Tag: "net neutrality"

Thursday, May 17, 2018

| May 17, 2018

PodcastOne Expands ‘Dennis Miller Option.’ According to PodcastOne, demand is the reason it is adding a second weekly episode of “The Dennis Miller Option” to its offerings.  The company announces the addition “following a chart-topping debut” that saw it in “the top ten on the Apple Podcasts comedy charts, holding a top 25 slot since its April 25 premiere.”  Beginning the week of June 4, new episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts.  Miller comments, “We live in a world that has podcasts, and those podcasts have to be guarded by people with microphones.  Who’s gonna do it?  You?  I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.  And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves listeners!  You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that podcast…you need me on that podcast!”

Senate Votes to Uphold Obama Net Neutrality Policy.  The U.S. Senate yesterday voted – by a 52-47 margin – to overturn the FCC’s overhaul of the Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The matter will be sent to the U.S. House where it’s likely to languish.  Even if it didn’t, President Trump wouldn’t sign it. Still, performers union SAG-AFTRA issued the following statement, “We commend the senators who voted today to undo the FCC’s order repealing net neutrality rules.  We support the basic principles that companies should provide their users with access to all lawfully distributed content on reasonably non-discriminatory terms, they should be prohibited from favoring their own content over the content of an unaffiliated provider and they should be prohibited from prioritizing the content of one unaffiliated provider over that of another.  We continue to urge the government to work toward the goal of preserving a free and open Internet and to maintain and strengthen the distinction between the transmission of lawful and unlawful content.”

Westwood One Asking Users to Register their C-Band Downlinks.  The idea behind this is simple: the FCC is considering allotting more bandwidth to other potential users and the more the FCC is aware of the breadth of C Band use, the less that is likely to be taken away.  Westwood One says, “On April 19, 2018, the FCC issued a public notice regarding a 90-day opportunity to register existing C Band Downlinks.  Westwood One is encouraging stations to register within the window, which closes July 18, 2018, so that the FCC is aware of all downlinks in existence before they offer space to mobile broadband data services.  The FCC believes that if you do not register your downlink during this window, you do not need interference protection moving forward.  It is critical that stations register their downlinks so the FCC is aware of it during this 90-day window or risk losing ALL of their satellite programming.  The 90-day window closes on July 18, 2018.”  Westwood One SVP of technology and operations Eric Wiler states, “In our history, we have never had to license and/or register C Band downlinks.  Yet with the extensive use of mobile devices, WiFi and other data services, there is a constant need for radio spectrum and the government is considering all possible options.  All C Band radio, television and data services on every satellite are at risk.  Registration is key to helping the FCC appreciate the universe of existing downlinks and potential outcomes of expansion.  Westwood One has been working with other networks and satellite vendors to attempt to resolve this situation.”  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee.  During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies.  You may register using FCC Form 312, using the paper form, online at http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs, or engage a third party to assist you.  Satellite Engineering Group is a third-party resource and can be reached at (913) 375-1114.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow, WGN, Chicago is recognizing and celebrating five inductees at the WGN Radio Walk of Fame ceremony in front of Tribune Tower.  The induction will take place live on the air with co-hosts Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder.  This year’s inductees are: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck SwirskyRoger Triemstra and Mary Van De Velde…..SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of comedian Richard Pryor with three weeks of special programming dedicated to the late star.  Starting May 21 on the Comedy Greats channel, listeners will hear Pryor’s entire discography – all newly remastered for the event – as well as an original audio documentary hosted by Ron Bennington. As part of the tribute, “Richard Pryor: Still Outrageous,” SiriusXM will also exclusively broadcast three recently discovered standup albums, which will be the first time they are available to the public, in addition to rare and never-before-released tracks…..ABC News Radio is providing coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on Saturday (5/19) from 6:00 am – 10:00 am ET, anchored by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting from Windsor by correspondents Tom Rivers and Cheri Preston.  Royal expert and author Jane Green will join Katersky in New York.

Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Erdogan vs Israel, Rex Tillerson Address, Senate Net Neutrality Vote, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The investigation into Trump campaign and Russian agent connections and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower; the status of U.S.-North Korea meetings and the hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program; Turkey’s President Erdogan issues statement encouraging Muslim nations to unite against Israel; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s VMI commencement speech; the U.S. Senate’s vote to overturn FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s net neutrality policy; trade negotiations between the U.S. and China and President Trump’s ZTE comments; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Cumulus Media Indianapolis cluster names Kelly Harlow as digital sales manager/local sales manager.  Cumulus operates country WFMS, adult hits WJJK, and CHR WYRG in Indianapolis.  Harlow comes to the cluster from iHeartMedia’s crosstown station group.  She worked in the Cumulus Indy sales department from 2008 through 2012…..Adams Radio Group appoints Jason Lamp vice president and general manager for its Tallahassee operations that includes country duo WWOF and WANK, CHR WHTF, and oldies WQTL.  Lamp takes over for retiring manager Hank Kestenbaum.  Lamp comments, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead our team to build the Adams Radio Group brand in the Tallahassee market, to provide quality programming for our listeners, and a customer-driven integrated advertising platform to address the needs and increase the success of our clients.”…..iHeartMedia moves sales pro Lisa Ballance from its Nashville station group to St. Louis where she now holds the sales manager title.  iHeartMedia operates seven stations in the market and Ballance will be responsible for sales at adult contemporary KLOU, hip hop KATZ-FM, and Gospel KATZ-AM…..Westwood One is an official promotional partner of the 2018 Billboard Music Awards taking place this weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs will feature private backstage performances by a number of artists including Daughtry, plus interviews with a number of artists and celebrities.  In addition to the backstage activations, Westwood One has five hours of BBMAs Night of Event Coverage on Sunday, May 20, from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET…..Pictured below is country duo Maddie & Tae posing for a pic with morning personalities Ty, Kelly and Chuck at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus in Nashville.  The duo talked about their new song, “Friends Don’t,” and played a special, celebrity edition of “Did They Make It?” From left to right are: Ty BentliMadison Marlow, Kelly Ford, Taylor Dye, and Chuck Wicks.

Round Three of April PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April 2018 survey period covered March 29 – April 25. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – When Alpha Media news/talk KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three increases in a row that produced a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). In April though, “101 FM News – Stay Connected” answers with a +.6 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Following three straight months in sole possession of the top spot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.5 – 8.5, 6+) now shares the penthouse with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety.” Representative recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; and now -1.0 in April. Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #20, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is off two-tenths to 1.6 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). While flat at 1.0 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” climbs from #25 to #24. Tracking the market’s sports talk scene, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” logs a 2.0 (#18 to #19, 6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps; Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game” is down three-tenths (1.4 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” loses one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and stays at #24. Prior to April, “Sports Radio 620” gained one-half share in four successive sweeps without a loss (.6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.1, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” displays a +.6 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh), its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.6. Up or flat for the fourth time in succession for a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #10 to a three-way tie at #8. Regaining in its entirety the six-tenths it lost in March, classic hits-oldies sibling KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+) remains in third-place. This time last month, co-owned adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety” trailed frontrunner KOPB by 1.5 shares (6+). The combination of public news/talk KOPB eroding by -1.0 and “K-103” notching a +.5 (8.0 – 8.5, 6+) results in the two stations locked in a first-place tie. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” had ranked #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. In the market’s country contest, Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” recoups the four-tenths it surrendered in March (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull #1 for New Country” is flat at 3.3 (6+) and remains at #15. In January (2018), “The Bull” registered a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but lost 80% of that increase (-1.6) in February and March (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE regains the two-tenths it lost in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). In a three-way scrum at #14, Entercom news/talk WBT is a combined -.9 in March and April (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), immediately after three increases in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ is flat at 1.7 (6+) and remains at #18; “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” rebounded from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – Powered by a whopping +1.9 (3.2 – 5.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” rockets into the top ten (#16 to #6). It isn’t the only Charlotte station improving by at least one full-share in April though as Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” wipes out March’s -1.1 with a +1.2 (6.3 – 5.2 – 6.4, 6+), jumping from sixth to third. In February, WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths. Up eight-tenths in three consecutive ratings periods without a loss (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFX coughs up nearly twice that gain (5.9, -1.4, 6+); after a one-month stay at #1, “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” drifts to #5. Its 7.3 in March was the best 6+-stat for WRFX since 7.6 in April 2017. “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Succeeding “The Fox” at #1 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (6.8 – 7.0, +.2, second to first, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); and +.6 in March. It shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, the first time on top for WKKT since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). As a result of three straight decreases, Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is -1.4 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+). Urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WOSF “Old School 105.3” returns 75% of March’s +.8 (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, 6+), slipping from seventh to eighth. Immediately before its March increase, “Old School 105.3” was an overall -1.8 via five consecutive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Three iHeartMedia siblings falter by one-half share each: adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (4.6 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); WEND “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” (3.8, #9 to #12, 6+); and CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (3.4, #13 to #14, 6+). “The End” was +.7 in January to halt three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); -.5 in February (4.3 – 3.8, 6+); +.5 in March; and now -.5 in April. Meanwhile, “Channel 96.1” was an overall +.8 in four straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – With a net loss of two-tenths via three sweeps in a row without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI slips from seventh to eighth. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to three consecutive negative trends, KSTX was a combined -1.9 (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), but the Texas Public Radio news/talker picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Continuing at #20, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is without a loss for the fourth time in succession for a collective +.5 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight times of recording a .5 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up two-tenths to .7 (6+) and is steady at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – Four positive spikes in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM have generated a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” progresses from eighth to fifth. Tacking on six-tenths to its March +.7, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” climbs from #14 to #13. “Norteno” was +.8 in January and -1.0 in February. By gaining two-tenths to 4.2 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT not only pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in a -.9.6 (13.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Variety Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). On top for the fourth sweep in a row, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -.4 in March and April (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in a row that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. So far this calendar year, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” has amassed a +2.7 in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) only to surrender a combined -1.3 in March and April (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. It is one-tenth ahead of format rival, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which records its fourth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, steady at #4, 6+). Trending 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.1 (6+) since December, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (#14 to #18, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its March gain of one-tenth with a mammoth +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” jumps from sixth to third. This (7.8) is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and -.9 in February. Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is without a loss for the tenth ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-tenth (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). This represents the third sweep in a row without an increase for Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), which is -.8 in that timeframe; 5.3 (January and February) was its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A +1.3 in January stymied four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). An overall +.8 via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” sputters by one-half share to 2.4 (#12 to #13, 6+). January’s gain of six-tenths halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Having logged a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” posts an improvement of six-tenths to 5.0 (tenth to seventh), its highest 6+-share since last June’s 5.1. Tacking on one-tenth (11.1 – 11.2, 6+) to March’s +.8, classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW is on top for the 14th consecutive ratings period; “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). Co-owned rocker WDVE (7.8 – 7.9, +.1, 6+) has been in second-place in ten of the last eleven sweeps. It was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). A loss of six-tenths (7.8 – 7.2, 6+) drops Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” from the runner-up slot to fourth-place. Steady at #11, co-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is up seven-tenths through three straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). At the same time, Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” dips by two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to ninth, 6+), curtailing three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KFBK, which was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; up again to #1 (tied with KSEG) in March; and now back to #2 in April (8.1 – 7.8, -.3, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+); logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017; and followed in January 2018 with a +.2. January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Three straight improvements netted a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), but KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in March (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KSTE inches up from #15 to #14. “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. After logging a +.4 in March, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ forfeits all of it plus another one-tenth (4.8 – 4.3, -.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). KXJZ posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a -1.0 or an exactly one-half reduction in its 6+-stat (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3, #20 to #23, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.5 (#23 – to #22, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – For the 12th ratings period in succession, Entercom’s KRXQ (4.0 – 4.6, +.6, 6+) records a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 as “98 Rock” vaults from ninth to fourth. After enduring three dips in a row that resulted in a massive -8.2 and well over half of its 6+-share (14.2 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” picks up two-tenths to 6.2 and continues at #3. “Mix” ranked first in December 2017 (8.8, 6+) and in “Holiday” 2017 (14.2, 6+). Off a combined half-share in February and March (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” erases that deficit with a +.5 to 4.6 (6+) as it climbs from #8 to that four-way logjam at #4 (that includes KRXQ). Albeit down one-tenth (8.1 – 8.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” emerges in sole possession of first-place, following a tie at the top with iHeartMedia’s KFBK; “The Eagle” was #1 in February, as well. A January gain of two full-shares by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Co-owned KKDO “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” returns 70% of its +1.0 in March (3.2, -.7, #10 to #12, 6+); 3.9 (March) was its best 6+-stat in more than two years (3.9, February 2016). Still in that Entercom cluster, CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” is a collective -.8 in three straight sweeps without an increase (5.4 -5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+) but remains at #4. As the result of three successive upticks, Entravision-owned country outlet KNTY gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but “101.9 The Wolf” relinquishes one-half share to 2.5 (#13 to #14, 6+). In addition to “The Wolf,” iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is part of a three-way tie-up at #14. “The Bull” is without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, #16 to #14, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s other FM country outlet, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), surrenders two-tenths in April to 4.2 (sixth to ninth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above being +3.0 in four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” marches from second to first. Immediately prior to this streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat in each of the last three sweeps for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” dips from ninth to tenth. KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Without an increase the last three sweeps as well (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, steady at #13, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.3. Slipping from #21 to #22, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – In addition to advancing from seventh to fifth, Bonneville-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” is a combined +2.2 via four upticks in a row (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance (5.7) since last July’s 6.2. When 1980’s hits KSQN dropped four-tenths in March, it snapped at ten a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+). In April though, “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” answers with an increase of seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.7, #22 to #21, 6+). The 1.3-share (6+) advantage Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” enjoyed over co-owned (news/talk) KSL evaporates as “FM 100.3” hands over in full March’s +.9 (7.3 – 8.2 – 7.3, first to second, 6+) and now trails KSL by eight-tenths. KSFI, which had been on top the past six ratings periods, was -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). Eroding by eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.8 – 6.0, flat at #3, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). A gain of nine-tenths in March resulted in “97.1 ZHT” logging a 6.8 – its finest 6+-share since 7.1 in March 2016. Meanwhile, “K-Bull” ends three upticks in a row that netted +2.3 (3.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). The market’s two hot ACs regress by six-tenths: Capitol’s KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.7 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+). Both of these stations lost one-half share in March.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – By picking up three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT segues from #22 to a three-way tie at #19. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Talk Radio 840” was up or flat for three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Off three-tenths to 2.6 (#14 to #15, 6+), Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR suspends three positive spikes in succession that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” dips from #25 to #26. A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. Unchanged at #27, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.5 in seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Trending 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.5 (January – February – March, 6+), Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 6.1 (fourth to third, 6+), its best 6+-stat since last November’s 6.7. In four straight gains, co-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” is +1.6 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+). The game of musical chairs at the top between iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” and Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” continues as “Sunny” is off six-tenths (7.4 – 6.8, first to second, 6+), while KKLZ is +.2 (6.8 – 7.0, second to first, 6+). The two stations traded places in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse – by “Sunny” – after five straight months there. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); and -.5 (February). In addition to holding the lead in December 2017 and March 2018, “Sunny” was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). After avoiding a loss the past six reports for an overall +2.6 (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.1 (third to fifth, 6+). In addition to “Sunny,” Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” log April losses of six-tenths. Three upticks in a row by KOMP produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) but it has now dropped six-tenths in back-to-back monthlies (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.3, #14 to #18, 6+). In an up/down pattern since “Holiday” 2017 in which it’s up two-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” drops from #11 to #13.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from a -1.0 in March, iHeartMedia news/talker WLW posts a +1.6 to 8.9 (6+) and shifts from third to second. The Cincinnati Reds flagship was a combined +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, 6+). This (8.9) is its highest 6+-share since last October’s 9.2. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” is down a combined one-half share in March and April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3, #10 to #12, 6+). WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). It is one-half share ahead of Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU which replicates March’s -.4 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+); WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. Flat at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” returns the two-tenths it gained in March (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” drops three-tenths (.7 – .4, #22 to #23, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Even though it registers its fifth positive spike in succession for an overall +2.7 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5, 6+), Hubbard’s WUBE backslides from second to third; “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” was -1.4 in December. Not only does Radio One urban contemporary WIZF apply the brakes to four negative moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), “101.1 The Wiz” hauls out a +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is an overall +.9 in three successive positive spikes (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3, #16 to #15, 6+). This (2.3) is the best 6+-showing for WDBZ since November (2.3, as well). An April gain of eight-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+) completely wipes out its -.8 in February and March (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Setting the pace for the fourth straight time, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” drops six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), thus halting three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. More major ups/downs for Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9,” which was -1.4 via five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+); +1.3 in January; -.5 in February; +.6 in March; and now -.8 in April (5.1 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). This is the ninth straight time that iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.9 (4.9 – 4.2, -.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (4.9 – 5.5, steady at #8, 6+) and Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE (2.9 – 3.5, unchanged at #14, 6+). In advance of dropping three-tenths in March, “Real Radio” was up a combined three full-shares in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+). January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Down eight-tenths in three consecutive monthlies without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” slips from ninth to tenth. Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5,” was +2.0 in September 2017. A loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+) takes iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF from #16 to #17. Immediately before gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Tied at #20 are Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (1.1 – .9, -2, #19 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (flat at .9, #20 in March, as well, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Registering its fourth positive spike in a row for an overall +2.5 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” jumps from sixth to fourth. After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. Prior to March 2018, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in March 2017 (6.1). It is quite the double-play for iHeartMedia’s WRUM which is up for the fourth successive monthly for a +1.8 (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+) and is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Although remaining at #7, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” adds seven-tenths to 5.7 for its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 5.9. Down a cumulative two full-shares in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJRR answers with a one-half share increase in April (3.3 – 3.8, #13 to #12, 6+). In January, “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” posted a +1.3, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In a bit of an interesting twist, the internet “stream” of Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is up nine-tenths (.0 – .9, #21, 6+), while the station’s actual FM signal regresses by eight-tenths (6.8 – 6.0, third to fifth, 6+). Prior to April’s -.8, WMMO-FM was +1.6 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), with 6.8 in March its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After being within 5.0 – 5.5 range in each of the last six survey periods (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” logs a +.8 to 6.3 (seventh to fifth), the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since last October’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive sweeps without a loss by Entercom’s WKRK netted a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” returns two-thirds of that increase (4.4, -.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). A combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+) after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN adds one-tenth in April (2.9, 6+) and continues at #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” responds in March and April though with an overall +1.6 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.5, 6+), leaping from eighth to fourth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). There have been seven dramatic up/down shifts in succession for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits”: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); and now +1.0 in April (8.3 – 9.3, steady at #2, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Co-owned WMMS duplicates March’s +.6 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). After three increases in a row for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK falters by one-half share to 9.6 (6+) but repeats at #1. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Having notched a gain of six-tenths in February, urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” is a combined -1.4 in March and April (6.3 – 5.7 – 4.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). February’s +.6 pulled the plug on three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” racks up a +1.3 (1.8 – 3.1, #19 to #15, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” spirals by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #10 to #16+). In March, Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP erased February’s -.4 with a +.4. WHB was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Without a loss for the sixth time in a row for a +.9 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR nonetheless backslides from #16 to #17. After registering six successive upticks for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is off three-tenths in March and April (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+). Cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” picks up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) and carries on at #19. Unchanged at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .7 (6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Up or flat each sweep since December for an overall +1.6 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” vaults from #8 to a three-way tie at #4. Part of the logjam there includes co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1,” which records its third (modest) decrease in a row for a -.5 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other FM country property, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” dials up a +.9 (4.0 – 4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). “The Wolf” was a collective -1.3 in February and March. Stuck on 3.2 (6+) the last two survey periods, alternative cluster-mate KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” notches a +.7 in April to 3.9 (#14 to #12, 6+), matching last November’s 6+-stat. Steady at #3, co-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.3 in four straight up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Despite a loss of four-tenths (8.1 – 7.7, 6+), KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies property faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Dropping out of the top ten (#10 to #11), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” is down eight-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN inches up from sixth to fifth. “News Radio 610” eroded by one full-share in February; was -.7 in March; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU stumbles by six-tenths to 3.7 (seventh to eighth, 6+); 4.3 in March was its best 6+-showing since August 2017’s 4.7. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” gains two-tenths to .9 (#16 to #15, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet has ceased subscribing to Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” boasts a 14.4 (6+) in April and finishes first for the fourth consecutive sweep. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; and now +1.0 in April. Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (9.0 – 9.4, +.4, 6+) is #2 for the fourth time in a row. WNCI was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in February and March (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” surrenders nine-tenths (5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.1 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2017 report, Saga Communications’ classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind” deflates by one-half share to 1.6 (6+) but remains at #13. It is the first time “Rewind” has been below a two-share (6+) since recording a 1.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Blue Chip urban contemporary WBMO logged a 1.2 (6+) in December 2017, but has not been in print the last five sweeps.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

Your Phone IS Spying On You, Your FCC Still Loves You, Your Podcast Audience Awaits

| April 16, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Here are my notes from a real productive Wednesday at the NAB Show and New Media Expo (NMX).  And ICYMI:

http://www.talkers.com/2015/04/14/lurking-las-vegas-day-2/

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The Battle Over Net Neutrality

| February 27, 2015

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

weismanwriterWASHINGTON — No one seems to be neutral over net neutrality.  On February 26, the FCC approved new rules to classify and regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility by a vote of 3-2 strictly along party lines with the three Democratic commissioners voting in favor of the new rules and the two Republican commissioners voting against the proposal.

Not that any of the commissioners appeared to be against net neutrality.  Net neutrality is the name for the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally and that Internet Service Providers cannot charge more for higher-speed service and greater access which would limit the most effective use of the Internet to only those large companies that could afford the greater fees.  Under net neutrality, the Internet Service Providers could not speed up, slow down or block delivery of any content or service.   Those in favor of net neutrality fear giving Internet Service Providers too much power and control over how people surf the net.  Internet Service Providers have opposed net neutrality for years, arguing that they should be able to charge higher fees to some companies, such as Netflix to receive faster service.  However critics of the Internet Service providers’ proposals for tiered pricing say that it would stifle freedom of speech and equal access that is at the cornerstone of the Internet and, in effect, would result in only big companies that could afford larger fees having effective access to the Internet as a means of communication.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

| April 24, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Releases Q1 Financials: CCM+E Up 2%.  This morning Clear Channel released financial data for the first quarter of 2014 and the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment group – radio stations, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic + Weather, iHeartRadio and related live events – saw income rise 2% compared to the same quarter a year ago.  The company says “Media + Entertainment revenue rose $14 million, or 2% compared to the same period of 2013, driven primarily by higher revenues at our traffic and weather business reflecting new product offerings and the impact of strategic sales initiatives, as well as higher national sales fueled by growth in the telecommunications, healthcare and automotive categories, and higher digital advertising revenue benefitting from an increase in total listening hours on our iHeartRadio platform. Partially offsetting these revenue gains was a decline in our local revenues.  Operating expenses were up $26 million during the first quarter of 2014 versus the same period in 2013, due primarily to higher compensation expenses driven by investments in our national and digital sales forces, and increased production costs for events such as the iHeartRadio Country Music Festival, as well as greater digital streaming and performance rights expenses driven by increased total listening hours and revenues.  OIBDAN decreased $13 million, or 6%, to $200 million in the first quarter of 2014.”

wpht logoWPHT Personalities to Debate GOP Party, Conservative Movement Future. The WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210” air staff will be together on the same stage for the very first time today (Thursday, 4/24) at 5:00 pm to participate in “Super Talk Debate” at Victory Beer Hall’s XFinity Live in South Philadelphia.  Personalities Dom Giordano, Dick Morris, Gary R’nel, Chris Stigall, and Rich Zeoli will discuss/debate subjects such as the future of social issues in American politics; foreign policy intervention; the GOP’s view on marijuana legalization; and how Republicans can win the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.  The format will be presidential debate style.  Each participant will be at a podium, make opening and closing statements, and answer questions from the audience and moderator Larry Kane.  Rick Grimaldi and Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli will host the post-debate show at 6:30 pm.  By voting online, listeners will decide the winner.  Voting will continue until next Monday (4/28) at 5:00 pm when Morris and R’Nel will announce the results.

brownbudWilkes-Barre Radio Personality Bud Brown Retires from WILK.  Longtime Wilkes-Barre radio pro Bud Brown calls it a career after signing off from Entercom’s news/talk WILK-AM/FM yesterday morning (4/23) after 40 years on the air.  PAHomepage.com reports Brown is a native whose career began in New Jersey before he returned home to work at WBRE and then WILK.  Brown tells the site, “I got along with all my coworkers.  I respected them.  I felt mutual respect returning and I think that more than anything else is what I treasure most about all the things about all the days on the air.”

nielsen logoNielsen Reports Positive First Quarter; Revenue Up 12.9%.  That figure is compared to the same period a year ago on revenue of $1.49 billion.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. chief executive officer Mitch Barns says, “Nielsen delivered a solid first quarter.  Our underlying business performance, which was marked by broad-based revenue growth and strong profitability, was enhanced by the ongoing successful integration of Arbitron.  Our clear focus on the key business priorities of our diverse global client base continues to produce steady and consistent results while delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”  The company reports that free cash flow for the first quarter of 2014 increased to $13 million from -$15 million in the first quarter of 2013 and cash flow from operations increased to $90 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $54 million in first quarter of 2013.  The increases were driven by stronger operating performance and favorable interest payments.

roverRover’s Legal Team to Call Howard Stern as Witness in Cleveland Case.  When WMMS, Cleveland morning show host Shane “Rover” French appears in court on May 20 to defend himself against 13 charges – including attempted felonious assault, inducing panic and resisting arrest – his lawyer is calling Howard Stern as a witness, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.  It’s not clear why Stern would be a relevant witness or if he’ll even appear.  Co-host Michael Toomey, a.k.a. Chocolate Charlie, was arrested along with French during the incident that took place over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday weekend in which an off-duty police officer claims French and Toomey shot off illegal fireworks, refused requests to stop, assaulted him and more.

fccnewMedia World A-Twitter Over FFC ‘Net Neutrality’ Plans.  The chatter got so intense over reports about what today’s announcement by the FCC regarding its new open Internet rules will be that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler issued the following statement to counter speculation.  “There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule.  They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of netwheelertom neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January.  There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’  The same rules will apply to all Internet content.  As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.”  What got people so uptight?  Numerous sources – including the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Fox News and others – say today’s announcement will propose that content companies be allowed to pay for faster delivery over the so-called “last mile” connection to people’s homes.  The Associated Press writes, “The new rules are meant to replace the FCC’s open Internet order from 2010, which was struck down by a federal appeals court in January.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that the FCC had the authority to create open-access rules but said it failed to establish that its 2010 regulations didn’t overreach.  While the older rules technically allowed for paid priority treatment, it was discouraged.  The new rules spell out standards that such deals would have to meet to be considered ‘commercially reasonable’ and are designed to survive a court challenge in the future.  Under the proposed rules, if such a deal for priority access were challenged, the commission would look at its impact on competition, on consumers, on free speech and civic engagement, and whether a broadband provider was acting in good faith.”

cmgHoustonkidsThe Next Generation(s).  At the Cox Media Group Houston office, the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet could be heard as staffers brought their progeny to work for the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”  Altogether, 18 young people (pictured here with some of the parents), ranging from 2 ½ to 13 years of age came to work on Thursday (4/24) to follow their parents on a typical day.  Well, a mostly typical day, as activities were planned for every age group.  The kids will learn to record a commercial, use their voices for station on-air promotions, participate in social media postings, and see inside the studio as the DJs broadcast live.  The daylong activities will be mixed in with some fun as well, including a pizza party for lunch, a dance-off with the digital department, and if activities are too much, “Frozen” will be shown in the afternoon so everyone can take a break from it all.  Cox Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen says, “This is our first year to implement the program in Houston.  I can already feel the excitement in the air as the kids are making themselves right at home.”

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/Obama vs Putin, 2016 Presidential Race-Mid Term Elections, the FCC and Net Neutrality, President Obama’s Asia Visit, and U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  Russia’s involvement in the unrest in Ukraine and analysis of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; speculation about candidates in the 2016 presidential election and the looming mid-term elections this year; controversy over the FCC’s “open internet” policy to be announced today; President Obama’s visit to Asian nations excluding China; and the state of al Qaeda after U.S. drone strikes on terrorist targets in Yemen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 28, 2014

| March 28, 2014

rogersmikeCongressman Mike Rogers to Join Cumulus Media in Unnamed Role.  The mysterious press release from Cumulus Media states that when his current term in Congress is up at the end of this year, Republican Mike Rogers will “bring his unique perspective as a leading intelligence expert and former FBI agent to Cumulus, the national media company that operates the nation’s largest talk radio platform.”  The company isn’t specific whether Rogers will host acumulus logo daily show, produce daily commentary or fill some other role.  Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is hard to miss if you watch cable news/talk TV or the Sunday morning news shows, as Cumulus points out when it states, “As a media-savvy politician who last year appeared on more Sunday public affairs shows than any other elected official in the nation, Chairman Rogers will play an important role helping Americans understand critical issues that impact their lives.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to have Chairman Rogers join our team.  He has been instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time and will play a significant role in our expanding content platform.”

rizzotonyWKNR, Cleveland’s Rizzo Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Domestic Case.  The host of the afternoon drive “The Really Big Show” on Good Karma-owned WKNR, Cleveland – Tony Rizzo – pleaded “no contest” to a reduced “persistent disorderly conduct” charge in connection with a December incident during which his wife Catherine reported Rizzo struck her.  According to Cleveland.com, an assistant district attorney says the reduced charge was leveled after Catherine Rizzo admitted she initiated the argument by striking Tony Rizzo with a glass.  Rizzo’s attorney says his client accepted the reduced charge to avoid a trial though he believes Rizzo would have been acquitted.  The probation department will review the case before sentencing.  WKNR has stuck by Rizzo throughout, calling his status with the station “unaffected” by the case.

mcdowellrobertNAB Show Features ‘Net Neutrality’ Debate; Ex-Commish McDowell to Take Part.  At the NAB Show in Las Vegas next month, the issue of net neutrality is being addressed during the Super Session titled, “World Without Rules: Is This the End of the Open Internet?”  On Tuesday, April 8, NAB says “top opinion leaders and experts on the issue of net neutrality will address how proposed regulations governing access to the internet will affect content providers, ISPs and content creators.”  Tech Policy for Re/code senior editor Amy Schatz will moderate the panel consisting of: Jessica Gonzalez, EVP and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Robert McDowell, former FCC commissioner; Pantelis Michalopoulos, head of the Telecom, Internet & Media Group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Berin Szoka, president and founder of TechFreedom.

costadinoSports Talker Dino Costa Profiled; Adds Staff to New Digital Venture.  Mercurial sports talk personality Dino Costa, after years with SiriusXM, recently announced the start-up of his new, eponymous digital sports talk venture.  Now he’s reporting that Bob Robinson is joining Dino Costa World Wide LLC to serve as executive producer for the program that will debut on May 5.  Costa says that the 25-year broadcast pro will be in charge of all production and engineering for the program and will work from its Cheyenne, Wyoming headquarters beginning March 31.  Robinson spent 19 years in the Raleigh-Durham market working at stations including WRDU and “96 Rock.”  Costa also received a bit of love from Forbes recently when Tom Van Riper profiled him.  In the piece, Costa basically admits his argumentative nature, especially with regard to his dismissal from SiriusXM, saying, “I bitched one too many times.”  But Van Riper writes that quality can be a good one for a sports talk host.  Read the entire piece here.

garciatonySo, You Want to Be Syndicated.  Why?  That’s the question syndication business veteran Tony Garcia, founder of Global Media Services, asks radio broadcasters that approach him about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service.  Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage.  It’s natural.  It drives us to be better at what we do.  In a new piece posted today (3/28), Garcia writes, “Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion.  It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately.  Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates.  As a good friend of mine once said, ‘Syndication will break your heart.’”  Still want to be syndicated?  If so, read Garcia’s entire column by clicking here.

cbsradionewsCBS Radio News Honored by the National Headliner Awards.  Four years running CBS Radio News is recognized by the National Headliner Awards, nabbing first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories, this year for reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombing.   In the network newscast category “CBS World News Roundup” anchor Steve Kathan and producer Paul Farry won for their reporting on that chaotic morning when police shut down an entire suburban Boston neighborhood to search for one of the marathon bombing suspects just hours after his brother died in a confrontation with police.  Vice president for radio Harvey Nagler comments, “From the moment the two bombs went off in Boston, CBS Radio News was on the air immediately with continuous coverage and special reports every 10 minutes.  The hourly newscasts contained vivid and dramatic descriptions of the events.”  CBS News correspondent Barry Bagnato won in the News Series category for his five part series on “Drones, Invading Our Skies and Our Personal Space.”

waynealyn‘Late Night Health’ Approaches Milestone Episode.  The syndicated program will air its 100th show this weekend.  Host/producer Mark Alyn (right) remarks, “We can’t believe we have done so many shows while featuring information designed to help listeners.”  Colleague “The Insane” Darrell Wayne (left) jokes, “Sitting across from each other for all these hours with our bellybuttons almost touching has been an amazing experience.”  The program is a holistic look at health, blending traditional medicine with alternative approaches.  Alyn is the only radio host to be invited by the Natural Products Association to speak with elected officials in Washington, D.C. one week from Tuesday (4/8) as part of Natural Products Day.  He will discuss GMO labeling and concerns about Food & Drug Administration-proposed supplement legislation.

streblowdarenGrowing ‘Daren Streblow Comedy Show’ Adds Daily Feature.  The weekly “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is heard largely on news/talk stations across the country but also has some Christian radio affiliates.  Now, the program will expand with the creation of a daily feature culled from some of the best bits of the full-length program.  Executive producer Corey Irish comments, “We have received constant requests from our affiliates asking us to add a short feature on the weekdays.  We believe some of these station groups will also add this vignette to the music stations in their clusters.”  Irish also reports that the program recently added personality Riley Armstrong – an established comedic musician – to the program.  As far as the content is concerned, Streblow describes the show as “night club tested and family approved.”

tyleraishaAisha Tyler Named Gracie Awards Host. Daytime television audiences, of course, know Aisha Tyler as one of the panel members on CBS-TV’s “The Talk.”  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) has tapped the Dartmouth College alum to host the 39th annual Gracie Awards in two months (5/20) in Los Angeles.  According to AWMF chair Kay Olin, “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation advances the influence and impact of women in all forms of media, and Aisha Tyler embodies this goal perfectly.  From network television to cable, from actor to author, from podcasts to best-selling books, Aisha showcases her talents in an impressive variety of media.  We are delighted that Aisha is hosting this year’s Gracie Awards Gala.”  Tyler – who formerly hosted “Talk Soup” – comments, “It has truly been an impressive year for women in all media.  I am very much looking forward to celebrating all that women have accomplished.”  However, she jokes, “No one is getting an award for that Kimye [Kim Kardashian-Kanye West] Vogue cover if I have anything to say about it.”  The Gracie Awards (or “Gracies”) recognize consummate programming created for women, by women, and about women in radio, television, cable, and digital media.  The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.  “The Talk” was recently renewed for a fifth season.  In addition to her role there and as a regular Stephanie Miller show contributor, Tyler voices Lana Kane on “Archer.”  Last summer, she replaced Drew Carey as host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

mcdanielearl groupRemembering Earl McDaniel. Writing in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, reporter Erika Engle describes Earl McDaniel as “the longtime charismatic general manager” of Honolulu’s KSSK-AM and KSSK-FM.  The 85-year-old McDaniel died this past Wednesday (3/26) in Arizona. McDaniel formulated the idea for a $1 million giveaway that helped solidify the morning drive success of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price (“Perry & Price”), following the 1983 death of J. Akuhead Pupule.  KUMU production director Michael Shishido programmed KSSK years ago and tells us that McDaniel was, “the best GM I’ve ever worked with.”  Elaborating on his Facebook page, Shishido comments, “If you had the great opportunity to work for KSSK prior to 1991, you got to work for one of the greats, Earl McDaniel.  He was larger than life.  He was tough and demanding, but he was a radio and marketing genius – and he had a huge, compassionate heart.  I could fill up Facebook for days with Earl stories as could many of my radio colleagues.  Radio has lost a giant.  Aloha, Earl.”  As a Los Angeles on-air talent, Earl “The Pearl” McDaniel worked for KFVD and KPOP (1953 – 1958); KLAC (1958); KDAY (1958 – 1961, where he was its program director); and KFWB (1961 – 1963).  Renowned voiceover talent and longtime programmer Charlie Van Dyke notes on his Facebook page that McDaniel was, “a great guy with the most wonderful stories and a very quick sense of humor.  I was so happy that I had the chance to meet with him even briefly.”  The most touching tribute though to McDaniel can be found on laradio.com, where publisher Don Barrett opens up his homage by stating, “The most important man in my life died [Wednesday] night.”  In the heartfelt printed eulogy, Barrett details how he met McDaniel while Barrett attended Santa Monica High School in the 1950s.  “He was the biggest deal on the radio dial in the 1950s,” Barrett writes of McDaniel.  “He was the early Rick Dees or Ryan Seacrest.”  The two instantly became friends and Barrett points out, “Earl was never more than a phone call away.  I went to him first for advice whenever there was a stumbling block in my journey.  He would help me see a way to roll the boulder out of the pathway.  He provided life tools to be a success – personally and professionally.  Earl was the first to pair Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele long before they arrived in Southern California for ‘Boss Radio.'”  According to Barrett, “Earl broke the Chipmunks Christmas Song and lost his job over it.  On Thanksgiving weekend, he played it twice an hour and the station owner threatened to fire Earl if he played it one more time.  Earl did and was fired, however, by Monday it was the hottest record at Wallichs Music City.  Earl was always figuring out a way to make things better, bigger and more spectacular.  He not only coined the phrase, ‘If you don’t promote a funny thing happens – nothing,’ he lived by it.  When Earl was running Honolulu’s KGMB, one year the station took in 60% of the revenues in the 18-station market.  I remember remarking to him what a stunning statistic that was.  He dismissed it and said he would not be happy until he got 100% of all advertising dollars.  Earl was the personification of what it is to be a mentor.  There is no one I have trusted more.  I will forever be grateful for every act of kindness he gave to me and my family – I will forever be grateful for Earl McDaniel.”  That only scratches the surface of Barrett’s piece, which also contains this condensed message from McDaniel himself, who anticipated his death.  “I am an agnostic.  I will be taken to the Neptune Society for cremation.  I have told my heirs that I do not care where they let the ashes fly.  When it is over, it is over.  To that end, there will be no funeral, no casket, and no flowers.  I have celebrated life for 85 years, and that celebration has been a wonderful, wonderful ride.  I have been contemplating all the good times, and the good times were fantabulous.  If I have borrowed something I haven’t returned or money I haven’t repaid, contact my daughter, Kathy.  Do not sing me any sad songs.  If I were to have an epitaph, it would be, ‘Earl McDaniel … from 1928 to 2014, he lived.'”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Charlie Van Dyke, Earl McDaniel, and Don Barrett.

deanmichaelwTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The GCN-syndicated “Michael Dean After Dark” joins the lineup at WKRO, Cairo, Illinois…..“Armed American Radio” Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and WRGA, Rome, Georgia…..The “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is now heard on KKNW, Seattle; KDIS, Little Rock; and KVOP, Lubbock, Texas.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 24-28.  At #2 this week was the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Hobby Lobby case which debates the question whether employer-provided health care services that conflict with the employer’s religious beliefs should be required to be offered.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s relationship with Vladimir Putin tied with the aggression of Russia into Eastern Europe and, at #4 was talk about the prospects for political power change after the mid-term elections and the looming 2016 presidential race.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

| February 26, 2014

waldengregCongressman Greg Walden Intends to Kill FCC’s Critical Information Needs Study.  It wouldn’t be out of line to suggest Oregon Congressman Greg Walden doesn’t trust the FCC not to step over the line regarding its Critical Information Needs study.  The controversial study would send researchers into the field to determine how stations and news personnel are choosing and presenting news and information and whether the conclusions reached somehowfccnew create a barrier to entry into station ownership for minorities.  Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler backed off the study as initially created and he has said the Commission has no intention of regulating the content of journalists or broadcasters.  Walden is promising to craft legislation to end the CIN study permanently.  He says “The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place.  As someone with a journalism degree, I was alarmed from the moment I saw it, which is why we wrote to Chairman Wheeler in December to urge him to stop the study.  To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough.  The study should be eradicated completely.  The potential for violation of the First Amendment is exceptionally egregious, but it is also concerning that the commission believes it can prescribe what ‘critical information needs’ are in communities across the country.”

wnymlogoSalem Names Joe Piscopo Permanent Morning Host at WNYM, New York.  Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, comic and actor Joe Piscopo has been sitting in hosting the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” since the beginning of the year.  Now the company makes it official as he’s named morning host of “Piscopo in the Morning.”  He is joined on the air by morningpiscopojoe show producer Frank Morano and newsman Al Gatullo.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “One of the best things I get to do in this job is find talented people who have accomplished something on one stage and are ready to take on another one.  Joe is extremely talented on the radio, bringing a level of entertainment to mix with the information that you seldom get to hear.  This is a very connected morning show in the nation’s top market.”  Piscopo has been involved in a variety of projects since he left SNL, and still does a number of nationwide tours with former cast members. In addition to numerous movie appearances, and comedy club gigs, he is soon to be featured in a national reality TV show for a major network.  He comments, “I have my college degree in broadcasting.  I remain a dedicated student of the most intimate medium, radio.  And with legendary broadcast giants like GM Jerry Crowley and current day guru of all radio personalities past and present, Phil Boyce, this is the positively perfect storm of talk radio.  I honestly believe that this is not only the reinvention, renaissance and revitalization of AM radio, (not to mention a totally new and exciting journey of my career) but the best thing to happen to NY radio since David Sarnoff.”  Crowley says, “We have had a huge positive reaction to Joe, both from listeners and advertisers, since he joined us. This is going to be a true home run.”

sabowalterImprove Your PPM Performance.  Media consultant Walter Sabo offers five quick tips for improving your talk radio station’s performance in PPM (or frankly, any) markets.  Sabo writes that one of the biggest gripes from general managers at stations which he consults is that the program director doesn’t coach the talent.  That can lead to bad habits.  To read his quick five-point prescription for getting on the track to better audience engagement, click here.

casonbrittneyWFNZ, Charlotte’s Brittney Cason Tells Chilling Tale of Narrow Escape from Human Trafficking Ring.  There’s no word how far the FBI is in its investigation of what happened – or almost happened – to media personality and WFNZ, Charlotte air talent Brittney Cason, but as the former NFL cheerleader writes in a column on XOJane.com, her dashed dream to cover the Sochi Olympics turned out to be a probable life-saving event.  You can read her story here, but here’s a summary: After being recruited to cover the Winter Games by whom Cason thought was a legitimate agent, Cason discovered through her own dogged pursuit of answers to questions that bugged her that the man pretending to be an agent was likely involved in a human trafficking ring operating around the Sochi Games.  Cason notes that one of the most common pretenses for abducting women for trafficking purposes is a modeling gig.  Cason’s experience in the broadcasting and modeling business may have saved her life.

reckfordlauraCape Cod Broadcasting Names Reckford News Director.  General manager Beverly Tilden announces that Cape Cod Broadcasting is naming Laura Reckford news director for the company.  Tilden says, “Cape Cod Broadcasting has been a trusted resource for local Cape Cod news and information.  Laura’s experience and leadership will assure that we continue that tradition as we grow and expand our news offerings.”  Reckford most recently worked in the communications & development department at Housing Assistance Corporation.  She is also the founder of the new online magazine CapeCodWave.com where she currently is editor and publisher.  Cape Cod Broadcasting says it will partner with CapeCodWave.com as part of its development of its website CapeCod.com.  She has worked at Cape Cod Life as managing editor and served with The Falmouth Enterprise in the same capacity.  She began her media career in New York City at Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Viacom and 20th Century Fox.  Reckman comments, “After working in film, television, magazines, and newspapers, I am excited to be working in radio, a medium I have long admired.  In addition, I am looking forward to bringing local journalism to CapeCod.com and also enhancing that website with the magazine-style journalism of Cape Cod Wave.”

herskovitzalPolitical Ad Season Is for Everyone.  Media sales maven Al Herskovitz, president of H-and-H Broadcasting, writes about the already-upon-us political advertising season and what radio stations can do to get their fair share of the pie.  Herskovitz notes that political is a busy category at major and large market stations but that smaller market stations and shows that may have considered themselves too small or “unconnected” can follow some strategies to make sure they are exhausting all possible sources of revenue in this category.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

deanmichaelwDean Adds Nightly Show to GCN Lineup.  “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean is hosting his own nightly show distributed by Genesis Communications Network beginning Monday, March 10.  In addition to the weekly “Freedom Feens” program he hosts with Neema Vedadi, “Michael Dean After Dark” will air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT.  Dean says the program will feature him and a rotating cast of co-hosts for the two-hour show.

komandotvWeighing in on Net Neutrality.  Nationally syndicated talk show host, columnist and digital expert Kim Komando (right) is seen here in this screen shot during an appearance on the Fox Business Network’s “The Willis Report” hosted by Gerri Willis (left).  During the segment, Komando discussed the net neutrality issue and a potential deal between Netflix and AT&T for faster download speeds.

Arizona Religious Rights Bill, ObamaCare Criticism, Hagel Army Reduction Plan, Defense of Marriage Laws Controversy, Bitcoin Exchange Troubles, and Ukraine Turmoil-Russian Influence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The controversy over the Arizona bill that would allow business owners to discriminate against customers based on their own religious beliefs; the plan of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to downsize the Army to its lowest level since after WWII; the edict from Attorney General Eric Holder that state attorneys general do not have to enforce “defense of marriage” laws; the question of the solvency of bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox; and the political turmoil in the Ukraine and Russia’s influence in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

| February 19, 2014

cumulus logoCumulus Posts Positive Q4 2013 Revenue News; Dickey Pleased with ‘Core Performance.’  The fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole were seen in a positive light by Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey during yesterday’s investor conference call.  Dickey noted at the outset that he was happy that the company was able to meet and, in some aspects, exceed its guidance through “core performance without any impact of” mergers and acquisitions.  He also says the company achieved its goals despite 2012 political comps of over $20 million.  The company reports Q4 net revenue up 4.5% over the same period in 2013.  For the year of 2013, Cumulus net revenue rose 2.4%.  Following up on previous dickeylewconference calls in which he highlighted his expectations for sports and traffic, Dickey said CBS Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, NFL and NCAA play-by-play are “hitting their stride as national content brands.  Both sports and traffic are currently exceeding expectations for 2014 and are taking share in their respective markets.  And will again be substantial growth drivers as we expected them to be.  We are very encouraged by the level of interest by both the advertisers and affiliates in these products, which is a testament to the high-quality nature of the content and again the efficacy of broadcast radio advertising on sports and traffic sponsorships respectively.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole call here.

wor logoImus: Scott Shannon Will Get the Job.  The Scott Shannon watch continues as the next radio home of the former, longtime WPLJ, New York morning co-host remains the subject of speculation in New York and across the country.  This morning, WABC-based Don Imus was heard saying, “I’m told Scott Shannon will get the [WOR] job and I’m very happy about that.”  Imus seemed sincere about his statement.  TALKERS reported yesterday that the chatter has Shannon landing at either Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR for morning drive (where the company just ended the Elliot Segal simulcast from “DC101”) or at one of CBS RADIO’s music FMs – either classic hits WCBS-FM or CHR WNOW.

anthonyrobClear Channel Promotes Rob Anthony in New England.  Programmer Rob Anthony is named to the operations manager and program director position at Clear Channel’s Providence cluster that includes rock WHJY, news/talk WHJJ, classic hits WWBB “B101,” and hot AC WSNE “93.3 The Coast.”  Anthony has been serving as regional programming manager for New England based out of the company’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster.  He will retain that title which has him overseeing programming at the Springfield, Worcester, and Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire station groups.  Anthony says, “I can’t even begin to express my excitement for the opportunity to work with such heritage brands as ‘Coast 93.3,’ ‘B 101,’ ‘NewsRadio 920’ and the mighty ‘94 HJY.’  This is truly an honor, and I can’t wait to get to work.  Thank you to Clear Channel’s programming team and [market president] Rhonda Lapham for all their continued support and guidance.”

fccnewFCC to Rework Internet Regulation Rules; Republican Commissioners Question Move.  FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler has announced the Commission will revisit the “net neutrality” issue by “proposing rules that will meet the court’s test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among internet traffic, ensuring genuine transparency in how internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition.  Preserving the internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency.”  Wheeler states that the recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling affirms Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 giving “the FCC authority to encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.  The court recognized the importance of ensuring that so-called ‘edge providers,’ those that use the network to deliver goods and services, can reach people who use the internet.” Republican Commissioner Mike O’Reilly disagrees, saying, “I am deeply concerned by the announcement that the FCC will begin considering new ways to regulate the internet.  As I have said before, my view is that section 706 does not provide any affirmative regulatory authority.  We should all fear that this provision ultimately may be used not just to regulate broadband providers, but eventually edge providers.”  At the same time, Commissioner Ajit Pai adds, “When Congress told us to encourage broadband deployment by removing barriers to infrastructure investment, it also established the policy of the United States to ‘preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.’ Whatever the Commission does as it moves forward, it must take that statutory command to heart.  The internet was free and open before the FCC adopted net neutrality rules.  It remains free and open today.  Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem.”

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Launches TopicPulse; Partners with TTWN for Sales.  Interactive broadcast technology firm LDR Interactive announces the launch of an upgraded version of its TopicPulse, what it calls “a real-time social media monitoring system for newsrooms and content producers.”  LDR Interactive explains: “TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, comment boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  In addition to tracking local and national topics, producers can also access trending video and images.  The system then produces a user-friendly, real-time report that newsrooms can use to drive local, regional, and national content.”  LDR CEO Daniel Anstandig states, “TopicPulse was inspired by feedback from the world’s leading broadcasters, who said they were in critical need of a better way to track and monitor social media to produce news content.  With those needs in mind, we built and optimized TopicPulse for broadcast and digital newsrooms and released the system on beta to LDR’s media partners in 2012.  Since then, we’ve seen tremendous momentum and positive results from media companies in all market sizes.”  In addition to tracking trends, TopicPulse identifies which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media.  Newsrooms also have access to a “glance” screen with trending topics for the brand’s target audience, which can be utilized as a “heads up display” of the market.  A Tweet Map feature showcases the market’s most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.  LDR Interactive is partnering with Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) as the TopicPulse national sales partner.  The TTWN sales team will serve as the major force behind local market integration of the platform in newsrooms across the U.S.

larsonlarsLars Larson Show Added to CRN Digital Talk Lineup.  The Portland, Oregon-based Lars Larson program is added to the program schedule at CRN Digital Talk Radio airing at 7:00 pm ET.  Larson hosts a local show on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland in addition to a separate nationally syndicated program through Compass Media Networks.  CRN will carry the national program.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Lars adds another unique, passionate voice to the CRN schedule.  He’s a newsman, a reporter, and a host – so he brings extra doses of preparation and personality to his show.”

wileyrichardFormer FCC Chair Richard Wiley to Receive BFoA’s Lowry Mays Award.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Richard E. Wiley, chairman of Wiley Rein LLP and a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will receive the 2014 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award to be presented during The Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  Wiley heads the 80-attorney communications practice.  He served as chairman of the FCC from 1974 to 1977.  Wiley played a pivotal role in the development of HDTV in this country, serving for nine years as chairman of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service from 1987 to 1995.  He represents a number of major communications-oriented organizations, including Verizon, AT&T, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Motorola, CBS, Belo, Gannett, Sirius/XM, Emmis, Gray Television, and LG.  Wiley has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s 30 “Superstar” lawyers for his role as “the unofficial sixth commissioner” of the FCC (2011) and consistently listed as one of Washington’s “Best Lawyers” and “Top Lawyers” in the magazine.  He was named the “most prominent telecommunications lawyer and lobbyist in Washington” by Broadcasting & Cable in 2005, and he was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

ostapavlinaTeen Radio Host Wins Student Category Gracie.  The Alliance for Women in Media announces the winners of the 2014 Gracie Awards in the local, online, student and public categories and 16-year-old Florida radio talk host Pavlina Osta wins in the student category Outstanding Anchor – News or News Magazine for her “Pavlina’s Kidz Place Radio Show.”  The Port Orange, Florida resident has been hosting a kids-targeted radio program since she was 11 and boasts an impressive list of celebrity interviews including: Katie Couric, Ed Sheeran, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sick Puppies, A Great Big World, and Steve Forbes, to name just a few.  Now she can add Gracie Award winner to her resume!

Obama Executive Power Controversy, Winter Weather/Global Warming Debate, ObamaCare Criticism, Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian Unrest, and N. Korea Human Rights Abuses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  GOP response to President Obama’s use of executive power; the onslaught of winter weather in much of the country and the debate over the global warming issue; the continuing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Winter Olympic games in Sochi; the protests and political unrest in the Ukraine; and the global community’s concern over growing evidence of human rights abuses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.