Tag: "net revenue"

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 Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; 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.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

| November 7, 2017

Townsquare Media Reports Q3 Net Revenue Down 1%.  That 1% figure is also what Townsquare Media is down for the first nine months of 2017.  For the third quarter, the culprit wasn’t the Local Marketing Solutions segment (which includes radio).  That was up 1.7% (or 3% ex political).  The Entertainment segment (live events) was down 4.1%.  For the first nine months of the year, that segment is down 7%.  The company’s total third quarter net revenue was $164.1 million.  Co-CEO Bill Wilson states, “The highlight of Townsquare’s third quarter was, without a doubt, the strength of our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 1.7%, and 3% excluding political revenue.  However, challenges in our smaller business segment, Entertainment, offset these strong results, resulting in an overall decline to net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA of 1.0%, 9.9% and 11.1%, respectively.  Due to these challenges, we have begun a strategic review of our Entertainment business.”

Entercom Reveals New Management Structure.  Ahead of the closing of the EntercomCBS RADIO merger, a corporate memo from Entercom chief operating officer Weezie Kramer reveals the new management structure for the company.  First, in an effort to be consistent with the CBS management titles, Entercom market managers will hold the senior vice president titles and regional managers will carry the president title.  At the same time, Kramer announces that lineup of national regional presidents.  They are: Doug Abernethy for Miami, Orlando, Gainesville, Atlanta, Denver, Greensboro, Greenville, Charlotte, Houston, Austin, Richmond, and Norfolk; Susan Larkin for San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, and San Diego; Dave Alpert for Kansas City (where he remains market manager), St. Louis, Milwaukee, Madison, and Wichita; Mark Hannon for Washington, Buffalo, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (he’ll also be market manager for Boston); Brian Purdy for Las Vegas, New Orleans, Memphis and Chattanooga (he’ll remain Dallas market manager, as well); and president of sales operations and regional president Michael Doyle will oversee Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Rochester, and Seattle.  Newly appointed market managers include Jimmy deCastro for Chicago, Keriann Worley for Miami, Bennett Zier for Virginia, Jeff Federman for Los Angeles, John Fullam for Denver, Bob Bollinger for San Diego, Jack Hutchison for Seattle, Lance Richard for Sacramento, Dan Kearney for Las Vegas, and Phil Zachary for Hartford, Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts.

George Noory to Be Inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star George Noory is being inducted as part of the 2018 class of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.  The class includes “legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, ground-breaking filmmakers, and shapers of public opinion.”  The St. Louis Media History Foundation says that the new inductees were selected “for their significant contributions to print and broadcast journalism, digital media, advertising, and public relations.  Noory, of course is syndicated via Premiere Networks on the “Coast to Coast AM” program.  In St. Louis, he also was the news director at KSDK-TV and hosted the late-night show at news/talk KTRS.  The induction ceremony takes place at a gala on Saturday, March 17, at St. Louis City Center hotel.

WMAL Diner Tour — Former Virginia Governor George Allen (center) is pictured above with joins WMAL’s “Mornings on The Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter (left) and Vince Coglianese (right) during Friday’s WMAL Diner Tour in advance of today’s Virginia Gubernatorial Election.  In addition to several political candidates, Mary and Vince were joined at the Metro 29 Diner in Arlington Virginia by veteran commentator Cal Thomas and “Voice of The Redskins” Larry Michael.

ESPN Syracuse Adds Local Sports Talk Show with Actor Daniel Baldwin.  Syracuse sports talker WTLA “ESPN Syracuse” announces the creation of a new, daily one-hour sports talk show featuring actor Daniel Baldwin as host with co-host Josh GrosventGalaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine says, “The Daniel Baldwin Show does not fit into the typical sports show mold.  Although Daniel knows every bit of his Xs and Os, he will weave stories in around the scores.  The show has a spontaneous and fun feel.  Think of it as intermission to your day of sports talk.”  The show is simulcast on WTLA-AM and W249BC at 97.7 FM from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Grosvent is also the host of “The Show” that airs mornings on sister rock station WKRL/WKLL “K-Rock.”

Craig Carton Speaks to USA Today.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton has broken his two-month media silence since being arrested and charged with wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy in early September.  He spoke exclusively with USA Today and, for obvious reasons, does not talk specifically about the case, but reiterates his innocence.  In the piece, close friend and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stands up for Carton, saying he believes he is innocent.  Read the story here.

Texas Church Masssacre/Gun Control, Trump-Russia Investigation, Brazile Clinton Criticism, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Saudi Corruption Arrests, Bird-Flipping Cyclist Fired, Virginia and New Jersey Governor Races, Weinstein Assault Cases, Comcast Internet Outages, NFL Attendance, Protests and Sunday Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6).  The slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and the related issue of gun control; the Robert Mueller investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Donna Brazile’s criticism of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; President Trump’s trip to Asia and the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; the spate of arrests of princes in a crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia; woman who flips off the Trump motorcade is fired from her job; the battle between Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; the New Yorker story alleging Harvey Weinstein used spies to investigate actresses and reporters aware of his sexual predation; Monday’s widespread loss of internet among Comcast customers; shrinking attendance at NFL stadiums, anthem protests and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WPHT’s Rich Zeoli Broadcasts Philly Police Event — Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is pictured above with all of the Philadelphia police officers who’ve been honored by the “Barbera Backs the Badge” program over the past year.  Barbera on the Boulevard is a family-run Philadelphia auto dealership that has donated more than $15,000 to the FOP Survivors Fund.  WPHT has been involved with the honoring of the deserving officers.

Emily Barr Named 2018 Golden Mic Award Recipient.  Next spring, television executive Emily Barr will receive the 2018 Golden Mike Award from The Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The Graham Media Group president and CEO will be honored at the BFoA’s annual black-tie gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 5.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason comments, “Emily is a consummate broadcaster, whose leadership and service to the industry and the communities that the Graham stations serve are commendable.  We are proud to honor her and recognize her accomplishments.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Shawn Stevens is joining Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations to take on the program director position at country KYCE “102.7 The Coyote.”  Stevens has been with Cumulus Media’s country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93” for the past 20 years, most recently as program director and air personality.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We searched for a very long time to find the perfect PD fit for KCYE.  Shawn’s total understanding of the format, his vision for KCYE-FM and his friendly attitude is tailor-made for the Beasley Las Vegas culture.  Shawn brings a wealth of knowledge and with his leadership abilities, ‘102.7 The Coyote’ will continue to grow to new heights.”…..On Friday (11/10), iHeartMedia presents its exclusive “iHeartRadio reputation Album Release Party with Taylor Swift.”  Beginning at 12:00 midnight ET on November 10, iHeartRadio’s CHR and hot AC stations across the country will play a new track off of reputation at the top of every hour leading up to the hour-long, on-air special at 8:00 pm local time.  iHM says, “Fans will have a chance to hear directly from Taylor Swift as she introduces songs and exclusively discusses never-before-heard details about the making of the year’s most anticipated album.”…..Cumulus Media classic rock station KQRS, Minneapolis is presenting a special broadcast this Saturday (11/11) in honor of Veterans Day.  KQ’s “Military Takeover” begins Saturday morning with a series of guests, including World War II veterans, Purple Heart recipients, along with members of the Freedom Alliance and The Real Warriors.  Additionally, KQRS will talk with representatives from the American Legion discussing their “Shop, Ship & Share” initiative where consumers can donate needed items to the troops and have them shipped overseas during the holidays.  Each “honorary guest DJ” will receive a digital download of their radio show as a keepsake and to share with friends, family and military colleagues…..Cumulus Media, Westwood One and the 2017 CMA Awards are official radio partners for “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” and they will present radio stations across the country with five full hours of programming and exclusive content.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One are offering the “Countdown to the 2017 CMA Awards” program, anchored by Elaina Smith; the live radio simulcast of ABC-TV’s broadcast of the awards; and “The 2017 CMA Awards Wrap Up Show,” co-hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith.  All Cumulus country “NASH Nights Live” affiliates and NASH Icon stations will air the special coverage of the 2017 CMA Awards.

Monday, October 30, 2017

| October 30, 2017

Beasley’s Q3 Pro Forma Net Revenue Flat.  Pro forma net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was flat at $58.7 million, a comparison to the same period in 2016.  Actual third quarter numbers for Beasley Media Group show net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at $58.9 million versus $27.7 million during the same period in 2016.  As the company points out, “On November 1, 2016, Beasley acquired 18 radio stations (net of divestitures) (‘the Greater Media stations’). The actual results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the acquired Greater Media stations. On January 6, 2017 the Company completed the sale of WFNZ-AM and three Greater Media stations in Charlotte.  On May 1, 2017 the Company completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville. The pro-forma results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the aforementioned Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, as if the transaction had been completed on January 1, 2016.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The operating and financial benefits of the Greater Media transaction are becoming more visible as we continue making progress on our synergy realization and integration initiatives, which are focused on driving SOI margin expansion. Pro forma net revenues were flat compared to the prior year period, despite the non-recurrence of $0.6 million in political revenue, while we reduced pro forma station operating expenses by 5.2% or $2.3 million…Throughout the third quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations.  We remain focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership.  Revenue at Beasley’s combined clusters rose 0.1% in the third quarter, outperforming the overall markets, which declined 0.8% according to Miller Kaplan. Of particular note, our Detroit cluster generated double-digit revenue increases and our Philadelphia cluster rebounded from a transition-related revenue decline earlier this year to an increase of 1% in the third quarter.  These increases were offset by declines in our Tampa, Charlotte and Las Vegas clusters.”

John DePetro Leaves WADK, Remains on WNRI in Rhode Island.  Longtime Providence, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro announces some changes to where his show can be heard in the Ocean State.  Since the beginning of the year – after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM – DePetro has been heard on WADK, Newport.  Shortly thereafter, DePetro began airing his show on WNRI, Woonsocket.  Now, DePetro announces that he’s leaving WADK and expanding his program on WNRI.  He says his show will now air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  “The time change will allow me to pursue other projects I am working on. WNRI is 95.1 FM and AM 1380.  My sponsors are all happy and the listeners are excited.”

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to Receive IBJ Award.  The annual Mike Carroll Award is bestowed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in honor of a community member who has demonstrated the qualities of determination, humility and devotion to the central Indiana community as exhibited by former Indy deputy mayor and civic leader Mike Carroll.   This year Emmis Communications founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will receive the award at the IBJ’s upcoming “Engage Indiana” event on Friday, December 8.  IBJ publisher and president Greg Morris says, “Jeff Smulyan’s contributions to central Indiana extend far beyond what he has achieved at Emmis Communications.  He cares deeply about the community and as a result is always happy to help out organizations large and small.”

Hollins Named Research Director at Jacobs Media. Media research pro Jason Hollins is joining Jacobs Media as research director.  The company says that Hollins will work closely with Fred and Paul Jacobs to lead its expanding research initiatives in radio, digital media and beyond.  Hollins has spent his entire career with Edison Research, including 12 years as vice president.  Fred Jacobs states, “We are proud and excited to bring someone of Jason’s talent and experience to the Jacobs Media team.  He’s spent nearly two decades working in radio and media research, both broadcast and digital, and has been integral in helping a vast array of companies better understand their current consumers, as well as helping them stay ahead of the curve on emerging media.”

Mueller Investigation Charges/Clinton-DNC Funding of Russia Dossier; GOP Tax Reform Bill; North Korea Nuclear Threats; Spain-Catalan Independence Battle; Dodgers-Astros World Series; NCAA Football; and NFL Anthem Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Special counsel investigator Robert Mueller announces filing of first charges in investigation into Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election and last week’s news that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Republican tax reform bill; North Korea’s threats of nuclear attacks on the U.S.; Catalan’s declaration of independence from Spain; the Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series; Saturday’s college football action; and Sunday’s NFL anthem protests and the game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

An Oral History of Sex on Talk Radio.  This week’s edition of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is an information-packed sizzler.  Joining the TALKERS founder is notable spoken-word radio newcomer (and “romantic boutique” owner) Beth Liebling who hosts a truly groundbreaking, weekend sex talk show, “Love and Laughter with Beth” on, of all things, a sports station – ESPN 97.5 FM, Houston (KFNC owned by Gow Communications).  Actually, the podcast is built around a conversation between the two that took place on Liebling’s show where Harrison appeared as her guest this past weekend.  Harrison and Liebling talk with remarkable candor about the changing role of sex talk down through the decades on licensed broadcast media subject to FCC regulations.  They talk about changing community standards, taboo words, and the evolving societal attitude about sex as reflected on what has commonly been referred to as the “public airwaves.”  The conversation includes discussion of such names as Lenny BruceGeorge CarlinHoward SternLeslie GoldBill BalanceDr. Laura SchlessingerDr. Joy BrowneDr. Ruth WestheimerDr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and more.  Reflecting upon the podcast, Harrison says, “What Beth Liebling is doing on her little weekend show is indeed groundbreaking and, if nothing else, the radio industry should know about her.  We had a heck of a conversation!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Investigative Reporter and Former Talk Show Host Mark Shaw Weighs in on Released JFK Files.  Investigative reporter, author, and former radio talker Mark Shaw, author of the best-selling book about the untimely death of ‘50s/’60s media icon Dorothy KilgallenThe Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016), tells TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (10/30) that he is disappointed at the limited information being made available by this first round of released government files containing information about the JFK assassination as it pertains to the widespread suspected connection to Kilgallen’s death.  In an audio conversation with Harrison, he discusses his findings, suspicions, and expectations.  According to Harrison, “Mark Shaw has done a fantastic job of digging into the story of one of the most important-but-largely-forgotten multi-media figures of 20th century talk radio and newspaper journalism – Dorothy Kilgallen. If there is the possibility of a cover up pertaining to the murder of JFK, you can be sure she had gotten to the bottom of it.”  To listen to the conversation between Harrison and Shaw, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Retired Topeka, Kansas radio personality Marlena Adkinson was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Adkinson spent all 41 years of her career at Alpha Media’s country KTPK-FM. She has served in traffic, news, production, promotions, and programming.  At the time of her retirement in March, she was the production director and midday personality…..CBS RADIO is presenting an electric roster of New Year’s Eve weekend shows at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  Beginning Friday, December 29 and lasting into the early morning hours of 2018, the company will present four shows headlined by Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, and Zac Brown Band, with a special performance by Sir Rosevelt…..Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte stations – country WSOC, CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” hip hop WPEG “Power 98,” urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9,” classic hits WXRC/W234BY “94.7 SMOKE,” adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” – are partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to host a massive food backpack collection on Saturday (11/4).  The event benefits local children in need of weekend meals.  Employees from the six Beasley Media Charlotte stations and Hendricks Automotive Group will come together to fill more than 1,000 backpacks with nutritious, easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items for children who do not have regular access to food outside of school…..SiriusXM is preparing to launch eight commercial-free holiday music channels on Wednesday (11/1).  The channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music and Latin seasonal music.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

| August 3, 2017

Saga Communications Reports Q2 Financials; Net Revenue Down 1.9%.  That figure is based on revenue of $30.3 million for the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  For the six months ended on June 30, Saga Communications reports net revenue of $56.4 million – a decrease of 3.3% compared to the first six months of 2016.  Saga recently signed off on its intent to sell its television stations in Joplin, Missouri and Victoria, Texas to Morgan Murphy Media for approximately $66.6 million and is acquiring eight radio stations in the Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina markets from Apex Media for $23 million.  The television stations are reported as discontinued operations and are not included in the above figures.  As for net income, Saga is reporting a figure of $4.5 million, down 5.9% from $4.8 million in Q2 of 2016.

E.W. Scripps Radio Division Revenue Down 5.6%.  Television is the majority of E.W. Scripps business, with radio and digital taking a back seat.  For the company as a whole, revenue was $232 million – up 2% from that same period a year ago.  Breaking the company down into segments, radio revenue was $17.2 million, down 5.6% from $18.2 million in the second quarter of 2016.  The company says segment profit in the radio division was $2.9 million in the second quarter, down from $3.9 million a year ago.  Looking at the digital segment for a moment, while revenue was up 27.2% to $19.3 million during the second quarter, expenses were up to $23.5 million for a segment loss of $4.2 million – down a bit from the loss of $4.7 million in Q2 of 2016.  Scripps reports that it is expecting third quarter radio revenue to be down in the mid-single digits.

ESPN Promotes Marcia Keegan to VP, National Radio Programming and Production.  This is a promotion from her previous title as vice president, production.  ESPN says that in this new role, Marcia Keegan will oversee all talk programming content on the ESPN Radio national network, including such shows as “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “The Ryen Russillo Show,” “The Right Time with Bomani Jones,” and “Jalen & Jacoby.”  She will continue to be responsible for ESPN’s packaged show productions – the unit that handles approximately 1,000 hours of programming produced by outside vendors.  ESPN SVP Traug Keller comments, “I’m so happy to welcome Marcia to the ESPN Audio team.  Her new perspective, strategic thinking and creativity strengthen an already formidable ESPN Audio talk programming lineup.”

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Smitty O’Loughlin is retiring from the radio biz after a 36-year career.  O’Loughlin has been serving as the market manager for Community Broadcasters’ Elmira, New York station group for the past four years.  He says, “It is bittersweet as I turn the page to a new chapter in my life.  Broadcasting is and will always be part of my life regardless of what retirement brings.  I cherish the moments and memories with so many professionals, helping so many people throughout the years, and the personal fulfillment with all the community outreach.”  O’Loughlin began his career in the Fort Smith, Arkansas market in 1981…..There’s a change in the on-air team for Tennessee Titans football broadcasts this season as former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck is taking the season off and is being replaced by former NFL coach Dave McGinnis as color analyst.   Wycheck continues his role on “The Wake-Up Zone” heard on Cumulus Media’s Titans flagship WGFX, Nashville “104.5 The Zone.”  The team released the following statement, “After multiple discussions with Frank, it was agreed that he will take this season off from the radio broadcasts and return next season. With the season quickly approaching, we have reached an agreement with Dave McGinnis to fill-in for Frank this season. Coach Mac has a deep knowledge and passion for the game, along with eight years as a coach with the Titans.  He is very excited about taking on this role and we think he will fill in admirably.”  Wycheck has been vocal about how concussions from his playing days have affected his health and its believed that this move is designed to, at least temporarily, lighten his workload.

Russian Sanctions/U.S.-Russia Relations, Fate of ObamaCare, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Iran-Nukes Deal, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s Book, West Wing Power Struggle, Trump Immigration Plan, Affirmative Action College Admissions, Dow Hits 22k, MLB Action and NFL Training Camps Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). President Donald Trump sign’s Russian sanctions bill and the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia; the GOP’s continuing efforts to build consensus for repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it; North Korea’s nuclear threats and U.S. diplomatic/military options; both sides in the Iran nuclear deal accuse the other of violating the pact; Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s new book, A Principled Conservative, rankles fellow Republicans for its anti-Trump content; chatter about the ongoing West Wing power struggle and whether adviser Stephen K. Bannon will be next to exit; the Trump Administration’s plan to curtail immigration numbers; concerns by minority advocates the DOJ will investigate race-based admission policies at U.S. colleges; the Dow closes at a record 22,000-plus for the first time; Major League Baseball action; and news from the NFL’s training camps were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Completely Posted Today (8/3) with the Presentation of the “College Broadcaster of the Year Award” to WRHU, Hofstra University student manager Maria Santana by Doug Stephan (with introduction by Newsmax TV host/executive producer Bill Tucker).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions have been posted to Talkers.com.  They include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          Presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

–          Special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

–          TODAY (8/3) completes the agenda with the posting of the presentation of the 2017 “College Broadcaster of the Year” award to WRHU, Hofstra University student manager Maria Santana by Doug Stephan (with introduction by Newsmax TV host/executive producer Bill Tucker).

Every session will remain online for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  There’s a plum gig open in Milwaukee as Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” is seeking an air personality for its “Morning Mix” AM drive show alongside market pro Elizabeth Kay.  Interested radio pros should apply via Entercom’s website here…..On-air and programming pro Johnny Maze exits Adams Radio Group’s rock WZBH, Salisbury/Ocean City “93.5 The Beach” and sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Maze, who was the afternoon drive personality at WZBH, also served as program director for both stations.  He says in a Facebook post, “I am ‘officially’ ON THE BEACH! As of today, I am no longer with ‘93.5 The Beach’ in Salisbury/Ocean City.  I had a good time, accomplished some great things and I made some awesome friends.  Looking forward to finding my next opportunity and challenge.”…..The “Dudley & Bob with Matt” show – heard in mornings on Emmis classic rock KLBJ-FM, Austin is celebrating 25 years on the air at a special show on August 12 at Austin’s Paramount Theatre.  The program will honor show founders Dale Dudley and Bob Fonseca.  The event will feature a dedication from Austin’s mayor as well as performances by comedians and local music acts.  The show was nominated for a Marconi Award in 2007 for Medium Market Personality of the Year.   They were inducted in to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2009…..Superadio promotes two to new positions.  Rich O’Brien rises to the newly created position of EVP of programming and affiliate relations and Eric Faison is elevated to SVP of programming and affiliate relations.  Superadio COO Jack Bryant states, “Both Rich and Eric are seasoned veterans of the industry and both epitomize the high standards for which the company is known.  All programming, talent, and affiliate matters are in the best of hands with the team of Rich and Eric.”

Ice Cream for a Good Cause. Pictured here in the WPLJ, New York studios are (from l-r): Jason Street from Applegate Farm, WPLJ morning co-host Jayde DonovanMelinda Street from Applegate Farm, and Philip Salerno from Children’s Specialized Hospital.  They are holding the two winning ice cream flavors – Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk and S’mores Fluff-A-Nutter – that WPLJ jocks and listeners created to be featured at Applegate Farm in Montclair, New Jersey through October.  Ninety-five cents from every cone sold will be donated to Children’s Specialized Hospital.

Monday, July 31, 2017

| July 31, 2017

Beasley Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 3.3%; Pro Forma SOI Rises 17.5%.  The second quarter 2017 financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group isn’t straightforward from a comparison standpoint due to the recent acquisition of the Greater Media stations as well as the divestiture of its Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina operations.  The company states, “The $33.2 million, or 119.7%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30 reflects the operation of stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey acquired from Greater Media, partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville clusters.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “Following our second full quarter of results including the Greater Media markets, we are beginning to realize the benefits from this transaction in terms of scale and opportunity, as reflected by the 119.7% increase in consolidated net revenue and 100% rise in SOI compared to the prior year.  In the second quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations and extracting valuable synergies from our enhanced scale to drive SOI margin expansion.  The 9.1% reduction in pro-forma second quarter operating expenses, which included $1 million of severance related to the Greater Media markets, was partially offset by the 3.3% decline in pro forma revenue, which was attributable to political spending levels and declines in national revenues, as well as certain specific integration-related issues.  As a result, Beasley generated a 17.5% year-over-year increase in second quarter pro forma SOI with SOI margins reaching 26.6% up from 21.9% in the year-ago period.  With the financing of the Greater Media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of June 30 was approximately $225 million, compared to $240 million at March 31.  We made voluntary debt repayments of $4 million in the second quarter and applied 100% of the $11 million in net proceeds from our Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster divestiture toward debt reduction, resulting in a total $15 million reduction in debt.”

WBZT, West Palm Beach Flips to Sports as ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.’ Dropping news/talk for sports, iHeartMedia West Palm Beach introduces the new WBZT as “Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.”  The station will feature a local morning drive show – “Defo in the Morning” – hosted by Jeff Deforest, Mike “Lubie” Lubitz and The Greek.  The station will air play-by-play including NFL football, the Miami Marlins, Florida Gators basketball and the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Program director Brian Mudd comments, “We are excited that ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone’ will be the Palm Beaches’ new home for all things sports.  Our all-star lineup featuring South Florida’s own ‘Defo in the Morning,’ The Greek and Jim Rome will bring the biggest games, the best sports conversation and sports updates you need to know.”

John Oliver Again Targets Alex Jones on Last Night’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ (7/30).  Satirist John Oliver again targeted controversial InfoWars host Alex Jones on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” citing TALKERS magazine’s most-listened-to hosts audience estimates of 5.9 million per week.  To view the scathing commentary please click here.

KOA, Denver’s Steffan Tubbs Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge. The iHeartMedia news/talk station has issued no comment at this time after the local reports of KOA morning personality Steffan Tubbs’ arrest on the charge of domestic violence, disturbance via phone.  FOX 31 Denver reports the 48-year-old Tubbs was arrested on Sunday morning outside the apartment of an unidentified woman who called police.  The story notes that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state, meaning that if police are called and there’s probable cause, an arrest of the accused is made and that person must appear before a judge prior to posting bond.

TALKERS News Notes. The new executive producer of the “Jason and John” show – featuring John Martin and Jason Smith – on Entercom’s WMFS-FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN/680AM” is Bennett Doyle.  He’s been producing programs on the station – filling in on the Geoff Calkins show, the Eric Hasseltine show, and the Gary Parrish show – in addition to working with “Jason and John.”  At the same time, the station announces that Ashley Cahill is named promotion and events manager…..News anchor Frank Settipani retires from CBS Radio News after a 36-year stint with the news organization.  Before joining CBS Radio News in 1981, Settipani had worked at WNEW-AM and WINS-AM in New York, UPI, and Dow Jones…..RTDNA joins with the Society of Professional Journalists and a score of other journalism groups, urging the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.  The groups say an informed public is crucial to democracy and they want to work together to ensure the public has an informed opinion of the press and its role. Because the Commerce Committee oversees the Federal Communications Commission, it plays an important role in broadcast media licensing, communications networks and more.  The organizations say an open discussion about journalism will hopefully help to rebuild trust in the profession. See the letter here…..CBS RADIO’s Spanish music outlet KLOL, Houston “Mega 101 FM” will be the new home of the Houston Texans Spanish radio broadcasts on game days…..Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (pictured at left) takes a selfie in front of the stage at Citi Field in New York where the Doobie Brothers are performing on stage.  The event also featured Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Earth, Wind & Fire. Gallagher says the show was “my soundtrack from high school.”…..CBS Sports Radio host Jim Rome crowned the winner of the 2017 Smack Off, naming Leff in Laguna the eventual winner in what was described as a very crowded field.  Leff takes home $5,000 and eternal bragging rights.  Rome comments, “This was the best Smack Off ever and the toughest one to decide a winner, but Leff in Laguna won it with a great call that somehow included an incredible in-studio reunion of the guys from the 1996 SI photo shoot.  Truly an amazing moment in show history and one that I will remember forever.”

Profile: Walter SaboTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of radio’s Walter Sabo – currently focusing his efforts on his weekly Sunday night talk show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  Sabo’s weekly show diverges a bit from what some would term formulaic conservative political talk, and Sabo thinks there’s room for that on news/talk radio.  “I strongly believe there is a great opportunity for talk stations today to increase what they offer [however] I am not saying to get rid of political talk shows.  It’s good if a station has a gifted talk show host – but make sure [he or she is] entertaining.  The most response I get from my show is when I talk about trouble with the in-laws – that’s when the phones and emails go crazy.  It is what you talk about with your friends, so why wouldn’t you put it on the air? This is what someone like Elvis Duran [highlights on his morning show originating from iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ ‘Z-100’ and syndicated on Premiere Radio Networks]. Stations that just talk about politics are so afraid to talk about anything else and there is no reason to.”  Read Kinosian’s piece here.

ABC Radio and Skyview Renew. Partners since 2014, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce they’ve signed an early extension of their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.  The companies say that “this early renewal through 2026 positions ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to continue their growth in audio syndication and sales, while preparing ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to expand their relationship with news and entertainment brands seeking strategic partnerships that generate strong results.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele comments, “Skyview Networks is proud to extend our partnership with ABC Radio.  This early renewal speaks to the success of our collaboration and allows us to continue our joint initiative to deliver quality content to radio stations and provide the media community impactful advertiser opportunities.  We look forward to deepening our relationship, as we further explore options that will expand the ABC Radio offering.  We feel privileged to have ABC Radio at our side as Skyview Networks continues to experience healthy, sustainable growth.”

Futuri Appoints Three to New Positions.  Three new staffers join media technology firm Futuri Media at the company’s new Cleveland-area headquarters.  Radio pro Chris Huneke is named partner integration specialist.  In this role, the former WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1” program director will be a partner to programmers who use Futuri’s audience engagement products, helping them develop new ways to drive ratings and revenue.  Alison Stubbendieck is named national account manager.  She comes to Futuri after spending the last 11 years with digital marketer NeoFillJames Hunziker also joins as national account manager. He previously served with YP.com and CBS RADIO Cleveland before joining Futuri.

Jim Bohannon Delivers University of North Georgia Commencement.  Pictured here at the podium is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk host Jim Bohannon delivering a speech at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday (7/29).

The MBA Radio Talent Institute Begins Today.  This edition of the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute begins today at Northwest Missouri State University.  The 10-day institute is made possible with financial commitments from the school and the MBA, plus broadcast companies including: Hubbard Radio-St Louis; Eagle Communications-St. Joseph; Emmis Communications-St. Louis; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri-Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia-St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media-Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting-Springfield.  Students will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph for a session on sports broadcasting from Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus. The field trip will continue in Kansas City with a play-by-play session from the Royals’ Denny Matthews.  On Friday morning, Kansas City’s “Taylor and Brady Morning Show,” from KZPT “99.7 The Point” will broadcast live from the institute.

Trump Ousts Reince Priebus/Cabinet Changes, Future of ObamaCare, Putin Orders U.S. to Cut Diplomatic Staff, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Venezuela Elections, Sunday’s GoT Episode, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ouster of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly named his replacement, plus the arrival of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; the GOP’s efforts to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan crafted by Republicans; in retaliation for the Congress-approved sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin orders U.S. to remove 755 diplomats from Russia; the ongoing threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the weekend elections in Venezuela that Nicolas Maduro says give him complete control of the nation’s government and military and other nations’ refusal to accept the elections as legitimate; the current season of “Game of Thrones” and anticipation of Sunday night’s episode; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/31) with Memorial Tribute To Dr. Joy Browne by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/31) we posted the third of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Dr. Joy Browne.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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

 

 

Westwood One Realigns 24/7 Formats Organization.  President of programming Kirk Stirland says the streamlining of Westwood One’s 24/7 formats organizational structure “includes the promotion of many talented team members, and we are committed to continually optimizing our systems and station support as we advance our technology and content delivery solutions.”  The company says the structure gives every affiliate a single point of contact with a senior programming executive supported by a dedicated team of experts including a program operations manager, music and promotion director, and system operator.  “The new organization supporting VPs of programming George King/country, Cheri Marquart/contemporary, and David Felker/gold formats can respond to the more than 1,800 affiliates swiftly and conclusively with the singular goal of providing a top-notch product and white-glove service.”  Effective immediately, Dave Carey and Melody Morgan are promoted to program operations managers.  Al Vertucci and Gerry Dixon are promoted to music and promotion directors, for gold and contemporary formats respectively, and Bill Thorpe is promoted to system operator.  In a related move, Heather Martinez, a 13-year veteran of Westwood One’s 24-Hour Formats, is promoted to promotion manager.

Travis Moon to Program ‘K-Bull 93’ in Salt Lake City.  Country radio pro Travis Moon is joining Cumulus Media to serve as the program director for KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Moon was most recently with iHeartMedia as director of country operations at KAJA, San Antonio and KASE and KVET in Austin.  Joining KUBL is a return to the station for Moon.  Earlier in his career, he was afternoon drive personality and APD.  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City Pat Reedy says, “To have someone of Travis’ experience, knowledge and track record of programming winning country radio stations is very exciting.  Can’t wait to get him in the ‘K-Bull’ stable and let him work his magic.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kenny J is named program director at Cumulus Media’s urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  He comes to Kansas City from Kennelwood Radio’s hip hop KWBT, Waco, Texas “94.5 The Beat.”  At KMJK, Kenny J will also host the midday show.  Cumulus Kansas City operations manager Lance Tidwell states, “We are excited to have Kenny at the helm of ‘Magic 107.3’ in Kansas City.  The station is poised for significant growth and will benefit from Kenny’s leadership and deep knowledge of the urban AC format.”…..Cumulus Media launches a new CHR station, flipping from sports talk on WNMQ-FM, Columbus-Starkville, Mississippi.   The station takes on the brand “Q103.1 FM The Golden Triangle’s Hit Music.”  In morning drive, the station will use the syndicated “The Bert Show.”…..iHeartMedia Phoenix names Vinnie Del Rosso the new executive producer and on-air talent on adult contemporary KESZ’s “Beth and Friends” morning show. Area SVP of programming Paul Kelley says, “I’m excited to add Vinnie’s personality and perspective to the ‘Beth and Friends’ morning show. Vinnie and Beth have a great rapport and he will bring tremendous energy to the show.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Thursday, July 27, 2017

| July 27, 2017

Vince Coglianese Joins Mary Walter for WMAL’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’ The Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese is named the new morning drive co-host at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM.  The station says Coglianese will join current morning personality Mary Walter on the “Mornings On The Mall” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  He’s the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller and regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, the FOX Business Network, and CNBC. Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Coglianese served as web editor for Carolina Coast OnLine, and hosted a talk show on WTKF/WJNC, Morehead City, North Carolina.  WMAL program director and Cumulus Media VP of News/Talk Bill Hess states, “Vince is the perfect WMAL personality – knowledgeable, plugged-in, entertaining, and a strong storyteller.  He and Mary had immediate chemistry and we’re excited to bring this fresh new sound to mornings on 105.9 FM and AM630 WMAL.”  Coglianese fills the slot left vacant when Brian Wilson departed the station.

iHeartMedia Launches Denver Broncos Station ‘Orange and Blue Radio.’  Sports talker KDSP, Denver is tweaked by owner iHeartMedia and will now be a station dedicated to all things Denver Broncos.  KDSP takes on the brand “Orange & Blue 760.”  iHeartMedia says the station “will broadcast Broncos sports talk with Tyler Polumbus, Steve Atwater, Dave Logan, Andrew Mason and more throughout the day.  Listeners can tune in 24/7 to hear breaking team news reports, live coverage of all Broncos’ news conferences as well as exclusive Broncos content just for ‘Orange & Blue’ radio listeners.”  This is being reported by numerous Denver news outlets as a “50/50 relationship” between the NFL club and the station, although whether that refers literally to sharing revenue or, less literally, about working together to create content – or some mix thereof – is not clear.  Denver Broncos chief commercial operator Mac Freeman adds, “Our longstanding partnership with iHeartMedia Denver continues to evolve and we are committed to finding new ways to engage Broncos fans across the fast-changing media landscape.  ‘Orange and Blue Radio’ will allow us to bring Broncos fans more content, more often, in more places.”

Nielsen’s Q2 Net Revenue Up 3%.  Ratings and research giant – and parent of radio ratings subsidiary Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings plc announces financial figures for the second quarter of 2017.  Revenue was $1,644 million in Q2, up 3.0% (or 4.1% on a constant currency basis) compared to the second quarter of 2016.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns comments, “Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.  This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large, fast moving consumer goods clients.  Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

WEEI’s Minihane Takes ‘Personal Time’ After Criticizing Red Sox Ownership. Coincidence or not?  That’s the question the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam is asking after WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane disappeared from the morning show the day after lashing out at Boston Red Sox ownership.  What set Minihane off was a statement the organization made in response to a piece by Britni De La Cretaz published at DigBoston.com that examines the history of the MLB club’s racist past and suggests that racism is still alive and well in “Red Sox Nation,” including at the team’s longtime radio partner, WEEI.  Part of the Red Sox’s statement included the following: “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox.  We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line.  At times, we feel the same way.”  Minihane responded saying, in part, “There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox.  It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom.  All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist.  The Red Sox disagree.  Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.  The Red Sox are pandering and it starts with John Henry, with Linda Pizzuti, who’s another panderer, goes to Tom Werner and goes all the way down, slides all the way down, takes a stop at John Farrell.”  The station told Heslam that Minihane is not suspended, just “taking personal time this week.”  Read Heslam’s story here.

Charlie Pallilo Returns to Houston Airwaves.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston sports talk radio personality Charlie Pallilo will be back on the radio on August 21 on Gow Media’s KGOW, hosting the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  Pallilo was most recently with iHeartMedia on KBME “Sports Talk 790” but was let go last October to make room in afternoons for Josh Innes (currently hosting the morning drive show on KBME).  The Chronicle reports that Pallilo will also make appearances on Gow’s sister station KFNC-FM and contribute to Gow Media’s CultureMap and SportsMap websites.  Gow Media’s David Gow is quoted saying, “I’ve been trying to hire Charlie for years, but he wasn’t available until his departure from 790.  We’ve been looking for the right fit and spot in our lineup for him.  We think he is one of the top sports talk hosts in the city.  He is really thoughtful and insightful and has a great rapport with his listeners. His analysis and his ability to talk about the details of sports and why things are taking place is unparalleled, and I know people will enjoy listening to him on our airwaves.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The start date for Nashville sports talk host George Plaster’s return to the market’s airwaves is this Sunday (7/30) on Grand Ole Opry-owned country WSM-AM. The 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Night” program will be Plaster’s return to the radio after exiting crosstown WPNT “102.5 The Game” to become the athletic director at Belmont University, a position he continues to hold.  WSM-AM program director Jonathan Shaffer will serve as co-host for the show…..CBS RADIO announces that Chris Wittyngham is the new co-host for the Miami Dolphins pre-game show on WQAM “Sportsradio 560” alongside former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.  Wittyngham currently works for CBSSports.com as a digital channels host.  He also works for BeIN Sports Television Network as a soccer play-by-play announcer.  WQAM program director Ryan Maguire comments, “Chris has already established himself locally as a talented, versatile sports media professional.  We’re thrilled that he’s agreed to work with us more extensively during the football season.”

GOP Health Care Strategy, U.S. Military Transgender Ban, Foxconn Announces U.S. Plant, Scaramucci Threatens Leakers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nukes Program, Sessions Status, Western Male Sperm Counts Down, Ohio Fair Ride Fatality, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/26).  The Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP-crafted plan; President Trump issues ban on transgender soldiers in the U.S. military; Taiwan-based Foxconn announces plans for Wisconsin factory and 3,000 initial jobs; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat to punish White House leakers; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s ICBM program and its threats against the U.S.; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; a new report indicating sperm counts are down among Western males; a fatality and severe injuries from an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/27) with Memorial Tribute To Tom Marr by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/27) we posted the first of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Tom Marr. (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, CBS RADIO makes Chris Ebbott program director of CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP” in addition to his current PD role at classic hits KRTH “K-EARTH 101.1.”  CBS says this move allows cluster SVP of programming Kevin Weatherly to hand off the KAMP programming duties to Ebbott and “focus more broadly on the strategic direction and approach of the market’s five music formats. CBS also operates KTWV “94.7 The Wave,” KROQ, and KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  Weatherly will continue to serve as program director of KROQ and KCBS-FM…..A piece published in the Providence Journal gives a status report on the sale of alternative WBRU, Providence.  The station is a commercial alt rocker owned by the non-profit Brown Broadcasting Services – linked to Brown University.  The student-staffed station was put up for sale by the board of directors who cited the challenges of operating a radio station in the current media climate as the impetus to sell.  The ProJo piece quotes a board spokesman saying the broker handling the sale is in active negotiations with a potential buyer but that no names are being released at this point…..Jacobs Media brings Chris Firmage aboard as an associate consultant.  Jacobs says Firmage joins the company after “a long and successful run at KFMA in Tucson.”  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs comments, “We continue to invest in new ideas and approaches for our clients.  Chris brings us a solid history of success. He’s knowledgeable in many areas and I expect that he will have a positive impact for all our clients.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

| May 11, 2017

Emmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Radio Revenue Down 6.6%.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation announced financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full-year ending February 28, 2017.  Radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $36.4 million from the same period in 2016 – a decrease of 6.6%.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, which excludes barter revenues and syndication revenues, and excluding results from Los Angeles, Emmis’ fourth quarter radio revenue was down 4.8% in markets that were down 0.2%.  Austin and St. Louis outperformed their markets, with St. Louis up 10% in a market that was up 1%.  For the full year, radio revenue was $165.1 million, compared to $169.2 million in the prior year, a decrease of 2.4%.  During the fourth quarter, Emmis closed on the sale of its Terre Haute radio cluster and the sale of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Orange Coast magazines.  The company also issued pro forma results for WEPN, New York – leased to Disney’s ESPN – the Terre Haute stations, and KPWR, Los Angeles which is being sold to Meruelo Media.  The pro forma net revenue for those radio operations was $26.2 million in the fourth fiscal quarter (down 5.65% from Q4 last year) and was down just 1% for the full year on net revenue of $128.1 million.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “The decision to sell KPWR was an extremely difficult one to make, but it allows us to dramatically reduce our indebtedness, leading to much needed financial flexibility during challenging times for the U.S. radio business.  Our industry needs a catalyst and we remain convinced we have it in NextRadio.  The NextRadio-developed Dial Report, which provides robust data measurement and big data analytics for radio campaigns, has been a huge hit with advertisers and agencies since its introduction in January of this year.”

Saga Communications Leaves TV Biz; Buys Seven Radio Stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  This deal will deliver all of Saga’s television holdings – KAVU-TV, Victoria, Texas; KMOL-LD, KQZY-LP, KUNU-LP, KVTX-LP, KXTS-LD in Victoria; KVCT-TV, Victoria; KOAM-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas; and KFJX-TV, Pittsburg, Kansas – to Madison, Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million.  The same day Saga files the TV sale with the FCC and SEC, it announces it has entered into an agreement with Apex Broadcasting to buy eight stations and four translators in the Charleston and Hilton Head markets for $23 million.  The stations are country WCKN, hot AC WMXZ, urban contemporary WXST, adult hits WAVF, and Gospel WSPO-AM, and translators W261DG and W257BQ in the Charleston market, plus adult hits WVSC, classic hits WLHH, hot AC WALI, and translators W256CB and W293BZ in the Hilton Head/Savannah market.  Saga expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2017.

iHeartMedia Elevates Hudson to Area President, Names McNair to NOLA Market President Post.  Rising to area president for iHeartMedia’s Baton Rouge/New Orleans markets is Michael Hudson.  Concurrent with that is the addition of Steve McNair to the New Orleans cluster as market president.  The nine-station cluster includes news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT “FOX Sports 1280.”  McNair was previously regional sales manager at Titan Broadcasting’s KUBE-TV, Houston.  Prior to that, he served as the vice president of sales for CBS RADIO’s Houston operations.

WSKO, Syracuse Brings ‘Bud and the Manchild’ Back.  The Cumulus Media sports talk station is announcing that the “Bud and the Manchild Radio Show” will once again be heard on its airwaves starting May 30.  The independently produced show – co-hosted by retired Syracuse Post Standard sports columnist Bud Poliquin and Central New York radio and TV pro Jim “The Manchild” Lerch – will air on WSKO “The Score 1260” weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The program launched in 2002.  It exited WSKO in 2015 and, until recently, was heard on Galaxy Communications’ crosstown WTLA.  Jim Lerch states, “A change was needed to get the show back on track in terms of our core values.  Cumulus Media and ‘The Score 1260’ were great partners in the past and we are very excited to join forces with them again.  It was very tough leaving ‘The Score 1260’ in 2015, and we consider that decision a mistake.  We are thrilled to be working with Cumulus Media once again.”

Cantore Exits ‘Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  It was a short stint at Broadcast Company of the Americas sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for longtime San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore.  He joined the station early last month to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show on the station. He’d most recently been with Entercom’s alternative KBZT in mornings with co-host Steven Woods. He’d also worked at KPRI and alternative XETRA “91X.”  NBCSandiego.com reports the company is offering “no comment at this time.”

Trump Comey Firing Aftermath, Trump-Lavrov Meeting, W. Va. Capitol Police Arrest Reporter, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, New Orleans Confederate Statue Removals, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10). The aftermath of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey; President Trump meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov; the West Virginia Capitol Police arrest a reporter for asking questions of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price; the Republican plan to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s allegations the U.S. tried to assassinate him; controversy over the removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Trump 100 Days Event Draws Full House in Sarasota. In the photo above, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher appears on the large video screen joining fellow SRN personality Larry Elder and local hosts at last night’s sold-out “Trump’s First 100 Days Event” in Sarasota, Florida.  The event was sponsored by Salem-owned stations WGUL-AM and WLSS-AM.  Gallagher told the crowd, “Sarasota is Trump Country and — unlike CNN and other cable networks — the audience loudly cheered the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.”

1010 WINS Anchor/Reporter Gene Michaels Loses Battle with Cancer.  Friends, family and co-workers are mourning the death of WINS, New York reporter and anchor Gene Michaels (Free) who died on Wednesday (5/10) at 60 after a long battle with cancer.  WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “I can’t think of a single person who crossed paths with Gene over his long and incredibly successful career who didn’t find him to be among the kindest, smartest, and gentlest of human beings.  Everything he touched, everyone he met, everything he did was better because of him.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter and to his entire family.”  Michaels started his career in 1978 at WEJL, Scranton.  He spent a decade at WALK, Long Island.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary San Francisco air personality Steven Seaweed is retiring from Cumulus Media’s KSAN “The Bone 107.7” on June 30, wrapping a 44-year, on-air career.  Seaweed – a Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer – started on the air at KLRB-FM, Carmel, California on New Year’s Eve, 1972.  He joined KSAN in 1978, but left when it flipped to country in 1980.  He served with KFAT-FM “The Wide Spot On the Dial,” KWSS-FM, KRQR-FM “The Rocker,” and KLLC-FM “Alice@97.3,” before rejoining KSAN in 1997.  Seaweed says, “Forty-four years ago, nobody wanted to work at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Except me!  I volunteered, got the job, and went on to have the most rewarding career in radio.  I have been so lucky all these years to have worked with the most incredible people at many legendary radio stations, and with the best radio listeners on the planet.  Thank you, everybody!”…..Beginning Monday, May 15, Cox Media Group’s CHR WSB-FM, Atlanta “B98.5” adds Drex Renner to the station’s morning show.  He joins Tad Lemire for “Tad & Drew Mornings.”  Renner previously led the “Drex, Cassidy and Tingle” show on Entercom’s crosstown hot AC WSTR “Star 94.”  Lemire has been with “B98.5” co-hosting mornings since February of 2016.  Kara Leigh will continue to serve as the producer and co-host for the new show, taking on a larger role and presenting a strong female voice…..At CHR KLUC, Las Vegas CBS RADIO announces midday personality Jon Que is inked to a contract extension and takes on the added duties of music director for KLUC and assistant program director and music director for 98.5 HD-2 “Da Shaka, Vegas’ Island and Reggae Station.”…..The syndicated “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” show announces the addition of three new affiliate stations: iHeartMedia’s Soft AC KTSM, El Paso “Sunny 99.9,” Little Engine Broadcasting’s classic hits WRBZ-AM/W238CE, Montgomery, Alabama, and Withers Radio’s KREZ, Cape Girardeau, Missouri “Soft Rock 104.7.”

Tuesday, May 9, 2016

| May 9, 2017

Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.4%.  But this decrease was consistent with the guidance previously issued for the first quarter of 2017.  Townsquare Media reports its business in two segments – Local Marketing Solutions and Entertainment – with its radio stations included in the former category.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “2017 has started off well, with first quarter net revenue of $88.4 million, net loss of $3 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $10.1 million, in line with our expectations.  Our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which increased 1.2% over the prior year period, and 2.5% excluding the impact of political revenue, continues to show consistent, organic growth demonstrating the strength of our local products and services.  Our local digital offerings have been especially strong, and we believe we will see continued strength as we begin to utilize our first party data capabilities in combination with our digital platform.”  Townsquare also reports that it paid down $6.7 million against its long-term debt.

Radio One Officially Changes Company Name to Urban One.  On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the company’s initial public offering on May 5, Radio One, Inc. changes its name to Urban One, Inc.  In a press release, the company says, “Reflecting its longstanding, rich history as the most trusted source to inform, entertain and inspire the African-American community, Urban One will continue to provide culturally relevant integrated content through its iconic brands and platforms – TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.”  Chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III adds, “More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing Black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically.  Urban One’s mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country.”

TALKERS News Notes. WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Rich Stevens is off the air at the Alpha Media talk station as he battles a blood clot in his brain.  Stevens hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway has another triple shift today.  In addition to his regular WHO show and the morning drive program he hosts at iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk station WMT, Cedar Rapids, Conway is sitting in for San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on his nationally syndicated program…..The news/talk programming on United Broadcasting’s KTKK-AM and KBJA-AM – both licensed to Sandy, Utah (Salt Lake City market) – continues to be heard on KBJA and the company takes KTKK silent…..In the Chicago market, local media reporter Robert Feder writes that Memphis-based Pollack Broadcasting is buying Kovas Communications-owned WCGO, Evanston for $3 million.  Pollack purchased WRMN, Elgin and WBIG, Aurora last year.  Read Feder’s column here.

Vanity Fair and DGital Media Partner for Podcast Series.  A new podcast series is launching featuring Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton.  The program is a collaboration between Vanity Fair’s Hive and DGital Media.  Hive editor Jon Kelly says, “As we prepare to enter our second year at the Hive, the goal is all about expanding to new platforms and modes of storytelling.  So creating a podcast for Nick was an easy and obvious decision.  Audiences will appreciate his curiosity and cogent analysis of the bizarre, temple-scratching world in which we live.  And DGital Media was a no-brainer for a partner.  From Peter Kafka’s ‘Recode Media’ podcast to Crooked Media’s ‘Pod Save America,’ these guys are making some of the absolute best content anywhere.”

Yates’ Russia Testimony, GOP Health Care Plan, Kushner Family-China Investors Issue, North Korea Nuke Threats, French Presidential Election Aftermath, Trump Travel Ban Arguments, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  Former Attorney General Sally Yates’ Monday testimony about Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; the GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare and implement their own plan; controversy over the Kushner family’s business efforts to woo Chinese investors using the EB-5 visa program; North Korea’s nuclear program and the country’s threats against the U.S.; the aftermath of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election; the arguments in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over President Trump’s travel ban; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Brian Joyce Emcees ‘Scenic City Sing-Off.’  Pictured above with the contestants of the first annual “Scenic City Sing-Off” in Chattanooga is WGOW-FM midday talk host Brian Joyce (wearing vest), who emceed the event.  The competition benefits the Chattanooga Girls Choir which will be heading to New York City this summer to perform at Carnegie Hall.  The winning singer, Ivy Hall, won the grand prize of $1,000.  Joyce also hosts the afternoon drive program on Cumulus Media‘s WYAY-FM, Atlanta.

 

 

Emmis to Sell ‘Power 106’ in LA to Meruelo Group for $82.75 Million.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, as the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon, agreed to divest of $80 million of its radio assets.  That looks like it will be accomplished with the just-announced deal to sell stand-alone hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” to the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.  Meruelo will begin operating the station under an LMA following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.  Emmis chairman Jeff Smulyan states, “‘Power 106’ has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands.  The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.” Meruelo Media acquired KWHY-TV, Los Angeles in 2011 and radio station classic hip hop KDAY-FM, Los Angeles in 2014.  Meruelo Group chairman and CEO Alex Meruelo comments, “The acquisition of ‘Power 106’ is a game-changer for our group and our media division.  As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of ‘Power 106’ to this community.  We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.”  Emmis purchased KPWR-FM from Century Broadcasting in May 1984.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Phil Kukawinski is named program director at Times-Shamrock Communications’ alternative, taking over the recently departed Tom Ferguson.  Kukawinski was most recently midday personality, music director and APD at Bell Media’s alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit…..At Max Broadcast Group’s rhythmic AC KJHM, Denver “Jammin’ 101.5,” Tracy Taylor is promoted to host of the midday show from her part-time/fill-in role…..Sales and management pro Josh Riley joins One Putt Broadcasting as general manager for the company’s six-station cluster that includes CHR KWDO “99.3 NOW FM,” triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5,” alternative KFRR “New Rock 104.1,” oldies KYNO, and sports talk KFIG. Riley previously served as director of sales for American General Media in Albuquerque…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting its Music Seminar – a music industry event that will “bring singers, songwirters, producers and record label executives to downtown Milwaukee to discuss how to succeed in the industry.”  The program will include two panel discussions: The New Way to Get in the Music Business, featuring Empire Distribution; and Music Marketing & Management.  A personal Listen & Critique session will be held for attendees to have music industry professionals listen to their music.  Industry professionals will provide feedback on ways to continuously improve their craft and insight on how to get the attention of labels as a professional artist.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

| May 4, 2017

iHeartMedia Posts Q1 Consolidated Revenue Dip of 2.4%.  In today’s release of 2017 first quarter financial data, iHeartMedia reports consolidated revenue was $1.32 billion – down 2.4% from the same period in 2016.  That figure includes the Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor segments, which both saw revenue decreases.  The iHeartMedia segment’s revenue was $757 million – up 2.5% from the first quarter of 2016.  The report also notes that the revenue increase was “driven primarily by increases in trade and barter, sponsorship and other revenues surrounding our live events, and digital, as well as our core radio business.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease in political advertising revenues and lower revenue from our traffic and weather business.”  Once again, the company includes language about its tenuous debt situation in a section that details its payments and coming obligations: “For the year ended December 31, 2016, we adopted a new accounting standard that requires us to evaluate on a quarterly basis whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017. At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 million and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018. Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the notes exchange offers and term loan offers, management has determined that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following May 4, 2017 as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending notes exchange offers and term loan offers.”

Radio Advertising Down 8.7% in First Quarter for Radio One; Company Name Change to Urban One Effective Tomorrow.  The radio advertising sector of Radio One, Inc’s first quarter of 2017 garnered $46.1 million – a decrease from the same period in 2016.  Net revenue for the entire company was $101.2 million – down 7.1% from Q1 in 2016.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “A combination of tough political comps in radio, and non-recurring major client spending at Reach Media, made for a weak start to the year in radio advertising.  TV One ratings held up well overall (+4% Household, and flat 24-54 total day), although we were down in the younger-end demographic. Despite this, we were able to post growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the division.  Our digital business will be bolstered by the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, which will be immediately accretive.  MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, and we have accrued approximately $1.5 million of income in the first quarter.  We remain committed to growing our cash flow in 2017, despite the slow start to the year.  Our name change to Urban One will become effective on May 5th, and will better reflect our diversified multimedia platform.”

Saga Communications Down 4.1% in First Quarter.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 for Saga Communications was $31.4 million, down 4.1% from the same period a year ago.  The company attributes that decline primarily to reduction in political revenue of $1.3 million from the same quarter in 2016.  For the quarter, station operating expense increased 1.5% to $25.1 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million to $3.5 million. Free cash flow for the quarter was $3.2 million.

GOP Health Care Bill, Comey Hearing, Hillary Clinton Interview, Colbert’s Anti-Trump Rant, North Korea Tensions, Cop Slays Texas Teen, French Presidential Race, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3).  The GOP’s plans to put its American Health Care Act to a vote today; the controversy over FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about notifying Congress about new emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation just days before the election; Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour; the flap over Stephen Colbert’s use of sexual language in his anti-Trump rant; North Korea’s jab at China and its threats against the U.S.; the slaying of a 15-year-old black boy by a Balch Springs, Texas cop; the French presidential race between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and moderate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Former “Saturday Night Live” star and current WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” morning personality Joe Piscopo announces he will not be running for Governor of New Jersey, after all.  Piscopo had been entertaining running as a Republican but now says he’ll back current Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno…..Anthem Broadcasting LLC, the parent of USA Radio Networks, announces a “$1.25 million investment” in the company by Florida based Innerself Marketing.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC was formed by Liftable Media Inc in 2015 to acquire the assets of USA Radio.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “We have experienced and amazing turnaround at USA Radio since the fall of 2015.  But it is about to get better.  Innerself Marketing is the perfect partner to strengthen and build USA Radio Networks.  Innerself is a marketing dynamo, and the combination of an outstanding radio platform and an advertising powerhouse will lead to even greater success.”…..NPR sports commentator Frank Deford announces that he’s retiring from his gig on the “Morning Edition” program.  Deford was working for Sports Illustrated when he began doing commentaries for NPR back in 1980…..The real-life couple Kate Fagan and Kathryn Budig are launching a new podcast called “Free Cookies” from espnW and ESPN Audio.  Fagan writes for espnW and makes appearances on “SportsCenter.”  Budig is a best-selling author and yoga expert.  In the premiere episode, the two speak to soccer star Abby Wambach…..The “America Outdoors Radio” program that focuses on fishing, hunting and shooting sports, announces it signs up new affiliate stations  KBRV, Soda Springs, Idaho; KNYN, Evanston, Wyoming; and KELA, Centralia, Washington.  “America Outdoors Radio” is hosted and produced by John Kruse and is sponsored by Media Index Publishing…..This Saturday is the 143rd running of the Kenturcky Derby and Westwood One is presenting national radio and audio streaming coverage of the race in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna is serving as anchor.  Derby coverage is also being presented on SiriusXM.

Dave Ramsey Celebrating 25th Anniversary of Radio Show. This year, Dave Ramsey is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio program.  He begins today by including special anniversary segments on the show.  Ramsey’s show launched in 1992 and the Ramsey Solutions company says that “no one could have predicted the show’s longevity or its continued growth.”  Dave Ramsey says, “The radio show happened by accident.  I lost everything because I was stupid and borrowed too much money.  When I discovered and applied common-sense financial principles in my own life and began teaching them, a friend invited me on a little brokered radio station to help people with their money problems.  I’m sure our delivery was horrendous, but we offered truth, instruction and hope.  We’ve refined that over the years, because that’s what people need.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit morning show Dave & Chuck – Dave Hunter and Chuck “The Freak” Urquhart with co-host Lisa Way – are re-upped for four years by Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their program on rock WRIF.   The show launched at WRIF in 2013 and has since added co-host Andy Green, producer James Campbell and video editor Jason Watson. Beasley Detroit market manager Mac Edwards says, “Of course, we extended their contracts!  Dave and Chuck have crushed the competition and dominated Detroit’s morning radio for men and women, ranking #1 in every key demo including 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54!  We value their amazing talent and are fortunate to work with them.”…..Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV, Chicago “The Drive” announces it has hired Chicago media pro Jill Egan to serve as producer for the “Sherman & Tingle” morning show, featuring Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle.  Egan says, “Producing a radio show is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding, position I’ve held in my broadcast career.  Sherman and Tingle are both extraordinarily talented, hilarious, hard-working, and genuine guys.  I share the same drive to succeed as they do.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kathy Hart – one half of the WTMX morning show team with Eric Ferguson – has been off the show since April 27 with little explanation from management.  Feder writes that Hubbard Radio Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England is simply saying, “Kathy is taking some time off.”  Co-host Ferguson is apparently also in the dark as to what’s going on.  Read Feder’s column here.

CBS RADIO Creates MusicTown Venue in Detroit. A new multi-use space called MusicTown is being constructed by CBS RADIO Detroit, in association with Olympia Entertainment.  It’s designed to “host and celebrate music, culture and entertainment in the city of Detroit.”  It will be located inside Hockeytown Café, within the 50-block, mixed-use sports and entertainment development known as The District Detroit.  MusicTown will consist of a new broadcast studio, recording studio and performance space.  CBS says it will “support artists, educate children of all ages and celebrate the Detroit community and its visitors through lifestyle, collaboration and entertainment.”  CBS RADIO Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are strongly committed to continuing Detroit’s tradition as a great ‘Music City.’  By identifying new talent and sharing the many music stories that Detroit has inspired, this initiative will help celebrate a once-booming industry in our great city, stimulating significant economic growth in the region along the way.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6), CBS Radio’s KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” is up two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) as it climbs from sixth to fifth. After improving by one-half share in January, KALW “Local Public Radio” surrenders seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+), as it plummets from #19 to #27. Down two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), Entercom urban AC KBLX “The Bay’s R&B” (#14 to #17) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a combined +.9 snapped at four (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Sports sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” loses one tenth to (1.7, #22, 6+), curtailing six straight monthlies without a decline that yielded a +.7 (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). On the other hand – and still in that Entercom cluster – KRBQ picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), as “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. Although the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nonetheless is without a gain for the fourth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18.

5) Dallas – Down by a collective -1.1 in three straight downtrends since November (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – Music Variety” dials up a +.8 to 4.1, as it elevates from tenth to seventh. It is a strong sweep for the market’s two Cumulus Media-owned country outlets: KPLX “The Wolf,” +1.2 in January to progress from fourth to first, repeats at #1 (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+), while cluster-mate KSCS “New Country 96.3” improves by seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+), advancing from eighth to fifth. “New Country” had been within 3.1 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods. In addition to KSCS, CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK notches a gain of seven-tenths as well (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) with “La Grande 107.5” cracking the top 20 (#22 to #16). Prior to picking up three-tenths in January, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB went five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+). “Smooth R&B 105.7” now adds another one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Five consecutive down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -2.3 for CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), which spirals from #19 out of the top 20 to #28. An extremely interesting contemporary Christian situation is developing in the market with Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Safe for the Whole Family” (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) freefalling from #11 to #19, while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” – which debuted in print at #20 in January – remains there in February (2.3 – 2.1, -.1, 6+). As recently as September 2016, KLTY was seventh with a 3.6 (6+).

6) Houston – It has been nearly three months (12/30/2016) since CBS Radio transitioned KKHH from CHR to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Over and above being up or flat for the fifth straight time for a net gain of two shares (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6, 6+), “The Spot” breaks into the top ten (#14 to #6). Its former CHR rival – Cumulus Media’s KRBE – loses three-tenths, ending at three its successive streak of increases for a collective +1.0 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) as “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Effective with the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One flipped KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI – ostensibly taking the CHR spot vacated by KKHH – dropped one-half share in January to .9, but gains three-tenths in February to 1.2 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It’s a very quick stay in the penthouse though for KLTN, which surrenders -1.3 (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and falls to third. Taking over at #1 – progressing from the runner-up slot – is Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ (7.2, +.3, 6+). Since November, “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). The HD3 channel of iHeartMedia’s KODA picks up one-half share (.2 – .7, #27). Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeits half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), but carries on at #4. Declining by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE, down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.4 – .8, #26, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – Replicating its January 2017 +.6, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) cracks the top ten (#12 to #7) and matches August 2016’s 4.3 (6+). Co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, #11 to #7, 6+) registers a gain of one-half share, as does CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). In four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but dialed up a +1.1 in January; meanwhile, WOGL was +1.3 in January. Flat at 7.9 (6+), Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” is nevertheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time, six-tenths ahead of WOGL. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” In its first adult contemporary sweep (January 2017) against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registered a 2.6 and picks up one-tenth in February (2.7 – #18 to #15, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; roared back with a gain four times that amount, +2.0; but now regresses by half that (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, 6+). The net result after the dust settles is a -.5 and “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” moves from second to fourth. In December, WMGK was -.6, curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Sports sibling WPEN-FM added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), but “97.5 The Fanatic” forfeits six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, 6+) and dips from #19 to #20. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia hot AC WISX “Mix 106.1” trended 2.4 – 2.8 (“Holiday” 2016 – January 2017, 6+) and now falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #18, 6+). Temple University’s WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) was unlisted in January 2017, but reappears in February with a 1.2 (#23, 6+).

8) Atlanta – Even though Cox Media Group urban AC WALR remains anchored in third-place, on the strength of a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kiss 104.1” records its strongest 6+-stat since June 2016’s 7.1. Improving by one-half each are co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #4, 6+); classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WSRV “97.1 The River” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+); and CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). Consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the past 12 ratings periods, “B-98.5” has its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in December 2016 and “Holiday” 2016 (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), “V-103” forfeited seven-tenths in January. Relishing its eighth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.8 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from eighth to seventh. Despite dropping eight-tenths (10.7 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM is #1 for the fourteenth straight ratings period. Its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January 2017); and now -.8 (February 2017). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” gives all of it back and one-tenth more (3.1, -1.3, 6+) as the Atlanta Falcons’ flagship spirals out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Unlisted in January 2017, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is back at #15 (3.0, February 2017, 6+).

9) Long Island – Progressing from #15 to #13, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” gains three-tenths to 2.9 (6+0, thus halting at three a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a -1.0 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). For the fourth straight time, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (third to second) posts a Long Island increase (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+); “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is+1.5 since November. A pickup of six-tenths (.5 – 1.1, 6+) by WQXR more than doubles its 6+-share and lands “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” at #26. The six-tenths of a share lead that CBS Radio all-news WINS had over co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to one-tenth as WINS is 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, seventh to eighth (6+), while WCBS-AM is flat at 3.8 and unchanged at #9 (6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January 2017. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 20