Tag: "New York"

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

| April 24, 2018

Hannity Named to TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential.’ Talk radio and talk television superstar Sean Hannity is named to TIME Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2018.”  The annual list highlights “pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons with insights from peers and contemporaries detailing the honoree’s impact” and the Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality is listed in the “leaders” section.  Each list-maker’s entry is written by a fellow celebrity or newsmaker.  Hannity’s entry is written by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says: “Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day.  His fans listen to him and learn from him.  One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker.  Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election.  Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state.  He has made and is making a difference.”  See the whole list here.

New York Media on a ‘Mike Francesa Watch.’That New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa misses being on the radio talking sports is no secret – he’s said as much publicly.  But is he, as the New York Post puts it, “desperate?” The Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Francesa is “desperately” trying to get back on the New York airwaves four months after retiring from the afternoon drive gig at Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan.”  Marchand reports that sources indicate he’s talked with ESPN about a gig on WEPN and iHeartMedia about a sports talk show on WOR.  When asked by Marchand about a return to WFAN, he replied, “I’m not answering questions about any specific stations.” See the Post piece here.

Freund Joins PodcastOne as Co-COO.  Digital media and sales pro Billy Freund (left) is joining PodcastOne as co-chief operating officer, based in Beverly Hills. Freund will work with fellow COO, East Coast-based Greg Batusic.  In making the announcement, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz (right) says, “Billy – his actual legal name – and I worked together at Westwood One for several years.  He understands the space, and his background – not only in sales but also technology, operations and affiliations – will provide us with even more unique and valuable input to power the growth of the company.”  Freund’s experience includes time spent with Chancellor Media and the Katz Media Group, Westwood One/Metro Networks, and his work co-founding Triton Digital Media.  He later served with Clip Interactive.   Freund comments, “I am very excited to join the PodcastOne team, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Norman Pattiz, Kit Gray, and Greg Batusic to continue the company’s explosive growth across its 250 exclusive podcast programs and highly effective, non-cluttered advertising environment in more than 2.9 billion annual user sessions.”

Boxer Mother-Daughter ‘Power Duo’ Guest This Week on Harrison Podcast.  The mother-daughter team of former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer  (D-CA) and award-winning documentary filmmaker Nicole Boxer are this week’s guests on the PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The mother, Barbara Boxer, recently retired from 40 years as a California elected official, beginning as a member and eventually the first female president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors.  She then served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1983 and 1993, at which point she was elected to the United States Senate where she served from 1993 to last year, 2017.  Although “retired” from elective politics, she remains quite engaged in work as both a political activist and a media practitioner. She says, “We are in a moment of life or death for our great country right now, and I can’t just sit back.”  Her daughter, Nicole Boxer, is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker.  Her work in the film industry includes narrative, feature films, documentary films, documentary series television, and reality television.  Together these dynamic women have teamed up to co-host a new, weekly podcast titled, “Fight Back,” produced and distributed by PodcastOne.  In it, they invite experts to discuss today’s most pressing matters – from civil rights to women’s rights, healthcare, the environment and foreign policy.  The mother shares real-time reactions to the week in government, while the daughter puts active candidates in the hot seat with her award-winning interview style.  Harrison engages the Boxers in a fascinating conversation about the state of American politics and media in the second decade of the 21st century looking forward.  Not to be missed.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of  Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated radio talk show “Phil’s Gang” featuring host Phil Grande – is added to the program schedule at KCAA, Loma Linda, California.  Program executive producer Thomas Biggs Sr. says, “Over two decades now, radio listeners consistently turn to Phil Grande and his ‘Phil’s Gang’ show for the most up-to-date market business news and what Wall Street will not tell you.  We are always looking to partner with the strongest programming affiliates and we are excited to be teaming up with KCAA Radio.”…..The news division of Westwood One is being honored with the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists for its breaking news coverage of the Las Vegas concert shooting last October 1.  The “Radio Breaking News Reporting Award” recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Westwood One News says that its winning entry “represents the scope and scale of Westwood One News coverage, including on-scene reporting by lead correspondent Jim Roope and contributions from the entire Westwood One News staff.”…..The Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association is honoring Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with nine awards – including five first place finishes.  WTOP was recognized for Best Website and Best On-Air Newscast.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We are proud of the work our team does as a whole to provide relevant news coverage, in a timely and creative fashion. We all share in these awards and consider our successes as a team, a testament to the work we do each day in an effort to serve our community.”…..ABC News names Amy Robach the new, permanent co-anchor for its “20/20” news magazine program.  She’ll work alongside current anchor David Muir…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of this week’s 2018 NFL Draft.  In addition to broadcasting round-by-round coverage of the draft itself, SiriusXM will present four days of special programming, live from Arlington, Texas featuring the on-site broadcast team of: Gil BrandtPat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil SavageMark Dominik, Jason Horowitz, and Alex Marvez.

Radio News Pro Reid Collins Dies.  Radio news pro Reid Collins has died at age 88.  Collins spent 20 years of his career with CBS Radio Network – a stint that saw him serve as anchor for the network’s flagship news program, “CBS World News Roundup.”  Prior to his time with CBS, he worked at such signals as WHAM, Rochester and WNEW-AM, New York.  After leaving CBS, he served with CNN.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, Trump-Macron Meeting, Iran Nuclear Deal, Waffle House Killer Apprehended, Pompeo Nomination, Kanye West’s Trump Support, and MLB and NBA Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the van attack in Toronto that took the lives of 10; the meeting in Washington between French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; President Trump’s threat to exit the nuclear deal with Iran; alleged Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking is apprehended; the confirmation process for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo; the controversy over Kanye West’s professed love of President Trump; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley Named TALKERS Woman of the Year. The TALKERS editorial board has announced this morning (4/20) that Caroline Beasley has been named the 2018 recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year award. The award (officially titled “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman”) will be presented to Beasley at the forthcoming national talk media industry convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! in New York City on Friday, June 8 during her morning fireside chat with Michael Harrison. Caroline Beasley was appointed chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. on January 1, 2017, previously serving as interim chief executive officer from March 18, 2016 until December 31, 2016 and as executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary beginning in 1994. Beasley has served as a director of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. since she joined the company in 1983. Over her tenure prior to 1994, she was employed in various positions, including business manager, assistant controller and corporate controller. She also serves as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board of directors and is a past chair of the NAB radio board. In addition, she is of the BMI board of directors and the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors. Beasley received the 2016 “Distinguished Service Award” from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was the 2012 recipient of the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW), a national organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women to senior positions in the radio industry. Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star among the captains of industry in the radio business and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading. She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise. Radio is in her DNA.” Recipients of the prestigious award include: Mary Berner, Ginny Morris, Julie Talbott, Robin Quivers, Robin Bertolucci, Heather Cohen, Grace Blazer, Laurie Cantillo, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Laura Ingraham, Kim Komando, Adriane Gaines, Lynn Distler, Lisa Evers, Gloria Allred, and more going all the way back to 2000 when it was originally presented posthumously to pioneering talk show host, Judy Jarvis. For information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” returns to the San Francisco market after a four-year absence.  But this addition to the program’s roster is not an iHeartMedia station, it’s Cumulus’ KFOG.  Beginning April 30, Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” with Woody, Ravey, Greg, Menace, and Sebas will be heard on KFOG and KFFG, Los Altos (San Jose market) from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  KFOG program director Matt Bates says, “The opportunity to align KFOG with such unique and compelling talent doesn’t come along often.  We recognized this and locked them in.  As a fan of ‘The Woody Show,’ it’s remarkable that it’s taken this long for them to have a major platform from which they can take back the Bay.  ‘The Woody Show’ represents that bright and entertaining spot in our morning routine. YOU KNOW!”…..iHeartMedia is rewarding KISQ, San Francisco “The Breeze” morning personality Jack Kulp for his success as co-host of “The Morning Breeze” with Carolyn McArdle with a contract extension.  At the same time, the company happily boasts the two-year-old adult contemporary station is “the #1 music station in total audience share (6+) — up from # 17 when it was a rhythmic oldies station.”   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the San Francisco region Don Parker says, “Launching ‘The Breeze’ was a game-changer for KISQ.  The station’s steady growth pattern to # 1 station in the market, surpassing such an iconic brand as heritage KOIT, is a direct result of the right mixture of programming and talent that resonates well with the Bay Area community.  Ricci Filiar, the station’s program director, has really done a fantastic job establishing ‘The Breeze’ as one of the Bay’s premiere radio stations.  We are also thrilled to extend our relationship with talent like Jack who joined the station at launch and continues to build a strong relationship with our listeners.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Adam “Kash” Kashner to assistant program director for country WFMS, Indianapolis.  Kash retains his roles as on-air host, weekends/fill-ins on WFMS and on sister classic hits WJJK.  Cumulus Indy VP and market manager Tom Stemlar says, “Adam is an essential piece of our programming, sales and marketing organizations and I couldn’t be more excited that he’s decided to continue his career at Cumulus Indianapolis as APD of WFMS.”…..iHeartMedia elevates media management and sales pro Aaron Hyland to market president for the company’s Baltimore market, including country WPOC, CHR WZFT, adult hits WQSR, and Gospel WCAO-AM.  Hyland will also continue to oversee sales for the Washington, D.C. region as regional senior vice president.

Friday, April 20, 2018

| April 20, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Makes Morning and Early Afternoon Changes. St. Louis news/talker KFTK-FM makes changes to its program schedule after the recent departure of morning personality Jamie AllmanEntercom is operating the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the signal from Emmis.  Entercom moves early afternoon personality Marc Cox into the morning show daypart and bumps up part-time talk host Annie Frey into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, taking over for Cox.  Meanwhile, Allman and KFTK-FM are apparently still in disagreement over exactly how they are ending their relationship.  See yesterday’s TALKERS news for more on that. Cox – who has worked in the market as a reporter and anchor at KMOV-TV – has been with KFTK-FM since he took over the early afternoon show from the syndicated Dana Loesch almost two years ago.

Who’s #1 in Boston Sports Talk Mornings? The answer, as Boston Globe journo Chad Finn discovered, is it all depends on exactly how you measure it.  After learning about Tweets from both WEEI-FM and WBZ-FM thanking listeners for making their morning shows – Kirk & Callahan and Toucher & Rich, respectively — # 1 with Men 25-54, Finn wondered how both could be true and did a little investigating.  As you can see in his piece here, Finn concludes, “WEEI includes the share it gets from listeners based in the Boston DMA (designated market area) who tune into Providence-based WVEI because the signal comes in better in certain areas, such as the South Coast.  ‘The Sports Hub’ does not include these numbers when revealing how they fared against each other.”

iHeartMedia Brings Aboard Digital and Social Media Pro Justin Nesci. His title is executive vice president of advanced audio and data revenue.  Justin Nesci previously was SVP for digital sales at Fox Network Group where he managed the national digital sales and marketing responsibilities for Fox Broadcasting, Fox Cable and Fox Sports properties.  He’s been running his consulting practice, J/T/N Advisors, and through that venture has helped top media companies, including iHeartMedia, accelerate revenue generation through emerging digital and social media channels.  In this role, Nesci will be responsible for developing a variety of data-driven, audio strategies across iHeartMedia’s vast array of platforms.  He will help steer SmartAudio, the company’s data infused, cloud-based audio planning and buying platform that allows marketers to bring audience-based buying strategies to iHeartMedia’s robust audio ecosystem.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa may be an unlikely celebrant of “4/20 Day” – the unofficial day in which pot smokers honor the herb and campaign for marijuana law reform – but because of the plant’s medicinal value for him as a chronic sufferer of severe intestinal issues, he’s on board this year.  The New York Post recently ran a piece on Sliwa’s change in attitude toward marijuana laws.  Sliwa is a card-carrying medical pot patient and he tells the Post that he’s going to be at the new dispensary on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park today with his documentation in hand.  Read the piece here…..WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” is presenting the fifth annual “Baseball Camp for Kids 2018” baseball clinic event on Sunday, May 6.  Kids ages 6-13 will have the opportunity to participate at The Bud Dome. The station’s Kevin Wheeler and Brad Thompson will be there demonstrating and teaching children the fundamentals of baseball…..Westwood One-syndicated Clark Howard is presenting a special, seven-part series that focuses “on bringing listeners back to Clark Smart basics.”  The series (starting April 25) will feature ways “consumers can save more and spend less on cars, houses, insurance, investing, travel, credit, and monthly bills.”

Patriots Radio Play-by-Play Legend Gil Santos Dies at 80. Long before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the most famous names associated with the New England Patriots, radio play-by-play man Gil Santos was one of the most revered among Pats fans.  He died yesterday (4/19) on his birthday at age 80.  The cause of death is unknown.  For 36 seasons, Santos called the games (mostly with Gino Cappelletti as color analyst).  He was enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013.   Santos served as the morning drive sports anchor on WBZ-AM, Boston for 38 years. See the Boston Globe’s obit here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 16-20.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russian agent connections and the related book and media tour by James Comey tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the relationship between Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen and talk media star Sean Hannity.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over possible new sanctions against Russia, followed by the legal battles over California’s sanctuary cities policy and general talk about Mexican border security at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Deep Dive Conversation with Art Bell (Conducted in 2015) Presented in this Week’s Harrison Podcast. An extensive conversation between Michael Harrison and Art Bell recorded in 2015 is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview” which pays tribute to the late pioneering talk show host. The rare recording, one of the last long-form interviews granted by Bell, took place during the launch of his short-lived 2015 return to radio, “Midnight in the Desert.” Harrison and Bell discuss the legendary broadcast figure’s post-“Coast-to-Coast AM” career, his enthusiasm for the new show, as well as his assessment of the state and future of radio. They also discuss some of Bell’s favorite scientific and paranormal topics including astrophysics, quantum entanglement, the power of collective consciousness, time travel and more. According to Harrison, “This relatively recent conversation really sheds light on Art Bell’s intelligence, originality and approach to radio. We are fortunate to have such a treasure in our archives and are pleased to be able to present it again to the world.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There appears to be a program director position open in Indianapolis as CHR WNOW “Radio NOW 100.9” programmer Buster Satterfield exits, reportedly for a yet-to-be-announced new gig.  Satterfield joined the Radio One station just over two years ago.  Prior to joining Radio One, Satterfield was East Coast promotions manager for Atlantic Records…..iHeartRadio names Ariana Grande its “Artist of the Week” on the occasion of her first song release since the deadly attack at her concert in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017.  The new song, “No Tears Left to Cry,” is the first single from her highly anticipated new album and is available now on iHeartRadio…..Country superstar Carrie Underwood is pictured at right in the studio of the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show yesterday (4/19) as she stopped to discuss her new album, Cry Pretty.  She spoke about her 2018 ACM Award performance and win in the Vocal Event of the Year category with Keith Urban, her serious injury while walking her dogs, her husband Mike Fisher’s return to the Nashville Predators, and more…..ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are pictured below with nationally syndicated morning personalities Ty, Kelly and Chuck in the NASH Campus studios in Nashville.  They stopped by to promote their new album, Port Saint Joe.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John and TJ Osborne, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks.

Round Four of March PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” immediately follows with a +1.8 via three upticks in a row (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) and carries on at #9. The majority of that +1.8 stems from January’s +1.3. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT returns February’s +.3 but continues at #2 (7.2, 6+). It previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is flat at 1.7 (6+) and stays at #19, while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is off one-tenth (.6 – .5, unchanged at #24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” picks up one-tenth in March and is #1 for the third month in a row (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017 and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Following three improvements in a row that netted eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” returns 75% of it and it and tumbles from fourth to eighth (4.7 (-.6, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). Locked on 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+). Regressing by that margin as well is Emmis’ KLBJ-FM (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) with “93.7 The Rock of Austin” dropping out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Tied at #5 are iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (up from #6 in February) and co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (5.0 – 5.3, +.3, up from #7 in February, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and is now +1.4 via three straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+); KVET-FM was -.9 in February. Simultaneously, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE  is down 60% (-1.5) as the result of six negative or flat trends in succession (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+) as “Austin’s Country Alternative” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” roars back with three positive spikes in a row for an overall +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, eighth to sixth, 6+). Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC posts a one-half share increase to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the seventh time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” adds one-tenth (8.7 – 8.8, 6+) and repeats at #2. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. It fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Flat at 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19.

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL replicate February’s gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), “103.9 The Light” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). A March +.7 by Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX more than wipes out February’s one-half share loss (4.8 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+) as “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” jumps from tenth to eighth. “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. Even though it is a combined -1.4 in February and March (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 10th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -1.9 in February and March (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR WDCG – including identical +.7 performances in January and February – yield a +1.7 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “G-105” relinquishes seven-tenths in March to 6.0 (flat at #5, 6+). When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Off one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” segues from sixth to ninth. A February +1.1 pulled the plug on three consecutive downward moves that generated a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.2 in three straight upticks (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” advances from tenth to eighth. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in February (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14; WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. Following four straight down or flat trends for an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” is up two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” gains one-tenth (1.7 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+)

Indianapolis Music Formats – February’s -.6 by iHeartMedia-owned WOLT deleted the collective +.6 it racked up the two previous sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” rebounds in March with a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), progressing from #13 to a three-way tie at #9. Stymied at 6.2 (6+) in January and February, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” improves by one-half share to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. One-half share behind “Hank” and steady at #6 is Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and -.5 (February 2018). Mirroring what happened in February, just one-tenth of a share separates Entercom CHR WZPL (7.4 – 7.5, +.1, repeating at #1, 6+) and Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.3 – 7.4, +.1, steady at #2, 6+). “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January and has gained one-tenth in both February and March. In six successive up or flat trends between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017, the Cumulus Media frequency at 93.9 was +2.5, virtually doubling its 6+-stat (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+). On December 26 (2017), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” The aforementioned streak ended in January 2018 as “Energy” was -2.2 (2.9, #10 to 15, 6+). Flat at 2.9 (6+) in February, “Energy” short-circuits by -.9 in March to 2.0 (#15 to #16, 6+). At the same time, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), relinquishes roughly one-third of that increase (4.7, -.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” (4.7, -.1, 6+), whose consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall +1.5 ends at four (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+). February’s 4.8 is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Trending 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.2 (“Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM is off six-tenths to 4.6 (6+) as “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” departs the top ten (#9 to #12).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a gain of nine-tenths in February (5.3 – 6.2, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ returns two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), but stays in fifth-place. Immediately before that +.9, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). Finishing second for the sixth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN is a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 11th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). Flat at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is down a combined one-half share in February and March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Major ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); and now +1.1 in March (7.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In addition to posting a +.6 (8.8 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 37th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). Owing to three consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.1; “B-93.3” leaves the top ten (#9 to #11). In three positive spikes in a row (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL is a cumulative +1.8 as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” shifts from eighth to sixth. Also in the market’s top ten is WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which adds four-tenths to February’s +.6 (3.4 – 4.0 – .4, #11 to #9, 6+). Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Likewise, February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #11, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is in a repetitive 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 sequence (6+). January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Off two-tenths after February’s -.1 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is unchanged at #17. Despite dropping two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” climbs from #11 to #10. “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9 and a -2.6 in February. Losing the one-tenth it picked up in February (1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” falls from #15 to #16. In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, ninth to eighth, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +1.3. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – It would be quite the understatement that the past few sweeps have been interesting for WLVU. For all practical purposes, the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+); regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9); and now tacks on a whopping +2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2, #19 to #14, 6+). In fact, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets had as large of a (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase than Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” By adding eight-tenths to February’s +.7 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” marches from fourth to second. Prior to February, “The Beat” was without an increase the previous five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 in September was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. An increase of seven-tenths (.2 – .9, 6+) enables TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” to enter the top twenty for the first time (#20). Down one-tenth (8.7 – 8.6, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA repeats at #1. On top in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017, “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). It is a rough ratings period for Nashville’s three FM country players as Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, #10 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is -.6 (5.8 – 5.3, flat at #8, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -.3 (6.1 – 5.8, unchanged at #6, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. In January, WSIX was +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Declining by one-half share are iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.0 – 6.5, second to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). A -.8 by “Nashville’s Classic Rock” stopped four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+); January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Immediately prior to March, “92-Q” was +.7 in four straight (modest) uptrends (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds four-tenths to February’s +.3 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns one-third of it but stays at #12 (1.8, -.2, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” gains one-tenth (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, #15 to #16, 6+). A cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI carries on at #8. Leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Once again finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (flat at 2.3, ninth to tenth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (flat at 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Logging a nine-tenths increase (5.0 – 5.9, steady at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” is within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) for the 12th sweep in succession. As a result of three straight positive spikes (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is a +1.1 and dials up its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4. Substituting February’s -.6 with a March +.7 (2.7 – 2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. For more than two years in a row (28 straight ratings periods), the top spot in this Rhode Island market was held by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105.” That consistency changes in calendar year 2018 though as iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” took over in January; “Lite Rock” returned to #1 in February with a +1.3; and WHJY recaptures the crown in March. This particular transition is more a function of “Lite Rock” eroding by -1.1 (10.2 – 9.1, first to second, 6+) than anything else, since WHJY is actually off four-tenths (9.6 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). The 9.6 by WHJY is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well), while the 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+).

Norfolk – In a very stagnant monthly, five of the 13 listed stations are up from February with an average increase of exactly +.2; seven are down with an average increase of exactly +.3; and one station is flat. Eleven of the 13 Norfolk outlets in print maintain their (6+) February market rank. The exceptions are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (ninth to eighth) and co-owned alternative WNOH “Alt 105.3” (eighth to ninth). In four straight up or flat trends “The Beat” is +.3 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), while “Alt 105.3” records the market’s largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 fluctuation (2.4 – 1.7, -.7, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (#10) erodes by -3.9 in three drops in succession (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). An overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” remains at #6. Its urban AC sibling – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is down two-tenths (12.3 – 12.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 16th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 24th time in the last 25 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In the Saga cluster, classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +1.7 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4, #4, 6+), while co-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is up one-half share in four straight up or flat trends (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, #13, 6+). At #11, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a -.7 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), while Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” has its third downtrend in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever since it rolled out a +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is -.7 in February and now -.6 in March (4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. This marks the third uptick in a row by Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, unchanged at #11, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Anchored at #13, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC surrenders February’s +.2 (.9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In three straight (modest) increases Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” quadruples its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, flat at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Albeit -1.1 (12.1 – 11.0, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” records double-digits (6+) for the 17th sweep in a row and remains at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. Right behind it repeating in the runner-up slot, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (11.4 – 10.4, -1.0, 6+) has been in double-digits (6+) in eight of the last nine sweeps. Following three straight gains that more than quadrupled (+1.3) its 6+-share (.4 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.0, -.7, flat at #12, 6+). A collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up,” which is +.1 to 3.0 (tenth to ninth, 6+), thus halting four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.3 as the result of four straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). This comes immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” also departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WZZR had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Stuck on 1.3 (6+) in January and February, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #14, 6+). For the third time in a row Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN posts a 3.2 (flat at #9, 6+). After recording a .3 (6+) three straight times, Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” falters by two-tenths to .1 (#18 to #19, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to four straight improvements (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, fourth to third, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.7. In a similar vein, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is +2.0 in three consecutive positive spikes (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, steady at #2, 6+). The five most recent (6+) fluctuations for “Kool” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; and now +.5 in March. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.9) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. Elevating by one-half share as well – and adding to its February +.7 – is JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), which cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). On top for the third month in a row is Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” (10.2 – 9.9, -.3, 6+). In advance of January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). In the two sweeps following January’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.9 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, seventh to eighth).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV eroded by -2.8. It wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+), but now regresses by -.9 to 7.3 (second to fourth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. A combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) but is steady at #12. January’s +.4 halted five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL register a +1.2 with its third increase in succession for an overall +1.7 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), “V-101.5” enters the top ten (#11 to #6). A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” breaks out a +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), vaulting from third to first. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Displaced from the top spot is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.3 – 8.1, -.2, first to third, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. After cratering by -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” answers with a combined +1.6 in three straight increases (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), jumping from fourth to second. Its urban AC HD2 channel, however, is off six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). A +1.0 in January enabled WKSL to end three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+); however, “97.9 Kiss-FM” is a combined -1.2 in February and March (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) as the iHeartMedia CHR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), surrenders all of it (4.6, -.6, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January, “The Beat” was without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Up one-half share in February (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 sputters by six-tenths as well (1.7, #15 to #16, 6+), as does Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” (5.4 – 4.8, fifth to eighth, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is a combined -.3 in February and March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Locked on 3.1 (6+) in January and February, Entercom sports talk WMFS gains two-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #10, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – While unchanged in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” improves by one full-share (8.2 – 9.2, 6+). This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-performance for “K-97.1” since November 2015’s 9.4. It is just one-half share behind urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (10.1 – 9.7, -.4, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Two other stations in that cluster have streaks snapped. Gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which was +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), is off one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but stays at #5. Meanwhile, co-owned WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis,” +1.8 as the result of five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), drops one-tenth as well (5.6, 6+) and carries on at #6. Having posted a .8 (6+) five times in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and is anchored at #17.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three increases in a row (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a collective +1.5 and remains at #7. Ironically, “News Talk 1080” just concluded a consecutive string of negative moves in which it was a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is down four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). It followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. After being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, falters by seven-tenths to 1.8 (#11 to #12). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Bouncing back from a -.2 in February, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a +1.1 (13.2 – 14.3, 6+) and reaches a milestone for being #1 for the 20th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 17th time in the last 19 sweeps – and ninth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). In addition to logging its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.2. As Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 improves for the third time in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, #12 to #11, 6+), co-owned alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” regresses by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains at #10. Stuck on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” coughs up six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), segueing from fourth to fifth. Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” picks up two-tenths to .3 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

| April 11, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Parts Ways with Jamie Allman.  A day after TALKERS magazine reported that St. Louis morning drive talk host Jamie Allman was still with news/talk KFTK-FM hosting his morning show after losing his KDNL-TV show, “The Allman Report,” it now appears Allman has left the radio station.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman reports that Entercom (operating KFTK-FM under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the station from Emmis) has canceled his show and cut ties with Allman.  This comes after Allman Tweeted a March 26 statement regarding Parkland, Florida’s David Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  The Post-Dispatch report cites a statement by Entercom’s Esther-Mireya Tejeda saying, “I can tell you on the record KFTK has parted ways with Mr. Allman and that his show is canceled effective immediately.”  This morning, former Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones is hosting “97.1 Mornings.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW:  Hogenson Communications, LLC President Scott Hogenson Profiled.  Operating for decades at the dynamic intersection between talk radio and politics, media pro Scott Hogenson has been a key player in the dissemination of information about public policy in the media.  Hogenson served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was the lead executive for media relations and communications strategy.  He worked on four presidential campaigns as a senior member of the press office at the Republican National Committee and directed talk media operations during the 2016, 2004, 1996 and 1992 presidential election cycles.  He also managed or consulted on radio operations for every Republican National Convention since 1992.  An award-winning journalist and academician in his early career, Hogenson now runs a full-service public relations firm, Hogenson Communications, LLC, that specializes in talk radio.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison catches up with Hogenson and gets his views on the current state of talk radio/political relations.  To listen to the entire audio conversation, please click 

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TALKERS News Notes. New York-based talk show host John Catsimatidis is providing a bonus service to affiliate stations with custom local interviews.  He hosts “The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis” – a nationally syndicated Sunday morning show featuring “interviews with A-List guests from politics, business, science, and more.”  Catsimatidis says that this past weekend, he spoke with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and distributed the interview exclusively to local affiliate WSYR.  Last month, Catsimatidis interviewed Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and sent the segment to WJAS, Pittsburgh, and WNAE, Warren, PA, exclusively.  He says, “Whenever it makes sense and the opportunity presents itself, I want to conduct more of these locally focused interviews for our radio station partners.  Combined with interviews of the biggest national and global leaders, our affiliates can win in their markets.”…..The NAB announces the winners of the 2018 Crystal Radio Awards for “outstanding year-round commitment to community service.” Spoken-word stations honored this year include: Entercom’s all-newsers WINS, New York and WWJ, Detroit; Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; and Neuhoff Media’s WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois. See the full list here…..KLBJ-AM, Austin morning personality Jeff Ward recently presented to the Lost Creek Civic Organization a speech titled, “Social Media’s Effect on Society.”  The Austin Statesman reports on Ward’s speech, in which he told the attendees, “People are consuming what’s easy…eating what they like, staying in one place and super-serving themselves 24/7 and 365 days a year…I will tell you that my industry has worked really hard to replace news; it’s wrong, and I feel the responsibility and try to tell people that it’s wrong.”…..The Tampa trial of morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge (he’s being sued by Nielsen Audio for $1 million for causing damage to the company for allegedly tampering with that market’s PPM panel) has a date.  If you remember, the trial was supposed to start on April 2 but was postponed at the last minute.  The new trial start date is June 18…..Entercom is launching a Spanish-language sports talk station in the Washington, DC market on WJFK-AM/WLZL-HD2 branded “El Zol Deportes.” The station will use content from ESPN Deportes and will also offer Spanish play-by-play of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” Major League Baseball and the NBA playoffs…..Pictured at right are Valerie Geller (left) and Kipper McGee (right) yesterday in Las Vegas at the 2018 NAB Show.  The two consultants were signing editions of their latest books, Beyond Powerful Radio by Geller, and Brandwidth by McGee.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Open with Two Back-to-Back Fireside Chats Featuring Sean Hannity and Caroline Beasley. It will be a morning blockbuster double-header as TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! opens with Michael Harrison hosting back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” with two key industry players – Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. After that, the conference will blast forward as its subtitle “Full Speed Ahead!” indicates with presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Salem Radio Network VP, Phil Boyce; and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. See the agenda and registration information here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/FBI Raids Cohen Offices, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Israel’s Gaza Response, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Trump Cancels ‘Summit of the Americas’ Trip, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related FBI raid on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s offices; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress on the Cambridge Analytica data usage; U.S. military policy in Syria; criticism of Israel’s response to Gaza protests; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity over Kimmel’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; President Trump cancels trip to “Summit of the Americas” to focus on Syria; the state of security on the U.S.-Mexico border and the fate of the caravan asylum-seekers; China eases up on U.S. auto tariffs; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As the result of iHeartMedia’s hiring of Lance Houston as program director and midday personality on its Chicago country outlet WEBG “BIG 95.5,” Steve Stewart exits the PD/midday host role.  Also, Mason Schraeder and Zach “Remy” Hoesly exit the morning show and Amber “Alabama” Cole goes forward hosting the program solo…..The Johnjay& Rich Show appealed to some of their artist friends to encourage the girlfriend of U.S. Army-bound Anthony to say “yes” to his invitation to the prom.  Anthony is shipping out to boot camp soon and Johnjay and Rich called in The Chainsmokers (seen in lower right inset of the photo below) to convince Andrea to accept his proposal.  She did.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

| April 5, 2018

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 Highlights Radio’s Reach. This latest version of Nielsen Audio’s report on audio usage notes that “93% of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week—more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly’s report underscores the reach of radio across the media-using population.  “According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone.  Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.”  Industry insiders are well aware that the challenges facing radio as a medium include decreased time spent listening over the past decade or so.   Although certain formats, news/talk and sports talk especially, have maintained TSL better than many music formats.  The graphic here shows the reach of the news/talk format among Gen Xers.  News/talk is the #1 format reached by Boomers (55-64) with a 15% AQH share according to Nielsen’s National Regional Database 2017.

Photo Copyright Issues May Dog Kevin Klein.  In addition to the state of limbo in which Entercom’s new hot talk/sports hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” finds itself, yet-to-debut morning personality Kevin Klein may have legal issues involving the photographer who took the photo seen here of the Coronado bridge, used in Klein’s controversial promotional Tweet.  According to a story in the San Diego Union Tribune, local photographer Jesse Cuevas says he’s considering his legal options regarding Klein’s use of the pic.  Cuevas admits the photo wasn’t legally copyrighted but says the negative press associated with the image gives it “no marketability” from this point forward.  In case you missed it, Klein sent out a Tweet to promote his new morning show that showed the Coronado bridge with the phrase, “Jump…to a new morning show.”  There was public outcry over the insensitivity toward suicide – some 400 suicides have taken place on the bridge since it opened.  Klein has not taken to the airwaves at “97.3 The Machine” as of Thursday morning.  It’s assumed, based on a statement from San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, that Entercom and the team will sit down and discuss the matter at the end of the team’s home stand.

The Howie Carr Radio Network Promotes Two. Three-year staffers Steve Robinson and Grace Curley are moving up at The Howie Carr Radio Network.  Robinson is named vice president of operations and Curley rises to producer.  Robinson and Curley joined Howie Carr more than three years ago when he began his independent syndication.  Over the years, their roles have grown with the success of the network’s expansion.  Robinson is the regular fill-in host for Carr and Curley performs daily entertaining segments on the program.  Their promotions follow the signing of a major broadcast contract with Carr’s Boston flagship WRKO, now under the ownership of iHeartMediaHowie Carr comments, “Steve and Grace have proven themselves on this network since day one in 2014.  These well-deserved promotions should help us reach even higher levels of performance as we move forward.”

Radio Host Alan Taylor on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan.’ Nationally syndicated radio personality Alan Taylor, host of “The Drive with Alan Taylor,” is pictured above (left) with Kelly Ripa (center) and Ryan Seacrest (right) on “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan!” showcasing the top crossover vehicles for 2019.  Taylor’s Radio America-syndicated program is a weekly, two-hour show that reveals the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips, auto show coverage, automotive expert insights, track-day reporting and behind the scenes action.

SiriusXM Brings Journalism Pro Oliver Knox Aboard.  U.S. political journalist Oliver Knox joins SiriusXM to serve as chief Washington correspondent.  Knox worked for 15 years for Agence France-Presse covering U.S. politics.  He’s covered six presidential campaigns and has deep knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill and the White House.  In July, he will be appointed president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, for which he currently serves as vice president. In this role for SiriusXM, Knox will cover the day’s top news stories and provide analysis for all of SiriusXM’s political channels, effective Monday, April 16.   In the coming months, Knox will also host his own live, weeknight show on the POTUS channel. About this new gig, Knox says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at SiriusXM.  I’ve loved hosting a show on SiriusXM these last few years, bringing its deeply engaged audience in-depth conversations with newsmakers and experts.  I look forward to building on that foundation in the months and years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report by WABC-TV, New York, seven people are being charged in the 2012 murder of WOND-AM, Pleasantville, New Jersey talk show host April Kauffman.  Prosecutors say her murder was orchestrated by her late husband Dr. James Kauffman in order to prevent her from revealing a drug ring he was operating in concert with the Pagans Motorcycle Gang.  Dr. Kauffman committed suicide while in prison earlier this year.  Authorities say that in 2011 April Kauffman threatened to divorce Dr. Kauffman and expose his drug business…..iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York launches a new “Daily Mets Podcast” hosted by New York Mets radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin.  The podcast is an expansion of his popular “What Did We Learn?” segment from Mets radio post-game programs.  Lewin says, “Because we are producing this podcast every day, it will be totally up-to-date with content.  It will be informative and playful at the same time.  It’ll be a fresh perspective on the team and in 10-20 minutes any fan will be completely in-the-know.”

‘Immigrant Caravan’/U.S. Military Plans, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump on U.S. in Syria, Zuckerberg Before Congress, MLK Assassination Anniversary, Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump Attack, YouTube Shooting, Trump vs Amazon, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). The caravan of immigrants from Central America moving through Mexico toward the U.S. and President Trump’s plan to use the military to protect the border; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; President Trump orders the Pentagon to prepare a Syrian exit strategy; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 date with Congress on data usage issues; the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jimmy Kimmel’s mocking of Melania Trump’s accent; the shooting and apparent suicide at YouTube headquarters in California; President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Jeff Bezos; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, Entercom names market media pro JoAnne Purtan morning show co-host at classic hits WOMC, alongside Stephen Clark.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says of Purtan, “We are thrilled that JoAnne is part of the new WOMC morning show.  In addition to being a widely respected journalist, she is an integral part of the Detroit community.  JoAnne’s father, Dick Purtan, is a huge part of the heritage of WOMC and it’s exciting to have a Purtan back at the station.” JoAnne Purtan says, “After 27 years in television news [20 years with WXYZ-TV], I’m excited for this new adventure in radio.  I listened to my dad on the radio for much of my life and I’m truly humbled to be at the same station where he spent the last 15 years of his iconic career entertaining people in the morning.  Stephen and I have always worked so well together and we’re so excited to team up again.  After covering a lot of serious news through the years, we look forward to spending mornings with Detroit’s listeners, sharing good news, great music and some fun.”…..In Miami, programming pro Rob Morris exits his role as vice president of programming for the cluster and PD of CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  Assistant program director and music director Will Calder is serving as interim PD for the Entercom station…..Hubbard Radio Seattle names Corey Dillon afternoon drive personality for new country outlet KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  Dillon says, “I am so excited to join the team at ‘The New 98.9 The Bull’ and a company like Hubbard.  My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home.  I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle.” Dillon comes to KNUC from his most recent gig as evening host at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”…..Mike V is joining Mikey Esparza on Midwest Television’s classic rock KFMB-FM, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM,” effective Monday (4/9) on the afternoon drive show…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated “Full Metal Jackie” show, hosted by Jackie Kajzer, announces new affiliate stations, including: KATT-FM, Oklahoma City; KKBZ-FM, Fresno; WTCX-FM, Green Bay-Appleton; and KHYX-HD2/K232EA, Reno.  Kajzer comments, “I’m forever on a mission to bring hard rock and metal to the masses and I’m honored to have these new stations as new affiliates!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones is making his ABC-TV debut on Sunday night as he joins the cast of “American Idol” to help mentor the top 24 contestants.  He’ll meet with the first 12 performers this week, followed by the remaining 12 on April 15, to “help them reach the next level in their artistry and performances.”…..iHeartMedia Colorado Springs appoints Samantha Kumm market president. The cluster includes country KCCY, hip hop KIBT, hot AC KVUU, and adult contemporary KLCX, and rock KBPL.

Monday, April 2, 2018

| April 2, 2018

Will Entercom Add News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee to its Brew City Cluster?  According to industry rumors and now picked up by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Entercom is the leading contender to acquire Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and sister country outlet WKTI-FM.  E.W. Scripps recently announced that it is selling its 34-station radio group and will focus on its television business.  Currently, Entercom owns three stations in the market: CHR WXSS “Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX, and sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  The addition of WTMJ and WKTI would not violate the FCC ownership cap.  If this rumor becomes reality, Entercom would add WTMJ’s play-by-play rights for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball to its sports offerings and be an excellent complement to the sports talk on “105.7 The Fan.”

WABC, New York Adds Juliet Huddy to ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’  Journalist and television personality Juliet Huddy joins the cast of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The show made its debut as the morning program replacing the “Imus in the Morning” show today. The station says that Huddy – former host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5” and former FOX News Channel personality – joins Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on the new morning show.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Juliet is a natural performer and is equally comfortable talking entertainment and life as she is talking politics.  Juliet is an amazing addition to the show and to 77 WABC.”

Talk Pro Pete Mundo Joins KCMO-AM, Kansas City for Mornings.  News/talk and sports talk pro Pete Mundo joins Cumulus Media as assistant program director and morning air personality on the “KCMO Morning Show” on KCMO-AM/K279BI.  Mundo began his career in Woodward, Oklahoma.  He moved to New York in 2013 and served with CBS RADIO at WCBS-AM, WFAN-AM/FM, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosted shows on FOX News Radio.  Cumulus Media Midwest Regional VP and Kansas City market manager Donna Baker states, “In our extensive national search for the right talent to connect with our loyal KCMO news/talk audience, Pete emerged as the clear choice.  We are excited to welcome him back to the Midwest to lead 103.7-710 KCMO to a new level of success for our listeners and advertisers.”  Mundo adds, “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to return to the nation’s heartland to host mornings on the legendary KCMO and to assume programming responsibilities as assistant program director.  Bringing a fresher perspective to news, political, sports and local topics and how they affect the Kansas City community on KCMO-Talk Radio 103.7/710 is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kevin Klein Remains MIA on KEGY, San Diego. As of Monday morning, it remains unclear just what the status of KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” morning personality Kevin Klein is.  Though the station’s website lists Klein as the morning host, he was not on the radio today (4/2).  His show was supposed to launch on MLB Opening Day (3/29), but the station has continued to air the mix of comedy bits and rock music in AM drive that is the overnight programming.  As we reported previously, the San Diego Padres – for which the station serves as its flagship for play-by-play – took issue with Klein’s Twitter promotion that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history of being the site of hundreds of suicides throughout its history.  The team is also reportedly not thrilled with the general tone of the station. It’s assumed that Entercom officials and the Padres are in talks about where the two sides go from here and Klein’s status may be part of that.

Alex Jones’ Son Rex Challenges Parkland Student to Gun Laws Debate. The son of Internet and radio personality Alex Jones is challenging Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg to a gun control debate. Hogg is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, along with fellow student Emma Gonzalez, has become the media face of students seeking gun control measures in response to the deadly shooting.  Jones’ son Rex is 15 years old and, according to Inquisitr.com, has been provided by his father with “a platform to express an alternative view of gun control from a teenager’s perspective.”  See the Inquisitr.com story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the February 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Approximately 45% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ AQH shares rise from the January survey to February, while 28% are down and 27% remained flat.  Year-over-year comparisons indicate that 42% of stations realized 6+ gains from the February 2017 survey to February 2018.  Forty-eight percent saw their 6+ number dip.  While 12 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the February survey, just two stations – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” – ranked #1 in their respective markets.   See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas conservative media figure Heidi Harris has a busy week of events that will feature her new book, Don’t Pat Me On The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.  Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head.  I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”  This week, Harris is speaking at the Vegas Does Business luncheon at Gordon Biersch, Flamingo and Paradise on Thursday (4/5).  Later that evening she’ll be signing books at the Sun City Siena Conservatives meeting. On Saturday (4/7), she’s doing a book signing at Avery’s Coffee.  That evening she’ll appear on the “Jesus and Tim” show on KKVV, Las Vegas…..The Boston Globe reports that market news pro Rod Fritz exits iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030.”  The paper reports that an internal memo from the station’s Jon MacLean stated, “Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ.  We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.

Trump DACA and NAFTA Statements, Russia Diplomatic Breaks, Trump-Russia Investigation, Author Claims Conway White House Leaker, Trump Tariffs, Parkland Students vs Ingraham/Nugent, Ready Player One Film, Final Four, MLB Season Opens, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s statement on no DACA deal and the threat to NAFTA if Mexico fails at border security; Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; author Ronald Kessler suggests Trump aide Kellyanne Conway is the biggest White House leaker; China hits back at U.S. with tariffs on U.S. goods; the feud between Parkland students seeking new gun laws and FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Ted Nugent’s attack on them; the new film Ready Player One; the weekend’s Final Four games; the opening of the Major League Baseball season, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom names DreX, a.k.a. Kevin Buchar, and Nina co-hosts of the new morning drive show on its CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  The “DreX and Nina” show will also feature Gabe Ramirez, who was a cast member on the station’s previous morning program, “The J Show.”  DreX says, “I’m honored, privileged, and humbled for this opportunity to come home to the Chicago audience.  I’d like to thank Entercom, Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah, Erik Bradley and the entire ‘B96’ crew for welcoming me with open arms.  I am very much looking forward to teaming up with my two new partners Nina and Gabe in America’s greatest city.”  DreX previously worked in Chicago at WKSC-FM from 2002 to 2010.  Nina most recently worked mornings at WBMP-FM, New York City…..Radio pro Larry Wilson is the new morning host on Marc Radio’s country WPLL, Gainesville-Ocala “I Am Country.”  Wilson will also serve the company as host of the afternoon show sister classic hits outlet WXJZ.  Wilson had been hosting his “Livin’ Large with Larry” in the Billings, Montana market. He says, “After half of my 36 years on the air spent up north, Marc Radio is a ‘sunny’ change that I am looking forward to.  My show will stream online, so I can still share the sunshine with my Montana friends.”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

| March 28, 2018

MLB’s Padres Critical of Flagship Morning Host’s ‘Insensitive’ Tweet. On-air pro Kevin Klein begins his new gig as morning drive host at Entercom’s sports/hot talk KEGY, San Diego “97.3 FM The Machine” tomorrow, but he’s already irked the San Diego Padres and some of the general public with his Tweet promoting his new show.  The Tweet used an image of the Coronado bridge (with its history as a site of numerous suicides) and the text “JUMP! To a new morning show.”  The Padres – whose games emanate from KEGY as flagship station – among others, complained about the “insensitive and completely unacceptable” nature of the Tweet.  Klein removed the offending images and apologized for his error in judgement, writing, “I’d like to sincerely apologize to San Diego and listeners of 97.3 for a distasteful and insensitive social media post…The comment was reprehensible and inexcusable.  I’ve failed at making a good first impression, but I hope that you will give me another chance to provide entertainment and good-natured laughs when I go on the air on Thursday morning.  Once again, I apologize to all the listeners and the city of San Diego.”

Report Indicates Padres “Evaluating” Relationship with KEGY.  Apparently, it’s not just the above-mentioned Tweet snafu, but the MLB club is not thrilled with the station’s overall programming philosophy.  The San Diego Union Tribune’s Bryce Miller reports that Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler has issues with the programming tenor on the team’s flagship radio station.  “We’re going to get through this first home stand, then sit down and evaluate it.  We’re going to assess our legal obligations.  We just want a good radio partner that’s not offensive to the community.”  He also called the programming since the station flipped “almost shock-jock radio” and “not what we intended to be involved in.”  No doubt Entercom is working hard to save this relationship as the cume that baseball is likely to bring to the station is crucial to its successful launch.   Stay tuned.

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the sports world moved into the post-NFL portion of the calendar, sports talk stations took a hit to their AQH share.  Only 9% of sports talkers saw their 6+ numbers go up, while almost 70% suffered a decrease compared to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year comparisons show about half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ shares increase from February 2017.  Just one station – Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP, Philadelphia – ranked #1 in its respective market; and just one other – New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston (#3) – ranked in the top five.  See Kinosian’s whole report here.

Cumulus to Place Four FMs in Divestiture Trust.  In its latest FCC filing, Cumulus Media reveals, among numerous other things, that it will divest of four FM stations in markets where it is currently over the FCC’s ownership limits.  The company says that it currently holds a grandfathered attributable interest in more radio stations than is permitted under the Commission’s local radio ownership rules in the Albany, Georgia; Columbia, Missouri; Green Bay; and Toledo markets.   Cumulus is therefore filing an application with the FCC to assign the licenses of country WNUQ-FM, Albany; classic hits KJMO-FM, Linn, Missouri; country WPCK-FM, Denmark, Wisconsin; and sports talk WTOD-FM, Toledo.

Craig Carton to Launch Daily Show on FNTSY Sports Network.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is starting a daily program on SportsGrid’s FNTSY Sports Radio Network tomorrow (3/29).  The “Carton and Friends” streaming program will air from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm via TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and others.  FNTSY calls the show “innovative, irreverent, entertaining, compelling and a must listen…Craig and his group of celebrity friends together with a fresh group of off the wall real-life characters broadcasting live from Studio 34 in heart of Manhattan.”  Carton is in a legal battle with the Feds after being charged with fraud in connection with an alleged concert tickets Ponzi scheme.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports that sports personality Dan Patrick is not going to return to NBC’s “Football Night in America” program.  He says he is going to renew his deal with AT&T/DirecTV – the TV show that is simulcast for radio and syndicated by FOX Sports Radio.  Patrick says he was offered a new, five-year deal to continue with the NBC TV show but says he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to the program for that long…..The new host of the Public Radio International-syndicated, New York Public Radio-produced talk program “The Takeaway” is Tanzina Vega.  The CNN news pro is taking over the permanent position from longtime host John Hockenberry, who left in December after allegations of inappropriate behavior.  Todd Zwillich has been hosting the show in the interim.  Vega begins on May 7.  NYPR president and CEO Laura Walker states, “At this critical moment in our nation’s history, when America is so polarized, public media has an opportunity and a mandate to bring people together to debate, discuss, and share experiences and perspectives that have been buried for too long.  With her deep expertise unpacking tough subjects with thoughtful insight and analysis, Tanzina is the perfect person to lead this urgent national conversation.”…..ABC Radio promotes Josh Cohan to the manager of digital audio position.  ABC News vice president and general manager Steve Jones says, “In his new role, Josh will help lead our expansion of podcasts and other programming across digital audio platforms while continuing to play an important role in our newsroom operations and editorial.”…..iHeartMedia Albany’s sports talker WOFX-AM “FOX Sports 980” renews its deal to serve as the market’s affiliate station for Boston Red Sox baseball through the 2020 season.  “FOX Sports 980” has aired Sox games since 2012…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that Paul Capodanno joins the firm as vice president of marketing and digital.  In the past, Capodanno has served with Zimmerman Advertising where he worked on major campaigns including: Office Depot, Party City, Michaels, and AutoNation…..Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz announces that Emmy Award-winning NBC News executive Mark Lukasiewicz is appointed dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.  The school says that Lukasiewicz brings “deep experience as a broadcast journalist, production executive and transformational newsroom leader known for his innovative methods of integrating digital media and traditional television platforms.”  He begins July 1.

Mark Simone Welcomes Geraldo Rivera.  710 WOR, New York midday personality Mark Simone (right) poses for a pic with news and talk legend Geraldo Rivera (left) in the iHeartMedia New York studios.  Rivera appeared on Simone’s show to kick off his book tour for The Geraldo Show: A Memoir (2018, BenBalla Books).

Trump-Russia Investigation, Justice Stevens Calls for Second Amendment Repeal, 2020 Census Citizenship Flap, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Kim Jong Un in China, Stephon Clark Shooting Death Protests, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the controversy over the questions about one’s citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census; the tensions between California and certain of its cities over sanctuary policies; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visits China; the protests in Sacramento over the police shooting death of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; Thursday’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Detroit TV newsman Stephen Clark is tapped for the new morning show on Entercom’s classic hits WOMC.  The company says the new show debuts on Monday (4/2) with Clark and a co-host to be revealed on Thursday, April 5.  Clark recently retired from WXYZ-TV after 16 years as anchor of the 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm newscasts.  But, he was a disc jockey and radio reporter before moving into TV.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Stephen is an integral part of the fabric of Detroit and we are thrilled to have him open this new chapter in the station’s rich heritage.  Stephen’s connection with our local community, his personality and love of music make him a great fit to take the helm of the new WOMC morning show.”…..On-air pro Chad Pitt (left) is joining iHeartMedia’s WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107-7” as co-host of the “Magic Morning Show,” effective April 2.  Pitt will work on air with incumbent personality Leslye (right).  Station PD Brian Mack says, “Although, nothing will replace our beloved John Forsythe when he embarks on his well-deserved retirement after 50 years of radio, we can take solace in reunification with an old friend.”  Pitt returns to iHM Orlando after working on air in markets including Memphis, Tampa, and Houston…..Envision Networks’ “The Country Oldies Show with host Steve Warren” is added to the program schedule at WJJM, Lewisburg, Tennessee.  “The Country Oldies Show” features a half-century of the greatest country hits from the 1950s to the 1990s.  Warren has been the host and producer of the program since its inception…..Milwaukee Public Schools-owned non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is unveiling the grant and educational initiative “Backline” designed “to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, establish Milwaukee’s reputation as an emerging music city, and help Milwaukee companies attract and retain young employees.”  The station is working with business accelerator gener8tor.  “Backline” will recruit four Milwaukee area musicians or bands for its first 12-week session this summer, modeled on gener8tor’s nationally ranked business start-up accelerator.  Selected musicians and groups will be eligible to receive grants of $20,000 for financial support and initiatives identified through the accelerator process, such as recording, promotion and touring…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival on Saturday, May 5 will feature live performances by: Luke Combs, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Dylan Scott, and Danielle Bradbery.

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Monday, March 12, 201

| March 12, 2018

WABC Officially Names ‘Bernie & Sid’ New Morning Show.  On Friday (3/9), TALKERS magazine wrote that Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg will replace the “Imus in the Morning” show on WABC, New York on April 2.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “It is nearly impossible to replace a legend like Don Imus.  Bernie and Sid have been part of the Imus cast for decades and the new show represents an evolution more than a replacement.”  Sid Rosenberg says, “I used to joke with Bernard over a decade ago about possibly working together.  After all my trials and tribulations, that looked like a pipe dream not that long ago.  I love working with Bernard and appreciate his friendship even more.  Of course, none of this happens without Don Imus.  I’ll always appreciate what Imus did for me personally and professionally.  He’s a true legend and I’ve stolen as much as I can from him without being too obvious!”  McGuirk adds, “This is a dream come true for me and an honor for my longtime friend Sid and I to assume the morning slot on the legendary WABC Radio from the irreplaceable and legendary Don Imus.  We owe it all to Mr. Imus!  To quote the great Conor McGregor, ‘We’re not here to take part.  We’re here to take over!’ Brooklyn and the Bronx booming from your radio!!”

Kevin Barrett Exits Desert Broadcasters’ News/Talk KKGX, Palm Springs.  Talk programming pro Kevin Barrett exits Desert Broadcasters operations in Palm Springs, California where he was station manager/program director at news/talk KKGX “Real Talk” and adult standards KWXY.  Barrett says, “Both stations had gone dark in 2016 under the previous ownership, so it was very exciting to rebuild – literally – studios and brands from the ground up.  The stations are in a position for success.”  Barrett is available for his next opportunity.  He’s previously served as PD at KTRB, San Francisco; KTRS, St. Louis; KABZ-FM, Little Rock; and KEEL, Shreveport.  Reach him at: barrettkevin41@gmail.com or 415-283-9201.

Dave Ramsey Profiled in Politico. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is profiled in Politico.  The name of the piece is intriguing: “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America.”  The story draws the connection between Ramsey’s core listeners – those who likely voted for Donald Trumpand the numerous Americans who, according to Ramsey, believe that they are in financial dire straits and are not hopeful about being able to get out of the mess they are in.  Ramsey says he senses that there are more people who feel they are in over their heads and not hopeful of being able to get out that there were 25 years ago.  Ironically, given how many white Rust Belt Americans voted for Trump because of his job creation promises, Ramsey is dismissive of a president’s – any president’s – ability to create jobs.  “The office does not have that much power.”  Read the piece here.

Salem Adds FM Translator to Twin Cities News/Talker.  WWTC, Minneapolis adds an FM translator at 107.5 FM.  W263BS began simulcasting the programming of “1280 The Patriot” on March 1.  Salem Media Group Minneapolis general manager Nic Anderson says, “Our goal with adding the FM translator is to continue to give our loyal audience in the north and west metro an additional option to hear their favorite radio station.  We are now able to add FM radio to our heritage AM signal, along with listening through our mobile apps, website, and smart speakers.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new trial date has been set for former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Originally, the first court date was set for September of this year.  That now moves to October 29.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Carton – formerly paired up with Boomer Esiason on the WFAN morning show – was charged with fraud in connection with what the feds say was a Ponzi scheme involving the resale of concert tickets.  The feds’ case alleges that Carton’s motivation was to pay off gambling debts.  Carton has maintained his innocence while endeavoring to get a fresh start in media via a podcast and videocast…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive live coverage of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning tomorrow (3/13).  Action from all 67 games, including the First Four, eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One will broadcast live coverage of the Final Four on Saturday, March 31 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 2.  Kevin Kugler, Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, and Clark Kellogg will call the Final Four games…..Futuri Media announces that rock radio pro Michael Sharkey joins the company as product manager for #engage and Futuri Mobile.  Jim Roberts joins as national account manager.  He was most recently with Mid-West Family Broadcasting managing the South Bend market.  Also, Jim Tarantine becomes national account manager for Futuri.  He was most recently with Nielsen Audio as director, client solutions.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Tariffs-Trade War, Stormy Daniels Case, Putin’s NBC Interview, MIT Fake News Study, Trump PA Rally, New Florida Gun Law, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum and speculation about trade wars; the legal battle between Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels; Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly and his suggestion Russian Jews may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election; the MIT study showing fake news spreads through social media faster than real news; President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally; Florida’s new gun law in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: January’s Highs & Lows.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey and presents an in-depth, format-by-format look at the stations that went up or down by a full share or more from the Holiday 2017 to January 2018 survey.  It’s not unusual to see adult contemporary stations come back down to earth after the Holiday survey and to see other stations get listeners back after that period.  So, which stations stood at the tops of the gains and losses columns?  Country WCOL, Columbus led the gainers (6+) with a 3.1 share rise from Holiday to January and KSFI, Salt Lake City went from a 23.2 share to an 8.1 share – a difference of -15.1 shares.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Last week, we reported that Steve Dahl would host the final program on legendary Chicago rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” prior to the start of its LMA by Educational Media Foundation on Saturday when began airing the company’s K-Love Christian contemporary format.  (EMF is paying Merlin Media $21.5 million for the signal.) That happened on Friday night as the Dahl-hosted broadcast included numerous “Loop” personalities from its colorful history.  Absent, however, was Garry Meier.  As Chicago media write Robert Feder reports, Dahl tried to get Meier on board, to no avail.  Interestingly, Meier also backed out of a WGN-AM program honoring the rock station.  Read Feder’s column here…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay names AJ Malone has been named program director for WXTB, Tampa “98ROCK.”  Senior vice president of programming for Tampa bay Tommy Chuck says, “As assistant program director, AJ has played a key role in driving great ratings and revenue gains for ‘98ROCK.’  This upgrade in role and responsibilities is one she has certainly earned!” Prior to joining WXTB in August of 2017, Malone was program director at WXSR-FM, Tallahassee.

Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive.  After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2.  Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.

WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show.  A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram.  The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’  Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows.  He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area.  His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.”  Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”

Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies.  In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort!  His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”

Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup.  Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup.  Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community.  The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.”  “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland.  We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.”  The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show.  The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.”  Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters.  New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment.  New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future.  The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it.  Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9.  The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Stormy DanielsDonald Trump relationship and legal actions.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview.   Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet.  Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews.  Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show.  His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show.  Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM.  Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield.  She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show.  She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership.  Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia.  This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy.  As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity.  The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix.  Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction.  Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted.  Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it.  Franklin is leading the senior creditors group.  One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.

Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host.  It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement.  Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program.  In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.  iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.”  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR.  He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades.  He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.”  Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman.  I loved working with him when he was guest hosting.  We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports.  Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”

The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage?  Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat?  The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience.  Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California.  Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though).  The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.

FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel.  The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.  FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me.  Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.

TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored.  WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience.  It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament.  Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments.  Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.

Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.”  Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program.  He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality.  He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.”  Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings.  Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix.  A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization.  A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany.  He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business.  Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations.  He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.

Friday, February 23, 2018

| February 23, 2018

Entercom Announces Final Agreement to Acquire Two Emmis St. Louis Stations; Names Becky Domyan Market Manager.  Last month, Emmis Communications announced agreements in principle to sell its St. Louis radio stations – news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom and rock KSHE and alternative KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio.  Now, Entercom announces the definitive agreement to buy the two stations for $15 million.  At the same time, Entercom removes John Sheehan as market manager and replaces him with Emmis director of sales Becky Domyan.  She’ll be SVP and market manager for news/talk KMOX, news/talk KFTK, adult contemporary KEZK, hot AC KYKY and CHR KNOU.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “This is an exciting move to complement our strong portfolio in St. Louis.  The transaction is part of our broader strategy to continue growing Entercom’s robust roster of brands across the country and to provide the best-in-class local marketing solutions at national scale that our advertising partners expect from us.”  Entercom begins operating the Emmis stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Entercom expects the deal to close by the second quarter of 2018.

Hubbard to Pay $45 million for KSHE and KPNT, St. Louis.  The second part of Emmis’ sale of its St. Louis properties is heritage rock outlet KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” and Emmis announces that Hubbard Radio will pay $45 million for the two stations.  Hubbard will also begin operating the stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “The St. Louis team has been an integral part of our Emmis family since 1984.  We love our people in St. Louis and the team’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable.  Hubbard and Entercom are both tremendous radio operators and they are adding great people and great brands to their St. Louis clusters.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds FM Translator to AM Signal.  Last July, Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee was all set to begin simulcasting its AM signal on FM translator W277CV at 103.3.  But talk WRRD, Waukesha owner Michael Crute petitioned the FCC, saying the construction permit to move the Frank McCoy-owned translator from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee market had been violated.  Crute says he had a deal with McCoy to simulcast WRRD on the translator but Scripps offered McCoy more money.  The petition was not successful, and Scripps begins using the 250-watt translator now licensed to Milwaukee.  Station VP and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “For 90 years, Milwaukee has depended upon WTMJ for news, local talk and sports.  It’s important to make our content easy to find and we’re excited to add an additional platform at 103.3 FM along with our digital distribution platforms.  Our play-by-play sports partners, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks will be heard on ‘WTMJ-FM’, as well.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is scheduled to make on-air appearances this season on Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York.  As part of the agreement, Boone will appear every Thursday at 5:00 pm beginning March 1 on the afternoon show with Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott to talk Yankees baseball.  Boone will also appear with Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman during all Yankees pre-game shows throughout the season.  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “As part of our commitment to delivering premiere live, New York-centric sports audio content, we are proud to continue the tradition of partnering with the Yankees manager.  It’s a tradition that goes back to Joe Torre and continued with Joe Girardi.  We are excited to welcome Aaron.”…..Westwood One News is producing a 20-part series for affiliate stations called, “Tax Tips,” anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Ann Cates.  The company says the series will feature advice on topics from where and how to prepare, identity theft, and phishing scams to taxpayers’ bill of rights, the impact of tax reform, and bitcoins.

Florida School Shooting Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 19-23.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 people – including discussions about gun control, mental illness, and the FBI’s role was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections, followed by the status of the DACA and the Trump administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

World Famous WWE Ring Announcer Lilian Garcia Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Interview.  One of the most popular personalities to emerge in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) during the past 20 years, Lilian Garcia, is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Garcia, who hosts the weekly PodcastOne series, “Chasing Glory,” in which she interviews other wrestling personalities and media figures about their personal life stories, is also an accomplished singer who is one of the most prolific and critically-acclaimed performers of the ‘Star Spangled Banner” in America – having performed the national anthem at numerous stadium-filled events for the NFLNBANHLMLBNASCAR, the US Open Tennis Tournament and the Summer Olympic Games.  Harrison and Garcia discuss her colorful career and delve into the personalities she has encountered during her 15-year run as a major WWE “diva.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two promotions to report from Cox Media Group’s Miami station group as programmer Jill Strada is upped to director of operations and sales pro Crystal Gans becomes as integrated sales manager.  CMG regional vice president Rob Babin states, “We are very happy when we have an opportunity to promote successful leaders from within our company.  Crystal and Jill are proven leaders who have demonstrated incredible success at Cox Media Group Miami.  Their success lies in commitment to their teams and the passion they each have as leaders.  I look forward to the impact Crystal and Jill will make in their new roles.”  Strada will oversee hip hop WEDR, CHR WFLC, adult contemporary WFEZ and urban contemporary WHQT.  She was previously director of branding and programming for WEDR and WFLC.  Gans will lead the cluster’s sales strategies across multiple platforms.  Prior to this role, she was digital sales manager…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad Show” – co-hosted by Ashley Paige and Brad Abell – is added to the programming schedule at Withers Broadcasting Company’s KBXB, Sikeston, Missouri “B97.9.”  Envision says the “Ashley & Brad Show” is a Los Angeles-based morning show that provides its talent to radio stations nationwide with daily produced segments.  The four hours of programmed content allow radio stations to “maintain their on-air quality without exceeding budget constraints.”  The duo are heard live daily on KWSV, Simi Valley, California “99.1 The Ranch.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new channel called Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat “Where Country Went Mod.”  The channel will be curated by Yoakam and will feature music from Yoakam’s extensive career as well as from his musical friends.  It will “celebrate the Bakersfield sound and those whom it has inspired” including: Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Collins, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, The Blasters, Lucinda Williams and more. The channel will launch in the spring.

Round Three of January PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Entering the September sweep, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1 in that sweep. It was a short stay there though as it plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. The past two ratings periods (December and “Holiday” 2017), KOPB has ranked second, but powered by a +1.1 (8.5 – 9.6, 6+), it is back on top. Recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); and now +1.1 in January 2018. The station it keeps chasing and replacing, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” surrenders all but two-tenths of its combined +8.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.9 – 8.5, -8.4, 6+) and (again) swaps places with KOPB. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, “K-103 is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. After being within 3.5 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” explodes with a +1.4 (3.6 – 5.0, 6+) to progress from eighth to fifth. The last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Similarly programmed/iHeartMedia owned KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” gains one-half share (1.2 – 1.7, #21 to #19, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well). Its CHR cluster-mate, KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is also up one-half share, after faltering by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 3.4, flat at #13, 6+). The -.9 ended its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). This time last month (“Holiday” 2017), the market’s (6+) country share diminished by -1.8, but it bounces back with a +2.6. Specifically, Alpha Media’s KUPL obliterates its -1.1 with a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges back into the top ten (#13 to #6) with its best 6+-share since July and August (4.9, as well). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” makes up all but one-tenth of its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017 with a January 2018 gain of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+), yet actually backslides from #11 to #12. Nevertheless, its +.6 pulls the plug on six straight months in which “The Wolf” was without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. By posting a +.8 to 5.8 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” rebounds from a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.0, 6+) as it inches up from fourth to third. While unchanged at #9, Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” gains seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, 6+). Immediately after notching a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” surrenders all but three-tenths of it (5.7, -1.3, third to fourth, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth time in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, seventh to tenth, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Progressing by eight-tenths (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT has its best 6+-stat since October (4.0, as well) and carries on at #13. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+) and hit the four-share mark (6+) in October 2017 for the first time since October 2016’s 4.1. A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” erases half that deficit with an uptick of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and remains at #15. WFAE was -.6 in October; +.5 in November; -1.1 in December; and now +.6 in January. One-half share separates Charlotte’s top four finishers in January 2018, with iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” – powered by a +1.9 – leaping from sixth to first (5.0 – 6.9, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since its 7.0 in May 2016 and the first time at #1 since August (2017), when it registered a 6.1. It was a quick one-sweep only stay at #1 for Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety,” which marched from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, but now drops to fifth (11.0 – 6.0, -5.0, 6+). Its 11.0 was the station’s strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Without a loss for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative +.8 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” goes from a three-way logjam at #2 to a conventional tie there. Following four down or flat reports in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” is up three-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. A “Holiday” 2017 loss of -1.1 by WRCM took Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4, but the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet bounces back with a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is up by triple that deficit to 4.8 (+.9, tenth to sixth, 6+). Six straight decreases by Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG resulted in a -2.1 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but “Power 98” makes up one-third of that loss with a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). It is a somewhat similar scenario for iHeartMedia’s WEND, which picks up seven-tenths as well to end three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), as “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” also enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Finishing first in December but then dropping to second in “Holiday” 2017, adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” plummets by -2.2 (6.5 – 4.3, 6+) to join cluster-mate WEND at #10. Just prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, “The Lake” was +2.9 in three straight gains (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 7.2, 6+) with December 2017’s 7.2 its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Co-owned contemporary Christian WRFX-HD2 is off one-half share (.9 – .4, #20 to #21, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Down nine-tenths as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI more than makes up for it with a +1.6 to 4.4 (6+), as “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” rockets from #16 to #9. This is its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #20). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPMhistory, but the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet forfeits that full-share and three-tenths more (3.4, -1.3, 6+), cratering from #4 to #13. Not only does Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM post a +1.8 to stifle three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+), “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; and January 2018’s +1.8. Classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+) soaring from sixth to third. Departing the San Antonio penthouse after residing there the past two sweeps, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” returns all but two-tenths of the combined +8.8 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+); 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Three straight declines by Cox Media Group-owned KCYY produced a cumulative -1.9 (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), but “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regains six-tenths of it (4.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Leapfrogging “Y-100” with a +1.1 (5.2, eighth to fourth, 6+) is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which concludes four down or flat sweeps for a collective -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. An overall +1.5 in six sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. Off by a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” picks up eight-tenths to 5.7, advancing from third to second (6+). Gaining eight-tenths as well are Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” (4.6, tenth to eighth, 6+), which pulls the plug on three decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.3 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), and Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are adult hits sibling KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (3.8 – 4.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (4.3 – 4.9, steady at #6, 6+). Checking in at #21, Texas Public Radio classical KPAC is up one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) knocks Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” out of the top ten (#5 to #11). In four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.3 (flat at #19, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Tacking on a January 2018 +.7 to its +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM continues in sixth-place. This (6.6) represents the best 6+-showing for “93.7 The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. On the strength of a +1.3 to 5.3 (6+), news/talk cluster-mate KDKA-AM (eighth to seventh) has its highest 6+-share since last April’s 5.7. Moreover, “News Radio 1020” halts four down or flat trends in succession that produced a -.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In a similar vein, a six-tenths gain by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” (2.7, #13 to #12, 6+) ends three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Yet another negative streak concludes as iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station,” which was a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), recaptures 70% of the loss (7.6, +1.4, fifth to third 6+). “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Steady at #8 and #10, respectively, Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (4.9, 6+) and co-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (3.2 – 4.1, 6+) are each on the rise by nine-tenths. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” was -1.0 to 4.0, its lowest 6+-share since 3.6 in “Holiday” 2016. A -.8 by WDSY in “Holiday” 2017 ended an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). Notwithstanding that it adds one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three negative trends in succession for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” backslides from #12 to #13. A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Regaining the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (9.2 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE moves from third to second. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). WDVE was +1.6 in October; -1.0 in November; and is now just two-tenths of a share behind classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (16.4 – 9.4, -7.0, 6+), which is on top for the 11th month in a row. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. On the heels of posting a 10.6 in “Holiday” 2017, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” erodes by -3.8 to 6.8 (6+), slipping from second to fifth. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4.

5) Sacramento – Entering the “Holiday” 2017 report, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was down or flat in October-November-December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and follows in January 2018 with a +.2 to 8.6 (6+). Not only is 8.6 its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7, KFBK progresses from second to first. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; surrendered all but one-tenth of it in “Holiday” 2017 (-.5); and is now +.6 in January (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) to advance from #15 to #13; this (2.7) is its highest 6+-share since last June’s 2.8. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ recoups roughly half that deficit with a +.5 to 4.7 and remains in fifth-place. Four-tenths behind pacesetting KFBK at #2 is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which boasts a +2.0 to 8.2 (6+), virtually erasing its -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, the last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). Its format challenger – iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River, The River City’s New Classic Rock” – flips its -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-share since last July’s 4.8. Improving by +1.1 as well is Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” which is +1.8 in three upticks in succession (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, steady at #4, 6+). Having finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by more than 50% from “Holiday” 2017 (-7.4) and segues to #3 (14.2 – 6.8, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “Mix” became the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. In the five most recent ratings periods, co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); -1.0 “Holiday” 2017; and now +.7 in January 2018 (3.5 – 4.2, flat at #8, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Without an increase the past four sweeps for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), yet moves from fifth to seventh. Entravision’s KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” regains the seven-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 plus one-tenth more (1.0 – 1.8, +.8, #24 to #19, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – Owing to three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2, but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with a +1.3 to 6.4 (6+) and continues in second place. Huge fluctuations are nothing new for KSL. Recent examples include +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.1 (September); +1.4 (October); -1.8 (November); -.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and +1.3 (January 2018). Trending 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS was +.8 in November, but a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Even though it recaptures 70% of that loss (3.3 – 4.0, +.7, 6+), “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” shifts from a four-way tie at #8 to #10. Locked on 3.3 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, University of Utah news/talk KUER notches a +.8 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Transforming “Holiday” 2017’s -1.4 into a +2.1 (4.0 – 6.1, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” progresses from fifth to third. Somewhat similarly, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but roars back with a +2.0 (3.3 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight sweeps for a collective -1.2 (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is up two-tenths to 1.0 (flat at #24, 6+). Gaining one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18). Four negative moves in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KZHT accounted for a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” posts a +1.9 to 6.0 (6+) and remains at #4. As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). An overall +1.9 in seven consecutive down or flat sweeps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KODJ was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 6+). In January, however, “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” racks up a +1.8 to 5.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+); November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, hot AC KJMY “My 99.5 – More Music, More Variety” rolls out a +.9 to 3.7 (#14 to #11, 6+), thus ending five straight down or flat trends that netted a -.7 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Even though it flips a -.8 from “Holiday” 2017 into a January 2018 +1.0 (4.3 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP “Utah’s Classic Rock – 103.5 The Arrow” actually slips from sixth to eighth. Regaining two-thirds of “Holiday” 2017’s -.9 (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” climbs from #14 to #13; 2.3 was its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Despite a bewildering -15.1 (23.2 – 8.1, 6+), similarly programmed/Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. Up or flat for the ninth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” stays at #22. Off by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks,” -1.1 in three straight dips (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.7, #8 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” (1.8 – 1.2, #19 to #23, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Displaying gains of six-tenths each are Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (1.3, #23, 6+) and Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR (1.9 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+). KDWN was without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (.9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 (#21, 6+). In three consecutive downward moves (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia country KWNR was a collective -2.5, but “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” dials up a +1.9 to 5.1 (6+), leaping from #13 to #4. This marks the fourth straight up or flat move for Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” for a +1.6 (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). Making a “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 +1.1 improvement as well is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ, which advances from second to first (6.5 – 7.6, 6+). In December, “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 in December. It succeeds iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (12.5 – 6.5, -6.0, 6+), which falls to second. The -6.0 halts three straight positive spikes that netted +7.7 (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017); and -6.0 (January 2018). Noteworthy ups/down continue for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which logged five successive improvements for a +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+); returned it all in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+); and is now +.9 (4.6 – 5.5, fourth to third, 6+). In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Flat at #15, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” is up four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of down or flat trends that yielded a -.4 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). After being without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” returns that gain in total (3.9, -.9, 6+) and slides from third to eighth; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. In six successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

8) Cincinnati – Following five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW recaptures nearly half the loss with a +1.6 (7.9, third to second, 6+). “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC is +.3 to 3.6, curtailing three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+); “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU improves by one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). In addition to rebounding from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.6 (6), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” shifts from second to first. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Exiting the top slot and drifting to fifth is its adult contemporary cluster-mate WRRM “Warm 98” (13.0 – 5.4, -7.6, 6+), which – in five improvements in a row – was an overall +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A +1.7 (5.7 – 7.4, fifth to fourth, 6+) by WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” enables the Hubbard hot AC to reach the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since November 2016’s 7.3. By posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” basically wipes out the -1.4 from its five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Staying in that Hubbard cluster, WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” plummeted by -1.4 in December; was +.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and now tacks on a +1.5 (6.3 – 7.8, 6+) to continue at #3. Surrendering six-tenths in December and another one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” recovers all but one-tenth of that -1.1 with a +1.0 to 5.1 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Stuck on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” reclaims the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, eighth to ninth, 6+). As Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” improves by one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #14 to #12, 6+), Radio One’s WOSL regresses by that margin (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Locked on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, “100.3 R&B + Old School” recorded six straight sweeps without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Dropping from #16 to #18, urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is off for the fourth sweep in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Over and above halting three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” breaks out a +1.7 to 3.9 (#15 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (4.0, January 2016). It is tied with Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which regains the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+). In four straight decreases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), but “News 96.5” regains roughly half that decrease with a +1.3 to 4.7 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10, 6+). In September, WDBO-FM registered a +2.0; immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, “News 96.5” was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last five reports for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gains seven-tenths to 1.9 (#20 to #16, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for co-owned CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before relinquishing nearly half that gain (-.9) in “Holiday” 2017. It now adds a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.9, 6+) to climb from third to second with its best 6+-stat since last April’s 9.9. A January 2018 +1.3 by co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” (5.3, tenth to sixth, 6+) wipes out the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Flashing increases of +1.0 each are Entercom classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WOMX “Mix 105.1” (3.8 – 4.8, #11 to #9, 6+). In five consecutive decreases between August and “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” was a cumulative -2.3 (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). The “stream” of WOCL appears in print with a .7 (#22, 6+). In the Cox Media Group cluster, WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” gains seven-tenths after spiraling by a cumulative -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.2 – 5.9, flat at #4, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. With a +.4 to 9.3 though, “Rumba 100” is back on top and curtails four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. It displaces adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” (15.9 – 6.6, -9.2, first to third), which spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017, but falters by nine-tenths in January (4.1 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” A loss of six-tenths to 3.7 (#8 to #13, 6+) by Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” ends at three its consecutive string of increases that netted +1.2 (3.1 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

10) Cleveland – As the result of six straight positive spikes (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +3.2 and breaks into the top ten (#12 to #9). Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” gains one-half share to 5.5 (6+) and carries on at #8. Recapturing in its entirety “Holiday” 2017’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3 – 7.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” jumps from fifth to third. Following three straight (minor) declines for a -.4 (1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF notches a +.9 to 1.6 (#16 to #15, 6+). Nearly wiping out its -.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) with a one-half share increase to 4.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” actually backslides from the top ten (#10 to #11). Having reached #1 in December, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017, but the Radio One urban AC is back on top (8.6 – 9.1, +.5, 6+). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and made it to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (10.4 – 5.6, -4.9, 6+), which drifts to seventh. “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+). In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017 it became the fourth different Cleveland station in as many sweeps to occupy the top spot. Anchored at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) with a -1.9 to 8.4 (6+). It reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November.

11) Kansas City – This is the fifth upward trend in succession for Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM (ninth to eighth), which is +1.2 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). When Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4 in December, it halted at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 though with a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and inches up from #14 to #12. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” relinquished -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017, but gains it all back (+1.0) in January (6.1 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), progressing from fifth to third. After freefalling by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” recovers 45% of the loss with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to sixth, 6+). A November gain of seven-tenths halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+); “Mix” added eight-tenths in December. Adding eight-tenths each are Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (3.6, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (2.7 – 3.5, #16 to #15, 6+). A gain of one-half share to 3.8 (#12 to #13, 6+) by Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” pulls the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.7 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). All three of the market’s country FMs improve from “Holiday” 2017: Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” (5.2 – 6.0, +.8, flat at #4, 6+); Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, sixth to fifth, 6+); and Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (3.9 – 4.4, +.5, steady at #11, 6+). Four straight upticks by Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM yielded a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+), but “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns two full shares (8.4, -2.0, 6+). Even so, it repeats at #1. Having more than doubled its 6+-stat between September and “Holiday” 2017 (+4.1) in four upticks in a row (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+),      Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” forfeits -2.9 to 5.6 (6+), falling from third to sixth. Eroding by -1.7 (9.1 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” nonetheless carries on at #2. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+).

12) Columbus – Roaring back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” leaps from sixth to third. The last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Trending 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU gains six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August. After a six-month tenure at #1, iHeartMedia’s WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017, but the country outlet returns to the top spot with a whopping +3.1 (10.9 – 14.0, 6+) and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. It was +2.2 in January 2017; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; -.5 in December; and now +3.1 in January 2018. Departing the driver’s seat after just one sweep and dropping to fifth is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (11.0 – 5.2, -5.8, 6+), which surrenders more than half of its 6+-share. “Sunny” was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Having been without an increase for the past five sweeps for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” answers with a +1.2 to 9.2 (fourth to second). The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was March 2017 (8.9). Off eight-tenths in three successive (modest) downward trends (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” picks up one-half share to 2.7 and continues at #12 (6+). Forfeiting -2.9 (8.1 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC segues from third to fifth; “93.3 The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Regressing by four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to ninth, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO has its string of successive gains that netted +1.7 snapped at three (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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 are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Friday, January 26, 2018

| January 26, 2018

E.W. Scripps Talk Stations on the Block.  Yesterday’s news from E.W. Scripps confirming recent rumors that it is selling its radio station assets has kicked the speculation machine into high gear.  Most experts believe there is no buyer out there who wants all 34 stations in this portfolio.  Some say iHeartMedia and Cumulus are right out due to debt issues and that Entercom is still digesting its CBS RADIO acquisition.  Companies that are more likely to be in the market for signals that fit their business model include Beasley Media Group and Saga Communications.  One thing we can be certain of – it will be interesting to see who acquires which stations and how much they pay!  Regardless, the following is a summary of the spoken-word stations in Scripps’ radio portfolio. In Milwaukee (Scripps’ largest market), there’s heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM.  In Omaha, the lone talker is sports KXSP “AM 590 ESPN.”  Tulsa has heritage news/talk KFAQ.  And, Tucson is the home of news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM (plus its translator).

Cumulus Officially Unveils ‘The New Talk 106.7.’ As TALKERS reported yesterday based on Rodney Ho’s column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cumulus Media has made another tweak to WYAY-FM, Atlanta, re-branding it “The New Talk 106.7” and getting rid of the “news radio” verbiage.  The station is still in the process of building a talk radio morning show after canceling the newsy program anchored by Rob Stadler in December.  The station is promoting personalities Shannon Burke, Kim “Kimmer” Peterson, and Brian Joyce.  Cumulus Atlanta vice president Sean Shannon says, “Talk has become the domain of dogma, where hosts are advancing an agenda.  ‘The New Talk 106.7’ will be a place for honest discourse where our hosts have a perspective, not an agenda.”

Entercom Names Rooney VP-DoS.  New York radio sales pro Brian Rooney joins Entercom’s NYC operations to serve as vice president, director of sales.  Rooney was most recently with iHeartMedia as VP of sales for classic rock WAXQ, New York ‘Q104.3.”  He’s also been sales manager at WFAN and worked in sales at WOR and the New York Mets Radio Network.  In New York, Entercom operates all-newsers 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan,” plus classic hits WCBS-FM, alternative WBMP-FM, and hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7.”  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam says, “Brian’s strong leadership and great track record in New York made him the perfect choice to lead our Entercom New York team.”

Vince Richards Appointed OM at Entercom Sacramento. Programming pro Vince Richards takes over the operations manager post at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM “ESPN 1320,” CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” rock KRXQ, classic rock KSEG “96.9 Eagle,” and alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7.”  Richards was most recently national operations manager for Townsquare Media.  He comments, “Sacramento is one of the crown jewel markets in the company with a tradition of excellence and an incredibly talented and passionate staff.  Thanks to Pat Paxton, Dave Richards and Lance Richard for passing me the torch and the opportunity to lead this awesome staff.”  Richards takes over for Jim Fox, who was recently named vice president of programming for Entercom Dallas.

Heavyweight Syndicators’ Top Execs to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of two of the leading radio syndication company executives to the roster of industry leaders serving as speakers at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks and Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One will address the movers and shakers of the talk media world at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Earlier this week, it was announced that Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity would serve as morning keynote speakers at the event. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Suzanne Grimes and Julie Talbott bring enormously pertinent content to this convention’s table. They are influential leaders with enormous experience, insight, perspective, and wisdom of great value to share about the state of the radio business.” The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception. All in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Lars Larson at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson (right) is pictured above at the enormous SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week.  Larson – whose national show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is seen interviewing Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian (left).

Popular Washington, DC Correspondent Victoria Jones Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime talk media personality Victoria Jones, executive director of the DC Radio Company and recent senior White House correspondent for the Talk Media News Service, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Jones – a British-US citizen – whose commentaries on Washington-based news and issues have been heard for years on hundreds of talk radio stations around the English-speaking world, is a veteran talk show host of such stations as WWRC and WMAL, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; WLAC, Nashville; and WXYT, Detroit. In a fascinating and unusual conversation with Harrison, she shares a candid, insider’s view of what it’s like to work as a member of the White House press corps. She talks about the processes and working conditions of being behind the scenes on a daily basis at the iconic mansion/museum/office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t miss this funny, eye-opening, and extremely informative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 22-26.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, as well as a possible interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the missing FBI texts case, followed by President Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Lisa Adams program director for country KVRQ “Country 98.9.”  Adams moves over from the company’s sister station KRWM “WARM 106.9,” where she’d most recently been serving as marketing director.  During her career she’s also served as OM/PD at Townsquare Media’s Boise station group.  Speaking about her new gig, Adams says, “‘Country 98.9’ is an extremely special radio station for Seattle.  To be given this opportunity is beyond my wildest dreams.  I am blessed and appreciative for the support and recognition.”…..Entercom adds Premiere NetworksDelilah to the program schedule at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  In addition to her national show airing in the evening daypart Fridays through Sundays on the station, she’s doing a custom show that airs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm…..Beasley Media Group re-brands Wilmington, Delaware adult contemporary WJBR-FM “The New Mix 99.5” and introduces new morning team Michael Waite with Jessie Micchelli.  This is a return to the station for Waite, who says, “After seven years of being away from radio, I look forward to returning to entertaining our incredible listeners and working with Jessie.”  Beasley VP and market manager AJ Lurie says, “It was important for us to continue offering our listeners the very best listening experience available.  A lot of time and research went into our decision in launching the new format.  I couldn’t be more excited as a fan!”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only concert by Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Portugal. The Man in the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon at Mississippi Studios next Wednesday (1/31).  The performance will be aired next Friday (2/2) on the Alt Nation channel…..Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) is pictured here with Sir Elton John (right) after his Gotham Hall press conference in which he announced his farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour.  Cirrincione got a one-on-one interview with Sir Elton who told him his decision to stop touring is so he can help raise his two sons.  The “Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour will end in 2021 and he says, “I want to start in America and end in America because I owe this country so much.  I love this country.  The Troubadour [in West Hollywood] kick-started my career in a big way.  Without that, you know, I don’t know what would have happened.  So, I’m very grateful to L.A. and I love New York.  But I definitely decided that the last show will be in America.  My dream show would be at Dodger Stadium because it makes sense.”

 

Round Three of Holiday PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below, with a reminder that the vast majority of major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – While not quite matching December’s +4.7 (to 13.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW dials up a +3.9 as it reaches 16.9 (6+) and repeats at #1. Off nine-tenths in November, “K-103” – with its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in this sweep – is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” responded in October with a +1.5. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” notches a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+). The last time “Charlie” was above a six-share (6+) was May 2015 with a 6.5. With its highest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to a three-way logjam at #13. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly programmed KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits the six-tenths it just gained in three straight upticks (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.1, 6+) by falling to – .5 (#23 to #27, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.8, as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #8 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is -.7 (#10 to #11, 6+). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In April – May – June, “The Bull” was down -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Meanwhile, this represents the sixth straight month that “The Wolf” is without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. Dropping out of the top ten (from #9) and tied with KUBL at #13 is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which erodes by nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.9, 6+). The decrease ends its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). In five of the previous six sweeps – including the last four – “Z-100” and Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KBFF “Live 95.5” were separated by just one-tenth of a share (6+). The margin is now one-half share as “Live 95.5” – albeit down three-tenths – is at 3.4 (6+). A collective +.9 in November and December (4.1 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns two-thirds of that gain (4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth time in succession, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (sixth to seventh) is a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Not only does WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety” improve its December +3.0 by one full share (7.0 – 11.0, +4.0, 6+), the Beasley Media Group adult contemporary progresses from second to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Making way for “K-104.7” at #1 is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (7.2 – 6.5, -.7, 6+), which drops to second after only one month in the lead. The August – September – October – November topline 6+-trending for “The Lake” was a very consistent 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, but, in December, it posted a +2.3 to 7.2, its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Tied with “The Lake” is co-owned classic rocker WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which had been on top in September, October, and November, as well as in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Its loss of four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.2 (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). The third player in that three-way scrum in Charlotte’s runner-up slot – and moving up from #4 – is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which is a cumulative +.8 via five successive positive spikes (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). A loss of -1.1 (3.9 – 2.8, #12 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM takes Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4. Down or flat for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” slips from sixth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-performance for “The Link” since April’s 3.9. As the result of six straight decreases (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG is a combined -2.1; “Power 98” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Following six consecutive up or flat moves that more than tripled its 6+-stat for a collective +1.3 (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” returns two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but remains at #18.

3) San Antonio – Piling a +4.9 onto December’s +3.9 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” repeats at #1 and posts its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Trending 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7 (October – November – December, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX erupts with a +1.0. Not only does that vault KSTX into the top five (#11 to #4), it is the first time in its PPM-history that it crosses the four-share level (6+). A collective +1.5 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” elevates from #15 to #12. Via three straight declines (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY is a cumulative -1.9 as “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” drifts from fourth to eighth. After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Tied with “Y-100” at #8 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which is without an increase for the fourth month in a row for an overall -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. After ten straight months at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” replicates December’s nine-tenths’ loss (6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include December 2016’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; and “Holiday” 2017’s -.9. On the heels of December’s -.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” sputters by another seven-tenths (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.1 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+) as it slides from #15 to #19. By posting a one-half share gain in December, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KXXM halted four successive down or flat trends that produced a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), but “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that half-share improvement in its entirety and is back to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). After both stations posted the identical topline-stat four months in a row (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (#23, 6+), while Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” is off three-tenths to 1.2 (#24, 6+). For KTSA, December’s -.2 ended four straight improvements that produced a +.7 since July (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while the loss of two-tenths in the December sweep by KKYX halted six straight up or flat trends for an overall +.7 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Frozen on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH more than doubles the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4 to 10.6 (6+) as “Today’s Wish 99.7” sails from fourth to second. This is the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year (12.4, “Holiday” 2016). Nearly six shares ahead of “Wish” is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS,” which adds a +3.5 to December’s +2.0 (12.9 – 16.4, 6+) and is on top for the tenth month in a row. By way of comparison, “3WS” recorded a 13.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. As a result of gaining six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh Sports Radio” (unchanged at #6) matches August’s 5.9. Immediately after posting a +1.6 in December, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” plummets by -2.1 (7.4 – 9.0 – 6.9, 6+) to shift from third to fourth. The market’s two hot ACs are a combined -1.7: Entercom-owned WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (seventh to eighth) is off one full-share to 4.0, its softest 6+-share in one year (3.6, “Holiday” 2016), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” drops seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, flat at #11, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 2.1 in May 2016. The country format isn’t much better this sweep as its (6+) -1.3 from December is split between Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.0 – 3.2, -.8, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (-.5, flat at #12, 6+), which is off for the third time in a row for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). The -.8 by WDSY ends an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Elsewhere in the iHeartMedia cluster, WDVE sputters by eight-tenths (9.2 – 8.4, 6+), falling to #3 after six straight months at #2, while CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” is a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 in October and -1.0 in November. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). Meanwhile, “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Without an increase the past seven months (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” adds one-tenth (to .2, 6+) and inches up from #18 to #17.

5) Sacramento – Repeating at #1, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX tacks a +5.4 onto December’s +1.2 (7.6 – 8.8 – 14.2, 6+). “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. Down or flat the past three months for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” answers with a +1.3 to 8.4 – its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7 – progressing from third to second. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the news/talk hybrid regressed by three-tenths in October. Showing one-half share gains are Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) rocketing from ninth to fourth, and co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” (3.3, #13 to #12, 6+), which was a combined -1.0 in three dips in succession (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). The station that KYMX succeeded at #1 in December – co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” – is a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). The last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). In the most recent four sweeps, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and now -1.0 “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned, similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). “The Wolf” was a combined -.4 in October and November (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). September’s +.5 suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country outlet – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is trending 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the last eight sweeps, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” falters by nine-tenths to 3.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Off by seven-tenths are co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.9, #15 to #16, 6+) and Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (1.7 – 1.0, #17 to #24, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Sports 1140” was +1.0 in seven successive up or flat trends (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at #8, iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River – The River City’s New Classic Rock” sputters by six-tenths to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since March (3.5, as well). After gaining six-tenths in December, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” surrenders all but one-tenth of it (2.6 – 2.1, -.5, 6+) but carries on at #15. Dropping one-half share as well is Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In a ratings period that has seen some truly astonishing benchmarks, it would be difficult to find a station with greater accomplishments than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI. For openers, “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” adds an eye-popping +9.6 to December’s +6.6 and is #1 for the third month in a row. Its 23.2 share (6+) is well over four times that of the market’s #2 finisher – or if you prefer – in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. In information from the 36 PPM-markets we’ve seen thus far, KSFI (23.2) is the only station to each a 20-share (6+); it did so in “Holiday” 2016, as well (20.6). “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October; it was a combined -.8 in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+). News/talk sibling, KSL “NewsRadio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM,” finishes second, but is a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November 2016), +1.1 (December 2016), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February 2017); +.6 (April 2017); -1.1 (May 2017); -.9 (July 2017); +.6 (August 2017); +1.1 (September 2017); +1.4 (October 2017); -1.8 (November 2017); -.8 (December 2017); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2017). Up or flat for the eighth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” inches up from #23 to #22. After an overall +1.9 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). This is the first time under a four-share (6+) for KODJ since April’s 3.9; November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Surrendering eight-tenths from December (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville’s similarly-formatted “103.5 The Arrow” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie with KODJ. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” spirals by -1.4 from 5.4 to 4.0 (third to fifth, 6+). Plummeting by nine-tenths is KSFI’s format rival – Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (3.2 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+) – which has its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Dropping by nine-tenths as well is Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 All the Hits” (3.4 – 2.5, #11 to #15, 6+). Owing to four negative moves in succession, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). In the country arena, KUBL is -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but stays at #8. Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country,” which netted eight-tenths in three straight gains (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), drops one-half share to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in third-place. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 -.8, #24, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2. After more than quintupling its 6+-share in six successive gains for a +1.3 (.3 – .4 – .5 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” is off by two-tenths to 1.4 (#21 to #22, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – An overall +7.7 in three straight positive spikes (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (14.0). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); and +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017). Up of flat for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, fourth to third, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” registers its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Off a total of six-tenths in three straight monthlies without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” gains two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #14. By improving two-tenths to 1.9 (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT “Latino Mix 99.3” curtails three downward trends in succession that accounted for a -1.5 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 1.7, 6+). Following five straight downward moves in which its 6+-share was sliced by more than 80% (2.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .4, 6+), University of Nevada-owned KUNV “91.5 The Source” adds two-tenths to .6 (6+) and continues at #28. Five successive improvements by Entercom hot AC KMXB accounted for a net gain of +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 94.1” returns the entire bounty in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). It slips to #4, after four straight months at #3. In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Not only is iHeartMedia country KWNR a collective -2.5 as the result of three consecutive downward moves, (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” fades from #5 to #13. In five successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -1.9 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as it drifts from sixth to tenth. Even though it is without an increase for the fourth ratings period in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” advances from #16 to #15.

8) Cincinnati – Making it five improvements in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” improves by +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+) and continues at #1. Its current 13.0 surpasses the 11.7 it recorded in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WGRR rebounded with a combined +.8 in October and November (8.3 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), but “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+), segueing from first to second. Stymied on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” notches its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Urban contemporary sibling WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” drops seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March. Down for the fifth straight time for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW remains at #3. “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Frozen on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, co-owned CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” drops eight-tenths to 4.0 (sixth to eighth, 6+). All three of the market’s country outlets surrender one-half share: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (6.8 – 6.3, fourth to a third-place tie with WLW, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” (2.2 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+); and Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (1.1 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+). November’s 8.2 was the highest 6+-share for “B-105.1” since October 2016’s 8.5; conversely, 6.3 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (5.3); WUBE plummeted by -1.4 in December. At this time last month, “Nash FM” regained the four-tenths it lost in November to end four downward or flat moves in succession for a collective -1.1 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), while in November, “The Wolf” ended four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned three country outlets, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” surrenders one-half share as well (4.6 – 4.1, flat at #7, 6+); “The Fox” was down six-tenths in December. While unchanged at #16, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is down for the third sweep in a row for a combined -.8 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Adding a +3.9 to December’s +4.4 (7.6 – 12.0 – 15.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 16.1. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP recaptures all but two-tenths of that loss (4.1, +1.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” By adding seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+), Cox Media Group country outlet WWKA “K-92.3” records its best 6+-stat since 5.0 in March. Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “Rumba 100” is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row with the bulk of the collective -2.7 coming with the current -2.4 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. On the heels of December’s -1.9, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” plummets by -1.0 (8.1 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Up or flat the past four sweeps for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” forfeits nearly half that gain (7.3, -.9, 6+) and remains at #3; December’s 8.2 was its best 6+-stat since May’s 8.8. In October, “XL-106.7” pulled the plug on five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). On the heels of a November gain of six-tenths, Entercom hot AC WOMX is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (#11 to #12, 6+) and (public) Community Communications news/talk WMFE (3.9 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). In four straight decreases, “News 96.5” – which racked up a +2.0 in September – is a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” registers its fifth consecutive decrease and is a cumulative -2.3 since August (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+).

10) Cleveland – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surges from fifth to first and matches its 10.4 in “Holiday” 2016. In December, “Star” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). It becomes the fourth different Cleveland station in the last four sweeps to occupy the top spot. Exiting after taking its one-month tenure in the penthouse is Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.4 – 8.6, -.8, first to third). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and advanced to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Even though it is unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” rolls out a +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) and is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November. Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” spirals by -1.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A combined +1.3 in November and December (6.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” returns nine-tenths (6.8, third to fourth, 6+). A nine-tenths erosion applies as well to sibling WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 3.7, #10 to #13, 6+), which was -1.0 in November and +.6 in December. Via five straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +1.7 and climbs from #13 to #12. By picking up three-tenths in December to 5.5 (6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL halted four negative trends in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+); however, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 4.7, sliding from eighth to ninth. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” follows December’s -1.1 with a loss of one-half share (7.5 – 6.4 – 5.9, 6+) but remains at #7. After six straight up or flat sweeps that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” was off one-half share in October; improved by nine-tenths (to 7.2, 6+) in November, crossing the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history; but is a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7. – 6.7 – 6,1, flat at #6, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Powered by four positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” more than doubles its 6+-stat since September (+4.1). Not only surpassing its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2016, “KC-102.1” jumps from fifth to third. The only two stations reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2017 from this particular list of 12 PPM-markets that are not adult contemporary are WWSW, Pittsburgh (see above) and Cumulus Media Kansas City’s classic hits-oldies KCMO, which moves from second to first; “94.9 – Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in November, as well. Similar to “KC-102.1,” KCMO is up for the fourth sweep in a row (but) for a collective +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+) and eclipses its “Holiday” 2016 showing (10.3) by one-tenth. The combination of KCMO’s +1.4 and co-owned classic rock KCFX “The Fox” dropping one-half share (9.6 – 9.1, 6+) results in “The Fox” shifting from first to second. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Before November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). In December, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4, thus curtailing at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+); however, “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 with a one-half share increase (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and improves from #15 to #14. A collective -2.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KCSP gains one-tenth to 1.6 (#20 to #19, 6+). Prior to this just-ended negative streak, “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share with a +3.2 in five consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. A November gain of seven-tenths by KMXV halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). The Steel City Media CHR added eight-tenths in December, however, “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” freefalls by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to ninth. In advance of December, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (6.4, January 2016), but this is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2017’s 4.2. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.1, dropping from fourth to fifth. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (#14 to #15, 6+). Regarding these two properties, one streak ends and another continues. Specifically, “The Rock” had been +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); 5.0 in November and December represents its best 6+-share in more than two years (5.1, October 2015). Meanwhile, “The Buzz” is -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+). In a similar vein, two streaks draw to a close in the country format. A combined -1.8 in three straight negative moves (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is +.1 to 5.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+). When “Country 94.1” lost three-tenths in October, it ended five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Conversely, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” which was +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), is -.1 to 4.8 (6+), but actually manages to improve from eighth to sixth; December’s 4.9 was its best 6+-share since April 2015 (4.9, as well).

12) Columbus – Aided by a massive +5.1 (5.9 – 11.0, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” races from sixth all the way to first. Moreover, while “Sunny” registered an 8.7 in “Holiday” 2016, this is its strongest 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Ousted at #1 after a six-month tenure and segueing to second is iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL (11.3 – 10.9, -.4, 6+), which has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; and -.5 in December. Adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus” follows December’s +.6 with a +2.1 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, fifth to third, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of three successive gains (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO is +1.7 and moves from ninth to eighth. Having registered five straight negative trends for a -1.4 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WYTS “Throwback 105.3” (.3 – .8, #18 to #17, 6+). Following a +.6 in December, RadiOhio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” plummets by -1.4 (5.6 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #7. When “The Fan” lost three-tenths in November to 5.0 (6+), it closed out three straight gains that produced a +3.4 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+). December’s 5.6 was its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report; conversely, 4.2 is its lowest since September’s 4.0. Down or flat for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” shifts from second to fourth. The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was in March (8.9). With a September – October – November – December topline (6+) trend of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 (#15), Radio One urban contemporary WBMO “Power” disappears from print. After posting a +1.6 in November, Saga Communications’ WNND “Rewind – Columbus’ Greatest Hits” has returned all but two-tenths of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, -1.4, #11 to #12, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.6 in November, “Rewind” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) in each of the previous ten ratings periods. As a result of a December -.3 to 6.2 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), but “NewsRadio 610” falters by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+).

Thursday, January 18, 2018

| January 18, 2018

WCBS 880 Promotes Alex Silverman.  News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted to assistant director of news and programming for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  Prior to joining the station in 2011, Silverman served with Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  As an anchor/reporter with WCBS 880, he was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017 for “Excellence in Sound.”  In his new role, Silverman will help manage the day-to-day news coverage for WCBS, its website and social media channels, in addition to his current reporting and anchoring responsibilities.  Entercom SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Alex is a talented news broadcaster and passionate storyteller.  His work on air, online, and on the station’s social media channels has helped set WCBS 880 apart from our competitors as a brand that delivers more than just the headlines.”

Beshore to Lead iHeartMedia Indianapolis Cluster.  Radio management pro Brett Beshore is named the market president for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WNDE “FOX Sports 97.5 and 1260 AM,” classic rock WFBQ, alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3,” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  Beshore most recently served as region president for Fairway Outdoor Advertising.  He’s also managed for Times-Shamrock and Cumulus Media.  Beshore comments, “I’m thrilled to return to iHeartMedia to lead this heritage market.  iHeartMedia has tremendous brand recognition in the market and a highly talented team.  I look forward to delivering results for our advertisers and providing great radio entertainment for our listeners.”  Beshore takes over for Brad Polston, who exits the company.

Hopeck Named Chairman of NYMRAD.  There’s a new chairman and executive committee for the New York Market Radio Association.  The organization announces that iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck rises from secretary to chairman.  Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan remains on the executive committee as vice chairman, CumulusChad Lopez joins the committee as secretary and Spanish Broadcasting SystemsEric Garcia is named treasurer.  Hopeck says, “I’m committed to evangelizing the clear advantages of using Audio to engage consumers.  I look forward to working with [executive director] Debbie Beagan and New York’s top radio leaders to inspire marketers with the most compelling cases of audio attribution in building brands and increasing sales for advertisers.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Probe/Bannon Testimony/Mexican Wall, Trump on DACA/Immigration Policy, Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Larry Nassar Trial, Soaring Dow/‘Cryptocollapse,’ NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The threat of a federal government shutdown; the Trump-Russia investigation, the testimony of former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, and the issue of the Mexican wall; the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obama DACA policy and its overall immigration stance; President Trump issues his “fake news” awards and the media’s reactions; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the trial of former Olympic gymnast doctor Larry Nassar and the victim impact statements; the continued rising of the Dow Jones industrial average and the sinking value of cryptocurrencies; the NFL playoffs; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewed former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what he calls the “definitive exit interview.”  Hurley’s interview with Christie lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was broadcast without interruptions.  You can hear the interview here…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Women In Trucking,” a live, call-in show airing exclusively on its Road Dog channel and hosted by Ellen Voie.  SiriusXM says the program will feature listener call-ins and interviews with professionals from the trucking industry and will also address gender diversity issues, pushing for more women to join its ranks…..Six-time WWE champion Chris Jericho is adding two new shows to his Jericho Network podcasts being distributed and sales repped by Westwood One. The Jericho Network is an extension of Jericho’s diverse array of subjects and guests featuring other entertaining podcast hosts.  It debuts on Monday, January 22.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Gig alert!  Cumulus Media Indianapolis is seeking a program director and operations manager with strong country experience.  The company says the “winning candidate will be responsible for all programming of WFMS-FM, one of America’s most-storied country stations with a passionate following, and for helping to grow our dominant classic hits station WJJK and our exciting new CHR station ‘ENeRGY 93.9.’  The WFMS PD/OM will be responsible for leading WFMS to continued market dominance through precise music curation and scheduling; expert coaching of a veteran, winning air staff; and development of eye- and ear-catching promotions, NTR events-concerts and contests; finding new ways to increase ratings and revenue while ensuring WFMS remains essential to the people of Indianapolis and Central Indiana.  If this sounds like the job you’ve prepared for and aspired to for your whole career, we want to talk to you!  Send resume, ratings history, references and mp3 in confidence to Tom.Stemlar@cumulus.com with the subject line “Indianapolis PD.”…..In Columbus, Ohio, alternative WWCD program director Mase Brazelle assumes the afternoon drive show, taking over the daypart from Lesley James, who exited at the end of 2017.  Mase also hosts the station’s “The Stash” evening program.  He’ll continue to do that show in its new time of 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Saga Communications Portland, Maine brings country programming pro Crash Poteet aboard to serve as brand manager and afternoon drive personality for country outlet WPOR.  Poteet comments, “I’m beyond excited to join the WPOR team and its legendary brand.  Thanks to Saga for allowing me the opportunity to share in the ‘POR passion for creating fun and compelling country radio.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..In the Peoria market, Marc Alghini exits Advanced Media Partners’ rock WWCT, where he was program director and morning drive personality.  At least for the interim, Chris Watters is serving as the morning co-host alongside Roxy Baker…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that “The Billy Madison Show” adds three new affiliate stations – Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock,” Western Rockies Radio’s KDXT-HD2/K237DZ “95 3 The X,” and Lotus Communications’ KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102.1.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’  She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people.  We are all excited to have her join this winning team.”   Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’  Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity.  I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”

New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements.  2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey.  His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017.  The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month.  Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right.  Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content.  We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”

Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease.  Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure.  Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result.  But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read.  More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana.  I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’ll be filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments.  First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital.  He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales.  Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth.  Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.”  Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.

Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).   The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar.  Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation.  Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox.  Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more.  He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists.  And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday.  The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”).  On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.  And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea.  And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart.  Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.  The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research.  Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003.  In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities.  We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show.  She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true.  Thanks for all your support.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program.  Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway.  Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station.  Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host.  Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles.  Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to cohost@thebertshow.com…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash.  The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads?  WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads.  Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms.  These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements.  AM/FM radio sees a much different story.  On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads.  Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6.  Emmis CommunicationsCharlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format.  Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.”  During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See the rest of the report here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Friday, January 5, 2018

| January 5, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cancels CES 2018 Appearance Over Death Threats.  That’s what’s being reported by Recode.  The publication cites agency sources that say Pai’s scheduled appearance in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is being cancelled due to “death threats” – presumably over his leading the charge to overturn the Obama era FCC’s net neutrality policy.  Recode reports, “Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr each plan to attend CES.  So will Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting leader of their sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission.  Ohlhausen had been slated to appear alongside Pai at the annual Vegas event.”

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Nielsen’s December survey covers November 9 through December 6 and the buildup to the holiday season appears to have taken its toll on the format as 13 stations saw (6+) ratings decreases while only two – WCBS-AM, New York and WBZ-AM, Boston – realized increases from the November survey to the December survey.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, eight stations were down (6+) and four all-newsers – WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and WWJ, Detroit – were up year-over-year.  Only Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington ranked #1 in its market during the December survey.  View the entire report here.

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Names Two to New Positions. There are two new full-time staffers at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Director of sports content Eric Johnson names Tyrone Johnson to producer of the Mike Missanelli show.  Johnson previously served with WPEN but most recently was producing the nationally syndicated Buck Sexton show for Premiere Networks.  He’s also served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, “New Jersey 101.5” and pubcaster WHYY, Philadelphia.  Also, Natalie Egenolf moves from part-time to full-time as update anchor and ‘Fanatic’ social media coordinator.  She has been serving part-time on Missanelli’s show three days a week. She is also an in-game reporter for “NFL Sunday Drive” on Sirius XM and covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN.  Eric Johnson says, “I’ve been watching Tyrone grow as a radio talent from his early days when I worked with him in the past.  He has the perfect skill set for his new role as producer of our #1-rated Mike Missanelli show.  Tyrone has the sports knowledge, radio experience and comedic timing that will enhance Mike’s show.  Natalie Egenolf has so much passion for Philadelphia sports and is very plugged into the Philadelphia sports social media scene.  Combining that with her on-air skills makes her uniquely qualified for her new responsibilities as afternoon drive update anchor and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ social media coordinator.”

Wolff Book About Trump Campaign and Presidency Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 1-5.  The controversial Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury – purporting to present an inside view of the Trump campaign and early presidency – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At 2# was the Donald TrumpSteve Bannon rift.  Coming in at #3 was the severe winter weather and the related issue of global warming, followed by North Korea’s nuclear threats at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Richmond news/talk WRVA is now heard on the FM band as new owner Entercom is simulcasting the station on translator W241AP, Midlothian, Virginia at 96.1 FM.  Entercom Richmond SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “News and politics are integral to the communities we serve and we’re excited to better serve our audience by expanding the distribution of ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA in Virginia’s Capitol City.  ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA has served the Richmond community since 1925 and to add it on the FM band is a real win for this legendary brand.”…..Along with the addition of new local sports talk shows, Dickey Broadcasting is re-branding the WFMO-AM/W292EV, Atlanta simulcast from the old “The Fan 2” to “The Sports X 1230AM and 106.3 FM.”  The station recently added local programs “Hometeam and Hamilton” (with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton) and the Mark Zinno show to the program schedule…..CBS News fires political director Steve Chaggaris after investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”  The news organization issued the following statement: “In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated.  As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) is pictured here serving as officiant administering the oath of office for Atlantic City councilman George Tibbitt (right).  Hurley is a notary public and that permits him to administer such oaths.  He tells TALKERS magazine he’s done it 10 times or so over the past 26 years.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss 99.9” names Dina Bonanni, a.k.a. Dina B, afternoon drive personality.  Dina B has been with the Entercom station since 2010.  Speaking about her new gig, she says, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love for a station that I grew up listening to.  I’ve spent 12 years of my career in country radio, from Palm Beaches to the Keys, so to say I’m excited to be afternoon host of ‘Kiss 99.9’ in my hometown is an understatement.”…..In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting names Rhiannon to the midday air shift at rock WRBA “95.9 Rocks.”  Program director Greg “Fitzdog” Fitzgerald says, “Rhiannon joins the winning team in Panama City with supportive and creative management and a group of stations community driven.  We are proud to have her here at ‘95.9.’”…..The Source magazine releases its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the Premiere Networks syndicated show “The Breakfast Club” – featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – tops the list of radio DJs for the fifth consecutive year.  The magazine dubbed the show “the most powerful talk show and squad period.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” is launching a new, weekly Gospel program, “Joy In The Morning,” starring hosts Crystal J and Carlos Hale, a.k.a. LOS.  The program will debut this Sunday (1/7) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 

Round Four of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 PPM ratings information has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Off by a combined -1.1 in November and December (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT slips from second to third. Its -.3 in November ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” exits the top ten (#10 to #12) with its third decline in a row for a collective -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk KVET-AM “AM 1300 The Zone” loses six-tenths (1.1 – .5, #23, 6+). Bouncing back from November’s -.8 (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” hangs out a +2.1 to 7.6, its best 6+-stat since February’s 8.0, and zooms from fourth to second. Although flat at #4, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to November’s gain of nine-tenths (5.5 – 6.2, 6+). From May through September, “Kiss” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December’s 6.2 is its best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Emmis Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9, 6+), which advances from a three-way tie at #18 to #13. Within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for the sixth straight month, adult hits sibling KBPA “Bob” (8.8 – 8.4, -.4, 6+) is #1 for the tenth time in succession. November’s +.5 to 8.8 gave “Bob” its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since 7.4 in June 2015. A one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+) takes Univision Radio’s KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” (#12 to #11) to its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). On the heels of a November gain of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” sputters by -1.3 (6.6 – 7.5 – 6.2, 6+), dropping from third to fifth. From March through October, KVET-FM was within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of those eight sweeps; prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Flat at #7, co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” drops one-tenth (4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to trending 2.5 – 2.3 (6+) in November, KOKE-FM hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In four successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and carries on at #16.

2) Raleigh – A loss of one-half share in October halted six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” (8.1 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row. Climbing from fifth to third, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is +2.1 in November and December (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+), with 7.7 its strongest 6+-performance since 8.4 in May. November’s gain of one full-share put to an end eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix 101.5” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. Over and above adding one-half share to November’s +.2 (8.9 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the seventh straight month with its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Owing to a loss of four-tenths to 4.6 (three-way tie at seventh to tenth, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has its string of consecutive improvements that more than doubled its 6+-share (+2.6) end at four (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+). November’s 5.0 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), with 5.0 matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Its cross-town competitor, Curtis Media Group’s WPLW “The Pulse FM – All the Hits,” picks up two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) and remains at #13. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, third-place tie to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” rebounds from November’s -.8 with a +.2 (3.1 – 3.3, 6+), continuing at #13 (tied with WPLW). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods.

3) Indianapolis – Five up or flat trends in succession by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) account for a +1.4 as “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” (#13 to #14) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WYXB pull the plug on three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” hangs out a +2.3 to 7.8 (6+), catapulting it from seventh to first. Whereas December’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, November’s 5.5 was its weakest in five years (5.3, November 2012). At this time last year (December 2016), WYXB notched an 8.3 (6+). The lead over the station it displaces at #1 – Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK (7.7, -.1, 6+) – is just one-tenth. On top in September, October, and November, WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, halting three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). An overall -1.1 in four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) and carries on at #12. By tacking on a +1.6 to November’s one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” progresses from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. Just over one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” Via six successive sweeps without a loss, the Cumulus Media-owned frequency at 93.9 is a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #12, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.6, as WYRG sibling WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off nine-tenths (second to fourth, 6+), while Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regresses by seven-tenths (third to fifth, 6+). A combined +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; and now -.9 in December (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 6.6, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. In three straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Albeit flat at #11, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (3.5, November 2016). Locked on 4.4 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” dips by one-half share to 3.9 (ninth to tenth), its lowest 6+-share since May’s 3.8.

4) Milwaukee – In an impressive streak, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (steady at #2) is +1.9 in five straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Its challenger – Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” – is flat at 6.4, slipping from fourth to fifth (6+). As the result of three consecutive downward moves that began in September (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WLDB “B-93.3” regressed by a collective -1.4, but the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary property dusts itself off with a gain nearly twice the size of that deficit (2.9 – 5.6, +2.7, 6+), rocketing from #14 to #7. This is the best 6+-stat for “B-93.3” since 8.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Unchanged at #13, alternative cluster-mate WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” is up one-half share to 3.8 (6+), halting three consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of one full-share (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Winning ways continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH (fifth to third), which is an overall +3.0 since August in four consecutive increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). This is the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print exactly three years ago (December 2014). One-half share ahead of WISN is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which is on top for the 33rd consecutive ratings period, even though it spirals by (-1.6, 6+). WRIT continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” plummets by one full-share (5.5 – 4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) after November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). The last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slides from eighth to ninth. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -2.6 in four successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit that it is down for the third month in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #11, 6+), Entercom-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” bypasses iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #11 to #14, 6+). This is the first time in the last 11 sweeps that “Kiss” (3.9, 6+) has not been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). It is a case of “slow and steady” for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE, which gains a cumulative one-half share in eight straight ratings periods without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) with no increase greater than one-tenth. Tied with it at #21 is iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station,” which is up or flat for the fifth time in a row for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+). Four straight negative moves (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6, 6+) have resulted in Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI losing roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6); “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” exits the top twenty (#17 to a three-way tie at #21 with WMSE and WOKY).

5) Nashville – Two of the market’s news/talk outlets (nearly equally) combine for a -2.4 (6+). Specifically, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.3 (#11 to #13, 6+), while Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.1 (5.7 – 6.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). Up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, WPLN-FM surrendered seven-tenths in November; “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.9 in November and December (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Five straight positive spikes by Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA generate an overall +3.5 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.1. Prior to November and December, the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position was in April. When Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” faltered by two-tenths in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). The flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans roars back in December though with a +1.4 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (6.8, December 2016), and leaps from tenth to sixth. Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Bumping up by seven-tenths each are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” (6.6 – 7.3, 6+, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” (6.0 – 6.7, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Jack” bounces back from November’s -.6, while “The Rock” has its best 6+-share since August (7.5). After dropping eight-tenths in November (3.3 – 2.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” recaptures one-half share to 3.0 (6+) and carries on at #14. The station that WJXA succeeded at #1 in November after spending two months there – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” – is without an increase for the third time in succession for a cumulative -1.7 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), slipping from second to third. In October, “The Beat” relinquished two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Down for the third time in a row for a collective -1.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.9 in February. Likewise, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off an overall nine-tenths in three straight negative trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and is anchored at #15. In the market’s country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, flat at #9); while Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” adds three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the sixth consecutive sweep.

6) Providence – Steady in seventh-place, Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.6 in its third straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in September, October, and November, public news/talk WGBH-FM picks up one-tenth and is back at 2.0 (6+), where it was in August (#11 to #10). Swapping places with WGBH-FM is iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, off one-half share (2.1 -1.6, 6+). Prior to dropping one-tenth in November, “News Radio 920” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+). While unchanged at #12, The Wheeler School news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” is off two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), thus bringing to end five straight sweeps without a loss which nearly tripled its 6+-share since June with a +1.1 (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). In a survey period where huge gains are the no