Tag: "Nielsen Audio"

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

| November 24, 2020

Walter Sterling Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The weekend nationally syndicated host of the “Sterling on Sunday” show, Walter Sterling, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Sterling, who launched the show as a Sunday night feature on WPHT, Philadelphia some six years ago at the suggestion of then-CBS Radio EVP Chris Oliviero, went into the project after a decades-long career as one of radio’s most creative and influential programming management and consultation figures. Working for five decades under his legal name Walter Sabo, this colorful veteran’s resume, jobs, clients, and accomplishments as both a talk and music radio innovator are on a rarified level too numerous to list here. Now as on-air talent “Walter Sterling,” Sabo is breaking new ground in news/talk radio specialty programming addressing the social, cultural, and political issues of the day from the perspective of a devoted family man –  husband and father – taking a real life, down-to-earth approach to the issues of coping with life in the 21st century. The three-hour show (Sunday nights 10:00 pm ET) is a smash and has already reached the 100-affiliate mark via Sabo’s independent syndication firm, Sterling Sabo. In this fascinating, informal conversation between two old friends, Harrison and Sterling talk about today’s crisis in education, the state of youth in general, and the evolution of radio as it achieves its 100-year milestone. This podcast is a must-listen for students of radio – young and old. Don’t miss it!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Takeaways from Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM Survey. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from the first round of Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey that included the markets New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Some observations of note from this group of markets: iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York enters the top 10 in NYC (#9) on the strength of its weekly, 6+ AQH share of 3.6; Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas rockets up to #4 after posting a 1.6 share jump to a 4.9 share; and Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (11.5 share) maintains its hold on the #1 position for the 17th straight PPM survey. Check out Mike Kinosian’s complete ratings takeaways from this round of markets that look at the news/talk, all-news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk formats here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Officially Names Bruce St. James Morning Host. The story of talk radio pro Bruce St. James being named the new morning drive host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago was broken last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Now, the company officially announces that St. James will take over for Erich “Mancow” Muller on December 14. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “WLS 890 AM has served our Chicagoland audiences for 96 years. From John Landecker to Roe Conn to Mancow, every host has left his mark on the Big ’89 and none more so than Rush Limbaugh. In 2021, we will bring the focus back to those who matter most – our listeners. Bruce St. James is here to have a conversation with our listeners, not a lecture. He is not here to change formats. He is here to continue what 890 already does best – inform and entertain our listeners. We are thrilled to welcome Bruce to mornings on the New ’89. Bruce knows radio. And, now Chicago will know Bruce.” St. James comments, “‘Thrilled’ doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. It is an honor and privilege to host a show on the legendary WLS, and I accept the responsibility of living up to the standard set by those before me. Now, more than ever, people need to connect, as well as be informed in an entertaining way. That is our goal every morning and I look forward to getting to know the amazing city of Chicago. Now, about the weather…” St. James has worked almost exclusively in the Southwest, most recently as co-host of the late morning program on Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.

TALKERS News Notes. Today and tomorrow (11/24-25), sports media personality Jason Whitlock – who writes for Outkick.com – is filling in for Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck on his nationally syndicated late morning talk radio show…..Entercom Sacramento SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman has been named to the 40 Under 40 list for 2020 by the Sacramento Business Journal. As part of the feature, the SBJ asked Kauffmann what in the industry she sees changing as a result of COVID-19. She says, “COVID-19 is accelerating rising trends of increased in-home listening via smart speakers and streaming that we were seeing pre-pandemic. I believe that will continue to increase, as more companies lean into a remote workforce and time-shifted scheduling.”…..AdLarge Media’s podcast network cabana adds three AccuWeather podcasts to its library. Joining cabana’s offerings are: “Everything Under The Sun,” “Weather Insider” with Bernie Rayno, and “This Date in Weather Industry” with AccuWeather senior meteorologist Evan Myers…..iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated “Armstrong & Getty Show” – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces it raised approximately $1.2 million for the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station through the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation Freedom Station Give-A-Thon.” The Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station is a 501(c)3 volunteer-based organization that helps wounded vets recover both physically and mentally from service injuries. The funds raised will be used to purchase plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families…..Streaming audio and on-demand service TuneIn announces that Richard Stern is named the new chief executive officer. He joins TuneIn from his most recent position as chief product officer for Audible. At the same time, the company announces that a new investment in the company led by Innovation Endeavors will serve to fund the acceleration of TuneIn’s technology innovation and market share as “one of the most widely used streaming audio platforms in the world with an unparalleled offering that brings together live sports, news, music, podcasts and radio.” Stern says, “Over 75 million listeners have come to depend on TuneIn to stay connected and informed in our fast-moving world. It’s my privilege to lead the TuneIn team on our mission to reinvent radio as a digital medium and continue to drive the live audio streaming revolution well into the future.”…..SportsGrid Radio and SiriusXM announce a deal to launch the SportsGrid Radio Channel on SiriusXM, effective January 7, 2021. SportsGrid Radio is replacing the VSiN channel, which will air on SiriusXM until December 31. SportsGrid Radio will feature the team of on-air personalities including Scott Ferrall, Gabe Morency, Ariel Epstein, and Jared Smith along with expert contributors and guest analysts.

RAB and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to Host Presentation Focusing on Client Spot Loads. The RAB announces that as part of its Business Unusual initiative, its upcoming Open for Business live-video series episode is titled, “How Many Spots Should a Client Run in a Weekly Schedule?” The presentation features findings and takeaways from a joint spot load study conducted by the RAB and CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One. The presentation will unveil the survey results and provide sellers with a framework of guidelines to help them determine weekly spot schedules that are best suited to meet advertising clients’ campaign goals. It takes place on December 10 at 1:00 pm ET and features Cumulus Media | Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard and Cumulus Media | Westwood One director, content marketing Lauren Vetrano. The presentation is free for RAB members.

Transition Process Approved/Trump Doesn’t Concede, Biden Administration Appointments, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Holiday Travel, Israel-Saudi Arabia Relations, China’s Moon Shot, and David Dinkins Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/23). The General Services Administration begins the transition process while Donald Trump announces he’s continuing to challenge the election results; Joe Biden announces members of his administration, including John Kerry to the National Security Council; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, predictions for future cases, and warnings about traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend; the reports that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman held a private meeting; China announces it is sending a rocket to the moon to collect samples; and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The annual Mayflower Marathon to benefit the Springfield Open Pantry is going virtual this year due to COVID-19. The charity event produced by Saga Communications’ WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102” usually features market morning legends “Bax & O’Brien” – Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien – camped out in the parking lot of the Basketball Hall of Fame for three days straight collecting food stuffs and cash. Bax tells TALKERS magazine, “Because of COVID we had to be creative and avoid violating curfews and protocols. Rather than have listeners donate non-perishables at the Hall of Fame, we are doing a 52-hour long fundraiser.  We’re encouraging listeners to donate online and over the phone for Open Pantry instead, and so far, so good. In fact, we’re actually ahead of last year, which had been our best year to date.”…..In Philadelphia, Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR-FM morning show hosts Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison held their annual “Preston & Steve Camp Out For Hunger” event that raised over 2.5 million pounds of food and $1.4 million dollars in cash to benefit Philabundance, which offers hunger relief to needy individuals and families in the greater Philadelphia area…..iHeartMedia Boston’s country WBWL “101.7 The Bull” and WBTS-TV, “NBC10 Boston” raised more than $38,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during last Saturday evening’s “One Night Only” broadcast special. The show was broadcast on NBC10 and hosted by “101.7 The Bull” personalities Colton Bradford, Amanda Jo, and Jess. It featured performances by country artists Kane Brown, Old Dominion, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina, and Jimmie Allen…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM, Detroit is presenting the “6th Annual People Helping People” campaign to assist families in Metro Detroit who are facing challenges during the holidays. Now through December 11, listeners are nominating families in need on the air and at WCSX.com. The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” is sharing requests they receive on behalf of needy families and is connecting them with the appropriate business donors…..WUNC Music – the music discovery streaming radio station produced by WUNC-FM in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina adds two new hosts to its schedule. Alan Thompson, a.k.a. DJ Who4thecru, comes to the station from WNCU in Durham where he hosts the “Morning Jazz” show. Susan Castle joins the WUNC Music team to host the 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm show. She is the long-time morning host at KUTX, Austin.

November 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round One

| November 24, 2020

November 2020 PPM Data – Information for Nielsen Audio‘s November 2020 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).

Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 survey period covered October 8 – November 4 (one day after Election Day).

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October 2020 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| November 5, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our three-part series of October 2020 ratings recaps concludes with a thorough news/talk analysis.

This detailed synopsis highlights all commercial, English-language news/talk outlets (including online streams, if applicable) that appeared with at least a .5 (6+) in any of Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets during the October 2020 ratings period (September 10 – October 7).

Unless otherwise noted, information for each news/talk station and stream was factored into all of our highlighted charts.

Owing to such obvious contributing factors as a presidential election campaign and a global pandemic, the format’s recent year-to-year upswings have been extremely strong/consistent:

  • October 2019 – October 2020, 68% (6+)
  • September 2019 – September 2020, 71% (6+)
  • August 2019 – August 2020, 64% (6+)
  • July 2019 – July 2020, 65% (6+)
  • June 2019 – June 2020, 68% (6+)
  • May 2019 – May 2020, 65% (6+)
  • April 2019 – April 2020, 67% (6+)
  • March 2019 – March 2020, 64% (6+)

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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Thursday, November 5, 2020

| November 5, 2020

Cumulus Media’s Q3 Financial Report Reveals Net Revenue Down 30.1%. Reporting its earnings for the third quarter of 2020, Cumulus Media says net revenue was $196.4 million, a decrease of 30.1% from the same period in 2019. The company also reports a net loss of $15.8 million compared to the $16.3 net income reported for the third quarter of 2019. Same station net revenue was $196.4 million, a decrease of 29.4% from Q3 of 2019. Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner says, “In the third quarter, the company continued to focus on maximizing revenue performance, executing meaningful expense reductions, protecting cash through efficient working capital management and strengthening our balance sheet. Despite the extraordinary challenges of operating through a pandemic, we have reduced debt by $269 million and increased cash by $316 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2018 (a net debt reduction of more than $585 million or 46%.) We believe that these actions, along with record-setting political revenues, will allow us to navigate through and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with considerable ability to support our growth initiatives and capitalize on strategic and operating opportunities in 2021 and beyond.”

Bakersfield Talk Radio Personality Inga Barks Dies. According to a report by KERO-TV, Bakersfield, former market talk radio personality Inga Barks has died unexpectedly at age 53. At this point details are few, but it appears Barks passed away on November 4. KERO-TV quotes Barks’ friend Cindy Andrews – who worked with Barks at American General Media news/talk outlet KERN-AM – saying, “I am deeply saddened over the death of my former coworker and friend, Inga Barks. Not only was she a talented talk show host, but she was also very devoted to her family. We shared many laughs and unique experiences as female broadcasters for American General Media. She will be missed by many.” You can see KERO-TV’s report that includes tributes from former co-workers – including KMJ, Fresno’s Blake Taylorhere.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Morning Co-Host Joe D’Ambrosio to Leave Station in June. According to an account in the Hartford Courant, WTIC-AM, Hartford morning drive co-host Joe D’Ambrosio says he’s frustrated with his “inability to speak his mind on the air and will leave his position when his contract expires in June.” The paper reports that D’Ambrosio told co-host Ray Dunaway, “At this radio station at this time, I’m not allowed to let my opinions be known. I’ve told management, when my contract is up in June, my time with WTIC will be over.”  It’s not clear if D’Ambrosio is upset with a directive from management or just with the general tenor of host and caller opinions. Reporter Susan Dunne says that when reached later, D’Ambrosio declined to elaborate on his comments.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format. Over the last eight PPM surveys going back to March, the global pandemic, racial tensions/protests, and the election year have provided the news/talk format with ample hot-button issues to discuss and the format’s performance has improved over the same period in 2019, based on Nielsen’s 6+ weekly AQH share data. In the October 2020 survey, 61% of news/talk stations were up over the September 2020 survey with gainers being led buy iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix (+1.4) and Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City (+1.3). Comparing year-over-year data, 68% of news/talk stations were up in October 2020 compared to October 2019 with gainers being led by iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+6.2), KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City (+4.4), and WCBM Inc’s WCBM, Baltimore (+3.7). In the October 2020 survey, seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets. Find out which stations were ranked #1 by reading Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Mid-West Family Madison Donates $900k in Advertising. The Madison, Wisconsin station group of Mid-West Family Broadcasting gave $900,000 in free advertising (more than 31,000 commercials) to hundreds of local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic between March 21 and July 21 through its “NOW OPEN” program. Mid-West Family Madison president Tom Walker says, “Our company was formed in Madison, we’ve been here for 91 years, and our commitment to the community and local businesses is our top priority. ‘NOW OPEN’ gave us the chance to connect businesses with consumers when they needed it most.”

Report: ESPN to Lay Off 300. According to a report by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, sports giant ESPN is laying off 300 staffers and will not fill some 200 positions that had been open. This comes as parent company ABC/Disney deals with the effects of the pandemic and the changes in media consumption behavior. Marchand’s report indicates that the cuts will be “spread across the network” but will largely spare on-air personalities. Marchand adds, “As is the case across Disney, ESPN is trying to shift more of its business to direct-to-consumer. It has created ESPN+. It had reported 8.5 million subscribers as of this summer. The pandemic has also created new ways to deliver programming with less people.”

The Road to 270 Electoral Votes/Promised Legal Challenges, Portland Violence, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, European Lockdowns, New Islamic Terror Threats, U.S. Exits Paris Climate Accord, Prop 22 Passes in California, Watch on Hurricane Eta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4). The counting continues as Donald Trump and Joe Biden each hope to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to claim victory and the gearing up of legal challenges to some states’ vote totals; the National Guard is called in to Portland, Oregon after a riot is declared; the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for the fall/winter seasons; the lockdowns being ordered in numerous European nations to combat the rising number of COVID cases; concerns about new terror attacks by actors sympathetic to the Islamic State; the United States officially exits the Paris Climate Accord; California passes Proposition 22 which allows Uber and Lyft to treat drives as contractors and not employees; and the possibility that Hurricane Eta will gain steam and head for Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and iHeartMedia are teaming up for an exclusive podcast partnership for the series “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault” that will debut Friday (11/6), the day before the 35th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airing on November 7 on HBO. The series covers iconic induction speeches and will debut with The Beatles inducted by Mick Jagger, N.W.A inducted by Kendrick Lamar, The Eagles inducted by Jimmy Buffet, and Stevie Nicks inducted by Harry Styles. New episodes will premiere every Friday through the end of the year and a second season will premiere in early 2021. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Over the past 35 years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies have become renowned for their impassioned and sometimes outrageous acceptance speeches. We’re thrilled to bring the most iconic moments of past and present music infamy to fans around the world and continue to share what’s made the event special in the past and for years to come.”

October 2020 PPM Analysis: Sports Talk

| November 4, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES —  Our three-part series of detailed October 2020 PPM overviews places sports talk in the spotlight.

The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any of the 48 PPM-markets during the October 2020 ratings period, which covered September 10 – October 7.

To recap professional sports’ post-season in terms of PPM-ratings perspective:

  • Back on September 28, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup four games to two.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA title (10/11) by besting the Miami Heat in a series that went six games as well.
  • Six games was also the duration for this year’s World Series, as the Los Angeles Dodgers captured its first WS title since 1988 by edging the Tampa Bay Rays 3 – 1 in last Tuesday’s (10/27) game six.

As far as the NFL is concerned, the first regular season game was (Thursday) September 10, the very day the October 2020 sweep commenced.

Fourteen (14) more contests were played (Sunday) September 13, followed by two Monday night affairs (9/14).

Ratings information in this exclusive analysis is limited to sports talk properties that subscribe to Nielsen Audio’s audience estimates.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

| November 4, 2020

POST-ELECTION DAY UNCERTAINTY: News/Talk Media Braces for Even Further Polarization.  As indicated yesterday in TALKERS, news/talk media programmers and on-air hosts are contemplating what life will be like after the election (see story below), weighing the impact various potential scenarios will have upon their positioning and preparing themselves for inevitable changes in the political landscape. In this era of targeting audiences based on their political predisposition, or what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison yesterday (11/3) described as “the daily dance of affirmation,” the results of this election could have a profound impact on the ideological stances of talk show hosts going forward. Now, a day later, at the time of the posting of this item, the final result of the election is still undetermined as the nation awaits accurate counts in several battleground states. Harrison, notes, “We now know one extremely important thing that wasn’t certain yesterday – there will be no blow out.  There will be no so-called blue or red wave.  There will be no clear-cut confirmation of a basic direction agreed upon by an obvious majority of Americans. That means more, not less, polarization and the further intensification of fear, anger, and political tribalism. One of the greatest obstacles to creating viable objective journalism and social healing in such an environment is the prevailing attitude, ‘if you are not with us, you are against us.’”

Saga Communications Q3 Revenue Rises Dramatically from Q2; Still Down 26% from Q3 in 2019. Reporting on its revenue for the third quarter of 2020, Saga Communications says, “Third quarter revenue and related net income continue to be materially impacted by disruptions to businesses and service providers activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the net revenue low point in April the company’s revenue has significantly increased in each of the following months. The company continues to concentrate on new revenue strategies and enhanced engagement with its existing and new advertisers.” Saga’s net revenue for Q3 2020 was $24.1 million, a 43.1% increase over Q2 of 2020 but 26% lower than the $31.3 million reported in Q3 of 2019. Station operating income was $6.1 million for the quarter, a decrease of 42% from the same period in 2019. Station operating expense decreased $4 million to $19.6 million for the quarter compared to the same period last year. Operating income was $247,000 and Saga took a net loss of $950,000 for the quarter, compared to the gain of $3,3 million it reported in the third quarter of 2019. Among the publicly traded U.S. radio companies, Saga Communications is positioned well going forward as it has $49.8 million in cash on hand as of November 2, 2020. Its total bank debt is just $10 million as of the end of the quarter.

Country WCOL-FM, Columbus PM Jock Brandon Boxer Doubles Up to Host Mornings on News/Talk WTVN-AM. Columbus Business First reports that iHeartMedia has filled the morning show host role at news/talk WTVN-AM, Columbus with Brandon Boxer, currently the afternoon host and assistant program director at sister country station WCOL-FM. Boxer replaces Joel Riley, who along with producer Tom Schmid were laid off in this latest round of staff culling at the company. Boxer will continue in his roles with WCOL. He tweeted on Monday: “Today was a tough one for some of my colleagues & very sad. I feel very weird announcing this, but tomorrow I begin a new journey hosting mornings on [610 WTVN]. It’s extremely bittersweet & I’m scared to death, but here we go.”

Jason Lewis Comes Up Short in U.S. Senate Race. Former Minneapolis talk radio host Jason Lewis (also a former GOP congressman from Minnesota) was unsuccessful in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Tina Smith. She won the special election to fill the seat vacated by Al Franken in 2017 and was running against Lewis for her first full, six-year term. Lewis began his talk radio career as a weekend host on KOA-AM, Denver. He worked in the Twin Cities market as a talk host at KSTP and KTLK. His talk show was eventually syndicated by Premiere Networks and Genesis Communications Network. He’d also served as a talk host at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk. The transition from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey was good for sports talk radio as 65% of sports talk stations were up (6+ weekly AQH share) compared to the 18% that were down and the 17% that were flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN-FM, Minneapolis “K-FAN” (+2.9); Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” (+2.4); and Cumulus’ KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket” (+2.1). However, a look at year-over-year numbers gives us a look at just how far many sports talk stations fell due to the COVID-related shutdown of live sports as 72% of sports talk stations in PPM markets were down compared to the October 2019 survey and just 22% improved. Those stations showing growth were led by KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas (+2.3); KFXN-FM, Minneapolis (+1.4); and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco (+0.9). KFXN-FM was the only sports talk outlet to rank #1 in its market during the October 2020 PPM survey. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Election Day, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, the Economy & Financial Markets Activity, State Marijuana Votes/Oregon Decriminalizes Hard Drugs, IS-Inspired Terror Attacks, and China Halts Ant Group IPO Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/3). The presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the races for U.S. Senate and U.S. Rep seats; the U.S. economy and the election day activity in the world’s financial markets; several states vote to legalize marijuana and Oregon decriminalizes small amounts of hard drugs; the Islamic State-inspired terror attacks France, Vienna, and Kabul; and the Chinese government stops the IPO of Jack Ma’s Ant Group 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. Detroit radio personality Mark “Meltdown” Milligan is celebrating his 25thanniversary at Beasley Media Group’s rock WRIF-FM. “Meltdown” began his career with the station on November 1, 1995 as the overnight jock. He later moved to the evening show host role and in February of 2009, he replaced Detroit legend Arthur Penhallow as the afternoon drive personality. Beasley Media Group Detroit director of programming Scott Jameson says, “One of the reasons legendary brands become ‘legendary’ are personalities that over time, develop a true connection and deep bond with the audience. In the nearly 50-year history of WRIF there have been two afternoon drive jocks. ‘Meltdown’ continues the rich legacy of outstanding air talent on WRIF. Congratulations on your 25th!”…..Service Broadcasting Group is looking for a high-profile entertainer to join the cast of the KKDA, Dallas “K104”-based “DeDe in the Morning” show that is nationally syndicated via Compass Media Networks. Service Broadcasting Group head of content George “Geo” Cook and #TeamDeDe are launching a national talent search for an entertainer, influencer, and storyteller who can collaborate with host DeDe McGuire and lead co-host Lady Jade to add their own authentic personality and powerful point of view to “DeDe in the Morning.” Email your video expressing why you are our next big star, along with your resume package, including an audio demo (aircheck), social media links, and podcast audio clips to SBG HR manager Debbie Henry at debbie.henry@K104fm.com. EOE.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

| November 3, 2020

Beasley Media Group Third Quarter Report: Net Revenue Down 25%. The first radio company to report 2020 third quarter financial results is Beasley Media Group which reveals net revenue for the period was $49.6 million, down almost 25% from the $66.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. Obviously, the dramatic decrease is the result of a loss of advertising revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company reports operating income of $0.8 million, down from $9.4 million in Q3 of 2019. Beasley reports a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared to the net income of $3 million realized in the third quarter of 2019. Station operating income was $8.1 million, a little less than half of the $16.7 million in SOI reported in the third quarter of 2019. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter. Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens. In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization. While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”

iHeartMedia Purging Employees; WTVN’s Riley and Schmid Exit. The latest round of “headcount reduction” is taking place at iHeartMedia, with air personalities, producers and more being let go as the company deals with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the ratio of music-formatted stations to talk stations, the majority of those being laid off are from music outlets. Some of those working in talk formats who’ve been let go include WTVN, Columbus morning host Joel Riley and morning program producer Tom Schmid. Riley told Columbus Business First, “I worked there for over 26 years. It was my dream job, that morning show. I’m devastated. I will miss the listeners. They made that job special every day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. About half of the all-news stations in PPM markets were up (6+ weekly AQH share) and half were down or flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+1.1) and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.8). Year-over-year numbers tell a different story as 63% of all-news outlets improve. Top gainers from October 2019 to October 2020 include WTOP (+2.9), Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.0), WBZ-AM (+2.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+1.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

New Firm Major Triad Media Acquires TM Studios from Westwood One. Jingle and production house TM Studios is being acquired from Westwood One by Major Triad Media, a partnership of three TM Studios figures – creative director Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens, and jingle icon and current general manager Greg Clancy. A press release says the new company will maintain studios in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the UK. Bethell says, “From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM. Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break back in 2005. I’ve written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since. As co-owner I’m excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.” Stevens comments, “I’m so excited to be part of the team to take TM’s legendary name into a new chapter, and from my home country, no less. It’s been 15 years since I originally relocated from London to Dallas to work with TM. It is a dream come true to become part of the new ownership team.” Clancy adds, “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year old boy. I began singing for Tom Merriman and Jim Kirk at 23, straight out of college. Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy.” TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One, with a multi-year agreement to serve as exclusive barter representative to seamlessly serve existing clients.

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available Now in Time for Veterans Day. Veterans Day is next Wednesday (11/11) and the Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2020 ready for download. “The Fisher House Story – A Family’s Love” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations in the U.S. and around the world. The three-hour, one-hour, 25-minute, and 30-minute radio specials are available for free. The specials are once again hosted by Mary Walter of WMAL-FM, Washington and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Your listeners will hear from Ben Breckheimer, an Army combat scout whose vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while driving with his team in Afghanistan; Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, an Army officer who was shot in the 2014 Ft. Hood shooting; and Jeff Sampson, a Navy veteran who needed a double lung transplant. These are just a few of the many stories that will be told “in their own words.” A clock and demo is now available at radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at The Jeff Wyatt Group at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight, the Westwood One nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show is presenting election coverage from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with the help of correspondents Clayton Neville and Linda Kenyon, plus commentary from Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, political science professor Dr. Frank Sorrentino, former Indiana congressman Dave Evans, and commentator Sean Walsh…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Rolling Stone to market and distribute their podcasts “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper” and “Rolling Stone Music Now.” The agreement includes the back catalogue in addition to future episodes…..Audio and spoken word agency Oxford Road announces the addition of three executive to the company. Kraig Kitchin – former Premiere Networks chief and current Sound Mind LLC principal – joins as strategic adviser. Steven Abraham is introduced as the company’s new president and Jennifer Laine is named head of marketing.

Today’s Presidential Election/Senate and House Races, Law Enforcement Prepares for Unrest, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Terror Attacks, Hurricane Eta Approaches Central America Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Today’s presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the numerous Senate and House races; law enforcement’s concerns about and preparation for keeping voting places accessible and handling public safety in the event protests and violence break out; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections the second wave could be worse than the first; the recent spate of terror attacks in France, Vienna, and Kabul; and Hurricane Eta threatens Central America with record floodwaters 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 the Twin Cities, Bring Me the News reports that air personalities Steve LaTart, a.k.a. Steve-O of CHR KDWB’s morning show and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97.1” morning host Hunter Quinn both exit as part of the current downsizing taking place at iHeartMedia across the country…..Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville names Toni-Marie afternoon drive host. Toni-Marie joins Cumulus Nashville from Entercom’s country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf” where she was midday host and APD. She says, “I have never been happier inside of a Walmart than the day that [program director] Paul Williams called to offer me this position! I’ve had the opportunity to do country radio in some amazing markets, but getting to work with Paul and the team at 103-3 in Nashville is a dream come true!”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that Gustav will join the KINK-FM lineup as the afternoon drive host. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom says, “Gustav has been an icon in Portland radio for 25 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join the KINK team in afternoons. His breadth of musical knowledge and the relationships he has forged with artists throughout his career are most welcome. For more than 50 years the KINK brand has been about serving the needs of Portland and the surrounding communities. Hats off to the Alpha Media management team for making yet another true investment in being live and local.”

October 2020 PPM Analysis: The News Format

| November 3, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A thorough analysis of news stations initiates our three-part series of October 2020 ratings summaries.

The following scoreboards are comprised of news operations that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any of the 48 PPM-markets during the October 2020 ratings period (September 10 – October 7).

Similar to what we witnessed this time last month when 69% of our sample experienced September 2019 – September 2020 growth, 63% of news panelists chalk up October 2019 – October 2020 improvement.

Ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations paying Nielsen Audio for its data.

Read More

Friday, October 30, 2020

| October 30, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “October Surge!” looks back at this past week of October 26 – October 30, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Joe “Pags” Pagliarullo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksChris Stigall, talk show host WNTP, Philadelphia/KCMO, Kansas City; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News ChannelMichael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive editor, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all of the 6+, weekly AQH share information from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. One of the country’s most intense news/talk battles continues in the swing state of Wisconsin as iHeartMedia’s WISN adds another full share – capping a three-survey 4.4 share spike – to finish the October survey with an 11.2 share and repeats at #1. Right behind is Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ which rises eight-tenths for an 8.0 share and the #2 rank in the market. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM tacks another one-tenth share on for a 9.2 share finish and repeats at the #2 spot. Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence puts the brakes on the five-survey downward trend by posting a +1.1 to finish with a 5.1 share and climbs from #7 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets – and the first three rounds – here.

Entercom Fires WJFK-FM, Washingon Afternoon Host Chad Dukes for “Racist and Inappropriate Comments.”The Washington Post reports that Entercom has fired WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” sports talk personality Chad Dukes for “racist and inappropriate comments” that appeared on his personal podcast. The story indicates that the company did not reveal exactly what was said nor how it learned about the comments, but issued a statement from Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith that reads: “We have zero tolerance for this type of speech from any of our employees, on our platforms or otherwise. Our air talent are ambassadors of our brand, and we do not want to be affiliated with these comments.” The decision to let Dukes go was revealed on this morning’s edition of “The Sports Junkies” morning drive program on WJFK-FM. Duke had been with the station since 2006 and had been the afternoon drive host since 2014.

Programming Changes Taking Place at KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM’s return to a full-time sports talk format is taking place as Frank O. Pinion’s “The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon” is cancelled and new, local sports talk talent are expected to be joining the station soon. The story indicates former crosstown WXOS-FM personality Bernie Miklasz and former KMOV-TV news anchor Steve Savard may be joining the station. Miklasz was let go by WXOS owner Hubbard Radio back in May in what was a COVID-influenced budget move, and Savard was released by KMOV-TV in what is also being called a budget-related move. KFNS owner Randy Markel brought the station out of bankruptcy in 2015 and is in the process of selling it to a local group led by station manager and air personality John Hadley. His group will lease the station at first with the intent to buy it.

Salem Radio Network Announces Election Coverage. For Election Day on Tuesday, Salem Radio Network announces that it is providing coverage from 6:00 pm ET on Tuesday (11/3) to 6:00 am on Wednesday (11/4). Coverage will include all major “acceptance” and “concession” speeches in the presidential and congressional elections as well as key local/regional races around the nation. SRN nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt will anchor the first six hours of coverage with guests that will include: SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Charlie Kirk, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. At 12:00 midnight, the network switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s KRLA “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by KRLA morning personality Jennifer Horn, along with KRLA news anchor Larry Marino and Don Dix at the California Election Night Desk. SRN adds that if, as expected, the ballot-counting is far from concluded in the presidential race but a determination has been made on which political party will control the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, portions of earlier election night coverage will be repeated between 3:00 am and 6:00 am ET when Hugh Hewitt will return with his normal weekday Hugh Hewitt show to pick up live continuing coverage.

Cody Welling Named Director of Sales for Cox Media Group Tulsa. Media sales pro Cody Welling is named director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations that includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Welling was most recently general sales manager for Tegna’s Ohio News Network and sports talk WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan.” CMG Tulsa market president Cathy Gunther says, “Cody is passionate about delivering results for advertising partners through creative marketing solutions. This makes him a perfect fit for CMG Tulsa where he can provide customized solutions with our robust products that reach three out of four Tulsans weekly.”

The Presidential Race, Ballot Fraud, and Scandals, Conspiracies & Accusations Combined for Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 26-30. The November 3 presidential election, concerns about ballot fraud and the political conspiracies, scandals, and accusations combined to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the rising number of COVID-19 cases, projections for fall/winter cases and U.S. health care system’s ability to treat it. Coming in at #3 was the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice and the related court packing issue, followed by the related issues of race relations, the killing of Walter Wallace Jr in Philadelphia, and police reform at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

KSCO Launches Weekly Show Critical of the Chinese Communist Party. The Zwerling Broadcasting System-owned news/talk outlet KSCO, Santa Cruz is launching a unique and compelling weekly two-hour radio show designed to keep Americans apprised of the dangers being presented to U.S. interests domestically and worldwide by China and the Chinese Communist Party. Provocatively titled, “China Über Alles” (China Above All) – a name sarcastically referencing the infamous slogan “Deutschland Über Alles” utilized by the Nazis to convey their dark message of German worldwide superiority in the 1930s and 1940s – the show discusses the ongoing war of subversion being waged against the U.S. by the communist regime in Beijing and its shocking human rights abuses of Chinese citizens, including political dissidents, investigative journalists, ethnic minorities and seekers of religious freedom. The show airs live Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT and is hosted by Amy Hao, Nan Su, and KSCO director of production/chief engineer Bill Graff. Its 11th episode is set to stream tomorrow (10/29). According to Nan Su, “The concern about China is no longer limited to human rights and freedom in China. It is about defending the freedom, security, and democracy of the future generations in the United States and the western world.” Unfair China trade practices, invasive surveillance, human rights abuses, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the origins and cover up of COVID-19 and questioning if “the NBA should move to China” are among a myriad of topics covered on the series. Read more here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One will be held virtually on Thursday, December 10 in which it will air live on more than 95 iHeartMedia CHR stations as well as streaming on The CW app and on CWTV.com. The CW Network will broadcast the event as an exclusive nationwide television special on Monday, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. Performers scheduled to appear include: Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “For 25 years, iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball has showcased performances from the year’s biggest artists in hit music, live on stage in front of screaming fans. Because of the pandemic, we’re moving from the stage to the artists’ home this holiday season for what will be an unforgettable show with amazing performances and moments that can only happen at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.”…..Key Networks nationally syndicated country air personality Shawn Parr (right) is pictured here with TLC (left), host of the morning show on new affiliate KPLM, Palm Springs “Big 106.” Parr, host of “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” traveled to Palm Springs to take part in the David Wells Perfect 33 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament…..Condolences to the family and friends of legendary air personality Ed Hurst, who passed away early today (11/30) at age 94. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS that Hurst got his start in radio on his station’s predecessor WFPG, Atlantic City in 1943. You can read what Harry Hurley wrote about Hurst here.

October 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| October 30, 2020

October 2020 PPM Data – Information for the October 2020 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.

Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

AUSTIN

News/Talk

  • Replicating September’s half-share increase (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+), Waterloo Media Group-owned KLBJ-AM continues in third-place. “News Radio 590” regressed by seven-tenths in August.
  • Posting either a .3 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last eight survey periods (.3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3, February 2020 through September 2020, 6+), Entercom’s KJCE “Talk Radio 1370” improves by two-tenths to .5 (unchanged at #25, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • After having roughly half its 6+ AQH share slivered (-.7) through four successive decreases – including three straight drops of two-tenths (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .6, 6+) – Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” halts the skid by gaining four-tenths (1.0, #24 to #21, 6+).
  • In four consecutive down or flat moves, iHeartMedia-owned KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has lost a total of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3, #25 to #26, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Entering the August sweep, KUT was an overall -3.0 in four straight downturns (10.3 – 9.8 – 8.5 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+); however, the University of Texas at Austin-owned facility roars back with three successive positive spikes for a collective +2.9 (7.3 – 8.2 – 10.1 – 10.2, 6+) and repeats at #1. KUT was the market leader five times in a row, before segueing to the runner-up slot in June. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include: +2.0 (October 2019); -1.9 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.5 (January 2020); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); -.7 (June); +.9 (August); and +1.9 (September).   

RALEIGH

News/Talk

  • Not only is iHeartMedia’s WTKK a combined +1.0 in September/October (6.7 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+), “106.1 Stay Connected” elevates from third to second and is eight-tenths from the lead. Its July gain of six-tenths curtailed four consecutive decreases that resulted in an overall -1.4 (7.6 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.2, 6+).
  • Curtis Media Group’s WPTF regains the one-tenth it lost this time last month and improves by one ranker (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). “News Radio 680” gained three-tenths in August to suspend three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.2 (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • While remaining at #14, Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC (Carolina Hurricanes) is an overall +1.8 in three straight spikes (1.1 – 1.3 – 2.5 – 2.9, #14, 6+). This comes directly after “99.9 The Fan” notched a 1.1 (6+) in three of four sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, April – May – June – July, 6+).
  • Unlisted in June, cluster-mate WCMC-HD2 resurfaced with a .2 (July, 6+); had a .1 (August and September, 6+); but breaks out an increase of three-tenths to .4 (#26 to #23).
  • Co-owned WDNC “620 The Ticket” is trending: .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .3 – .3 (#23 to #26, 6+).
  • Greensboro sibling WSJS “The Sports Hub” pops on in Raleigh with a .1 (#27, 6+).

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Five consecutive bumps by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC resulted in a collective +2.0 (6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+); however, “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” surrenders 55% of that windfall with a -1.1 to 7.0 (second to third, 6+). September’s 8.1 marked the first time WUNC reached the eight-share level since August 2019’s 8.5.
  • Co-owned WRQM is frozen on .1 (6+) the third time in a row (#26 to #27) – it had been locked on .3 (6+) in June and July.

INDIANAPOLIS

News/Talk

  • This is the fourth uptick in succession for Emmis-owned WIBC, which is +1.8 in that June 2020 through October 2020 timeframe (7.4 – 7.5 – 8.0 – 9.1 – 9.2, 6+). “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” repeats in the runner-up slot and has is its best 6+-showing (9.2) since April (10.3). WIBC was -2.9 in May/June (10.3 – 8.9 – 7.4, 6+), directly after four straight increases netted a +4.9 (5.4 – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 10.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Cluster-mate WFNI (Pacers) supplements September’s one-tenth gain with October’s hefty +1.0 (1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0, #15 to #12, 6+). It is the first time “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” has reached the three-share level since January (3.0, as well).
  • Although without a loss the third time in a row for a net gain of two-tenths (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNDE “Fox Sports 1260 – Indy’s Sports Leader” slips from #19 to #20.
  • Emmis’ WIBC-HD3, which logged a .1 (6+) in May, is unlisted the fifth sweep in a row.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite logging its sixth consecutive down or flat trend for an overall -1.9 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). This particular streak follows three gains in succession that netted a +1.6 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

 MILWAUKEE

News/Talk

  • An astonishing +4.4 in just three upticks in a row (6.8 – 8.6 – 10.2 – 11.2, 6+) enables iHeartMedia’s WISN to repeat at #1. Not only that, “News/Talk 1130” posts its highest 6+-stat (11.2) in the PPM-era, topping its previous record of 10.2 (6+) established … this time last month. In 2020, WISN has been on top in April, May, August, September, and October. Entering the August ratings period, “News/Talk 1130” was a collective -2.5 as a result of three declines in succession (9.3 – 8.6 – 7.2 – 6.8, 6+).
  • As is the case in Salt Lake City with iHeartRadio-owned KNRS and Bonneville’s KSL, news/talk boasts a #1/#2 finish (6+) in Milwaukee, as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (Brewers, Bucks, Green Bay Packers) is a cumulative +2.5 in three bumps in succession (5.5 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 8.0, fourth to second, 6+). Down or flat three times in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was +1.2 in March/April (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+).
  • Following consecutive postings of .3 (6+), WTMJ’s internet stream is unlisted the fourth month in a row.
  • This is the third successive sweep that Alpha Media-owned WLIP is a no-show. “AM 1050 Kenosha’s News & Talk” had a March 2020 through July 2020 topline of: .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (#18, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets have a combined 2.3 (6+), compared to September’s 2.1 (6+). Flat at #16, iHeartMedia-owned WRNW “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” posts its fifth straight report without a loss for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .6 -.6 – .6 – .7 – .8, #17 to #16, 6+).
  • It’s a similar bottom line for Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN,” which picks up two-tenths via three up or flat moves in a row (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6, flat at #18, 6+).
  • The theme continues as iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” is a combined +.2 in September/October (.2 – .4 – .4, #20 to #19, 6+).
  • Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” however, is down one-tenth in September/October (.5 – .4 – .4, #20 to #19, 6+).
  • With a .1 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK resurfaces at #25.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Down one-half share in August/September (9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), University of Wisconsin-owned WUWM expunges 60% of the deficit with a gain of three-tenths to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+).
  • Three increases in succession netted Wisconsin Public Radio’s WHAD one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), but the streak ends with a one-tenth loss to 1.3 (unchanged at #13, 6+). WHAD had lost one-half share via three straight down or flat reports (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).
  • WHAD’s internet stream repeats September’s average quarter share and market rank (.1, #25, 6+).
  • Gateway Technical College’s public radio news/talk-classical-jazz hybrid WGTD is trending .1 – .2 .2 (#23, 6+).

NASHVILLE

News/Talk

  • Albeit down one-tenth in September/October (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+) Cumulus Media-owned WWTN advances from seventh to sixth. “Super Talk 99.7” was a combined +1.1 in July/August (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.7, 6+).
  • Flat at #17, iHeartMedia’s WLAC is off three-tenths in September/October (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). “Talk Radio 1510” gained one-half share in March/April (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+); was -1.0 in three downturns in succession (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+); and +.5 in August.

Sports Talk

  • Dusting itself off from September’s loss of three-tenths is Cumulus Media’s WGFX, which boasts the largest 6+ September 2020 – October 2020 increase of any station in these 12 PPM-markets (2.9 – 5.3, +2.4, 6+). As a result, “104.5 The Zone” (Tennessee Titans) leaps from #12 to #8.
  • It’s not quite as dramatic, but Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” (Predators) shakes off a September decline of two-tenths with an October boost of nine-tenths (.6 – .4 – 1.3, 6+) to crack the top twenty (#22 to #19). An August gain of three-tenths suspended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a 70% loss (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share (1.0 – .6 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3, 6+).
  • Following four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of one-tenth (2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned WBUZ-HD3 adds two-tenths to .3 (6+) yet backslides from #23 to #24.

News

  • This is the third time in succession that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WNRQ-HD2 posts a .1 (#25, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” logs its third consecutive bump for a collective +1.0 and repeats in tenth-place (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+).

PROVIDENCE

News/Talk

  • After being a collective -2.1 in five consecutive losses (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-AM removes roughly half the shortfall with a +1.1 to 5.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior, “News Talk 630” more than doubled (+3.6) its 6+ AQH share in four straight positive or neutral trends (2.5 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 6.1, 6+).
  • In addition to netting six-tenths through three successive modest gains (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920”enters the top ten (#13 to #10) with its best 6+-performance (1.8)  since March 2019 (1.9).
  • Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is in an alternating down/up pattern which includes October’s loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .6 – .4, July – August – September – October, #20 to #21, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • In that same July 2020 – October 2020 stretch, Entercom’s WVEI is in a rotating up/down sequence (0 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.5, steady at #9, 6+). In six straight down or flat survey periods, “Sports Radio 103.7” basically lost half (-2.1) its 6+ AQH share (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).

News-Talk

  • Despite having its fourth straight down or flat report for a net loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” progresses from #15 to #14.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • An overall +1.0 via three straight bumps (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston’s WGBH continues in eighth-place. This directly follows four straight sweeps without an increase for a net loss of -1.3 (3.2 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).
  • After three consecutive 1.6 showings (6+), Rhode Island Public Radio’s WNPN follows with a combined loss of three-tenths in September/October (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), but remains at #10. WNPN had been off one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+).
  • In five down or flat trends in succession, The Wheeler School-owned WELH “89.3 The Public’s Radio” has lost a total of one-tenth (.4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3, unchanged at #22, 6+).

NORFOLK

Sports Talk

  • An increase of two-tenths (1.4 – 1.6, 6+) is sufficient to push Max Broadcast Group’s WVSP into the top ten (#11 to #10). Before regressing by one-tenth this time last month, “ESPN Radio 94.1” was +.5 in July/August (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+). May’s increase of two tenths pulled the plug on seven straight down or flat reports that accounted for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+).

News

  • With a July 2020 through October 2020 topline of .7 – .6 – .6 – .8 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WNOH remains at #14.

JACKSONVILLE

News/Talk

  • After back-to-back months in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM dials up a half-share increase (10.2 – 10.7, 6+) and marches to #1. This (10.7) is the best 6+-stat since April’s 13.4 for “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which has been on top in January, March, April, and October. Just prior to August’s +.9, WOKV-FM was an overall -3.9 via three drops in a row (13.4 – 10.4 – 9.9 – 9.5, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • March 2020 through October 2020’s alternating up/down pattern for iHeartMedia-owned WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” includes October’s one-tenth gain: 1.2 – 1.4 – .8 – .9 – .6 – .9 – .6 – .7 (#21 to #19, 6+).
  • Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM “ESPN Jacksonville 690 AM” logs a .1 (6+) the third time in the last four sweeps (.1 – .3 – .1 – .1, #24 to #25, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • After posting back-to-back losses of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2 – 2.5, 6+), WJCT was a combined +1.5 in June/July (2.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+); -.4 (August); +.8 (September); and now -.5 in October (4.4 – 3.9, #8 to #11, 6+).

WEST PALM BEACH

News/Talk

  • This is the fourth time in the last five survey periods that iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” has racked up a 3.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, unchanged at #7, 6+). WJNO netted an overall +1.9 via four consecutive reports without a decrease (8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+).
  • Co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3,” which gained one-tenth in back-to-back reports (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), forfeits three-tenths to 1.8 (#12 to #13, 6+). August’s increase interrupted three consecutive down or flat sweeps that produced a net loss of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).
  • After more than doubling (+.9) its 6+ AQH share through five straight up or flat trends (.7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” drops four-tenths to 1.2 (#14 to #16, 6+).
  • Down a collective three-tenths in six straight sweeps without an increase (.7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami’s WIOD “610 News Radio” dips from #22 to #23.

 Sports Talk

  • Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN notched a .2 in five of the last six sweeps including the last four in a row (.2 – .7 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+); however, “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” doubles it to .4 (#24 to #23, 6+).  

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Even though it regains the three-tenths that was lost this time last month (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), Dade County School Board’s WLRN backslides from eighth to ninth. Prior to May’s loss of one-tenth, WLRN was an overall +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+).
  • Unlisted in June and July, WLRN-HD2 resurfaced in August and records its third straight .2 (#24 to #25, 6+).

GREENSBORO

News/Talk

  • As a result of three consecutive bumps, iHeartMedia’s WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is an overall +1.7 (4.2 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Four gains in a row yielding a +2.6 (3.0 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) preceded three straight drops that accounted for a -1.4 (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • After almost doubling (+.3) its 6+ AQH share in three straight reports without a loss (.4 – .6 – .6 – .7, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned WSJS “The Sports Hub” drops two-tenths to .5 (6+) and remains at #15.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Wake Forest University’s WFDD, which was a cumulative +1.3 via four successive spikes (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), but is unchanged at #10.
  • Up four-tenths as a result of three straight positive or neutral moves (1.4 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC remains at #13.

MEMPHIS

News/Talk

  • Three consecutive drops by iHeartMedia-owned WREC led to an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), but “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” wipes away just over half that shortfall with a +.8 to 4.9 (ninth to seventh, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • A combined -.9 in September/October (2.5 – 2.0 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” carries on at #14. August’s 2.5 was its best 6+-stat since February (3.1).
  • Up four-tenths this time last month, WMFS’ internet stream returns half the increase (.7 – .5, -.2, flat at #17, 6+).
  • Entercom-owned WMC-AM “680 AM ESPN Sports Radio” repeats September’s average quarter hour share and market rank (.3, #19, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • On the heels of September’s +1.1 to 2.6 (6+), Mid-South Public Communications Foundation-owned WKNO “91.1 NPR For The Mid-South” regresses by four-tenths to 2.2 (#12 to #13, 6+). September’s 2.2 (6+) enabled WKNO to cross the two-share level for the first time since February (2.0).  

HARTFORD

News/Talk

  • Owing to three upticks in succession, Entercom-owned WTIC-AM is an overall +1.7 (6.1- 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.8, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to being -1.7 in July, “News Talk 1080” was +2.1 via six successive up or flat moves (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+).
  • Continuing a rotating up/down pattern that began in February and includes October’s loss of six-tenths (.8 – 1.2 -.7 – .8 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.3 – .7, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” slips from #13 to #14.
  • This is the third time in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” has had a fluctuation of one-tenth (.2 – .3 – .4 – .3, #16 to #15, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Regaining the three-tenths it lost this time last month (1.0 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” climbs from #15 to #13.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Not quite doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share through four straight spikes (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 4.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network-owned WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” continues in ninth-place. Four successive reports without an increase resulted in a -2.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+).
  • University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” notches a .2 (6+) the third time in the last four sweeps (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+) and drops from #17 to #18. In advance of the August report, WFCR lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH share through six consecutive down or flat sweeps (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+).
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