Tag: "net revenue"

Thursday, July 11, 2019

| July 11, 2019

Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Stand Up for Betsy Ross’ T-Shirts Sell Rapidly; Benefit 9/11 Charity. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Rush Limbaugh began selling the “Stand Up for Betsy Ross” t-shirt seen here in response to Nike pulling its Betsy Ross flag-themed sneakers after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick complained.  Kaepernick has a shoe deal with the company and obviously holds sway with executives. So far, tens of thousands of shirts have sold and the proceeds are going to Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers FoundationPremiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh says, “I am tired of people like Colin Kaepernick and others taking all of the incredible rewards of this country happily, while continuing to bash it left and right.  Our history is not perfect.  However, the United States of America is truly the land of the free for all. Our country is a miracle.  For Americans, nothing is impossible.  Betsy Ross was an American hero.  She was one of the early feminists before the term was coined.  Betsy Ross was a strong, creative, hard-working woman.  Why on earth should we attack her?  Is this a new definition of ‘war on women’? It’s outrageous.”  However, Limbaugh was quick to notice that internet crooks have already begun selling fake versions of the t-shirt, complete with Limbaugh’s signature in the artwork.  He’s warning listeners, “The only place to purchase the official Rush Limbaugh approved Stand Up for Betsy Ross flag shirt is at www.rushlimbaughshowstore.com. Don’t get fooled!”

Emmis Fiscal Q1 Net Revenue Up 3% Pro Forma. Financial data from Emmis Communications Corporation’s first fiscal quarter ending May 31, 2019 is being released and the company reports net revenue of $26.4 million – flat compared to the same period in fiscal 2018.  However, Emmis is a company going through changes as it divests of radio stations.  Pro forma for radio station divestures, Emmis’ first quarter radio revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, was up 3%, matching the 3% growth in Emmis’ markets.  As previously reported, Emmis announced an agreement to sell its controlling interest in a partnership that owns and operates six Austin radio stations and two FM translators to Sinclair Telecable, Inc.  Emmis also announced an agreement to form a new public company, Mediaco with New York investment firm Standard General.  Mediaco is purchasing urban music stations WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM “HOT 97” from the company, but Emmis will continue to manage operations of the stations.  After closing these transactions, Emmis expects to have approximately $88 million of cash available for reinvestment and other corporate purposes, after settling all tax obligations, closing costs, and assuming $13 million remains outstanding under the mortgage on its corporate headquarters.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the past 14 years, we’ve paid off more than $1.3 billion of debt while making the conscious decision to take our entrepreneurial skills and transition Emmis into new areas of growth.  We believe that this fiscal year will reveal a new Emmis, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Looking ahead, Emmis’ radio net revenues for its second fiscal quarter are currently pacing up double digits, largely thanks to a record-breaking ‘HOT 97’ Summer Jam concert in New York.  Due to hard work and superior execution by our New York team, coupled with a terrific artist lineup, ticket revenue was the strongest in the 26-year history of Summer Jam.  We are also seeing a nice strengthening in advertising sales overall, which points to an outstanding quarter ahead.”

Ratings Interpretations Add Controversy to Heated Mike Francesa-Michael Kay Battle in New York Sports Talk Radio. As expected, the New York media is reporting on the ratings battle between WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay show.  And again, how the ratings numbers are tabulated matters.  As James Kratch explains to readers at NJ.com, WFAN sells different ads on its stream and therefore rates it separately.  WEPN sells the same adds on its air and stream and reports the figures combined.  In Men 25-54, WEPN’s Michael Kay grabbed at 6.4 share for the Spring Book (April-May-June) compared to Mike Francesa’s radio-only 6.1 share.  But, adding WFAN’s streaming listening, Francesa tops Kay 6.6 to 6.4.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the “Generating Talk Radio Revenue” Panel Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/11) post presents the important panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial.  The panel is moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA.   Posted yesterday (7/10): special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly.  Already posted: one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Pierce to Retire from Springfield Radio Shows. Forty-five-year radio pro Brian Pierce is retiring from this business and his two radio shows in the Springfield, Illinois market, effective July 26.  Pierce is morning drive host at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WUSW “U.S. 92.7” and late morning host at sister news/talk WMAY-AM.  In addition to his most recent work in his hometown of Springfield, Pierce has worked at WOAI, San Antonio; WEZB, New Orleans; WZOU, Boston; and KLUV, Dallas.  He says, “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a living.  And I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to do what I love across the country and back here in my hometown.  But now it’s time to stop getting up at 2:30 in the morning.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago news/talker WLS-AM is presenting the live event, “STONE FREE: Mancow & Roger Stone – Uncensored,” on Sunday July 21.  The evening of drinks, dinner, and conversation between former Trump advisor Roger Stone and Mancow takes place at Maggiano’s Little Italy in suburban Schaumburg.  The event starts at 4:00 pm for guests with an upgraded “Cocktail Hour” ticket.  They will have a pre-dinner drink with Roger Stone as he demonstrates how to make the perfect martini.  A seated dinner starts at 5:00 pm, followed by a conversation with Mancow and Stone and audience Q&A…..Resort Broadcasting’s news/talk/sports WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is named Best News Station Downstate by Delaware Today Magazine for the second straight year.  The station was also named Best Sports Station for the third year running.  WGMD recently adjusted its national programming, adding Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show to the evening lineup…..Hubbard Radio and Florida Atlantic University agree to terms for sports talk WMEN-AM, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane” to serve as flagship for the school’s football and men’s basketball play-by-play.   The new pact begins this school year and runs through the 2023-2024 school year.

New York Radio Legend Richard Neer Pens Ninth Book in Riley King Detective Series.  Famed sports talk radio personality, Richard Neer of WFAN, New York – whose colorful radio career goes back to the legendary album rock days of WNEW-FM in the Big Apple – has penned the ninth in his successful series of Riley King detective/crime novels. Titled, Wrecking Ball, there is a strong subplot involving a small local radio station’s struggle for survival and the lengths its owner must take to keep it going.  There is some nostalgia for an earlier time when an innovative free format might have a shot at succeeding but fails in the harsh reality of today’s market.  As usual in the King series, there are lots of rock ‘n’ roll and sports references, given the author’s background.  Neer gained fame for writing the definitive FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001).  It makes for great summer reading as Riley King attempts to solve the mystery of million-dollar beach houses collapsing for no apparent reason, and how the politics of a small resort town can be manipulated by greedy corporate interests.  To arrange an interview with Richard Neer please email novelistcafe@twc.com.

Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities, Iran-British Tanker Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Pelosi vs the Squad, Hurricane Threatens NOLA, and Jeffrey Epstein Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10). The Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the controversy over conditions at border detention camps; Iran’s attempt to force a British tanker into Iranian waters; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s internal battle with the four freshman congresswomen known unofficially as “the squad”; a tropical storm threatens New Orleans and the Gulf Coast; and the sex trafficking charges leveled against billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein 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. Amarillo, Texas station KEYU-FM changes call letters to KVEW-FM and new owner Alpha Media installs a hip hop format, branded as “WE 102.9.”  Alpha acquired the radio station from Grey Television, which had been programming a Spanish hits format.  Alpha EVP of content and programming Phil Becker says, “Hip hop is the most consumed music in the world and one that our company is passionate about and believes in.  The addition of ‘WE 102.9’ to our Amarillo cluster gives us the ability to offer our advertisers a new demographic and puts us in a great position to continue to be the market’s most-listened-to radio operators.”  New operations manager Keith Curry is serving as the station’s PD…..Boston’s Matt Siegel, host of WXKS-FM “KISS 108’s “Matty in the Morning” show, has sold out his ninth live event at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre.  Siegel began hosting the events in the fall of 2018. Called, “An Evening With Matty in The Morning at The Wilbur,” the show has sold more than 10,000 ticket

COOL JOB OPPORTUNITY:  In New York, Pillar of Fire‘s WAWZ, Zarephath, New Jersey “STAR 99.1” reports it’s seeking a PD/air talent.  “STAR 99.1 is NYC’s uplifting Christian adult contemporary station.  We’re looking for the right person to lead our programming department and continue to build our brand on the New York radio dial.  But wait, there’s more!  You’ll lead a “live & local” team of talent, create our on-air imaging, establish music philosophy, supervise hourly clock structure and execution, analyze PPM, on-line and auditorium research to serve our listeners and grow our audience.  When it comes to digital, social media might as well be your second language.  You will oversee text, video and voice content that drives traffic to our website, social and mobile communities.  Together with a great team, you’ll work diligently to reflect the tastes, interests and values of a Christian listener.  Apply today.  Looking for 3 years of successful programming experience.  Knowledge of NexGen, VoxPro, and Adobe Audition is a plus. To apply, submit your resume to jobs@star991.com.  No Phone calls, please.  WAWZ/Pillar of Fire is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

June 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the June 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. 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.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit without an increase the fifth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is back in the top twenty (#21 to #20). Returning the one-tenth it gained in May (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” slips from #22 to #23. May’s increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -.4 (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Four successive decreases by news/talk WABC have led to a loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.3 -1.2 – 1.0 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). Approximately two weeks ago (6/27), John Catsimatidis-fronted Red Apple Media acquired WABC from Cumulus Media for $12.5 million in cash; the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

An April spike of +1.2 by Entercom sports talk WFAN is followed by a May/June loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) as the Yankees’ flagship slumps from sixth to ninth. While flat at #19, WEPN falters by three-tenths (2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Before adding two-tenths in May, “98.7 ESPN New York” posted a 1.8 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom all-news siblings combine for a net May 2019 – June 2019 loss of one-half share: WINS is down four-tenths (3.9 – 3.5, 6+), while Mets flagship WCBS-AM is off one-tenth. They are unchanged at #9 and #15, respectively. In advance of adding two-tenths in May, WINS was -1.1 in three successive down or flat reports (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). WCBS-AM is down the third straight time for a combined loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+).

When WNYC-FM gained three-tenths in April, it pulled the plug on four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+); however, the WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk station is a combined -.8 in May/June (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #18, 6+). Meanwhile, the February 2019 through June 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 (#34 to #37, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Steady in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was down one full-share via four successive down or flat moves (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), ends the slide by adding four-tenths to 5.8 (6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ “Q-104.3,” off one-half share in three consecutive dips (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+) and carries on in sixth-place. It is a May-only stay at the top for Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” (6.8 – 6.2, -.6, 6+), which segues from a share of the lead to second. It was tied at #1 with WLTW “106.7 Lite FM.” The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet repeats May’s 6.8 (6+) and occupies the penthouse for the 24th consecutive ratings period. It posted a one-half share increase in March, but surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). An April decrease of four-tenths by WBLS interrupted three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Coinciding with its sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation, WPLJ flipped to contemporary Christian “K-Love Classics” and surrenders approximately 50% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share (3.1 – 1.5, #13 to #20, 6+). The legendary hot AC, however, went out on a very positive note, as it posted five straight New York City gains for a cumulative +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 3.1, “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019, 6+). Down one-tenth in May, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” follows the WPLJ format change with an uptick of three-tenths (3.0 – 3.3, #14 to #13, 6+). Steady at #4, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has a February 2019 through June 2019 topline of 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 (6+). Following four straight increases that netted eight-tenths (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (three-way tie at sixth to seventh, 6+). This is the tenth time in a row that rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 KTU” is within 3.1 – 3.7 range (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, tenth to eighth, 6+). Its format rival, Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97,” is a collective -.4 in three straight down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Down three-tenths in March/April (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” bounces back with a combined May/June bump of eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) and rockets into the top five (seventh to fifth). On the downside though, ever since debuting in February, its internet stream notched three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .6 – .7 – .8, #34, 6+), but disappears from print in June. Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which lost one-tenth in three straight down or flat sweeps (9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) before improving by two-tenths to 1.0 (6+) in May, forfeits one-tenth (.9, #31 to #32, 6+). Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” falters by three-tenths (.9 – .6, #32 to #35, 6+). The November 2018 through June 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KABC is .5 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) as “790 News-Talk-Evolved” exits the top forty (#38 to #41).

Tied at #27 are iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (1.2 – 1.4, +.2, #28 to #27, 6+) and Disney-owned KSPN “710 ESPN” (1.3 – 1.4, +.1, flat at #27, 6+). After nearly doubling March’s 6+-stat with an April +.6 (.7 – 1.3, 6+), KLAC notched a one-tenth loss in May. Three down or flat moves in a row by KSPN accounted for a one-half share decline (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), but it gained two-tenths in May.

This is the fifth time in a row that Entercom’s KNX is without an increase and “1070 News Radio” is -1.0 in that (January 2019 – June 2019) timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+).

A loss of one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+) sends Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” out of the top twenty (#18 to #23).

Los Angeles Music Formats – In addition to notching its sixth straight up or flat trend for a net gain of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), KLOS cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). Meruelo Media Holdings acquired KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and is programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). Steady in ninth-place, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” is a collective +1.1 in seven consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Los Angeles’ top three June 2019 finishers are all down from May but manage to retain their rankers. Included in that trio are Entercom classic hits-oldies and smooth AC cluster-mates KRTH “K-Earth 101” and KTWV “94-7 The Wave,” both of whom have positive streaks come to an end. As a result of six straight sweeps without a loss, KRTH was a cumulative +1.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), but “K-Earth 101” drops four-tenths to 5.4 (6+) and is steady at #2. A collective +1.6 in five consecutive upticks (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), “The Wave” surrenders two-tenths to 5.0 (6+) yet carries on at #3. The third member of that group, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” falters by eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+) but remains at #1 for the ninth straight time. After its “Holiday” 2018 13.0 (6+), “Coast” has followed with 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 5.8 (6+). Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). In four consecutive gains, Entravision Riverside Spanish adult hits KLYY more than doubled (+1.5) its Los Angeles 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), but “Jose” falters by four-tenths to 2.2 (#16 to #18, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary KXOL improved by one-half share through three straight improvements (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+); in June, however, “Mega 96.3” slips by three-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Off seven-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” slips from fifth to seventh. The last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 25th time in a row (flat at 2.4, #17 to #16, 6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is unchanged at 2.2 (#19 to #18, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ (2.0, +.1, #21 to #20, 6+), which halts four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish” records a .7 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six reports (.7 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .7 – .7, #36 to #34, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight down or flat trends, Tribune Media news/talk WGN surrendered six-tenths (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the White Sox flagship gains one-tenth in June to 3.0 (6+) and advances from #14 to #12. For the sixth consecutive report, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM is without a loss and is +1.0 in that “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019 timeframe (1.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, #22 to #21, 6+).

In May, Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” posted its best 6+-showing (4.2) since October 2018, but the Cubs flagship regresses by three-tenths to 3.9 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Up a collective four-tenths in three straight positive spikes (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” returns two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) but remains at #26.

Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM is an overall -1.4 via five successive down or flat moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+) and slips from second to third. Prior to April, WBBM-AM had been at #1 the previous three sweeps.

Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is off a collective nine-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, #16 to #19, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Unchanged at #11, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (3.2, +.1, 6+) curtails four successive setbacks that resulted in a -2.4 (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+). Its January increase of nine-tenths halted a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WLEY “La Ley 107.9,” which lost seven-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), adds one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) yet backslides from #21 to #22. With a steady January 2019 through June 2019 topline of 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” is #1 the third month in a row. April’s 5.9 is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 6.3. All three main “Chicagoland” outlets that compete under the broad adult contemporary banner record modest May 2019 – June 2019 improvements. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLIT, an overall -9.4 as a result of five successive down or flat reports (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), applies the brakes with a gain of three-tenths (4.2, seventh to sixth, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). Having faltered by one-half share in May, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE” is up one-tenth to 2.9 (#16 to #15, 6+). Prior to May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Rounding out the market’s AC field, Venture Technologies Group-owned WRME-LP “FM 87.7 – Me TV” adds one-tenth as well (2.9 – 3.0, #14 to #12, 6+), reaching the three-share level (3.0, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.3. Up an overall seven-tenths in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and stays in ninth-place. The February 2019 through June 2019 topline for Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” is 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 (#12 to #18, 6+). It is being pursued by iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” (1.6, -.2, #22 to #24, 6+). “Big 95.5” had been up or flat the past seven sweeps for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Its urban AC sibling, WVAZ “V-103,” is a combined -1.3 in May/June (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Down three-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO exits the top ten (#18 to #21). When cluster-mate KGO gained three-tenths in May, it ended seven successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), but KGO forfeits one-tenth in June to 1.6 (#24 to #26, 6+). Following five consecutive times of recording a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” slips to a .1 (#36 to #41, 6+).

While it repeats May’s 3.3 (6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops from an eighth-place tie to ninth. Even so, the Giants’ key station, which was +1.0 in April, retakes the lead over Entercom’s  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (3.3 – 3.0, -.3, #8 to #11, 6+). Flagship of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, “The Game,” nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, dominated by May’s +1.4 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM concludes a May-only stay at #1 and segues to #2. It spent four straight months in the runner-up slot before picking up three-tenths in May and progressing to the top.

It trades places with Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.3 – 6.6, +.3, second to first, 6+), which had been #1 four sweeps in a row, but faltered by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, -.5, 6+), segueing to #2 in May. San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is off a collective half-share via four straight drops (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, #29 to #30, 6+). This is directly after more than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Answering May’s loss of seven-tenths with a June increase of six-tenths, KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” returns to the top ten (#11 to #6). The iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 12th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+). April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. A one-half share increase (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) enables Bonneville CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” – The Bay’s #1 For All The Hits” to zoom from tenth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (3.7, as well). A combined -1.4 in three straight dips (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” drops from fourth to sixth. Prior to April’s loss of six-tenths, “The Breeze” was an overall +1.2 via three straight gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+).

Unchanged at #12, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-half share in five successive down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). After a May increase of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” surrenders seven-tenths to 3.3 (fourth to ninth, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in April, “The Bone” was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Stuck on 1.6 (6+) in April and May, co-owned triple A KFOG falters by six-tenths to 1.0 (#28, 6+). Having posted five straight up or flat trends for a gain of seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” dips by one-tenth to 1.9 (#21 to #22, 6+). In four straight sweeps without an increase, urban AC sibling KBLX “Today’s R&B and Old School” surrenders a collective -1.1 (3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – The good news continues for Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820,” which is without a loss the sixth time in a row for a “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019 +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, steady at #6, 6+). Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is down three-tenths (.8 – .5, #35 to #36, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase the third time in a row for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3, #37 to #38, 6+).

Following four straight declines in which it lost roughly 52% (-1.6) of its 6+-share (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” ends the slide with a gain of three-tenths to 1.8 (6+) as the flagship of the Texas Rangers climbs from #26 to #22. It overtakes Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time,” which plummets -1.0 to 1.7 (6+) and fades from the top twenty (#17 to #23). “The Ticket” had notched a 2.7 (6+) the past three reports. A combined +.3 in April/May (.6 – .8 – .9, 6+), Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” loses one-tenth to .8 (6+) but improves from #33 to #32.

Down one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” repeats at #21 and has been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0 since “Holiday” 2016.

In addition to dropping out of the top ten (#8 to #11), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA is off a collective six-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Faltering by a combined six-tenths in April/May (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – More Music/More Variety” wipes away that deficit by dialing up a +1.0  to 4.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+), its best 6+-stat in exactly one year (4.7, as well in June 2018). Piling on six-tenths to May’s increase of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus-owned country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” zooms from fourth to second. While it is #1 for the sixth month in a row, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is nonetheless a combined -.9 in May/June (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Its dip of four-tenths in May brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. The wild ride continues for WAY Media’s KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real,” which was -1.2 in March; a combined +1.2 in April/May (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+); and is now -1.4 in June (2.3 – .9, #21 to #30, 6+). Cut precisely in half (-.7) is the 6+ AQH share of Univision Radio regional Mexican KFZO “Zona MX 99.1” (1.4 – .7, #34, 6+). In six straight down or flat moves, iHeartMedia KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” is an overall -1.1 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 3.5, (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slips from #13 to #14. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Stuck on .4 (6+) in March and April, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” is now frozen on .3 in May and June (#30 to #31, 6+).

In four straight sweeps without a loss, the flagship of the Houston Astros – iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790” – has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #22, 6+). Two-tenths behind KBME is Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5,” which had logged a .8 seven times in the last nine ratings periods (.8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) drops to .7 (unchanged at #25, 6+).

Even though it gains four-tenths (2.1 – 2.5, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF remains at #19.

Houston Music Formats – Off six-tenths as a result of four straight reports without an increase (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” erases that shortfall in its entirety with a gain of six-tenths to 3.9 (#14 to #13, 6+). Despite being an overall -5.0 in six straight declines (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the 15th sweep in a row. Immediately in advance of this skid, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Entering the June sweep, Entercom’s country-formatted KILT-FM was trending 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 (6+) but “100.3 The Bull” falters by seven-tenths to 4.4 (fifth to tenth, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three upticks in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). The six most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are: +.5 (January,  6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 (February, 7.0 – 6.2, 6+); +.5 (March, 6.2 – 6.7, 6+); -.6 (April, 6.7 – 6.1, 6+); another -.6 (6.1 – 5.5, 6+); and yet another -.6 in June (5.5 – 4.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). A combined +.9 in April/May (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” surrenders one-half share to 5.4 (second to third, 6+). May’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (5.9, as well). After seven consecutive up or flat reports that yielded a +1.1 in that November 2018 through May 2019 period (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KQBT “93.7 The Beat” slips by one-tenth to 4.3 (6+) but stays at #11. Unchanged at #17, Liberman Broadcasting’s KQQK “El Norte 107.9” has lost seven-tenths in four successive reports without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down an overall eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM nonetheless advances from third to second. It had slipped to the runner-up slot in April, following three straight months at #1. WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. Tied with a .2 (6+) and both unchanged at #29 are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2, -.1, 6+) and Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” (.3 – .2, -.1, #29, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk format, iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” has lost three-tenths via ten straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, unchanged at #34, 6+).

An overall -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” slips from #14 to #15. At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up six-tenths in four consecutive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves progresses from #18 to #17.

A loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) drops City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE from #11 to #12. Georgia State University news/talk WRAS has lost a collective three-tenths via three down or flat moves in succession (.8 – .6 – .5 – .5, #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH #1 the third month in a row, “104.7 The Fish” is an overall +3.9 through five successive positive spikes (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” (3.4, #14 to #12, 6+). “B-98.5” was a combined -1.0 in April/May (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7, 6+); “Star” had been locked on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and has its best 6+-stat (3.4) since November 2018’s 3.8. After gaining two-tenths in May, Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” erodes in June by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, third to sixth, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but faltered by eight-tenths in April. In the last three sweeps, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE posted gains of two-tenths each time (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), but “V-103 The People’s Station” regresses by three-tenths in June to 6.2 (6+) and shifts from second to third. Radio One’s similarly-programmed WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall -1.6 through four consecutive decreases (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). By procuring four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0, #12 to #8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” overtakes its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which forfeits three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, #8 to #10, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6. Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and dialed up a +.6 in May. In three straight upticks, iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL netted eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), but “94.9 The Bull” drops one-tenth to 4.0 (ninth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other major country player, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” is off one-tenth, as well (2.7 – 2.6, flat at #16, 6+). Before plummeting by -1.0 in February, “The Bull” was a collective +1.4 through four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). “Kicks 101.5” faltered by four-tenths in May, after being off three-tenths in March.

 Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of four-tenths (2.2 – 1.8, 6+) sends Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” out of the top twenty (#20 to #22, 6+). In four straight dips, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has lost a collective half-share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+).

Bouncing back from May’s loss of seven-tenths with a gain of three-tenths (5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Phillies flagship WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” progresses from sixth to fourth. Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – sputters by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, #15 to #20, 6+), with 2.1 its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8 

Slipping from ninth to tenth, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is off a collective -1.2 via five straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+).

After three successive fluctuations of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+), public news/talk WHYY is off one-tenth to 2.5 (6+) and remains at #16.

Philadelphia Music Formats – Four “City of Brotherly Love” outlets log May 2019 – June 2019 increases of one-half share: iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” (unchanged at #9, 6+); Radio One’s WPPZ “107.9 – Philly’s Classic R&B” (#17 to #12, 6+); Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN- FM” (2.2 – 2.7, #20 to #14, 6+); and Temple University-owned WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.4 – 1.9, #21, 6+). In four successive up or flat trends, “Power” nets eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), while “Philly’s Classic R&B” has nearly quadrupled (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+). It flipped from gospel in mid-December 2018. The March 2019 through June 2019 topline for Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB is 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 7.0 (6+) as “Today’s 101.1 More FM” repeats at #1. Co-owned sports talk WIP was on top in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; and Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK set the pace in April. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was Philly’s market leader from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July. WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Co-owned WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is down the third time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4, #12 to #17, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since October 2018 (2.4, as well). Also down the third consecutive month is iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which has lost an overall eight-tenths since March (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+). Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is -1.2 in four straight down or flat sweeps (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Logging its third straight gain for an overall increase of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” progresses from #15 to #13. Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has lost four-tenths in three downturns in a row (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1, #25 to #26, 6+).

Not only is Entercom sports talk WFAN #1 the third month in a row, the Yankees’ flagship is +1.2 in four straight upticks (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). This (5.5) is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since October 2018’s 5.6. Despite dropping one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” manages to improve from #17 to #15.

Entercom all-news WINS repeats May’s 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (+.5 in April) is a combined -1.3 in May/June (3.8 – 2.9 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+).

Down or flat the fifth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM remains at #25.

Long Island Music Formats – Boasting increases of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (4.1 – 5.1, sixth to second, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” (3.4 – 4.4, ninth to sixth, 6+). The last time WBAB reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2018 (5.0). In three straight upticks, Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” gains one-half share (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, #20 to #17, 6+). A loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 1.7, 6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ sends “La Mega 97.9” below a two-share (1.7) for the first time since November 2018’s 1.8 and out of the top twenty (#15 to #22). Owing to three straight setbacks, Connoisseur Media-owned classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #17, 6+). When hot AC sibling WALK-FM gained one-tenth in May, it halted four consecutive declines in which “97.5 – Real Variety” lost over half (-5.5) its 6+-share (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In June, however, WALK-FM forfeits one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, second to fourth, 6+). A combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+), WALK-FM spent five straight sweeps at #1 before shifting to the runner-up slot. Having shared the lead in April with sports talk cluster-mate WFAN, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM was flat in May at 5.1 (6+) and drops seven-tenths in June to 4.4 (second to sixth, 6+). An April gain of six-tenths by “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” suspended four successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up seven-tenths in three consecutive improvements (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WBLI relinquishes one-tenth to 4.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Following a net gain of seven-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU falters by three-tenths to 3.0 (#10 to #11, 6+). Co-owned New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” which didn’t have a decrease in each of the last four reports netting one-half share (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+), surrenders two-tenths to 1.9 (#19 to #20, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Following seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23, 6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” is unlisted for the second month in a row.

The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” is: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 – .1 (#23 to #21, 6+). For the 18th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

Flat at #17, KVCR is up two-tenths to .6 (6+). The San Bernardino Community College news/talk station lost more than three-quarters (-1.3) of its 6+-share in April/May (1.7 – .8 – .4, 6+). Returning the two-tenths it gained in May (.1 – .3 – .1, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” remains at #21.

Riverside Music Formats – Not only is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA on top the third month in a row, it is a combined +1.8 in three straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to May, the last time KOLA reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). KOLA finished second in 11 successive survey periods and went to #1 in April. Advancing by six-tenths as well in June are All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (#13 to #12) and co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTI “Hot 103.9 – The I.E.’s Best Mix” (1.1 #16 to #13, 6+). After three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of just one-tenth (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Mix” nearly doubles its 6+-stat to 1.3 (6+), reaching a one-share for the first time since September 2018’s 1.1. Meanwhile, “Hot” had been without an increase the past four ratings periods for a net loss of three-tenths (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .5, 6+). Off eight-tenths in four setbacks in a row (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “Family Friendly 89.7” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 3.4 (flat at #5, 6+). While it continues in the runner-up slot the third month in succession, Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is an overall -4.3 in seven straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+). In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. Unchanged in ninth-place, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a combined -1.1 in three drops in a row (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), immediately following three successive improvements that yielded a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – In nine straight San Jose sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO has had its 6+ AQH share sliced exactly in half (-1.5) but continues at #21 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO has lost a combined three-tenths in May/June (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) and remains at #23.

Sports talk cluster-mate/Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” (4.2 – 3.7, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Entercom sports talk/Golden State Warriors key station KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (2.4, #11 to #15, 6+) each falter by one-half share. KNBR was +1.1 in April. In three consecutive positive spikes (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.9, 6+), “The Game” nearly doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat.

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was -1.9 in three straight March through May decreases (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+), picks up four-tenths to 5.6 (sixth to fourth, 6+). The negative streak directly followed a collective +1.4 in four successive ratings periods without a loss (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+).

Slipping from second to third, after an April-only stay at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is off a collective -1.1 in three straight dips (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW repeats May’s 6+ AQH share (.7) and market rank (#27).

San Jose Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, tenth to seventh, 6+) enables Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” to match January 2019’s 3.9. Tacking on six-tenths to May’s +.8 (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” jumps from fourth to second and hits the six-share threshold (6.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2018 (6.5); “Mix 106” was off eight-tenths in April. In three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends, KEZR gained six-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). In five consecutive sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” is a collective -1.4 and slips from eighth to ninth. “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). Yet another hot AC, Entercom’s KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” is trending 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 (#15 to #18, 6+). With a one-half share uptick to 2.4 (#19 to #15, 6+), University of Southern California classical KDFC pulls the plug on four drops in a row that accounted for a -1.7 (3.6 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KJLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” pops on at #28 (.6, 6+). Trending 7.7 – 6.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 (6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. “Bay FM” answered April’s -1.5 with a +1.3 in May (6.2 – 7.5, 6+) as KBAY returned to #1 after an April-only stay at #2. Prior to the April sweep, “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three upticks in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). It was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Cumulus Media triple A KFOG erodes by nine-tenths (2.1 – 1.2, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#18 to #23). A combined +2.0 in April/May (3.8 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” forfeits 25% of that increase in June (5.3, -.5, third to fifth, 6+). A combined -1.1 in three successive declines (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” slips from fifth to sixth. For the sixth straight month, KOIT-FM “Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – On top the sixth month in a row, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is nonetheless -1.2 via five successive downturns (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+); “New Jersey 101.5” was +1.2 in January. Despite being off one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR inches up from #16 to #15. Down or flat the past four months for 40% (-.4) reduction of its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .7 – .6, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC ends the slide with a one-tenth pickup to .7 (flat at #27, 6+). As mentioned above, on June 27, John Catsimatidis-led Red Apple Media acquired WABC from Cumulus Media for $12.5 million in cash; the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in May (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees key station WFAN is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” returns roughly half the seven-tenths it added in May (2.5 – 2.1, -.4, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Up one-tenth each are Entercom all-news/Mets flagship WCBS-AM (2.4 – 2.5, #20 to #18, 6+) and co-owned/similarly-programmed WINS, which has an August 2018 through June 2019 topline of: 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 (#25 to #24, 6+). WCBS-AM was off one-half share in May, after having improved by seven-tenths in March/April (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+).

WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off a combined half-share in May/June (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #21 to #22, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – When iHeartMedia New York mainstream CHR WHTZ sputtered by four-tenths in May, it halted four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). In June, “Z-100” notches a gain of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. An overall +1.1 in three upticks in succession (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW “NEW 102.7” leaps from a ninth-place tie to a fifth-place tie. It has one less hot AC rival, following the completed transaction between Cumulus Media and Educational Media Foundation in which WPLJ transitions from hot AC to contemporary Christian as “K-Love Classics.” In the first Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthly in its new format, WPLJ registers the highest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here (3.8 – 2.0, -1.8, #11 to #22, 6+). In its final hot AC sweep, “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” logged a one-half share uptick; WPLJ posted a +1.0 in April. A cumulative +1.2 as a result of five consecutive monthlies without a decrease (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” forfeits two-thirds of that increase (2.9, -.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Spiraling by six-tenths each are Pillar Of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” (4.0 – 3.4, #7 to #12, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (3.6 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+); and Beasley Media Group’s WDHA “105.5 The Rock of New Jersey” (2.0 – 1.4, #25, 6+).

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

Cumulus Media Q1 Report: Net Revenue Rises 1.4%. Reporting on the first quarter of 2019, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was $267.5 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Net income was $451,000 in the first quarter, compared to 2019 in which Cumulus posted a loss of $5 million.  Cumulus reports in two segments – Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  In this first quarter of 2019, the Radio Station Group was down 1% on net revenue of $166.5 million, while Westwood One was up 5.9% on net revenue of $100.4 million.  Chief financial officer John Abbot says on the radio station side that the company continues “to experience a tough, local spot market environment.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Driven by a steady focus on our key strategic priorities including accelerating digital growth, our strong performance continued in Q1 2019 with year-over-year increases in both revenue and EBITDA.  Additionally, we now have four pending M&A transactions that collectively are expected to generate more than $120 million of net proceeds and bolster our competitive positions in Indianapolis and Allentown. Combined with the $25 million voluntary prepayment made in February, these proceeds will reduce our net leverage to 4.8x on a pro forma basis.  We look forward to continuing our disciplined execution against all our strategic priorities and financial goals in the quarters ahead.”

Podcasting and Digital Efforts Bearing Fruit for Cumulus.  On yesterday’s Q1 earnings call with investors, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner lauded the company’s podcasting and digital segments.  She said, “So far in 2019, we continue to see the same strong growth in podcasting that we have enjoyed since we started the business.  As the exclusive partner for over 40 podcasts we’ve generated nearly 52 million downloads in March 2019, more than doubled the 23 million generated in March 2018.  And that doesn’t include our growing local podcast businesses.  By our estimation, this will put us in the top five largest podcast companies measured by PodTrack in March.  What is particularly notable about this growth, is that, that we have been able to achieve it while maintaining profitability.”  Berner is also pleased with the company’s efforts to grow digital revenue.  She adds, “We are continuing to generate exceptional growth across all of our platforms, with total digital revenue for the quarter growing 79% from the first quarter of last year.  Our streaming audience is growing steadily, driven by both organic listenership and increased distribution on the Tune In platform.  And we’re monetizing this high-margin digital inventory better and more broadly, through all of our channels, local, national network, programmatic exchanges, and remnant networks as well.”

Saga Communications Down 0.7% in Q1. The 2019 first quarter financial report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue during the period was $27.8 million, a dip of 0.7% over the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow increased $324 thousand to $2.6 million and station operating expense decreased 1% to $23.2 million.  Same station operating income was down 22% to $1.86 million and net income dipped 11% to $1.4 million.   The company notes that the results for the quarter were affected by its October 2018 acquisition of WOGK-FM, WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM, in the Gainesville-Ocala market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC for $9.3 million.  Saga reports having $39.2 million in cash on hand (as of 3/31/19) and $40.7 million in cash on hand (as of 5/6/19).

Hannity to Afternoons on WPHT, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Entercom will fill its afternoon drive daypart with Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program starting next week.  Earlier this week, the station announced that current afternoon talk host Rich Zeoli becomes the new morning drive host on Monday (5/13), assuming the role left open when Chris Stigall exited WPHT earlier this year. It appears Entercom will air the Sean Hannity show during its live air time – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – on WPHT beginning on Monday as opposed to searching for a local host for the daypart. Hannity’s show has been airing on the station in a delay broadcast in the evening.

PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio Produce True Crime Program ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ The true-crime genre is a popular one among podcast consumers and now, PodcastOne and partner Hubbard Radio (remember that Hubbard owns 30% of PodcastOne) are producing a new podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”  The 10-part series investigates the Washington, DC mansion murders using the talents of WTOP, Washington reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, and produced by WTOP and its digital news director, Julia Ziegler.  Hubbard podcast strategy manager Wheeler Morris says, “We at Hubbard are excited to bring listeners around the country this story from a team of experienced investigative reporters at WTOP.  Listeners in the Washington, DC region are familiar with WTOP’s high-quality journalism and, with the help of PodcastOne, we are excited to now share that with the nation.”  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz adds, “I’ve noticed recently that other major radio companies are promoting their new relationships with podcasters.  The Hubbard Radio/PodcastOne relationship recognized the synergies present over four years ago, and it continues to expand today.  We have a very definite game plan that seeks to take advantage of podcasting’s obvious on-demand advantages to stations, while mining the creativity that radio companies can bring to the table.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Rahul Sabnis to Lead New In-House Creative Group. This promotion comes with a realignment of the company’s in-house creative efforts.  Rahul Sabnis rises from EVP and executive creative director for iHeartMedia to chief creative officer & EVP for the newly branded, in-house creative group “TheStudio at iHeartMedia” operating under the aegis of Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group.  The company says that under Rahul’s leadership it will combine its Creative Studio and “CSG” in Atlanta into “TheStudio at iHeartMedia.”  A press release says TheStudio in-house agency will “provide a range of high-level strategy and creative services, helping iHeart’s own brands and the brands of its advertising and marketing partners use the efficiency and efficacy of audio seamlessly across all its company assets at the scale that only iHeart can deliver.”

Marie Harf to Exit FOX News to Join Seth Moulton Campaign.The Daily Beast reports that FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Marie Harf is leaving her positions as political commentator and radio host, respectively, to join the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as deputy campaign manager for policy and communications.  Harf co-hosts the “Benson and Harf” radio show with Guy Benson.  Harf served on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was a senior communications adviser to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

The Mueller Report and Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  Democrats’ request for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s claim his executive privilege gives him control of the report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential races, followed by the China trade war, the effect on the stock market, and North Korea’s missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019. Being a talent in 2019 is not as unique as it was years ago.  Thanks to the Internet, so-called talent is everywhere.  But the digital age has also brought new opportunities for talent that didn’t exist years ago and it’s incumbent upon talk media talent to seize them in order take control of one’s career.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, ABC News Radio executive director of programming Andrew Kalb will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; and Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  With Facebook moving to officially ban Alex Jones and other controversial media figures from its platform and President Trump weighing in on the situation on the side of Jones and his InfoWars organization, there has been a lot of talk this week about conspiracy theorists, fake news, and freedom of speech.  One of the world’s most famous and controversial conspiracy theorists, David Icke, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Icke, who hails from Great Britain, has a worldwide following on YouTube and other digital platforms in addition to being the author of more than 20 books whereby he talks and writes about a wide variety of political and metaphysical issues that run the gamut from a scientifically plausible analysis of the vibrational aspects of reality per quantum physics to completely outrageous ideas about the human race being under the hidden control of a lizard-like, reptilian species of interdimensional humanoids that borders on science fiction.  He routinely sells out large meeting spaces on his lecture tours and is banned in a number of venues and countries for what many consider to be his dangerous ideas.  He has been accused on a number of occasions of anti-Semitism for his views on international banking and the turbulent politics of Israel, the Palestinians, and the Middle East – charges he vehemently denies.  There’s a new documentary film about this former English soccer star turned conspiracy theorist titled, “Renegade:  The Life Story of David Icke,” which takes a fly-on-the-wall view of his life as a family man, lecturer, and social/political disrupter.  It was banned by a theater in Los Angeles last week just hours before its premiere there when the theater owners learned about the level of controversy surrounding Icke.  Harrison caught up with Icke this past Thursday (5/2) when he was in New York City to attend the premiere of the film there that evening.  They talk about the media, the First Amendment, and the state of the conspiracy theory business in 2019.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta radio pro Jeff Dauler is out at WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” where he was co-host of the “Jeff & Jenn” show with Jenn Hobby.  She addressed Dauler’s departure on the program but didn’t offer any specifics on his departure.  Hobby will continue to lead the morning show.  At the same time as Dauler departed, afternoon personality Mike Marino also left the air and his info on the station’s website has been scrubbed.  Aside from Hobby addressing it on the air, WSTR has not commented specifically on the changes…..Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cale Dodds (right) took time out of his busy tour schedule with Chase Rice to fill in as a special guest co-host with Jackson (left) on Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” morning show.  Dodds helped finn in for morning show co-host Ayla Brown.  He took the opportunity to premier his new single, “I Like Where This Is Going.”  On Monday and Tuesday (5/13-14), Sony Nashville recording artist Rachel Wammack will co-host with Jackson.  WKLB program director David Corey says, “There’s no better way for the country audience to get to know an artist than to bring them into our world and put them on a morning show.  It allows us to go way beyond the typical interview questions that might be asked.  This is real life conversation…and fun!  We are thankful to Cale and Rachel for getting that and jumping all in with us!”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| March 19, 2019

Cumulus Media Reports Q4 Net Revenue Up 5.2%; Net Income $43.7 Million.  The 2018 fourth quarter and full-year 2018 financial data from Cumulus Media is presented in two segments – the predecessor company (prior to emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization) in business from January 1 through June 3 of 2018, and the successor company in business from June 4, 2018 to the present.  Net revenue for Q4 2018 was $309 million, compared to $294 million in Q4 of 2017 – an increase of 5.2%.  The successor company realized net income of $43.7 million in Q4 2018, compared to the loss of $206 million the predecessor company took in Q4 of 2017.  For the full year of 2018, the combined predecessor and successor companies took in net revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 0.4% over the predecessor company’s 2017 net revenue.  For the year 2018, net income was $757 million compared to the predecessor company’s 2017 loss of $207 million.  For all of 2018, the Cumulus Media Radio Station Group’s net revenue was $780 million and the Westwood One segment’s net revenue was $357 million.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We are delighted by the company’s strong 2018 performance.  Despite the challenges presented by our bankruptcy in the first half of the year and industry headwinds throughout the year, Cumulus was able to deliver its first full year of revenue growth in four years fueled by digital growth of more than 60%, its eighth straight quarter of increased market revenue share and its second consecutive year of EBITDA growth after years of declines.  That EBITDA growth, in conjunction with our October 2018 $50 million voluntary debt prepayment, brought our net leverage down to 5.2x at year end. Additionally, as previously announced, we entered into two station transactions this quarter, which should further reduce net leverage when completed later this year.  In combination, these results demonstrate our firm commitment to the execution of our strategic priorities – maximizing operating performance, growing our digital businesses, and optimizing our asset portfolio – and the achievement of our financial goals of annually generating up to $100 million of free cash flow, reducing our net leverage to below 4.0x, and reinvesting in meaningful growth opportunities.  With the entire Cumulus team, I look forward to demonstrating continued progress against all these objectives in coming quarters.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Names Stephanie Tichenor Program Director; Brings Lauren Cohn Aboard News Team. After former program director Peter Bolger’s retirement was announced last month, Cumulus Media gets the next program director for news/talk WLS-AM from crosstown competitor WGN-AM, naming Stephanie Tichenor to the position.  She’s been with Tribune Media as WGN-AM’s director of news & operations.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “All of us at WLS-AM 890 are thrilled to have someone with the experience and talent that Stephanie brings as WLS enters its 95th year of broadcasting. Stephanie completes the rebuild of a legendary brand and positions the station for growth in 2019 and beyond.  Her history in Chicago will give her the insight and knowledge to positively affect our local and nationally syndicated programming for our Chicago audience.”  At the same time, Lauren Cohn – with WLS as a contributing reporter and fill-in host – joins the on-air news team.  Nyren says, “Lauren Cohn has been a valuable part of WLS-AM 890 for years as a part-time contributor that we will now be able to utilize on a full-time basis.  Lauren’s media experience in Chicago television, print, podcasting, and radio, makes her uniquely qualified to give the WLS audience a reason to listen on a daily basis.  Her journalism background and political knowledge fit perfectly within the station’s focus.”

Deneroff Extends with Westwood One Sports. For three decades, Howard Deneroff has served with Westwood One.  Now, he signs a multi-year contract extension to continue serving as EVP/executive producer of Westwood One Sports.  Deneroff has been executive producer of the division since 2008 and he’ll continue to direct, coordinate, and execute all of the on-air coverage and production elements for Westwood One’s live, national radio play-by-play broadcasts as well as continue his role in talent and rights negotiations between Westwood One and its many prominent broadcast partners. He says, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working at a job I love and have loved since day one.  There is nothing that replicates the excitement and drama of live sporting events, and to be able to produce broadcasts for so many great games and historical events for Westwood One over the years has been a pleasure and an absolute honor.”

Salem Media Group Acquires PJ Media. Another digital publication is acquired by Salem Media Group to become part of its Townhall Media suite of conservative sites.  The conservative opinion and commentary site PJ Media was founded in 2004 by Roger L. Simon and operated by majority owner Aubrey Chernick.  Townhall Media vice president and general manager Jonathan Garthwaite says, “We’re excited to add PJ Media to the Townhall Media network.  PJ Media has done great work covering the issues that impact the future of the country. Townhall Media’s reach at a critical point in our nation’s history grows tremendously with PJ on our team.”  Salem says the addition of PJ Media will increase Townhall Media’s footprint to more than 15 million unique readers each month.

Sports Talk KLSD, San Diego Makes Program Lineup Changes. San Diego sports talk outlet KLSD “XTRA 1360 FOX Sports” makes changes to its daily talk show lineup.  The iHeartMedia station moves morning drive co-host Nick Hardwick to middays partnered with Jon Schaeffer; afternoon personality Mike Costa moves to mornings with Judson Richards as co-host; and midday host Rich Ohrnberger moves to afternoon drive as co-host with Steve Hartman on the “Loose Cannons” show. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs in the late morning daypart.

TALKERS News Notes. Charm City sports talker WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a sports talk station. The Entercom station is inviting listeners to “The Fanniversary” celebratory event at The Winslow in Baltimore that will allow fans to meet their favorite local sports giants, past and current on-air personalities, while noshing on food from local restaurants. Attendees will include: Vinny Cerrato, Jerry Coleman, Jeremy ConnTerry Ford, Scott Garceau, Bob HaynieRob Long, Ed Norris and Ken Weinman. The event will also welcome Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; Ross Grimsley, former pitcher, Baltimore Orioles; Bruce Laird, former defensive back, Baltimore Colts; Chris McAlister, former running back, Baltimore Ravens; Patrick Onwuasor, linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; and Gary Williams, former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach…..Cumulus Media’s Nashville sports talk station WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” conducted a charity event to benefit the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The station’s “Midday 180” show – led by Jonathan Hutton – hosted a basketball tournament called “Z-O-N-E” (like the game H-O-R-S-E) and brought in $32,510 for the charity.  The winner of the Z-O-N-E tournament was Titans Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern.….SiriusXM is providing comprehensive national audio coverage available for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, offering subscribers access to live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.  The 2019 MLB season begins March 20 – 21 with the 2019 Japan Opening Series featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome.  MLB’s traditional Opening Day is Thursday, March 28.

NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Trump-Russia Probe Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren CNN Town Hall, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18). The aftermath of the attacks on the New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead; the status of the Trump-Russia investigation; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s CNN Town Hall event; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Entercom promotes Chris Huff to program director for country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” Huff has been serving as APD and music director for the station as well as APD for sister KKHH “95.7 The Spot.”  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “After an extensive nationwide search, we realized the best person to lead ‘The Bull’ was already with us here in Houston.  Chris’ knowledge of radio, and specifically country radio in Texas, is next to none.  His everyday actions display a pragmatic and hardworking leadership style and it is evident that he is the right person to lead this terrific team moving forward.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Shandra “Babs” Littleton midday host on rhythmic CHR WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1.” She was most recently with the company’s CHR WXKB-FM, Ft. Myers as co-host of the morning show.  She says, “I’m so happy to continue pursuing and realizing my dreams within the Beasley family.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of ‘WiLD,’ so I’m thankful and ready for this amazing opportunity in Tampa.”…..Programming pro Nate Bell exits iHeartMedia Detroit after a year as program director of urban contemporary WJLB and urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3.”…..Entercom’s rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ, New Orleans “Hot 92.9” adds the nationally syndicated “DL Hughley Show” for afternoons…..Legend Communications announces that Ted Peiffer is named general manager of the seven radio stations of the Basin Radio Network that serves Gillette, Wyoming, Campbell County, and the surrounding basin.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the February 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) sends iHeartMedia news/talk WOR out of the top twenty (#20 to #22); “710 The Voice of New York” was up four-tenths in January. It has a two-tenths lead over Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which adds three-tenths to January’s one-tenth increase (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), advancing from #24 to #23. This is the third successive time that Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records a 1.4 (#22 to #24, 6+).

Following a January gain of one-tenth, Entercom sports talk/Giants, Brooklyn Nets, Yankees flagship WFAN surrenders two-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Repeating its 1.8 (6+), after picking up four-tenths in January, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Jets and Knicks, exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Up one full-share in January (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS falters by seven-tenths to 4.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM relinquishes two-tenths, following a January improvement of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, #9 to #10, 6+).

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM drops from #11 to #14. Co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM squanders two-tenths (.6 – .4, 6+) and drifts from the top thirty (#27 to #31).

New York City Music Formats – Significant fluctuations continue for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station,” which netted a +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); surrendered all of it in January 2019 (1.4, -.9, 6+); and now posts a +.8 to 2.2 (6+), propelling it into the top twenty (#22 to #18). Following three straight decreases for an overall decline of seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight surveys for a cumulative loss of one-half share (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 (steady at #8, 6+). Tacking on one-half share to January’s increase of seven-tenths (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), urban AC sibling WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” climbs from third to second. Four-tenths ahead of WBLS is WLTW, which is a combined -5.3 in January and February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 20th successive sweep. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was +5.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Much like aforementioned classical WQXR, it has been an up/down affair lately for Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+);+1.3 to 6.4 (6+) in January; and now -.5 in February (5.9, second to third, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), immediately after an overall -1.2 via eight straight down or flat trends  (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, its internet stream debuts with a .6 (#38, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” notches gains of two-tenths (.6 – .8 – 1.0, #33 to #30, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it acquired in January (.8 – .9 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” skids from #31 to #34. Locked on .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” repeats January’s .6 (#37 to #38, 6+).

Albeit down one-tenth after a January gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Disney-owned/Rams and Lakers flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” carries on at #25. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – the key station of the Chargers and Dodgers – is up or flat for the third time in succession for a net gain of two -tenths (.7 – .7 – .9 – .9, flat at #31, 6+).

On the heels of January 2019’s +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips by one-tenth to 3.6 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Down one-tenth as well is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Voice of Southern California” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” erupts with a +.5 to 4.0 (eighth to sixth), its best 6+-showing since July 2018 (4.0, as well). Having surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST  answers with an uptick of three-tenths (6.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fifth straight time. Prior to January, “Coast 103.5” was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in succession (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). The yoyo effect continues for hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which erased “Holiday” 2018’s -.9 with a January 2019 +1.0 but is -.7 in February (4.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+), falling from third to fifth. When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). “My FM” spent five successive months at #1 before being dislodged in October. An increase of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+) is enough to push Entercom CHR KAMP from #20 to #12; “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 21st time in a row. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is a combined +.9 in January and February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Kiss” is tied with Entercom smooth AC KTWV “94-7 The Wave,” which is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” climbs from #22 to #21.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.3 (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Although flat at 1.7 (6+), following a January 2019 gain of six-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM inches up from #22 to #21.

Returning the three-tenths it scored in January (3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” not only curtails a string of three straight gains that netted one-half share (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), the flagship for the Cubs and Bulls departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Even though it remains at #26, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off a collective half-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

Having shifted from first to second in December, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM repeats its January #1 finish (6.2 – 6.1, -.1, 6+); the flagship of the Bears posted a January gain of nine-tenths.

A combined +.7 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ cracks the top ten (#12 to #9).

Chicago Music Formats – Replicating January’s six-tenths’ increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” cruises from sixth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (5.1) since 5.5 in August 2018. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” gains two-tenths to 3.0 (#16 to #13, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WPPN “Amor 106.7” regresses by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#19 to #22, 6+). A combined +10.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is now an overall -8.9 in January and February (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). Despite tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.6 (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” backslides out of the top ten (#10 to #11). A January increase of nine-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO halted its December – “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “Que Buena 105.1” forfeits one-half share in February (5.5 – 5.0, second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” remains in fifth-place.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats –In the last three sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+) has ranked #15 (“Holiday” 2018); #16 (January 2019): and #17 (February 2019). As a result of five successive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate KGO is a collective -.7 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, #22 to #24, 6+).

Co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #13. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in September 2018 (2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (-.2) slumps from #18 to #20.

Having logged three consecutive upticks for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM returns one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but continues in second-place. At #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December, KCBS-AM was in 5.3 – 5.8 range (6+) between February 2018 – “Holiday” 2018.

While it repeats at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED sputters by nine-tenths (8.0 – 7.1, 6+), erasing January’s one-half share improvement. Following 11 straight months at #1, KQED fell to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #28 to #27.

San Francisco Music Formats – On the heels of displaying a January 2019 increase of one-half share, iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” follows with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, fourth to third, 6+). Prior to January, “The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Advancing from tenth to seventh, co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of posting a fluctuation of one-half share: It was -.5 (3.5 – 3.0, December, 6+); +.5 (3.0 – 3.5, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and -.5 in January 2019 (3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Via six straight reports without an increase (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS was an overall -.7, but “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” records a +.3 to 1.7 (#24 to #21, 6+). After posting a +.6 in January, University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC spirals by -1.0 (3.6 – 2.6, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#7 to #14). KDFC notched one-half share increases in November and December (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+) before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. In December and “Holiday” 2018, KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but the Bonneville-owned adult contemporary is now a combined -6.4 in January and February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up six-tenths in January and February (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) after a -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” progresses from #16 to #15. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is unchanged from January 2019 in 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#34). Down or flat the past five times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .4 (#37 to #36, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), its sports talk cluster-mate – KTCK – bounced back with a one-half share gain in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” stumbles by three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM was a +1.0, but “105.3 The Fan” returns 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #13 to #18, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is down for the fifth time in succession for a collective -.4 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, #32 to #33, 6+).

Up a combined three-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” inches up from #20 to #19. Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM remains within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Stuck on 3.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is up by four-tenths in January and February (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas Music FormatsA December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 mini-slide by iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS resulted in a -1.2 (5.4     – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), but “Lone Star 92.5” answers with a February increase of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fourth to second, 6+). Having logged a 2.6 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” breaks out a +.6 to 3.2 (#18 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for a collective loss of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA “K-104” wipes away all but one-tenth of that deficit with a one-half share increase to 3.2 (#17 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-half share uptick as well – after a January loss of eight-tenths – is co-owned urban AC KRNB (1.7 – 2.2, #26 to #22, 6+). When “105.7 Smooth R&B” gained four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, it ended five consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” repeats at #1. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. On the heels of recording a January +1.3 to 4.9 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” relinquishes all but two-tenths of that bounty (3.8, -1.1, second to sixth, 6+). Five straight up or flat trends by Radio One urban AC KZMJ netted seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+) but “Majic 94.5 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” surrenders all of it plus another one-tenth (1.5, -.8, 6+), freefalling from the top twenty (#19 to #27). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1” is now a combined -3.4 in January and February (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7, fourth to ninth, 6+). Dropping by one-half share as well in February is City of Dallas’ WRR “Classical 101” (1.9 – 1.4, #29, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH recorded a move of seven-tenths: -.7 (4.3 – 3.6, December, 6+); -.7 (3.6 – 2.9, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, January 2019, 6+). While “News Radio 740” doesn’t continue that streak (3.6 – 3.9, +.3, 6+), it does progress into the top ten (#12 to #10).

For the sixth sweep in succession, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without a loss and is up three-tenths in that stretch (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, #23 to #22, 6+). It is tied with Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which has lost a combined half-share in January and February (1.4 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #22, 6+). Trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” continues at #27.

Off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, 6+), following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is flat at #18. Entering the January sweep, KUHF was without an increase the previous six ratings periods for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Mirroring its January increase of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” lunges from eighth to fifth. Within 2.1 – 2.8 territory (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” erupts with a +.6 to 3.4 (#17 to #16, 6+). An overall -2.0 in six successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Off one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is on top for the 11th straight time. “Sunny,” which was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive positive spikes (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+), spiraled by -3.5 in January. After improving by one-half share in January (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.2 (6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). In addition to being down or flat in four consecutive ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21). An overall +1.5 as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” surrenders three-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner does WSB-AM erase two-thirds of December and “Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4, the Cox Media Group news/talk facility relinquishes nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+). Even so, WSB-AM – which had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 – repeats at #1. Despite picking up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” backslides from #22 to #23; WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation. After eight successive up or flat sweeps for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK is a combined -.3 in January and February (.7 – .5 – .4, 6+) but stays at #28.

By gaining three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). “The Game” was a combined -.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+). In addition to slipping by three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s Atlanta Braves flagship WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is bumped from the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Notwithstanding that it tacks on a one-tenth increase to January’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE backslides from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period, WABE was a collective +1.2, owing to five straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) Georgia State University news/talk WRAS continues at #26.

Atlanta Music Formats – Zooming from tenth to sixth, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall +1.9 as the result of four successive upticks (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). In a bit of a statistical irony, urban AC sibling WAMJ-FM “Majic” (5.4 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAMJ-HD2 (#18) each improves by nine-tenths. WAMJ-FM posted a +1.0 in January, while WAMJ-HD2 has nearly tripled (+1.3) its 6+-stat in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.1 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from eighth to seventh, WAMJ-FM’s urban AC rival – Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” – logs a gain of six-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.5. The market’s country tussle tightens as Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” rebounds from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #16 to #14, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” which was a collective +1.4 via four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), erodes by -1.0 to 3.3 (#9 to #13). Flashing gains of one-half share (each) and continuing at fifth and seventh, respectively, are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Having almost doubled (+4.2) its 6+-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” faltered by -3.7 in January. A “Holiday” 2018 increase of one-half share by “B-98.5” halted at three a consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), but WSB-FM was off by -1.0 in January. A combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ logged a +.7 in January but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” forfeits six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #11). A combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+) Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (second to third, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January uptick of one-half share, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is unchanged in 6+-share (2.5) and 6+-market rank (#17). Despite being up or flat the third time in a row (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” backslides from #21 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies Entercom sports talk WIP – has the dubious distinction of registering the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here (7.2 – 5.9, -1.3, first to sixth, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, as well, was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); +.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -1.3 (February 2019). Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – February 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom’s KYW rebounded in January with a +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” drops four-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Three declines in a row by WHYY led to a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet is a combined +.3 in January and February (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A combined +2.1 in January and February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), immediately after a December and “Holiday” 2018 -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” jumps from a three-way tie for third to first. November’s increase of six-tenths curtailed three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August 2018 and segued to second in September. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share increases by six-tenths as Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is up two-tenths (6.3 – 6.5, steady at #3, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites” improves by four-tenths (ninth to eighth). On top from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but is now a combined +2.3 in three upticks in succession (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM” returns in full the six-tenths it earned in January (2.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #18, 6+); January’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 3.4. Without a loss the past three sweeps for a collective +.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” forfeits that half share in its entirety (3.7, 6+) but continues in tenth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR accounted for a -1.5 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “710 The Voice of New York” adds a combined four-tenths in January and February (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, #15 to #14, 6+). The October 2018 through February 2019 Long Island topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (flat at #26, 6+).

Having gained four-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WFAN sputters by three-tenths in February (4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from a three-way tie at #2 to #4. Down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” slumps from #20 to #24.

Finishing back-to-back with a combined -.4 are Entercom all-news siblings WINS (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, flat at #10, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #12 to #11, 6+). These two news siblings – which were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November – were a combined +1.3 in January 2019.

Unlisted in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; and is down one-tenth in February (2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – On one hand, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by six-tenths (4.3 – 4.9, sixth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WBLI “106.1 BLI – Long Island’s #1 For All The Hits” regresses by one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, fifth to sixth, 6+). It is the best Long Island showing for “Z-100” since July 2018 (4.9, as well) and lowest 6+-stat for WBLI since September 2018’s 3.8. In addition to recording its strongest 6+-performance in Nassau-Suffolk since August 2018 when it reached 2.6, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” has its third up or flat report in succession for a +.6 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top twenty (#22 to 18). On top for the fourth straight time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” regresses by one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+), after January’s -4.5. “Real Variety” was a combined +6.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). Major shifts continue for classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #11 to #12, 6+). In six consecutive sweeps without a loss, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ  more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) but “La Mega 97.9” drops one-tenth to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+). Slipping from #15 to #18, Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” is an overall -1.7 as the result of seven straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth consecutive negative or even trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK (formerly KUBE) is likewise without an increase for the fifth successive time (.3 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+). “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; and added one-tenth in both September and October. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 14th straight sweep.

Following a January increase of four-tenths (1.1 – 1.5, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth to 1.4 (#11 to #12, 6+). The September 2018 through February 2019 topline for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is .3 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Without a loss the third sweep in succession for a gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is anchored in the runner-up slot for the tenth time in a row. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). Albeit down the third report in a row for a collective -2.4 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is on top for the tenth successive sweep. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. After four straight down or flat reports that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and is steady at #6. Not only is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD in one-share range (6+) for the 19th successive ratings period, “Recuerdo” has its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +.2 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, #13 to #11, 6+). Without a loss for the seventh report in a row (.1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .6, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is up one-half share in that timeframe and advances from #20 to #16. While it continues in fifth-place, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” falters by two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping five successive up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.8 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media’s KGO, which is an overall -1.1 in that stretch (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). Unchanged at #25, co-owned news/talk KSFO is a combined +.5 in January and February (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), following a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR added six-tenths in January to curtail five straight down or flat moves that yielded a combined -1.6 (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). While “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in February (3.4 – 3.3, 6+) it manages to climb back into the top ten (#11 to #9). Down three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” slips from #21 to #23.

Even though it is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat moves including remaining flat in February (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM is displaced from the top spot (first to second). January and February’s 7.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018’s 7.2.

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); added four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; but is a combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+). It added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; was flat in January 2019; and adds one-tenth in February (.7 – .8, #26 to #27, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Boasting the strongest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 improvement of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG more than obliterates its January’s -1.0 with a +1.5 (4.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Amor 100.3” was a combined +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). In four successive San Jose decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ lost roughly half (-2.3) its 6+-share (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” answers in February with a +.7 to 2.9 (#15 to #12, 6+). “The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which is an overall +1.0 via three straight upticks (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.3, #12 to #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media triple A KFOG (2.1, #18, 6+), which regains the one-half share it lost through three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). As a result of five consecutive declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX had its 6+ AQH share sliced nearly in half (-3.2), but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Three increases in a row netted it a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Piling on four-tenths to January’s +.7 (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is enough to boost Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” from second to first. “Bay FM” was a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). In November, KBAY reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” logs a shift of eight-tenths: It was -.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.8, 6+); +.8 in January 2019 (3.8 – 4.6, 6+); and now -.8 in February (4.6 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. Following four straight up or flat trends that yielded a +1.4 (2.2 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC returns half that increase (2.9, -.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Big ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was a collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (3.9 – 3.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). As the result of five straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), KOIT-FM was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Entercom adult contemporary facility, however, is unlisted in San Jose for the second straight month.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.2, WKXW drops two-tenths (8.2 – 7.9, 6+) but the Townsquare Media news/talk outlet repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” occupied the top spot six straight sweeps before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 with a -1.1. November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). On the heels of January’s +1.0 – which completely erased its overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 – iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is unchanged in 6+-share (3.4) and 6+-market rank (#12). Entering December’s Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). As is the case with WOR, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged from January in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#26). WABC had been down or flat seven successive reports for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+).

Faltering by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN slumps from #11 to #15. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” has lost six-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS improves for the fourth straight time gaining one-half share in the process (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, flat at #24, 6+), co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM is down one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+); was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+); and is up a combined eight-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, #18 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Down or flat four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by a combined nine-tenths in January and February (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). With a September 2018 through January 2019 topline of 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #8). Without an increase the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “95.5 PLJ – New York’s Best Music Mix” posts a one-half share gain to 2.6 (#22 to #19, 6+). Educational Media Foundation is expected to close on its purchase of WPLJ in early-summer. On the heels of its January gain of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+), Pillar Of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” surrenders six-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+). January’s 4.2 is its highest 6+ performance since May 2018’s 4.6.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

| March 6, 2019

Great Lakes Media Names Leadership Team. The new media firm Great Lakes Media Corp. – founded by radio executive Tom Langmyer last year – announces the first of several appointments to its board of advisors and senior leadership team.  At the same time, the company says it is shifting its focus toward larger market acquisition opportunities.  CEO Langmyer adds the following media professionals to his team: John Gehron, chairman of AccuRadio, joins as board advisor;Gabe Hobbs joins as SVP, broadcast in which he’ll contribute from his experience in the areas of audience acquisition, content creation, talent development; and leadership; Chris Petersen joins as SVP, business & corporate development; and Bill Zaccheo joins as SVP, digital.  Langmyer says, “In building our company, we’ve been fortunate to partner with some of the most successful, respected, and admired leaders in media.  John Gehron, Chris Petersen, Bill Zaccheo, and Gabe Hobbs represent the first announced in a stellar group of people that will build tomorrow’s LOCAL media platform model…The current media model we’ve seen has been ‘top-down’ and focused on national distribution of national and white-labelled content.  The Great Lakes difference is a media model built from the ‘bottom-up’ and focused on local people creating local content and driving local revenue, while benefitting from the efficiencies that technology provides us all.  Radio and digital complement each other, as it’s not an either/or proposition. There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms and expanding the emotional connection between local consumers and brands.”

Urban One Reports 2018 Q4 Net Revenue Up 4.1%. The parent company of Radio OneUrban One, Inc. – reports financial data for the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the full year of 2018.  In Q4, Urban One’s net revenue was $113.5 million, up 4.1% from $109 million during the same period in 2017.  The company reports, “Net revenues from our radio broadcasting segment increased 16.5% compared to the same period in 2017. We experienced net revenue growth most significantly in our Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Raleigh, St. Louis, and Washington DC markets, with our Richmond market experiencing a decline for the quarter.” Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III says, “I was pleased that we came in slightly ahead of our Adjusted EBITDA guidance, led by extremely strong radio performance.  Our radio segment revenue was up by 16.5% including political advertising, and by 8.8% excluding political.  For the quarter, we outperformed the radio markets in which we operate by 850 bps.  Our Cable TV operation posted strong growth in advertising revenues, up 9.3%, driven by increased direct response rates, and additional ad units, which was offset by a modest decline in affiliate revenues (-2.0%).  Our digital revenues underperformed expectations, and we have taken significant steps to remediate.  I expect improved performance from the division in 2019.  In December, we substantially completed the refinancing of our 2020 Notes, which significantly extends the Company’s debt maturity profile.  On January 19, 2019 we successfully launched our new Women’s lifestyle channel, Cleo TV, which will further enhance our ability to entertain and inform our core consumers.”

Ben Shapiro Showing ‘Significant Growth’ for Westwood One. Conservative media star Ben Shapiro is “experiencing significant growth with a growing lineup of new station affiliates, major markets reporting ratings lifts, and an accumulation of engaged younger listeners – all coming out of the gate in his first PPM ratings report,” according to syndicator Westwood One.  The company says Shapiro’s shows are now heard on 200 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.   Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We knew that Ben was a hot commodity among millennials and younger demos, and now we have the numbers to prove it.  In less than 60 days Ben has amassed an impressive portfolio of more than 200 stations. We are excited to fuel this exponential growth as he continues to resonate with radio listeners and advertisers.” Shapiro is editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.  His two-hour live radio show is preceded by a one-hour podcast broadcast, that airs at 3:00 pm ET.  Stations have the option to take the one-hour podcast broadcast, the two-hour live show, or the three-hour combination.

Bob Matthews Returns to Air After a Month Away from WHAM, Rochester. Sports talk host Bob Matthews was back on the air on iHeartMedia’s WHAM, Rochester hosting his show after more than a month away from the mic.  Matthews slipped on ice leaving the radio station on February 1 and broke his ankle in three places.  He tells the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that he’s still unable to put weight on it but is thankful to be able to return to hosting his show.  The story notes that in Matthews’ absence, the station has been using sister WHTK personality Carl Falk, former Democrat & Chronicle sports writers Kevin Oklobzija and Jeff DiVeronica, Democrat & Chronicle content editor Steve Bradley, Rochester Red Wings public relations director Nate Rowan, and Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo as fill-in hosts.

PPM Analysis: January’s Major Movers. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the stations that experienced “major moves” as a result of coming off the Holiday 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio and returning to “normal” listening patterns reflected in the January 2019 survey.  As is usual, stations that went all-Christmas come down to earth in January.  But their loss is someone else’s gain to some degree or another.  In this report you can see which stations gained the most — and lost the most — from Holiday to January by format, by market and more.  See it all here.

Sun & Fun to Launch Key Networks Syndication Company. The press release from Sun & Fun Media gives no indication of the type of programming it intends to syndicated under the new Key Networks banner – whether it’s music, talk, or sports – but Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “We have launched Key Networks with a limited exclusive roster that we look forward to begin rolling out shortly.  Key Networks will provide dedicated marketing and promotional opportunities for every show we partner with through Sun & Fun Media, enabling Key Networks’ affiliates to sell these promotions in their local markets.  This turnkey solution connects great programming to custom promotions – a first for radio, and one we are proud to introduce.”   Sun & Fun chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks is the answer to the radio industry’s increasing need for creative, engaging, and diverse programming to markets of all sizes.  I am excited to build Key Networks’ product offerings and grow the company’s affiliate base through Key Networks.  To all our current and future Key Networks partners and affiliates: Get ready for greatness!”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly was victorious in federal court recently after a judge tossed a defamation suit filed against him by former FOX News Channel producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein.  O’Reilly, who exited FNC in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment allegations by former FNC staffers, was accused along with the network of disparaging her by saying no employees had taken advantage of a FOX human resources hotline for reporting improper behavior when that hotline didn’t exist at the time of her complaint and settlement back in 2002.  According to Variety’s report on the matter, the judge ruled Bernstein failed to prove she suffered any harm as a result of the comments by O’Reilly and the network…..SiriusXM is presenting play-by-play coverage of 27 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, totaling more than 140 men’s and women’s games.   Listeners will get every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, Ivy League, Missouri Valley and Mountain West conferences, and every game of the women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments…..iHeartMedia is launching a tornado relief effort for victims of the recent Alabama storms through its stations in Birmingham, Auburn, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.  It’s partnering with the Alabama Broadcasting Association for the iHeartRadio Lee County Tornado Relief fundraiser to benefit Community Foundation of East Alabama’s Long-Term Recovery Fund.  ABA president Sharon M. Tinsley says, “As residents of Alabama and members of the broadcast community, we are devastated by the loss of life and the many homes, businesses and churches destroyed by tornadoes this Sunday.  It’s always difficult to look at the images after a disaster but, when it’s your neighbors and so many of them are gone, it’s especially hard to accept.  Broadcasters are always there for the communities they serve and at times like these, we bring everyone together in a way like no other.”

House Trump Investigation/Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Probe, AOC Campaign Finance Allegations, Increased Illegal Border Activity, House Anti-Semitism Resolution, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, North Korea Rocket Program, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The expansive U.S. House investigation into President Trump’s businesses, his campaign, and more and the related new testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the allegations of campaign finance violations against Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the intense increase in illegal activity at the U.S.-Mexico border; the U.S. House’s anti-Semitism resolution being taken up on the heels of comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar; the list of Democratic candidates vying to take on President Trump in 2020; new evidence indicating North Korean is reigniting its rocket program; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michael Killbrew moves from iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster where he was SVP of programming to the company’s Washington, DC operations to take on the director of rock programming position for alternative WWDC “DC101” and classic rock WBIG “BIG 100.”  iHeartMedia region SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Washington and Baltimore Jeff Kapugi says, “I am excited to have Mike Killabrew join iHeartMedia Washington D.C. to lead our iconic rock brands, ‘BIG 100’ and ‘DC101.’  Along with his impressive tenure of experience with iHeartMedia, Mike has an unparalleled passion and energy for the rock formats that will elevate and impact our brands from day one.”…..Detroit radio personality Sandy Kovach is the new evening host on Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “‘The Breeze’ was launched to offer Detroit relaxing favorites to help the day breeze by.  We are pleased to introduce an equally relaxing evening show.  Sandy Kovach is already well-known to the Motor City community and we are excited to welcome her to the station.  Her show will be a unique blend of soft favorites and positive lifestyle content that our listeners will be able to unwind to.”  Kovach has served in on-air roles for Smooth Jazz Network, The eScapes Network, as well as Motor City stations WDVD WMGC.…..On-air pro Jon Kleeman, a.k.a. Jax, joins Radio FM Media’s CHR KLTA, Fargo “Big 98.7” as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective March 19.  He comes to Fargo from his most recent gig with Cumulus Media’s CHR KKCT, Bismarck, North Dakota…..Entravision Communications strikes a steaming audio distribution agreement with iHeartMedia to make its radio stations available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Under the agreement, Entravision’s 49 owned-and-operated stations will be available on iHeartRadio, effective immediately.

Cool Sales Position. WAWZ, Zarephath, New Jersey “Star 99.1” is seeing a full-time advertising sales person. This full-time position includes work in the office and travel throughout the NY metropolitan area to meet with customers and prospects.  Over-achievers strongly encouraged to apply!  A proven track record in radio or media sales is a pre-requisite, and high standards of business integrity are expected.  We offer a positive working environment, and the satisfaction of doing a job that “counts.”  Qualified candidates should send letter and resume to jobs@star991.com or mail to: Jobs, Star 99.1, P.O. Box 9058, Zarephath, NJ 08890. No calls please.  Star 99.1 is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Friday, February 22, 2019

| February 22, 2019

Entercom Q4 Same-Station Net Revenue Up 4%.  Since Entercom closed the CBS RADIO deal in mid-November of 2017, comparisons of fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter of 2017 are only relevant on a same-station basis.  Entercom certainly became a much bigger player in the radio business from a revenue standpoint as a result of the CBS merger. Its net revenue for the full year of 2018 was $1.46 billion – almost three times as much as the full year of 2017 that totaled $593 million.  On a same-station basis, the fourth quarter of 2018 was good – up 4% on same-station net revenue of $411 million.  But for the whole of 2018, same-station net revenue shrank 3.9% – from $1.52 billion in 2017 to $1.46 billion in 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic revenue and EBITDA growth in Q4 as our performance continues to accelerate across the organization and we gain traction on our various scale-driven growth initiatives.  2018 was a year of transformational enhancements on many fronts and we begin 2019 as a much stronger organization than we were a year ago.  We are making excellent progress across our strategic focus areas, including Radio.com which is now the fastest growing digital audio app in the US, Entercom Analytics which has grown to exceed 5,000 connected customers, and the Entercom Audio Network which is gaining significant momentum.  2019 is off to a good start with solid pacing growth in the first and second quarters and we are excited about the year ahead.”

Juliet Huddy Joins Curtis Sliwa for WABC Middays. Beginning Monday, 77 WABC Radio adds former FOX News Channel personality Juliet Huddy to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Curtis Sliwa for the new “Curtis and Juliet” show.  Most recently, WABC had paired Sliwa with Rita Cosby – who had been with the station as political editor, as well – but she exited the station in late December.  Huddy began her career with FOX News Channel in 1998 working out of its Miami and Los Angeles bureaus.  She moved to the NYC headquarters in 2001 and worked on “FOX & Friends,” “DaySide,” and her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.”  She left FNC in September of 2016 to launch the music website, BlondeAndCrossbones.com – dedicated to hard rock and heavy metal.   Sliwa says, “I worked with Juliet Huddy for four years on ‘Good Day Early Call NY.’  We were like a brother and sister arguing and discussing the issues of the day.  They were not just political.  We delved into cultural, social, and personal issues, especially male/female issues that most people are interested in.  WABC is giving us that opportunity to talk about those same issues in this age where Trump talk dominates the airwaves from a male/female perspective.”  Huddy adds, “I’m genuinely so excited to host alongside Curtis.  We’ve become more than colleagues over the years; we’re friends.”

Entercom Brings Cox Media Group and Bonneville Content Aboard RADIO.COM. In content distribution deals with both Cox Media Group and Bonneville, live channels for all of those companies’ stations as well as on-demand audio will be available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We are pleased to welcome Cox Media Group’s radio stations and Bonneville and their great content to the RADIO.COM platform as we continue to expand our premium content offerings to super-serve our large and rapidly growing audience of listeners across hundreds of devices.  Great partnerships like these further strengthen RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  CMG content on RADIO.COM includes live-stream broadcasts from 55 stations in 11 markets in addition to leading podcasts like “The Von Haessler Doctrine” and “The Mark Kaye Show.”  Bonneville content includes live streams from 22 local radio stations in six markets, as well as leading podcasts such as “Above & Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” “Your Last Meal,” “Mindfulness, Wellness & You,” and “Stuff Your Dad Knows.”

Border Wall Emergency Declaration Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 18-22. The political battle over President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the U.S.-Mexico wall project was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was the slate of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, followed by the Jussie Smollett “attack” case at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Bob Stei joins Media Staffing Network as account manager and recruiter.  The media staffing and consulting firm says that Stei is charged with guiding a variety of functions.  Founder and CEO Laurie Kahn says, “Over the past two years, MSN has significantly increased its number of hiring solutions, ranging from placing a wider array of positions across media to developing hands-on and online tools that help media companies hire more effectively, strategically, and proactively.  Bob brings a passion and knowledge about broadcasting and recruiting that will help MSN expand into new areas.”   During his career, Stei has served at such stations as WNEW-FM, New York; WMGK, Philadelphia; WBAB, Long Island; and WCHR, Toms River, New Jersey…..Singer and actor Joey Fantone launches a new podcast with manager and longtime friend Joe Mulvihill via PodcastOne called “Two Cups of Joe.”  The former NSYNC singer was recently “unmasked” on the hit TV show “The Masked Singer” and in the premiere episode he talks with Donnie Wahlberg, who was rumored to be under the rabbit mask as the show’s suspense built…..Tenderfoot TV and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new true crime podcast called, “To Live and Die in LA,” hosted by award-winning journalist and Rolling Stone contributing editor Neil Strauss.  The series takes a deep dive into the mysterious disappearance of 25-year-old aspiring actress Adea Shabani, who disappeared from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame in February of last year…..Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio announce a rare hockey hat trick happening this weekend as broadcasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will call three NHL games during a 24-hour period for MSG Networks, Westwood One, and NBC Sports Radio.  On Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, the New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Micheletti will be joined in the broadcast booth by play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen.  Albert, now in his 23rd season as the radio voice of the Rangers, will simultaneously call the play-by-play action on WEPN “ESPN 98.7,” the radio home of the Rangers, alongside analyst Dave Maloney.  Following the game, Albert and Micheletti will go straight to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET.  Albert and Micheletti will be joined onsite by rinkside reporter Kelly Chase and host Steve Mears.  After the game, the duo will then travel down south to Washington, DC for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Capital One Arena.  Albert and Micheletti serve as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead NHL broadcast crew and will be on the call together for select playoff games this year, including their fourth straight season calling the Stanley Cup Final.

TALKERS Publisher Visits Hubbard Cluster in West Palm Beach.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison paid a visit to longtime colleagues at the Hubbard Radio cluster headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday (2/21).  While there, he guested for an hour of on-air conversation about the hot issues with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach midday host (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Joyce Kaufman (above, left). He also visited with the cluster’s creative director (and production wizard) Mick McCabe (below, right) who worked with Harrison as producer/board op for the legendary “Harrison’s Mic” talk show on KMET, Los Angeles back in the early 1980s.

BFoA Announces New Time for Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. The Broadcasters Foundation of America reports that this year’s Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament will begin at 8:00 am for registration and breakfast, followed by a shot-gun start at 9:00 am on Sunday, April 7, at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas.  The annual fundraiser is held during the NAB Show in honor of the Broadcasters Foundation chairman emeritus Philip J. Lombardo and raises money to help broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says, “Every year, top-level broadcast industry leaders and celebrities turn out in support of the Foundation’s mission and to enjoy a morning of golf with their colleagues before the NAB kicks into high gear.”  For more information on purchasing a spot or a foursome, please click here.

Cumulus Rising Talk Radio Star Larry O’Connor Is This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. WMAL, Washington, DC/KABC, Los Angeles radio talk show host Larry O’Connor is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past several years, O’Connor, based in the nation’s capital, has been successfully hosting the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC powerhouse WMAL-AM/FM. Six weeks ago, he added a separate mid-morning 10:00 am -12:00 noon show on Cumulus’s KABC, Los Angeles, via remote, to his weekday schedule.  Harrison and O’Connor discuss his new two-station, bi-coastal schedule and the differences he perceives between talk audiences in these markets.  The discussion also explores Donald Trump’s impact on the media as well as society in general and delves back to the days of O’Connor’s pre-radio career in the legitimate theater where he spent a number of years as the general manager of the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles before joining the early incarnation of Breitbart News as an online writer and radio commentator.  O’Connor reflects on his relationship with the late Andrew Breitbart. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B96” names Kenzie K midday personality, taking over for Nikki Imbrascio, who exited the Entercom station last week after 10 years.  Kenzie K comes to Chicago from Tampa where she was midday host at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “WiLD 94.1.”  She says, “I cannot wait to join the amazing Entercom team in the city I’ve always dreamt of.  Thank you to [market manager] Jimmy de Castro, [VP of programming] Todd Cavanah and [music director] Erik Bradley for this incredible opportunity.  I’m looking forward to getting to know listeners in the Windy City.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Philly radio pro Nicole Siberry digital program director for classic rock WMGK-FM and country WXTU-FM in Philadelphia.  Siberry was most recently promotions and programming coordinator for Entercom’s CHR WTDY and classic hits WOGL.  There she was responsible for creating content and video for the stations’ social media platforms…..Max Media Denver names Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby operations and program director for hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1” and rhythmic oldies KJHM-FM “Jammin 101.5,” effective March 11.  Previously, Boogie D served with Radio One in markets including: Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington, and Charlotte.  Max Media president and GM Jeff Norman says, “We are thrilled to have Boogie D on board, he’ll bring a fresh prospective and approach to our programming department.  Boogie D has demonstrated an ability to win in competitive environments and our radio stations are poised to grow to the next level under his leadership.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – An improvement of four-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.1 (6+) and remains at #19. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” jumps from #26 to #23.

An overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” concludes that slump with a +.2 to 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and continues at #23. For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship logs a .7 (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, #26 to #27, 6+).

Blowing up “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January 2019 +1.2, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB advances from second to first (9.3 – 8.1 – 9.3, 6+). Continuing the “1.2” theme, prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, KOPB was a collective +1.2 in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.2 (January 2019.

Portland Music Formats – It took iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH exactly one report to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, 6+) as “106.7 The Eagle” soars to a January 2019 +1.7 (7.1, fifth to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 5.4 marked the first time “The Eagle” was below a six-share (6+) since March 2018’s 5.5. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” has followed with a +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a +1.2 (4.3 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional KRYP was 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupts with a +1.3 to 3.3 (#18 to #15, 6+). Not only is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC a collective +1.8 through three straight positive spikes (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), “All Classical Portland” enters the top ten (#11 to #7). In addition, it reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time in nearly two years ago (4.2, February 2017). Seven straight down or flat trends by Entercom’s KWJJ resulted in a -1.9 (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), but “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” suspends that streak with a +1.1 to 3.8 (#15 to #11, 6+). Its alternative and hot AC cluster-mates KNRK “94/7 Portland Alternative” (3.5 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+) and KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (3.1 – 3.6, unchanged at #13, 6+) are up seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. Even though co-owned KGON is +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth. Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Following back-to-back stays at #1 and a combined +8.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is -9.2 (7.0, first to third, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). On the heels of a massive “Holiday” 2018 +2.4 (3.2 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” surrenders seven-tenths to 4.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A January gain of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0, 6+) enables Entercom news/talk WBT to progress from #12 to #11. The Carolina Panthers flagship was a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), after being +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+).

Nearly tripling (+1.1) its 6+ share via seven straight positive or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned sports talk (and Charlotte Hornets key station) WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” climbs from #19 to #18.

Regaining in full “Holiday” 2018’s nine-tenths’ loss, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” moves from #17 to #16 (1.8 – 2.7, +.9, 6+). Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fourth straight time and is down four-tenths in that stretch (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – It is a strong sweep for the market’s two country FMs as iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is +1.2 (4.4 – 5.6, eighth to fifth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” posts a gain of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), but was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Four-tenths ahead of “Country’s Hottest Hits” is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, which all but erases “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (6.6 – 7.7, 6+) to march from second to first. Immediately in advance of that -1.2, “102.9 The Lake” posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Notching a January 2019 +1.1 as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” whose five most recent fluctuations are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+, December); -.6 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 in January 2019 (2.4 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive setbacks, iHeartMedia’s WRFX was a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), but “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends that streak with a +1.0 to 5.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” roars back with a gain of nine-tenths (3.9 – 4.8, tenth to seventh, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 3.9 was its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Radio One’s WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, “105.3 RnB” adds six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 half-share increase (5.3, 6+), but backslides from a three-way tie at #5 to #6. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive or flat moves which produced an overall +7.8 halted at four (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” slumps from first to eighth (12.9 – 4.6, -8.3, 6+). Its 12.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. Co-owned mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” is -1.2 via four consecutive negative or flat trends (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 gain of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” cruises from ninth to sixth. WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three a consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “January 2019 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#24, 6+).

While it stays at #29, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+).

A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a +.8 (3.5, #16 to #12, 6+).   

San Antonio Music Formats – Virtually each of the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has produced its share of substantial “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases, although we hadn’t seen a single station register an increase of three full-shares … until now. Accomplishing that truly noteworthy accomplishment is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA. Major shifts aren’t new for “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which was +.5 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +3.0 in January 2019 (6.0 – 9.0, 6+). Moreover, KAJA leaps from fourth to first. Continuing in third-place is similarly-formatted, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader.” Six of its recent fluctuations include: +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +1.8 (5.1 – 6.9, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). These two country combatants were tied in June and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Applying the brakes to four straight setbacks that accounted for an overall -2.8 (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” displays a +1.9 to 7.9 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth straight time. Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Meanwhile, its internet stream improves by one-half share (.2 – .7, #27, 6+). A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” answers with a January 2019 +1.3 to 4.8 (tenth to fourth, 6+). A +1.2 enables Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG to vault into the top five (#11 to #5). “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” had been down six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adding six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (2.6 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV advances from #18 to #16. When the December 2018 sweep concluded, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was -1.3 in three consecutive negative or flat trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Somewhat mirroring KZLV, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #11 to #10, 6+). Owing to three positive spikes in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KQXT was +10.6 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+) and #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, “Q-101.9” plunges by -10.7 to 4.2 (6+), drifting from first to seventh. KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. In four consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -1.9 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Off six-tenths as well in January 2019 is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KSAH “Norteno,” which is -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, #15 to #19, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a +1.5 to 7.6 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK completely eliminate its cumulative -.9 in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” jumps from third to a first-place tie. KFBK was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). Up two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Following four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains three-tenths to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+). Slipping from #23 to #25, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a collective -.7 in three successive down or flat reports (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+).

On the heels of forfeiting one full-share, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ sputters by another eight-tenths (5.9 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.0, KXJZ notched five successive sweeps without a loss, netting a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Entercom’s KKDO erupts with a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) sending “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock,” which was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 4.3, 6+) answers with a +1.1 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In early-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. Now, however, “The Breeze” is a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.7, 6+), advancing from #13 to #12. Making January 2019 leaps of six-tenths in addition to KBEB are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (3.7 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” (.8 – 1.4, #18, 6+). The wild ride continues for Bonneville’s KNCI. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “New Country 105.1” was an overall +1.5 in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September – October – November – December, 6+); -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.5 in January 2019 (4.2 – 4.7, steady at #7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River,” which is +1.1 in three upticks in succession (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #5, 6+). A boost of two-tenths (7.4 – 7.6, 6+) is enough to lift Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” from second to a first-place tie. On top for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). After notching a combined December and “Holiday” 2018 +7.6 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and occupying the #1 slot in both of those sweeps, adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” returns in its entirety that increase (6.2, -7.6, first to third, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 13.8 is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Lotus Communications regional Mexican KVMX “La Ranchera,” which had been trending 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+), drops one-half share to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from “Holiday” 2018’s -.7 with a +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” progresses from eighth to seventh.

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was off nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), is now a combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.5 – 5.8 – 7.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). The September 2018 through January 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#19 to #17, 6+).

Continuing at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bounces back from a one-half share “Holiday” 2018 loss with a +1.1 (3.1 – 4.2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.6 via four straight decreases (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.6 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Off a combined seven tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” wipes away that shortfall with a +1.0 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). After being without a loss the past three reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW erodes by -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), but “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Via five straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH was an overall +4.6, but “Wish 99.7” falters by -4.1 to 5.8 (second to sixth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL substitutes “Holiday” 2018’s -.6 with a January 2019 +.6 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” backslides from fourth to sixth. KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. Likewise, iHeartMedia’s KNRS completely eradicates “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.7 – 3.3 – 4.7, 6+). In this case though, “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from #12 to #7. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL sputtered by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” vanishes from print in January 2019.

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER recaptures all of it in January 2019 – and one-tenth more – with a +.6 to 2.9 (#14 to #12, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Albeit the height of understatement – but nonetheless – iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is on an incredible rollercoaster ride. It was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.0 in January 2019 (4.4 – 6.4, sixth to second, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Registering robust increases of +1.3 (each) are Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.8, unchanged at #5, 6+). “Now” gained two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, while KZHT was a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Five consecutive decreases by Cumulus Media country KUBL accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+) but “K-Bull 93” is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3, ninth to eighth, 6+). Gaining eight-tenths each are its adult contemporary and rock siblings, KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.2, steady at #9, 6+) and KUER “Utah’s Rock Station (2.7, #18 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), KBEE had a December decrease that interrupted three straight gains netting +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). “Utah’s Rock Station” was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Up six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7” (2.3, #20 to #16, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.3, #18, 6+). “Rock 106.7” was -.9 in three straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), while “The Wave” was -.5 via four successive setbacks (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .7, 6+). Progressing from #16 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The good news first for Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI is that it is #1 for the third straight report. After three straight increases that netted a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+), however, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” craters by an eyepopping -13.9 to 7.9 (6+). KSFI was the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its “Holiday” 2018 loss of three-tenths into a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude (1.6 – 2.2, +.6, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Off a collective four-tenths in three slips in succession (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” gains two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.8 – .7 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #28 to #25.

A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR posts a +.7 to 3.7 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – An improvement of one full-share by KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (6.1 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+) takes the Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to its highest 6+-share (7.1) since August 2018’s 7.5. An overall +1.1 through three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” leaps into the top ten (#11 to #6). By adding seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5 ” pops back into the top twenty at #16. Notching gains of six-tenths (each) are Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” (2.7 – 3.3, unchanged at #13, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” (1.4 – 2.0, #20, 6+). “Hot,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), rebounds from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though Lotus Communications’ KXPT is without a loss for the eighth straight survey period for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A one-half share increase by cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” to 2.6 (#17 to #15, 6+) ends a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). A combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE surrenders a -5.3 to 7.5 (6+) but “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 for the sixth time in a row. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS regresses by eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” is under a four-share (6+) for the first time since “Holiday 2017’s 3.8.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – All but wiping away its combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+) with a January 2019 +1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth. At the conclusion of the November 2018 sweep, “News 96.5” was an overall +1.9 due to five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, a six-tenths’ boost to 3.7 (#12 to #11, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” suspends five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+). Its August +1.0 curtailed three straight decreases that generated a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Anchored at #15, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is up four-tenths to 2.2 (6+), halting three successive setbacks that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Just before that, in four consecutive reports without a loss, WFLF nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+) propels Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” into the top twenty (#23 to #20). While it advances from #23 to #22, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” has lost more than half (-.8) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Regaining just over half of its “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 3.2, +.5, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” carries on at #13.

Orlando Music Formats – A cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” wipes away nearly all that shortfall with a whopping +2.0 (6.9, seventh to fourth, 6+). After spending 11 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM was in the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, with a combined -1.1 in those two reports (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “Rumba 100” breaks out a +1.5 in January 2019 (7.8 – 9.3, 6+) and returns to the lead position. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+) and climbs from third to second. Notwithstanding that it nearly replicates “Holiday” 2018’s increase of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +.6 (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” backslides from fifth to sixth. A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Slightly similar to “Mix,” Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB adds one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) but “Star 94.5” is able to jump from fourth to third. In addition to being a combined +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF was #1 in those two sweeps. In January, however, “Magic 107.7” erodes by -7.4 to 6.9 (6+) and drops to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. The internet stream of Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits,” which appeared with a .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, vanishes from print in January 2019.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia news/talk WLW manage to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -2.1 in one fell swoop with a +2.4 (7.5 – 9.9, 6+), the flagship of the Reds and Bengals zooms from fourth to first. WLW spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Its recent shifts include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.4 (January 2019). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati,” which was down three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), adds one-half share to 3.5 (6+), yet departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Even though sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” picks up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, 6+) it backslides from #17 to #18.

Down nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU ends that skid with a +.4 to 3.0, but remains at #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Following a December-only stay at #1, Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR shifted to third in “Holiday” 2018, as a result of a -1.8 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+). Roaring back with a January 2019 +1.5 (to 9.6, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” climbs to second. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. In three successive sweeps without an increase, its classic rock sibling – WOFX – had a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “92.5 The Fox” dials up a +1.4 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective -2.6 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” answers with a +1.2 to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Even though co-owned WUBE adds a +1.0 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.3 (8.1 – 8.4 – 9.4, 6+),“B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” shifts from second to third. The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) another -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.9 in January 2019 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is a combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+). A collective +9.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” spirals by -.8.2 to 6.4 (first to fifth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6 is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 +.7, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” regresses by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2018, but it resurfaces with a 1.2 (#18, 6+). At the same time, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “88.7 The Station For Something For Everyone,” which had an October through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .2 – .0 (6+), reemerges with a 1.3 (#17, 6+). In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a +.9 to 5.1 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

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

Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1 (2.1 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN progresses from #14 to #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” bounces back with a +1.7 to 6.1 (tenth to fourth, 6+). Similarly, after three consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” erupts with a +1.6 to 4.8 (6+) and lands in the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). Off four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” posts a positive spike twice that magnitude (6.9, +.8, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying gains of seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #12, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.7 – 1.4, #17 to #15, 6+). “Kiss” was down one-half share in “Holiday” 2018. WAKS-HD2 surfaced in July with a .1 (6+); failed to appear in the next five reports; but reemerged in “Holiday” 2018. While it repeats at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2018’s massive +2.8 with a -1.7 (10.7 – 9.0, 6+). A combined +4.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surrenders a -4.3 to 6.0 (6+) and segues from second to sixth. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Dropping from fourth to seventh, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is a collective -1.0 in four successive setbacks (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” vanishes in January 2019.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Two big bounce-backs in the Entercom cluster find news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather,” a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) logging a +1.2 to 4.6 (#14 to #7, 6+), while KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) notches a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #18, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Steady at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” breaks out a +1.3 to 5.0 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6). WHB more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, Entercom’s KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but “610 Sports Radio” adds three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, KCUR responds with a +.3 to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). The University of Missouri news/talk outlet was a collective +.8 in November and December.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” roars back with a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, fifth to third, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s half-share increase (9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the ninth straight time and has its strongest 6+-stat (10.1) since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Over the course of the last three ratings periods, Entercom-owned KQRC spiraled by an overall -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, 6+) but “98.9 The Rock” picks up four-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Its November one-half share loss suspended three straight increases that yielded a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). A combined +2.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC relinquishes a -3.8 to (3.2, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” freefalls from #2 to #15. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. Immediately after posting a +1.6, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM falters by -1.3 (6.7 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” pulled the plug on eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. As a result of five consecutive positive or flat sweeps, CHR sibling KCHZ was +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Urban AC cluster-mate KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B,” which was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), forfeits 25% of that bounty (4.2, -.5, sixth to tenth, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” dials up a +1.3 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Among the fluctuations for RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM since it reappeared in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+). “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted in January 2019. Climbing from #18 to #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+).

By posting a +1.1 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU ends a mini-slide that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.1 to its “Holiday” 2018 improvement of four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus Hit Music” jumps from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share (8.3) since September 2018’s 9.4. Slightly more than three full-shares ahead of it is co-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.4, +.8, 6+), which is #1 for the 14th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January 2019 uptick applies the brakes to six straight downturns that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and +.8 (January 2019). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC, which was a combined +3.7 in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) improvements (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), surrenders a -4.1 to 4.6 (6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” skids from third to sixth. Its December increase halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular sequence immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). As a result of three positive spikes in a row (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY was a cumulative +3.8, but “Sunny 95” relinquishes exactly half that increase with a -1.9 to 7.8 (second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.7 is WSNY’s best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

Laura Ingraham to Transition Radio Show to Podcast in January. Talk media personality Laura Ingraham will end her 17-plus years of hosting a live radio talk show in January and launch an original podcast via PodcastOne.  Ingraham, who joined FOX News Channel’s prime-time lineup last fall, has also been hosting her late morning radio show syndicated via Courtside Entertainment.  She says, “While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible.  Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life.  Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”  She adds, “Without phenomenal producers, a committed sales team, great station managers and program directors — and of course my loyal advertisers – this show wouldn’t have been possible.  Now it’s time for a new adventure.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Due to her HUGE success on the FOX News channel, daily podcasts are a much better fit for Laura’s hectic schedule and provides her listeners in all markets access at any time to the new Laura Ingraham show podcast.  She’s at the top of her game and her new original podcasts will fit perfectly on PodcastOne.”

Cumulus Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.7%. The third quarter financial numbers for Cumulus Media have been released and the company reports Q3 net revenue of $282.3 million – an dip of 1.7% from the same period in 2017.  Net income was $12.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million.  Due to its emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year, the company notes in its report that “for the purposes of the analysis of the results presented herein, the company is presenting the combined results of operations for the period June 4, 2018 to September 30, 2018 of the Successor Company with the period January 1, 2018 to June 3, 2018 of the Predecessor Company.  Although this presentation is not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the company believes presenting and analyzing the combined results allows for a more meaningful comparison of results for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 to the nine months ended September 30, 2017.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In our first full quarter of operations since emerging from Chapter 11, our positive momentum continued and we remain focused on the path ahead.  We delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA growth – approximately 50 basis points on a reported basis and 3.9% when adjusting for the impact of USTN and our exit from WLUP-FM in Chicago.  Additionally, in early October, we completed a $50 million prepayment of our term loan using cash generated from operations, demonstrating both our ability to produce significant free cash flow and our commitment to pay down debt with that cash.  We continue to believe that our key growth initiatives, including our digital businesses at the Cumulus Radio Station Group, our rapidly expanding podcast business and pricing and inventory management improvements across the Company, as well as our substantial free cash flow generation, position the Company well to create value for all our stakeholders.”

iHeartMedia Names Future Board of Directors.  When iHeartMedia emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization, it will have a new board of directors and today the company announces who will sit on the board.  Current board chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and current president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will continue to serve on the board with five new board members.  They are: former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo; Spyglass Entertainment co-founder and former MGM Inc. chairman and CEO Gary Barber; Altimeter Capital founder and CEO Brad Gerstner; private investor and director for both Aptiv plc and Arconic Inc Sean Mahoney; and Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.  Bob Pittman comments, “We are excited about both the depth and range of our new board members.  We know our ability to draw on the experience of this unique combination of leaders in their respective fields will give us an unparalleled competitive advantage as we build our next level of growth.”

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity Hits 600-Affiliate Mark. After a little more than 17 years in national syndication, Premiere Networks talk radio superstar Sean Hannity reaches the milestone of 600 affiliate stations.  Premiere states, “Hannity’s provocative, informed, and passionate commentary on news and politics has amassed a loyal following of more than 18 million listeners monthly.  Broadcasting live on weekdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Marconi Award winner is one of the most prominent and influential talk radio hosts in the country, whose political foresight and focus on the American agenda has made him the second most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S.”  Hannity comments, “I am humbled and appreciative to not only our 600 amazing affiliates, but also to the listeners of this radio show in each and every city. Thank you for this honor!”

Good News for Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link II Users; HotSwap Feature Now Available.  This new HotSwap feataure allows users of Comrex’s IP audio codecs ACCESS and BRIC-Link II to back up dedicated links.  This long-sought reliability feature allows users to back up their studio-to-transmitter link or other dedicated link with a wireless modem.  CrossLock is Comrex’s powerful technology for increasing network reliability and allows codecs to use multiple IP networks at once.  CrossLock lets users bond networks together so that more bandwidth is available.  Alternately, in redundancy mode, users can send identical streams down both networks.  Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to designate one network as primary and a second network to be used only when the primary fails.  HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails.  The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored.  Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.  For ACCESS codecs, any supported modem can be used as a back-up.  For BRIC-Link II, only Comrex Connect Modems are supported.  4G LTE Comrex Connect Modems are available for purchase through any Comrex dealer.  When ordering, ask for the NX model of Connect Modem.  Verizon, AT&T, and International versions are available.  HotSwap is included in firmware version 4.3, which is available now for all ACCESS and BRIC-Link II codecs.  Users can download it for free using Device Manager.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Orlando “Big O Alzugaray exits Entercom’s WQAM, Miami after a four-year stint hosting the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program.  He’d previously served with the station from 1997 through 2010…..The National Radio Hall of Fame announces it is creating a new award called the “One to Watch,” chosen by the NRHoF nominating committee.  It was inspired by radio legend Art Laboe, the active radio performer with the longest continuous period of service on air for 75 years and a 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee.  The inaugural “One to Watch” award will be given to Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro…..At Salem Media Group’s Pittsburgh cluster, Brad Marshall is named general manager.  The station group includes news/talk WPGP “1250 The Answer” and its two Christian-formatted outlets.  During his career, Marshall has served with iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media in Youngstown, Ohio…..In more Salem Media Group news, the company chooses software provider Aptivada to power the company’s contesting, promotions, database management, and newsletters…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio advertising unit cabana adds the investigative podcast “Bear Brook” from New Hampshire Public Radio to its content portfolio.  The podcast, hosted by NHPR reporter Jason Moon, centers around a decades-old mystery involving four unidentified bodies found in two barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in the 1980s. The first six episodes of “Bear Brook” garnered more than 1.1 million downloads…..NuVoodoo Media Services promotes Eric Cohen to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. New York-based Cohen joined NuVoodoo Media Services earlier this year as vice president of finance…..iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston re-ups with the Houston Astros to continue serving as the ballclub’s flagship radio station for play-by-play broadcasts.

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Down 1.8%. The 2018 second quarter financial report from Cumulus Media Inc. comes a bit late – the company had let the SEC know its first post-bankruptcy report would be tardy.  Net revenue for Cumulus (reflecting the combined results of the Successor and Predecessor Companies in connection with the emergence from Chapter 11) for the second quarter was $285.2 million, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago.  For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Cumulus reported net revenue of $548.9 million, down 1.0% from the first six months of 2017.  Cumulus reports in two segments: the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The radio station group reported net revenue of $203 million – down 2.5% from a year ago, and Westwood One’s net revenue was $81.2 million – up 0.1%. President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In the second quarter, we emerged from Chapter 11 with new and supportive ownership, a billion dollars less debt and results that demonstrate our operational and financial momentum, despite industry challenges and the distractions posed by our Chapter 11 proceedings.  Normalizing those results for $4.8 million of write-offs related to United States Traffic Network’s well-publicized financial problems, our Adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter by 5.5%.  Looking forward, we are excited about the potential of our digital products, improved pricing, and inventory management across the entire platform and our young but fast-growing podcasting business to supplement the performance of our core business.  These growth drivers, combined with our continued focus on operating fundamentals, our reduced debt load, our ability to generate significant free cash flow, and our renewed focus on optimization of our portfolio of assets, position us well to build substantial shareholder value in the quarters and years to come.”

Cumulus Signs Traffic Deal with TTWN. On the same day it announces its second quarter financials and references the $4.8 million write-off related to its deal with United States Traffic NetworkCumulus announces its new deal with iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Network to be the exclusive provider of traffic content.  This is an addition to the existing deal for TTWN to provide weather content.  TTWN will provide real-time traffic reports and data to Cumulus’ 441 radio stations nationwide.  Additionally, TTWN’s 24/7 News division will provide news support, including anchored news and reporting services.

Quinn & Rose Back on Pittsburgh Airwaves. The Pittsburgh radio duo “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant – is returning to the air in the Steel City, this time on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH “ESPN Pittsburgh” on September 24.  The two enjoyed a long stint on the company’s former Pittsburgh FM news/talk WPGB (now country music) but exited the station in 2013.  The two have worked separately since then on various platforms.  Their show on WBGG will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am daily.

New Boston Operations Center for iHeartMedia.  The photos above are of the new studios and offices of iHeartMedia in Boston.  At left is a lounge area outside an on-air studio and at right is a portion of the all-news WBZ-AM newsroom.  It’s a 43,000-plus square foot state-of-the-art facility that also includes news/talk WRKO-AM, talk WXKS-AM, and seven music outlets.  iHeartMedia says the “innovative space is designed to invoke collaboration and to embody the iHeartMedia brand.  In addition to cutting-edge design elements, the studios will feature digitally advanced technology and resources for talent and programmers that will help them connect even faster and easier with listeners delivering even more great content to the Boston community.”  The facility was designed by Michael Beneville.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball teams. As the 2018 season unfolds, see how the 6+ weekly AQH shares of flagship stations are affected. Among some of the comparisons presented are flagship stations ratings fluctuations from June 2018 to July 2018 as well as from July 2017 to July 2018.  Based on July 2018 PPM data, flagships with the largest market shares (6+) are: WLW, Cincinnati (Reds); WTMJ, Milwaukee (Brewers); and KMOX, St. Louis (Cardinals). See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio icon Mike North is the subject of a new film being developed by Chicagoans Jeremy Morrison and Adam Rifkin.  The biopic of the hot dog vendor-turned sports talk radio giant is set for production in 2019…..It may seem elementary to industry insiders but the how and why of the appeal of sports talk radio to male consumers is the focus of a recent piece in The New York Times.  Writer Jason Notte speaks with representatives of ESPN Audio and Entercom, as well as marketers who’ve had success advertising on sports talk radio.  That includes a law firm specializing in divorce that’s been a regular advertiser on Portland, Oregon’s three sports talk stations.  Read the piece here…..Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is moving into new studios in Chevy Chase, Maryland in December or January.  According to a piece in Bethesda Magazine, the new location at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. on Wisconsin Circle is just over the Washington, DC line in Maryland.  The Hubbard Radio all-news station has been at its current Idaho Ave. location since 1989.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

| May 10, 2018

Emmis Communications Fiscal Q4 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Down 1%. Because of the recent sales of its Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute stations, the Emmis Communications fourth fiscal quarter report can be viewed two ways.  Fourth fiscal quarter revenue was $28.4 million – down 16%.  But, pro forma for the sale of Emmis’ Los Angeles and Terre Haute radio stations, revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter revenue and syndication revenue) was down 1% in markets that were down 3%.  The company says the New York and St. Louis clusters both grew their revenue in the quarter and outperformed their markets.  Looking at the whole fiscal year (ended February 28, 2018), radio revenue was $142.9 million compared to $165.1 million in the prior year – a decrease of 13%.  For the full year, Emmis’ pro forma radio revenue was down 2%.  The report notes that on April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations, and after applying the net proceeds therefrom, has less than $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves.  Ratings for our New York radio stations remain strong and they are rebounding nicely in Indianapolis.  The NextRadio team has done a tremendous job rolling out Dial Report, an industry-wide data attribution platform, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for robust analytics and insights into the behaviors of radio listeners.”

Liberty Media Group Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  “At the right price” is the phrase Liberty Media Group president and CEO Greg Maffei used during yesterday’s investors conference call.  Maffei noted that Liberty owns “about $660 million” of iHeartMedia bonds.  Regarding Liberty’s interest in iHeartMedia, Maffei adds, “I think the process is evolving as they go through their Chapter 11 proceedings.  Creditors are gaining an understanding of what they are proposing to buy.  I think at some point they are going to re-engage with us, and if the price is attractive, as I said, we would be interested.  And the rationale for that is there are both – I think some opportunities around radio.  They’re still having interest toward radio and are so interested in some of the assets that we have, including serious investment in Pandora.  I think there are both synergies on the revenue side and on the cost side potentially.  And iHeart is an attractive free cash-flow generator.  The wide pricing in combination with that is those are the factors and it will be additive to our music holdings.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Schulman Named CMO at Katz Media Group. Media executive Stacey Lynn Schulman is promoted to chief marketing officer for Katz Media Group.  The company says that in this new role, “Schulman will lead a team of marketing and insight professionals across both Katz Radio Group and Katz Television Group, driving overall marketing strategy and insights for Katz’s 14 regional offices that together serve as the trusted sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations, 800 television stations and their digital platforms.”  The company says Schulman joined it in 2014 as EVP of strategy, analytics and research.  “She quadrupled Katz’s proprietary research efforts on behalf of clients.  Schulman also introduced new marketplace tools to showcase the power of local media, including Katz’s DJ Personality Index, which helps marketers easily identify on-air personalities who already engage with their brands, and The Local Vote project, which provides political marketers with a media compass based on recent voter sentiment in local markets. Her efforts have been instrumental in bringing additional revenue into the radio sector and expanding the target-ability of local broadcast television.”

TALKERS News Notes. A piece published at CNNMoney that states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention.  Featured in the story is former KRLA, Los Angeles morning personality Elisha Krauss, who tells writers Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy that although she understands Salem can hire or fire any talent it wants, “They shouldn’t do it with the facade that they’re delivering multi-level opinions and they’re not puppeteering those opinions.” Krauss currently works with Ben Shapiro on his podcast programs.  The two worked together on KRLA’s “The Morning Answer.” Currently, “The Morning Answer” is co-hosted by anti-Trumper Brian Whitman and pro-Trumper Jennifer Horn.  Read the piece here…..As election season gears up, the Larry Young morning program on Radio One’s WOLB, Baltimore will participate in presenting public forums featuring candidates for office.  The station will present a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, June 5 and a state’s attorney forum on Wednesday, June 13 as part of the Larry Young morning program.

U.S. Exits Iran Nukes Deal, Israel Strikes Syria, North Korean Prisoners Released/Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, Stormy Daniels Case/Cohen Russian Money Allegations, Hawaiian Volcano Watch, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement; Israel’s strikes on Iranian targets inside of Syria; three American prisoners held in North Korea are released and the related planned meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the Stormy Daniels payoff case and allegations Trump attorney Michael Cohen received money from a Russian oligarch after the 2016 election; Hawaii’s oozing volcano and fears it may transform into a full blown eruption; 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 evening program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” is getting a new voice as Emily Sklar takes over the daypart on Monday (5/14).  She comes to DC from her most recent gig as midday jock on the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Cumulus Media names radio personality Nikki Blades co-host of “The Morning Block Party” on rhythmic CHR KWIN, Stockton-Modesto.  Blades has been hosting the midday program since January.  Blades began her career as a professional model and was featured in Maxim magazine and earlier this year, appeared on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon.”  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says “We are very excited for today.  It’s not very often you find someone who fits the mold of the brand so well and is also destined for greatness.  Nikki Blades is by far the next big talent on the West Coast and I’m so excited for her to take the next step here at KWIN!”…..Entercom appoints Sean “Sonic” Leckie host of the afternoon drive show on WBMX, Chicago “104.3 Jams.”  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Sonic brings a passion for music and drive to succeed to ‘104.3 Jams.’  We’re looking forward to having him take the helm of Chicago’s new afternoon drive show.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Josh “Bru” Brubaker to the local anchor position for “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” on WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1.”  He joined WDRQ in 2017 as a weekend/swing talent and was elevated to production assistant shortly thereafter…..ACM-award winner and platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jake Owen is hosting Westwood One’s Annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program features music from Jake and his friends, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Zac Brown Band, and more. The show will also remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

Entercom Reports 2018 Q1 Financial Data; Same-Station Net Revenue Down 7.7%. This is the first full quarter that Entercom is reporting since closing on the CBS RADIO merger back on November 17 of last year.  As a result, the company’s net revenue jumped from $99 million in Q1 of 2017 to $300.6 million in Q1 of this year.  However, on a same-station basis, net revenue for the quarter dipped 7.7%, from $324.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $300.6 in the first quarter of this year. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Since closing on our merger in November, we have moved quickly to implement rapid change and have made good progress on our various integration, synergy and transformation goals.  We have built a terrific leadership team and are driving strong ratings growth and launching a number of revenue-driving initiatives to capitalize on our scale and compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of ad spending.  Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Entercom Audio Network, which will enable us to use our scale to participate directly in the $1 billion network radio market.  Our first quarter financial results were adversely affected by soft general local advertising conditions and a number of temporary factors, most notably the exclusion of $12 million in revenue due to financial issues at USTN.  As these temporary factors abate and our growth initiatives take hold, we look forward to driving meaningful sustainable growth as we capitalize on the compelling brands, assets and capabilities of this exciting, emerging company.”

Entercom Audio Network to Launch in July. As mentioned by Entercom president and CEO David Field in the story above, the company is introducing its new ad sales network dubbed, Entercom Audio Network, on July 1.  The company says, “The national network will allow advertisers to leverage Entercom’s scale with targeted offerings across its portfolio of 235 top-rated radio stations reaching over 112 million listeners monthly.” Company chief revenue officer Bob Phillips states, “Entercom now offers brands the national scale they need, including seamless activation and superior ROI. We are the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio and #1 or #2 in virtually all music formats. Our connection to consumers is coveted by many national brands.”  Field adds, “As one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to offer national brands a very compelling and effective unwired network with our premier collection of leading radio brands across the country.”

Townsquare Media’s Q1 2018 Net Revenue Up 5.9%.  That figure represents the net revenue for Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions division – the broadcast and digital operations – and not the live events-oriented Entertainment division.  Combining both divisions, the company’s net revenue was up 6.6% over the same period in 2017.  Townsquare co-CEO Bill Wilson comments, “Once again, our Local Marketing Solutions segment drove the Company’s growth, with net revenue growth of 5.9%, or 5.6% excluding political revenue.  First quarter growth in this segment was driven by continued strength across our local broadcast and digital product offerings, which culminated in our 17th consecutive quarter of positive, organic revenue growth.”  Net revenue in the Local Marketing Solutions in the first quarter was $80.6 million.  The company also reports that it paid off $9.5 million in long-term debt.

Saga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Rises 7.1%.  Michigan-based Saga Communications reports 2018 first quarter net revenue was $28 million – an increase of 7.1% over the same period a year ago.  Operating income from continuing operations increased 17.5% to $2.3 million and station operating expense increased 9.6% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  The company notes that its quarterly results were affected by the sale of its Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina TV stations last September.  On a same-station basis, net revenue increased 0.3% to $26.2 million and operating income from continuing operations increased 26.3% to $2.5 million.  Saga reports having $47.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31 and $49.8 million as of May 1.  The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of March 31.

Scripps Radio Division to Be Sold in Pieces.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, there was just a brief mention of E.W. Scripps’ plans to sell its radio division.  Local Media division president Brian Lawlor responded to a question about the status of the radio stations, saying, “Yes. The radio sale, the process continues. We’ve made a decision in order to maximize the value of the assets to sell the division in several pieces instead of one big bang. I think that’s where we see the greatest value for the company and for shareholders. And so, it’s just a little bit more complicated, I would say, than if it were just a singular transaction.”  That’s not surprising since the company owns two signals in Milwaukee – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI – and stations in much smaller markets including: Omaha, Boise, Tucson, Knoxville, Wichita, and Tulsa.  As we reported yesterday, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that Entercom is talking with Scripps about the Milwaukee stations.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Greg Neft Named Program Director at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Talk radio pro Greg Neft joins iHeartMedia as program director for news/talk KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7.”  Neft previously worked in the market as a news anchor and reporter.  He has served as morning news anchor at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville and as an NFL reporter for SiriusXM.  Most recently, he was corporate director of news and content programming for Cherry Creek Media.  iHM Fresno SVP of programming Steve Weed comments, “Greg joins us at a very opportune time, heading into a crucial election season for our region and our state.  I look forward to his skills and experience elevating our breaking news coverage.”

Former Seahawk Cliff Avril to Co-Host KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talk Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” announces that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is partnering with the station’s Jason Puckett for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, effective July 9. Puckett is a 15-year veteran of the iHeartMedia station and Avril retired from the NFL after being released by the Seahawks after a five-year stint.  Avril says, “I’m excited to join the KJR team!  Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNBC-TV, New York is reporting the former Port Authority police superintendent may have violated policy by providing a “lights-and-sirens” escort from the Newark airport into Manhattan for Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh.  The station says Michael Fedorko announced his retirement suddenly, about a week after it became known WNBC-TV reporters were investigating the allegation.  The report says the escort was to get Limbaugh to a charity dinner at which he was a “last-minute” speaker.  It also says Limbaugh talked about it on his radio show, saying, “So they sent the superintendent of the Port Authority to Newark to meet me for lights and sirens into Manhattan to make sure I got there in time.  And we did.”…..Radio sales pro Tim Robisch is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN.  He most recently served with Great Plains Media in suburban Kansas City.  He’s also held positions with Cox Media GroupEntercom Communications, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, and Katz Radio (at which he was served as regional vice president)…..New affiliate stations sign up for the John Kruse-hosted outdoors radio programs “America Outdoors Radio” and “Northwestern Outdoors Radio.”  Both shows focus on fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.  KDZR, Portland and KBOI, Boise recently added both shows to their program schedules…..Patrick Communications managing partner Larry Patrick is delivering the 2018 Commencement Speech for the College of Communications and Information at the University of Tennessee this Saturday (5/12).  Patrick is a 1973 graduate of UT.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Schneiderman Allegations, John McCain Illness/Book, W.VA Senate Race, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The looming decision by President Trump whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran nuclear deal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; New York attorney general – and Donald Trump critic – Eric Schneiderman resigns amid allegations of abusing four women; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in West Virginia and President Trump’s urging voters to reject controversial GOP candidate Don Blankenship; 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. CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” announces that on-air pro Zann is the iHeartMedia station’s new afternoon drive personality.  She was most recently with Cumulus Media’s KLIF-FM, Dallas as midday personality. She was also heard on Westwood One’s Hot AC and Hits Now 24/7 formats. At the same time, Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt is the new midday personality who will also serve as APD and music director.  He moves to Seattle from the company’s Central Texas Region where he was director of CHR…..Programming pro Matt Johnson is appointed program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7.”  iHM SVP of programming Jules Riley comments, “Matt is a solid addition to the KSLZ and iHeart St. Louis team.  We look forward to watching him grow this heritage CHR brand.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Matt’s drive, creativity, and talent development made him our ideal candidate.”…..Cumulus Media announces that radio and television marketing pro Marty Wall is joining the Detroit cluster as director of marketing for country duo WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and WDRQ-HD2 “NASH Icon” and hot AC WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Marty’s work at ‘Z100’ in New York is legendary.  That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients.  He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster.  I’m looking forward to his working with me, promotion manager Rochelle Burk, and promo director/street team captain Adam Ficorelli.”…..There are two appointments in the sales department at iHeartMedia Chicago.  First, Khatija Mohiuddin is named general sales manager for hip hop WGCI and CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.”  Also, Brian McGhee is the new general sales manager for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103” and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano states, “We put a priority on recognizing our high performers with advancement opportunities and these two staff promotions are true testaments to Khatija’s and Brian’s leadership skills and ability to form strong client relationships.”  Mohiuddin most recently served as local sales manager for WGCI and WGRB-AM.  McGhee most recently served as sales manager for the company’s St. Louis cluster.

Monday, May 7, 2018

| May 7, 2018

Beasley Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Comparing the first quarter of 2018 to the same period in 2017, net revenue for Beasley Broadcast Group was $55.2 million, an increase of 2.6%.  The report notes last May’s sale of its six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster and the December asset exchange of WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million for sports station WBZ-FM and states that this report reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2018 and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “In the first quarter of 2018, we continued to execute well on our integration strategy focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership at recently acquired stations, while implementing our operating and expense management disciplines…The $1.6 million increase in station operating expenses was largely attributable to the Boston market’s sports leader, WBZ-FM, and additional one-time costs related to New England Patriots’ Super Bowl programming.  However, the ongoing success of our expense management initiatives resulted in a year-over-year reduction in operating expenses at our Tampa, Charlotte, Detroit, Fort Myers and Augusta clusters.  As a result, while Beasley’s SOI declined 1.5% year-over-year, after excluding the SOI contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville station divestitures from the comparable 2017 period, first quarter SOI would have been flat.  With our strong operating cash flows we have invested in our broadcast and technology platforms while pursuing select accretive acquisitions and station swaps. At the same time, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements. In this regard, during the first quarter, we increased our quarterly cash dividend by 11.1% and declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately $1.2 million year-over-year, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points. We also used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of approximately $3.0 million and ended March 31, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $222 million.

E.W. Scripps Q1 Conference Call May Shed Light on Sale of Radio Division.  Or it may not.  It depends on whether Scripps is in serious talks to sell its radio division and whether or not those parties want any public disclosures made at this time.  Scripps made the announcement last fall that it would be selling the radio division that it acquired in the Journal Communications deal to allow it to focus on its television segment. Because of that, Scripps is listing the radio stations as “discontinued operations” in its financial reports. Today’s press release notes, “At the end of 2017, radio operations were classified as held for sale. The radio segment results are included in discontinued operations. All periods have been adjusted to reflect this presentation. Discontinued operations include a $20 million non-cash charge to write down the assets of our radio business to fair value.”  There have been rumors that Scripps has a buyer for its largest market stations – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM in Milwaukee – and many industry watchers suspect that buyer is Entercom.  Today’s conference call is 9:00 am ET.

Cumulus’ Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors Files Proposed Finding of Facts; Challenges Stated Value of the Company. The 56-page document filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York by The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media Inc., Et Al. challenges the company’s and the senior lenders’ assessment that Cumulus Media is worth $1.67 billion, arguing that its true value is between $2.1 and $2.4 billion.  As Cumulus announced last week, the court has confirmed Cumulus’ reorganization plan based on the $1.67 billion valuation.  In Friday’s filing, the unsecured creditors try to make the point that the calculation of multiples in assessing the value of Cumulus’ stations is too low, “Cumulus should receive a premium multiple relative to comparable companies in the radio industry.”  It also argues that Cumulus’ tower portfolio’s fair market value is $134 million and should add “an additional $45 to $55 million in incremental value to the company.” Read details here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago all-newser WBBM-AM is officially recognizing its 50thanniversary as a news station (the actual 50th was Sunday).  The Entercom station is celebrating the milestone on its website with a history of the station plus photos, old ads and logos and much more.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that director of news and programming Ron Gleason told staffers in a memo, “Think about 50 years — all that’s transpired, all the chronicling of Chicago, the state, the country and the world.  You and your predecessors have covered some incredibly exceptional events, and devastating tragedies, doing so with credibility and without bias every step of the way.  I’m so lucky to be part of this, and proud to work alongside each of you on a daily basis.”…..Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee combines with sister country station WKTI to bring home 15 awards for excellence from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.  WTMJ picked up “News & Talk Station of the Year,” “News Operation of the Year,” and “Social & Digital Media Operation of the Year.”  Vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “‘WTMJ Radio’ and ‘KTI COUNTRY’ are committed to providing community service, local news, programming and multi-platform local content to serve our communities.  To be recognized by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is truly a meaningful honor.”…..Mike Calta show cast member Sandra Carmin Herrst was arrested over the weekend on domestic violence charges after she allegedly hit her boyfriend.  Herrst, who goes by Carmin on the WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning show, was arrested and released on her own recognizance…..The Westwood One nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Sterling on Sunday” announces it has inked its 50thaffiliate station with the signing of WBAP, Dallas.  The show is hosted by longtime radio executive Walter Sabo, a.k.a. Walter Sterling (pictured at left), who says, “Successful talk stations are aggressively widening their topic offerings and I’m delighted to be heard on 50 of them…and counting.  ‘Sterling on Sunday’ resonates with audiences because it’s a reflection of their real lives. We talk about life with family, life at work, life at the mall. It’s all very relatable. The power of the mirror always wins.”…..The third season of ESPN’s “30 for 30 Podcasts” launches on May 22 with five episodes covering the story of the rise and fall of Bikram yoga and how the community is still grappling with its identity in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against its founder Bikram Choudhury.  The podcast is reported and produced by ESPN’s Julia Lowrie Henderson.….Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets agree to a multi-year deal for the station to air Nets games and related programming through the 2020-21 season.  As part of the deal, in the case of conflicts, Nets games will air on sister all-news WCBS-AM.

Fifth Annual GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 5th annual GAB Radio Talent Institute returns to the campus of the University of Georgia today and Beasley Media Group VP of corporate communications Heidi Raphael was today’s opening speaker for the 10-day institute.  Forty broadcasters from Beasley, Cox Media, Urban One, Entercom, Cumulus, iHeartMedia, Salem Media Group and others – as well as the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons – are coming together to teach the students who come from UGA and seven other schools in the region.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton comments, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System, and now, with our Beasley Media Group relationship, this partnership is even stronger. Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry. I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”  Pictured above is WSB-FM, Atlanta “B 98.5” afternoon personality Madison James (at left) teaching students.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case/‘SNL’ Sketch, Iran Nuclear Deal, Facebook Helps ISIS Supporters, McCain HBO Documentary/Book, North-South Korea Talks, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; the Trump Administration’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal; allegations that Facebook’s “suggested friends” feature has been connecting those with ISIS sympathies; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the peace talks between North and South Korea; Major League Baseball action and NBA playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Is Nearing an Early Sellout. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – is on course to again be an early sellout.  Friday, May 11 at 5:00 pm ET has been set as the absolute cut-off date past which new registrations will no longer be taken – although according to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We might have to stop taking registrations before that because the number of bodies we can accommodate at this basically intimate gathering is indeed finite.” The power-packed program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as registration, hotel and sponsorship information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – which can come at any moment. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible.

Rock Radio Pioneer and Station Owner Dex Allen Dies at 74.  As reported by LARadio.com, radio pro Dex Allen has died at age 74.  Allen started his career as a DJ and rose through the ranks to work in management and sales before entering the radio ownership business.  LARadio.com writes: “Dex was best known for spearheading the ‘underground’ movement at KPRI, San Diego.  In the late 1960s, he drove to Southern California every weekend to work as a jock at KDAY, Los Angeles (1969-70).  Eventually he became general manager of several stations in San Diego.  Dex made one of those rare journeys from DJ to station owner.”  After years in management, Allen formed Commonwealth Broadcasting and acquired a number of stations.  He was most recently president/CEO of Pacific Start Communications.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York alternative WBMP “ALT 92.3” has a new programming leader as Entercom announces Mike Kaplan is named SVP of programming and PD for the station.  At the same time, the company brings Christine Malovetz aboard to serve as midday personality on the station. Kaplan was most recently PD for iHeartMedia’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7.” Malovetz was most recently host of middays and assistant program director for Entrercom’s KNOU-FM, St. Louis.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We are thrilled to welcome Mike and Christine to ‘ALT 92.3’ and are looking forward to having their talent and drive propel the brand to new heights in New York.”…..In Miami, Rick Party announces he’s left Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT “HOT 105” after he and the company could not agree to terms on a contract extension…..iHeartMedia appoints Scotty Davis afternoon drive host for country WFUS, Tampa “US103.5.”  Davis slides over from the cluster’s CHR WFLZ where he also hosted afternoons.  He says, “I’ve been eying a move over to the country format for quite some time.  This is a natural next step for my career and I’m thankful to everyone at iHeartMedia for believing in me!”…..Pictured below are hosts Bobby Bones (left) and Candace Cameron Bure (right) backstage at Saturday’s 2018 iHeartCountry Festival By AT&T at The Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

| March 16, 2018

Salem Media Group Q4 Broadcast Net Revenue Down 2.9%.  While Salem Media Group’s total revenue decreased from $70.7 million to $67.2 million – a decrease of 4.9% — the broadcast division’s revenue dipped from $52.2 million to $50.7 million – a decline of 2.9%.  For the entire year of 2017, Salem’s broadcast division net revenue was also down 2.9%, from $202 million to $196.2 million.  Salem Media Group breaks its operations into broadcast, digital and publishing.  In the fourth quarter of 2017, digital was down 12.8% and publishing was down 5.8%.  For the whole of 2017, digital decreased 7.9% and publishing dipped 4.3%.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says one of several factors impacting the fourth quarter decline in the broadcast segment was the lack of political advertising compared to the same period in 2016. Broadcast reported $500,000 less in that category from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017.

Neuhoff Media Debuts Sports Talker in Lafayette, Indiana.  The new FM translator is being branded “101.7 The Hammer” and is fed by Neuhoff Media’s WASK-AM, Lafayette.  The station airs programming from ESPN Radio but the Journal Courier reports that a local show called “The Hammer Down Show” will debut on Monday featuring former WLFI-TV Lafayette  sports anchor Clayton Duffy and Jared Jesulaitis.  Neuhoff VP of programming Mike Shamus is quoted saying the program will include local content plus talk about Indianapolis and Chicago sports teams.  “We are excited to enter the world of local sports.  We feel it is something our region has needed for a long time and we are happy to bring it to Greater Lafayette.”

iHeartMedia Moves to Sooth Inevitable Concerns During Chapter 11.  As with any company that’s entering Chapter 11 intending to exit a leaner, more agile company, iHeartMedia is working to ensure staff, vendors, agency partners, etc., that it is able to conduct business as usual within the framework of bankruptcy regulations.  In a FAQ sheet the company is distributing, it answers many of the questions usually asked during the bankruptcy process.  For venders who do business with iHeartMedia, it notes that “we intend to continue working closely with our vendors.  We can and will pay for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing (called the “postpetition” period) in the normal course.  In Chapter 11, amounts owed for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing are deemed “administrative priority claims.”  The company must pay these claims in full before it can pay any vendor/service provider expenses incurred before the Chapter 11 filing (called “prepetition” claims).”

TALKERS News Notes.  Longtime television news pro Shepard Smith is staying with FOX News.  He and the company are agreeing to a new multi-year deal.  FOX News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch comments, “Shepard Smith is an exemplary journalist whose skill in anchoring breaking news is unrivaled.  His powerful storytelling on both television and digital platforms has elevated our entire news gathering process.”  Smith says, “I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of journalists who helped build the FOX News division from scratch 22 years ago and am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to lead our breaking news coverage for years to come.”…..WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg gets some ink from Newsday as he and co-host Bernard McGuirk prepare to assume the morning drive program at the station after the final “Imus in the Morning” show on March 30.  He tells the paper it is “surreal” to be replacing Imus, whom he listened to as a youngster on the way to school.  Read the piece here…..At Radio Vermont’s full service WDEV in Waterbury-Warren, Vermont, Dana Jewell returns to the station after 10 years working in the sales field.  New owner Steve Cormier calls Jewell “a staple of WDEV for a number of years — greeting listeners each day with his friendly style.  We have many listeners who remember Dana and will be happy to hear him on WDEV again.”…..Former iHeartMedia Fort Collins sales pro Jen Parker is named executive director of public radio outlet, taking over for James Lopez…..Jewish News in Arizona reports that Seth Leibsohn — one half of the “Seth and Chris Show” that airs in afternoon drive on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” – is running for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District as a Republican.  Leibsohn co-hosts the show with Chris Buskirk.  Liebsohn is also an attorney and an author…..ESPN personality is launching a new podcast via ESPN Audio called “Marty Smith’s America…The Podcast.”  ESPN says Smith is known for his unique storytelling style and revealing, in-depth interviews with sports figures and newsmakers on SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.”  It debuts Monday (3/19) with country music superstar Jason Aldean as the first guest…..Pictured below is ABC Radio’s Matt Friedlander (right) posing for a photo with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons (left) after chatting about the band’s upcoming summer tour with John Fogerty.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 12-16.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration changes.  Coming in at #3 was the Inspector General’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails case and Andrew McCabe’s status, followed by the Stormy Daniels matter at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS magazine Presents the 2018 Edition of ‘The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.’ This is the sixth annual edition of “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” from the editors of TALKERS magazine. The list, also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk, ranks sports talk radio hosts – both national and local – from 1 to 100 based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, talent and others. To qualify for inclusion on the list, hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show at a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of its publication. See the 2018 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

Superstar Crooner Steve Tyrell Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the world’s leading purveyors of the Great American Songbook – and recent holder of the number one position on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart – Steve Tyrell is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Tyrell, who also hosts a daily three-hour program on KKJZ-FM (K-Jazz), Los Angeles discusses his colorful history that goes back to the early 1970s Brill Building era when he was a songwriter, producer and label A&R director, through his present-day career as a major star in the popular standards genre. This conversation, somewhat of a departure from the usual political fare, is a music-lover’s delight and not to be missed by aficionados of popular culture. Harrison says, “I loved speaking with this fascinating artist. It gave me a chance to revisit some of my old music radio chops and explore something that I have learned having been in this business for so many years – everything old is new again and nothing is inherently hip.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tallahassee radio pro Jeff Horn joins Adams Radio of Tallahassee as operations manager and program director for country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf,” taking over for Gregory “Big Moose” Juszczyk.  Adams Radio Tallahassee vice president and general manager Hank Kestenbaum says, “We are thrilled to have Jeff on our team.  Jeff has spent 30 years in Tallahassee radio and his prior experience in country radio and in similar positions made him the perfect candidate for us, not to mention we have a prior history together. I guess you could say we put the band back together!”…..Ashlee Sleek is appointed morning drive co-host at Bicoastal Media’s CHR KDUK, Eugene, Oregon.  She’ll also serve as promotions-social media director.  She takes over for Amanda McGraw, who recently exited to join KBEB, Sacramento…..In the Harrisburg market, Cumulus Media flips frequencies of two of its stations.  CHR WWKL-FM (formerly known as “HOT 93.5 FM”) moves to the more powerful 106.7 FM frequency and becomes “HOT 106.7.”  Accordingly, the company’s country WZCY moves to the 93.5 FM frequency and is now “93.5 NASH FM, Your Neighborhood Country.”  It will adopt a more gold-based country format with core artists including Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and George Strait.  Afternoon personality and program director Charles “Chachi” Angelo is now co-hosting the morning show with Jenna Clay.  Midday personality Alex Harley moves to afternoons, followed by “NASH Nights Live” in evenings and “The Blair Garner Show” in overnights.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The