Tag: "New Orleans"

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.

Friday, August 16, 2019

| August 16, 2019

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications 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, “A Variety of Unpleasant Conundrums!” looks back at this past week of August 12-16, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Renee Kohanski, M.D.; Kevin Miller, talk show host, KIDO, Boise; Joe Thomas, talk show host WCHV, Charlottesville; and Elaina Newport, co-founder and head songwriter, The Capitol Steps. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Podcast Network. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  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.

First-Half Ad Drivers. It isn’t your imagination – automotive dealers and insurance providers are the top advertising categories in radio, TV, and cable. That’s the analysis of Media Monitors’ latest rankings that cover the period from January 1 through July 31. Local auto dealers finish far ahead of any other category during the same period last year. As far as the number of vehicle insurance commercials are concerned, Media Monitors opines, “New auto buyers are likely to shop around. To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they’ve aired this year.” Local car and truck dealers focus their advertising on radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked #10 (2,537,737). As far as specific advertisers are concerned, Home Depot, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and McDonald’s aired the most spots thus far through July 31 of this year. The top 10 radio advertisers for the first seven months of 2019 are: Home Depot, GEICO, Lowe’s, Indeed, McDonald’s, Progressive, Seriously, Sprint, Macy’s and JC Penney. By way of perspective, #1 Home Depot had more than three times the number of “radio instances” (1,777,560) than #10 JC Penney (579,288).

TALKERS News Notes. The new Phoenix affiliate for CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Radio Network primetime NFL coverage is CRC Broadcasting Company sports talk KQFN “The Fanatic.” CRC president and chief executive officer Ron Cohen remarks, “There are no more popular yearly sporting events in this country than NFL football. We’re proud to be the exclusive Phoenix radio affiliate and excited for the incredible opportunity to air these high-profile NFL games, including the Super Bowl in February.” ….. After 24 seasons covering University of Central Florida football – most recently as sideline reporter and pre-game host – Jerry O’Neill is retiring from the radio team. He made the announcement on Marc Daniels’ show on UCF football flagship, iHeartMedia Orlando sports talk WYGM “The Game.” Taking O’Neill’s place as pre-game host and sideline reporter is Scott Adams; former UCF defensive lineman and NFL player Leger Douzable joins as analyst. Meanwhile, producer Chris Vasquez is boosted to executive producer, and assistant producer Tom Morgan will produce all men’s basketball and baseball radio broadcasts ….. The corporate director of programming of Forever Media stations in Wilmington (Delaware) and Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland), Brad Austin, exits. In addition to his corporate duties, Austin programmed and did afternoons on WXCY “New Country 103.7.” He had been with WXCY the past six years and added corporate responsibilities three years ago. The Wilmington and Salisbury-Ocean City stations for which Austin was responsible included news/talk WDEL-AM & WDEL-FM; WXDE “News Talk 105.9”; sports talk WYUS “ESPN Delaware”; WSTW “Today’s Best Variety”; WAFL “Eagle 97.7”; classic hits-oldies WAVD “97.1 The Wave”; classic rock WNCL “Cool 101.3 Delaware’s Greatest Hits”; and gospel WFAI “Faith 1510.” ….. More than 300 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year’s NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free spots that address issues of importance to their constituents. The PSAs have been sent to radio and TV stations across the country. NAB executive vice president Dennis Wharton notes, “The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America. Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities.” NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.

Top Choice For News Among Teens? YouTube. A June 14 – June 25 poll of more than 1,000 U.S. teenagers (13 – 17) conducted by nonprofit Common Sense, in tandem with SurveyMonkey, found that 54% of respondents get news at least a few times per week from social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while one-half do so from YouTube. As David Cohen writes in AdWeek, “Six of ten citing YouTube indicated they were more likely to get their news from celebrities, influencers, and personalities than from news organizations.” The preference for YouTube may best be explained that more than six of ten respondents stated, “seeing pictures and video showing what happened” helped them understand major news events, while roughly one of three would rather “read or hear the facts.” In a release detailing its findings, Common Sense notes that the news habits of teens, “reflect the diversity of the modern media landscape. While most news organizations maintain accounts on social media and other platforms, they are competing for attention with corporate brands, celebrities, influencers, and personal connections.” Two of three teens who do turn to news organizations say it helps them better understand what is going on; 53% of those who get news from social media expressed the same sentiment. Meanwhile, one of five believe getting news via social networks makes them more confused about current events. Common Sense chief executive officer James Steyer observes, “These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions. There are few standards for what constitutes news and how accurately it’s portrayed on the platforms teens use.” SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen adds, “While it’s notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications. It’s a bit of a paradox: Overwhelmingly, teens say that they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they’re not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Yesterday at 5:00pm (Thursday, 8/15), iHeartMedia Indianapolis transitioned WOLT-HD2 (W248AW-FM) to CHR “97.5 “Kiss-FM.” Debuting commercial-free and featuring an air staff (KD, Rucker, Jake B, and Catalina) heard on a number of other iHeartMedia stations, “Kiss” will rely on a playlist from artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, and Shawn Mendes. Market president Brett Beshore states, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Kiss FM’ brand to Indy. The music, events, and personalities featured on ‘97.5 Kiss FM’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.” Senior vice president of programming for iHM Indianapolis Dave Hill comments, “Our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music they love without commercial interruption. ‘Kiss FM’ is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the [CHR] landscape.” WOLT-HD2 did not appear in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for Indianapolis. Existing CHRs in the market include WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.0, #5, July 2019, 6+) and WNOW “Radio Now 100.9” (2.9, #14, July 2019, 6+). A third CHR, WYRG “Energy 93.9,” flipped to rock WNDX “93-X” two months ago (May 2019) …. Heard weekday mornings (5:00 am – 10:00 am) on Hearst Television Baltimore’s WIYY “98 Rock,” Justin, Scott & Spiegel are expanding to television this weekend. The first episode of their half-hour “Justin, Scott and Spiegel Shouldn’t Be On TV” will air immediately following “Saturday Night Live” on Hearst Baltimore’s WBAL-TV (channel 11). WIYY president and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Pairing Baltimore’s most colorful and imaginative radio show in this great time slot after ‘SNL’ is a terrific opportunity to reach our listeners on one of the country’s strongest NBC affiliates. Justin, Scott and Spiegel are ready to take full advantage of this great lead-in.” WBAL-TV president and general manager Dan Joerres remarks, “Creating this television program for broadcast on WBAL-TV 11 is a natural extension of our partnership with sister station ‘98 Rock.’ Like our shared partnerships with the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Lottery, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our Baltimore viewers and listeners. Given the popularity of the live stream of Justin, Scott and Spiegel’s morning show, we saw an opportunity to develop this program for local fans.” Justin, Scott and Spiegel have been a morning show team since 2013 ….. Also in that Maryland market, WWMX “Mix 106.5,” Baltimore nighttime talent Neci Williams takes on music director duties there. Entercom Baltimore director of programming, music stations/WWMX PD Tom Cook remarks, “I’m happy to recognize Neci’s ability and talent with this promotion. She has a great ear for new music and really hears the art and flow when editing a log; being a music director has been a goal of hers for years.” Formerly with Washington, DC’s WHFS, Williams has worked for Baltimore’s “Mix” the past three years ….. Initiating this weekend is Premiere Networks’ two-hour “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” the founder and chief executive officer of “Hollywood Unlocked.” He and co-hosts Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage will “keep listeners on the pulse of hip-hop and pop culture.” Miami rapper Trina guests on the first show and discusses “stripper rappers.” Among the 50 stations clearing “Hollywood Unlocked” are iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlets KRRL “Real 92.3,” Los Angeles; WGCI-FM, Chicago; KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” Houston; WRDG “96.7 The Beat,” Atlanta; WUSL “Power 99,” Philadelphia; WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” Miami; and WJLB, Detroit ….. Nine stations are added to the roster for Entercom’s “Channel Q” on the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network. The network brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Channel Q’s already expansive reach nationwide is another step in the right direction as we aim to promote and support inclusion throughout our country. We remain as persistent about providing the LGBTQ+ community and its allies with a voice as we did when we first launched. We are proud to continue to expand our efforts into new markets.” Listeners can find Channel Q on the following stations via an HD Radio capable device: WSTR-HD3 “Star 94.1,” Atlanta (next month); WTDY-HD3 “96.5 TDY,” Philadelphia; WDZH-HD3 “98.7 The Breeze,” Detroit”; WDSY-HD3 “Y-108,” Pittsburgh”; WQMP-HD2 “FM 101.9, Orlando”; WXSS-HD3 “103.7 Kiss FM,” Milwaukee; WNVZ-HD2 “Z-104,” Norfolk”; WEZB-HD2 “B-97, New Orleans”; and WMQX-HD2 “Max 102,” Wilkes Barre-Scranton ….. In the summer of 1969, 400,000 people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 top musical acts. The 600-acre farm was overwhelmed with intense heat, rain and mud. “Woodstock” became a legendary scene and spawned an Academy Award winning film, soundtrack album, and major hit song. On the 50th anniversary weekend, CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One will have correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, New York; 50-year old sound will be replayed from the Westwood One News archives. The golden anniversary will be celebrated with a half-hour Mike Moss-hosted special, “Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages.” The news retrospective will run Labor Day weekend and explore Woodstock’s legacy with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews. In other Westwood One news, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host the network’s annual four-hour “Workin’ Hard Country” music special over Labor Day weekend. Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits from his own catalog, as well as songs from (among others) Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, and Keith Urban. Many of the artists will share stories about their pre-fame jobs ….. Starting one week from Monday (8/26), iHeartMedia San Diego hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” premieres Jesse Lozano and Tati Santiago (“Jesse and Tati in the Morning”) as its 6:00 am – 10:00 am wakeup team. KMYI program director Joe Haze states the show will be “entertaining and San Diego-centric, focusing on relatability. It will give listeners a great variety of music to get their day started.” San Diego native Lozano began his radio career inside the iHM San Diego cluster as “Boy Toy Jesse” on CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 FM” and moved to Los Angeles CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” in 2007 for afternoon drive duties. He has been hosting “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” on “Star” and remarks, “I’ve been a fan of Tati’s for a very long time – I feel so lucky to be teaming up with her. Adding her brand to ‘Star’ mornings is an incredible opportunity; our listeners are in for a good time.” Honolulu’s KIKI-FM was the site of Santiago’s first radio job. Her on-air credits since KIKI include morning co-hosting responsibilities at WPGC-FM, Washington and iHeartMedia San Diego urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’N 95.7.” She comments, “Being able to work mornings with Jesse Lozano on ‘Star’ is something I could never have dreamed. I’m excited to interact, laugh, and dig the ‘sleepies’ out of my eyes with the San Diego community every morning.” Santiago will succeed Delana Bennett, who – as noted here yesterday (8/15) – is boosted to KMYI’s assistant program director/afternoon drive host (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) ….. Assistant program director/music director DJ Q is elevated to content director at Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary and urban AC siblings WGZB “B-96.5” and WMJM “Magic 101.3.” DJ Q is a 15-year veteran at that Kentucky operation.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Cincinnati, Austin, and Cleveland. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of one-tenth to 9.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” halts three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in the loss of one-half share (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+). The Reds flagship – which had a January-only stay on top – continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC is off nine-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) and repeats at #13. Prior to June 2019 (2.7), the last time “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” fell below a three-share was June 2018 (2.8).

As a result of six straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has lost more than 50% (-.7) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .5, flat at #22, 6+). The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (steady at #23, 6+).

In addition to ending at three a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in a -1.2 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (2.8, +.3, 6+) progresses from #14 to #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the heels of June’s mammoth -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” answers with a +1.0 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 the sixth sweep in succession. Furthermore, WGRR has registered double-digits (6+) five times in the last six ratings periods. Entering the June report, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. The three latest moves for Radio One urban AC WOSL are +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+, May); -.8 (3.9 – 3.1, 6+, June); and +.9 (3.1 – 4.0, July, 6+). Not only does “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” return to the top ten (#11 to #9), it has its highest 6+-share (4.0) in more than five years (4.3, March 2014). Owing to five straight positive or neutral moves, Cincinnati Public Radio’s WGUC “Classical 90.9” triples (+1.2) its 6+-stat (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE has been on a wild ride lately. After logging three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” responded with a combined +1.5 in May/June (7.3 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), but erodes in July by -1.6 (7.2, flat at #3, 6+). June’s 8.8 was its best 6+-stat since January’s 9.4. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Radio One urban contemporary WIZF. Four consecutive positive or neutral reports yielded a +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “101.1 The Wiz” was down -.4 in May; bounced back with a June +.7; but regresses by -.7 in July (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Seven successive negative or neutral trends by Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” have resulted in a cumulative -1.4 (4.0 -3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #14, 6+).

By dropping three-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), country sibling WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 stall at six (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” has lost six-tenths and falls from ninth to tenth.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A June/July +1.4 by news/talk KLBJ-AM vaporizes three straight drops that accounted for a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” reenters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Advancing from #20 to #18, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” has a February 2019 through July 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+). After notching a .4 (6+) in May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is stuck on .5 (#24, 6+) in June and July.

A gain of nine-tenths (5.8 – 6.7, 6+) enables University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT to advance from fourth to second. Six of KUT’s seven shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (May) and +.9 (July). June’s 5.8 was its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).

Austin Music Formats – Up six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” progresses from tenth to eighth with its highest 6+-share (4.4) in more than two years (4.7, June 2017). Four successive reports without a loss by alternative KROX net a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+) as “101-X” climbs from #12 to #11. This (3.8) is its best 6+showing since September 2018’s 4.0. Off one-half share in May and then roaring back with a robust +1.1 in June, adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” loses one-tenth in July (9.3 – 9.2, 6+) but is the market pacesetter the fourth month in a row. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). There’s as intriguing situation in the market’s three-way country tussle. For openers, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM strings together its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). “Austin’s Country Alternative” jumps from #14 to #16 with its best 6+-stat (2.6) since February’s 2.7. At the same time, slipping by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are iHeartMedia country siblings KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” (4.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” (4.5, flat at #7, 6+). KASE is a combined -1.0 in June/July (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), directly after +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). It plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Likewise, KVET-FM is -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), following May’s +.9; “The Austin Texas Original” was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). After posting six successive positive or neutral monthlies that yielded an impressive +2.1 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” surrenders roughly half that increase (-1.1) to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” loses six-tenths to 3.6, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2, and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following May/June’s combined +1.1(5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” forfeits roughly half that increase (5.9, -.5, third to fourth, 6+). Having scored a March +1.2, regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is now a collective -2.7 in four subsequent decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+) and falls from eighth to tenth. With an April – May – June (6+) topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio classic hits-oldies KTXX-HD4 vanishes from print.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are: -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June); and another +.5 in July (5.6 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

Upon resurfacing in print this past April, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK logged a .5 (6+) in April, May, and June, finishing at #19. “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” however, is unlisted in July.

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -2.3 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it repeats June’s 3.6 (6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Cleveland Music Formats – Similar to its sports talk cluster-mate WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (see above), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104” is in an alternating down/up pattern. WQAL’s sequence started in January and includes July’s +.8 (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2, #11 to #10, 6+). A boost of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) propels “106.5 The Lake” from ninth to sixth with its strongest 6+-stat since January (6.1, as well). Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” (6.0 – 6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM” (#12 to #11). WDOK bounces back from June’s -1.5 which sent “Star” to 6.0, its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well). Meanwhile, “Kiss” is within 3.1 – 3.9 range for the sixth successive time (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Its classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” finishes on top the eighth straight sweep (9.8 – 9.2, 6+). Six of its recent shifts are: +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.6 (July). On the heels of June’s gain of six-tenths, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ suffers a setback more than four times that magnitude (7.0 – 4.5, -2.5, 6+) as “Z-107.9” tumbles from fifth to ninth. June’s 7.0 was its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. When urban AC sibling WZAK gained three-tenths in June, it suspended five successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+). The July report indicates that WZAK is off by -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7) and continues in fourth-place. Three positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia-owned WMMS netted a full-share (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) but “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” coughs up two-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and dips from seventh to eighth. In May, WMMS reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0.

Friday, June 14, 2019

| June 14, 2019

Cumulus Media Splits WMAL-FM and WMAL-AM to Create ‘ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.’ The AM/FM simulcast of news/talk on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM will end on July 1 as the company creates a new sports talk outlet for the Washington, DC market branded “ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.”  The news/talk format on continues on WMAL-FM and its digital platforms.  The new sports/talk station will carry ESPN Radio weekday programming, including “Golic and Wingo” in morning drive and “The Stephen A. Smith Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  It will also air ESPN’s NBA and MLB schedule, Washington Redskins games and sports talk shows hosted by local personalities.  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann says, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the two biggest sports brands in D.C. – ESPN and the Washington Redskins. We look forward to creating compelling content for our listeners and advertisers as a natural expansion of our relationship with the Redskins.”  The station will announce its full lineup in advance of the July 1 start date.

Martha Zoller Returns to Talk Radio at WDUN, Gainesville. Longtime talk radio personality Martha Zoller is re-joining her former radio station after spending the last five years in politics.  When she returns to Jacobs Media’s WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia on June 24, she’ll be hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour.  Zoller ran for congress in 2012 lost the runoff election to current Republican Congressman Doug Collins.  After that she worked for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and later for Gov. Brian Kemp, where she served as a policy advisor and outreach director.  She says, “After spending the last few years traveling around Georgia and meeting Georgians from every walk of life and political persuasion, I’m excited to be back at WDUN to share how the sausage is made. You might be surprised at some of the insights.  I can’t wait!” WDUN EVP and general manager Bill Maine comments, “She’s uniquely qualified as a broadcaster.  She’s well connected, knowledgeable, and her show mattered both to the listeners and politicians she talked about.  I’m thrilled we’re getting her back on the air, and I think the audience will be, too.”

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Names Broadcaster of the Year and New Members of Hall of Fame at Annual Convention.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention just concluded (6/12-13) at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and from all reports it was a rousing success.  Among the highlights of the event, WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (pictured above, right, with NJBA president Paul Rotella, left) was named the 2019 Broadcaster of the Year – the inaugural presentation of this prestigious award – and a number of Garden State broadcasters were installed in the association’s New Jersey Radio Hall of Fame.  Among them, Salem Media Group VP of spoken word format, Phil Boyce.  In honor of the occasion, Salem’s New York outlet WNYM (AM 970 The Answer) broadcast its morning show hosted by Joe Piscopo live from the convention.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WNYM’s Kevin McCullough, Boyce, Piscopo and WNYM’s Frank Morano.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison made the presentation to Hurley via video.  To view it, please click here.

The John Batchelor Show to Broadcast from Uzbekistan. WABC, New York talk radio host John Batchelor is taking his late-night show to Tashkent, the capital of the Uzbekistan Republic, where it will broadcast live next week.  The venture is being sponsored by marketing firm Scala Inc in conjunction with the Central Asia, Mongolia, Caucasus and Afghanistan Forum and the Rumsfeld Foundation.  WABC says, “Uzbekistan is deep into the heart of the legendary Silk Road, and host John Batchelor and co-host Christopher Nixon Cox will interview young entrepreneurs who are striving to transform a region of 80 million people into an economic engine to bring prosperity to a civilization that was ignored by the Russian Empire and abused by the Soviet Empire.”  Batchelor adds, “Tashkent is part of a chain of ancient city-states of traders and farmers that created cultures of wealth and art more than 2,000 years ago, attracting conquerors from Alexander the Great to Tamerlane and Genghis Khan.  In between this dusty game of thrones, the city states achieved breakthroughs in geometry, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics that Western Europe would not see until the Enlightenment.  Today, the Central Asian states are starting to recover their own history and with it a sense of pride.  And Uzbekistan, the most populous state of Central Asia, is looking to America for a guide on how to awaken and enhance its pioneering ambitions.”

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of June 10-14 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (June 10-14) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM Saturday mornings at 9:00 am but will move next week to the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “The Drums of Impeachment, Hatch, Hyde and a Helicopter!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Harry Hurley of WPG, Atlantic City; Jack Riccardi of KTSA, San Antonio; comedian/social commentator Jimmie JJ Walker; and ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley.  The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It was recently picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm.  According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, the program is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this show as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeartMedia picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and a number of stations have inquired about its availability.  We are in the process of figuring out where we want to go with it.”   For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here.

Round Four of May PPMs Released.  The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Austin, Raleigh-Durham, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets on Monday (6/17).

Robby Bowen Named VP/Director of Sales for Entercom New Orleans. Sales pro Robby Bowen was most recently general sales manager for Entercom’s Dallas operations.  In his new role as vice president and director of sales for the New Orleans station group, he’ll be leading sales efforts for news/talk WWL-AM/FM, and four music brands.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “Robby has an exceptional track record of leading sales teams and programs for clients.  We are pleased to keep his talents within Entercom and welcome him to the bayou.”

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Enshrined in Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame. WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) were inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame at the awards luncheon yesterday (6/13) in West Des Moines.  The annual awards luncheon honors and recognizes Iowa broadcasters who make a difference through their great stories of leadership, integrity, reliability, service over self, team building, and mentoring across the state.  Harden and Lucas are the fourth and fifth WHO personalities to be inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame joining the ranks of legendary broadcasters such as Jack Shelley, Jim Zabel and Keith Kirkpatrick. Harden says, “Just coming to a job you love where you can have fun and help people every day is amazing enough in itself.  Especially when I’ve been able to do it with such an uplifting and fun co-host for over three decades.  Being inducted into the Iowa Broadcasting Hall of Fame with so many incredible broadcasters is truly a surreal and over-the-top experience.”  Lucas adds, “This job is not work.  It’s having fun talking with your friends, inviting them into your world. It’s being in the middle of all the news that’s happening both locally and all around the world. It’s working with a co-host for decades who has been my friend for 40 years.  We don’t do this for awards, but this award is extremely special.”

Democratic Party Impeachment Talk/John Dean Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 10-14. The intensifying talk among Democrats about beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the related testimony from Nixon White House Counsel John Dean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Mexico deal and immigration reform.  Coming in at #3 were the Hong Kong protests, tied with U.S.-China relations and U.S.-North Korea relations, followed by the Trump foreign campaign intel controversy 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.

Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College Begins Monday. The 2nd annual Beasley Radio Talent Institute for students, interns, and young professionals begins at Emerson College in Boston on Monday (6/17). It is an intense, 10-day program in which participants have the opportunity to meet with and learn from radio professionals currently working in the broadcast industry.  Beasley Media Group chief operating officer and executive vice president Brian Beasley officially kicks off the sessions. Students will learn from some 40 experts in the broadcasting field working at companies including: Beasley Media Group, iHeartMedia, Entercom Communications, Hall Communications, the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics and more. The Beasley Radio Group Talent Institute is part of the National Radio Talent System produced by Dan Vallie that takes place on select college campuses across America each year.

VSiN Partners with Gow Media to Distribute Sports Betting Radio Content. The Las Vegas-based Vegas Stats & Information Network enters into a relationship with Houston-based Gow Media to distribute sports betting content via what they are calling “the nation’s first terrestrial radio network dedicated exclusively to sports betting news and information.”  It will debut in August.  VSiN chairman Dan Mason says, “We’re thrilled to provide Gow Media with select sports betting content for terrestrial radio syndication on this exciting new platform.  Establishing itself as the leader in the sports gambling information industry, VSiN is differentiated not only by delivering the most credible, actionable sports betting news and insights, but also by adding the entertainment factor with a variety of personalities.  Over the past 10 years sports radio has exploded and now there’s a new, younger audience emerging that will use analytics to inform their wagers within the growing regulated betting markets.  This new network fits perfectly in that space, combining great personalities and legendary odds makers with sophisticated analytics.”

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Mainstay Harry Hurley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who has been waking up South Jersey listeners from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on heritage talk station WPG-AM/W238CZ, Atlantic City for more than a quarter century, Harry Hurley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hurley is about to be honored with the very first New Jersey Broadcaster of the Year Award at the forthcoming New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention this week on Thursday (6/13) at Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel.  Hurley, who also serves as the lead FOX News Radio substitute host, is a past recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award for his remarkable philanthropic work in raising more than $800,000 over the past dozen years via his Hurley in the Morning Charity and distributing it to hundreds of worthy causes and organizations in Atlantic City and across the Garden State. Harrison and Hurley – who is positioned this year at number 51 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – discuss the state of politics, media, journalism, and popular culture in a fascinating conversation that dives deep into the workings and thought-processes attendant to executing today’s talk show.  Don’t miss it!  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. In Philadelphia, Radio One promotes urban contemporary WPHI “Boom 103.9” midday personality and APD Paris Nicole to program director for the station.  The company notes that this promotion makes Nicole the youngest program director currently employed by the company. Radio One Philadelphia station manager Ezio Torres says, “Paris earned this promotion by stepping into a void at our station months before the position was created.  From managing and scheduling the staff, to orchestrating ‘Boom Class of 2019’ flawlessly, she proved what we already knew – Paris Nicole is a natural leader.  With that skill and her incredible relationships, she will take ‘Boom 103.9’ to the next level.”…..Westwood One is presenting an Independence Day special called “Celebrate the USA,” hosted this year by RCA Records recording artists Old Dominion.  Joining the band for the radio special will be fellow country artists Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and many more. The program is available for air Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7.…..Telcom Supply Inc agrees to sell former classic hits KETX-FM, Livingston, Texas to Christian radio operator KSBJ Educational Foundation for $385,000.  Greg Guy and Jason James of Patrick Communications, LLC served as exclusive brokers for the deal.

Round Three of Nielsen’s May PPMs Released. May 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – In addition to erasing 50% of March/April’s -1.0 with a one-half share increase (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Anchored at #18, iHeartMedia’s KEX falters by three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+); “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” was up two-tenths in April. Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” return’s April’s one-tenth increase and has a January 2019 through May 2019 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 (#24 to #26, 6+).

Having more than tripled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” jumps from #23 to #21. It is tied there with Alpha Media sports talk KXTG “The Game,” which has nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, flat at #21, 6+). After losing one-tenth in back-to-back reports, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up four-tenths to 1.5 (steady at #23, 6+), its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7.

Following an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB erodes by nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+) and shifts from second to third. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -1.6 (February); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May). This (7.0) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.9.

Portland Music Formats – Entercom-owned KWJJ posts a +.8 in May and continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” reenters the top ten (#12 to #6) with its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). An increase of four-tenths by Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KUPL takes “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to 4.6 (ninth to sixth), its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 4.7. Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). On top the fourth month in a row, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” is nonetheless a combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+). When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) exactly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” erodes by -1.4 (5.1 – 3.7, 6+), the largest (6+) April 2019 to May 2019 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. Moreover, “Charlie” plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.7) since September 2018’s 3.6. A loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) sends iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW “105.9 The Brew” from #11 to #15. After scoring an overall +2.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” surrenders six-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to ninth, 6+). While unchanged at #17, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.1 in four consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to sputtering by seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after notching back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is an overall -1.2 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). May’s 3.2 is its lowest 6+showing since September 2018 (2.9).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost one-tenth in that timeframe; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

A  combined +1.1 in January/February, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” follows with a -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 in May (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+). This is the fifth time in the last six sweeps (and third time in a row) that South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC logs a .3 (flat at #22, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Steady at #7, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” racks up a +2.1 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Tacking on a +1.1 to April’s +.8 (2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV jumps from #17 to #14. Entering the April sweep, “89.9 Classical Public Radio” lost a collective half-share in four straight down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Not only does a positive spike of eight-tenths deliver Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well), “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including a February tie for the lead). Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Even though iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKKT is a cumulative +1.1 in three straight bumps (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” backslides from a second-place tie to third. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Leaping over “The Kat” is its adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake.” As is the case with WSOC, “The Lake” notches a May spike of eight-tenths (6.3 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+). Its six most recent fluctuations are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Immediately in advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link Charlotte’s Best Mix” dials up a one-half share gain to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Owing to three slips in succession, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” is an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). A combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falls from #16 to #18.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of April’s +1.1 (4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI forfeits roughly half that increase (4.8, -.5, 6+) but repeats at #4. April’s 5.3 marked the first time WOAI reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was an overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). A dip of one-tenth to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” suspends three successive up or flat trends that netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Locked on .4 (6+) in March and April, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” drops one-tenth to .3 (6+) but stays at #31. The 6+ AQH share of iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” shrinks by two-thirds (-.4) in  April/May (.6 – .3 – .2, flat at #32, 6+).

After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX repeats April’s 3.1 (6+) and inches up from #15 to #13.

San Antonio Music Formats – Off six-tenths in March/April (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” obliterates that deficit with a +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8. On top the third month in succession, KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. In advance of slipping to #2 in November 2018, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. A full-share increase to 3.0 (6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR propels “Air 1 Worship Now” into the top twenty (#14) and halts three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+). Conversely, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by a full-share immediately after April’s +.5 (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). “K-Love” was off three-tenths in February/March (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share balloons by +1.0, nearly equally divided between Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.5 – 7.1, +.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.8 – 6.2, +.4, 6+). KCYY and KAJA continue at #2 and #3, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). Wild shifts continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9.” It bounced back from January’s -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February +.4; was -.6 in March; +.8 in April; and now -.6 in May (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” is a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, #21, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Up eight-tenths through three straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” regresses by two-tenths to 4.2 (6+) but stays in ninth-place. April’s 4.4 is its best 6+-showing since August 2018’s 4.5. A one-half share decrease (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) drops Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” from fifth to sixth.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” picks up one-tenth to 6.1 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. KFBK was tied for first in January. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6, #15 to #14 (6+).

In addition to reaching a one-share (6+) for the first time since December 2018’s 1.0, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” adds one-tenth the third sweep in a row (.7 – 8. – .9 – 1.0, #24 to #22, 6+). Flat at #25, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+-stat in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+).

Five decreases in succession by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Ending the slide with a +1.0 to 4.5 (6+), KXJZ returns to the top ten (#12 to #9); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history.

Falling from #26 to #27, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through May 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Erasing March/April’s combined -.6 (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) with a May uptick of nine-tenths (8.0 – 8.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Ten of its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); and +.9 (May 2019). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s KYRV “93.7 The River,” expands by one-half share via three consecutive (modest) spikes (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). As a result of four straight up or flat trends, Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” is an overall +1.9 (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 -6.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). As adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” falters by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+) dropping from third to eighth, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” gains four-tenths (3.7 – 4.1, #10 to #11, 6+). A combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Mix 96” was up two-tenths in March but surrendered one-half share in April. This (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Forfeiting two-thirds of April’s +.9 (5.6 – 5.0, -.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KKDO “Alt 94.7” slips from fifth to sixth. The market’s (6+) country share sputters by a combined half-share as Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is off three-tenths yet actually advances from eighth to seventh, and Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” drops two-tenths (2.2 – 2.0, 6+) and remains at #16. Having benefitted by an overall +1.4 in three consecutive improvements, “New Country 105.1” is down eight-tenths in April/May (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, this is the 15th successive survey period that “The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5.

Pittsburgh

 Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit unchanged at #10, Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” follows January’s +1.1 with four straight drops accounting for a -1.4 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+).

After gaining four-tenths in April, co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, 6+) and slides from fourth to fifth. Continuing at #22, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has an ultra-consistent September 2018 through May 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 (6+).

Down a combined -.7 in March/April (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” erases all but one-tenth of that deficit (4.2, +.6, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Sharing top honors for largest (6+) April 2019 – May 2019 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” (6.3, +1.4, seventh to fourth, 6+). Moreover, “Wish 99.7” applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of its 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Progressing from third to second, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +1.3 in three straight upticks (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), directly following a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Answering April’s loss of nine-tenths with a May gain of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9, 6+), WDVE is #1 for the fourth successive month. The iHeartMedia rocker posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. By not having an increase the past three sweeps, co-owned CHR WKST was off a collective seven-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), but “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by six-tenths in May to 6.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Alternative cluster-mate WXDX is an overall -1.7 in three straight decreases (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+) as “105.9 The X” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Forever Media-owned classic hits-oldies WKPL falters by one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #14. There’s little movement in the hot AC contest as Entercom’s WBZZ “Star 100.7” repeats April’s 5.0 (sixth to seventh, 6+) and Steel City Media-owned WLTJ “Q-92.9” is up tenth and is trending 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 (#12 to #11, 6+). A March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Having logged a 5.2 four times in the last six sweeps (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” craters by -1.3 to 3.9 (sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” follows with three straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). The January 2019 through May 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 (flat at #21, 6+).

Repeating at #15, University of Utah news/talk KUER loses one full-share as a result of three drops in a row (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and roars back in May with a +1.2 (7.4, steady at #3, 6+). Dialing up a May +1.1, independent KSOP-FM continues an alternating down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+) “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” notches its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). An increase of seven-tenths takes Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” to 3.0 (#14 to #11), its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. Adding six-tenths to April’s +.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ climbs from #13 to #11. The last time “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” reached the three-share level (6+) was in July 2018 (3.2). Down or flat the past three straight sweeps for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” ends the slide with a +.4 to 5.8 (6+) and carries on at #4. The one-tenth lead that Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” had in April over adult contemporary cluster-mate KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” dissipates as “The Arrow” falters by six-tenths to 7.6 (first to second, 6+) and “FM 100.3” adds two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, second to first, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a mammoth +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Its format challenger, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” has its fourth consecutive decrease for an overall -1.2 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat four straight times for an overall +.8 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” forfeits 75% of that increase and fades from the top twenty (2.4 – 1.8, -.6, #15 to #21, 6+). February, March, and April’s 2.4 is its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. For the fourth time in the last five sweeps and third time in a row, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches a 1.1 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+).

Over and above climbing from fifth to third, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (+1.2 in May) extends its consecutive string of positive spikes to five and nearly doubles (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A combined -1.2 in March/April (3.9 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” erases all but one-tenth of that shortfall with a May +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#14 to #9). Immediately prior to the March report, “The Coyote” recorded five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+). In five sweeps in a row without a loss, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ is a cumulative +1.1 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). “Q-100.5” zooms from eighth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.0, as well, May 2018). Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5”  wipes away April’s one-half share loss with a May increase of the identical magnitude (1.8 – 2.3, +.5, #19 to #16, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well are Lotus Communications-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station,” which is trending 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More,” whose January 2019 through May 2019 topline is 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 2.0 (#22 to #17, 6+). Despite dropping one-half share (7.6 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. The station it succeeded at #1 in February, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” is -8.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) and shifts from third to fifth. The last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). Prior to being #1 from September 2018 through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to returning 60% of April’s +1.0 (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” exits the top ten (a three-way tie at #10 to #13). In April, it reached the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.0. Format rival – Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” – is +1.0 in three consecutive increases (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). This (6.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Mix” since July 2018’s 6.7. In four straight declines, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS is -1.3 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) as “SOS Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

 Orlando

 Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing 70% of March/April’s -1.0 (4.5 – 5.2, +.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth; “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is exclusively between 3.1 – 3.9 (6+): 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #11). Locked on 2.5 (6+) in March and April, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF adds four-tenths to 2.9 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (.8 – .7, 6+), sports talk sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” advances from #20 to #19. Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” repeats April’s .3 (6+) but backslides from #22 to #23.

Flat at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is off six-tenths in April/May (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – When Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” dropped three-tenths in April, it interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Promptly responding with a robust May +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), “Sunny” storms from third to first. Ousted from the top spot and segueing to second is iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100,” which is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). This calendar year, WRUM was #1 in January, February, and April. “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017’s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Down nine-tenths via four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” dials up a +.8 to 3.4 (#14 to #12, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.9 range in each of the last five survey periods (5.2 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.3 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” logs a +.7 to 6.0 (eighth to fifth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). Unchanged at #4, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is a combined -1.5 in April/May (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3, 6+) with 6.3 its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.3, as well). Faltering eight-tenths to 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” falls from sixth to ninth. By picking up one-tenth in April, “Magic” ended three straight decreases accounting for an overall -8.5 (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). WMGF was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). The “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline for Cox Media Group-owned WWKA is 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.7 (6+), but “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share in May to 4.2 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Even though Entercom alternative WQMP is up eight-tenths through three straight bumps (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well), “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” backslides from #13 to #14.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot, after a January-only stay on top, iHeartMedia news/talk (and flagship of the Reds) WLW is down a combined half-share in April/May (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+). Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” has a November 2018 through May 2019 topline of 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” erodes by two-thirds (-.4) in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8, #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has its 6+-stat sliced in half in April/May (.6 – .4 – .3, #21 to #24, 6+).

The overall +1.1 that Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU accrued through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) vanishes completely in April/May with a combined -1.1 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Displaying its highest 6+-showing (7.5) since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” progresses from fourth to third. Its five shifts this calendar year are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); and +.7 (May, 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). Posting a May +.7 as well is Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) and has its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). Anchored in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” adds one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), thus suspending four consecutive ratings periods without an increase that led to a loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Notwithstanding that Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNNF remains at #15, “94.1 Nash FM” logs its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Off -2.1 in three straight drops (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-formatted WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” picks up two-tenths to 7.5 (6+) and continues in third-place. Not only is Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR #1 for the fourth sweep in succession, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, WGRR spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). While it is unchanged in sixth-place, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is -1.0 as a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” forfeits four-tenths in May to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are -.6 (March); +.9 (April); and -.7 in May (5.8 – 5.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). The Indians flagship logged a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Salem Media Group news/talk WHK resurfaced in print in April and, while it repeats April’s .5, “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” drops from #18 to #19.

Ensconced in tenth-place, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -1.4 in an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

An overall +1.6 via five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+) Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is steady at #12.

Cleveland Music Formats – A combined +.9 in April/May (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMMS advances from ninth to seventh as “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share level (5.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Recapturing all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it surrendered in April (3.2 – 3.8, +.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” proceeds from #12 to #11. Its March increase of three-tenths curtailed three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). A May gain of four-tenths by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (9.8 – 10.2, 6+) wipes away 40% of April’s -1.0 as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the sixth straight ratings period. Five of its recent fluctuations include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Despite being down or flat the past five ratings periods for a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK remains in the runner-up slot. This, however, is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” concludes four consecutive bumps that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined eight-tenths in March/April (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” slices that deficit in half with a May gain of four-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Flat at #20, co-owned KMBZ-AM  “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; and loses two-tenths in May (2.3 to 2.1, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is off two-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+).

Both of the market’s major sports talk outlets forfeit one-tenth in May. The flagship of the Royals, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” was a combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), but drops to 3.9 (unchanged at #10, 6+). As a result of four straight negative or flat trends, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” is -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+).

Not only is University of Missouri news/talk KCUR +1.9 through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#11 to #6).

Kansas City Music Formats – An April increase of four-tenths by Cumulus Media-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In May, “The Fox” not only adds another seven-tenths to 8.4, its highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1, KCFX progresses from second to first. Albeit +2.5 via four consecutive reports without a loss (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” is dislodged from the top spot after a two-month stay and shifts to #2. Four recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and +1.1 (March). An improvement of six-tenths propels Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” into the top ten (#13 to #10) with its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.9, as well). Exactly doubling (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three up or flat moves in a row (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” inches up from a three-way tie at #15 to #14 and has its strongest performance (3.0) since January 2018’s 3.5. The market’s three major country players find May 2019’s sweep to be a mixed bag. Halting a March/April slide that was responsible for a -1.1 (4.1 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” gains one-half share to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+) and Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” improves by three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), continuing at #7. Co-owned KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” though relinquishes 60% of March/April’s +1.0 with a loss of six-tenths (5.9 – 5.3, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well). Faltering by -1.0 in April/May (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” slides from #11 to #14. Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3” (4.4 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+) and Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (5.1 – 4.6, fifth to eighth, 6+) regress by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. By dropping one-tenth to 2.9 (#15 to #17, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” ends four successive increases that netted +1.2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.0, 6+). Prior to April’s 3.0, “X-105.1” last reached the three-share threshold (6+) in September 2016 (3.1). A collective -2.0 via four successive declines (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+) by Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” (flat at #18) directly follows five consecutive positive or flat moves that resulted in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase in each of the last four reports for an overall -2.0 (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” drops from fifth to sixth.

Unlisted in January, February, and March, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” displays an April 4.7 (6+) and a May 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

As was the case in April, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (4.7 – 4.6, -.1, 6+) is tied with WBNS-FM; in April it was at #6, in May it is at #7.

Columbus Music Formats – A collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” obliterates that in one step with a whopping +1.4 to 8.6 (third to second), its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. Co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” is +1.0 in three straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+) and drives from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.1) since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018. One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” notches a gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+) and carries on in ninth-place. Accustomed to significant monthly swings, iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (13.0 – 11.7, -1.3, 6+) sets the pace for the 18th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); and -1.3 (May). In three straight increases, Saga Communications’ WLVQ amassed a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+) but “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” follows with a combined April/May -1.4 (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+) and slips from second to third. Even though Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.6) its 6+ AQH share as a result of eight consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), it has had consecutive backward moves, #16 to #17 in April and #17 to #18 in May. Owing to five straight positive or flat reports, Saga Communications hot AC WVMX netted seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), but “Mix 107.9” is off three-tenths in May to 2.6 (6+), dropping from #11 to #12.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

| June 11, 2019

Cumulus Media Announces Offer of $300 Million in Senior Secured First-Lien Notes. This Issue of notes is a private offering made only to “persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.”  The new offering is $300 million in Cumulus Media New Holdings, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media, in aggregate principal amount of senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Cumulus reports that it expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

Keith Memloy Appointed PD for WDBO-FM and ‘ESPN 580.’ Rising from assistant program director at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando to PD for that and sister sports talker WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” is Keith Memoly.  CMG Orlando director of programming operations Steve Stewart says, “Keith brings a diverse amount of experience and passion to his role.  I look forward to seeing him and the WDBO team help shape the future of Orlando’s iconic radio brand.”  Memoly started his career with CMG in 2010 as the marketing director for WPYO, WCFB, and WMMO in Orlando.  In 2017, he was promoted to assistant program director at WDBO.  He says, “I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to lead an amazing, award-winning team of talent that is the fabric of the ‘News 96.5’ and ‘ESPN 580’ brands.  WDBO is a legendary brand in the industry and I would like to thank Jason Meder, Steve Stewart and Tim Clarke for believing and entrusting in me and my leadership.”

Round One of May PPMs Released.  The first round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is being released, starting with 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this round of ratings beginning tomorrow (6/12).

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host David Bellavia to Receive Medal of Honor. Buffalo talk radio host and decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia is being presented with the Medal of Honor by President Trump in a ceremony to take place on June 25 at the White House.  Bellavia co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Tom Bauerle on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo.  He’s being presented with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.”  You can read the account of what happened in Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2004 and Bellavia’s actions at the White House site here. In a story on the WBEN website, Bellavia is quoted saying, “There’s so much love on the battlefield, and you really do care.  You care for your hometown, you care for your country, you care for your friends, but that’s something that separates us from all the other enemies we fight…we love what we do and we love who we are protecting.”

Michael Castner Out at Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Talk and news radio pro Michael Castner has exited his role as morning drive host at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas.  Castner’s previous experience includes service at iHeartMedia’s WRNO-FM, New Orleans and KEX-AM, Portland, as well as a stint with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  Castner says he’s happy to re-locate and is also available for fill-in work.  He can be reached at michael@michaelcastner.com.

TEGNA Doubles Radio Holdings with Dispatch Broadcast Group Acquisition. The television-centric company TEGNA Inc. owns adult hits KFMB-FM and news/talk KFMB-AM in San Diego in addition to its 49 television stations.  TEGNA has just entered into a definitive agreement with the Dispatch Broadcast Group to acquire two television stations – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis and WBNS-TV, Columbus for $535 million in cash.  That deal also includes Dispatch’s two sports talk radio stations in Columbus – WBNS-FM and WBNS-AM – and that would give TEGNA four radio properties.  In a press release announcing the agreement, TEGNA says of the sports talk duo, “WBNS Radio is Ohio’s sports destination.  97.1 is the flagship home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and teams across the state and features popular shows and podcasts including ‘Bishop and Laurinaitis,’ ‘Carpenter & Rothman,’ ‘Common Man & T-Bone,’ and ‘The Buckeye Show.’  1460 AM is the flagship station of Ohio State (OSBI) athletics and the home of ESPN Radio in Columbus.”

ABC Radio Ups Stacia Philips Deshishku to VP/GM. The “interim” is removed from Stacia Philips Deshishku’s title as she becomes vice president and general manager of ABC Radio in which she’ll oversee the company’s audio businesses – from traditional terrestrial radio serving more than 1,650 stations nationwide to podcasts and digital audio.  She had been serving as deputy bureau chief for Washington prior to being asked to be interim leader two months ago.  ABC News president James Goldston says, “Stacia is a terrific mentor, providing wise and candid counsel to all, including me.  She helped successfully transform the Washington bureau and was instrumental in ensuring it maintained its competitive edge and high standards in this non-stop news cycle.”

Chris Moreau Named Market Manager for Cumulus Green Bay. Radio sales and management pro Chris Moreau is promoted from his director of sales post with Cumulus Media Appleton/Oshkosh to vice president and market manager for the company’s Green Bay station group that includes: sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, country WPCK-FM, hot AC WQLH-FM, classic rock WKRU-FM, and classic hits WOGB-FM.  He’s previously served as business development/account manager for Journal Broadcast Group/E.W. Scripps, vice president/general manager for Bliss Communications in Racine, Wisconsin, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” adds new affiliate stations KSEV-AM, Houston and WLOB, Portland to its roster.  “The Joe Pags Show” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News in Washington, D.C. and PodcastOne have partnered to produce a new, true-crime podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” that details the horrific events that led to a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper being held hostage, tortured and brutally murdered inside their own home in May of 2015.  Daron Wint was found guilty of the crimes – known as the DC Mansion Murders – in 2018…..FOX Sports is presenting multiplatform coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship.  FOX Sports Radio has on-site coverage from Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday and Friday (6/13-14) via “The Doug Gottlieb Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm while FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer reports live from the course…..CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is serving as the keynote speaker of KYW Newsradio’s “Women’s Achievement Awards 2019,” being held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel on June 27.  This is the 10th annual edition of the awards from the Entercom all-news station that serve to celebrate women making a positive impact on the Philadelphia region.  This year’s event will honor the accomplishments of five exceptional women, all under the age of 40, who were nominated by KYW Newsradio listeners. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are thrilled to have a journalist as insightful and respected as Margaret on KYW Newsradio every week and honored to have her share her experience and perspective at our event. She embodies what the ‘Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for and I look forward to her sharing a special evening with our deserving honorees.”

Sterling Swoons Over Swag Bag.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One personality Walter M. Sterling was so impressed with the quality of items in the Talkers 2019 convention “goodie bag” that he devoted a segment of this past weekend’s “Sterling on Sunday” show to talking about it.  Check it out here.

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Impeachment Talk, Southern Border Issues/Mexico Tariffs Threat, U.S.-China Trade War, and Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports; the U.S.-China trade war and the looming G20 summit in Japan; retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Motor City urban contemporary WDMK-FM is being sold by Urban One to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $13.5 million in a deal that Beasley expects “to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the Company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley currently operates three stations in the Detroit market: rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and rhythmic oldies WMGC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit.  Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity.  We entered the Detroit market in late 2016 and have consistently improved the operating results of the three stations we acquired, and we believe the proposed transaction is a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders.  The addition of WDMK-FM will mark further progress toward our goal of capturing 30% revenue share in each of our markets while delivering valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement.”…..Entercom names Kevin Callahan program director for country simulcast KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He says, “I’m honored to be afforded the opportunity to expand my role with Entercom in the Riverside market.  I’ve been fortunate to oversee programming efforts for KSON and I look forward to taking ‘K-FROG’ to new heights in the next chapter of my career.”  Callahan now oversees programming efforts for all Entercom Southern California country stations.  He continues in his role as program operations manager for sister stations KSON, sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan,” alternative KBZT-FM “ALT 949,” adult contemporary KYXY-FM, and classic hits KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” in San Diego…..Westwood One announces that Nashville-based personality Elaina Smith is re-branding her original podcast, “Breaking Thru With Elaina.”  It was previously titled, “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith.”  The program returned with new stories from female artists breaking through the music industry on June 9 on The Empow(h)er Podcast Network on Westwood One. Smith won a 2019 Gracie Award for the first season of the show.  She says, “I’ve been itching to get season two going all year long.  I’m so thankful to everyone for being so patient as I worked on launching my new radio show, ‘With Elaina.’  Now that it is off the ground, it’s time to keep this conversation going, and with a new name!”

Monday, March 4, 2019

| March 4, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Coming off the historically down Holiday survey, almost 80% of news/talk stations on this panel were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) in the January survey with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+2.4) and WISN, Milwaukee (+2.2) leading the gains.  Comparing January 2018 to January 2019, almost 45% of stations were up (slightly more were down) with Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+2.3) and WLW, Cincinnati (+2.0).   CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta dropped 2.3 shares from last January to this year but still retains its #1 ranking (6+) in the Atlanta market.  Four other news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January survey: iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: ‘Today’s Bonus Question…’ Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about evergreen talk radio topics.  He says, “Smart talk radio hosts have always kept an evergreen file, undated call-in topics for use, y’know, back when we had slow news days.”  Even though there have not been lot of those lately, Cooke says for hosts who want to break away from Washington topics for a bit he has some thoughts on questions they can throw out to their listeners to start a fun topic, such as, “What’s your gripe about where you work?”  See Cooke’s entire Monday Memo here.

Ethan Bearman Leaves KGO.  Heavy Hundred talk media rising star Ethan Bearman has informed TALKERS magazine that he and KGO, San Francisco have parted ways.  Bearman, known for his youthful view of politics and lifestyles from an independent position, began his career at KSCO, Santa Cruz.  He joined Cumulus San Francisco in January of 2014 as a personality at KSFO and moved over to KGO in early 2016 where he was most recently heard live each day between 10:00 am and 12:45 pm with a replay in evenings at 7:00 pm.  Bearman, who lives in Southern California and has been studying law at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, performed his daily show by remote from the Westwood One studios in Culver City.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I love the Bay Area audience and the folks at KGO have been wonderful, but my home and family are in LA and I always knew that this set up would eventually have to end.  I’m excited about receiving my law degree this coming May and moving on with my media career with that extra credential from this location.”  In addition to his radio work, Bearman has become a popular go-to commentator on cable news/talk TV and regularly appears as a guest on the Fox News Channel.

Alfred Williams Joining iHeartMedia Denver.  Sports talk host Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” last week where he was co-host of the market’s highest-rated show with partner Darren McKee to join iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA, according to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver.  Williams will wait out a non-compete (probably six months) and speculation is that he’ll join Dave Logan and Rick Lewis on the afternoon drive program.  In the piece, Williams speaks about how much Bonneville manager Bob Call has meant to his career.  His new boss, iHeartMedia region president Tim Hager says, “I’m unbelievably excited about the possibility of having Big Al on our team as a broadcaster, a talent and a man. Right now, I just respect Bob [Call] and Bonneville and everything they have going on as they transition from that great broadcaster and talent and man.  Much more to come, but really exciting times.”

iHeartMedia Ups Marc Sherman to Regional SVP of Programming for New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  Houston senior vice president of programming Marc Sherman has been promoted to regional senior vice president of programming for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets, that include news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT-AM in New Orleans and news/talk WJBO-AM/K249DV in Baton Rouge.  iHeartMedia region president Eddie Martiny says, “I’m excited to expand Marc’s programming expertise to the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets.  I have had the pleasure of working with Marc for over 15 years and he is not only a brilliant programmer but an excellent leader. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are in good hands.”

Amber Parker Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tuscaloosa. Programming pro Amber Parker moves from iHeartMedia’s Colorado Springs where she served in programming and on-air roles to Tuscaloosa where she’s senior vice president of programming for the four-station Tuscaloosa cluster that includes news/talk WRTR-FM “Talk Radio 105.9” and three music outlets.  Parker will be responsible for spearheading the programming, promotions, and digital strategies for all four stations and will also host the midday show on country WTXT.

Harvey Wells Named Director of Sales Development and Marketing for GeoBroadcast Solutions. Radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells joins GeoBroadcast Solutions as director of sales development and marketing.  In this role, Wells is responsible for the continued roll-out of GeoBroadcast Solutions’ MaxxCasting technology and help introduce its ZoneCasting technology to a broader audience.  The company’s press release says MaxxCasting “leverages Single Frequency Network (SFN) architectures to optimize a radio station’s signal strength within its FCC-allocated contour, allowing greater numbers of potential listeners and Nielsen Personal People Meter encoding…ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will allow a radio station to divide its signal based on a market’s geography, allowing a radio station on its single frequency to air different news, traffic, weather, public service announcements and advertisements based on where a listener is located.”  Wells was most recently general manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois cluster.  During his career he also managed CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group.

TALKERS News Notes. In Burlington, Vermont, Vox AM/FM makes changes to the morning show on news/talk WVMT, ousting Pete Belair and Sarah Mitiguy after two months as hosts of the morning show and launches a new program hosted by Burlington City Council president Kurt Wright and local DJ and podcaster Marcus Certa.  Belair and Mitiguy took over the morning program after working together at Sison Broadcasting’s CHR WXXX, Burlington. They replaced Charlie Papillo and Ernie Farrar, who retired at the time Vox AM/FM was buying the station from Paul Goldman in late 2018.  Seven Days Vt has the story here…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on what he’s calling “reality-show premise of an inspired stunt” as most of the talk hosts from Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” will live in a rented house in Mesa, Arizona while covering the Chicago Cubs’ spring training.  The hosts – midday’s Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight and pm drive’s Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins (along with PD Mitch Rosen) – will live together in the house with show producers and a video producer.  Morning hosts Mike Mulligan and David Haugh are staying in a nearby hotel.  Fans can watch for video highlights on the station’s website…..Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM is presenting the seventh annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes” event being emceed by morning show host Larry Richert on March 26 at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino. Richert will honor five hometown heroes who’ve made contributions to the local community.  This year’s honorees are: Joyce Erdner, founder of The DoorWay, an organization that serves those who need a second chance from dealing with abuse, addiction and neglect; Steven D’Achille who, following the loss of his wife to post-partum depression, founded The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health at West Penn Hospital; Debbie Thackrah, founder and president of Feeding the Spirit, a special non-profit dedicated to nourishing the bodies, minds and spirits of those in need in the Greensburg community; German Township police corporal John Lingo, who stepped into the line of fire and took down a gunman who shot four people in a magistrate’s office; and George O’Donnell, who operates Runs Friends to Friends, an organization bringing kids with and without disabilities together through sports and mentoring.

Trump-Russia Investigation/House Obstruction of Justice Investigation, Trump CPAC Speech, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Summit, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Leaving Neverland Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related investigation by the U.S. House into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump; the president’s two-hour speech at CPAC; last week’s congressional testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the list of Democrats vying to oppose President Trump in the 2020 election; the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and taking the lives of at least 23; the controversy over the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland and the legacy of Michael Jackson; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

RadioInfo Review: Australian Artist Michael Burrows Deserves American Radio Attention.  Melbourne, Australia-based recording artist Michael Burrows knows a thing or two about life – and his take is laid out beautifully within a custom blend of folk, rock, and country music.  Burrows’ music has been described as a fusion of musical genres with hints of artists such as the BeatlesWilcoEagles and Ron Sexsmith. From intimate solo shows to full band performances, his songs are deceptively simple about complex things: love, family, home, and trust. The latest single, “Turn This Love Around,” is attracting a lot of attention from music directors and on social media with listeners. It’s a strong melodic tune with lyrics that Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz would have been proud to have written. It’s a comfortingly familiar track that conjures feelings of a time when things were easier, responsibilities were less, and the vulnerability in Burrows’ voice provides an invitation for the lover and the listener to engage in more – coming back to bed…while tapping their feet and singing along.  To check out his latest single please click here.  To set up an interview with Michael Burrows, please email Sam Schipman at sam@howiewood.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A format flip takes place in the Motor City as iHeartMedia drops alternative on WDTW-FM and goes classic rock as WLLZ-FM “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels.”  The station’s core artists are 80s and 90s rock artists: AC/DC, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica,Ozzy Osbourne, and Pearl Jam.  The jock lineup features well-known Detroit radio personalities, including Bill McAllister in mornings, Trudi Daniels in middays, Doug Podell in afternoons, and Casey Krukowski in evenings.  iHM region president Paul Corvino states, “Detroit’s Wheels is back.  The attitude, music, and personalities featured on ‘106.7 Detroit’s Wheels’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| February 19, 2019

WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Sidelined by Stroke. Afternoon drive talk show host Mark Belling reportedly told his listeners that he’ll be taking “a few days” off from his work at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN, Milwaukee after suffering a stroke during his program back on February 11.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Belling is not having problems talking – a common effect of a stroke – but that his peripheral vision is affected and Belling says it makes reading difficult.  He told his listeners that on the February 11 program he began experiencing a “weird sensation” that progressed. “It was not excruciating, it was not debilitating.  Your head’s crumbling inside.”  Belling added that reading copy live is a part of his program and that is very difficult.  “I’ve got to do this right or I’m not going to be able to come back and be any good at this thing — at all.”  He says he may do some one-hour segments of his show before coming back full time, but “nothing is set in stone.”

Phil Kornblut Building Network for South Carolina Sports Talk Show. Longtime South Carolina sports talk host Phil Kornblut’s statewide “SportsTalk” show was dealt a setback last month when Learfield Communications shut down the South Carolina Radio Network that distributed the program for more than 30 years.  Kornblut is continuing his 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily show show, based at Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF, Columbia, and is building a roster of stations across the state to carry the program.  The Post and Courier reports Kornblut saying he has a network of 20 stations ready to carry the show beginning on February 25.  At the same time, Kornblut says University of South Carolina football standout Rick Sanford is joining the program.  Korblut is quoted saying, “He’s one of the great athletes to come out of this state and one of the great Gamecocks of all time, and he’s made himself into a very good sports talk show host.  His name and knowledge will bring a lot to the show.  He wants to cover press conferences, go to games.  He’s really throwing himself into it, and I think it’ll be fun.”

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Host Scoot Victim of Hit and Run. The picture here is of WWL-AM/FM early afternoon talk host Scoot in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in New Orleans early in the morning of February 15.  The station’s website posted the photo along with the story.  Authorities are still seeking information in an attempt to find the driver.  Scoot was crossing Canal Street near the corner of Canal and Bourbon when he was hit.  WWL management says, “Scoot’s ok, but he’s recovering from some tough injuries to his body.”  Police have video from surveillance cameras, but the lack of light and the speed of the motorcycle make it impossible to identify the driver.  They are seeking help from nearby businesses to see if better surveillance footage is available.

Crossover Media Group Takes on Ad Sales for Nancy Grace Show. Cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm Crossover Media Group is now handling ad sales for SiriusXM’s daily, two-hour “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” program.  As part of the agreement with Red Seat Ventures, Crossover Media Group is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the program’s social media channels.  Crossover sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Nancy has that rare storyteller’s ability to connect with audiences.  The addition of ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ places CMG in an even stronger position to offer marketers access to hard-to-reach female demographics with proven national personalities.”

BFoA Names 2019 Leadership Award Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces this year’s recipients of the 2019 Leadership Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  The 2019 Leadership Awards honorees are: Bobby Caldwell, owner & CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters, Inc.; Jean Dietze, president, affiliate relations, NBC Broadcasting; Richard A. Foreman, president, Richard A. Foreman Associates, Inc.; Mark Gray, CEO, Katz Media Group; Paul McTear, former president & CEO, Raycom Media; David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president,CBS Vision.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the BFoA in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large.

Border Wall Issue/Emergency Declaration Suit, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Sanders Enters, Venezuela Unrest, Florida ‘Pledge’ Arrest, Jussie Smollett Case, NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; President Trump’s feud with “Saturday Night Live” and Alec Baldwin over its parody of him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Democrats entering the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders; President Trump ramps up criticism of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela amidst the political unrest; the case of the Florida sixth grader arrested after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance; the investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s controversial attack by two individuals in Chicago; and NBA and NCAA hoops action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, Entercom swaps morning shows at classic hits KOOL-FM and country KMLE.  Beginning February 25, Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell (pictured at right) will take over the morning daypart on KMLE “Country @ 107.9.”  Meanwhile, Niko Petrou (left) will move from KMLE to KOOL-FM for mornings.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “This transition will allow us to maximize the content we deliver daily to this market.  Maria and Chad are market veterans who know and love the country format and we are excited for KMLE listeners to get to know them.  Niko has a great connection to Phoenix and we are confident that his passion and energy will enable him to connect with KOOL’s listeners.”…..On-air pro Alek Halverson joins Entercom’s Seattle country outlet KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” where he’ll serve as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective February 21.  He comes to Entercom from his most recent position as Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s CHR KLTA, Fargo where he was afternoon host, APD, and music director.   Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison comments, “Alek’s passion for radio and dedication to entertaining people on air and on social media makes him a great addition to our team. We are excited to welcome him to Seattle and to start a new chapter of afternoon drive in Seattle.”…..Midday personality Nikki Imbrascio exits Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” after 10 years in the position.  Her bio, etc. has been scrubbed from the station’s website and no successor has been named at this point…..The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the recent station swap between Cumulus Media and Entercom that’s turning ownership of Indy stations CHR WZPL, AC WNTR and sports talk WXNT-AM over to Cumulus will mean a move of those stations from their current studios, but no timetable has been set.  Cumulus already owns classic hits WJJK-FM, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG in the market.  The three new stations will join the current three at Cumulus’ Shadeland Avenue studios. The report says no format changes are planned but TALKERS magazine has speculated that the company will not continue to operate two CHR stations in the market and will eventually flip underperformer WYRG to another format…..As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, WFNB-FM has flipped from adult contemporary to alternative as “92.7 The Rock.”  DLC Media president and GM Dave Crooks tells the paper, “That was a bold move.  We had done some research over the last several months.  It looked like my original idea of trying to have all gold-based formats (adult hits or classic hits) was creating some duplication and chasing the same listeners.  So, we decided to make this move to help us expand our reach.”  Core artists will include: Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. 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 every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

| January 29, 2019

Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group.  In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources.  In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.”  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”

Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets.   iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company.  Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees.  I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.”  Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market.  The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled.  I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”

News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’”  WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.”  Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.

A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director.  Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities.   WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position.  He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years.  “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018.  In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup.  We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays.  With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”

Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72.  Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke.  The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL.  The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV.  After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM.  WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met.  He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia.  This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big TownLauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris JansonBobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes.  Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage.  He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year.  It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO.  Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships.  iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment.  I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah.  Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career.  He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years.  What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster.  What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion.  We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederMelissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show.  As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

| March 15, 2018

iHeartMedia and Debt Holders Reach Agreement in Principle. The company announces that it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors that reflects widespread support across the capital structure for a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.  To implement the balance sheet restructuring contemplated by the agreement in principle, iHeartMedia and certain of its subsidiaries, including iHeartCommunications, Inc., have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.  Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries did not commence Chapter 11 proceedings.  The Company has filed with the Bankruptcy Court a series of customary motions seeking to maintain business-as-usual operations and uphold its commitments to its valued employees and other stakeholders during the process.  These “first day” motions, which the Company expects to be granted in short order, will help facilitate a smooth transition into Chapter 11.  The company says it believes that its cash on hand, together with cash generated from ongoing operations, will be sufficient to fund and support the business during the Chapter 11 proceedings.  In the press release, iHM chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia has created a highly successful operating business, generating year-over-year revenue growth in each of the last 18 consecutive quarters.  We have transformed a traditional broadcast radio company into a true 21st century multi-platform, data-driven, digitally focused media and entertainment powerhouse with unparalleled reach, products and services now available on more than 200 platforms, and the iHeartRadio master brand that ties together our almost 850 radio stations, our digital platform, our live events, and our 129 million social followers.  The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure.  Achieving a capital structure that finally matches our impressive operating business will further enhance iHeartMedia’s position as America’s #1 audio company.”

Deke Bellavia Exits WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Longtime sports talk personality Deke Bellavia – known as to many as “Big Chief” – has exited Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM in what appears to be a budget-related move.  NOLA.com reports that Entercom has made no public comment about Bellavia’s departure.  For the past 10 years, Bellavia has worked alongside Bobby Hebert on the daily “SportsTalk” program.  He was also part of the “Point After” Saints post-game program.  Since he exited, Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic has been working with Hebert.  See the NOLA.com story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Now that CNBC and Westwood One personality Larry Kudlow has joined the Trump Administration as economic adviser, what will happen to his weekend, syndicated radio show?  Westwood One has not issued a public statement about the future of the program, so its status is unclear.  On one hand, Kudlow may be too busy to continue hosting the Saturday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm call-in show that deals with “where money meets politics,” but the administration may also enjoy having a presidential adviser speaking to the talk radio audience about economic issues.  Stay tuned!…..Speaking of Westwood One, the radio network partners with Amazon and XAPPmedia to give listeners the ability to hear live audio coverage and post-game recaps of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship via Alexa.  In addition, Alexa users will also be able to hear Westwood One’s coverage of Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, the NIT semifinals and final from Madison Square Garden, and the regional finals, Final Four and National Championship Game from the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament…..CNN makes a talent move, shifting morning drive star Chris Cuomo to a new program airing at 9:00 pm ET called, “Cuomo Prime Time.”  The changes include current prime time personality Jon Berman moving to morning drive where he’ll work beside Alisyn Camerota on the “New Day” program.  CNN’s prime time ratings – both total viewing and 25-54 – have lagged behind MSNBC and FOX News Channel in recent ratings reports…..Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice will make on-air appearances on Entercom’s San Francisco sports talker KGMZ “95.7 The Game” this season as a contributor.  Rice will contribute to coverage throughout the 2018 NFL off-season, including breaking news, the NFL Draft, and free agency.  During the 2018 season, he’ll join “Mornings with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley” Monday mornings at 8:00.

Pennsylvania Special Election, Stormy Daniels Case, U.K.-Russia Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stephen Hawking Dies, Toys-R-Us Liquidation, Katy Perry ‘Idol’ Controversy, NFL Free Agency, the NCAA Men’s Tournament, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14).  The Pennsylvania special election won by Democrat Conor Lamb and speculation about the 2018 mid-term elections; the legal battle between porn star Stormy Daniels and President Trump; the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the U.K. and that country’s growing diplomatic tensions with Russia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies; toy giant Toys-R-Us announces it will sell or close all of its American stores; the controversy over “America Idol” judge delivering an unwanted kiss to a contestant; the NFL’s free agency activity; the NCAA’s Men’s basketball tournament; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Great Hotel Deal Arranged for Attendees of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! are pleased to announce a special deal has been arranged to provide attendees of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention with a conveniently located and affordable hotel at which to stay. The one-day, power-packed convention is set for Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan. The official convention hotel is the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York – right across the street from the convention venue. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – whichever comes first. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible. An early sellout is imminent! For the latest details about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please read the story below. To make hotel reservations, please click here.

Speaker Roster Growing for TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board has begun naming industry leaders who’ll be speaking at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. The following individuals have already been set to speak at the one-day, power-packed event on Friday, June 8 in New York City (in alphabetical order): Jack Armstrong & Joe Getty, hosts, Armstrong & Getty Show; Asa Andrew, host, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host KGO, San Francisco; Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Broadcasting; Mike Bendixen, PD, CFRB, Toronto and national news/talk format head, Bell Media; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, GM, TalkersRadio; Chris Berry, SVP/news-talk-sports programming, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP/director, spoken word format and operations VP, New York Region, Salem Media Group; Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, VP/sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, PD, WRKO, Boston; Mike Francesa, sports media personality, New York; Dom Giordano, Host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Suzanne Grimes, president, Westwood One; Sean Hannity, host, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel; Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Bill Hess, VP of News/Talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Harry Hurley, host, WWPG, Atlantic City; Alex Jones, director of media operations, Infowars and host, Genesis Communications Network; Steve Jones, VP/GM, ABC News Radio; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel; Mike Kinosian, managing editor, TALKERS; Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; Mike McVay, EVP content & programming, Cumulus Media; Greg Moceri, consultant, Moceri Media; John T. Mullen, OM, WRHU-FM, Hofstra University; Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL, Baltimore; Norm Pattiz, executive chairman, PodcastOne; Chris Plante, Host, Westwood One; Wayne Allyn Root, host USA Radio Network; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York; Brad Shepard, GM/host, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio; Doug Stephan, host/CEO, Stephan Multimedia; Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Tom Sullivan, host, Talk Media Network; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Fred Toucher, morning co-host, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub”; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers will be added in the days and weeks to follow. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions,TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout. Don’t be shut out! To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” adds Jack Freeman to “The Jeremiah Show” hosted by Jeremiah Widmer.  Freeman becomes co-host of the morning show on Monday (3/19).  Entercom Cleveland SVP and market manager Tom Herschel says, “We’re excited to have Jack come on board at ‘Q104’ and use his energy and sense of humor to wake up Cleveland.  Our goal is to keep our listeners engaged with premiere live content tailored to the local community and we’re sure that Jeremiah and Jack will deliver on that.”  Freeman was most recently with iHeartMedia Detroit as part of the “Mojo in the Morning” program on WKQI…..Midwest Communications promotes Trent “Moose” Pender to the newly created position rock format captain.  “Moose” hosts the morning drive show on Midwest’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM.”  The company says that in this new role, he’ll work closely with company rock brands WHBZ, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; WJXQ, Lansing, Michigan; KRRO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; WWVR, Terre Haute, Indiana; WABX, Evansville, Indiana; WIMZ, Knoxville; KQDS, Duluth; WZOX, Kalamazoo; and WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin.  Pender says, “It’s an honor to put additional focus on these rock brands and help them grow.  I can’t thank everyone at Midwest Communications enough for their unwavering support and this incredible opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia reports that, according to the recent Nielsen Social Content Ratings’ weekly top 10 list, the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards ranked first with 10.858 million social interactions – five times larger than “The Bachelor” season finale that finished second.  The Nielsen Social Content Ratings’ weekly top 10 list ranks series and specials by the total number of social TV interactions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

| September 12, 2017

Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show.  According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show.  The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet.  But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET.  The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday.  FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement.  Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.

WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8).  WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance.  Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games.  In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.

Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM.  The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station.  Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL.  Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL.  He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community.  We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”

Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports.  With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve.  The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma.  Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”

Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape.  Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.”  Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air.  The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning.  Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.

iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief.  The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun.  It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit Nation” channel at both 8:00 pm ET and a re-broadcast at 8:00 pm PT.  The one-hour special takes place in Los Angeles, with remote stages in New York and Nashville, and will include appearances, performances and taped messages from: several dozen A-list actors, musicians and entertainment industry personalities.  Proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief USA.

Dave Ramsey Presence on SiriusXM Expands.  The Dave Ramsey Network grows on SiriusXM with the addition of new programming on the satcaster’s Triumph Channel.  Daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET, Ramsey programming now includes, in addition to the Dave Ramsey show (heard on SiriusXM for the past year), Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Ken Coleman, plus the popular EntreLeadership podcast.  EntreLeadership, hosted by Ken Coleman, features discussion and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business, including Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.  Chris Hogan is the best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number and host of the “Retire Inspired Podcast.”  Christy Wright is the author of the best-selling book, Business Boutique, and host of the “Business Boutique” podcast.  Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide.  He hosts the “Life, Money and Hope Podcast.”

Cumulus Appeals NASDAQ De-Listing.  With its current share price (as of closing on 9/11) of 39 cents per share and a market cap of less than $12 million, Cumulus Media is in danger of being tossed from the NASDAQ.  But, CEO Mary Berner has filed another appeal of the company’s failure to meet the minimum stockholders equity requirement.  Theoretically, the company has until October 2 to get its share price above $1 dollar, but there are other avenues that Berner and CFO John Abbot can explore.

TALKERS News Notes.  Ahead of this year’s Veterans Day (11/11), CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com is celebrating the holiday through its first ever “Veterans Community Showcase” – a three month, two-part program focused on honoring Veterans for everything they do both during and after military service.  During the first phase of the program, ConnectingVets.com will accept public nominations of local veterans online.  An internal programming committee will then select and profile one veteran each weekday from November 1 to Veterans Day. The profiles will be posted on ConnectingVets.com and Facebook.  The sites will also feature sponsored editorial content giving companies with dedicated veterans’ initiatives a unique chance to share the good work they do and praise their own employees, many of whom are veterans themselves.  University of Maryland University College and United Rentals will sponsor the inaugural “Veterans Showcase” alongside ConnectingVets.com sponsor Freedom Mortgage…..Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker and devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk join the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel.  Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on “MMA Today,” an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.

Irma Aftermath/Harvey Recovery, Climate Change Controversy, New Sanctions on North Korea, Hillary Clinton Book, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Retiring Congressional Republicans, IT Movie, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the recovery from Hurricane Harvey; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; the U.N. Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea and the hermit kingdom’s threat against the U.S.; Hillary Clinton’s new book detailing her loss to Donald Trump; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s Sunday evening interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Republican Senators and U.S. Reps announcing they will not run for re-election; the Stephen King film IT smashes box-office expectations; the NFL’s 2017 opening weekend; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Tim Maranville is exiting Curtis Media’s adult hits WBBB, Raleigh to join Cornerstone Church-owned KGGN, San Jacinto, California as president and general manager.  Maranville says, “I would like to thank my team at WBBB for an extraordinary run from worst to best in Raleigh, a true blessing.  Looking to the future, I could not be happier to be working with Cornerstone to bring the Gospel to the San Jacinto valley through a local radio presence.”…..The Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation presented the American Red Cross with a check for $50,000 to benefit the hurricane relief effort.  Last week, the hosts of the popular Premiere Networks-syndicated show invited listeners nationally to “love up” and purchase #LoveUp T-shirts with all proceeds benefitting victims of the recent hurricanes.  In just eight days, thousands of shirts were sold.  The #LoveUp Foundation also contributed additional funds to achieve the $50,000 total donation.  Rich Berra says, “We couldn’t do this without the giving hearts and loyal followers of the #LoveUp movement.”…..The local Nashville country band Radio Romance won the “NASH Next 2017 Country Challenge Showcase” live country music talent competition held on September 7, 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville.  The band was one of 10 that made it past the challenge round in the Cumulus Media-sponsored competition.  Radio Romance won over the judges and crowd with their performance of “Cheap Beer Years” and will advance as a semi-finalist to the national NASH Next 2017 video competition, to be held this fall.  Cumulus Media VP of country programming Charlie Cook says, “What a great night showcasing fantastic talent from Nashville!  The crowd went crazy when we announced Radio Romance as the winners for the night.  I can hear their song ‘Cheap Beer Years’ on our stations.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

| August 23, 2017

Chris Wegmann to Lead New Orleans Operations for Entercom. Radio executive Chris Wegmann – most recently president of the radio division of Radio One – is joining Entercom to serve as vice president and market manager for its New Orleans station group that consists of news/talk WWL-AM/FM, adult contemporary WLMG “Magic 101.9,” classic rock WKBU “95.7 The Bayou,” CHR WEZB “B97,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM and the New Orleans Saints Radio Network. Wegmann is a New Orleans native who began his career at WBOK-AM when it was an R&B outlet.  Entercom regional president Michael Doyle says, “I am excited to have someone of Chris’s background joining Entercom in New Orleans.  He started his career in New Orleans and is returning with an impressive resume of success in our industry.”

Christopher Gabriel Joins KFIG-AM, Fresno.  Radio personality Christopher Gabriel announces that he’s joining John and Katrina Ostlund’s sports talk KFIG-AM, Fresno “940 ESPN.”  Gabriel says it has not been determined whether his afternoon drive program will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm or 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, but he writes on his website: “We’re a 50,000-watt monster signal and the flagship station for Fresno State Bulldogs athletics.  We also carry the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks and Lakers.  So why my move to sports talk after so many years in news/talk?  If you know me, you know it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years; this has been a long time coming.  Certainly, though, I’ll bring along CGP standards like “The Other Side of the News,” “One More Thing,” “CFB Friday” and most likely a new segment or two.  My sincere thanks to so many of you – in particular the great folks in Fargo, Moorhead, Minneapolis and the entire Upper Midwest – who have been incredibly supportive of me and the program during my ‘vacation.’  Time to jump back into the driver’s seat and have fun!”

New Entercom Sports President Mike Dee Talks to AdWeek. The former chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox and president of the San Diego Padres talks with AdWeek about his new gig as president of Entercom Sports and the sports talk radio business.  Mike Dee says the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO will give the new company an impressive array of large and major market sports talk radio outlets as well as the rights to radio play-by-play for more than 45 sports franchises.   In the Q&A, he says why he believes national advertisers should look to sports talk radio as part of their media strategy: “The opportunities are vast, and in our case, having stations in 23 of the top 25 markets, we will be able to offer scale for national advertisers that’s unprecedented and unmatched in the industry today.  You couple that on a broader context with our local event business, which has been a big growth element, both on the Entercom and on the CBS RADIO side.  The ability to reach targeted groups in local marketplaces on a national scale will enable Entercom to stand out from our competition, and I think that’s very appealing for national advertisers.”  Read the whole story here.

Sabo: Lessons from Neil Rogers. Radio consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the monstrous success of the social media of South Florida talk show host Neil Rogers.  Sabo says, “Right now, one of the most active Facebook pages is the Neil Rogers show.  It has almost 3,000 members and today has featured a dozen posts from listeners.  His YouTube channel has 3,990 posts of videos and airchecks ALL posted by listeners not by him or the station.  The posts are unique in that they feel like gift offerings to Neil and his fan base.  Most of the posts present clips, articles, and news stories that should please Neil.  There are airchecks from 5, 10, 30 years ago — posted this week.”  See Sabo’s entire piece here.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  In his second of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 PPM survey, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports on MLB play-by-play flagship stations.  Kinosian says, “Approximately one of every three MLB flagships (34%) improves between June 2017 – July 2017 (6+), but more than half (52%) are down; the remaining 14% of the sample is flat (6+).”  When comparing the same flagship station ratings from last July (2016) to this, “Over half of our eligible MLB flagships sample are down year-to-year (53.5%, 6+) while 43% improve; the remaining 3.5% are unchanged.”  See the entire report here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Sandy Beach to Be Inducted into NYSBA Hall of Fame.  WBEN-AM, Buffalo morning drive personality Sandy Beach – a Buffalo radio pro for the past 35 years – is being named to the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  Beach, along with television news pros Janet Lomax of Rochester and Art McFarland of New York City, will be inducted on October 19 at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB/Show New York.  Beach also worked in the market at heritage hit radio outlet WKBW and is a 2013 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a disc jockey.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is KFYI, Phoenix talk show host Terry Gilberg on Fox News Channel on Monday evening (8/21) speaking in advance of President Trump’s Tuesday evening rally at the Phoenix Convention Center.  Gilberg hosts the “THINK! America Radio” program that airs on KFYI Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Podcast companies Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio are merging after their respective boards approved the move.  The press release notes that Spreaker co-founder and CEO Francesco Baschieri has been named president of the new firm.  The terms of the merger have not been disclosed but the companies say “shareholders from each of Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio will be making investments in support of the new company’s growth plan, which will be rolled out over the next several months.”  Baschieri comments, “We’re combining Spreaker’s best-in-class mobile and web content management system and creation tools with BlogTalkRadio’s first-to-market monetization platform. The merged company operates at massive scale delivering unique value to independent hosts, podcast networks, and larger mainstream publishers alike.”…..Union Broadcasting and the Kansas City Chiefs are agreeing to extend their partnership for the former’s sports talk WHB to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play.  Under the extended agreement, WHB owns exclusive live radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs’ weekly in-season press conference with head coach Andy Reid and a weekly one-on-one interview with quarterback Alex Smith, plus other unique content…..KTRS, St. Louis talk show host McGraw Milhaven is subbing  for Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon.  He sat in last night (8/22) and will do it again tonight.

Trump Phoenix Speech/Protests, Arpaio Pardon/NAFTA Status, Louise Linton Social Media SNAFU, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, U.S. Navy Accidents, Tiger Woods Nude Pics Battle, Powerball Jackpot, ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVA Game, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk stories Yesterday (8/22).  President Donald Trump’s Tuesday speech in Phoenix and the attendant protests; Trump’s comments that he’s considering pardoning convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his belief NAFTA will fall apart; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s actress wife Louise Linton apologizes after getting into a social media spat; tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program; the recent spate of U.S. Navy accidents and the fate of Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin; Tiger Woods’ and Lindsey Vonn’s legal battle with Celebrity Jihad over hacked, nude pictures of them; the Powerball jackpot hits $700 million; ESPN’s pulling of Asian-American announcer Robert Lee from a UVA football game because of his name similarity with the Confederate General; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Jeni Grouws Recognized as 2017 MIW Rising Star.  The “MIW Rising Star Award” is the result of an alliance between the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group and Marketron, named in honor and memory of the late Renée Roth.  The Rising Through the Ranks 2017 two-day intensive training seminar was held August 16-17 at BMI’s Nashville offices during which Decorah Broadcasting’s KDEC, Decorah, Iowa station manager and morning host Jeni Grouws was recognized as the 2017 MIW Rising Star.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Media Staffing Network founder and president Laurie Kahn, RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, CBS RADIO Chicago’s Lindsay Cerajewski, Grouws and MIW Radio Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik.

Harrison Podcast Explores the History of Radio and Electronic Communications.  This week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” takes the listener to the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.  In somewhat of a change-of-pace episode, Harrison interviews the colorful non-profit institution’s founder and executive director John Ellsworth about the museum and its fascinating contents, as well as its mission to preserve the growing history of the radio broadcasting medium’s impact on human culture.  Harrison and Ellsworth talk history all the way back to pre-Marconi days and trace the amazing story up to the present era of Wi-Fi and smartphones.  This episode is a media freak’s delight as is the offbeat gem of a museum that it spotlights.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.  Photo:  Michael Harrison stands with a classic Collins 830 FM transmitter popular during the 1960s at the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WNVZ, Norfolk “Z104” program director Natalia Soniak adds programming responsibilities for sister hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point.”  Entercom Norfolk vice president and market manager Bennett Zier states, “Natalia is one of our great leaders and talents and we are delighted that she will be taking on the extra responsibilities of the ‘94.9 The Point.’.…..Michigan radio pro Trudi Daniels is signing on with Black Diamond Broadcasting to host the midday program on rock WGFM, Traverse City “Rock 105 & 95.5.”  Daniels was part of the “Drew & Mike” show on WRIF, Detroit for almost 22 years.  She also worked on air at classic rock WCSX.  Daniels comments, “I started listening to ‘Rock 105 & 95.5’ driving up north for weekends and wished I could get it all the time, everywhere in Michigan.  So much great rock I hadn’t heard in years and new music, too. I’m amped to be a part of the ‘Rock’ roster.”…..Exiting E.W. Scripps’ country WCYQ, Knoxville “Q 100.3” after four years is morning personality Krisha Newport…..iHeartMedia Charlotte announces the appointment of Chuck “DZL” Thompson as program director and afternoon drive personality for alternative WEND “106.5 The End.”  Thompson comes to Charlotte from iHeartMedia’s Richmond cluster where he was program director and midday host for alternative WRXL “XL 102.”  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “DZL is an extraordinary programmer: strategic, creative and driven.  He knows how to perfectly blend the art and the science of programming.  I look forward to his return to the Queen City.”…..As part of its effort to roll out Alexa Skills for its stations, Beasley Media Group is presenting a promotion in which Amazon Echo’s Alexa will guest DJ on WBEN-FM, Philadelphia this Friday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  During the show, listeners will get chances to win Amazon Echo Dots.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “Beasley is rolling out Alexa Skills for all of our stations nationwide and this is a creative example of how we are promoting it to our audience on BEN-FM.”…..RAIN Summit Australia is taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on October 13 in collaboration with Commercial Radio Australia’s “Radio Alive 2017” conference.  In 2017 RAIN will have produced six summits, including two conferences geared to digital audio advertisers in New York and Chicago, the Podcast Business Summit in New York, RAIN Summit Austin with the NAB (9/5), and RAIN Summit London (11/9).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

| August 2, 2017

CBS News Radio and Skyview Partner.  Another big network news deal for Skyview Networks after the company announced its renewed deal with ABC Radio last week.  This partnership with CBS News Radio for distribution, inventory management and sales begins on January 1 of 2018.  A press statement says, “The new exclusive multi-year agreement will enable CBS News Radio to further strengthen its direct relationship with its prominent family of affiliated stations and control its affiliate relations, marketing, sales, distribution and best-in-class technology in-house.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele says, “We are proud to forge a new partnership with CBS News Radio.  This agreement powers CBS News Radio on sales and broadcast distribution operations to provide the finest and most accessible experience for affiliates, listeners and advertisers.”  CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis adds, “Our new agreement with Skyview Networks will strengthen our distribution and advertising sales efforts.  This collaboration will assure our 30 million weekly listeners that they will continue to get the highest level of quality journalism they are accustomed to, while also providing for new opportunities for growth.”  CBS News Radio is currently distributed by Westwood One.

Urban One Q2 Net Revenue Down 4.1%.  Citing net revenue of $117.6 million during the second quarter of 2017, Urban One – formerly Radio One – reports that figure represents a decrease of 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down, the company says broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $41.8 million, a decrease of 14.6% from the same period in 2016.  Operating income was approximately $12.1 million for the quarter, compared to $27.7 million for the same period in 2016.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, says, “Our radio broadcasting revenues improved sequentially from Q1, and also within the quarter itself with June being up 2.3% vs 2017.  According to Miller Kaplan, we outperformed our markets by 190Bps in June, which is encouraging.  This sequential improvement looks likely to continue for Q3, which is currently pacing (–2.9%).  Reach Media continued to experience a soft marketplace for multi-cultural network advertising spend, which was somewhat offset by the success of their Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise.  TV One experienced soft ratings, which resulted in a 5.9% decline in net advertising revenues for the quarter. We still believe that TV One will achieve the Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $82-84 million provided on the last earnings call, driven by improved affiliate revenues projected for H2.  Our digital segment revenues benefitted from the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, and we have continued to invest in short-form video and data analytics which should help drive long-term growth for our digital businesses.”

WFLA, Tampa Morning Co-Host Tedd Webb Recovering from Heart Attack.  Officials at iHeartMedia Tampa are not saying how long they expect morning personality Tedd Webb to be away from the microphone but station manager David Bell tells the Tampa Bay Times, “We want him to do what is best for him.”  Webb – who co-hosts the AM drive show on news/talk WFLA-AM with Jack Harris – has a history of heart issues.  He had a quadruple bypass in 1999 and has since battled congestive heart failure, according to the Times piece.  Read it here.

Dean Canter Named SVP of National Sales for PodcastOne. Media sales pro Dean Canter joins PodcastOne as SVP of national sales.  Canter will “oversee all regional sales offices for the company, in addition to developing strategic initiatives, innovating new advertiser opportunities, and driving industry trends in the rapidly growing podcast market.”  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “It’s rare to find someone with an extensive radio background who understands podcasting as well as Dean does.  Working with Kit Gray, Greg Batusic, and our existing management team and sales force, Dean brings history and an uncanny appreciation of the medium that fits perfectly with our expansion.”

Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Chris Claus to Retire.  Thirty-five-year broadcasting pro Chris Claus will retire from his current position as vice president and market manager for Entercom’s New Orleans cluster on August 31.  Claus has been in this position with Entercom since 2007.  Entercom president of sales Deborah Kane says, “Chris championed New Orleans during the critical post-Katrina period, during Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and throughout the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil spill in 2010.  Chris’ engaging style of management, his unwavering professionalism and his heart has made an indelible imprint on Entercom employees and the community at large.”  Claus says, “I am grateful for these 10 years in the New Orleans cluster working with exceptional colleagues and being a part of this great community.  I had a wonderful experience and now I look forward to spending time with my family.”

TALKERS News Notes. TVNewser reports the July ratings for the cable news/talk channels and notes that MSNBC “finished No. 1 across cable news in weekday prime time among viewers from the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic as well as in the younger A18-49 demo.”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finished the month #1 across all demos – A18-49, A25-54, and total viewers.  Although MSNBC was tops A25-54 in prime time (8:00 pm to 11:00 pm) for the month, Fox News Channel maintained its #1 standing among all viewers…..In Denver, former college and pro football star Mike Pritchard joins the KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” staff as a contributor.  Pritchard will also co-host the “Pritchard and Cecil” program alongside Cecil Lammey weekdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, starting August 16.  Pritchard most recently co-hosted a show on Lotus Broadcasting’s KWWN, Las Vegas “1100 ESPN.”  He’s also been doing color commentary for UNLV football…..American Urban Radio Networks elevates Lenore Williams to SVP/affiliate operations and compliance.  Williams began her career as traffic manager with one of AURN’s owned-and-operated stations.  Since 2006, she’s been VP of affiliate operations and compliance…..Yesterday (8/1), Ken Lormand celebrated his 18th year with Salem Radio Network as managing editor and Washington bureau chief.

Congressional Health Care Hearings, Trump West Wing Changes, North Korea Nuke Threats, Sessions Opioid Crisis Speech, Maduro’s Venezuelan Dictatorship, Seth Rich Story Lawsuit, Peanut Butter Jailbreak, MLB Action, and NFL Training Camps Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The Senate agrees to hold bi-partisan health care hearings on fate of Affordable Care Act; the various changes in the Trump Administration’s West Wing, including the exit of Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus and the arrival of new Chief of Staff John Kelly; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S.’ military options; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ scheduled speech in Ohio today addressing the nation’s opioid crisis; the U.S.’s response to Nicolas Maduro’s ruling of Venezuela; Fox News and the White House alleged to conspire in creating Seth Rich-Wikileaks connection in private investigator’s lawsuit; Alabama cons escape prison using peanut butter; Major League Baseball action; and NFL training camps underway among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (8/2) with luncheon address by Salem Radio Network host Joe Walsh (with introduction by Phil Boyce).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          TODAY (8/2) we post the special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates is the new program director at Cumulus Media’s San Francisco triple A KFOG.  Most recently Bates was with Pandora as head of programming – rock formats.  He’d also served with Rdio as global head of music and curation; as senior manager/radio programming with Slacker; and at KXTE, Las Vegas; XETRA, San Diego and more.  Cumulus Media San Francisco vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Mat Bates is poised to take the Bay Area’s most indelible rock brand – KFOG – into the future with his unique professional background and successes marrying broadcast radio with digital platforms.  He lives the format, is well connected in the Bay Area, and brings a new mindset to KFOG.  Mat will work with the KFOG team to bring rock’s past and future together in a powerful alchemy that listeners and advertisers will respond to in a big way.”  Bates adds, “I’ve spent the last decade applying the best parts of broadcast radio to emerging digital platforms.  I’m really excited to now take the things that music tech does well and apply those to such a legendary and beloved radio station.  KFOG already has all the necessary pieces; it’s up to us to assemble them correctly now.”…..In Milwaukee, market radio pro Wes McKane is let go by Entercom where he was co-hosting the morning drive program with Elizabeth Kay on hot AC WMYX.  McKane wrote on Facebook, “Today I close a long chapter in my life.  After almost 16 years at ‘103.7 KISS FM’ and ‘99.1 The Mix’ I am no longer with the company.  I accept that my former management had to make a difficult decision.  I got a chance to work with some of the best radio personalities in the industry with Rahny, Riggs, Elizabeth Kay, David Stein, other personalities, sales staff, promotions, business office and management.”…..It’s official in Atlanta as Cox Media Group CHR WSB-FM “B98.5” names Charly Morgan midday personality.  CMG Atlanta director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “I’ve been listening to Charly on WNGC for years – her sound, personality and style are a perfect fit for ‘B98.5.’  She’s warm, friendly, and fun on the air and off, a great addition to our Atlanta team.”…..CBS RADIO adult contemporary outlet KYKY, San Diego announces the addition of the “AJ Mornings” program – featuring AJ Machado and Sara Perry – starting August 7.  KYKY program director Chris Patyk comments, “We’re super excited about this new morning show and have been looking forward to making this announcement.  AJ’s been waking up San Diego for 17 years and counting.  The addition of Sara – who has logged nearly the same amount of time on the air – will make the new KYKY morning show an exciting and fresh way for our listeners to start their day.”…..The “Sunday Night Blues Room,” featuring long time radio veteran Steve Pringle, returns to the Portland airwaves on Entercom’s classic rock KGON.  Program director Chris Crowley says of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show, “The ‘Sunday Night Blues Room’ began on KGON and it’s only fitting that we host it once again.  The addition of the show and host Steve Pringle only serve to prove that KGON is committed to our community and committed to playing the greatest music ever recorded.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

| July 10, 2017

Entercom/CBS Radio Divulges Senior Management. Based on a memo from Entercom president/chief executive officer David Field, we are getting a clearer picture of the combined giant’s management team, but, as Field stresses, until everything becomes official, Entercom and CBS Radio remain separate companies. “I want to express my appreciation to everyone for their patience as we work through this process,” he writes. “We all want to see the deal close as quickly as possible, but these large mergers just take time. I am pleased to report that we are right on schedule and hard at work, making great progress in every area required to complete our merger successfully. There is nothing more important to our future success than the quality of our people. We have spent a great deal of time working to build a ‘best in class’ team composed of highly talented, high performance stars from CBS Radio and Entercom, plus a number of newcomers from outside of the industry who bring new perspectives and capabilities. The list is a work-in-progress and in the weeks ahead, as planning continues, we will announce additional members of the leadership team, as well as information on a wide range of other important topics as we continue to prepare for this game-changing event.” In alphabetical order, executives include: JD Crowley (EVP/digital); Mike Dee (president/sports); Michael Doyle (regional president and president/sales operations); Ruth Gaviria (chief marketing officer); Weezie Kramer (chief operating officer); Chris Oliviero (EVP/programming); Pat Paxton (president/programming); Bob Philips (chief revenue officer); Rich Schmaeling (chief financial officer); and Andrew Sutor (SVP/general counsel). Field adds, “I also want to add a special word of recognition to Scott Herman, who has done a terrific job over so many years in various leadership roles at CBS, culminating in his current position as chief operating officer. While we are disappointed that Scott will be moving on to pursue other personal and professional endeavors, we greatly respect his outstanding leadership contributions to the organization. “In addition, I want to share some further information on our programming leadership. Pat Paxton will oversee the music brands and Chris Oliviero will oversee the news/talk/sports brands. They will be working collaboratively, along with the programming team across the country to ensure that we continue to develop outstanding brands with the best personalities and content for our listeners nationwide.”

Cox Media Group Atlanta Taps Turcotte To Be GSM. Inbound from Midwest Communications Nashville where he was general sales manager, Mark Turcotte will join Cox Media Group Atlanta later this month (7/31) in a similar capacity. Cox Media Group Atlanta director of sales Jaleigh Long comments, “Mark Turcotte has an exceptional track record for converting vision into sales strategy and execution. This is the perfect time for Mark to join Atlanta’s talented sales leadership team.” Turcotte adds, “A return to Atlanta and Cox Media Group at arguably the most successful radio cluster in the country is such a tremendous honor. The values of the company and their leadership align perfectly with those I have tried to emulate throughout my career. This is a great opportunity to work with folks I consider to be among the absolute best in the profession.” With their May 2017 6+ Nielsen Audio PPM stats and rankings in parenthesis, Cox Media Group Atlanta includes news/talk WSB-AM (8.6, #1 for the 17th straight ratings period); classic hits-oldies WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” (6.7, #2); urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” (6.3, #4); and adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.2, #10).

Kaufman Joins Cumulus Media As SVP, Revenue/Operations. Based in New York City, John Kaufman is named to Cumulus Media’s newly-created position of senior vice president, revenue strategy and operations. According to Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner, “John’s strategic and operational expertise [as well as his] deep understanding of the critical function that pricing and inventory management plays in maximizing revenue will be a tremendous asset to our operations. In this new leadership role, he will increase the company’s revenue management capabilities through intelligent and attractive pricing strategies and systems. John will support our team of more than 900 sales professionals in 90 markets as they serve our advertisers with local impact and national reach.” Kaufman remarks, “Seeing all the great change underway at Cumulus, I am so pleased to be joining Mary and her leadership team at this exciting time. I look forward to helping the company continue in its evolution.” With an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Kaufman was senior vice president of business operations for iHeartMedia, later advancing to president of business ops there. Three years ago, he started JK Steele Consulting and a year later was president and chief operating officer of start-up company ParcMate. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of revenue management & electronic marketing at Extended Stay Hotels and vice president of global revenue management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.


Robinette Retires From WWL. Having hosted the three-hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) “Think Tank” on Entercom New Orleans news/talk WWL for the last 12 years, Garland Robinette is retiring. Off the air since mid-April battling pneumonia, Robinette will pursue his interest in painting. “Never did I think a boy from the swamps with little education could travel the world, meet presidents, kings, movie stars and see places I had only read and dreamed about,” Robinette reflects. “If we do come back to this world for multiple lifetimes, I think I’m in trouble because I’ve used up all my luck in this one. Ironically, even those of you who disliked me helped me. One thing I always tried to do was listen to people who disagreed, and in a large percentage of those debates, you were right and I was wrong. Each of those debates was a learning experience of which I emerged a little bit better educated, a little bit better able to see the world not as I wanted, but as it is.” WWL vice president and general manager Chris Claus remarks, “Garland means so much to WWL, to our community, and to the region. His voice, his leadership and undying passion will be greatly missed.” Operations and program director Diane Newman adds, “Magic happens on WWL when the talent is as big as the stage – Garland was that magic. He brought wisdom, passion, and guts to WWL at a time when our city, state, and region needed leadership. He was the voice of the people during Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath and recovery.  From that microphone, he drove the recovery and rebirth, speaking truth to power and accepting nothing less than the change necessary to protect and preserve the jewel that is New Orleans.” Prior to joining WWL in 2005 to replace the late David Tyree, Robinette was a 20-year news anchor/reporter for WWL-TV, New Orleans and headed a public relations firm. He and co-anchor Angela Hill were married in 1978 and were divorced nine years later, but continued their on-air partnership.

WODT Set to Expand Local Programming. In addition to Garland Robinette retiring from Entercom-owned news/talk WWL, New Orleans (see above), there’s more industry news from the Louisiana market as – starting next Monday (7/17) – iHeartMedia’s WODT “Fox Sports 1280” will quintuple its locally-originated programming to ten hours per day. The 8:00 am – 10:00 am slot will be filled by Chris Gordy, who will continue as assistant program director of co-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” Houston. Hosted by New Orleans Times-Picayune writers Jeff Duncan and Larry Holder, “Dunc & Holder: Smart Sports Talk for Serious Fans,” will follow from 10:00 am -12:00 noon. Another KBME, Houston staffer – Baton Rouge native Josh Innes – will oversee WODT’s 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm block. Based at Delta Media Lafayette’s KLWB “103.7 The Game,” former LSU basketball player/current football sideline reporter Jordy Hultberg is added at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, while Kaare Johnson remains in-place from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The remainder of the WODT schedule, including Clay Travis (5:00 am – 8:00 am), will be filled by Fox Sports Radio network programming.

Remembering Claude Hall. Broadcasters of a certain era were fond of saying they had truly “made it in the business” when Claude Hall mentioned their name in his Billboard Magazine “Vox Jox” column. Just as we were approaching our deadline last Friday (7/7), TALKERS broke the news that – owing to injuries suffered from a fall earlier last week – Hall had died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Prior to his death, he continued “Vox Jox” in partnership with talk show host/radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org). Among those commenting on Hall’s death was Randy West, who explains, “Claude had been in ill health for several years. He was an author of fiction books and non-fiction radio texts, and a great friend of the airwaves. He was beloved by hundreds of [on-air personalities] and returned that love by continuing to network and make connections among the survivors of radio’s greatest era. Claude took a whole era of radio with him. He championed, celebrated, honored, and escalated the business.” As Russ DiBello points out, Hall “took a series of scattered jobs, and with a gossip column, morphed them into a profession. That guy doing overnights in Boise whom you’d never met was now your colleague. If you never heard the stations in a market, you still had a good idea of what was going on in various outposts of American radio. Stations everywhere knew where the hot programming talent was hanging out, and whenever they moved, their creativity would cross-pollinate the industry with bits and air talents that would become the norm in programming and production. If all that doesn’t convince you, think of how many more columns like that – which were spinoffs of ‘Vox Jox’ – popped-up in other publications in subsequent years.” Lee Arnold adds, “To those of us in the record and radio business, Claude Hall was not just a legendary journalist, but a wonderful human being that spent most of his life promoting all that we hold dear in this business that we love. Claude, thank you for your friendship – you will be missed.” Mark Driscoll states, “Our industry lost a wonderful caring man who so loved broadcasting. I for one am devastated. May God bless Claude Hall’s soul.” Others noting Hall’s passing included Dan O’Day, who admits, “I don’t have the words to express my sadness as well as my gratitude to Claude” and Anita Bonita emphasizing, “Rest in peace, sir – you absolutely made a difference.” Clark Smidt succinctly described Hall as, “The Master.” Talkers publisher Michael Harrison recalls, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry. He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades. I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young PD in my 20s. His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable – he’s number one with a bullet.” In February 2016, Hall wrote his own obituary and accidentally sent it to all his friends. His son – Andrew Clark Hall – shares that obit, complete with empty blanks. “Claude Hall, who was born in Brady, Texas and attended high school in nearby Winters, died of heart complications _(day)_____ at his home in Las Vegas. He was (age). The highlight of his career was 14 years with Billboard Magazine. Although he covered the news in music and radio, he was mostly known for a column called ‘Vox Jox,’ that was widely read in the United States and Canada and translated and read throughout Brazil. It was even read behind the then Iron Curtain and on islands in the South Pacific. Hall entered the University of Texas shortly after being discharged from the U.S. Army. He had served in Germany shortly after World War II. He graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1958. His first newspaper job was with the El Paso Herald-Post, but he quit after a few months and hitchhiked to New York City. He spent two years on a trade magazine, American Druggist, published by Hearst, then two years with Cavalier, then a man’s adventure magazine published by Fawcett. Married and with a young son, he and his wife Barbara (she’d worked for Dr. Joyce Brothers at NBC) spent two years in New Orleans. He worked on the Times-Picayune, then considered one of America’s finest newspapers, and his wife finished up her master’s degree from Columbia University. Later, he landed a position with Billboard in New York where he was named radio-TV editor and spent the next 14 years. He also created and organized the International Radio Programming Forum for 10 years. After Billboard, he earned a master’s degree in education at a small Christian university in Oklahoma while serving as the school’s director of public relations. With his degree, he joined the State University of New York at Brockport as a journalism and public relations professor where he taught the next eight years before retiring. He has since authored more than two dozen novels. He and Barbara also wrote This Business of Radio Programming, considered by many to be the best book on radio programming ever written and once adopted as a textbook by 22 major universities. His books are available via Amazon Kindle Books. He leaves a wife and sons John, Darryl, and Andy. Two brothers and a sister previously passed on.”

Matt Patrick: Update. It was just last Friday (7/7) that we reported that KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick (real name Michael Ryan) had announced to his audience that he was ending treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer. Sadly, after that two-year battle, Patrick passed away yesterday (Sunday, 7/9) in Katy, Texas; he was 58 years old. This news coincides with his six-year anniversary at the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV mucosal melanoma on September 11, 2015. The Cleveland-born broadcaster earned a degree in psychology from John Carroll University and was a two-time Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to KTRH, he worked for almost 30 years at WKDD, Akron, followed by stints at WLW, Cincinnati and WTAM, Cleveland. Rubber City Radio Group vice president/director of operations Sue Wilson Cordle declares, “Matt was the voice of Akron. He woke us up for so many years as morning show host at WKDD. I was honored to work with him when we first changed WKDD from mellow rock to top 40. He was originally on middays in 1981, and then quickly moved to mornings where he remained for three decades. He will be missed so much. Thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all who mourn his passing.” He is survived by (among others) his wife of 15 years, Paula; their son Jake; daughters Alexandra Ryan and Alanna Ryan; mother Marie; step-father John Drummond; and sisters Maureen Shell and Colleen Ryan Neubauer. A memorial service will be held in Houston, followed by a private family service and burial in Ohio.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/10) with Vince Benedetto, Ron Hartenbaum and Karen Hunter.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Today (7/10), the second in that series has been posted featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum.  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Scully to Receive ESPY Icon Award. After having spent the past 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully called it quits when the 2016 season ended. Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully. Easily one of the country’s best-known broadcasters, Scully started with the Dodgers when the franchise was located in Brooklyn. His career with the team marks the longest tenure of any broadcast with a single professional sports organization. Hosted by Peyton Manning, The ESPYS will be televised on ABC-TV this Wednesday (7/12) from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. This is the fourth annual such “institute” at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Today’s headliner (Monday, 7/10) is Cumulus Media and Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard. Handling the closing session in ten days will be Forever Media Group partner Kerby Confer, who comments, “We want to make a difference; to give back; and give this next generation a good firm foundation in how radio, television, and the internet work. We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people.” National Radio Talent System founder/president Dan Vallie remarks, “This is the radio talent farm that we in the industry have always said we needed. It is true today more than ever.” Those in charge of leading sessions come from entities that include Beasley Media Group, CBS Radio, Cumulus, Entercom, Forever Media Group, iHeartMedia, and Seven Mountains Media. Various aspects of the medium will be addressed from sales to on-air; sports; news; production; promotions; digital; social media; and engineering. Students with a desire and drive to be in radio were accepted from nine different universities including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna University, and Temple University.

Haze Adds KMYI PD Duties. Effective immediately, KMYI “Star 94.1,” San Diego afternoon drive host Joe Haze is elevated to program director of the iHeartMedia hot AC. In addition to his new assignment, Haze will continue programming co-owned mainstream CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Diego-Riverside region Rob Scorpio notes, “Haze has been instrumental in the success of ‘Channel 93.3’ since its inception. His passion for CHR and hot AC, along with his knowledge and experience, make him the ideal choice to continue [KMYI’s] dominance in the San Diego market.” Haze – who will carry on in PM drive on “Star 94.1” – comments, “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to program two powerful, iconic brands like ‘Star 94.1’ and ‘Channel 93.3.’ To be able to further my career in a market like San Diego is amazing.” Haze previously did nights at ‘Channel 93.3’ and he has worked in Phoenix (KZZP) and Jacksonville (WAPE and WJBT).

Steele Sets Sights on Washington. At a Houston press conference, author, lecturer and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of FameDayna Steele – has announced her candidacy for the congressional seat in Texas’ 36th district. She received an on-stage endorsement from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett, who wore a “Dayna Steele For Congress” tee-shirt. “Joan did a very brave thing for me,” remarks Steele. “People with the courage to speak out are what inspired me to [seek this] office in the first place.” The former KLOL, Houston on-air talent and Seabrook, Texas resident will run as an independent Democrat. Steele is the author/publisher of the “101 Ways to Rock Your World” series and other books including: “LinkedIn: 101 Ways To Rock Your Personal Brand”; “101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities for Success Every Day”; “Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars”; “Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine”; “Havana: 101 Ways to Rock Your World in Cuba”; “Welcome to College: 101 Ways to Rock Your World”: “In the Classroom: 101 Ways to Rock Your World for Teachers”; and “On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World.”

KSSX On-Air Lineup Adjusted. Starting today (7/11), iHeartMedia San Diego rhythmic CHR KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” music director/afternoon drive talent Frankie V moves to mornings, where he’ll team with current AM drive co-host Tati Pelegreen, while morning co-host Pablo Sato segues to afternoons. Meanwhile, Nina Chantele – who does afternoons on co-owned Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” – adds a daily mid-day assignment on KSSX; Beto Perez will do night duty on “Jam’n.” According to iHeartMedia San Diego-Riverside vice president of programming Rob Scorpio, “In the last year, ‘Jam’n 95.7’ has experienced significant growth. With Frankie V and Tati in mornings; Nina in middays; and Pablo in afternoons, we expect to take over the market.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM, KSSX ranks #14, registering a 3.1 for the third time in the last four sweeps.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, “Country Countdown USA” host Lon Helton is resting at home ….. As of now, the event’s location is still a “top-secret,” but iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is sponsoring a Demi Lovato-hosted “House Party” this Wednesday (7/12) to celebrate the singer’s “Sorry Not Sorry” single due out tomorrow (7/11). Lovato has two billion combined total streams and a social media following of over 153 million ….. Formerly with Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary WGBZ “B-96,” Lashonda “Tropikana” Hatch joins Radio One St. Louis’ similarly-formatted WHHL “Hot 104.1” as music director/afternoon drive talent. In addition, “Tropikana” will voice-track for Radio One-owned stations in Cincinnati (WIZF “The Wiz 101.1”); Cleveland (WENZ “Z-107.9”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”). She did similar voice-track duties for LM Communications’ WBTF “107.9 The Beat,” Lexington (Kentucky) ….. Mainstream CHR KGOT, Anchorage (Alaska) afternoon personality McConnell “Man at Large” Adams adds Saturday and Sunday night responsibilities as “McConnell” on co-owned (iHeartMedia) Portland adult contemporary outlet KKCW “K-103.”

Adams Radio Acquires Four Tallahassee Stations. The quartet of Tallahassee outlets Adams Radio is buying from Red Hills Broadcasting includes CHR WHTF “Hot 104.9”; country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf”; classic rock WQTL “106.1 The Path”; and adult hits WANK “99.9 Hank FM.” Adams president/CEO Ron Stone comments, “We are thrilled to be the next steward of these amazing stations and even more excited about the future of the stations under [Red Hills Broadcasting president Hank Kestenbaum’s] continued management alongside Adams Radio. This cluster is another rare opportunity to join forces with a company that has been under the same ownership and management for two decades. These stations are a great complement to our existing markets and will no doubt bring many great ideas into the Adams Radio Family.” Kestenbaum notes, “I want to congratulate Ron Stone and his team at Adams Radio on buying four great Tallahassee radio stations. Every day I’m privileged to work with a dedicated and talented group of people at serving our community with entertaining live and local radio. I look forward to leading these stations and this team into a new era of success, service, and prosperity under Adam’s ownership.” Adams Radio also owns/operates clusters in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; suburban Chicago (Northwest Indiana); and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland. Brokering the Adams Radio-Red Hills Broadcasting transaction was Bill Fanning of MVP Capital LLC.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

| May 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

| January 3, 2017

WPRO-AM, Providence and Talk Host John DePetro Go Separate Ways.  During the month of December, the late morning talk show hosted by longtime WPRO-AM personality John DePetro was handled by a rotating cast of fill-in hosts.  DePetro had referenced a “health situation” on his website.  Then, just before Christmas,deptrojohn DePetro notified listeners via his website of his departure from the station.  He wrote, in part, “At this time, I have decided to conclude my entertaining weekday 9:00 am -12:00 noon radio show on WPRO.  Thank you to all my listeners for making 2016 my best year ever in radio, with my coverage of the Trump campaign, my many exclusives, plus my national work on ‘The Savage Nation’ and CNN.  I am very grateful for the many loyal listeners who have been entertained by my program on WPRO over the past 10 years.”  So far, WPRO has not named a replacement host, nor has the Cumulus Media news/talk station officially addressed DePetro’s departure.

Programming Moves at iHeartMedia Denver.  This affects both news/talk KOA and sports talk KDSP.  First, at KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM,” the new afternoon show is Lewis & Logan from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm featuring Rick Lewis and Dave Logan.  The duo will be joined by Kathy Lee as co-host and Robbyn Hart as koanews anchor.   In June of 2014, iHM tweaked afternoons by bringing Denver TV and radio pro Susie Wargin aboard to co-host with Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm hours and the show moved away from being sports-centric.  Wargin then co-hosted a newsy program with Mike Rice from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Wargin moves to the company’s classic rock KRFX.  Also at KOA, Cory Lopez is the new host of “PrimeTime Sports,” airing weeknights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  At sports talk KDSP, “Denver Sports 760,” Mike Rice hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show.  The new duo of Ed McCaffrey and Andy Lindahl will co-host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program.

KCMO-AM, Kansas City Announces New Program Lineup.  There are two talk personalities returning toknappgreg Cumulus Media’s news/talk simulcast KCMO-AM/K279BI as the station announces its new, 2017 program lineup.  Longtime Kansas City talk personality Greg Knapp is back on the station after a nine-plantechrismonth absence to host the morning drive program.  Knapp hosted the afternoon show at KCMO until late April of 2016.  Westwood One’s rollout of the national Chris Plante program brings him back to KCMO in the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Tom Becka remains in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, while Mike Ferguson moves from middays to afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with co-host and producer Jared Carter.  Nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey also remains in his current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm timeslot.  Knapp takes over mornings for Rob Carson, who exited late last year.

‘PowerTalk’ in Fresno Launches New Early Evening Program.  Fresno news/talk simulcast KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” announces the debut of the Guillermo Moreno program, thismorenoguillermo evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The iHeartMedia station says Moreno “will take a conservative approach to local and national issues – including politics, business headlines and pop culture – from the perspective of a Latino millennial and for listeners of all ages.”  Moreno comments, “I’m excited to continue breaking the political and radio establishment mold and thrilled to be among the first young Latino millennial hosts in the Central Valley.  Fresno is the greatest city in America and I’m honored to continue my passion for politics with my generation here at home.”

kinosianmikeDecember PPMs: Some Notable Occurrences.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at some significant happenings, from a ratings perspective, relative to Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey.  Among them are the return to earth for CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago and iHeartMedia’s WTAM, Cleveland – both of which benefitted mightily from the performances of the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians leading up to and including the World Series.  See more interesting highlights here.

cookeces172017 CES Preview.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine and he files the following:

165 THOUSAND of us – from 150 countries – are heading to the massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics Show.

This year is the 50th annual CES.  Back in 1967, there were ooohs and ahhhs for console color TVs.  Are you old-enough to remember the handsome woodwork?  Some had built-in stereo systems…but only for the vinyl you played on the turntable.  Stereo TV sound?  Someday.

50 years ago, only 14 companies were showing-off their stuff, in 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.  Back-to-the-future: Today, when they cut the virtual ribbon, four THOUSAND companies will display in 2.4 MILLION square feet of Las Vegas Convention Center.  Picture FIFTY football fields.

And that’s just inside.  Outdoors, there’ll be drones up above, and down-below we’ll be test-driving cars with no gas tank, and cars with no driver.

Technology accounts for 15 million American jobs.  Not everyone becomes a billionaire, by inventing, for instance, the smartphone.  But someone became a millionaire by accessorizing it with the Selfie Stick.

Much of what we’ll see here this week is here-today-gone-tomorrow.  Many of these companies didn’t exist a couple years ago, and many won’t be around a couple years from now.  Innovation is the-name-of-the-game, and that makes CES a welcome pump-up for radio broadcasters attending.

Look for my reports here in TALKERS all this week, and listen for updates on “America in the Morning” and “The Jim Bohannon Show,” or at www.HollandCooke.com.

Terry Foster Returns to WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Afternoon Drive Show.  After missing a lot of time on the air during the latter part of 2016 due to a stroke caused by high blood pressure, Terry Foster is returning to thefosterterry “Valenti and Foster” program with co-host Mike Valenti on sports talk “97.1 The Ticket.”  Program director Jimmy Powers states, “We are excited that Terry is returning to the ‘Valenti and Foster’ show.  His humor and insight have been missed not only by his co-workers, but by the listeners.  I sincerely appreciate and would like to thank Jeff Riger for sitting in for Terry while he was out; the show didn’t miss a beat.”  Foster comments, “I have been on the sidelines for too long.  I missed a lot of good stories and a lot of good times.  I’m glad to be back on the train again.  I want to thank all of the listeners and my co-workers for their encouraging words, they got me through a tough time.”

Dan Lovallo Joins AM Show on Connoisseur’s ‘Talk of CT.’  The news/talk multi-cast heard on Connoisseur Media’s “The Talk of CT” (WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW, Meriden; WWCO, Waterbury; and WSNG, Torrington) is adding well-known Connecticut radio personality Dan Lovallo to the Brad Davis morning show.  Lovallo has been with the stations in various capacities over the years.  In addition to news duties on thelovallodan company’s sister classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market), Lovallo will also host his own Connecticut politics-focused show, “CT On The Hill,” on “The Talk of CT” every day at 9:00 am.  This is one of a number of changes at the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur and OM Keith Dakin comments, “These changes, across our portfolio, indicate a strong commitment to localism.  Radio will continue to be vibrant if it remains a true fabric of the community with more local morning shows, local news and people from Connecticut behind the microphones.”

Free Talk Live Hosts Prevail at NH Supreme Court.  This case goes back three years to a suit filed against “Free Talk Live” hosts Ian Freeman and James Cleaveland by the City of Keene, New Hampshire.  The long-running courtroom saga of the “Robin Hood of Keene” all started when Freeman and Cleaveland began plugging the parking meters of citizens whose time was running out and were about to get parking tickets issued by the city’sfreemanian parking enforcers.  The city sued, alleging among other things that Freeman and Cleaveland were “threatening, intimidating, and harassing” the parking enforcers – something the court ruled the city was unable to prove.  The pair won their case at the superior court level but the city took the case all the way to the state supreme court.  Freeman informs TALKERS that “the supreme court agreed with the superior court that the city’s proposed injunction, which would keep us away from their enforcers, was unconstitutional.  It’s a victory for freedom of speech in the public streets.”

‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Adds 24 New Affiliates.  The nationally syndicated “Kilmeade & Friends” late morningkilmeadebrian show hosted by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade and produced and distributed by Fox News Radio, adds 24 new radio affiliates.  Some of the stations adding the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program include: WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; WOKV, Jacksonville; WRHI, Charlotte; WMMI, Flint, Michigan; KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; WFIN, Toledo; and WNIX-AM, Greenville, Mississippi.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard onpagliarulojoe an number of new affiliate stations across the country, including: KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; KHVH, Honolulu; KMBZ, Kansas City; KSTE, Sacramento; WATX, Cookeville, Tennessee and more…..Syndicated morning show “Walton & Johnson” changes affiliates in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The program is moving from Entercom classic rocker WKBU to iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO in New Orleans and from Guaranty’s classic rock WDGL to iHM’s news/talk WJBO in Baton Rouge…..Westwood One is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “The Dave Ross Show” and announces rossdaveit is extending its relationship with Ross (who also serves as morning news host at KIRO-FM, Seattle).  The daily feature is heard on more than 200 stations nationwide including: WCBS-AM, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; and WTOP-FM, Washington.  Ross also guest hosts for Charles Osgood on “The Osgood File.”…..Robert K. Tanenbaum, trial attorney, author of 31 books, and former mayor of Beverly Hills, will be featured in a new segment titled, “Book Buzz,” on Patzi Gil’s “Joy on Paper” radio show, which airs twice weekly on Radio Works’ WTAN, Clearwater, Florida…..Executive vice president Paul Cramer exits Triton Digital after 16 years with the company and its predecessors.   He’s excited about his next challenge in the digital solutions space and can be reached at PaulCramer@Outlook.com or 716-508-4104.

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radioinfo-web-bannerMusic Radio Trade Publication RadioInfo to Be Absorbed into TALKERS Magazine.  Beginning today, January 3, 2017, the music radio industry trade publication RadioInfo is folded into an expanded incarnation of TALKERS magazine (www.Talkers.com and the daily TALKERS email newsletter) and ceases to be distributed as a stand-alone entity.  According to TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This has been a transition in the works for a number of months now.  Because, RadioInfo has shared main headquarters and staff with TALKERS for the past five years, there has been a significant degree of duplication between the publications, especially regarding general industry stories that cover all formats.  It makes sense from a standpoint of economy, proficiency and expediency to combine these into one ‘super’ trade journal.  We will continue to provide RadioInfo readers and newsletter subscribers with the latest news events and personnel changes in music radio within the pages of TALKERS.  We also are expanding our coverage of the talented talk-oriented hosts heard across America on music station morning programs that we categorize as ‘pop culture talk.’”  Subscribers to the daily RadioInfo email newsletter, not already signed up for TALKERS, will be added to the TALKERS list so they will continue to receive the service.  RadioInfo was founded as a set of radio discussion boards and an accompanying general online industry news platform in 1999 by young radio enthusiast and entrepreneur Doug Fleming who tragically passed away in 2005 at the age of 25.  The entity, known as Radio-Info.com, continued to be published by Doug’s parents Diana and Rick Fleming until 2012.  At that time, the discussion boards were acquired by trade publication Radio Ink’s parent corporation Streamline Publishing and eventually discontinued.  The trade publication side was acquired by TALKERS magazine’s parent company Talk Media, Inc. and transitioned into the music radio incarnation of RadioInfo.

Talent Moves at KRFX, Denver.  At iHeartMedia’s Denver classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” 25-yearkrfx morning personalities Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee renew and extend their contracts with the station.  At the same time, the station announces Denver radio and TV pro Susie Wargin is the new midday personality and market radio pro Uncle Nasty assumes the afternoon drive daypart.

Talent Moves at Connoisseur Connecticut.  At the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur Media, operations manager Keith Dakin announces changes to a number of the company’s stations designed to increase their commitment to focus on “being more local and involved in the community.”  First, Ken Tuccio is named the new morning drive host at classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market).  He’ll be joined by news broadcaster Dan Lovallo with Fairfield County-centric news updates every 30 minutes.  The station will air local news throughout the day during the shifts of new midday host Pam Ciaburri and afternoon host Allan Lamberti.  Additionally, Cari Edwards is the new evening personality.  At rock WPLR, New Haven, Kevin Begley adds programming duties for the station to his current responsibilities serving as PD for hot AC WEZN “Star 99.9” and WFOX.  Finally, at classic rock WDRC-FM, Hartford “102.9 The WHALE,” Allan Lamberti takes over the programming duties (in addition to hosting evenings).  The jock lineup consists of: Michael Picozzi in morning, Suzi Klonk in middays, and Keith Dakin in afternoons.

iHeartMedia Adds ‘Mojo in the Morning’ to CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids.  The AM drive show “Mojo in themojomorninggroupstrip Morning” – featuring Mojo, Shannon, and Spike – based at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 95.5,” is the new morning show at the company’s West Michigan CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids, effective January 16.  Mojo says, “We love Michigan and are so excited to have the show heard in West Michigan.  As a big fan of SNX, we are honored to be on the two best CHR radio station brands in Michigan!”

KKHH Hits ‘The Spot.’  Among stations making format modifications over the holidays was CBS RADIO Houston CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7,” which transitions to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Supplementing “The Spot” identity is the slogan “Your Place – Your Music – Your Way – A Radio Station Unlike Any Other in Town.”  The format changekkhh means Cumulus Media’s KRBE will now have the market’s CHR lane to itself.  CBS RADIO senior vice president and Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “We worked exhaustively to understand what Houston listeners were missing from their local radio stations.  They told us they wanted their own ‘spot’ to hear their favorite music hits, a ‘spot’ to relax and energize at work, and a ‘spot’ to feel comfy and complete.”  Representative “Spot” artists include Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and U2.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s December 2016 PPM report, KKHH is flat at 2.7 (#18), while KRBE gains two-tenths to 3.5 (#14); iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 (7.3, 6+).

JVC Goes True Oldies in the Palm Beaches.   This change is the result of a partnership with Scott Shannon’s True Oldies format.  JVC Broadcasting announces that WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida flips from rock as “93.5 Thewbgf Bar” to oldies as “True Oldies 93.5.”  JVC Broadcasting of South Florida vice president and general manager Matt Goldapper says, “True Oldies is the perfect fit for the West Palm Beach market – lots of jingles, lots of voices and all the hits all the time.  This music is just missing from the radio here in South Florida and with our sister stations ‘95.9 The Palm’ and ‘900 AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches,’ we are just super-serving this market.  The best part of this radio mix is the partnership with radio legend Scott Shannon who is the genius behind this entertaining and upbeat radio format.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  At the Kansas City cluster of Cumulus Media, the company announces that the Premiere Networks-syndicated Steve Harvey show is now airing in mornings at urbanharveysteve contemporary KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  Meanwhile, at sister classic hits KCMO-FM, Kansas City radio pro Steve-O assumes the afternoon drive host duties, following Lance Tidwell, who takes over the middays schniederguennprogram…..The syndicated “Ace & TJ Show” announces the official return of former cast member Guenn (Peterson) Schneider. She was previously part of the Ace & TJ  team from 2007-2011.  Following her departure from the show, Guenn worked with various media outlets in Charlotte…..Alpha Media launched a new contemporary rock outlet on translator W259CL, Orangeburg, South Carolina at 99.7 FM in the Columbia market on December 27.  The station will feature such core artists as Green Day, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182, and the Foo Fighters.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Alpha continues to grow and invest in Columbia with our latest addition of a contemporary rock station.  ‘Rock 99.7’ will be a great companion to our classic rock station ‘Fox 102.3’ WMFX.”…..Refuge Media closes on its purchase of classic rock KMFG, Nashwauk, Minnesota.  Refuge bought the station from Midwest Communications, Inc.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

 

sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

| August 19, 2015

bouvardpierreWestwood One’s Pierre Bouvard on Perception of Radio’s Audience.  In the final analysis, Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard says, “It’s on us.”  He means the task of telling radio’s story is incumbent upon those working in the radio business.  His latest blog piece asks four questions relative to the reach of radio and measures the perception against the data-supported reality.  Bouvard writes that an Advertiser Perceptions study shows agencies and advertisers believe that AM/FM radio reaches 64% of Americans while Nielsen research shows that figure is actually 93%.  He notes that when it comes to television versus radio in its ability to reach Millennials, radio outperforms 93% to 76%.  He goes on to compare the perception of the reach of streaming media and finds that, again, agencies and advertisers have an over-inflated view of the reach of pure-plays such as Pandora and Spotify, especially relative to radio.  Bouvard passes along a statement from Mark Kaline, former head of media at Ford Motor Company and Kimberly-Clark, who says, “As a marketer, I’ve always found radio to be a medium that effectively and efficiently delivers reach over an extended period of time, while driving ROI within the total communications plan.  But radio has been too low profile with brands, especially in light of other advancements in technology.  Radio needs to be more aggressively marketing their story as the leading mass reach media.”  Read Bouvard’s piece here.

wjbo logoWJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Team Replaced by NOLA Personality.  This is the second Louisiana news/talk morning show to be ousted in favor of WRNO, New Orleans-based talk host Gerry Vaillancourt.  Yesterday (8/18), TALKERS reported that WBUV, Biloxi, Mississippi morning duo Steve Taylor and Mike Mankiewicz had been replaced by Vaillancourt.  Now, we learn that Kevin Meeks and Karen Henderson are out as hosts of “Baton Rouge’s Morning News.”  These are clearly budget-related moves as iHeartMedia New Orleans and Baton Rouge SVP of programming Bob Murphy tells the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report that the change at WJBO was not performance related, although he tells the paper that Vaillancourt’s call-in show is more in line with what they are seeking as opposed to the interview-oriented program Meeks and Henderson hosted.

Odds & Sods. Radio news pro Mark Remillard is joining ABC News Radio in a reporter role.  He most recentlyremillardmark was serving as a reporter for Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Prior to that, Remillard worked at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles…..Yahoo Sports Radio announces the 20th season its “Around the NFL” program that reignites on Sunday, September 13, hosted by former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury and longtime sports talk host John Granato.   The weekly show airs from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET and covers the day’s games in pro football, including analysis, commentary, special guests and game-in-play updates…..ESPN Radio resumes presentation of NFL play-by-play for Sunday regular-season games, kicking off its third season on September 13 with the Colts-Jets game, followed by the Broncos-Ravens contest.  This season, Marc Kestecher, Bill Rosinski and Ryan Ruocco will provide play-by-play.  Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara and Bill Polian will serve as analysts…..WSCR, Chicago Mitch Rosen announces that Chicago Bears greats Olin Kreutz, and James “Big Cat” Williams are the new co-hosts of the station’s Bears post-game show.  Kreutz and Williams will partner with The Score’s football expert, Hub Arkush.

weei15JimmyfundPedroiaStars Turn Out for WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.  Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is pictured here appearing on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and regional sports cable channel NESN on Monday to encourage fans to donate to the annual radio-telethon that benefits the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  As of midnight on Tuesday, $1,065,873 had been raised to benefit the Jimmy Fund.  The fundraiser continues through today.

Donald Trump’s Immigration Policy Plan, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Iran Nukes Deal, NATO Military Drills/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Black Lives Matter Movement/Race Relations, Latest ISIS Atrocity, the Western Wildfires, and Ex-Subway Spokesman Jared’s Child Porn Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/18).  The immigration plan being proposed by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server and its alleged use for classified information while she served at Secretary of State; the status of the Iran nuclear program deal; military drills being conducted by the U.S. and other NATO nations in Europe combined with talk about Russian military aggression in Ukraine; race relations in the U.S. and the growing influence of the Black Lives Matter movement; the violence being perpetrated by ISIS in Syria and Iraq; the widespread wildfires affecting several Western states; and the report of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle’s intent to plead guilty to child porn charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

| August 6, 2015

Tidwell, LanceTidwell Tapped as iHM San Antonio SVP/Programming. Inbound from Tucson where he was iHeartMedia‘s senior vice president of programming, Lance Tidwell transfers to San Antonio for similar duties. Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia major markets Brad Hardin comments, “I am extremely pleased to welcome Lance to the iHeartMedia San Antonio family. Tidwell is a strong talent and has had much success in his tenure with iHeartMedia. His programming acumen and depth of experience will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales team.” San Antonio market president Marlene Trevino remarks, “I am excited that our San Antonio programming operations will be led by Tidwell. He understands our company¹s vision to be innovative with every move. Lance¹s experience collaborating with programming and sales teams will provide us and our partners with unbeatable forward momentum in the continued evolution of our brands in the San Antonioiheartmedia logo small2 market.” Tidwell notes that he is “grateful” to Trevino and Hardin “for the chance to work with these great brands and team in San Antonio. I am eager to get started and lead the market to continued growth and success.” In addition to having programmed in Seattle, Memphis, Hartford, Monterey-Salinas, and New Haven (Connecticut), Tidwell was chief operating officer for Southern Star Broadcasting. With 6+ share/market ranks from the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM sweep in parentheses (July 2015), iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster consists of country KAJA “KJ-97” (6.0, #3); mainstream CHR KXXM “Mix 96.1” (4.8, #5); adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” (4.7, #6); talk WOAI (4.2, #10); rhythmic CHR KZEP “Hot 104.5” (2.1, #19); regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 (1.8, #20); sports KTKR “The Ticket” (.6, #26); and classic country KRPT “B-Buc” (.2, #27).

CBS Radio LogoCBS Radio Q2 Revenue Off 5%. While second quarter revenue for CBS Corp. increased 1% to $3.22 billion from $3.19 billion in 2014, CBS Radio revenue declined 5%. Executive chair Sumner Redstone states, “CBS is at the center of the action during an extremely exciting time in media. We continue to succeed as a result of our world-class content.” According to president and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “This quarter underscores the key steps we are taking to build out our long-term growth strategy. Our premium content remains the cornerstone of our success, and I am confident this fall’s new primetime lineup will lead us to another victory next season.” The company’s local broadcasting revenue was down 2% to $654 million from $665 million, as television station revenue was up 1%, and local broadcasting operating income (OI) fell 8% to $198 million from $215 million. The company posted net earnings of $332 million, down from $439 million in the year-ago period.

Nielsen LogoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Nominees Announced. The 24 candidates in six categories were determined by the organization’s steering committee. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin brings back public engagement through social media balloting in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. This is the first time that will be done in the last five years. “This impressive list of nominees represents the best examples of talent with commendable audience relationships past and present,” Kitchin declares. “Each individual and show was selected after extensive deliberation by the steering committee. We are all looking forward to seeing the results as determined by our industry peers and listeners nationwide.” The four nominees to be voted on by a participant panel in the “Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)” category are Tom Barnard (Minneapolis); Johnny Dare (Kansas City); Johnny Holliday (Washington, D.C.); and Ronn Owens (San Francisco). Those in the “Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)” category are “Big Boy” – real name Kurt Alexander (Los Angeles); Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison (Philadelphia); Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (Chicago); and Garland Robinette (New Orleans). The four candidates in the “Networks/Syndication (10 years or more)” category include Tom Kent (Cleveland); Dave Ramsey (Nashville); Diane Rehm (Washington, D.C.); and Michael Savage (San Francisco). Those in the “Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)” category are Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold (Indianapolis); Bob Kingsley (Weatherford, Texas); “Marketplace” (Los Angeles); and Harry Shearer (Los Angeles). Nominees to be voted on by listeners nationwide in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” category are Delilah (Seattle); Elvis Duran (New York); Steve Harvey (Atlanta); and Ryan Seacrest (Los Angeles). In the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” category, the nominees are Sean Hannity (New York); Clark Howard (Atlanta); Jim Rome (Los Angeles); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Los Angeles). Voting begins today; names of the winners will be revealed in just over three weeks (8/31). The induction ceremony will be held in three months (11/5) at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

NextRadio LogoCollege Broadcasters Inc LogoNextRadio, CBI Team To Find Best Radio Spot. College students are encouraged to create/submit a 60-second radio spot, as NextRadio and College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) join forces to find the “best-of-the-best in radio spot ads.” According to NextRadio president Paul Brenner, there are currently 50,000 – 70,000 radio spots that run each month supporting the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which launched in February; “this is a huge opportunity for students to have their radio spot played nationally among thousands of broadcast stations and heard by millions. We will get the opportunity to showcase rising talent for the radio industry.” CBI president Greg Weston comments, “CBI is thrilled to team with NextRadio to offer students from our media outlets this unprecedented opportunity to have their work appear in front of millions of listeners. Not only will the winners get national exposure for their talent, they will be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them at the National Student Electronic Media Convention.” First-place winner will have his or her 60-second spot included in “flight four” of the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which starts October 1. The contest begins one week from next Monday (8/17) and will run through September 18; winners will be announced September 28.

Westwood OneWhistling StraitsWestwood One, PGA of America In Multiyear, Multiplatform Deal.  Live hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA championship returns to Westwood One for the first time in a decade. In addition, Westwood One will provide short-form updates, as well as a Brad Heller-anchored recap show, “The PGA Championship Tonight.” Senior vice president of sports for Westwood One (and parent company Cumulus Media) Bruce Gilbert remarks, “Westwood One is proud to present the 2015 PGA championship. It is a very exciting time in professional golf with so many terrific stories this year. Our team is prepared and excited to describe the remarkable performance of the world’s best players live from the PGA championship for the next few years.” PGA of America chief commercial officer Jeff Price states, “Westwood One and SiriusXM are synonymous with live, major sports event broadcasting. The PGA of America is delighted that we will partner with these two world-class radio partners to bring the drama and excitement of the PGA championship to fans.” Broadcast coverage from the PGA championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin begins one week from today (Thursday, 8/13). It will run through (Sunday) the 16th and can be heard on SiriusXM, Westwood One Sports affiliates, and WestwoodOneSports.com. SiriusXM PGA tour radio host Earl Forcey will anchor the joint coverage from the 18th tower, while former pro golfer/Golf Channel host Charlie Rymer will be lead analyst. Westwood One’s Ted Emrich will anchor short-form reports from the course, and provide leader board updates during the long-form coverage. Looking ahead, Westwood One Sports will provide PGA championship coverage next year from Baltusrol Country Club in Springfield, New Jersey and, in 2017, from the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte.

2016 Presidential Candidates-GOP Debates, Nashville Theater Attack, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy Debate, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Baltimore Gets Help with Violence, MH370 Debris Confirmed, and Deflategate Flap Among Top News Stories Yesterday (8/5). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP debates; the thwarted attack on a cinema in Nashville on Wednesday; the political battle over the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the ongoing controversy over America’s immigration policy; the Feds supply help to Baltimore’s police in battling the explosion of murders in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray slaying; the plane debris found last week is confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; and the NFL’s deflategate case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

| July 29, 2015

benztimBenz To Depart WEEI-FM. Revealing on Twitter that he “underestimated the difficulties that go along with working a job in one city while trying to maintain a home and marriage in another,” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston mid-day “MFB” co-host Tim Benz will return to Pittsburgh early next month. Boston-born Benz joined WEEI-FM approximately 14 months ago fromWEEI-FM iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. In addition to being sports director of that company’s six-station “Steel City” cluster, Benz did morning drive on alternative WXDX “The X.” According to Benz, Boston was “every bit the city” he wanted to experience; however, he notes that it is best for him “personally and professionally” to be back in Pittsburgh with his wife Kate. No details were released about his new assignment in Pittsburgh, where the two sports outlets are iHeartMedia’s WBGG “970 ESPN” and KDKA-FM “The Fan,” owned by CBS Radio – the parent of WEEI-FM format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Benz – who angered many locals by remaining partial to the Pittsburgh Steelers – will do his final “MFB” show tomorrow (Thursday, 7/30). The other members of “MFB” are former Boston Red Sox super-sub Lou Merloni, and ex- New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Benz’ father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Boston’s renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute.