roars back with a +1.6 to 7.6, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 8.1. In four straight positive spikes (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.2 (fourth to third); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Debuting in February with a .3 (6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WNBH “Big 101.3” follows with a .4 (March, 6+) and .5 in April (#21, 6+). Immediately after “Holiday” 2018’s lofty 16.2 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI posted a consistent January – February – March topline of 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.2 (6+). Not only does “Lite Rock 105” have a one-half share bump to 9.7 (6+), it advances from second, where it had been the past three sweeps, to first. Prior to shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Displaced from the top spot after three straight months there and segueing to second-place is iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which falters by nine-tenths to 9.6 (6+). The loss interrupts four consecutive ratings periods without a loss that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. This Rhode Island market’s 6+ CHR share softens by -1.3, virtually equally divided between Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (-.7, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” (7.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Fun 107” has now lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in three straight slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). WPRO-FM’s April -.6 pulls the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.4 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); 7.8 in March is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4.

Norfolk – Not only has iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gained six-tenths in four straight upticks (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Following five negative or (mostly) flat sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6  -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WHBT “92.1 The Beat” gains four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and is steady at #9. The January 2019 through April 2019 toplines of Saga classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are virtually identical. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 (third to second, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 (unchanged at #2, 6+). A combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is nonetheless #1 for the fourth month in a row. Until April’s 10.5, it had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. WVKL had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was up three-tenths in March, surrenders eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to fifth. Its December/“Holiday” 2018 +7.9 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. After being a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but remains in eighth-place. As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, WMOV was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). While it carries on in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” drops three-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing three straight gains that yielded a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WPTE was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being an overall -1.8 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” manages to progress from second to first. This is WOKV’s lowest 6+-share since September 2018 (8.6, as well), while November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Even though iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is down or flat the sixth consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+) it returns to the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #19).

A cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is off two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) but advances from #12 to #11.

Jacksonville Music Formats – After posting a +1.2 in January, iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WSOL was a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Now in April, “V-101.5” logs a gain of seven-tenths to 5.4, climbing seventh to fifth. Gospel cluster-mate WKSL-HD3 is without a loss for the third straight time for a net increase of one-half share 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Conversely, co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print. It is a March-only stay at #1 for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which is off six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and segues to a second-place tie. In addition, the decrease pulls the plug on three bumps in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #12, 6+), curtailing three gains in succession that accounted for a +1.8 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). In December/“Holiday” 2018, WWJK was a combined -1.4 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was an overall +2.1 in three successive up or flat moves (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), forfeits one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Entering the top twenty at #19 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2, which gains two-tenths in eight straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3, 6+). As a result of seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.5 and slips from fifth to eighth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – erases February’s half-share loss with a March/April increase of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) and continues in ninth-place. At the same time that WGNE’s adult contemporary sibling WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” slips by four-tenths (8.7 – 8.3, third to a second-place tie, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). It was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Meanwhile, by relinquishing six-tenths in March, WEZI surrendered roughly half of January/February’s +1.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By piling on four-tenths to March’s +.3 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-showing (2.7) since July 2018’s 2.9. A combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is up three-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #11, 6+). After having lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share in four successive negative moves (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” wipes away half that deficit with a +.8 to 2.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). Doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD enters the West Palm Beach top twenty (#22 to #20).

In August 2018, co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent nine sweeps.

Slipping from seventh to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has lost eight-tenths in three successive decreases (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL lost one-tenth in March, it snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). “Today’s Kool 105.5” answers in April with a +.7 to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5, and advances from third to second. Conversely, following a March increase of seven-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-programmed WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” spirals by -1.2 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (second to third). “Sunny” was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+). Up six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is steady in fourth-place and has its highest 6+-share (5.9) since May 2018’s 6.2. Immediately on the heels of erupting with a +2.0 in March, co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” craters by an even more humongous -2.2 (9.2 – 11.2 – 9.0, 6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its March 11.2 is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. A cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” halts the slide by picking up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and remains in ninth-place. Off one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute gospel WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” fades from #15 to #20.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.2 in March/April (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” was +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

After more than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth to .8 (#15 to #14, 6+).

While it remains anchored at #13 for the 12th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” erodes by seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+). Off three-tenths to .5 (#16 to #17, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC halts at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia CHR WMKS have generated a collective +1.8 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “100.3 Kiss-FM” climbs from tenth to ninth and reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, April 2018). Improving by seven-tenths (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (6.5 – 7.2, steady at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” (2.5 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to faltering by one-half share in March, WJMH was an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Five straight declines by WQMG resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), but “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” applies the brakes with a +.6 to 9.7 (6+). Moreover, the Entercom urban AC marches to #1 after a March-only stay in the runner-up slot. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 in 2018 before segueing to #2 in December. While setting the pace in January and February (2019), its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January (2019) at 26. In March, WQMG was replaced at #1 by adult hits cluster-mate WSWM “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything,” but the roles are reversed in April, as WQMG pushes “Simon” from first to third. The four most recent fluctuations by WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); and -1.6 in April (9.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to March, the last time WSMW reached #1 was August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March’s 9.8 its best 6+performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it squandered in March (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” loses a cumulative seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). April results keep WPAW and WTQR at #6 and #8, respectively.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in March (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was a combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), progresses from tenth to eighth.

Dipping from #11 to #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is off four-tenths via three straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; and resurfaces in March and April (.1 – .1, #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the tenth straight time (including eight consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Notwithstanding that it has back-to-back upticks of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth-place with its best 6+-showing (7.0) in exactly one year (7.1, April 2018). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in February and March, Entercom’s country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” displays an April improvement of six-tenths and enters the top ten (3.9, #13 to #9, 6+). On top the sixth time in a row and in double-digits the 13th successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless -1.2 in March/April (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012) for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to KJMS, co-owned WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” erodes by -1.0 as well and is actually an overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2018 -.7 and a January +1.5, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a cumulative -1.8 in February, March, and April (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+). Forfeiting the one-half share gain it attained in March (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” drops from #14 to #15. In “Holiday” 2018, WKIM reached the five-share level (6+), but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Its AC rival is steady in third place, but Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” is -1.2 in March/April (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of one-tenth, WRVR’s seven most recent moves were: +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked in third-place, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.4 via four straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips to #15; “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had finished at #14 the past three reports. This marks the 11th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17).

The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

As part of an alternating up/down pattern that began in December 2018, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is +.3 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); -.9 (February); +.1 (March); and -.6 in April (5.3 – 4.7, flat at #9, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” erases half that decline with an April gain of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By racking up a robust increase of nine-tenths after its March +.4 (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.5, unchanged in second-place, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” brings to a halt the down/up pattern it began in August 2018: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+). This (8.5) is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Connecticut’s Classic Rock”  improves by seven-tenths in March/April (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). In addition to climbing from eighth to seventh, “The Whale” has its best 6+-stat since October 2017 (6.0, as well). Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has certainly experienced considerable shifting in each of the past seven reports. “Lite 100.5” was -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); and is -1.3 in April. Although #1 for the 34th consecutive ratings period, WRCH drops to 9.8 (6+); it had been in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. A combined +1.1 in February/March (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); March’s 6.1 is its best 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.5. Flat at #5, Entercom-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.4 in March/April (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), following a January/February +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+).

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff 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. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More than Ever

| April 29, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — On a sales call while visiting a client station, the prospect asked how many listeners we’ve lost “now that everyone has SiriusXM.”  Although we could easily demonstrate satellite radio’s actual penetration, and that our cume is actually up lately, perception is reality, eh?

One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as “big;” and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.

Read More

Monday Memo: Promos 101

| April 22, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI –Nothing we say on-air can add listeners. Because the only people who hear promos are already listening.

On-air promotion should accomplish two things:

  1. Add Time Spent Listening by explaining why and how to use the station again another time. Mathematically, that’ll move-the-needle even quicker than a bunch of expensive TV spots or billboards, which do invite sampling, but are inviting everyone.  But your listeners already know you and use you.  So with promos, you’re “buying a spot schedule on your own air,” the most-efficient medium for reaching your own listeners.
  2. Enhance recall. I’m not against ear candy, when promos convey the essence of stations and shows.  But be careful that cute, self-amused imaging doesn’t obscure the message.

Read More

Monday, April 22, 2019

| April 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Promos 101.  With the important Spring ratings survey underway, station imaging needs to be on-message.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines strategy and tactics.  Your station promos should add Time Spent Listening and enhance recall.  Learn more about how to accomplish that here.

Kristin Roderick Upped to VP at Townsquare Media. Sales pro Kristin Roderick is promoted from her director of regional partnerships position with Townsquare Media to vice president of partnership sales for New Jersey.  She states, “No media company has a stronger platform in New Jersey than Townsquare to help our clients achieve their marketing objectives.  I’m looking forward to leveraging Townsquare’s dynamic and diversified marketing platform to help some of the biggest and best agencies and businesses in the area accomplish their goals and increase their business.”  Roderick joined Townsquare in November of 2017.  She has held general sales manager and director of agency sales positions at iHeartMedia New York and a senior account executive position at Emmis Communications New York.

KMOX, St. Louis Personality Harry Hamm Charged with Child Pornography Possession and Sodomy.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is reporting that KMOX-AM, St. Louis entertainment reporter and host Harry Hamm has been charged with possession of child pornography, incest and second-degree statutory sodomy after an underage relative reported alleged sexual abuse to police.  St. Ann, Missouri police say that Hamm confessed to the allegations during an interview.  Entercom issued the following statement regarding Hamm. “We have just learned of the troubling allegations against Harry Hamm.  We take these matters very seriously and have placed him on immediate leave as we investigate.  We do not have any further comment at this moment.”

Mueller Report Released, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Church Bombings, 2020 Presidential Politics, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the politics surrounding the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border; the deadly Easter Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Sri Lanka; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports WFAN sports talk personality Mike Francesa tweeted over the weekend that he’s making his final comment about the dispute between his station and crosstown rival WEPN “ESPN New York” over the afternoon drive ratings.  As you may recall, ESPN is touting PM driver Michael Kay’s ratings for the Winter survey (Jan., Feb., March), saying he beat Francesa in Men 25-54.  However, when adding WFAN’s streaming numbers, Francesa beats Kay.  The issue here is whether WFAN’s stream – which airs different ads than the over-the-air signal – should count.  Francesa obviously believes it should.  He tweeted: “This is the last time I will ever make a statement about the calculation of the radio ratings.  There is only one possible way to read them. Anyone, and that means anyone, who says differently is either a fool or a liar. Case closed.”…..WABC, New York morning personality Sid Rosenberg celebrated his 52nd birthday on air last week and was greeted with Happy Birthday wishes from a number of his high-profile friends, including: TV host and prosecutor Bob Bianchi, Chris Matthews, Goumba Johnny, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Kay, and Jim Kerr.  During the segment with Taylor, the two discussed rehab, aging, and enjoying the little things in life.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Montgomery CHR outlet WHHY-FM “Y102” names Gordie Daniels co-host of the morning show with incumbent morning personality Tommy Fields.  Daniels previously worked on air at WJHM, Orlando and WLLD, Tampa.  WHHY program director Jay Rio says, “It will be exciting to hear a new fresh and real sound from Gordie Daniels for the ‘Y102’ morning show.  His experience, work ethic, and extensive background in mornings, working with ‘Orlando & The Freak Show’ in Tampa and ‘The Wake Up Posse’ morning show in Orlando as co-host and morning show producer makes Gordie the best talent to begin our day for ‘Y102.’”…..iHeartMedia’s Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” announces its annual series of Summer Block Parties.  The kick-off event takes place on June 23 at Xfinity Live! featuring live performances by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Flora Cash, Oliver Tree, and Matt Maeson. Station PD and air personality John Allers says, “We’re very excited to offer our listeners another summer of free concerts with their favorite bands.  We’re also thrilled to continue our partnership with Xfinity Live! as we move this year’s series of events to a new location.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces Natalia Ospina joins the company as an ad sales assistant.  Ospina was previously with Entravision Media Group serving as national TV sales account coordinator.  Ospina will be based out of New York City supporting the SBG lineup that includes “The Fitz Show,” “Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister,” Michael Baisden, Jim Brickman, Alfonso Ribeiro, Ana-Maria Canseco and many others.

March 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. March 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) doesn’t prevent Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” from progressing from #12 to #10.

Four straight decreases by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX accounted for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), but “The Horn” ends the slide with a one-tenth March gain to 1.7 (#20 to #17, 6+). In a somewhat similar situation, iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” was down three-tenths via four consecutive down or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) but picks up two-tenths to .6 (flat at #24, 6+).

The three most recent shifts by University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); and +.7 in March (8.8 – 9.5, #1 for the third time in a row, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” advances from fourth to third. It’s the first time KLZT reaches the six-share level (6.7, 6+) since October 2016 (6.1). It is a different story though for Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK. Immediately after dialing up a +1.2 (3.4 – 4.6, 6+), “Spirit 105.9” forfeits the entire increase (4.6 – 3.4, -1.2, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #12). February’s 4.6 marked the first time KFMK reached the four-share level (6+) since May 2017 (4.0). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” In its first sweep in the new format, “Star” is off nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.1, #17 to #20, 6+). The station it now chases – Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ – loses one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, 6+), dropping from fourth to seventh. The eight most recent shifts for “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday” are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); and -.5 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In three straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall +1.8 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4, sixth to fifth, 6+). “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). After posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.1 in February/March (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1, third to sixth, 6+). When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Eliminating February’s gain of four-tenths with a decrease nearly twice that size (2.7 – 2.0, -.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” slides from #13 to #16. A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). The market’s country outlet in positive territory this sweep is KVET-FM sibling KASE, which adds two-tenths after February’s -.6 (4.3 – 4.5, 6+) and jumps from tenth to eighth. “Austin’s #1 For New Country” spiraled by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and improved by +1.2 in January.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is an overall +1.9 and repeats in fifth-place. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” regains the three-tenths it lost in February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #19 to #18.

A gain of seven-tenths by Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC (1.7 – 2.4, 6+) takes “99.9 The Fan” from #17 to #14.

Despite dropping two-tenths (7.5 – 7.3, 6+), WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from fourth to third. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk outlet has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); second to fourth (February, -.6); and now fourth to third.

Raleigh Music Formats – Without a loss the third time in a row for a net gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+) Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” has its best 6+-showing (3.7) since June 2018’s 3.8. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had been +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders six-tenths to 5.4 (6+) yet advances from eighth to a seventh-place tie. Notwithstanding that it is trending 11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 (6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the eighth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February. January’s 11.0 is WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Ups/downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which was -2.6 (January); +1.6 (February); and is -.9 in March (8.6 – 7.7, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. A February gain of six-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” is cleared away by a March dip of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). February’s 6.2 is its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” is off six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, #13 to #16, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (1.9) since September 2018’s  1.7. Locked on 7.6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 and then on 7.8 (6+) in January and February, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” regresses by one-half share to 7.3 (6+) but remains in third-place. Having more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” forfeits one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) and stays at #20. Co-owned regional Mexican WYMY is a collective -1.4 in three straight declines (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “La Ley 101.1” more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a decrease of eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4, third to sixth, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC concludes an odd streak. In the past four sweeps, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February.

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” which was in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (6+), is unchanged in 6+-share (2.0) and 6+-rank (#16). It remains three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which – likewise – repeats February’s 6+-share (1.7) and 6+-rank (#17).

In addition to advancing from eighth to seventh, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI is an overall +1.5 via three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats

The market’s 6+ country share inflates by +1.8, with Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” jumping from sixth to second, and Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” improving from seventh to fifth. Regarding WFMS, “The Country Station” obliterates February’s -1.0 with a +1.1 (7.2 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+), while “Hank” replicates February’s +.7 and is a collective +2.2 as a result of three straight upticks (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); and +1.1 (March). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Not only does Entercom hot AC WNTR crack the top ten (#11 to #10), “107.9 The Mix” (4.1 – 5.1, +1.0, 6+) has its highest 6+-stat (5.1) since January 2018’s 5.5. The three most recent shifts for Cumulus Media’s WJJK are January’s +2.9 (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); and -.6 in March (9.1 – 8.5, 6+). Nonetheless, “Classic Hits 104.5” is #1 for the third month in a row. After spending six straight sweeps on top, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0 (October 2018), the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Faltering by six-tenths in addition to WJJK are iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” (6.8, second to fourth, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.3 – 5.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). The December 2018 – February 2019 topline for “Q-95” was 7.7 – 7.3 – 7.7 – 7.4 (6+). After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, WZPL was +1.7 in January/February; it reached the six-share level (6.3, February 2019, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – With a December 2018 through February 2019 topline of 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ  drops three-tenths to 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+), marking the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” has been below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). By picking up one-tenth in January, the flagship of the Bucks and Brewers halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” spirals by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+).

By tacking on one-half share to February’s +.1 (.8 – 1.3, , 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI vaults from #20 to #15. Prior to February’s increase, “94.5 ESPN” was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). WKTI catches Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which had been trending 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 (6+), but drops one-tenth to 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). With the caveat that in late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game,” the station’s December 2018 through March 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 (#22 to #21, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is up one-tenth (.2 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).

A collective +1.2 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM bumps up from tenth to ninth. Down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD drops from #15 to #18.

Milwaukee Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” are -.6 (January); +.5 (February); and +1.1 in March (3.0 – 4.1, #13 to #12, 6+). Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.1) is its best since July 2019 (4.1, as well). Posting a nine-tenths’ gain in back-to-back sweeps is Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), which rockets from eighth to third and reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). While it is #1 for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” erodes by eight-tenths (10.2 – 9.4, 6+). Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its five latest fluctuations are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.8 (March). Even though it has been without a direct country competitor since November (2018) when WKTI flipped to sports talk, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL was -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+) and is a combined -2.1 in February/March (7.5 – 6.6 – 5.4, third to seventh, 6+). On the positive side, “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” was +1.3 in January. In back-to-back sweeps urban contemporary sibling WKKV erodes by -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+). Even though it returns all but one-tenth of February’s +.6 (6.4 – 5.9, -.5, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” continues in fourth-place. A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, “Holiday” 2018, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history, but later spiraled by -4.5 (January 2019).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Level at 3.6 (6+) following a February gain of four-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN slips from #12 to #13. Prior to February’s +.4, “Super Talk 99.7” was without an increase the previous  four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). In addition to bumping up from #19 to #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nets seven-tenths via three straight improvements (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); and +1.1 in March (4.4 – 5.5, tenth to sixth, 6+). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (flat at #17) is also in an up/down sequence that covers the same timeframe: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7, (6+).

A loss of nine-tenths (5.7 – 4.8, 6+) sends Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM from sixth to tenth. “NPR News and Classical Music” was a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – The four most recent shifts for Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and +1.1 in March (6.7 – 7.8, third to second, 6+). This (7.8) is the highest 6+-stat for Nashville’s “Jack” since August 2018 (7.8, as well). Its +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 curtailed five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). One full-share ahead of WCJK is its adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is #1 for the 15th successive ratings period but an overall -5.3 in three straight downturns (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); and -.5 (March). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An increase of six-tenths by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (6.1 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) puts an end to its December 2018 through February 2019 topline of 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1. Over and above being a collective +2.0 as a result of four straight positive spikes (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1, steady at #5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” reaches the six-share level for the first time since June 2013 (6.1, as well). Tied in eighth place are iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which nets a +1.5 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which is off two-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). A combined +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), directly after being -1.4 via five straight down or flat reports (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” falters by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+). Off by six-tenths each are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0, #12 to #14, 6+) and WAY Media’s similarly-formatted WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (#18 to #21). WLVU had been trending 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 (6+); WAYM is a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), after picking up one-tenth in February, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” continues in seventh-place. Its February increase suspended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). Despite returning February’s +.2 (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ  continues at #11; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” was up seven-tenths in January. Co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is down a collective four-tenths via three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and is flat at #18. In addition to nearly tripling (+.5) its 6+-stat in four straight (modest) increases (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

A loss of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, 6+) drops Entercom sports talk WVEI from sixth to eighth. A combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), WVEI was up seven-tenths in January and down one-tenth in February.

Just as they were in February, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH are tied at #12; each has a 1.9 – 1.6, -.3, (6+) profile. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia’s WHJY net a +2.0 in four consecutive ratings periods without a loss (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+), “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 for the third straight month and cracks double-digits (10.5, 6+). Prior to taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. In three straight gains (6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” is a cumulative +1.4 and advances from fourth to third with its best 6+-stat (7.8) since September 2018’s 8.4. Jumping from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (+.5, 6+) continues its up/down pattern that commenced in September 2018: 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 4.3. Although it drops from third to fourth, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in three straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). A combined -1.6 in February/March (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+), WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” carries on in ninth-place. The Townsquare Media CHR had more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Owing to a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (6.0, flat at #5, 6+), ends a down/up pattern that existed from September 2018 through February 2019: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February.

Norfolk – After picking up two-tenths in February (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL sputters by -1.3 to 11.6 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in a row. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Even though it is off by -1.3, WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 37th time in the last 38 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. In back-to-back (January and February) sweeps, co-owned WNVZ posted increases of one-full share (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), but “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” falters by four-tenths in March to 5.2 (steady at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV is a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). Down or (mostly) flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6      -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WHBT “92.1 The Beat” erases the deficit with a +.3 to 1.6 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Three straight gains by Entercom hot AC WPTE yield a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, steady at #7, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “94.9 The Point” was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is up three-tenths to 6.6 (flat at #4, 6+). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.6 in February/March (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” segues from first to second. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Down or flat for the fifth consecutive time, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost one-half share in that stretch (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #12.

Jacksonville Music Formats – In three successive sweeps without a loss, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” nets a +2.1 (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and is steady at #4. Over and above being +1.6 as a result of three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” progresses from second to first. Immediately prior to this streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). Five straight sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT resulted in a net gain of eight-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+) but “93.3 The Beat” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (flat at #5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WSOL is a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+); “V-101.5” was +1.2 in January. Even though Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI surrenders roughly half of January/February’s +1.1 (5.1 – 4.5, -.6, 6+), “Easy 102.9” remains in eighth-place. Its January increase of seven-tenths stymied a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” – is up three-tenths to 8.7 (steady at #3, 6+), after having lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Owing to six consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.0, yet actually climbs from seventh to fifth. Meanwhile, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” erases 40% of February’s half-share loss with a gain of two-tenths (3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and stays in ninth-place. Part of that three-way logjam at #9 is iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station,” which is +1.8 in three gains in succession (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). WWJK was a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – With a gain of three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” enters the top ten (#12 to #10) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (2.3, as well). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Furthermore, WJNO leapfrogs co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches,” which is a combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, #11 to #12, 6+). WZZR was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. As a result of four successive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, #15 to #17, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD doubles (+.5) its West Palm Beach-stat (.5 – .7 – 1.0, 6+) and is anchored at #22.

Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN replicates February’s loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+) and slips from sixth to seventh.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Stuck on 9.2 (6+) in January and February, after faltering by -1.0 in January, Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” explodes with a mammoth +2.0 to 11.2 (6+) and is #1 for the third month in a row. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Co-owned adult contemporary WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9,” which was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+), answers with a +.7 to 8.2 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. Steady in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is off one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), snapping at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). In three straight gains (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), cluster-mate WKGR “Gater 98.7 – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” was a combined +1.5, but that increase vanishes completely with a -1.5 to 3.8 (flat at #5, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which notched a one-half share increase in February to wipe away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Flat at #9, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is a cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering more than half of January/February’s combined +1.4 (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) with a -.8 to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” falls from ninth to tenth. WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” climbs from #17 to #15.

Flat at 2.3 (6+), after being up a combined half-share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is anchored at #13 for the 11th consecutive time. This marks the fourth consecutive sweep that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC is either up or flat for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, flat at #16, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations by Entercom adult hits WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); and +.9 in March (8.9 – 9.8, 6+) as “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” progresses from second to first with its best 6+performance (9.8) since July 2018’s 10.0. This marks the first time WSMW has reached #1 since August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Displaced from the lead and dropping to second is urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which is -2.3 as the result of five straight declines (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. An overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMH “102 Jamz” falters by one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). A collective +.8 in three sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). In the last three survey periods, WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” had shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). The Entercom country outlet drops two-tenths in March (5.7 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). After substituting January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is flat at 5.3 (6+) and repeats February’s eighth-place finish; “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is off one-tenth in March to 4.3 (6+) and slips from eighth to tenth.

Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #11. Co-owned WMC-AM is without an increase for the ninth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1, 6+); “ESPN 790” is anchored at #18.

Memphis Music Formats – Continuing an up/down pattern that started in November 2018 (5.6 – 6.2 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth place with its highest 6+-figure (6.4) since April 2018’s 7.1. After reaching the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+); however, “98.9 The Bridge” picks up one-half share in March to 1.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Meanwhile, the seven most recent moves by its AC rival – Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” – are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 in March (8.9 – 7.8, flat at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Albeit off two-tenths (11.6 – 11.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 for the fifth time in a row and in double-digits for the 12th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+); “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 was KJMS’ highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Following back-to-back (January/February) gains of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO forfeits one full-share to 8.9 but remains in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). On the heels of February’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” falters by another half-share (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4, sixth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018.   

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight upticks (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.1 (which includes March’s +1.4) and progresses from sixth to third. Down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is at #14 for the third month in a row.

The November 2018 through March 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Up one-tenth (5.2 – 5.3, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR remains in ninth-place. “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 (February). A loss of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.1, 6+) sends University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” from #12 to #14.

Hartford Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to February’s half-share increase (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” carries on in seventh-place with its best 6+-stat (6.1) since August 2018’s 6.5. Continuing a down/up pattern it commenced in August 2018, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” has a topline of: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+) and pushes up from third to second. Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7 (6+). Notwithstanding that it relinquishes in its entirety February’s +1.0 (12.1 – 11.1, -1.0, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH is #1 for the 33rd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (11.1, 6+) for the 30th time in the last 32 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7,” which was a combined +1.1 in January/February (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), erodes in March by -1.3 to 6.6 (6+) and slips from the runner-up slot to fifth. After trending 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 (December 2018 through February 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” regresses by six-tenths to 6.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+).

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Monday, March 25, 2019

| March 25, 2019

Monday Memo: Welcome to the Spring Book. Consultant Holland Cooke offers some tips for radio stations in this week’s Monday Memo as the Nielsen Audio spring survey begins on Thursday (3/28). Cooke reminds programmers that the most important listeners are your P1s because research shows that less than 25% of a station’s cume contributes more than 50% of its Average Quarter Hours. The most efficient way to boost AQH share is to get more listening out of your P1s and he offers some ideas on how to do that.  Read it here.

Mike Francesa Hits Twitter in Response to NY Post Piece; Post’s Marchand Fires Back. Last week, TALKERS magazine alerted you to the New York Post story by Andrew Marchand alleging that Entercom’s WFAN, New York had been negotiating with sports personality Adam Schein to take over Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive slot on the station.  Over the weekend, Francesa took to Twitter to correct the “outrageous misinformation” and “outright lies” being spread about his status at the station.  Francesa reiterates he’s working without a contract right now, that Entercom has a long-term offer for him (he hasn’t signed it yet), and that he’s okay with adding a person to the show (in fact, it was his idea).  Francesa doesn’t mention Schein in his tweet but Marchand writes in his column that Francesa “essentially confirmed” last week’s story and asserts that Francesa knows his show needs help to avoid losing the now-tight ratings battle with crosstown WEPN-FM’s Michael Kay show.  Marchand speculates WFAN overnight host John Jastremski might be considered as a co-host.

Bill O’Reilly Returns to Radio with 15-Minute Program.  Titled, “The O’Reilly Update,” the new 15-minute radio program hosted by former, longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly will launch on April 29.  The program is being syndicated by Key Networks for daily delivery at 11:30 am ET with all advertising included – no additional barter units – and two minutes of local avails in the feature.  In the press release, O’Reilly states, “More than ever before, Americans need accurate information and honest news analysis in order to make intelligent decisions.  It is all about protecting yourself and your family.  The daily ‘O’Reilly Update’ will arm you with facts and provide opinion based on those facts.  Can’t wait to get started.”  O’Reilly hosted the nationally syndicated program “The Radio Factor” from 2002-2009.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “On the Mount Rushmore of spoken-word talent you must include Bill O’Reilly.  It’s an honor to bring Bill back to radio to deliver appointment listening and revenue opportunities for affiliate stations in a unique format.”

Hugh Hewitt Named New Head of Richard Nixon Foundation. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is returning to his roots at The Richard Nixon Foundation as he’ll become president and CEO of the organization on July 1.  Hewitt will continue to host his Salem Radio Network program, make appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and write op-eds for the Washington Post.  He’ll split his time between Washington and Yorba Linda, California, the site of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.  Forty years ago, Nixon hired Hewitt as a researcher.  Nixon Foundation chairman Dr. James H. Cavanaugh says, “The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum recently underwent a complete renovation, and the new, interactive museum galleries enjoy increased attendance and positive reviews.  Hugh will lead the Nixon Foundation in its exciting next phase of growth, expanding its presence through national programming with an emphasis on articulating the Nixon legacy of pragmatic realism in domestic and foreign affairs.”  Hewitt says, “Richard Nixon was a grand strategist and master diplomat, and his vision is exactly what is needed today as America faces challenges and opportunities with China, North Korea, Russia, throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The world needs to be reminded of President Nixon’s lasting foreign policies, the strategic methods by which he assessed conflict and disagreement, and how he crafted strategies for resolution — building a more peaceful world.”

Noted Media Figure Rick Ungar Launches Independently Syndicated Progressive Talk Radio Show. “The Rick Ungar Show” launched on March 4, 2019, airing in the 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET time slot, on the following stations:  WCPT 820 AM, Chicago; KKSF 910 AM, San Francisco; KTNF 950 AM, Minneapolis; KABQ 1350 AM, Albuquerque; and KTRC, 1260 AM/103.7 GM, Santa Fe.  According to Ungar, while the program airs on a charter lineup of progressive stations, The Rick Ungar Show seeks to bring a more open minded, fair approach to the progressive radio landscape by continuing in the tradition of “Rational Radio” established during his years in partnership with Michael Steele on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio program, “Steele & Ungar.” Ungar tells TALKERS, “While my ideology certainly leans to the left, I have never been one who seeks to talk for the left.  My role is to convey the facts – even when they may not favor the left point of view – along with my opinions on those facts. It is then up to the audience to decide where they stand based on the facts presented. I never care if you agree with me or not. But when you are hanging out with your friends over the weekend and the talk turns to politics, I want my listeners to be the smartest, best informed, people in the room.”  The new show is reportedly experiencing call-ins from Trump supporters who are not calling to yell at the host but rather to rationally discuss the issues put on the table.  Ungar continues, “The plans are to be the first nationally syndicated program to be carried by conservative stations in a long time looking to provide their listeners with a view from the other side-presented in a way that is fair, open and welcoming to all viewpoints on the political spectrum.”  Rick came to the world of political talk radio from the entertainment industry where he was a writer and producer. He also served many years as the president of the Marvel Character Group. He additionally serves as the editor-in-chief of www.TheDailyCentrist.com, an on-line news and opinion site dedicated to publishing rational arguments on the issues of the day from all sides of the political spectrum.  To get in touch with Ungar please email rickungar@gmail.com.  Meet Rick Ungar at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday June 7.

FCC Investigating Political Ad Rate Complaint at Entercom Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the Federal Communications Commission investigating whether a politician in the 2018 congressional race got the lowest unit charge as required by law.  Entercom was sent a letter of inquiry for documentation on paid election advertising on news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talk WGR-AM, and five other Buffalo market stations.  Entercom admitted that it had not posted the required information from the 2018 campaigns until just this January but said it was the result of an internal error.  It also told the paper it is working with the FCC on the matter and doesn’t plan further public comment.  The FCC is requesting information about paid candidate ads and non-candidate issue ads that aired on all of Entercom’s Buffalo stations by April 4.

TALKERS News Notes. High-profile psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jordan B. Peterson joins the Westwood One Podcast Network with his new, eponymous podcast launching this week.  Peterson is joined by his daughter and co-host Mikhaila Peterson as the two break down the dichotomy of life and explain how individuals and culture are shaped by values, music, religion, and beyond…..Washington, DC AM signal WSPZ is being sold bySalem Communications Holding Corporation to Immaculate Heart Media for $750,000.  The 1260 AM signal has been simulcasting Salem’s Christian teaching format heard on WAVA-FM, Washington…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sales pro Peter Bowen is exiting his role at Entercom’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago as director of sports sales after 10 months in the position.  Bowen wrote in an email to colleagues, “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone over the past 10 months.  It was great to reunite with so many familiar faces and friends…and it was awesome to meet so many new people.”  Bowen had previously served in the market as Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager…..Talk show host Bill Carroll – the Canadian who hosted a midday show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles for a number of years – is expanding the reach of his Bell Media program.  He’s currently based at news/talk CFRA, Ottawa and his 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program will now be syndicated across a number of Bell-owned news/talk stations every Friday afternoon…..Wisconsin radio personality Gary Douglas is retiring from the business and his current post with NRG Media as operations manager for the Fort Atkinson/Whitewater cluster and morning host for news/talk WFAW-AM. Douglas’ 46-year career has included stops at WIBA-AM, Madison and WDUZ-AM, Green Bay.  He’ll continue his role as play-by-play voice for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sports broadcasts.

Tennessee’s Stonecom Radio Unveils New Facility.  Pictured above are two images from Stonecom Radio of its new, 10,000-plus square foot facility (left) in Cookeville, Tennessee that’s home to news/talk WUCT-AM/W231DG, country WKXD, rock WBXE, and AC WLQK.  At right is a news studio.  Stonecom unveiled the new building with a ceremony attended by state and local dignitaries.  Tennessee Association of Broadcasters executive director Whit Adamson was in attendance and stated, “Stonecom is led by a true team of broadcasters who are proud to serve the entire region they touch with their signal of each of the respective stations in the cluster.”

Mueller Report Delivered/Trump Claims Victory, Islamic State Victory, Border Wall Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller delivers his report on the Trump-Russia investigation to the attorney general’s office and President Trump claims victory; U.S. troops’ taking of the last territory in Syria held by ISIS; the issue of the border wall and reports of another migrant caravan forming in Central America; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Prime Minister Theresa May’s last chance at getting her EU exit deal through Parliament; the box office success of Jordan Peele’s horror film Us; and the NBA and NCAA tournament 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. South Florida hot AC WMIA-FM announces the new “Mack in the Morning with Letty B” program will debut on April 1.   The show stars Miami on-air pro Mack, Los Angeles native co-host Letty B and producer Nick Pena.  Station PD Joey Brooks says, “I am excited to announce Mack, Letty B and Nick as 939 MIA’s morning team.  Not only is this group entertaining, but they are committed to the South Florida community. Individually, each of them brings a unique perspective to the show and I am confident that they will quickly earn listener loyalty.”…..On-air personality Kenny Walker re-ups with WMXJ-FM, Miami “102.7 The Beach” to continue hosting the morning show on the classic hits outlet.  Walker says, “The energy of this station stood out to me when I joined in 2016 and I am honored to continue being a part of our listeners’ daily routines.  I look forward to continue building our station’s brand and connecting with Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.”…..The world famous KROQ, Los Angeles us announcing the 11th annual “Kevin & Bean’s April Foolishness” event hosted by morning show duo Kevin and Bean.  The station says this special anniversary celebrates the prestigious legacy of April Foolishness that blends hysterical stars with the most talented up-and-coming names in all of comedy.  Special guests will include: Adam Ray, Felipe Esparza, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eddie Ifft, Jamie Lee, and Ray Romano.  The event will also feature “The Kevin & Bean Rap Battle” with beatboxer Joshua from “Drop the Mic.”…..Nationally syndicated urban morning radio star DeDe McGuire was in Milwaukee over the weekend appearing at “The Gathering” presented by affiliate station WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3.”  She’s pictured below (center) with listeners at the 17th annual event that gives fans the opportunity  to shop with local vendors, watch music, network,  and meet their favorite Jammin’ 98.3 hosts.  “DeDe in the Morning” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Monday, March 11, 2019

| March 11, 2019

Monday Memo: Infinite Dial 2019. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that if you missed the Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2019” webinar last week, it’s well worth an hour to watch the video and flip through the slides.  If you’re thinking “an HOUR?” you may FIND an hour after reading his short version in this week’s column that you can read here.

FNC’s Tucker Carlson Unapologetic for Bubba the Love Sponge Appearances. Conservative media figure and FOX News Channel talk show host Tucker Carlson is not apologizing for comments made during his appearances on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show between 2006 and 2011.  Variety reports that liberal media watchdog organization Media Matters for America dug up some recordings of Carlson – a regular guest on the show during that period – that include him making a “pejorative statement about Arianna Huffington, Britney Spears and Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter,” as well as downplaying the actions of “Warren Jeffs, the religious leader who had been placed on the FBI’s most-wanted fugitive list on charges he had arranged marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls.”  Last night, Carlson issued the following statement, “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago.  Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch.  Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

‘Our American Stories’ Adds New Affiliates in Denver and Omaha. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio adds iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver and KFAB, Omaha to its roster of affiliates.  The two-hour, daily magazine-style radio drama is also now being heard on Ashley Communications’ KVEL AM, Vernal, Utah; Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and Tri-County Broadcastings’ WLVA FM, Lynchburg, Virginia.  Habeeb says he is humbled by the continued success of his non-political program that focuses on “what brings America together,” and adds “these partnerships confirm Americans do love well-produced radio programs that entertain and inform.”

John Batchelor Show Broadcasts from Azerbaijan This Week. The WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated John Batchelor show will broadcast live from the Republic of Azerbaijan this week (3/11-15) in conjunction with the Embassy of Azerbaijan and sponsored by multimedia software firm Scala Inc.  Batchelor is joined by colleagues Christopher Nixon Cox and Monica Crowley “traveling the old Silk Road of Marco Polo to the new Silk Road of energy, on the shore of the vast Caspian Sea Basin in the South Caucasus.” Batchelor says, “From Baku, the sparkling growing capital of Azerbaijan, I will head north to the Russian border at Dagestan.  This is the mountain pass route of the ancient Silk Road.  There is much to learn about how the region will prosper as the Silk Road is reawakened with highways, railroad beds and communication networks that link the savvy manufacturers of East Asia to the rich consumer markets of Asia Minor, Russia, and the European Union.  Returning to Baku, I will venture to the critical oil and gas hub at Sangechal, from where energy resources are sent through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean Basin — and soon via the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe.  Importantly, I will be able to interview many private and public voices about the economic development of Azerbaijan and also the region.”

iHeartRadio’s ‘Bear and a Banjo’ Podcast Produced by Legendary Talent. A new, musical podcast will launch later this year on iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform called “Bear and a Banjo.” iHM calls it a first-of-its-kind. It’s created by Jingle Jared, Dennis Quaid, and five-time Grammy winner Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (“Despacito,” “Where Are You Now,” “I’m the One” and “Peaches and Cream”) with musical contributions from producer T Bone Burnett (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Crazy Heart”) and original lyrical contribution from Bob Dylan.  Each episode of the eight-part series will tell a self-contained story about a character called Mister Bear.  Bear is a traveling musician who visits different towns across America and impacts people’s lives before vanishing again.  He is often preceded into town by J. Banjo, a charming huckster/card player/preacher/medicine salesman who acts as Bear’s promoter and hype man.  Quaid says, “This is the beginning of an entirely new era of podcasts. With ‘Bear and a Banjo,’ we are delving into a more sophisticated form of storytelling that brings the audience into a lush and rich world – not just through words, but music.”

Josh Rahmani Named SVP National and Network Sales for Radio One and Reach Media. Sales pro Josh Rahmani is promoted from his vice president, national sales for Radio One post to SVP, national and network sales for Radio One and Reach Media.   Company CEO David Kantor says, “Josh has led our national radio team for several years.  He was instrumental in developing and implementing our corporate sales and partnership effort.  Based on this success it made great sense to put our network team under his direction.  All our national sales efforts are now under his direction.  Josh’s commitment and passion for what we do at Radio One has been exhibited over the years, consistently delivering leadership throughout the company and maintaining great relationships with our partners in advertising and sponsorship.”  Rahmani has served with Radio One since 2005.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WLS-AM, Chicago news reporter Jennifer Keiper resigns from the station where she’s been afternoon news anchor.  The station expects to announce the new afternoon anchor soon.  Meanwhile, Feder reports Keiper commenting, “WLS-AM has treated me well over the last four and a half years, but I felt I had done all I could do there and that it was time for a change.  I have left on very friendly terms and look forward to my next challenge.”…..The independently syndicated “Free Talk Live” show featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliate stations.  Freeman notes that in some instances his libertarian-minded show has taken over the dayparts formerly held by progressive talker Norman Goldman, who recently wrapped production of his program.  New affiliates for “Free Talk Live” include KBBR-AM, North Bend, Oregon. The program has also moved to air live on KABQ-AM, Albuquerque from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “Feed Your Face with Merrill Shindler” to its network roster, effective today (3/11). CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Merrill Shindler is the best culinary and travel expert in the country.  Merrill has been a guest on many of our programs and we are delighted to produce his show for national consumption.”

CORRECTION: Ronn Owens Report Continues on KGO.  The March 7 report in TALKERS about the new program schedule at Cumulus Media‘s KGO, San Francisco stated the longtime KGO personality Ronn Owens was gone from the program schedule.  That is incorrect and the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” continues to be heard three times daily as part of the revised programming schedule on KGO.  TALKERS regrets the error.

TalkersRadio in the Community.  Los Angeles media figure, community organizer and TalkersRadio personality Meg McDonald (r) – who was recently elected president of the Studio City Beautification Association – is pictured with California State Assembly member Adrin Nazarian (D) at the Studio City Residents Association appreciation dinner at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City on Saturday evening (3/9).  The appreciation dinner is an annual event to say thank you to SCRA volunteers, vendors, local businesses and officials who help enhance the quality of life in Studio City.   Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District which encompasses the central-southern San Fernando Valley.  To listen to McDonald’s short-form feature “MEG!” please click here.  MEG! is now available for terrestrial radio clearances.  Interested stations can call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrats’ Omar Problem, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Socialism Debate, Ballooning U.S. Budget Deficit, Venezuela Blackout, Jaguar Attacks Selfie-Taker, Ethiopian Airlines Crash, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and President Trump’s budget request for $8.6 billion for a border wall; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the anti-Semitism accusations leveled against Rep. Ilhan Omar; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the internal battle between younger, more socialist-leaning Democrats and the older ones; the report of the U.S. budget deficit rising 77% in the past year; Caracas, Venezuela deals with blackouts amidst Nicolas Maduro’s claim the U.S. sabotaged the substation; a zoo-goer in Phoenix is attacked by a jaguar after she jumped the boundary to take a selfie; the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash and the mass grounding of new Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Tampa market on-air pro Nick Van Cleve is retiring from Cox Media Group’s classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” at the end of this month.  In addition to his 15-year gig with WXGL, he’s also served with WXTB-FM, WYNF-FM and WFUS-FM in the Tampa market.  He tells the Tampa Bay Time retirement is “a logical stepping off point for me and my wife. We want to spend time in North Carolina and do some traveling.  I did some backpacking in Europe and got the travel bug.  And I’ve grown weary of getting up at 4:30 am.”…..Alpha Media adds programming responsibilities for rhythmic CHR KTFM, San Antonio “Energy 94.1” to national director/digital content Ernie Martinez’s role with the company.  Alpha VP of content Phil Becker states, “Working alongside Ernie in our corporate roles, I have witnessed time and time again his prowess as a programmer.  His desire to infuse both his digital expertise and proven track record as a programmer is exactly what KTFM needs.”…..Afternoon personality Rick Daniels is leaving Cumulus Media’s country KIZN, Boise after almost three years for a new, yet-to-be-announced position in a market closer to his children…..Emmis Communications flips triple A KGSR-FM, Austin to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.”   The signal had been a simulcast of the “Austin City Limits Radio” format that continues to air on the KGSR-HD2 and K246BD signals…..This morning, country artist Maren Morris dropped by the studios of the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli Show in Nashville to talk about the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, GIRL.  Pictured below are (from l-r): TJ, Morris, and Bentli.

Monday Memo: Handling Bad News

| February 26, 2019

BLOCK ISLAND, RI  — OOPS.  One of your hosts said WHAT???  Managers: Gaffes are inevitable, especially in talk radio.  When your station stumbles:

1) Act quickly.  The sooner you confront a negative story, the sooner it will be over.  Responding as quickly to negative stories as you do to positive ones enhances your credibility.

2) Be honest.  Hiding embarrassing information or lying will do more damage than damage control.  Never stonewall, and avoid “rolling disclosure.”  As several U.S. presidents have learned (is learning), the cover-up can be worse than the crime.

3) Tell your side of the story.  Use specifics, and detail what corrective action “has already been taken.”  You’ll sound responsible and in-control.

4) Respond in kind.  If the issue is emotional, don’t sound like a cold, unemotional Mr. Spock.  “I have a teenage daughter myself, and I know how much our host’s comments must have hurt.”

Holland Cooke (hollandcooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; he is the author of “Holland Cooke Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

Monday, February 25, 2019

| February 24, 2019

Monday Memo: Handling Bad News. OOPS.  One of your hosts said WHAT???  Managers: Gaffes are inevitable, especially in talk radio.  When your station stumbles:

1) Act quickly.  The sooner you confront a negative story, the sooner it will be over.  Responding as quickly to negative stories as you do to positive ones enhances your credibility.

2) Be honest.  Hiding embarrassing information or lying will do more damage than damage control.  Never stonewall, and avoid “rolling disclosure.”  As several U.S. presidents have learned (is learning), the cover-up can be worse than the crime.

3) Tell your side of the story.  Use specifics, and detail what corrective action “has already been taken.”  You’ll sound responsible and in-control.

4) Respond in kind.  If the issue is emotional, don’t sound like a cold, unemotional Mr. Spock.  “I have a teenage daughter myself, and I know how much our host’s comments must have hurt.”

Holland Cooke (hollandcooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; he is the author of “Holland Cooke Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

Entercom and Union Butting Heads Over ‘Cross-Utilization’ at All-Newsers WINS and WCBS-AM in New YorkNew York Daily News writer Ginger Adams Otis reports that Entercom and the Writers Guild of America, East are at odds over the issue of cross-utilization at all-news stations WINS and WCBS-AM in New York City.  For all the years the two stations were owned by CBS RADIO, they were separate stations with separate staffs and remain so to this day.  Now, Entercom would like to talk with the union about cross-utilization of staffers.  At one end of the spectrum is the union’s fear the company wants to use the same staff for both stations; at the other is Entercom’s statement to the Daily News that it does not intend to merge the workforces and create the pretense of two different stations.  Still, Entercom admits layoffs are a possibility.  The union – saying it’s willing to discuss the matter – tells the Daily News it has asked for plans from the company as to how it would employ cross-utilization but Entercom has refused to provide them.  It’s not surprising that Entercom would see the opportunity to save some operational expense at the two stations, but both WINS and WCBS-AM consider their complete independence from each other an important aspect of their identities and clearly don’t want to give that up.

Cumulus Media and DAX Partner for Broadcaster’s Digital Sales. The deal between Cumulus Media and DAX makes the latter the exclusive third-party sales representative across network radio streaming and national programmatic advertising, alongside the broadcaster’s national and local sales teams.  Cumulus says it is “the first traditional broadcast network to join a premium roster of publisher brands with inventory on DAX.  DAX brings programmatic audio expertise and provides brands with access to sophisticated data targeting tools to reach key audiences.”  This partnership gives advertisers access to DAX’s Listener Insight ID.  Its dashboard allows advertisers to measure the performance of their ad campaigns in real time, providing granular insights which help brands test and optimize their campaigns based on listeners’ responses.

Take Me Out to the BallgameTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison attended the opening game of the MLB 2019 spring exhibition schedule this weekend (2/23) between the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.  During the game, he visited the Miami Marlins radio broadcast booth to chat it up between-innings with the Marlins Radio Network play-by-play team of Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner – two legends in the sports broadcasting world.  Van Horne just celebrated his 51st anniversary in the business.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Harrison, Van Horne, Geffner, and Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia.

TALKERS News Notes. A metaphor that would have gone unnoticed in the past has cost University of Iowa radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin his gig for the rest of the season.  Learfield Sports Properties announced that Dolphin would be suspended for the rest of the season after his choice of words describing University of Maryland player Bruno Fernando’s game winning score against Iowa. KCCI-TV, Des Moines reports Dolphin said, in reviewing the game, “That’s some pretty good long-range shooting, and then Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”  Fernando is black.  Dolphin, who signed off on a public apology statement, said his words were not intended to offend…..Denver sports media personality Andy Lindahl exits iHeartMedia’s Mile High cluster where he served as a host and reporter for sports talk KDSP “Orange & Blue 760” and news/talk KOA.  In a Facebook post Lindahl says, “All good things come to an end they say.  My run at iHeartMedia now falls into that category.  It wasn’t good though, it was great.  Incredible actually.  I lived my dream for 20 years and wouldn’t trade a minute.  Thank you to all my coworkers in sales and programming.  You are all the best. Thank you to the listeners.  I never thought this boy from Denver would matter to so many, but via Twitter, you let me know I did.  I’m forever grateful.”…..Music and television legend Paul Shaffer is launching a new interview series titled, “Paul Shaffer Plus One” that will air on SiriusXM and on AXS TV.  Shaffer will sit down for candid, in-depth conversations with his close friends and fellow music icons as they discuss their careers, influences, and experiences.  It will be shot in a recording studio setting with Paul at the piano.  Featured guests include: Sammy Hagar, Graham Nash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, blues trailblazer Buddy Guy, and Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, among many others.

JVC Media Gets Long Island Airport Contract. Long Island-based JVC Media announces it has signed a multi-year deal to upgrade and manage all advertising signage at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York.  JVC already has the studios of news/talk WRCN “103.9 LI News Radio” located within the airport terminal.  Under this new agreement, JVC will replace all existing advertising fixtures and will invest to install brand new, state-of-the-art digital networks, landmark LED spectaculars, and vibrant backlit tension fabric banners.  JVC notes that more than 4,300 people fly MacArthur Airport each day, making it one of the top 110 airports in the United States.  The company says that with the addition of the LI MacArthur airport contract to its portfolio, JVC Media now manages advertising inventory on Long Island on five FM radio stations, numerous print publications including the award-winning This is Country Magazine, and the 7,000-seat outdoor event venue The LI Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill – assets that help JVC reach more than 3.2 million consumers annually.

Trump-Kim Meeting, Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Jussie Smollett Case, Sunday’s Oscars Awards, Pope Francis Addresses Sex Scandals, Robert Kraft Charges, and NBA/NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  This week’s meeting in Vietnam between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s scheduled testimony before a congressional hearing; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; the violence at Venezuelan borders with Columbia and Bolivia and the U.S.’s support for opposition leader Juan Guaido; the charges against Jussie Smollett for allegedly filing a false hate crime report; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; Pope Francis addresses the various sex scandals facing the Catholic Church; the prostitution sting in Florida that has implicated New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. San Diego adult contemporary outlet KYXY announces Rob and Joss Taylor are the hosts of the new “Mornings with Rob & Joss” show. They come to the Entercom station from their positions with Amaturo Sonoma Media Group’s country KFGY “Froggy 92.9,” where they’ve been for the past 13 years.  The duo says, “We are thrilled to come down the coast as we embark on our next adventure with Entercom San Diego.  KYXY has a great reputation and we look forward to sharing weekday mornings with our listeners.”…..At the Philadelphia operations of iHeartMedia, Jeff Moore is named SVP of sales for the six-station cluster of music outlets, including: CHR WIOQ “Q102,” alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5,” adult contemporary WISX “106.1 The Breeze,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and urban contemporary WDAS.  Moore was most recently general sales manager for the cluster…..Programming pro Supersnake is named program director and afternoon drive host at Bustos Media’s rhythmic oldies WTGV, Tucson “Groove 106.3.” He says, “All I can say is integrity, integrity, integrity.  What a concept!  That’s what you get with Bustos Media.  They did what they said they were going to do, the old fashioned way, keeping the stations local with live jocks.  When they approached me to re-launch the new ‘Groove,’ I said, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”…..At Cox Media Group Tampa, a number of programming promotions take place.  First, John Brennan – currently director of branding for talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” – adds programming duties for the cluster’s classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle.”  Second, Jenna Kesneck moves up from APD for alternative WSUN “97X” and CHR WPOI to director of branding and programming for WSUN. Finally, cluster operations manager Rick Thomas is taking on the director of branding and programming roles for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9.”…..Because programmer John O’Connell is focusing on his PD roles with Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” and country WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” in Miami, the company is looking for a program director to take over those duties at Orlando alt rocker WQMP “FM 101.9,” for which O’Connell is currently responsible.  Find out what the company is looking for and how you can apply here…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of rock WZZO, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania morning drive co-host Kevin “The Bearman” Schutts, who recently passed away unexpectedly at 64. Schutts hosted “The Bearman and Keith” show with Keith MoyeriHeartMedia says on the station’s website: “Our ‘95.1 ZZO’ family has lost its most distinctive voice.  With great sadness, we must inform you of The Bearman’s sudden and unexpected passing…At this difficult time, we ask that your thoughts are with Bearman’s family and friends.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” bounces back with a +.8 to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three straight decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+) Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” slips from #17 to #19. While it continues at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down or flat for the third consecutive time for an overall loss of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Having forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT posts a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude to 9.4 (+1.6) and progresses from third to first. Before dropping to second in December, KUT was #1 for three consecutive months.

Austin Music Formats – In the iHeartMedia cluster, both KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” (5.0 – 6.2, fifth to third, 6+) and similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (3.7 – 4.9, seventh to fifth, 6+) improve by +1.2. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, KASE plummeted by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country battle, nearly doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in three straight increases (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down one-tenth to 2.3 (#15 to #16, 6+). Notching a “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 +1.2, in addition to KVET-FM and KASE, is Emmis’ KLBJ-FM (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), which returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). In “Holiday” 2018, “93.7 The Rock of Austin” sputtered by one-half share. Off by a combined nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI answers with a +.7 to 4.3 (6+), but “96.7 Kiss FM” Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” backslides from an eighth-place tie to ninth. In three straight declines (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Emmis triple A KGSR lost nine-tenths but “Austin City Limits Radio” gains six-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (2.0 – 2.5, #16 to #14, 6+) are both up one-half share. The six most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -4.9 in January 2019 (9.5 – 4.6, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” drops from first to sixth. “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” surrenders a -1.0 to 2.5 (#10 to #14, 6+). Following five straight up or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 9.3, 6+), Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” surrenders seven-tenths to 8.6 (flat at #2, 6+). In calendar year 2018, “Bob” was #1 from January through April, as well as in June, August, and December.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In one fell swoop, a January 2019 +1.5 (to 6.1, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK practically eliminates its -1.7 through third straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” moves from eighth to sixth. WTKK was a combined +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #20 to #19, 6+).  Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

An overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC ends that skid with a +.2 to 1.8 (#18 to #17, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was a combined +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+).

Following five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” answers with a +1.0 to 8.1 (fourth to second, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); second to third (November, -.9, 6+); and now fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0).

Raleigh Music Formats – The four most recent fluctuations by Radio One urban AC WFXC are +.9 (November); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now (another) +1.1 in January 2019 (9.9 – 11.0, 6+) as “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the sixth time in succession. Moreover, this (11.0) is the highest 6+-stat for WFXC in the PPM-era. Progressing by +1.1 as well is iHeartMedia CHR WDCG (5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). In three straight losses (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” had been a collective -1.0. A cumulative -2.3 via three successive negative moves (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” picks up six-tenths to 6.3 (flat at #5, 6+). A September +1.0 suspended three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share (each) are iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (2.1 – 2.6, #17 to #14, 6+) and Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio.” The latter more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends and cracks the top twenty (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2, #20, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL was a cumulative +4.3, but “Mix 101.5” surrenders a -2.6 to 7.0 (second to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. Reaching Raleigh from Greensboro, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today,” which was an overall +2.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (.4 .4 – .4 – 1.4 – 2.5, 6+), forfeits a -2.0 to .5 (6+) and fades from the top twenty (#15 to #23). This marks the fifth successive sweep without an increase by Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” for a collective -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, #10 to #11, 6+). After being +1.0 via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” falters by four-tenths to 2.3 (#14 to #15, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third sweep in succession, Emmis news/talk WIBC  posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths. “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.9 (December); -.9 as well (“Holiday” 2018); but in January 2019 is +.9 to (5.4 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). Previously, WIBC was -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regains the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8, #15 to #14, 6+). A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is up four-tenths to 1.8 (6+) and continues at #18.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include a combined +.8 in November and December; -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a January 2019 +.9 (4.2 – 5.1, tenth to ninth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – The ongoing highly frenetic pace by Cumulus Media’s WJJK plays on as a +2.9 to 9.8 (6+) obliterates all but one-tenth of its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but is back at #1. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. It has been a wild ride as well for co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which posts a +1.1 to 7.2 (steady at #4, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three downturns in succession that resulted in a cumulative -2.2 (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). Having finished at #1 in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); and now +1.1 (January 2019). It has a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January 2019 (5.2, ninth to eighth, 6+). “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then  +.6 in October. Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June and has resulted in a +.1 in that stretch (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (+.9 in January 2019) climbs from #13 to #11. After faltering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, its CHR sibling, WZPL “99.5 ZPL,” flashes a January 2019 +.9 as well (4.6 – 5.5, unchanged at #7, 6+). Continuing at #12, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is an overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB spirals by -8.8 to 7.6 (6+) as “B-105.7” segues from first to third. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since “B-105.7” notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. After being down or flat seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” logs a +.3 to 2.6 (#16 to #15, 6+). Conversely, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3,” which was up an overall seven-tenths as a result of three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), regresses by one-half share to 5.6 (fourth to sixth, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, iHeartMedia news/talk WISN “News/Talk 1130” flaunts a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+), jumping from eighth to fourth. Down three straight times for an overall -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ similarly-formatted WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” ends that slide by picking up one-tenth to 6.3 (6+), yet backslides from fourth to sixth. “Holiday” 2018’s 6.2 is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March 2018 (6.0). Its rollercoaster ride has included -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). This marks the first time since May 2018 that WISN (6.8, 6+) has overtaken WTMJ (6.3, 6+); in May 2018, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

Flat at #15, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). Its November dip of four-tenths ended four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective gain of seven-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight down of flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” continues at #17. In late-November, iHeartMedia flipped CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to sports talk “97.3 The Game.” Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, “97.3 The Game” doubles “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (+) and continues at #21. Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (.2 – .3 – .2, #21 to #24, 6+). Before dropping three-tenths in December, quintupled (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+).

After surrendering six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM bounces back with a +.9 (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Its earlier three straight upticks accounted for a collective +1.5 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+). Stable at #19, Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD has a June 2018 – January 2019 topline of .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – A combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” erases it completely with a January 2019 +1.3 to 7.5 (fourth to second, 6+). Three gains in succession yielded a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) for WMIL, which is without a country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018). By gaining seven-tenths to 4.2 (#12 to #11, 6+), Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” settles its -.7 through a December and “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Owing to three successive positive spikes, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” is an overall +2.0 (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Immediately before dialing up “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, “V-100.7” was trending 4.5 – 4.9 (6+) from July through December. A combined +5.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB forfeits a -4.5 to 5.8 (6+) and drifts from second to eighth. In “Holiday” 2018, “B-93.3” reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Despite logging a four-tenths increase to 4.2 (6+), thus suspending five successive decreases that accounted for a cumulative -2.0 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). The three latest shifts for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now – 1.9 in January 2019 (11.5 – 9.6, 6+) but “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to the #2 slot in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. While it remains flat at #13, Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is off six-tenths to 2.5, its lowest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Remaining at #14, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” is off three-tenths to 1.8 (6+), thus curtailing five straight reports without a loss that netted a +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #14, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). In 14 of the last 15 sweeps, “Super Talk 99.7” has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+); the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0 (6+).

A one-half share increase by iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC (1.0 – 1.5, steady at #19) offsets its three-tenths’ decline in “Holiday” 2018. “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat through three September 2018 – December 2018 gains in a row (.7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 in “Holiday 2018”; and now +.3 in January 2019  (4.8 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to that, the Tennessee Titans’ flagship was +.6 (August) and +1.4 (September). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” returns “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), slipping from #17 to #18. A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

Not only does WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” record a whopping +1.6 (3.6 – 5.2, 6+), the Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid rockets into the top ten (#11 to #6). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Since surfacing in September 2018, WPLN-FM’s internet stream is up or flat the fifth straight time more than quintupling (+.9) its 6+-stat (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9 – .9 – 1.1, #22 to #21, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Two huge gains (+1.2, each) are turned in by Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” (4.2 – 5.4, tenth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (4.7, #12 to #10, 6+). After three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash FM” – which last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0) – surrendered two-tenths in December and was up one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), after being a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” – returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). “Nash Icon” was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Down or flat the past five reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” halts that streak with a +.3 to 6.7 (third to second, 6+). August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). A January -3.5 to 10.6 (6+) halts at three Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA’s consecutive string of upticks that yielded a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+), but “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 13th successive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since the 14.4 WJXA notched in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and -3.5 (January 2019). Co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” follows “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2 with a January 2019 -1.3 (7.3 – 6.0, second to fourth, 6+). That +1.2 this time last month pulled the plug on five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). In addition to surrendering a -1.1 to 4.4 (6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q,” which had been trending 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 (6+), fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Reappearing in print in August (2018), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH immediately posted four straight September through “Holiday” 2018 increases accounting for a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, however, “The Fish” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+),  Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM drops from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to this streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” bounces back with a +.7 to 1.9 (6+) and zooms from #18 to #12. In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” sputters by three-tenths to 1.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5, steady at #21, 6+).

A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), directly after logging four successive up or flat trends accounting for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI improves by seven-tenths to 4.2 (eighth to sixth, 6+).

By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH ends three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) but backslides from #10 to #11. Stable at 1.6 (6+) on the heels of “Holiday” 2018’s -.7, WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH nonetheless slips from #12 to #14.

Providence Music Formats – Not only has Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share via six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). As a result of three straight setbacks (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6 (6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK was a collective -3.1, but “Cat Country 98.1” responds with a +1.6 to 7.2 (fifth to third, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106.3” (2.0 – 2.5, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.1 – 1.6, #19 to #14, 6+). Having posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finishing first the last six sweeps, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.1, -7.1, 6+) segues to second. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Flat at 9.8, matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018, iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” succeeds “Lite Rock” at #1. For the past five reports, WHJY – +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 – was in the runner-up slot. Continuing a (6+) September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” inches up from seventh to eighth. In the same vein, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +2 in January 2019 (6.7 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+).

Norfolk – Tacking on a +1.4 to “Holiday” 2018’s gain of six-tenths (5.5 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” jumps from fourth to second. Co-owned WNOR “FM 99 Rocks,” which was a collective -1.0 via three straight setbacks (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), logs a +.8 to 6.7 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. By posting a +1.0 to 4.6 (seventh to sixth, 6+), Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” curtails five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). On top for 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018, urban AC sibling WVKL notches a +.7 (12.0 – 12.7, 6+) and returns to #1. With a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 35th time in the last 36 sweeps, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” halts five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -3.5 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9 – 12.0, 6+). Its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. In addition to advancing from eighth to seventh, hot AC cluster-mate WPTE “94.9 The Point” records a +.2 to 2.2 (6+), thus ending four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 one-half share improvement (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 JAMZ” duplicates it in January 2019 (7.0 – 7.5, +.5, third to second, 6+). It is a quick (“Holiday” 2018-only) stay at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which erodes by exactly 50% (-6.8) to 6.8 (first to fourth, 6+). The combined +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV has lost 75% (-4.8) of its 6+-share (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Through five straight increases “Movin’ 107.7” was +5.7 (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, WMOV was –4.3 through seven successive sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the four-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (10.4 – 10.0 – 10.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” returns to #1 (from the runner-up slot). WOKV previously was -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and -.8 (December), with November’s 11.2 its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Flat at #20, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is without an increase for the third straight report and is off two-tenths in that stretch (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6, 6+).

After picking up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), public news/talk WJCT adds another six-tenths in January 2019 to 3.0 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE nearly settles that deficit with a +1.6 to 6.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the December sweep, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” racked up a +1.6 through five straight increases (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+). Down three-tenths in a December/”Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” busts out a +1.2 to 6.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), responds with a +1.1 to 3.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” makes up 40% of the shortfall with a +.8 to 8.1 (steady at #3, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling – WEZI “Easy 102.9” – records a +.7 to 4.7 (unchanged at #8, 6+), snapping a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the AC format, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station,” a combined +8.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), slumps by -7.8 to 8.5 (first to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Off four-tenths via three consecutive (slight) declines (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” flashes a +.5 to 3.0 yet backslides from a tie at #11 to #12. As part of a yoyo sequence, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” has been a combined -.5 (November and December, 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+); +.7 (“Holiday” 2018, 3.2 – 3.9, 6+); and now -.6 (3.9 – 3.3, January 2019, flat at #10, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR adds two-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +1.0 (1.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been down or flat four successive sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -.6 in three straight declines (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” halts the slide with a +.3 to 2.1 (#13 to #12, 6+). It overtakes Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which is a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0, #12 to #13, 6+). An October loss of four-tenths interrupted at four its consecutive string of increases that yielded seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Slipping from #21 to #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD has its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The five most recent fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); and now +.7 in January 2019 (3.0 – 3.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, WLRN posted three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+) by Hubbard-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music erases a December and “Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). Advancing from #17 to #13, iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” gains a collective eight-tenths via four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+). After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, Hubbard hot AC WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though it falters by -1.0 in January 2019, following a combined +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” returns to the top spot. Before eroding -1.8 in November, WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+). Displaced from the penthouse and segueing to the runner-up position is co-owned adult contemporary WEAT (10.7 – 7.8, -2.9, 6+). In three straight improvements (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9 – 10.7, 6+), “Sunny 107.9” was an overall +6.1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 10.7 the best 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Falling from sixth to eighth, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 through three negative trends in a row (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A January 2019 +1.3 to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” obliterates its combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.5 – .4 – .5, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” carries on at #16.

Anchored at #13 for the ninth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC is down or flat for the fourth straight time for roughly a one-half loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, unchanged at #15, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Logging increases of nine-tenths (each) are Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.6 – 9.5, third to second, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (6.3, steady at #5, 6+), which had been off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+). This (6.3) is the highest 6+-stat for WKZL since resurfacing in print in February 2018. Co-owned WKRR has recorded a 5.3 (6+) in three of the last four reports (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3), but “Rock 92” now dials up a +.7 to 6.0 (unchanged at #6, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” repeats at #4. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share swells by +1.2 as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is up seven-tenths (5.3 – 6.0, steady at #6, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (5.2, unchanged at #8, 6+). “Q104.1” was a combined -.8 in October/September, and -1.6 in December. Prior to January 2019’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Owing to five consecutive August through “Holiday” 2018 improvements (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9 – 16.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG was an overall +9.7 but “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” erodes by -8.9 to 7.6 (6+) and shifts from first to third. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.5 is the highest 6+-showing for any Greensboro station since WMAG posted a 16.7 in “Holiday” 2013. A collective +1.3 in three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” falters by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+), slipping from ninth to tenth.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – A January 2019 +1.2 (2.6 – 3.8, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia news/talk WREC from #13 to #11. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had been in a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

As a result of a six-tenths’ increase (3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). After five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” dropped three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018.

Memphis Music Formats – Off seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” roars back with an increase more than twice that magnitude (4.1 – 5.6, +1.5, ninth to sixth, 6+). In a December/”Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WLFP lost one-half share, but country “94.1 The Wolf” responds with a +1.3 to 3.4 (#14 to #13, 6+). Rebounding from a “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned/similarly-formatted WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” inches up from tenth to ninth. The five most recent “Kix 106” shifts are: -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 (January 2019). Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -.8 with a January 2019 +.8 (5.3 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” continues at #8. Up eight-tenths as well are Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” (9.1, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 102.7” (seventh to sixth). WRBO was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), while “Rock 102.7” is an overall +1.1 via four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+). Notwithstanding that it makes up 75% of “Holiday” 2018’s -.8 with a +.6 (5.4 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” continues in fifth-place. Prior to “Holiday” 2018, “Halleluiah” was an overall +1.6 in four straight increases (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately after the market’s (6+) adult contemporary share rose by +3.6 in “Holiday” 2018, it collapses by -6.9 in January 2019. An overall +3.7 in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5 – 5.1, 6+) Cumulus Media AC WKIM surrenders all of that increase and one-tenth more (1.3, -3.8, 6+) as “98.9 The Bridge” freefalls from #6 to #15. Meanwhile, the five most recent moves for Entercom’s similarly-formatted WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -3.1 in January 2019 (11.3 – 8.2, second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). A combined +2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10. 5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS regresses by -1.5 to 11.3 (6+) but “V-101” is #1 for the third time in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the tenth successive sweep. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Co-owned urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1,” which was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), is -1.0 to 6.8 (6+) but continues at #4.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative -1.8 through three consecutive declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM answers with a one-half share gain to 5.7 (6+) and repeats at #7. “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. It is a somewhat similar scenario for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut,” which picks up four-tenths (to 1.3, #15 to #14, 6+), thus snapping three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

A combined +.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” climbs from #13 to #12.

The wild ride continues for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas,” which was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+); then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +1.9 in January 2019 (4.2 – 6.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). Stable at #14, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” regains the one-tenth it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2018 -1.1 with a +1.4 (6.3 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” moves from #5 to a three-way scrum at #3. Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. A January 2019 +1.0 by iHeartMedia’s WWYZ (6.7 – 7.7, third to second, 6+) erases “Holiday” 2018’s -.9. In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Country 92.5” netted a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), with 7.8 (November and December) its highest 6+-stat since May 2018 (7.8, as well). The three most recent moves by Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” are +.7 (6.8 – 7.5, 6+, December); -.7 (7.5 – 6.8, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +.9 (6.8 – 7.7, 6+, January 2019, flat at #2). Its November increase of four-tenths ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to three straight improvements, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” is an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). By notching a one-half share increase to 6.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSS pulls the plug on four setbacks in succession that accounted for a -1.6 (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4, 6+), but “Kiss 95-7 All The Hits” backslides from fourth to fifth. A combined +7.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH falters by -6.9 to 11.1 (6+). Nonetheless, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 31st consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 28th time in the last 30 sweeps. “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017.

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet.  However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy.  That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.”  And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call.  Try doing that sometime.  For three hours he speaks.  He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world.  I mean, this guy is unbelievable.”  Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15).  Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking.  At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence.  How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things?  Does it move the needle?  Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”

New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms.  Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’”  Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host.  He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.

Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role.  Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh.  Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley.  And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.”  At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot.  Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday.  There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone?  Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.

WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535.  Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast.  They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business.  The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season.  The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In.  In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince CotroneoChris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business).  Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016.  Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst.  Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.

Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.”  Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program.  Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; 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.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  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 rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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 2019: Telling the Story 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. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.