Tag: "New Orleans"

Monday, October 26, 2020

| October 26, 2020

Monday Memo: Listeners’ Mindset, Advertisers’ Message. Notwithstanding the president’s hope that “pandemic fatigue” will buoy his message that “we’ve turned the corner,” survey data presented at the NAB/New York virtual convention – now underway and available on-demand – describes how Americans really feel, and how our advertisers can relate. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s conference notes, and specific tips for improving results from endorsement spots. Read it here.

Pending Business: A Secret of Success. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in his column today, “Every dominant business understands how important it is to set a standard, stick to it, improve it, own it and infuse it into the culture of the organization. Does your radio station strive to set industry-leading sales standards? You don’t need the highest-rated radio station to set a standard for sales performance and service. You don’t need the highest rates, or the most revenue. You need commitment, and the relentless pursuit of setting and improving standard-setting performance.” Read more here.

Nexstar Media Group’s Operational Realignment Ups Sean Compton to President, Networks. On Thursday (10/22), Nexstar Media Group announced a combination of its two primary subsidiaries – Nexstar Digital LLC and Nexstar Broadcasting into a new subsidiary called Nexstar Inc. In this new alignment, Karen Brophy becomes president, digital; Timothy Busch is now president, broadcasting; and Sean Compton rises from executive vice president to president, networks in which he’ll oversee WGN America, Antenna TV, and WGN Radio. All three will answer to Nexstar Media Group president, COO and CFO Thomas Carter. He says, “The operational realignment we are announcing today will accelerate Nexstar’s growth by leveraging our leading local content and positioning the company to become an even more nimble and competitive organization, thereby creating new value for shareholders… We completed the highly accretive acquisition of Tribune Media a year ago and quickly and efficiently integrated their assets, resulting in first year operating synergies exceeding $185 million. At the same time, we converted the Tribune enterprise to Nexstar’s operating, sales and other protocols and successfully and cost-effectively launched ‘News Nation’ on WGN America. As a result, we are leveraging our industry leading scale, diversified business model and solid operating execution to deliver record 2020 financial results as we dynamically manage the business to offset the impacts of the pandemic, reduce leverage and return capital to shareholders through quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases. Our decision to reorganize the business’ operating structure at this time reflects our view that there remains tremendous upside to be realized by maximizing the value of our assets, content and strong consumer engagement with our digital properties.”

iHeartMedia Birmingham Launches ‘BIN 92.7.’ The Birmingham, Alabama market joins the growing number of iHeartMedia markets airing the BIN: Black Information Network format as the company unveils “BIN 92.7” on FM translator WW224CK, Vestavia Hills. The company says “BIN 92.7” will broadcast 24/7 national and local news focused on serving the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. The station will feature top national on-air anchors and correspondents including award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon and renowned journalist Roland Martin. Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN’s goal has always been to be the most trusted source for news in the Black community, and part of that strategy is, of course, to be available on both broadcast and digital stations across America. We’re thrilled to bring BIN, a full-time news service by and for the Black community, to Birmingham and provide listeners there with both the national and local news that impacts their lives.”

TALKERS News Notes. The FCC issues a Public Notice announcing the Access to Capital Working Group of its Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and the FCC’s Media Bureau will co-host a virtual symposium titled “Path to Media Ownership and Sustainability” on November 6, 2020 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.  The symposium will examine access to capital for small and diverse broadcasters.  The event will be convened virtually via WebEx and will be available to the public streaming via the Internet at www.fcc.gov/live. It will feature broadcasters and lenders discussing how to obtain financing for broadcast station transactions in today’s challenging financial circumstances, as well as experts discussing the history of the previous broadcast tax certificate policy and the potential for a new tax certificate policy to increase broadcast ownership diversity.  The symposium will also include presentations from Nielsen Global Media on ratings measurements for multi-ethnic broadcast stations, and a discussion of how small and diverse broadcasters can attract increased advertising revenue.  Finally, congressional staff members will provide updates on pending legislation intended to increase diverse media ownership…..Talk media personality Tom Donahue announces he has returned to Tom Donahue Reports to produce his program as a podcast in which he’ll no longer conform to a formatted show, thereby allowing him “greater versatility and creativity in producing audio content.” He continues to stream his show on Talk Stream Live. Also, Donahue is launching a commentaries service in the form of capsules made available to stations as one- or two-minute episodes. “America’s First News with Matt Ray” recently added the reports to his show twice weekly…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk radio personality Sebastian Gorka (center) with SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) and Breitbart Washington political editor Matt Boyle (right) at a celebration of Gorka’s birthday in Alexandria, Virginia. Among the guests were: Salem executives David Santrella and Phil Boyce; former White House press secretary (and Newsmax TV personality) Sean Spicer; WMAL-FM, Washington talk host Larry O’Connor; and KABC, Los Angeles radio and political commentator Joseph DiGenova.

New Orleans Talk Radio Pioneer Keith Rush Dead at 89. WWL-TV, New Orleans reports that Keith Rush, a conservative talk radio icon who worked in the market for 60 years, died last Thursday (10/22) at age 89. According to WWL-TV, Rush was best known for his talk radio program on WSMB-AM that aired during the 1970s and 1980s. Local politician Lawrence E. Chehardy is quoted in the piece saying of Rush’s program, “It was a great forum because you could go on and discuss the issues with him and take phone calls from listeners. It was a way for elected officials to be able to converse with their constituents, long before the days of social media.” Rush began his radio career in the mid 1950s as a disc jockey. He transitioned to talk in the 1970s.

The Presidential Election/‘60 Minutes’ Interviews, Early/Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Pence Office Outbreak, Hunter Biden Emails Case, Social Media ‘Censorship,’ Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, California Power Outages and Wildfire Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November 3 presidential election and Sunday night’s appearances by Donald Trump and Joe Biden on “60 Minutes”; reports of record numbers of early and mail-in votes; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world and projections for the fall/winter seasons, as well as the outbreak among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence; the leaked emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop; allegations by conservatives that Twitter and Facebook are censoring their political messages; the confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; and the power outages in California as high winds threaten more wildfires 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 Phoenix, Entercom promotes Chris Hernandez to operations manager for the cluster. In this role, Hernandez will lead operations efforts for classic hits KOOL-FM, country KMLE-FM, and CHR KALV-FM “LIVE 101.5.” At the same time, the company ups Daniel Valentine to music director for “LIVE 101.5.” Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Chris Hernandez has consistently shown amazing drive that leads to substantial results and I’m confident in his ability to take our collection of stations to higher levels. Daniel Valentine has proven his extensive music expertise over the years and I’m looking forward to watching his career grow as he leads LIVE’s music operations. Both are veterans in our company, and I’m honored to elevate two hard working individuals.”…..The programming lineup for iHeartMedia’s “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio” is taking place on November 12. It will include Angela Yee, co-host of the morning show “The Breakfast Club,” and special guests exploring female entrepreneurship and the art of brand building as the modern-day self-CEO as part of the iHeartRadio Beautiful Possibilities presented by Ulta Beauty.  During the discussion, the panel participants will share their personal stories of success and explore how they rise above challenges to define their careers. The panel aims to uplift, inspire and pave the way for the next generation of Black women leaders and will be followed by a performance by singer and songwriter H.E.R. “Breakfast Club” co-host DJ Envy will emcee the iHeartRadio HBCU Homecoming Party on the Yard, presented by McDonald’s. The virtual event will include celebrity guest and McDonald’s owner/operator interviews, legendary HBCU Homecoming highlights, and several special surprise moments. The event will culminate with a performance from global superstar Khalid across all iHeartMedia hip hop and R&B stations…..Legendary Chicago jock Ron Britain, a.k.a. Ron Magel, has died in his hometown of Louisville at the age of 86. Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about the career of the man who was known as King B on the radio. During his more than 50 year radio career, Britain worked at some 21 stations but achieved the peak of his fame at former CHR outlet WCFL-AM which he joined in 1965.

Self-Syndication Has Been Berry, Berry Good

| October 13, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

HOUSTON — Seldom are talk radio hosts at a loss to fill two or three hours of airtime.

Situations though have become wildly frenetic in a calendar year that has already seen among countless other things:

  • January impeachment trial of a first-term president that concluded with a February acquittal
  • (Hopefully only) a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic that has taken a toll of American lives rapidly approaching 215,000, cratered the economy, and erased millions of jobs
  • Presidential campaign unlike any other
  • Significant racial injustice, protests, and rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement
  • West Coast wildfires and East Coast hurricanes
  • Controversy over the evenhandedness of nominating a Supreme Court justice only weeks before a presidential election
  • Brief/mysterious hospitalization of the sitting POTUS who tested positive for the coronavirus

Still to come in 2020’s more than two-and-one-half remaining months are the presidential election itself, not to mention the already anticipated precedent-setting intensity possibly contesting it.

Read More

Information Source Supplying Hope & Pride

| September 22, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

CHICAGO — It is a completely reasonable leap for the average non-broadcaster to assume the June 30th debut of iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network (BIN) was an instantaneous response to George Floyd’s one-month earlier murder (5/25), and/or the rapid rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Clearly though, those deeply rooted in the industry are acutely aware that a full 24/7 all-news entity is a highly thorough, meticulous proposition that hardly springs up overnight.

Read More

Monday, November 18, 2019

| November 18, 2019

Talk Host Craig Silverman and KNUS, Denver Have Different Takes on His Departure.  Only this appears to be agreed upon by former Denver chief deputy district attorney Craig Silverman and Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – he exited during his Saturday program.  Silverman claims he was ousted in the middle of his show after a segment critical of President Trump aired.  But KNUS general manager Brian Taylor tells FOX 31 Denver that he was removed after appearing on a competing station.  Taylor says, “He decided that it was important to work across town and so on Saturday on his program he announced that, and that’s what prompted our decision to take him off the air.  The notion that he was relieved from his program because he criticized President Trump is absolutely untrue.  We’ve never told Mr. Silverman the position to take on his impeachment.”

Monday Memo: What’s really ‘Official?’ With AM/FM broadcasters now competing with SO many audio competitors, the timing couldn’t be worse to blend-into the blah-blah-blah with dated-sounding station imaging.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke warns against what he calls “the most-abused word” in promo copy.  Read it here.

iHeartMedia Announces $500 Million Private Offering. Via a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission,iHeartMedia, Inc. announces its intent to offer, $500 million aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes due January 2028 in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers.  Proceeds from the notes – guaranteed on a senior secured basis by iHeartCommunications’ direct parent, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, and the subsidiaries of iHeartCommunications that guarantee iHeartCommunications’ term loan facility – are intended (together with cash on hand) “to prepay at par a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its term loan facility, to pay accrued and unpaid interest thereon to, but excluding, the date of prepayment, and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering of the Notes and the use of proceeds therefrom.”

Dunlap Maintains Innocence; Has New Attorney. On Friday (11/15), the Times-Picayune’s Ramon Antonio Vargas wrote an updated story on the case of former WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans sports talk host Seth Dunlap, who was fired from the Entercom station on October 31 in the aftermath of in investigation into the September 10 posting of a gay slur on the radio station’s Twitter account.  If you’ve been following this story, you are aware that Entercom, based on its own investigation, believes Dunlap sent the text himself several days after posting to his own Facebook page an open letter to New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees complaining about Brees’ work with Focus on the Family, an organization that is not LGBTQ-friendly.  Dunlap also went public with his own struggles in the radio biz as an openly gay man.  Several days later the anti-gay slur appeared on the WWL Twitter feed.  Entercom turned the investigation over to the New Orleans Police Department and recently, a judge denied the NOPD a warrant for Dunlap’s arrest on extortion charges.  The request for a warrant was based in part on WWL’s statement that Dunlap sought $1.8 million from the station for him to drop his planned lawsuit against it for allowing a hostile workplace.  Dunlap has since changed lawyers.  Megan Kiefer no longer represents him.  Dunlap tells the Times-Picayune that Billy Gibbens is his attorney.  Another new development is that Dunlap says he no longer has the iPhone from which WWL and police believe he accessed the station’s Twitter account.  The NOPD says their investigation is ongoing and Dunlap says he is still considering suing the station.

Jimmy de Castro ‘Retiring’ from Entercom. In a memo to staffers last Friday, Entercom COO Weezie Kramer announced that Jimmy de Castro – senior vice president and market manager for the company’s Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison station groups – is retiring from his position with the company.  He’s expected to leave in mid-December.  Kramer says of de Castro in her memo, “Jimmy was tasked with breathing new energy and positivity into the organization as we embarked on our journey as a new team.  And Jimmy delivered.  His spark, creativity, experience, and business acumen were just what was needed to improve our brands, our culture, our business, and our building in Chicago.”  De Castro tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder that he’ll continue to operate sports marketing and consulting firm After The Whistle LLC and his firm The Content Factory, and through the latter he hopes to get into sports betting and gaming content.

Place Assumes Mornings on New Hampshire’s WNTK-FM.  The Valley News reports that market on-air pro Jason Place is taking over the morning drive show on Sugar River Media’s news/talk WNTK-FM, New London, New Hampshire.  Place takes over the program from former host Keith Hanson.  Hanson – a local Republican committee chairman – exited the station in October after his controversial use of profanity on social media in defense of his decision to bring Jihad Watch author Robert Spencer to the area for a presentation caused a stir.  Though the Valley News says station officials deny his exit had to do with that incident.  Place tells the paper he isn’t hosting the show to espouse a certain political philosophy; he wants to have conversations with listeners.  “What matters is what the listener thinks.  Hopefully, we can get a conversation going, learn something. and have some fun. … God, I just hope I don’t take myself too seriously.”

TALKERS News Notes. St. Louis news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120” announces it signs a contract extension to continue to serve as the flagship radio station for St. Louis Cardinals games through the 2024 season.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “We are honored to continue to work with the world class St. Louis Cardinals.  ‘News Radio 1120 KMOX’ and the Cardinals are synonymous institutions here in this great city and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this fantastic partnership.”…..Westwood One Podcast Network announces that “The Dan Bongino Show” adds a once-weekly interview show to its daily lineup.  The new program launched with an interview with President Trump.  During the interview, the president shared thoughts about why he uses social media, the impeachment hearings, the whistleblower’s identity, Ukraine’s new president, looking forward to the new Inspector General report, draining the swamp, tax cuts, the economy, capital gains indexing, Obamacare, and more.  Bongino is a former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer, and a New York Times best-selling author…..AdLarge Media announces that Dave Boretti is named its vice president of Midwest sales.  Boretti comes to AdLarge from a similar position with PodcastOne.  Chicago-based Boretti says, “I’ve had conversations with Don for a few years about moving to AdLarge and this came together at the perfect time.  AdLarge is an exciting company with leadership that consistently is ahead of emerging trends in audio.  I look forward to marshalling their assets to help AdLarge’s advertisers achieve their goals.”

Impeachment Testimony/Ukraine Allegations, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Fresno Football Party Shooting, Hong Kong Protests, China’s Muslim Detention Docs, Prince Andrew Interview, Iran Protests, Venice Flooding/Climate Change, and Kanye West at Osteen Church Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment testimony against President Trump and the related allegations of impropriety with regard to Ukraine’s military aid money; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race as a Republican; the shooting at a football watching party in Fresno that took the lives of four; the protests at Hong Kong Polytechnic University; the revelation of Chinese documents indicating detention of Muslims; Prince Andrew’s awkward interview with the BBC regarding his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein; protests in Iran over the doubling of gas prices; the city of Venice suffers its third flood in a week that officials are blaming on climate change; and Kanye West’s appearance at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

2019 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts Honored. Pictured above are the nine distinguished members of the media industry who were honored Friday (11/15) at the 17th Annual Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts awards ceremony held at New York City’s famed Gotham Hall.  Clockwise from top left are: CW Television Network president Mark Pedowitz, Urban One CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, Patrick Communications founder and CEO Larry Patrick, CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn, Advanced Television Systems Committee president emeritus Mark Richer, PBS president & CEO Paula Kerger, journalist Connie Chung, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Albuquerque CHR outlet KKOB-FM re-brands as “93-3 The Q.”  Cumulus Media Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry comments, “‘93-3 The Q’ is the natural evolution of 93.3, a highly rated radio outlet with compassionate personalities, an enormous fan base, and market-leading, multi-platform content.  ‘93-3 The Q’ brings renewed passion for and connection with the city of Albuquerque and its people. It is a reflection of our commitment to Albuquerque listeners and we couldn’t be more excited to grow and expand the brand when it is healthy and take it to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Asheville announces the debut of “The Woody & Wilcox Show” on its WKSF-HD3/W266CP “ALT 101.1.”  iHeartMedia Asheville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “We are pumped to add ‘The Woody and Wilcox Show’ to the lineup.  Woody and Wilcox can’t deliver food to your door, but they will deliver a morning wake-up call that Asheville listeners will love.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

| November 11, 2019

2019 Radio Hall of Famers Inducted. On Friday evening at Gotham Hall in New York City, nine radio broadcasters were enshrined in the Radio Hall of Fame.  Inductees Jim Rome, Joe Madison, Sean Hollywood Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter, John Tesh, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Ryan Seacrest represented the class of 2019 at the ceremony that included 2018 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Mike Francesa as Master of Ceremonies.  Fellow RHOF inductees Jim Bohannon, Jim Kerr, and Kid Kelly were in attendance along with celebrity introducers actor Christian Slater (for Hollywood Hamilton), actress Connie Selleca (for husband John Tesh), and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon (for his friend Ryan Seacrest).  Jim Bohannon served as announcer of the event.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and his wife, professor/author Bernadette Duncan, were among the hundreds of industry luminaries, friends and family in attendance.  “It was a truly memorable evening in a dazzling setting that was a heartfelt celebration of radio and the special breed of talented people who have literally been breathing life into it golden age after golden age,” says Harrison. “We salute the dedicated work of Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin, vice chairman Dennis Green, and the entire nominating committee for organizing and presenting such a deeply meaningful event honoring an indisputably deserving Class of 2019.”  Harrison adds, “One of the most noble deeds any organization, platform or individual can perform for an artistic community such as our beloved radio industry – especially as it reaches the extraordinary milestone of its 100th anniversary in a rapidly changing world – is to give credit where credit is due.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Jim Rome, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Joe Madison, Kevin Ryder, Gene “Bean” Baxter, Harry Harrison (seated), and John Tesh.  Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame

From the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame Induction. Above, wheelchair-bound Harry Harrison in the audience watches his children Patti and Patrick make an emotional presentation inducting him into the Radio Hall of Fame.

From the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame Induction. Inductee Joe Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio with his old friend, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.

Louisiana Judge Denies Felony Arrest Warrant for Former WWL, New Orleans Sports Talk Host Seth Dunlap.  The Times-Picayune reports that last week, a New Orleans Police Department detective investigating the case involving former WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans sports talk host Seth Dunlap was denied a warrant to arrest him on a felony count of extortion.  Regular TALKERS readers who’ve been following this case remember that after the official WWL Twitter account posted a gay slur against the openly homosexual Dunlap on September 10, an Entercom investigation appeared to indicate Dunlap sent the tweet via his phone, although Dunlap’s lawyer says Dunlap did not have access to the account and didn’t have its password.  She also says Dunlap took a lie detector test and passed.  Subsequent talks between Entercom and Dunlap’s legal team reportedly included Dunlap’s request for $1.8 million to settle his charge against the station of allowing a hostile workplace environment.  Entercom turned the case over to the NOPD and the cops got a warrant to search Dunlap’s phone.  In last week’s ruling, Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn said the evidence presented didn’t rise to the level of the definition of felony extortion.  The NOPD says the case is still “active and ongoing.”  Dunlap, through his attorney, has vowed to sue WWL over the hostile workplace matter.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  Less than 25% of news/talk stations suffered a (weekly 6+ AQH share) ratings drop-off from the September survey to the October survey.  Gainers were led by Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+2.4).  Comparing year-over-year numbers, 51% of stations on our panel are down, while just 37% see their ratings go up.  News/talkers up over last year include: Entercom’s WCCO, Minneapolis; iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach; Cumulus Media’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; and iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: That First Call.  As programming cutbacks continue, smart on-air people are involved in advertising sales.  In this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke shares tips for getting – and making the most of – face time with prospects.  Read it here.

Impeachment Proceedings/Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Hong Kong Protests, Veterans Day Holiday, Berlin Wall Falls Anniversary, Looming Bitter Cold Weather, and Australia Bushfires/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment process against President Trump and the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the weekend’s violent protests in Hong Kong; the Veterans Day holiday; the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; the bitter cold temperatures forecast for parts of the U.S. this week; the devastating bushfires affecting Australia’s eastern coast and the role of climate change in that country’s drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Stephen A. Smith has inked a new deal with ESPN – a five-year pact that will pay him about $8 million per year.  As TALKERS reported last week, Smith is giving up his midday radio show on the ESPN Radio network at the end of the year.  He’ll continue to appear on the cable channel’s “First Take” and will make more appearances on “SportsCenter” and on NBA coverage…..The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Rob Tornoe writes that Philadelphia sports media personality Rob Ellis is returning to local TV as co-host of a new show on KYW-TV called, “Odds On,” with station sports anchor Pat Gallen.  The sports-betting themed, 30-minute program will air Sundays at 8:30 am.  Ellis will continue to handle fill-in duties for Entercom’s WIP-FM.  He’s been sitting in for the convalescing Big Daddy Graham on the overnight show.  He previously served with NBC Sports Philadelphia for 17 years…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WVON, Chicago afternoon talk host Cliff Kelley is being honored in “An Amazing Tribute to Cliff Kelley” on Saturday (11/16) at Parkway Ballroom, in Chicago.   Kelley spent 25 years with the Midway Broadcasting urban news/talk station in both the morning and afternoon drive dayparts.  He retired from the station last March.

WRKO, Boston Raises $230,000-plus for Disabled American Veterans. Last Friday (11/8), iHeartMedia Boston news/talk “AM 680 WRKO, The Voice of Boston” raised more than $230,000 to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts during the DAV radiothon that took place from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.  iHeartMedia Boston VP of news/talk Rob Sanchez says, “Since our nation’s inception, our military men and women have sacrificed their own lives for our freedom.  It’s an honor for AM 680 WRKO to have this opportunity to show respect for our veterans with the help of our generous listeners.  And to raise $233,593 this year is incredibly gratifying.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): DAV-AM director of public relations Robert Lynch, WRKO APD Jarred Diglio, DAV-MA adjutant/CEO Dan Stack, and WRKO morning host Jeff Kuhner.

KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner Michael Zwerling is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The long-time owner of news/talk heritage station KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA, Michael Zwerling, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Zwerling, known throughout the radio industry as one of the last of the fiercely independent owner/operators, is described by TALKERS publisher Harrison as “an extremely colorful, quirky, eccentric, and intelligent lover of radio – a refreshing counterpoint to the budget-obsessed, community-indifferent, mega-corporate mentality that has consumed the decision-making processes of much of today’s industry.”  In a free-wheeling conversation between two old friends, MH and MZ discuss the changing nature of Freedom of Speech and challenges facing the First Amendment in the 21st century digital era, plus more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of the TALKERS email newsletter.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WPXY-FM, Rochester air personality Brianna “Breezy” Sloth is promoted at the Entercom CHR outlet to morning drive co-host alongside morning radio pro Corey James on the “#TeamPXY” show.   Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn comments, “Breezy has an undeniable work ethic and tenacity while delivering her one-of-a-kind, friendly and outgoing personality on the air.  She has a real familiarization with our station, this market and its devoted listeners, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.”  Breezy joined ‘98 PXY’ as an intern for the station’s morning show in 2017. Following her graduation from SUNY Oswego, she assumed various roles for the station, including in promotions and programming as WPXY’s evening show host, morning show fill-in host, and morning and evening drive traffic reporter…..Entercom assigns programming duties for country KMNB, Minneapolis to WUSN, Chicago PD Kenny Jay in the aftermath of the recent departure of KMNB PM drive host and programmer Lucas Phelan.  Jay will continue to work from the company’s Chicago offices…..Programming pro Dylan Salisbury is leaving his APD/music director role at Cumulus Media’s CHR WZPL-FM, Indianapolis for a gig soon-to-be-announced.  Cumulus Indy operations manager J.R. Ammons says in a memo to staff, “During his two years at ZPL, Dylan has proven to be a smart, strategic, passionate programmer and I will miss our music arguments every Monday.  Please join me in congratulating Dylan on this well-deserved promotion; his last day will be next Friday the 15th. Until a permanent replacement is named, Zakk Babb will be filling in on ZPL.”…..Pictured below in New York City on Friday night (11/8) is pop radio icon Ryan Seacrest being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame  by “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.

Monday, November 4, 2019

| November 4, 2019

Monday Memo: Do You Copy? If you were the advertiser, how would you feel about being #5 in a 6-spot stopset?  It’s a problem that now seems baked-into radio’s business model.  But good commercials get results.  And REAL good ones are actually welcome.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke shares tips from the experts, and actual phrases that got results for his client stations’ advertisers.  Read it here.

Impeachment Process, 2020 Presidential Race, California Wildfires, McDonald’s CEO Fired, Hong Kong Violence, and Kanye West’s Sunday Service Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment process against President Trump and speculation about who will be called to testify; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the status of the California wildfires; McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is fired for having a relationship with an employee; the violent clashes between protesters and police in Hong Kong; and rapper Kanye West’s Louisiana “Sunday Service” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Todd Starnes Launches New, Three-Hour Talk Show Today. Author, award-winning journalist, and former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes begins hosting his new, daily talk show today (11/4).  “The Todd Starnes Show” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and is premiering on more than 25 radio stations via syndication through Hamilton Strategies.  Starnes says the program is a caller-driven format and weaves his unique, down-home humor with interviews featuring major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He also covers breaking news and stories from across America.  “I don’t spend three hours yelling at folks,” he adds.  “Sure, I get riled up, but we also share plenty of laughs with our listeners. Callers are an important part of our program.  Conservative or liberal, we give folks a fair shake.”  In addition to the new show, Starnes also produces the daily, short-form feature, “Todd Starnes News & Commentary,” that includes unique, one-minute stories covering politics, culture, and heartland headlines.  Starnes says, “I believe in taking care of our affiliates, taking care of our sponsors, and taking care of our listeners.  I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.”  Interested stations can contact Hamilton Strategies via: Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or (610) 584-1096, ext. 101.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Fires Seth Dunlap. WVUE-TV, New Orleans reports that Entercom news/talk WWL-AM/FM has fired evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap, almost two months after he took a leave from the station in the aftermath of the posting of a homophobic slur directed at him on the station’s Twitter account.  The case is still in the hands of the New Orleans Police Department after Entercom requested it get involved following its own investigation.  The station says it appears Dunlap posted the tweet himself, but his attorney says that, not only did Dunlap not have access to the station’s password for the Twitter account, he passed a polygraph test pointing to his innocence.  Early last month the NOPD obtained a warrant for information from Dunlap’s cell phone.  At the same time, according to a previous New Orleans Times Picayune story, Entercom alleged Dunlap is engaging in extortion after seeking a $1.85 million settlement.  Dunlap’s attorney, Megan Keifer, alleges Entercom is not complying with requests for documents to “substantiate their defamatory claims” and also has not produced documentation for the NOPD.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is the focus of a piece in the Los Angeles Sentinel the centers around his belief that ordinary citizens can make a difference in their government.  The story also reveals that the SiriusXM Urban View host’s program was targeted by Russian trolls during the 2016 election.  Madison tells the paper’s Nadine Matthews that after getting calls to the program from Blacks encouraging other Blacks not to vote, he discovered his show was being targeted.  “We found out that the Russians had actually hired African Americans to target social media and Black news/talk programs.”  Read the story here…..Sports talk host Josh Innes – formerly of WIP, Philadelphia and KILT-AM and KBME-AM in Houston – is filling in on the afternoon drive show on Gow Media’s KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5”  today (11/4).  Innes has been off the AM/FM airwaves and has been focusing on his eponymous podcast since exiting KBME eight months ago…..Salem Media Group’s WNTP, Philadelphia re-brands the station as “Philadelphia’s AM 990 The Answer.”  Salem Philly general manager Lorenzo Caldara says, “The change to ‘Philadelphia’s AM 990 The Answer’ more accurately reflects what we have always desired to be as a radio station – one that always went deeper into issues that matter to all of us, one that provides answers to the many questions we all have.  With the addition of Chris Stigall in the mornings, we now have the added dimension to focus on local issues just as closely as we can on national issues.  We’re proud of this city, and it’s time to serve it better than ever before.”…..Toledo’s “Talk Radio 100.7” is gone as Cumulus Media replaces the format with rock “100.7 The Zone” on WQQO-HD2/W264AK.  The signals became the home of the news/talk format three years ago after the company moved the programming from WTOD-AM and turned in the station’s license…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is doing double duty, filling in all this week on iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio WFLA” in morning drive for “Good Morning Orlando” host Bud Hedinger in addition to his own program…..Envision Networks is offering stations 24 segments of its new “60 Seconds of Service” feature to air once per hour on Veterans Day (11/11).  Stations are invited to broadcast “60 Seconds of Service” throughout the entire day, with each segment spotlighting men, women and even animals in uniform who have served their country and their communities.  Program host Randy Miller says, “Veterans Day should be every day in the United States.  We should never forget the sacrifice of the men and women who wear the uniform and give their all to protect our way of life. We do 60 Seconds of Service to remind everyone about the continuous commitment of the less than 1 percent who serve our country each and every day.”…..Pictured below is WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and WMCA “The Mission” talk show host Kevin McCullough with some of the guests that appeared on his Salem Media Group program that broadcast live from Bobby Vans “The Original” in the historic Helmsley Building in New York City.  McCullough says more than 300 listeners packed the place for his 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm broadcast.  Guests on the program included: Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, and congressional candidates Mike Ghassali, Chele Farley, Nicole Malliotakis, and Fernando Cabrera.

Marianne Williamson Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  2020 presidential candidate and prolific best-selling author Marianne Williamson guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Criticism of today’s media and journalism is not the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump.  Nor is the observation that the national party committees are above putting their thumbs on the scale to help certain candidates of their own choosing.  In a candid conversation conducted shortly after the most recent televised Democratic Party debate, Williamson tells Harrison that both today’s media journalism and political party machinery can use improvement when it comes to honesty, integrity, and competency.  When asked what she has learned thus far from the experience of running for president, she states, “I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I feared and that the people of the United States are even more wonderful than I hoped.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

BFoA to Honor George Beasley with Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 4, 2020, Beasley Media Group founder and chairman George Beasley will be honored with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The annual fundraising gala takes place at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “George is one of the forward-thinking pioneers of radio and a longtime supporter of our charitable mission.  Starting off with radio stations in small market America and expanding to major cities, George built the company that bears his name with ingenuity, integrity, and innovation.  We are delighted to recognize his leadership in our industry.”  George Beasley comments, “I fell in love with radio early in my career, and I have been fortunate to be a part of this wonderful business as it has grown and expanded.  Giving back is an important tradition in our family, and it is an honor to support the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help those in our industry who need it most.”

 

 

News Gigs at FOX News.  There are three positions that FOX News Radio and FOX News are seeking to fill.  The first is an Overnight Freelance Anchor for Fox News Radio that includes on-air duties for FOX News Radio and the FOX News Headlines 24/7 channel on SiriusXM.  See that job description here.  The second is a Freelance Writer for Fox News Headlines 24/7 that involves writing news for the national news network, conceptualizing, writing, compiling enterprise stories, fact checking, and building show content newscasts for FOX News Headlines 24/7.  See that job description here.  The third position is a Freelance Producer/News Editor in which the successful candidate will supervise the staff for the FOX network radio news operation, FOX News Headlines 24/7.  See that job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Killabrew returns to Indianapolis to serve as SVP of programming and PD of classic rock WFBQ “Q95” and alternative WOLT “Alt 1033” for iHeartMedia, effective January 1.  Killabrew had been SVP of programming in Indy until leaving for the company’s Washington, DC cluster to serve as program director for classic rock WBIG “Big 101” and alternative WWDC “DC101” earlier this year…..In March of this year, “Kevin & Bean” show co-host Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he would leave the program at KROQ, Los Angeles to re-locate to Great Britain.  Now, we know that his last show will be this Thursday (11/07).  The duo has been hosting the successful program on Entercom’s KROQ for the past 30 years. Kevin Ryder will continue to host the morning show on the alternative rock station…..At country KMNB, Minneapolis “102.9 The Wolf,” Lucas Phelan exits the station and the program director position he’s held for the past 18 months.  Phelan was also the afternoon drive personality…..Program director and PM drive jock Mike Miller exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT-FM, Baltimore “Z104.3” and embarks on a new career on the sales side of the business with the company’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania cluster as an account executive…..Premiere Networks’ “Brooke & Jubal in the Morning” – co-hosted by Brooke Fox and Jubal Fresh – are this year’s recipients of the Radio Hall of Fame’s “One to Watch” award.  The honor was created last year in honor of radio legend and 2012 RHOF inductee Art Laboe.  Each year, the RHOF nominating committee selects a promising radio personality or team who has demonstrated ratings success, audience growth, and impact on one or more radio stations and their communities.  RHOF chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Brooke and Jubal exemplify the inspiration behind this award.  While they’ve made ‘Movin’ 92.5,’ KQMV-FM their home in Seattle, the magic they create on the air continues to win audiences far beyond.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

| October 4, 2019

Latest Development in Seth Dunlap Case: NOLA Cops Get Warrant for His Cell Phone. According to a report in the Times-Picayune, the police in New Orleans obtained a warrant for information from the cell phone of WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap, with the intent of determining if the gay slur directed at Dunlap from the Entercom station’s Twitter account was actually sent by Dunlap himself, as the station’s internal investigation concluded.  Dunlap’s attorney – Megan Kiefer – is saying that the station turned the matter over to police only after negotiations to settle Dunlap’s complaints about a homophobic workplace atmosphere broke down.  Entercom got the police involved after Dunlap sought a settlement of $1.85 million – something the company is alleging amounts to extortion.  Adding to the intrigue are previous reports that Entercom is aware of Dunlap’s financial troubles because of letters it had received in recent months concerning wage garnishment.  Those reports also alleged Dunlap has unpaid credit card bills and personal loans haunting him.  Prior to the Twitter incident, Dunlap posted a Facebook message in which he described his difficulties working in sports media as a gay man.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Frenemies at Home and Abroad!”, looks back at this past news-rich week of September 30 – October 4, 2019.  Partially recorded at this week’s “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in New York City, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Christopher Nixon Cox (noted attorney, businessman and grandson of Richard Nixon); Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesTom Sullivan, host, Talk Media NetworkHugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor, WABC, New York; and Judith Regan, publisher, Regan Arts. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, California; and KBKW, Aberdeen, Washington as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Skyview Networks’ Upfront Event Showcases 2020 Audio Platforms. This week, the Skyview Networks’ Experience Momentum 2020 Upfront took place at The Onyx Room in New York City.  Skyview says that with audio as the backdrop, the event “featured some of the biggest names in media sharing how ‘access’ and ‘storytelling’ have deepened their connection and delivery to audiences across 5,700 plus affiliates.”  Skyview EVP and general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo hosted the event and took Madison Avenue executives through new branded audio integrations for news, influencer, long-form, short-form, sports, and music platforms.  Skyview founder and CEO Ken Thiele comments, “I’m extremely proud of Jeanne-Marie, our entire sales organization, and all of our network partners that demonstrated their unique and powerful capabilities today.  The turnout from our longtime buyers and clients speaks volumes to the importance of this event and I am thrilled to showcase our growing momentum in the industry.”  Pictured above at the upfront are (from l-r): ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Deshishku, and GMA’s Ginger Zee.

TALKERS News Notes. Jackson, Mississippi talk radio host James Tulp is entering politics.  He’s announced he’ll challenge U.S. Rep. Michael Guest in the Republican primary in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.  Tulp hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on SSR Communications’ news/talk WYAB-FM, Jackson…..ESPN is providing cross-platform coverage of the 2019 Major League Baseball Postseason.  For the 22nd consecutive season, ESPN Radio will broadcast every game.  Audio from ESPN Radio broadcasts can be heard on the ESPN App, ESPNRadio.com and Sirius XM…..ABC Audio announces “The HeirPod” podcast by ABC News Royal contributor Omid Scobie.  The podcast takes listeners behind palace walls and dives deep into the latest stories from the House of Windsor with insider interviews and special guests.  Scobie is a London-based journalist who regularly appears on “Good Morning America” and is Harper Bazaar’s Royal editor-at-large.

KMOX, St. Louis Reporter Brett Blume Dies at 55. Co-workers at Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis are mourning the death of reporter Brett Blume, who passed away Thursday (10/3) after dealing with significant health challenges since February of this year.  Blume was a St. Louis-area native who worked as a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio outlet KWMU prior to joining KMOX in 2002.  He is survived by his wife, Kathy and 21-year-old son, Devin.

Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 30 – October 4.  The controversy over President Trump’s request Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China and the Hong Kong protests.  Coming in at #3 was the North Korea Missile test, followed by economic jitters and the stock market at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC; Video Posted for On Demand Viewing.  A powerful panel discussion titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations,” took place in New York City yesterday morning (10/1) that was described by one of its media industry attendees as “a 90-minute PhD on the subject.”  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  According to Harrison, “We produced this event to serve as a serious informational workshop for talk media hosts to absorb the basics of a topic that will be of enormous importance in world events over the coming years.”  Harrison adds, “Based on the response we have received to its live streaming and subsequent on-demand rebroadcasts on NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) and Talkers.com, we seem to have succeeded in achieving that goal.  The panelists were magnificent.” See the video of  event here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Phoenix market, programming pro Sara Jean is named assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KESZ “99.9 KEZ” and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  In addition, she’s the new late afternoon host for KESZ.  In her new role, Sara Jean will oversee the day-to-day operations of both stations’ music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions, and digital operations.  KESZ and KYOT program director Paul Kelley states, “I’m excited to mentor Sara Jean as she continues to grow in the industry, but I’m just as excited to learn from her.  Sara has a contagious energy and a unique perspective that will elevate each station.”…..Cumulus Media appoints Chris Matthews program director and morning show host for country KIZN, Boise “Kissin 92.3.”  Matthews will work on air with current morning personality Alana Lynn as the station’s new morning show team.  Matthews was most recently program director and afternoon drive host for iHeartMedia’s KBEB-FM, Sacramento.  Cumulus Boise RVP and market manager Don Morin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Chris lead the KIZN team.  His energy and desire to win is infectious.  I have no doubt that Chris and Alana will dominate mornings in Boise!”…..iHeartMedia Orlando’s urban contemporary “104.5 The BEAT” – W283AN/WTKS-HD2 – announces the date and lineup for its BEAT Music Fest.  The November 23 event takes place at the Lott in Downtown Orlando and will feature performances from: DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Rotimi, and Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.

September 2019 PPM Data – The third round of September 2019 ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 PPM markets, including: Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.   Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from nine PPM markets below.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Six straight negative or neutral sweeps by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) led to a -1.7 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), but “News Talk 760” is a combined +.3 in August/September (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

An overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM (Tigers) applies the brakes with a September increase of four-tenths to 4.3 (6+); “97.1 The Ticket” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10).

Significant ups/downs continue for co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950,” which was #1 in March; a combined -1.4 in June/July (6.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+); a whopping +1.1 in August; but -.5 in September (5.9 – 5.4, second to fifth, 6+).

A half-share increase to 2.1 (#20 to #19, 6+) by Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM ends its (repetitive) April 2019 through August 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 (6+). It had been nearly two years since WUOM last reached the two-share level (November 2017, 2.1, as well, 6+). Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth to August’s +.2 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and remains at #21.

Detroit Music Formats – After being -1.0 owing to four straight survey periods without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is now a combined +.5 in August/September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6, #14 to #13, 6+). Improving by two-tenths (6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 the third month in a row. Its June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+) followed three successive down or flat months that accounted for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC, which was a combined +1.3 in July/August (3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), drops one-tenth to 5.1 (6+). Even so, “105.1 The Bounce” advances from seventh to a three-way tie at sixth. In August, WMGC reached the five-share level the first time since February 2017 (5.2, as well). The 1.6 (6+) August advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” held over Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” widens to two full shares. The reason: WNIC gains three-tenths (5.6 – 5.9, fifth to second), while WDZH drops one-tenth and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). WNIC lost six-tenths in August (6.2 – 5.6, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive negative trends (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “The Breeze” is an overall -.9 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). In eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), WDZH more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share. Off a collective seven-tenths in three straight down or flat reports (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), cluster-mate WYCD “99.5 Detroit Country Music” repeats at #9. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” is +1.3 through seven consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to #16. This (2.9) is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 3.0. Shortly after a 3.4 (6+) March debut, iHeartMedia classic rock WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” is down a collective eight-tenths in three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, #11 to #14, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+) sends co-owned CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” from fourth to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.1) since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2018. Beasley Broadcast Group’s newly-acquired urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 in three consecutive positive or neutral reports (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) erases June’s -.8 (4.0 – 3.2, 6+) and repeats at #6. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” has lost nine-tenths via four drops in succession (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and slips from #15 to #18.

Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM (Arizona Diamondbacks) repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (2.4) and market rank (#15); “98.7 Arizona Sports” was -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

The June 2019 through September 2019 topline for Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#11 to #10, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – On the heels of three straight decreases that resulted in a -.9 (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” has answered with four successive upticks accounting for a +1.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Its format foe, Entercom’s KMLE “Country 107.9,” remains at #13 but is a cumulative -1.0 through three straight downward moves (3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Steady at #12, Hubbard Broadcasting alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ” is up a collective seven-tenths in three bumps in succession (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Following five consecutive increases that yielded an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ drops three-tenths to 6.7 (6+) but is #1 the third time in a row. August’s 7.0 was its strongest 6+-showing since January (7.0, as well). As a result of three consecutive positive or neutral moves, Family Life Communications contemporary Christian KFLR “Family Life Radio” nets seven-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+) and checks in at #23. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” is an overall -1.7 via four straight decreases (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.7, the last time “Kiss” fell below a four-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2017 (3.0). Five increases in a row netted Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL an overall +2.3 (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+) and its best 6+-stat (6.3) in more than two years (July 2017, 6.4, 6+). In September, however, “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” surrenders four-tenths (5.9, 6+) and slips from second to fourth.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Entercom-owned WCCO (Minnesota Twins) is a combined +.7 in August/September (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “News Radio 830” lost one-tenth in July, halting three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +2.1 (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” surrenders one-third of that increase (3.0 – 2.8, -.2, #14 to #15, 6+). One-tenth behind KTLK is Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1,” which recaptures the two-tenths it lost in August (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). July’s +.4 interrupted four straight decreases that led to a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+).

In addition to being a cumulative +2.2 in five straight positive or neutral moves (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) rockets from ninth to fourth. This (6.1) is its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 6.7. Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500,” which lost two-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (.8 – .7 – .7 -.6 – .6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to .7 (#23 to #22, 6+).

While steady at #3, Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips by one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that produced a +2.2 (4.3 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roughly cutting in half August’s loss of nine-tenths with a September improvement of one-half share (5.5 – 6.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” rises from seventh to sixth; KTIS-FM was up a combined three-tenths in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (7.4 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” repeats at #1. KSTP-FM has held (or shared) the top spot in January, March, April, June, August, and September. It has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); -.8 (May); flat (June); -.4 (July); +1.1 (August); and -.2 (September). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” regains one-third of August’s -.9 (4.2 – 4.5, +.3, 6+) and repeats at #11. Shifts this year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); -.2 (May); flat (June); +.6 (July); -.9 (August); and +.3 (September). Deflating by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” and Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO-95.3.” This is the third straight down or flat move for “93-X” for a net loss of nine-tenths (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5, fourth to ninth, 6+). “GO-95.3” has lost approximately half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH-share via six consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Ousted from the top spot in June by KSTP-FM, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” returned the favor in July, but was (again) dislodged by KSTP-FM in August. After racking up a July improvement of nine-tenths, “Kool 108” has faltered by one-half share in both August and September (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Before logging a +1.0 in May, KQQL had approximately 54% (-6.8) of 6+ AQH share vanish through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive or neutral trends that yielded a +1.2 (2.1- 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” surrenders one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #13. August’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (3.3, as well). The market’s two major country FMs record modest August 2019 – September 2019 gains. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102” is up a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3, #11 to #12, 6+), while Entercom’s KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” which forfeited one-half share in July/August (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), recaptures 60% of that deficit in September (3.1, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). KEEY “K-102” was -1.0 in June/July (4.9 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+), with July’s 3.9 its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4. KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but ended the slide with June’s +.4.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” which was +1.0 via three straight increases (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, February through May, 6+); a combined -.5 in June/July (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+); +.5 in August (4.5 – 5.0); and -.7 in September (5.0 – 4.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM was an overall -.6 via three consecutive slips (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but erased that deficit in August with a +.6 to 2.5 (6+). In September though, “AM 760” is down two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #20, 6+). Steady at #22, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up an overall half-share via three consecutive San Diego improvements (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Down two-tenths, following August’s increase of three-tenths, Entercom-owned KWFN (Padres) is forced off the top twenty (2.2 – 2.0, #19 to #21, 6+); “97.3 The Fan” lost one-tenth in back-to-back (June and July) sweeps (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). After recording a .8 (6+) four times in the last five sweeps (.8 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” breaks out a +.4 to 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23.

Even though San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shows a gain of two-tenths (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), it backslides from first to second. Before falling to third in July, KPBS was on top the previous six months.

San Diego Music Formats – Hauling out hefty full-share improvements are Local Media San Diego-programmed XHRM “Magic 92.5” (4.5 – 5.5, eighth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.5 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Magic” since April (5.5, as well); the last time “Amor” reached the three-share level (6+) was last October (3.2). Over and above bouncing back from August’s erosion of seven-tenths with a September uptick of nine-tenths (5.7 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” jumps from fourth to first. “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 in five successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+) and had a July-only stay at #1. Prior to July 2019, the last time KXSN hit #1 was July 2018 (6.2, 6+). A combined +1.0 in August/September (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), UniRadio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #16) and matches the 2.5 (6+) it posted in March. Meanwhile, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” is -1.6 in August/September (6.0 – 5.8 – 4.4, third to sixth, 6+), following four consecutive positive or neutral moves that accounted for a +1.0 (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). Six consecutive positive or neutral sweeps by iHeartMedia CHR KHTS resulted in a +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+).  That streak, however, is halted in September as “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by nine-tenths to 5.0 (second to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior, KHTS was a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). After dropping one-half share in August, Entercom-owned adult contemporary KYXY regresses by another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. KYXY was a combined +1.7 in June/July (3.5 – 4.2 – 5.2, 6+), with July’s 5.2 its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 8.4.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” expunges approximately half that deficit (+.8) in three successive modest bumps (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is up or flat the fourth time in succession and nets one-half share in that stretch (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+).

Down a combined six-tenths in July/August (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays, Buccaneers) answers with a half-share September increase to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+).

Having logged a 1.7 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up one-tenth to 1.8 (6+) and continues at #20.

Tampa Music Formats – This time last month, Tampa Bay’s (6+) adult contemporary share increased by +1.1. The format does even better in September as Cox Media Group cluster-mates WDUV “Lite Favorites” and WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” combine for a +1.5. At #1 the 85th straight time, WDUV is +.7 (9.2 – 9.9, , 6+), while WWRM is +.8 and advances from sixth to third (5.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Lite Favorites” faltered by seven-tenths in June, directly after a May gain of three-tenths suspended four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since its 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “Magic 94.9” plummeted by -1.0 in July to 4.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.9. This (6.0) though is WWRM’s best 6+-showing since April’s 6.2. Up a combined nine-tenths in August/September (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WXGL inches up from fourth to third. In four straight negative or neutral moves, “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” was a cumulative -2.4 (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Supplementing August’s improvement of seven-tenths with a September +.6 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” carries on at #5. Off a combined -1.5 in August/September (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” falls from second to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.2) since February’s 4.9. Co-owned Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima,” which had been trending 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 (6+), sputters by six-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). In addition to slipping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” loses eight-tenths in three successive decreases (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, the last time WFUS dropped below a four-share (6+) was exactly two years ago (September 2017, 3.8, 6+). Despite forfeiting two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” progresses from third to second. Rhythmic CHR sibling WLLD “Wild 94.1,” which was an overall +1.1 via six successive up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), is off three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but stays at #7. Directly following three straight improvements that yielded a +1.4 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” is now -1.5 in three successive decreases (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) but advances from #11 to #10. Flat at #12, iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ” is off a collective one-half share in three consecutive negative or neutral moves including 3.8 the last four sweeps (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). In the same May 2019 through September 2019 timeframe, Cox Media group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is down eight-tenths via four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, #12 to #14, 6+). WFLZ and WPOI were deadlocked at #12 in August.

Denver

Spoken-Word FormatsDuplicating August’s -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA (Rockies, Broncos) drifts from #5 (July) to #11 (August) to #16 (September). By way of perspective, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was second in October 2018. While co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has lost a combined three-tenths in August/September (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+), cluster-mate KDFD “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” logs its third straight increase and is +1.0 since June (.1 – .2 – .8 – 1.1, #24 to #25, 6+).

An overall +1.1 via three gains in succession (2.4 – 2.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” progresses from #15 to #12. Taking an even greater jump though is KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM, which dials up a +1.0 (.4 – 1.4, 6+) and vaults from #29 to #21. “Altitude Sports Radio 92.5” last reached a one-share (6+) exactly one year ago (1.0, September 2018).

Surrendering two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR repeats at #6; KCFR was -1.6 in June and +.8 in July. In six consecutive reports without an increase, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC has lost more than 70% (-1.3) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – .8 – .5 – .5, #28 to #29, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+) takes Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” to its highest 6+-stat since July 2018 (3.4, as well). A one-half share gain by Bonneville-owned country KYGO (5.7 – 6.2, 6+), coupled with a drop of six-tenths by Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (6.2 – 5.6), results in KYGO (third to first) and KQMT (first to third) swapping places. It was an August-only stay at #1 for “The Mountain,” which sees its successive string of positive or neutral moves that produced a +1.5 end at five (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). August 2019’s 6.2 was the highest 6+-stat for KQMT since 6.6 in August 2018. After spending June and July at #1, KYGO was ousted from the top by KQMT. Four straight up or flat trends netted KYGO a +1.4 (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+); it then regressed seven-tenths in May; and posted a +1.0 in June. Flat at #14, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KWBL “106.7 The Bull” is down a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), immediately after notching a +1.7 in three straight improvements (2.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 was KWBL’s highest 6+-stat since it switched to country in mid-December 2017. An overall +1.0 in three successive reports without a loss (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” surrenders that entire bounty and three-tenths more (4.3, -1.3, fourth to eighth, 6+). The three most recent shifts by iHeartMedia-owned KTCL are -.6 (5.4 – 4.8, July, 6+); +.7 (4.8 – 5.5, August, 6+); and -.5 in September (5.5 – 5.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” was frozen on 5.4 (6+) in May and June. Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” is a collective -1.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 2.9, #16 to #17, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party” is an overall -1.1 owing to four successive decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Five consecutive increases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+) but “710 The Voice of New York” is off two-tenths to 4.5 (flat at #4, 6+). Repeating at #26, news/talk WABC is up three tenths in August/September (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+).

In addition to having its consecutive streak of up or flat reports that generated a +1.3 suspend at six (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) segues to #2 after five months in a row at #1. August’s 5.6 was its highest 6+ Long Island share since October 2018 (5.6, as well). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up three-tenths in August/September (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+), immediately after -.4 in June/July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+).

Stuck on 3.0 (6+) in May and June and then off three-tenths in July, Entercom all-news WINS has followed with a +1.1 in August/September (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+) as it cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). When it remains at #12, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+).

Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM yield three-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, #25 to #24, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Replacing WFAN at #1 (see above) is Cox Media Group CHR WBLI, which is an overall +1.1 via three successive sweeps without a loss (4.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, second to first, 6+). In the Connoisseur Media cluster, classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” gains nine-tenths in three spikes in a row (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+), immediately following a collective -1.6 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, 6+). Slipping below a four-share (6+), co-owned hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” posts a down or neutral trend the fourth time in a row for a -1.3 and dips from fifth to ninth (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). After logging three straight positive or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WKJY “98.3 K-JOY Long Island’s Place to Relax” drops one-half share to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. WKJY exits the top ten (#8 to #11) and is leapfrogged by iHeartMedia New York’s similarly-formatted WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which gains a cumulative eight-tenths in four bumps in a row (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). Without a loss in each of the last five sweeps, WLTW’s New York City CHR sibling WHTZ had a net gain of one-half share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+); however, “Z-100” stumbles in September by one-tenth to 4.9 (flat at #3, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat reports by Entercom alternative WNYL accounted for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) but “Alt 92.3” surrenders three-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and falls from #15 to #16.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #12, Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” (Ravens) gains seven-tenths in August/September (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), thus erasing 70% of June/July’s -1.0 (2.8 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s loss of six-tenths with a September increase half that magnitude (1.4 – 1.7, +.3, 6+), similarly-formatted independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” progresses from #17 to #15. Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL-FM repeats August’s 6+ AQH-share (.1) and market rank #30.

Off six-tenths in August/September (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) slips from eighth to ninth.

WJZ-FM’s business news sibling WDCH returns August’s gain of three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4 – 1.1, #17 to #19, 6+).

Adding one-tenth to August’s +.7 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues at #11. In addition to dropping four-tenths in three straight Baltimore reports without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

Baltimore Music Formats – A robust +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2) enables iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” to jump from sixth to third. The last time Baltimore’s “Jack” reached the six-share level (6+) was just over two years ago (July 2017, 6.0, 6+). Despite duplicating August’s +.6 (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” remains in eighth-place. Entering the August sweep, “The Bay” was an overall -2.3 in five straight reports without an increase (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “The Bay” slipped below a four-share (6+) was February 2018 (3.8). Erasing all but two-tenths of July/August’s -.7 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a September improvement of one-half share, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” backslides from fourth to fifth. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in August (9.1 – 8.8 – 9.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is #1 the fourth straight month. A combined +1.8 in June/July (7.3 – 8.1 – 9.1, 6+), “Magic” reached the nine-share level (9.1, 6+, July) for the first time since January’s 9.0. Co-owned urban contemporary WERQ carries on in the runner-up slot although “92 Q Jams” forfeits nine-tenths (8.4 – 7.5, 6+). An overall -1.8 in three down or flat moves in a row (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0 – 8.0, 6+), WERQ curtailed the slide with an August spike of four-tenths. April’s 9.8 marked the first time WERQ reached the nine-share level (6+) since July 2016’s 9.2.  Down one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (6.7 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+) and Radio One Washington, DC urban contemporary WKYS (1.7 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+). WPOC lost one-half share in four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+) but followed with a combined +.9 in July/August (5.8 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). WKYS had gained seven-tenths in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Following an August improvement of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+), Alpha Media-owned news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is flat at 4.7 (6+) but bumps up from seventh to sixth. Its recent shifts include: -1.0 in March/April; +1.1 in May/June (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+); -.7 (July); and +.6 (August). Three successive spikes by iHeartMedia’s KEX yielded nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+) but “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” forfeits six-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). Unchanged at #24, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a .9 five times in 2019 and a 1.0 four times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 (6+).

Following three successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” erases the deficit completely and is back to 1.5 (#22 to #21, 6+). “The Fan” overtakes Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game,” which is trending 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (June – July – August – September, #22, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” surrenders the one-tenth it picked up in August (.3 – .4 – .3, #26 to #28, 6+).

Steady in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB is a combined +.9 in August/September (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.4, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in three downturns in a row (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); -.9 (May); and +.5 (August).

Portland Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” dials up a +1.3 and zooms into the top ten (#11 to #5), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by -1.2 and fades from the top ten (#9 to #17). “The Wolf” is a combined +1.5 in August/September (3.5 – 3.7 – 5.0, 6+), whereas “The Bull” has lost roughly half (-2.8) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive setbacks (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 2.9, 6+). This (5.0) is the strongest 6+- showing for “The Wolf” since August 2017’s 5.2 but the lowest (2.9) for “The Bull” in exactly one year (September 2018, 2.4, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW #1 the third month in succession, “K-103” obliterates July/August’s -.7 (7.8 – 7.4 – 7.1, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 8.2 (6+). July marked the first time “K-103” held the lead position since “Holiday” 2018. Ironically, it returned to the top despite having its consecutive string of increases that yielded eight-tenths snapped at three (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). This (8.2) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2. Even though CHR cluster-mate KKRZ records its fifth successive sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “Z-100 Portland” backslides from eighth to ninth. Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” nearly erases all of July/August’s -.7 (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.7 (ninth to sixth, 6+). There is more back-and-forth with iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station,” which was a combined +.6 in June/July (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+); -.5 in August (3.9 – 3.4, 6+); and +.5 in September (3.4 – 3.9, #14 to #11, 6+). A collective +1.2 via four jumps in succession (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” advances from #18 to #16. On the heels of August’s +.7 (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erodes by -1.1 to 4.0 (fifth to tenth, 6+). When “The Fish” picked up four-tenths in July, it ended three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). After logging three consecutive increases netting eight-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in August/September (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back gains of one-half share (July) and seven-tenths (August), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” falters by -.5 in September (3.2 – 2.7, #15 to #18, 6+). July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat moves that resulted in a -2.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). After posting a 1.8 in June (#20, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted the third month in succession.

Friday, September 27, 2019

| September 27, 2019

The WWL, New Orleans-Seth Dunlap Case Gets More Bizarre; Station Accuses Host of Extortion.  According to coverage of this story in the Times-Picayune, the reason Entercom went from an internal investigation of the anti-gay slur tweet against sports talk host Seth Dunlap to turning it over to the police (as TALKERS reported yesterday), is because it believes Dunlap himself sent the text and is attempting to extort $1.85 million out of the company.  The New Orleans police department says WWL believes the tweet was sent from Dunlap’s cell phone.  The police report also notes that the station is accusing Dunlap of threatening to go “scorched earth” over the matter and is demanding $1.85 million in order to get out of personal financial trouble.  The station adds that it has been receiving letters regarding wage garnishment for Dunlap as creditors attempt to collect for unpaid credit card bills and personal loans.  The police are currently working to corroborate WWL’s conclusions.  Right now, they are calling it a possible extortion case.  Dunlap’s lawyer, Megan Kiefer, says Dunlap didn’t have access to the station’s Twitter account and that the station is “attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture.”

New KIRO-AM, Seattle Program Schedule Unveiled. As a result of the semi-retirement of longtime KIRO-AM personality Dave “The Groz” Grosby and the transition of the “Brock & Salk” morning show to a podcast, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” announces its new lineup, effective Monday (9/30).  First, in afternoon drive, Bob Stelton moves from the early afternoon show to afternoon drive with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore for the “Bob, Dave and Moore” show.  Stelton’s departure from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show results in Tom Wassell being joined in the daypart by Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps for the “Tom, Jake and Stacy” show.  Rost is a Seahawks insider who has served as a writer and editor with 710Sports.com and host with KIRO-AM. Heaps played quarterback at BYU, Kansas and Miami.  He had pro stints with the Jets and Seahawks and joined the station in 2018.  That show will be produced by current “Brock & Salk” producer Kyle Brown.  Taking over the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show is the “Danny and Gallant” program, featuring Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant.  O’Neil moves from his current afternoon drive role on the “Danny, Dave and Moore” show and Paul Gallant arrives from Houston where he’d most recently been hosting mornings at Entercom’s KILT-AM.  Jessamyn McIntyre will produce the “Danny and Gallant” program.  Mike Salk leaves his daily show to focus on his program director role with the station but, as noted above, he and Brock Huard will produce a weekly podcast version of their show, beginning next week.  As TALKERS reported previously, Grosby steps away from his daily show but will do a segment with John Clayton at 11:45 am and will serve as a guest host.  He’s also going to have an expanded role with 710Sports.com.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20).  The new episode titled “Whistle a Yappy Tune!” looks back at this past explosive week of September 23-27, 2019.  Recorded at this week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Dale Jackson, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Michael Brown, KHOW, Denver; Gordon DealCompass Media NetworksCasey Hendrickson, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Michael Patrick Leahy, WLAC, Nashville; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dan “Ox” Ochsner, KNSI, St. Cloud, MN; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami; and John De Petro, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI.     This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

SRN’s ‘Battle for America’s Soul’ Tour Hits Phoenix. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network talk show hosts in Phoenix as SRN’s “Battle for America’s Soul” tour stopped at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.  SRN says the sellout crowd of more than 1,000 heard the hosts discuss topics from impeachment to the culture wars.  From left to right are: SRN hosts Larry Elder and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, two unidentified KKNT, Phoenix listeners, Twitchy.com founder Michelle Malkin, and moderator/SRN talk host Mike Gallagher.

Seen and Heard at the Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  He says Thursday’s sessions focused on podcasting and sales, culminating in the annual Marconi Awards ceremony.  He notes that 139 students interested in radio and media from across the country attended the Radio Show as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s mentoring program.  Executive director Heather Birks says of the 400 or so students who’ve taken part in the last five years, 75% are now working in media and about 50% are working in radio.  Read Jeff McKay’s report here.

2019 Marconi Award Winners Honored. At last night’s awards dinner at the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show, the Marconi’s were handed out.  Spoken-word winners of this year’s honors include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington for Major Market Station of the Year; Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle for News/Talk Station of the Year; and Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston for Sports Station of the Year.  WBZ-FM’s “Felger and Massarotti” – Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti – were honored with the Major Market Personality of the Year award.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” was honored with the “College Station of the Year” award.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Katie Couric is hosting an iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “Next Question with Katie Couric.”  The show becomes part of iHeartMedia‘s iHeartPodcast Network and will “explore some of today’s most important issues and transformative trends through insightful and engaging conversations that span news, politics, and pop culture.” Topics addressed in the 12 episodes include: ABC’s of CBD, Jennifer Garner’s foray into entrepreneurship, whether ageism is the last socially acceptable “ism,” the eSports universe, and a conversation with a former white supremacist who now works to deradicalize others…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Johnny Carson Channel,” on October 1.  The month-long special programming will feature the top, handpicked episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  The programs will highlight notable classic moments, including the first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (1981), Jay Leno (1977), and Ellen DeGeneres (1986), and Eddie Murphy (1982). There are also interviews with Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Impeachment Inquiry Is the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of September 23-27. The Democrats decision to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ukraine phone conversation flap.  Coming in at #3 was immigration reform, followed by the UN General Assembly and climate change tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Sports Talk and Album Rock Radio Pioneer Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There have been a number of stories these past couple of weeks from the world of popular culture.  They include the milestone of Bruce Springsteen reaching his 70th birthday and the impact of his political outspokenness on how his fans might view him.  The deaths of rock stars Ric Ocasek and Eddie Money – also in their seventies; the disturbing saga of football wide receiver Antonio Brown; and the growing popularity in the podcasting world of the “true crime” genre.  WFAN, New York, sports talk personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Harrison describes Neer as “one of my oldest and best friends… and one of my top go-to guys on the subjects of sports, music and crime.”  Neer has been a sports talk show host on WFAN in New York since 1988.  He is also a pioneer of album rock radio having worked in the golden era at WLIR on Long Island and WNEW-FM in New York.  He wrote the milestone book about rock radio titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and has a growing following of fans for his series of murder mysteries featuring the ongoing adventures of Riley King, Private Investigator.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air personality Joe “Flu Season” Lewis joins Cumulus Media as afternoon host and programming assistant at urban contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.”  He was most recently the evening host at Cumulus’ WLZN-FM, Macon, Georgia.  KTCX program director Kelly Mac says, “Joe is a passionate, multi-skilled on-air talent who brings an array of experience to the table.  He not only gets the on-air aspect of radio, but strongly embraces the community as well as the digital, imaging, and branding aspect of radio, which made him a perfect fit for this role.  I look forward to watching him grow and succeed with the Cumulus team.”…..Leaving his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH-FM, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for a yet-to-be-revealed position is programming pro Scott Roddy.  He joined the station in February of 2016…..Below is Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown (right) with Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott (left).  Scott appeared on the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast to talk about the band’s new album and the single, “Ocean.”  She’s also a guest on Scott’s weekend radio program, “Women of iHeartCountry.”

Thursday, September 26, 2019

| September 26, 2019

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ – Day 2.  Pictured above is conservative writer and media figure Ann Coulter (left) speaking on the air with Bill Meyer of KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon (right) at the 13th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  This year, 72 talk radio hosts are taking part in the radio row, debating immigration policy, interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Talk Host Seth Dunlap to Sue Entercom; Company Brings Police into Anti-Gay Slur Incident.  WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans owner Entercom released a statement yesterday (9/25) regarding its investigation into the use of the station’s Twitter account to publish a gay slur about station sports talk host Seth Dunlap on September 10.  At the same time, Dunlap’s lawyer – Megan Kiefer – released a long public statement implying that Entercom has not shown Dunlap any proof of its investigation into trying to find the perpetrator and concludes saying they are preparing a suit against Entercom. (Read that in Kevin Allman’s piece in Gambit.)  Dunlap has been on leave from the station since September 12.  However, Entercom says in its statement, in part: “WWL has completed its investigation into the highly offensive, unauthorized tweet sent from WWL’s Twitter account on September 10, which directed a homophobic slur at Seth Dunlap.  WWL conducted this investigation with the assistance of and external digital forensic firm and outside counsel, and expended considerable internal resources both in New Orleans and on our corporate staff.  We determined that the most appropriate next step is to involve law enforcement.  At this point, the investigation is in the hands of law enforcement and it is not appropriate for us to comment any further on the substance of our findings.”  Kiefer says in her statement that Dunlap has taken and passed a polygraph test indicating he is not responsible for the tweet and, in promising the lawsuit, she adds that Dunlap has endured a “history of discrimination” during his eight years with the station.

Alpha Media and Salem Media Group Content to Be Available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM. The content distribution partnerships between Entercom’s RADIO.COM and broadcasting companies Alpha Media and Salem Media Group will put live channels for all of Alpha’s and Salem’s radio stations on the digital platform and provide a destination for the companies’ on-demand audio and podcasts.  Entercom’s growth of the RADIO.COM platform beyond hosting just its own content is seen in recent content distribution agreements with CNN, Bloomberg Media, Cox Media Group, and Bonneville.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “These partnerships further position RADIO.COM as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  Alpha Media content to be available on RADIO.COM includes livestream broadcasts from 183 stations in 12 markets. Salem Media Group content to be available on the digital platform includes livestreams from their portfolio of 115 radio stations, including 73 stations in the nation’s top 25 markets and 25 stations in the top 10, and over 700 podcasts. Salem Media Group will also partner with RADIO.COM to reach listeners directly and share information about local events, programming and promotions from their portfolio of stations.

‘WOR Live’ at The Cutting Room.  Pictured above are WOR, New York personalities and their guests who appeared in the second installment of “WOR Live,” yesterday (9/25) at The Cutting Room in New York City.  They had a spirited conversation about some of the day’s top stories, their radio careers, what has changed in radio in recent years, and how news reporting has changed in the wake of 9/11.  From left to right are: WABC-TV reporter Toni Yates, WOR personalities Mark Simone, Joe Bartlett, Len Berman, Michael Riedel, Joe Concha, and WABC-TV reporter N.J. Burkett.

Seen and Heard at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay checks in from the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas in which he reports on the “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top” session with executives from top radio companies, as well as thoughts about monetizing podcasting and terrestrial radio in the era of media convergence.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. On the same day that e-cigarette manufacturer Juul announced it is suspending all marketing efforts in the wake of the recent deaths being attributed to vaping, Entercom sent an internal email to its sales force that it is no longer accepting advertising for vaping products.  Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and banned the sale of all vaping products for four months…..The new podcast from Lemonada is titled, “Last Day,” and is hosted by Lemonada co-founder Stephanie Wittels Wachs.  The program addresses the opioid crisis – reported to have taken 72,000 lives in the U.S. in 2017 – focusing on the last day of a victim’s life.  Wachs lost her brother Harris to opioid addiction.  She says, “We’re telling my brother’s story because it’s emblematic of so many stories of people taken too soon by this disease, and we think demystifying one person’s last day and their overall experience will help remove the stigma and shine light on solutions.”…..Season 4 of iHeartRadio’s Original Music Podcast, “Disgraceland” – produced and hosted by Jake Brenan – premieres today (9/26) on the iHeartPodcast Network.  iHeartMedia says, “In the first episode of the musical true crime podcast, Brenan covers hip hop legends N.W.A., the self-proclaimed, ‘most dangerous hip hop group in America.’  Other programs this season include and examination of: Led Zeppelin and the dangers of the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page; the story behind Madonna’s difficult and deeply saddening rise to fame; and even explores Eric Clapton’s drug addiction and his murderous drummer.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry, 2020 Presidential Election, Brexit Chaos, Jacques Chirac Dies, and Joker Screening Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). The controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the Democrats’ move to begin an impeachment inquiry; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; the death of former French President Jacques Chirac; and the reports of possible threats of violence and public screenings of the new film, The Joker, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Charlotte Job Opportunity. In the Charlotte, North Carolina market, Entercom is seeking a part-time news anchor for news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  The company posts the following job description: “You’re an engaging, experienced on-air personality.  You’re a great storyteller.  You know how to get to the heart of a story and make it relatable to the listener. You’re never satisfied with knowing just the “Who?, What?, Where?, and When?” of a story; you always seek to know, “Why?”  If this sounds like you, News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT Charlotte would like to hear from you.”  Get more information and apply here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, iHeartMedia names Greg T the new co-host for the morning show on hot AC WTKU.  The new “Carolina with Greg T in the Morning Show” debuts on October 9.   Carolina Bermudez says, “After a summer of having the opportunity to share the studio with some of the best and brightest on-air hosts across the country, it just made sense to welcome my brother Greg T to the KTU family.  I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to welcome him to his new radio home!”  Greg T has been a part of the Elvis Duran show for the past 23 years.  As he moves across the hall to his new gig, Duran says, “Greg T is a major part of our show’s 25-year success story and I will miss him dearly.  We applaud his courage and determination to keep moving forward. I am so proud of him!”…..iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNR, Las Vegas “Sunny 106.5” names AJ Maguire morning drive personality in which he joins the station’s Joanna Baumann for the “AJ and Joanna Morning Show.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Tony Matteo says, “We’re excited to have AJ anchoring morning drive on ‘Sunny 106.5.’  Adding AJ’s skill as a storyteller and entertainer to the already strong ‘Sunny 106.5’ Las Vegas brand puts the station in the perfect position for growth and success.”  Maguire joins the station from Cox Media Group, where he most recently served as the afternoon host for country WWKA and classic hits WMMO in Orlando for the past three years…..Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” names programming pro Jerry McKenna program director, effective September 30.  McKenna was most recently with Cape Cod Broadcasting as director of programming.  He previously served with Entercom in Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts.  Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “I am excited for Jerry McKenna to bring his breadth of knowledge to ‘Star 94.1.’  His insight and experience will be invaluable as we continue to deliver the engaging content Atlanta listeners deserve and expect from our station.”…..Skyview Networks announces “The Dana Cortez Show” is added to the program schedule at Riviera Broadcast Group’s hip hop KKFR-FM, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market).   This is the first top 15 market station to add the show to its lineup…..Sun Broadcast Group reports the Michael Baisden show is back on the air in his hometown of Chicago on dance-formatted W236CF, Chicago/W236CG, Bolingbrook “95.1 FM Club Steppin.”…..Townsquare Media Billings, Montana brings Michael Foth aboard as brand manager for classic rock KMHK “103.7 The Hawk.”  He says, “Reaching people on digital platforms is something that was only imagined by most terrestrial broadcast companies 10 or 15 years ago.  Radio is in the middle of a unique transformation and Townsquare Media is a leader in the industry.  I’m excited to be a part of this evolution.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

| September 11, 2019

‘970 The Answer’ Presents Special 9/11 Show. On the anniversary of 9/11, Salem Media Group news/talk WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” is presenting a special program today (9/11) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on location from the kitchen table of Red Apple Group chief John Catsimatidis (soon-to-be owner of WABC, New York) with host Kevin McCullough and former New York Governor George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  McCullough says, “The unique and intimate broadcast will take place on location around the Catsimatidis kitchen table and will bring the two leaders together in person in a way seldom seen since this fateful day.”

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Respond to Call for Flag Planting. Afternoon drive personality Simon Conway tells TALKERS magazine that WHO, Des Moines listeners planted almost 3,000 flags in a local park to commemorate those who died in the 9/11 attacks after the city decided to cancel the annual event.  Conway says, “About four months after I arrived in Des Moines, there was a meeting.  How were we going to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11?  Some people wanted to rent the big arena in town and have a solemn service. I pointed out that was a big risk. It was the first or second NFL Sunday and how terrible would it be if no one showed up.  Eventually, I came up with the idea of planting a flag in the ground for every person who was murdered that day.  We have done that ever since.  Yesterday morning my listeners started to contact me saying that the city had cancelled this year’s [event] due to lack of flags and volunteers (total garbage by the way – they want to move on!).  There was no way I was going to let that happen and so using social media and the opening of my show yesterday, I directed people to the park. All the nearly 3,000 flags were in the ground before 5:00 pm!  THAT’S the power of the very best audience in talk radio!”

Entercom Wrestling with ‘Technical Issues.’ The company has been pretty tight-lipped about the technical issues that may have been caused by a cyber-attack that occurred over the weekend.  Entercom’s email system has been compromised and those trying to email someone at the company receive a message saying it is dealing with technical issues and directs them to call the local market via phone.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the issue – again, the company won’t confirm it’s an “attack” – also has affected music scheduling, production, and billing.  Radio trade site RadioInsight is calling it a ransomware attack and reports the attacker(s) is asking for $500,000.  Whether it’s an actual ransomware attack or just the work of a devious hacker, the company has a lot of work to do.  Entercom’s public statement on the matter is that it is working around the clock to fix the problems.  An internal memo staffers received on Monday morning said they should not expect things to be back to normal for three or four days.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Does Damage Control After Gay Slur Tweet.  Openly gay WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap was the target of a tweet containing a gay slur that appears to have emanated from within the station.  According to a piece in The Advocate, many of Dunlap’s listeners may have learned of his sexuality after he wrote a personal essay questioning New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ affiliation with Focus on the Family, an organization that, among other goals, promotes gay conversion therapy.  Brees has recorded a video for the organization about the upcoming “Take Your Bible to School” day.  Entercom removed the offensive tweet and tweeted out the following: “We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account.  The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station.  We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred.”

Todd Schnitt and Fark.com Partner for New Podcast. On-air pro Todd Schnitt and FARK.com founder Drew Curtis are launching a new podcast called, “Fark and Schnitt,” “a humorous approach to some of the more unusual story lines in the news cycle.”  It’s being managed by Steve Lapa and Lapcom Communications and represented by Crossover Media Group. It’s being promoted as “an entertaining, irreverent look at the stories you may have missed.  The ‘Fark and Schnitt’ podcast blends entertaining content with polished production to bring the audience the famous and the forgettable in an engaging format.”  New episodes are posted each Tuesday.  Schnitt says, “The explosive growth of podcasts cannot be ignored, and this delivery method will continue to grow exponentially.  While I’ve been part of repurposing my radio shows for many years, ‘Fark and Schnitt’ is all new exclusive quality content just for the podcast universe.  Soon, I’ll be Adam Carolla’s golf caddy.”  FARK.com is a successful news aggregator site with more than 2,000 link submissions daily, 20 million page views per month with more than 1 million uniques.

TALKERS News Notes. Joining the meteorologist staff at EnvisionVirtualServices Weather is Tom Hauf, who will deliver custom daily weather forecasts and severe weather coverage for affiliated stations.  Hauf says, “I’ve been passionate about weather forecasting since childhood, delivering my first forecast at age 10.  Weather is one of a very few things in the world that affects every single person every day.”  Hauf has 30 years of experience as a radio weatherman and possesses a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist certification from the American Meteorological Society. EnvisionVirtualServices Weather Reports from Envision Networks offer a complete locally derived weather solution for radio stations. The team of major market meteorologists deliver multiple daily reports and are ready to spring into action whenever inclement weather hits…..PodcastOne announces that it is teaming with Kc Wayland Productions for production, marketing and sales for the “We’re Alive” podcast series that has more than 160 million downloads to date.  The new season, “We’re Alive: Goldrush,” features guest-star appearances from actors Danny Trejo and Christy Carlson Romano as well as former “Bachelorette,” Kaitlyn Bristowe.  PodcastOne says “‘Goldrush’ is a multi-layered story that fully utilizes the audio drama medium, employing a multitude of audio-focused comedic gags, plot devices that force visualization, and scenes that take advantage of the soundscape.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Coming on the heels of our huge success with ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare’ and the continuing strong showing of ‘Cold Case Files,’ our partnership with A&E Networks, the launch of ‘Goldrush’ not only gives us a strong, new entry into the scripted category, but also shows the strength of our content and promotional resources.”…..KPOJ-AM, Portland afternoon drive sports talk personality Travis Demers is named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers.  Demers has been the substitute play-by-play voice recently, filling in for Brian Wheeler who has been dealing with health issues.  Wheeler recently retired, leaving the position open.  Demers says, “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s an absolute dream job.  I’m thrilled to be able to live out that dream in Rip City.”

Beasley Announces Esports Initiative at UNLV. Broadcaster Beasley Media Group is collaborating with the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies to launch Checkpoint XP On Campus.  Beasley XP is the company’s esports division that is leading this endeavor.  Under this initiative, the school will serve as the primary content creation and production hub for Checkpoint XP’s college-targeted brand extension.  Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, as well as extensive online content that will be featured under the Checkpoint XP On Campus section on CheckpointXP.com.  The weekly video and podcast will be officially launched tomorrow (9/12) on RADIO.com, as well as Twitch, YouTube, and via a podcast on bPod Studios.  It’s being hosted by Beasley XP’s Norris Howard, along with UNLV student anchors Daniel Agbuya and Jacob Brothers, with Kevin Kelly serving as the managing editor.  Additionally, UNLV will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from more than 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “The convergence of sports and entertainment has never been more real than with the esports academic curriculums, sports teams and arenas that are changing the face of campuses across the country.  Checkpoint XP On Campus intends to capture this lifestyle-based competitive sport as it continues to gain popularity and become a more serious part of the university experience.”  Pictured above at yesterday’s announcement are (from l-r): Dr. Kevin Stoker, director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV; Dr. Robert Ulmer, Dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; Caroline Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group; Norris Howard; and Leslie Fitzsimmons, director of underwriting and corporate sponsorship for UNLV’s public media outlets.

Trump Fires John Bolton, 2020 Presidential Race, NC Special Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Immigration Policy, Antonio Brown Rape Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). National Security Advisor John Bolton is fired by President Trump; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Republican Dan Bishop wins a North Carolina congressional special election; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies; and the rape allegations leveled against Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Radio Opportunities in Phoenix. There are two positions that WestStar Multimedia Entertainment is seeking to fill. First, the Kim Komando show is looking for an on-air call screener and sidekick.  They ask: “Do you have an engaging personality?  Quick-witted? Funny?  And this is very important, have a passion for consumer electronics and all things digital?  We are looking for a superstar talent who’s hard working and wants to be part of national radio show and global TV show!”  See more about the position and to apply here.  Also, WestStar is seeking an affiliate relations manager with at least two years’ experience. The company says, “Kim Komando Multimedia is rapidly expanding in many divisions, as we are one of the fastest growing broadcast media companies in America!  For over 20-years, Kim Komando has led the industry in tech-lifestyle programming within the national radio category, reaching millions of people every week.”  For more on this position and to apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales and management pro Donald St. Sauveur is upped to chief operating officer for Northeast Broadcasting and its stations triple A outlets WXRV, Boston “92.5 The River” and WNCS, Montpelier “The Point.”  St. Sauveur has been serving as general manager for WXRV for the past 11 years. Northeast Broadcasting CEO Ed Flanagan says, “Donald has shown an uncanny ability to integrate the sales and programming elements of the station, while simultaneously building brand and customer loyalty.  We are looking forward to seeing him succeed in this new role.”…..Programming pro Leigh McNabb joins Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA, Des Moines as program director.  She comes to Saga from her most recent gig as PD and midday personality at Entercom’s hot AC KZPT, Kansas City “99.7 The Point.”  Saga Des Moines vice president and general manager Tom Nankival says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring someone with Leigh’s experience and qualifications back to her hometown.  Her passion for KIOA’s heritage is unparalleled and the fact that she is already so well respected in our building made her the obvious choice to rejuvenate the station and lead our terrific team.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated morning star Bobby Bones is offering his listeners the opportunity to put their personal twist on The General Insurance’s jingle for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to see Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots perform.   Fans can enter the contest by creating their own video showcasing their spin on the jingle.  The winning video will receive a three-day, two-night trip to Las Vegas to meet Bobby Bones and attend the Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots performance on November 15 at Reynolds Hall at Smith Center.

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