Tag: "NPR"

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and 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.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  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.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

| December 19, 2017

Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million.  Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW.  But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM.  Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal.  It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations.  Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets.  The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan.  The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”).  In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years.  Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state.  Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.”  But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.”  He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014.  Read his report here.

Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile.  This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager.  Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM.  Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue.  He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”

FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show.  The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another.  The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time.  It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton.  Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run.  Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011.  In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart.  Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel.  The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17.  Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.”  She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.”  Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.

ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment.  The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world.  After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue.  Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’s NFL 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.  Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger.   Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive.  With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.”  The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere NetworksBobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.”  Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins.  The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992.  For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.”  Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins.  So, for the great people of this region we made it happen.  Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year.  And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.”  Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.”  McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group.  He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.

Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home.  The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus.  Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting.  Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.

Monday, December 11, 2017

| December 11, 2017

WBUR, Boston Talk Personality Tom Ashbrook Suspended During Investigation.  “On Point” is a public radio talk show produced by WBUR, Boston – owned and operated by Boston University – and syndicated to almost 300 NPR affiliate stations.  As reported by WBUR.org, host Tom Ashbrook has been suspended while the school and the station conduct an investigation into allegations, the details of which are not being specified by the station.  It released this statement on Friday (12/8): “Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook.  Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations.  We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.”  In the WBUR.org story, Ashbrook says he’s “stunned at the situation” and says he respects the process the school must go through in this situation.

Mark Kaye Hosting New Daily Talk Show on WOKV, Jacksonville.  CHR radio pro Mark Kaye is now hosting a daily talk show on Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  Kaye is the morning drive host on the company’s sister CHR WAPE.  His new talk show airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, in between the Herman Cain show and Rush Limbaugh on the program schedule.   Kaye has worked for WOKV in the past, hosting a weekend show.

Former Nevada Broadcasters Association Founding President Admits to Improper Behavior.  Radio personality and former Nevada Broadcasters Association president Bob Fisher admits to engaging in “improper behavior” with teenage boys back in the 1980s.  This was reported in a piece in Jewish Week that reveals the details of allegations by two men who were 18 and 16 at the time Fisher was a leader of the Pacific Southwest Region of United Synagogue Youth.  In the story, Fisher admits to the allegations and says he is ashamed of his behavior, though he says he never forced himself on anyone.  He also tells the paper of his dysfunctional childhood and being raped as a child and as a college student.

Nielsen and Cumulus Renew Deal for Ratings Services.  The ratings giant is owed approximately $6.65 million by Cumulus Media – that figure was released by Cumulus as part of its Chapter 11 filing.  But, Nielsen Audio knows that Cumulus needs its services to help sell its radio stations and national programming on Westwood One.  This renewal means Cumulus continues to use the ratings service but will also have access to data from Nielsen Scarborough, enhanced talent analytics from Nielsen N-Score and national networks ratings from Nielsen RADAR.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “Despite the abundance of media options, radio continues to lead the way in reach and ROI.  We are excited to extend our agreement with Nielsen so that we can continue to leverage their vast datasets and analytical insights to provide the proof that we do indeed deliver the highest ROI of any local media to our advertisers.”

PPM Analysis:  NBA FlagshipsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations that serve as flagship stations for play-by-play broadcasts for NBA teams.  Note that this isn’t a review of PPM ratings for game broadcasts, but for weekly 6+ AQH shares for stations that serve as flagships.  A number of these stations serve as flagships for NFL and MLB franchises, as well.  In addition to charts comparing stations’ ratings in numerous ways, Kinosian reports the station ranks for the Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey and the five previous surveys.  At the top of the heap, WBZ-FM, Boston ranked #3 (6+) in November.  WTMJ, Milwaukee ranked #4 and WFAN, New York and WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

News Pro Chuck Rich Dead at 65.  News pro Charles “Chuck” Rich died suddenly on Friday (12/8) at the age of 65.  Chuck Rich was married to Washington, DC public relations pro Rita Rich.  During his career, he held positions with WTOP-TV (WUSA), WTOP Radio, AP Radio and for well over 25 years, Westwood One Radio Networks. He also spent many years with Voice of America. He also was a contributing editor for Washingtonian Magazine.

Trump Jerusalem Recognition Reactions, California Wildfires, Iraq’s ISIS Liberation, Roy Moore Campaign, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump-Russia Probe, Bitcoin Activity, Sunday’s NFL Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests in the Middle East over President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the raging California wildfires and authorities’ concerns there’s no end in sight to the Santa Ana winds; Iraq declares the country liberated from the ISIS forces that had held control over numerous Iraqi cities; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of his history of sexual predation; the North Korea nuclear program and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the volatility of Bitcoin; Sunday’s NFL games and attendance figures; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Radio’s Greatest Storytellers.  Pictured above at the Entercom broadcast center in Philadelphia are some of radio’s “greatest storytellers” gathered to appear on the Westwood One-syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” program starring Walter M. Sterling.  From left to right are: Douglas Henderson Jr., Michael Tearson, Denny Somach, Gary R’Nel, Tommy McCarthy, Rasa Kaye, AJ Essington, Lee Harris, Ross Brittain, Sterling, and Allen Shaw.  (Not pictured but on the broadcast were Tommy Woods and Dick Summer.) On the couch is Judy Anderson and Neil Pohl who had a major announcement: He asked her to marry him live on the air and she said “yes.”  Sterling tells TALKERS that listeners heard how album rock radio was really invented by Allen Shaw.  Michael Tearson revealed the early days of prog rock.  Ross Brittain explained that HE was responsible for “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”  Doug Henderson described the work of his dad Jocko which aired on a Philly station and a New York City station thanks to a daily train commute.  You can hear and download the show on www.waltermsterling.com Tuesday (12/12).

TALKERS News Notes.  Radio executive Charlie Ferguson is retiring from Saga Communications where he’s been the VP and general manager at its Springfield, Illinois station group for the past three years.  The 65-year-old Ferguson tells the State Journal-Register, “It occurred to me that I have not seen any of my seven grandchildren more than once a year for the last several years.  This is probably the right time.”  Saga operates news/talk WTAX and six other music formatted signals in the market…..CNN Money is reporting that SiriusXM is getting some “celebrity backlash” from Stephen K. Bannon’s return to the satcaster’s airwaves.  As TALKERS reported last week, Bannon is back on the “Breitbart News Daily” morning program that’s part of the Patriot channel lineup and that has some celebs, including musician Melissa Etheridge, vowing not to appear on the radio service.  Etheridge says she’s no longer going to do her “Melissa’s Basement” interview show that aired on the Volume channel.  Actors Seth Rogan and John Leguizamo have also said they’ll not appear on SiriusXM anymore…..In Columbus, Ohio, sports talk host (and former NFL linebacker) Bobby Carpenter renews with RadiOhio’s sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” for a multi-year deal to continue co-hosting the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show with Anthony Rothman.

Howie Carr Hosts NH Toy Drive.  Regionally syndicated New England talk radio superstar Howie Carr held a special toy drive event in partnership with Two International Group in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Friday (12/8).  Carr broadcast his program from the lobby of Two International Group and collected toys for the Toys For Tots program.  Carr is pictured here with four New Hampshire State Police Troopers who came by to donate toys. Howie Carr’s show is heard on more than 25 affiliate stations in New England and is seen nationwide on Newsmax TV.

Mitch Albom Radiothon Raises Record Dough for Detroit Charities.  Pictured above, WJR, Detroit afternoon drive host Mitch Albom (second from right) celebrates the announcement of the record $1.25 million raised during last Thursday’s radiothon event to benefit Mitch Albom Charities (which benefits other Detroit charities).  Post-radiothon donations have boosted that total to more than $1.8 million!  The 15-hour show was hosted by Albom, with dozens of celebrity guests appearing, including: Dr. Phil, Hugh Jackman, Hank Azaria, Matthew Stafford and more.

Beasley NYC Holiday Bash.  Last Friday (12/8), Beasley Media Group held its Holiday Soiree at the Park Central Hotel in New York City.  The festivities included performances by SEAL and Brothers Osborne.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, SEAL, Caroline Beasley and Brian Beasley.

KSFO, San Francisco Morning Host Brian Sussman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the nation’s hottest local morning radio talk show hosts, Brian Sussman of Cumulus Media O&O KSFO, San Francisco, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sussman discusses the challenges of doing competitive morning news/talk radio which requires finding the correct balance between hard political issues and more general interest areas of pop culture and fun. He also talks about his fascinating transition from being one of the most popular TV meteorologists in the Bay Area for many years to becoming a radio talker. Don’t miss this interesting and informative conversation! To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  St. Louis CHR KSLZ “Z107.7” names Jordan host of the morning drive program.  The iHeartMedia SVP of programming for St. Louis A.J. says, “Jordan is one of the best radio talents in the industry.  Moving him to mornings will help write the next chapter in ‘Z107.7’ history.  During his time in St. Louis, Jordan has had tremendous success with afternoons and we are very excited for him to host a fun, compelling and local morning show for St. Louis.”…..In iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, changes take place in its rock radio formats.  Effective today, KBPI, Denver “Rocks the Rockies” programming is being simulcast on KPAW, Fort Collins and KDZA, Colorado Springs.  The station’s programming includes “Your Morning Show with Willie B” and air personalities Beardo and Colfax. At the same time, the KPAW, Fort Collins format will replace the adult contemporary format on KYWY, Warren AFB, Wyoming.

Former Radio Exec Perry Ury Passes at 91.  Retired radio executive Perry Ury passed away at his home in Sarasota, Florida a week shy of his 92nd birthday.  Ury led WRKO, Boston “Big 68” during its CHR days.  He went on to manage all of the RKO radio stations.  After serving with RKO, he managed WTIC-AM and WTIC-FM in Hartford until his retirement.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

| November 29, 2017

Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President.  Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations.  We are thrilled to promote him into this new role.  As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.”  Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group.  Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear.  The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions.  In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions.  This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April.  The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe.  It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.

Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer.  The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows.  But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced.  Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal.  After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off.  He’s made it to the top in both radio and television.  He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.”  Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half.  Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”

Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists.  Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.

North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; 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. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year.  Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates.  Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.

WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.

WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow.  Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man.  For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator.  His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King.  Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category.  For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Washington adult contemporary WASH-FM names Jill Kempton to the program director position.  Kempton moves from iHeartMedia’s AC WLTW, New York where she was APD, music director, and imaging director.  iHeartMedia Washington SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi comments, “There’s been a lot of momentum on WASH-FM this year and Jill has been a part of that remotely.  Now she gets to build on that here in Washington to dominate the very competitive AC format.”…..Service Broadcasting extends the contract of hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” morning personality DeDe McGuire for another four years.  McGuire was the co-host of the syndicated Doug Banks afternoon program before she exited in October of 2014 to join KKDA.  Her “K104” co-hosts include Lady Jade and Michael Shawn.  As part of the new deal, the company is exploring a syndication effort for McGuire’s program…..Radio pro Scott Miller returns to the business after most recently serving as a regional brand manager for Harley Davidson to program iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WRVF, Toledo “101.5 The River” and serve as afternoon drive personality at sister rock WIOT.  During his time with Harley Davidson, Miller had been doing fill-in work on the company’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

| November 1, 2017

Entercom Announces Station Swaps with iHeartMedia and Beasley, LMA with Bonneville Ahead of CBS RADIO Merger.  We knew the 19 stations Entercom had to divest in order to pass regulatory muster.  Now, we know where they are going and what Entercom is getting for them.  In exchange for stations in Boston and Seattle, Entercom is swapping with iHeartMedia for stations in Richmond and Chattanooga – markets where it previously had no presence.  iHeartMedia will get all-news WBZ-AM, news/talk WRKO, classic rock WZLX and urban AC WKAF in Boston, as well as sports KFNQ, classic rock KZOK, and adult hits KJAQ in Seattle in exchange for the following stations that the new Entercom will acquire in Chattanooga: adult hits WLND, CHR WKXJ, rock WRXR, and country WUSY; and Richmond stations: hip hop WBTJ, sports talk WRNL-AM, news/talk WRVA-AM, CHR WRVQ, alternative WRXL, and AC WTVR.  Also in Boston, CBS RADIO’s sports talk WBZ-FM will be swapped with Beasley Media Group for adult contemporary WMJX.  Entercom will also enter into an LMA with Bonneville International for the latter to program four stations in San Francisco and four in Sacramento.  Those stations are: CHR KMVQ, urban AC KBLX, AC KOIT, and classic rock KUFX in San Francisco; and sports KHTK-AM, country KNCI, AC KYMX, and hot AC KZZO in Sacramento.  This news comes as Entercom announces a settlement with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger to move forward.  The company says it expects the deal to close as early as November 17.  Entercom CEO David Field says, “Today’s announcements mark a significant milestone as we work to complete the transformational combination of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  While it is necessary to divest certain stations in order to secure regulatory approval, it is difficult to part ways with so many strong brands and, most importantly, their talented people.  However, we are excited by the terrific new additions to our lineup that will bolster our position in Boston and expand our footprint in the Southeast.  We look forward to unlocking the potential of the combined company to deliver value for our listeners, customers and shareholders.”  The above asset exchanges are expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.  The Bonneville LMA will become effective upon the closing of the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger.

Matt Nahigian New KGMZ, San Francisco PD.  Sports programming pro Matt Nahigian is taking over the PD position at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Nahigian – who was most recently with Beasley Media Group programming sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” – said via Facebook, “San Francisco here we come!  I am incredibly excited to tell all of you that I have accepted a position with Entercom and will be heading out to San Francisco to be the Program Director at 95.7 The Game.  It’s such an incredible opportunity to be a part of a company that is one of the biggest and best radio companies in the country.  Everyone we have talked to that has lived or is currently living out there says it is amazing. The station is the broadcast rights holder for the A’s and the Golden St. Warriors so I won’t be considered a bandwagon jumper if I become a Warriors fan. LOL. Thanks to all the great people that we have met in Philadelphia. It’s been 10 of the best years of my life. We have made so many great friends and will miss all of you a great deal. Please think of me in shorts when you are shoveling snow. From Chicago to Philly to San Fran.”  Nahigian takes over for Don Kollins.

‘Color of Change’ Petitioning for Bill Handel’s Firing.  The Oakland-based activist organization Color of Change is creating a petition to ask iHeartMedia to fire KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel for calling U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his radio program.  LA Weekly reports that iHeartMedia and KFI have not responded to the request.  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

NPR Places Michael Oreskes on Leave After Assault Allegations.  Public media firm NPR puts SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes on indefinite leave after two women spoke with the organization about his alleged actions some two decades ago while he served with The New York Times.  The women said they were speaking to Oreskes about working at the paper when he forcibly kissed them.  NPR says it takes the allegations “very seriously.”

Tommy Chuck Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tampa-Sarasota.  Moving from iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to the Tampa-Sarasota markets to serve as senior vice president of programming is Tommy Chuck. In addition to overseeing the programming of the company’s 14 music, talk and news stations in the region, Chuck will be program director at country WFUS “US 103.5.”  He previously programmed country WPOC, Baltimore until he relinquished that role in April to serve as PD at CHR WIHT and AC WASH-FM in Washington, DC.

TALKERS News Notes.  Philly sports talker Angelo Cataldi is off the air at CBS RADIO’s WIP “SportsRadio 94.1” after having gallbladder surgery.  Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Cataldi went to the hospital on Sunday and the surgery was performed on Monday.  There’s no set timetable for his return to the air…..Cox Media Group is putting some of its newspapers up for sale.  The Austin Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the Palm Beach Daily News are on the market.  CMG president Kim Guthrie comments in the Statesman, “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult but strategic decision to put our newspapers in Palm Beach and Austin up for sale.  We have made the decision that we will be better equipped to operate our newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio, where we have the integrated opportunity with our TV and radio operations.”…..Pictured here are Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon (right) visiting affiliate KTTR, Rolla, Missouri where he spent some time with local station personality Al Martia (left)…..Speaking of Westwood One, the syndicator and sales arm of Cumulus Media announces that it is adding new shows to its podcasting platform.  The Westwood One Podcast Network is a one-stop, all-inclusive platform that provides a full-service suite of expert tools and services for podcasters, content creators, distributors, producers, and advertisers.  Programs new to the platform include: “The Jim Rome Podcast,” “The Daou of Politics” with Democratic strategist Peter Daou, and “Blitz & Giggles with Josh Lewin.”

John Gibson Visits Genesis Communications Network (GCN).  Former FOX News Radio star John Gibson has found a new distribution home for his popular 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET syndicated weekday talk show – Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN).  Gibson (whose national program is based in Texas) did a show live from the GCN studios and engaged in strategy meetings with the network’s brass who are excited to have another high-profile personality of Gibson’s stature on their growing company’s roster.  Pictured (l-r): GCN affiliate manager Adam Miller, John Gibson, GCN owner/founder Ted Anderson, and johngibson.com webmaster Josh Einstein.  Not shown: GCN advertising director Lee Wickenhauser who attended the meetings.   Stations interested in affiliating with the John Gibson Show in markets where it is still available should contact Adam Miller at amiller@gcnlive.com.

NYC Terror Attack, Special Counsel Indictments, Clinton-DNC Trump-Russia Dossier, GOP Tax Bill, Positive Economic News, Kelly Robert E. Lee Comments, Sexual Assault Cases, Iran Missile Threats, Dodgers-Astros World Series, NFL Trade Deadline Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The deaths of eight and wounding of 11 in the vehicle terror attack in New York City; the indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee connection to the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump administration and GOP tax reform bill; the positive economic news from the Citigroup U.S. Economic Surprise Index; Chief of Staff John Kelly’s Civil War-Robert E. Lee comments; the rash of sexual assault allegations against public figures; Iran’s threats against U.S. military bases in the Middle East; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and the NFL’s trade deadline 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. New York and New Jersey media pro Michelle Jerson is joining the air staff of Cumulus Media’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” for weekend duties.  Jerson says, “I’m very excited and honored to be working back in the country music format.”  She began her music radio career on New York and New Jersey’s “New Country Y107” and WMJC on Long Island.  She is also a television traffic reporter for Spectrum’s NY1 News, hosts travel satellite media tours, and is a guest on other radio shows talking travel and baby products drawing from her experience as a new mom…..Cumulus Media appoints Mike Duffy program director for active rock WBSX, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton “97.9X.”  Duffy joined the station as midday personality back in April.  Cumulus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton VP and market manager Chris Kenney comments, “We love having Mike here.  He has the leadership qualities and passion you look for in a PD.  He brings a great vibe to the station and a positive energy that is a huge benefit to our listeners and staff.”…..iHeartMedia Norfolk flips WNOH from CHR to alternative rock as “ALT 105.3, Hampton Roads Alternative Rock.”  iHM Norfolk market president Angel Brown says, “The opportunity to launch a radio station like ‘ALT 105.3’ in the No. 1 radio company in the country and within the Hampton Roads area is beyond exciting.  By analyzing song requests, digital streaming, downloads and talking to our listeners, we know the area is passionate about alternative rock.”…..Midwest Family Broadcasting also launches an alternative rock station, this one in the Madison, Wisconsin market on the former WRIS, Mount Horeb – located west of the city of Madison.  The new calls will be WOZN and the station is branded “The Resistance.”…..Just eight months after being promoted to SVP of programming at iHeartMedia’s Baltimore cluster, Jeff Wyatt announces he’s retiring from the position.  Wyatt also serves as the program director for country WPOC, Baltimore and adult hits WQSR “JACK-FM.”…..At Community Broadcasters’ country WWKT. Florence, South Carolina, the “Mudflap and Palmer” show replaces the syndicated “Big D and Bubba” program that’s been airing in morning drive.  Randy “Mudflap” Wilcox and Ed Palmer had been the morning show at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country WEGX until they exited last May and were replaced by the syndicated Bobby Bones show.

Round Two of October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey period covered September 14 – October 11. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above posting its third straight gain for an overall +.5 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9) with its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016 (3.7, as well). Format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” – continues at #20 but is without an increase for the eighth straight sweep and has lost approximately half its 6+-share since February (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). Not only does WTOP repeat at #1, the Hubbard all-news operation is a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+) and posts its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). It’s a case of slow and steady for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH, which is up one-tenth for the third straight time (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) but it backslides from sixth to seventh. Co-owned CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5 – DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 3.8, -.6, 6+) dips from fifth to eighth and falls below a four-share (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Still in that iHM cluster, classic rock WBIG “Big 100” is off a collective nine-tenths in September and October (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+) but continues in fourth-place. In four straight increases, CBS Radio Spanish tropical WLZL more than tripled its 6+-share (.7 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), but “El Zol 107.9” drops three-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and slips from #18 to #19. Prior to September, WLZL last reached the two-share level (6+) in December (2.0). While it occupies third-place for the tenth time in a row, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR is without an increase for the third straight sweep (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+) and is -1.1 in that stretch. Its -1.0 in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). July’s 8.1 (6+) represents the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. A cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” regains four-tenths to 4.6, inching up from eighth to sixth (6+); September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 as the result of five consecutive negative sweeps (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March.

2) Boston – Beantown’s sports talk format scores another huge victory as Entercom-owned Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM improves by six-tenths to jump from fourth to second, while CBS Radio’s New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” registers a full-share improvement, marching from eighth to fifth. Both of these sports talk properties were up one-half share in September. This marks the third straight uptick for WEEI-FM for a collective +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). Having bounced back from May’s -.1 with a June gain of three-tenths, WEEI-FM dropped seven-tenths in July. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), but is now a collective +2.1 in August, September, and October (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, news/talk outlets WBUR (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+) and Entercom’s WRKO (2.0 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+) each improve by one-half share. A loss of one-half share in September by Boston University-owned WBUR ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). This represents the highest 6-share for WRKO since March (2.5, as well). While it is off three-tenths (7.9 – 7.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM repeats at #1. In September, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a robust +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The station it succeeded at #1 in September – Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” suffers the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 erosion of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (7.1 – 5.6, -1.5, 6+) and slips from second to fourth. On top eight straight months entering the September sweep, WROR was the market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December. Major fluctuations are not new to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” which was +1.1 in December 2016; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; -.8 in April; -.6 in June; -.5 in August and now -1.5 in October. It is below a six-share (6+) for the first time in nearly two years (5.5, “Holiday” 2015). Although steady at #3, adult contemporary cluster-mate WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is without an increase for the fourth successive month for an overall -1.2 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Following three successive increases that generated an overall gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC sibling WBQT “Hot 96.9” falters four-tenths to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+). Both of the market’s country outlets post slight losses, as co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is down two-tenths (4.4, seventh to ninth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is off one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), but remains at #15. A September gain of one-tenth by WKLB ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). After four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in September.

3) Miami – Having posted a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June, WAMR “Amor 107.5” had three straight decreases for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). The Univision Radio Spanish contemporary outlet rebounds in October with a +.4 to 6.2 (6+) and continues in third-place. Without a loss for the third month in succession for a modest overall gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” climbs from eighth to seventh, while iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds three-tenths (3.9 – 4.2, -.4, 6+) to advance from ninth to eighth. The two CHR rivals were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). On top for the sixth time in a row, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” adds one-tenth (7.7 – 7.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. After posting a one-half share gain in September (4.2 – 4.7, 6+), co-owned WEDR “99 Jamz Miami’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” returns it in its entirety and is back to 4.2 (sixth to eighth, 6+). In advance of dropping six-tenths in August, the urban contemporary property had been up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, its direct competitor – iHeartMedia’s WMIB “103.5 The Beat” – is a collective -.6 in three successive down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and carries on at #13. Locked on 2.9 (6+) in June and July and then on 3.1 (6+) in August and September, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” sputters by four-tenths to 2.7, slipping from #14 to #16 (6+). Three-tenths ahead of it is Spanish tropical cluster-mate WXDJ “El Sol 106.7,” which falters by one-tenth for the third sweep in succession (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+). The May 2017 to October 2017 (6+) trending for CBS Radio’s WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” (#18 to #19) is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1. At the same time that iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD is off by a combined four-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, #21, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish news/talk WAQI (1.4, +.2, #22) ends at six its consecutive string of monthlies without an increase that accounted for a -33% since March (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

4) Detroit – Off a combined seven-tenths in August and September (6.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 Detroit’s Classic Rock” regains all of it and two tenths more (6.6, +.9, 6+) as it marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-performance since February 2016 (6.6, as well). Registering its fifth straight up or flat trend for a cumulative +1.5 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” advances from seventh to sixth. Following four straight months without an increase for a collective -.7 (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” bounces back with a +.6 to 5.0, climbing from ninth to seventh (6+). Co-owned adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” tacks on one-half share to September’s +.4 (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. This is WNIC’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it logged a 13.7. Progressing by one-half share as well is Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” (3.2 – 3.7, #15 to #12, 6+). A combined +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WMXD is -2.5 in four subsequent decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” remains at #11. The market’s two major urban contemporary outlets combine for a basically equally-divided -1.9, as independent WGPR “Hot 107.5” is off one full-share (3.5 – 2.5, #14 to #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by nine-tenths (4.4 – 3.5, 6+) to depart the top ten (#9 to #13). This is the lowest 6+-share for “Hot” since March (2.4), while WJLB has its softest 6+-showing since April (3.5, as well). Off a combined one-half share in July and August (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC erased that loss in September with +.6 to 3.9, its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.3; however, “105.1 The Bounce” regresses by one-half share to 3.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Two streaks continue with Motown’s two FM country facilities: CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” is down for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.5 and records its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+). At the same time, while steady at #17, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” hasn’t had an increase in the past five sweeps and is -.6 since May (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

5) Seattle – An overall +2.2 via five straight increases (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” matches the 5.7 (6+) it recorded in January and jumps from fifth to third. Following four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – All the Hits” regains one-third of that decrease (6.0, +.7, 6+) and climbs from third to second. It slipped from first to third in August, following a seven-month run at #1. Three-tenths ahead of KQMV is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW, which is #1 for the third consecutive time and without a loss for the third time in a row (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Although unchanged at #14, Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS “Spirit 105.3” posts its fifth consecutive increase for a collective gain of one full-share (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are Sinclair all-news KOMO (3.5, #18 to #13, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” (#24, 6+); and Bellevue College-owned KBCS (.6 – 1.1, #26, 6+). The June through September (6+) line for KOMO, which has its best 6+-showing since December’s 3.7, was 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.0. This is the third straight gain for KJR-AM (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3, 6+) and highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. When KZOK gained four-tenths in September, it halted at five a string of down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), but the CBS Radio classic rocker regresses by seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) and segues from fifth to sixth. This is its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.1. Faltering by six-tenths each are co-owned KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” (4.3 – 3.7, seventh to tenth, 6+); Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” (second to fourth, 6+); and Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” (3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #15, 6+). Rebounding from August’s -.7 with a +.1 in September, KMPS matches April’s 3.7. “Warm 106.9” is a combined -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Between June and September, the 6+-line for “The End” was 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.7. Within 3.0 – 3.3 range (6+) in the eight sweeps between May and October (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – More Music, More Variety” falls from #14 to #17.

6) Phoenix – The 1.9-share (6+) advantage Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” had in September over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is sliced to six-tenths as KESZ logs a +.8 (5.8 – 6.6, 6+), while KSLX falters by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+). KSLX remains at #1 for the sixth straight month, while KESZ advances from third to second. “Classic Rock 100.7” was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a combined -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Meanwhile, the 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.8 (June – July – August, 6+) sequence by KESZ ended in September as a result of a -1.0 to 5.8, its lowest 6+-share in nearly three years (4.6, 6+, November 2014). After trending a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM sputtered by one-half share in August, but “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), progressing from #17 to #14. Down or flat the past three ratings periods for an overall loss of one-half share (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 -2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” registers a positive spike of six-tenths as well (2.9, #19 to #15, 6+). Leaping from #13 into the top ten (#8), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” has its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). Conversely, CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is down a collective nine-tenths in four straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), falling from #11 to #12. In addition to KNIX, rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power,” which had been trending 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (6+), is up one-half share as well (2.6, #20 to #19, 6+), as is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” (.3 – .8, #31, 6+). In ten straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), KDKB gained an overall +3.0, but Hubbard-owned “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” surrenders roughly half of that increase in October with a -1.4 to 3.9 (6+) to drift from fourth to eighth. September’s 5.3 was its best-ever 6+ showing in PPM methodology, eclipsing its previous high of 4.9 – set in August. Following a September gain of one-half share to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI forfeits more than twice that margin, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). The scenario is not quite as harsh for Maricopa County Community College’s KJZZ, which was +.5 in September as well (after a +.8 in August), but the news/talk outlet forfeits six-tenths in October (3.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+) to fade from #11 to a four-way tie at #15. A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KOOL is now an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+).

7) Minneapolis – The fourth consecutive increase by iHeartMedia’s KFXN is by a whopping +1.7 – the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 gain by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far, rocketing “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” from fifth to first. KFXN is a collective +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). It is thus a brief one-month stay at #1 for co-owned classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits,” which not only tumbles to fifth but – owing to a loss of nine-tenths to 6.3 (6+) – ends at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends which yielded a +1.8 since February (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 –  6.8 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, CHR sibling KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling seven-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), however, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” is 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 in August, September, and October. After finishing first in April, May, and June, KDWB segued to #2 in July. Within 5.0 – 5.7 range (6+) in each of the last eleven survey periods, CBS Radio adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” falters by seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.7, 6+), falling from seventh to tenth. A combined -.9 in July and August, country cluster-mate KMNB regained one-half share in September (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), but returns all of it plus another one-tenth (3.8, -.6, 6+), slipping from #11 to #12. In July, “Buz’n” @ 102.9” curtailed at three a string of consecutive gains that yielded a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). Format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” sputters for the fourth straight time for a combined -1.3 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+) yet moves from ninth to an eighth-place tie. Off by six-tenths in addition to KMNB is University of Northwestern – St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (5.0, fifth to eighth, 6+), which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for an overall gain of eight-tenths (4.8 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).

8) San Diego – As was the case in September, San Diego news/talk stations finish at #1 and #2 in October, but iHeartMedia’s KOGO-AM, a collective +1.9 in four straight up or flat monthlies (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+), moves from second to first, while San Diego State University-owned KPBS, which was trending 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 (July – August – September, 6+), is off two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), shifting from first to second. Not only is 7.2 the highest 6+-share for KOGO-AM in its PPM-history, the station had not previously reached the six-share level. Within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KPBS hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. Down or flat for the third time in succession for an overall -.6 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” drops from #16 to #17. Its format rival, Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM, improves by one-half share in both September and October (3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+) as “100.7 KFM – BFM” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). On the other hand, Local Media San Diego CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” surrenders one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Dropping from fifth to seventh, Entercom’s KSON-FM is an overall -1.4 as the result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “New Country” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. Co-owned adult contemporary KXSN is off for the fourth straight time as well (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+) and mirroring KSON, the cumulative loss is -1.4; “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” slips from third to fifth. In addition to falling out of the top twenty (#19 to #22), Midwest Television news/talk KFMB-AM dips two-tenths to 1.8 (6+), thus stopping at four a string of consecutive sweeps without a decrease that netted four-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

9) Denver – As the result of three straight positive trends, Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.3 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) as it progresses from ninth to eighth. Recent shifts for “The Fan” include -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and +.9 in September. A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. In a somewhat similar vein, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV is a cumulative +1.5 via three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+); “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” leaps into the top ten (#13 to #7). One of the few comedy-formatted signals to appear in a PPM top twenty is Entercom’s KQKS-HD2, which flashes a +.6 (1.5 – 2.1, 6+) to finish at #19. Slipping from seventh to eighth, classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined -1.9 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May; KQMT improved by one-half share in July. Off a combined six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” erases all but one-tenth of that loss (5.4, +.5, 6+) and cruises from fifth to third. Following an astonishing ten successive increases in which it nearly doubled its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” drops three-tenths to 6.3 (6+) but is #1 for the third successive month. Off one-half share in June, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). The news/talk outlet, however, returns one-half share in October (5.4, 6+) and stays in third-place. In August, it reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Forfeiting one-half share as well and exiting the top ten (#10 to #12) is iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which is without an increase for the third consecutive sweep for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+). While co-owned news/talk KOA posts its third up or flat trend in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), it backslides from fourth to fifth. The market’s (6+) hot AC share tumbles by eight-tenths, equally divided between KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” (4.1 – 3.7, -.4, #11 to #12, 6+) and Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #14 to #15, 6+). Down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), “Mix” regained 75% of that decrease in September with a +.6. The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September.

10) Tampa – The gap between the market’s two country FMs tightens (from a 1.3-share lead to three-tenths) as iHeartMedia’s WFUS hangs out a +.9 and returns to the top ten (4.7, #11 to #8, 6+). In September, “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Meanwhile, its direct competitor – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – remains at #6, but is off by one-tenth to 5.0 (6+), curtailing three straight gains for an overall +.5 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Owing to a gain of one-half share to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WWRM not only pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), “Magic 94.9” jumps from eighth to fourth. Similarly-programmed cluster-mate WDUV “Lite Favorites” (-1.2 in August) is trending 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 (6+) and finishes on top for the 61st successive ratings period. In advance of the August decline, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). In July, “Lite Favorites” registered its most potent 6+-stat (10.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Co-owned classic hits-oldies WXGL is in the runner-up slot for the 12th straight time but “The Eagle” is an overall -2.2 via five straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive sweeps for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to inching up from #15 to #14, iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+), thus applying the brakes to six down or flat trends that yielded a -1.0 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fourth month in succession for a modest overall gain of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), co-owned news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from #12 to #13. When Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+). “The Joy FM” sputters by another seven-tenths in October (4.9 – 4.2, 6+), dipping from seventh to tenth; July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). A combined +.6 in August and September (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB relinquishes all but one-tenth of that increase (4.7, -.5, 6+) as “98 Rock” slides from fifth to eighth.

11) Baltimore – As part of its recent rollercoaster ride, CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” dialed up a one-half share increase in August; returned it in its entirety in September; and now displays a +.8 (6.4 – 7.2, 6+) to march from fourth to third. This is its strongest 6+-share since 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.3 through three straight improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine-FM” climbs from #13 to #12 with its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.9. After regressing by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) to its weakest 6+-stat since August 2016’s 4.4, Hearst’s WIYY “98 Rock” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+). The seven most recent trends for news/talk cluster-mate WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). On the strength of five straight gains (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is a combined +1.9 and inches up from ninth to eighth. Down or flat for five months in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (8.0 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” picks up two-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and moves from third to second. Despite not having an increase for the fourth straight sweep and repeating a 7.8 (6+) since July (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” takes sole possession of first-place. A four-tenths June increase curtailed at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. It was tied at #1 in September with urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams.” A collective -1.5 in July and August (8.7 – 8.0 – 7.2, 6+), WERQ registered a gain of six-tenths in September but spirals in October by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) and shifts to fourth. With a gain of one-half share in May (7.5 – 8.0, 6+), “Q-92” tied “Magic” at #1, but the tie was broken in June when “Q-92” gained seven-tenths to 8.7 (6+). After hauling out a +1.3 in September (4.3 – 5.6, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, CBS Radio’s WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” surrenders more than half of it (4.8, -.8, 6+) and slides from fifth to sixth.

12) St. Louis – Modestly down or flat the past six ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KFTK “97.1 FM NewsTalk” roars back by recapturing all of it (4.0, +.7, 6+), leaping from #16 to #11. There are more extreme fluctuations for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; was -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); and is now +.5 in October (6.8, fifth to third, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. A loss of four-tenths to 8.0 (6+) by CBS Radio’s KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” ends at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Nonetheless, the heritage news/talk outlet repeats at #1. Steady at #6, Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” continues its up/down pattern, given that its six most recent 6+-stats are 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6. Eroding by one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which is down or flat for the third straight time (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, flat at #2, 6+); urban-rhythmic oldies sibling KMJM “100.3 The Beat” (2.3, steady at #17, 6+); and CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK (4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Following three consecutive sweeps on top, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. In four consecutive improvements prior to October, “The Beat” gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, KEZK had been up or flat the past four sweeps for a collective +.6 since May (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). It is tied with hot AC cluster-mate KYKY “Y-98,” which – before its current +.4 in October to 4.1 (6+) – had been without an increase in each of the last eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Off by -1.4 via four straight downward moves (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.5, 6+) Emmis rocker KSHE falls from third to fifth. Unlisted for the tenth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

| October 5, 2017

Rush Limbaugh to Host Fourth Hour Online.  Telling listeners that there’s just too much stuff to talk about that he can’t get to it all in the three hours of his daily program, Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh is going to do another hour – or possibly more – for “Rush 24/7” digital subscribers today (10/5).  Yesterday he said, “Folks, I’ve decided there’s only one way to do this.  After the program tomorrow I’m gonna keep going on the internet.  Subscribers at RushLimbaugh.com will be able to hear what we call the fourth hour.  No commercials.  I just keep going until I’m ready to quit.  It’s the only reason I’m gonna be able to get this stuff in there.”  It would be interesting to learn how many new subscribers sign up for the premium content as a result of this.

Hannity’s FOX News Channel Show Pulling Ahead of Competition.  A report from AdWeek based on Nielsen ratings of this Tuesday’s cable news/talk performances indicates that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is grabbing markedly more viewers than his 9:00 pm ET competition.  On Tuesday, Hannity beat CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the 25-54 demo 1.07 million to 721,000 and 468,000, respectively.  In the Total Viewers demographic, Hannity led all FNC shows with 3.8 million, to Maddow’s 2.04 million and Cooper’s 1.8 million.  Taking a look at Total Day, FNC leads the pack with 2.1 million (Total Viewers) and 545,000 (25-54). Hannity recently moved from the 10:00 pm ET hour to 9:00 pm.  See the report here.

Can Public News/Talk Outlets Outperform Commercial News/Talk Stations in All PPM Markets?  That’s what NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn says the goal is for NPR-affiliated news/talk stations.  In a piece by Ken Mills at Spark News, Mohn is very happy with Nevada Public Radio director of programming Dave Becker’s research that indicates NPR-affiliated stations topped all commercial news/talk stations in 20 of the almost 50 Nielsen PPM markets in the September 2017 survey.  As Mills notes, he agrees with Becker that a generation ago, this was not even close to the case.  Mohn did his own research and told Mills that, when looking at Persons 25-54 in weekly drive times he saw that NPR news/talk stations are reaching more listeners than “big” commercial news/talkers in 26 of the PPM markets during “Morning Edition” and in 28 markets during “All Things Considered.”  Read Mills’ piece here.

Does Play-By-Play Have a Future on AM/FM Radio?  That’s the question asked by Cookeville, Tennessee-based Stonecom Radio president and general manager Larry Stone.  In a piece published today (10/5), Stone clearly believes that sports play-by-play does have a future on AM/FM, but he believes that the way it is often presented is damaging its popularity with sports fans.  Among its issues, Stone says, are too many commercials, an insensitivity to local fans’ allegiances, and a move by the talent away from “painting the picture of the game.”  Read Stone’s story here.

Las Vegas Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Tillerson Relationship, Iran Nukes Deal, 20-Week Abortion Ban, Puerto Rico Devastation, Catalonia-Spain Split, Cam Newton Female Reporter Flap, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The search for answers to the motive behind Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas and the related visit by President Trump; reports of the tense relationship between President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement that the U.S. should stand by the Iran nuclear deal; the House-passed bill making abortion illegal after 20 weeks and the report of anti-abortion Congressman Tim Murphy asking his mistress to get an abortion; hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico; the vote by Catalans to split from Spain and possible repercussions on the European Union; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton takes heat for demeaning female reporter; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WestStar Announces Availability of Mannheim Steamroller’s ‘An American Christmas.’  This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Mannheim Steamroller “An American Christmas” program, being made available to stations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day via WestStar Multimedia Entertainment.  The 12 to 24-hour marathon program is hosted by Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis and WestStar says, “Each stand-alone hour contains the rich legends and stories surrounding the holiday; all keyed to today’s most popular and well-tested traditional Christmas selections.  The program has been specifically designed for AC, news, news/talk, and sports talk stations to maintain a very high and engaging level of top-quality programming.”  The program is offered via barter on a market-exclusive basis.  However, multiple stations in market ownership clusters are welcome to carry the program simultaneously.  WestStar president and CEO Barry Young says, “We’ve retained the best-loved legends about the traditions of Christmas, along with primary host…all music has been updated, adding a new music rotation that reflects the best and most popular holiday music receiving airplay this season.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Moving from Hartford, where he was morning drive personality at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” to Pittsburgh to handle the morning show at CBS RADIO’s country WDSY “Y108” is Broadway.  The “Broadway’s Backyard” program launches on “Y108” on Monday (10/9), but he’ll be getting out to meet “Y108” listeners – and buy the first 750 attendees a Miller Lite – at tonight’s “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert at Rivers Casino.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson states, “Broadway brings the total package to ‘Y108.’  He’s dynamic and engaging with a fresh approach to morning radio.  His ‘Broadway’s Backyard’ will bring an entirely new and unique option to our current and prospective future listeners in Pittsburgh!”…..Gone from Red Wolf Broadcasting’s alternative WMRQ, Hartford “RADIO 104.1” is morning personality and assistant PD David Fisch.  He’d been co-host of the wake-up show with Amy Grey and Fisch’s departure prompts the move of afternoon personality Holden into the morning drive co-host chair.  Program director Brian Ram is searching for his new afternoon drive jock…..Numerous Tom Petty specials are planned for this weekend after the rocker’s untimely death over the last weekend at age 66.  Among them are Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Flashback,” hosted by rock insider Matt Pinfield, that will feature a full, one-hour tribute to Petty.  This special “Flashback” edition will highlight some of Petty’s biggest hits, his collaborations with other artists like Stevie Nicks and the Traveling Wilburys, and will also include past interview clips of Petty talking about his musical influences.  Another Petty tribute program available this weekend is “Off the Record” with Joe Benson. Compass Media Networks is offering the one-hour special to stations in available markets commercial free…..SiriusXM announces the Eagles will perform a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM listeners at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Sunday, October 29.  The legendary band is on tour with the lineup of longtime Eagles members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, plus late founding member Glenn Frey’s son Deacon Frey and Grand Ole Opry member Vince Gill.  This performance will be the group’s first ever at the Grand Ole Opry…..iHeartMedia announces the return of its annual “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour 2017 Presented by Capital One.”  The tour will feature performances by some of the year’s biggest recording artists.  The full artist lineup will be announced on October 10, but the company teases that Liam Payne and Camila Cabello will perform at select stops throughout the tour.

 

 

Round Four of September PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 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 September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13. View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – By adding six-tenths to August’s +.4, University of Texas at Austin news/talk KUT (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) progresses from a third-place tie to the runner-up slot with its highest 6+-share since 7.6 in March. After plummeting by eight-tenths in August, iHeartMedia-owned KASE recaptures 75% of it (4.2 – 4.8, +.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posted three straight 4.6-showings (6+) before dropping one-tenth in June and then picking up one-half share in July. Co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites,” however, follows August’s +.6 with a dip of two-tenths (6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). The market’s other FM country outlet – “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is without a loss for the seventh straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4, #17 to #16, 6+); 2.5 is its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (2.5, September 2016, 6+). Up for the fifth straight sweep for an overall gain of one full-share (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” climbs from #15 to #14. In addition to ending at 19 its successive streak of being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), KGSR has its best 6+-stat since 3.1 in February 2016. An overall +1.3 via three consecutive up or flat moves (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.7, 6+), adult hits sibling KBPA is off one-tenth to 8.6 (6+), but “Bob” remains #1 for the eighth successive month. KBPA was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Bob” held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. The urban AC HD3 channel of Entercom’s KKMJ, which hadn’t had an increase in five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), disappears from print. Meanwhile, adult contemporary KKMJ-FM “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” forfeits roughly half of July and August’s combined +1.1 (6.5 – 5.9, -.6, 6+), slipping from a third-place tie to fourth; August’s 6.5 was its best 6+-share since February’s 8.0. Surrendering six-tenths as well are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin,” which returns in its entirety August’s +.6 (3.2 -3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #13, 6+) and Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (3.0 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). A collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+), “101-X” bounced back in August, while “Spirit” – which had been trending 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) – was -.7 in August and has its softest 6+-share since August 2016 (2.4, as well).

2) Raleigh – After being off by nearly two full-shares in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is a combined +1.0 in August and September (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), progressing from third to second. Over and above being #1 for the fourth straight month, Radio One urban AC WFXC is +2.4 in six straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+) and “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” has its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Gaining one-half share as well (August 2017 – September 2017) are co-owned gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (4.0 – 4.5, #11 to #10, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 – #1 For New Country” (3.8 – 4.3, #12 to #11, 6+), which posts its best 6+-stat since October 2014 (4.3, as well). Having registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” relinquishes eight-tenths to 5.6 (6+), dipping from fifth to sixth. A May increase of six-tenths curtailed three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 FM – Stay Connected” (5.5 – 5.0, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative WDCG-HD2 (2.0 – 1.5, #16 to #18, 6+). Following four straight down or flat monthlies for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+) WTKK responded in August with a +1.2. Even with its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013’s 5.0 and an overall -1.7 in three straight monthlies without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), CHR WDCG-FM “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from eighth to seventh. On top for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined -2.4 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+) and slips from fourth to fifth.

3) Indianapolis – After five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -2.8 (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM gained six-tenths in July only to plummet by nine-tenths in August. “Indy’s R&B Leader” rebounds in September though with a gain of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Also experiencing a wild ride is Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; and now +.5 in September (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+), jumping from fifth to second. The last time WFMS reached the seven-share level (6+) was in December (7.0). Stuck on 4.7 (6+) in July and August, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 – Indy’s News Center” improves by one-half share (5.2, ninth to eighth, 6+). Adding one-half share as well is Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WGNR-FM, which crosses the one-share threshold for the first time since May 2015 (.7 – 1.2, +.5, #20). Marching from sixth to third with a one-half share gain is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA “Air 1 Positive Hits,” however, regresses by seven-tenths to .9 (#17 to #22, 6+), ending four consecutive up or flat trends that doubled its highest 6+-share since it began appearing in print last December (.8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6, 6+). Tacking on four-tenths to August’s +.9 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK advances from second to first with its highest 6+-share since 7.7 in February. 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+). Exiting the #1 slot after its first time there in the PPM-era and tumbling to fourth is iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks,” which is down nine tenths to 6.7 (6+), halting at eight a string of improvements that netted three full-shares (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.6, 6+). The 7.6 that “Q-95” achieved in August is its highest-ever (6+) PPM stat. Simultaneous with Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” regaining approximately half of the nine-tenths it turned over in August (3.1 – 3.6, +.5, unchanged at #13, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WZPL is an overall -2.1 as the result of three consecutive losses (8.2 – 7.7 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+) and drops from fourth to seventh. The -.9 in August by “Radio Now” halted three consecutive increases which netted seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). Returning in total the eight-tenths it achieved in August (4.9 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slips from eighth to ninth. By losing one-tenth in July, “The Mix” snapped at five its string of up or flat trends that produced a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+).

4) Milwaukee – An increase of six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, fourth to second, 6+) takes iHeartMedia-owned WISN “1130 Milwaukee’s News/Talk Station” to its best 6+-showing since 7.5 in May. Putting an end to its (6+) 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.6 June – July – August trending, Saga Communications classic rock WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” picks up one-half share to 5.1 (6+), inching up from ninth to eighth. Replicating August’s one-half share increase, co-owned WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” cruises from seventh to fourth (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and has its highest 6+-stat since January’s 6.1. Prior to a -.6 in July, “The Hog” posted a 5.5 (6+) in three of the previous four survey periods. Continuing a down/up pattern, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 30th consecutive time (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+). The modest September 2017 gain of two-tenths is in stark contrast to recent “Big” month-to-month moves, which include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); +.8 (July); and -1.1 in August. After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a net gain of +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” falters by eight-tenths to 5.7 (6+) and drifts from second to sixth. Prior to the August ratings period, the last time WMIL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) was in July 2016 with a 6.3. Cross-town rival – Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” – is off by three-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+), snapping its winning streak as well. WKTI had posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Displaying identical 4.3 – 3.7 (-.6, flat at #11, 6+) profiles are Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative and adult contemporary siblings WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” and WLDB “B-93 The 80’s to Today.” Regressing by one-half each are co-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” (1.7, steady at #16, 6+); Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (6.3 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” (sixth to seventh, 6+). In five straight increases between March and August, WZTI nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in August, “Mix” had its highest 6+-stat since last September’s 6.5. As the result of three straight declines, “V-100.7” erodes by two full-shares (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). Without going higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 20 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through September 2017, Milwaukee Public Schools’ triple A WYMS “88 Nine” (flat at #18) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3.

5) Nashville – Not only does iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT bust out a whopping +1.5 to 8.5, its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4, “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” marches from third to first. Its gain of four-tenths in August curtailed three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Occupying the top spot in July and August, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” drops six-tenths and segues to third-place (7.7 – 7.1, 6+). In July, “Jack” doubled June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 (7.1 – 8.3, 6+), but returned exactly half that increase in August. Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). The market’s (6+) CHR share swells by +1.6 as WCJK cluster-mate WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” improves by six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, steady at #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” gains one full-share to 7.5 (6+). “The River” pulls the plug on three straight dips that accounted for a -1.2 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+) and progresses from fourth to second. The station it knocks out of the runner-up slot is cluster-mate WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock,” which erodes by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6, 6+) and drifts to fifth, with its lowest 6+-share since 6.4 in March. Regressing six-tenths in July (3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX bounces back in August and September with a combined +1.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+) – “104.5 The Zone” jumps from #14 to #11. In June, WGFX returned in full May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Conversely, co-owned WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN,” which was up one full-share via three straight gains (4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+), hands over 80% of that addition (4.9, .8, seventh to ninth, 6+); August’s 5.7 was its strongest 6+-stat since 5.8 in January. A one-half share improvement by WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (5.2 – 5.7, ninth to sixth, 6+) enables the Nashville Public Radio outlet to record its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, passing the 5.6 it established just two months ago (July 2017). Within 1.0 – 1.8 territory (July 2016 through August 2017, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” breaks that particular string by reaching the two-share level in its third straight increase doubling its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #16. Immediately after all three Nashville FM country outlets were up (a collective +1.0) July 2017 – August 2017, ironically, they are all down (an overall -1.3) August 2017 – September 2017. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, Cumulus Media’s WKDF surrenders all of it – plus one-tenth more (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, 6+) as “103.3 Nash FM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12) with its lowest 6+-share since 3.3 in February. Co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is off two-tenths (4.5 – 4.3, 6+) but remains at #10. By declining one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, flat at #8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” has its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, 6+), classic country WSIX-HD2 exits the top twenty (#18 to #21). This marks the third consecutive survey period that Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM is unlisted; in June, “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” had a 1.8 (#16, 6+).

6) Providence – In addition to being #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a cumulative +1.6 via three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. “Lite Rock” dropped six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. In the runner-up slot for the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” logs a one-half share increase (8.5 – 9.0, 6+). Unchanged at #5, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus stifling five straight increases that netted a cumulative nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). A positive spike of two tenths to 5.3 (6+) by hot AC cluster-mate WSNE pulls the plug on four straight decreases for an overall loss of -1.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+) as “Coast 93.3” climbs from #6 to tie “B-101” at #5; August’s 5.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Coast” since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Although it remains in eighth-place, Entercom sports talk WVEI (which was locked on 2.9 in April and May) is without a loss for the third straight sweep (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). Down in each of the last four survey periods by an overall -2.0 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” slips from third to fourth with its weakest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.7. Immediately before the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). As a result of losing one-tenth (to 3.2, flat at #7, 6+), co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM concludes an up/down pattern that began in February (3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920” has more than doubled its 6+-share in five successive up or flat trends (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+) and carries on at #12, while Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” improves by an overall four-tenths in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7, 6+) and remains at #14.

7) Norfolk – Trending 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 7.4 (April through August, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” explodes with a +1.4 to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (10.4, 6+, September 2015), and moves from third to second. More than five full shares ahead of WOWI is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which posts its third straight uptick for an overall +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+) and is #1 for the ninth time in a row, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. WVKL registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 17th time in the last 18 ratings periods. Furthermore, its current 14.2 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station ever in the PPM-era. Co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD” adds three-tenths (4.6, steady at #5, 6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight months without an increase for a collective -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, hot AC WPTE wipes out August’s -.4 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.7 – 4.4, 6+) with “94.9 The Point” inching up from seventh to sixth. Its consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+) ended at seven in August. As the result of four straight downward moves (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2, 6+) in which it has lost approximately 57% of its 12+-share (-1.6), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following four straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” drops one-tenth to 6.4 (6+) but carries on in fourth-place; August’s 6.5 was the strongest 6+-share for WAFX in more than seven years (6.6, July 2010).

8) Greensboro – In addition to being #1 for the fourth straight time and posting double-digits (6+) for the tenth sweep in a row, Entercom urban AC WQMG matches June’s mammoth +1.5 (11.2 – 12.7, 6+); “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” was -.7 in July. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March and has occupied the top spot each month this calendar year except April and May. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +1.4 in three consecutive increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2, 6+). This marks the third consecutive increase for iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+); WPTI was 4.7 in April. As co-owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” improves by seven-tenths to jump from sixth to third (7.1 – 7.8, 6+), its rival – Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – surrenders one-half share to 7.2 (6+) and remains in fourth-place. This is the most potent 6+-share for WTQR since 7.9 in January 2016. A July loss of three-tenths by “Q-104.1” halted six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). “The Wolf” replicated July’s +.7 in August (6.3 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+). It was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); -.7 in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. August’s 7.7 was the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 9.0 nearly three years ago (September 2014). An overall -1.5 in four decreases in succession (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” regains one-third of that loss (3.2, +.5, 6+) and inches up from tenth to ninth; August’s 2.7 represents the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Massive ups and downs seem to be a recurring theme for Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH, which notched three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), only to follow with five successive losses accounting for a collective -3.9 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6 – 8.6 – 6.8, 6+), with “102 Jamz” fading from third to sixth. Its current -1.8 is the largest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 decrease by any station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 electronically-measured markets. Over the course of the last 15 survey periods (August 2016 – September 2017), “Jamz” has been in double-digits (6+) 10 times, missing out this year in January, February, July, August, and September. A combined +1.5 in three straight additions (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+) immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” forfeits two-tenths in September to 7.0 (6+) but carries on in fifth-place; 7.2 in August was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2.

9) West Palm Beach – Six positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia’s WKGR have accounted for an overall +2.2 (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+) and “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” finishes in the runner-up position for the fourth time in a row. Moreover, its 7.0 is the station’s best 6+-performance in more than four years (7.1, 6+, August 2013). Following a July – August mini-slide that led to a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real WAY-FM” makes up all but one-tenth of it (5.0, +.8, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. An overall -1.6 in June and July (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI regains six-tenths in August and September (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7, 6+) and climbs from eighth to sixth. Just prior to June, “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” was a collective +1.3 in three straight increases (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). While the loss of one-tenth to 10.8 (6+) by WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” pulls the plug on four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+), the Alpha Media hot AC ranks first for the ninth consecutive month. Its 10.9 in August 2017 was the strongest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015’s 11.3. Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Owing to a gain of one-tenth to .8 (unchanged at #16, 6+), JVC Media adult contemporary WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm” halts at five a string of down or flat monthlies that accounted for an approximately 50% loss of its 6+-share since March (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+). The market’s other two ACs though are a combined -1.6, with iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (third to seventh) eroding by one full-share to 4.2, its lowest 6+ share since 3.9 in July 2011, while Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (fifth to eighth) falters for the fourth time in a row for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). The 5.2 in August by “KOOL” was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.9. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), WOLL was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 3.1 in January 2014. Having doubled its 6+share between May and August (1.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” surrenders one-half share to 2.7, but remains in ninth-place (6+).

10) Jacksonville – As noted in the above introduction, the September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13, so ratings stats in Florida (PPM) markets Miami, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville may have been impacted by hurricane Irma. Having spiraled by a combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” roars back with a +1.3 in September to 11.7 (6+) and is on top for the ninth straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. It isn’t the only station in this Florida market to notch an increase of +1.3 though as Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” (steady at #2) does so as well (8.4 – 9.7, 6+), reaching the nine-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 9.3. When WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” dropped four-tenths in August to 7.5, it ended a March through July (6+) trending of 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9. The Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary staggers by -1.4 to 6.1 in September, slipping from third to fourth and falls below a seven-share (6+) for the first time since re-appearing in print in May 2014. After three straight sweeps without a decrease for an overall gain of six tenths (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5” slumps by four-tenths to 2.8 but stays at #13; August’s 3.2 was its strongest 6+-share since December’s 3.4. No station in any of PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets had a higher (6+) July 2017August 2017 increase greater than the +1.9 by iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK, but “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” returns eight-tenths of that bounty (5.7 – 4.9, 6+), segueing from sixth to eighth; August’s 5.7 was its best 6+stat since June 2016 (5.7, also). Slumping by eight-tenths as well and dropping from fourth to fifth (5.8, 6+) is Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 – Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had been up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is off by more than three full-shares in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+) yet actually jumps from fifth to third. The bulk of its -3.3 came in August via a -2.7, the largest July 2017 – August 2017 freefall by any station in the 48 PPM-markets; “The Eagle” was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June.

11) Memphis – While the top two finishers in August were separated by just one-tenth, Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” is in a flat-footed tie in September with iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101,” as WRBO gains seven-tenths (9.3 – 10.0, 6+) and KJMS improves by eight-tenths (9.2 – 10.0, 6+). March through August, WRBO trended a very consistent 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+) and advanced to #1 this time last month. “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” succeeded “V-101,” which had been #1 the previous six survey periods but shifted to the runner-up slot. Off by one full-share in August (10.2 – 9.2, 6+), KJMS curtailed seven straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+). “V-101” previously had a ten-month tenure on top before relocating to #2 in “Holiday” 2016. Cratering by -1.7 is gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (6.3 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Not only is this the lowest 6+-share for “Halleluiah” in its PPM-history, it’s the first time WHAL has even fallen under a five-share (6+). While it continues in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (6+), bringing to a halt three successive positive upticks that netted a cumulative +1.8 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+) and produced its best 6+-stat (7.5) since February’s 7.7. In addition to adding one-tenth and progressing from seventh to fifth (5.7 – 5.8, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix” applies the brakes to three successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.3 (7.0 – 6.2- 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). After a combined -1.4 in June and July (3.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erased that loss in August with a +.7 only to surrender that seven-tenths in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+), sliding from #12 to #14. Just about equally responsible for the country format’s combined August 2017 – September 2017 -1.5 are Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” (-.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” (-.7, #10 to #12, 6+). Following back-to-back increases that produced a gain of one full-share (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “Kix” was -.4 in July, but bounced back with a +.8 in August (5.5 – 6.3, 6+) with its highest 6+-stat since February’s 6.6. “The Wolf” concludes three straight increases and was +1.1 in that stretch (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+).

12) Hartford – Boasting the highest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here is Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR (4.7 – 6.3, +1.6, 6+), which marches from eighth to fifth. Furthermore, WNPR reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time under PPM methodology. Advancing by one-half share is CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM (4.9, steady at #9, 6+), which applies the brakes on seven straight decreases in which its 6+-share was carved exactly in half since January (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). August’s 4.4 was the softest 6+-share in WTIC-AM’s PPM-history. CHR sibling WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” has netted nine-tenths in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) and progresses from fifth to fourth. Flat at 10.2 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” is the market pacesetter for the 13th successive ratings period. Prior to July, “Lite” – which was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+) – had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August, but returns in September with (again) a .5 (#15, 6+). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” though is jolted with a -1.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.6, and drifts from fourth to eighth. Down or flat in each of the last four sweeps for an overall -1.2 (2.7 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Red Wolf Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (6+) and climbs from #12 to #11. After gaining one full-share in June; dropping one-half share in July; and being flat in August – iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” regresses by one-half share (8.3 – 7.8, 6+), slipping from the runner-up slot to third-place.

Monday, September 18, 2017

| September 18, 2017

Cramer Says Market Is Wrong About Entercom-CBS Merger.  Markets and investment expert Jim Cramer – a former radio talk show host himself – said on his “Mad Money” program on CNBC that the market may be wrong about its ho-hum attitude toward the EntercomCBS RADIO merger.  About the post-merger Entercom he says, “They’ll be the #1 creator of local audio content in America.  More important, they’ll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams.”  He also noted that the new Entercom will become the second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the radio biz.  The CNBC.com story says Cramer believes that Entercom “will also create a bustling live events business with some 4,500 live events a year.  Cramer says This alone should make the stock a strong play on the rise of the experiential economy, one of his favorite trends.”  Read the whole story here.

Not So Fast! Leslie Marshall Show to Stay on AM/FM Radio.  Last week’s report from WYM Media Management that progressive media personality Leslie Marshall would be ending her eponymous AM/FM syndication efforts and focus on Internet broadcasting of her radio program was premature.  WYM tells TALKERS magazine that they “were able to work out an agreement” with new partner Progressive Voices to feed the program to Marshall’s terrestrial radio affiliates. Progressive Voices will air the show live weekdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET beginning October 2 and will continue building relationships with terrestrial radio partners.

Herskovitz: Light in the Darkness.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about his experience in his Florida home dealing with Hurricane Irma.  He points to the importance of radio during emergencies such as catastrophic weather.  His story – and so many others like it – backs up what a lot of Americas are saying as they ask smartphone manufacturers – especially Apple – to turn on the FM chip in smartphones.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new content partnership between NPR and iHeartRadio brings more than 30 of the former’s podcasts to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartRadio says that it has seen a 60% uptick in listenership from its more than 100 million registered users.  They are now able to access podcasts including: “Up First,” “Fresh Air,” “Invisibilia,” “Planet Money,” “How I Built This” and more.  The addition of the NPR shows means iHeartRadio now offers more than 9,000 shows across 19 different categories…..FOX News Radio announces the premiere of the new podcast “Children of Song.”  It is a new show hosted by music author and historian Robert K. Oermann and former New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood.  Each week, “Children of Song” features interviews with artists who were exposed to the music business through their famous parents, as well as performers who began playing music at an early age. The artists share their backstories and the inspiration behind many of their biggest hits, as well as sing their most memorable songs that highlight those remarkable journeys.  Guests featured on the show include: Vince and Jenny Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, the Orbison boys, Kristin Chenoweth, David Cassidy, Neil Sedaka, Steve Cropper, Felix Cavaliere, and many more.

St. Louis Protest Violence, California Sanctuary State Bill, Irma and Harvey Aftermath/Climate Change Debate, North Korea Sanctions/Trump at UN, Harvard-Chelsea Manning Controversy, Emmy Awards, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The arrest of more than 80 after three days of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley; California’s move to pass a bill making it a “sanctuary state”; the social and political effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the related debate over man-made climate change; the sanctions levied against North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S., and President Trump’s appearance at the UN this week; criticism of Harvard University for naming Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow; Sunday evening’s politically laden Emmy Awards show; the MLB’s playoff push; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

BFoA Golf Tourney Raises $250,000.  Last week’s Celebrity Golf Tournament benefitting the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need.  This year, the annual fundraiser took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of emergency assistance.  Our colleagues braved dangerous winds and rain from these massive hurricanes to remain on the air, broadcasting vital, life-saving news and information to their communities.  It is up to us to help these dedicated broadcasters now, in their time of need.”

Renee Brady Passes at 68.  Media figure Renee Brady, wife of radio industry pro Bill Brady (currently CEO of Futures & Options, Inc.) died recently at age 68 after a battle with cancer.  Renee Brady was an “acclaimed astrologer with an impressive media career.  She hosted radio programs in the New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach markets and appeared on hundreds of radio programs across the country.  Her work would also take her to London and the U.K. where she was seen on the nationwide Channel 4 Network and heard on BBC Radio.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Minneapolis radio personality Tom Barnard is being sued by the estate of his late attorney, Ron Rosenbaum.  The Ron Rosenbaum Trust – led by his widow Lucy Quinlivan – alleges that Barnard is in violation of his contract with Rosenbaum that requires him to pay five percent of his salary to Rosenbaum through the duration of the contract, which is the end of 2019.  Rosenbaum died in May of 2016.  Barnard made payments to Rosenbaum, and then the Trust, from January 2015 through February of 2017 for Rosenbaum’s work negotiating Barnard’s current contract with rock KQRS.  KSTP-TV reports that Barnard attorney Chris Madel says, “Tom Barnard has done so many charitable things, not only for the Rosenbaum family but for others in the community.  To me, this is sad someone else is trying to take advantage of him like this.”…..Radio management pro Lori Heerden joins Alpha Media’s San Jose duo as market manager.  She’ll oversee classic hits KBAY “Bay FM 94.5” and hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  During her career, Heerden has served with CBS RADIO, Beasley Media Group, Americom, and EZ Communications…..KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” announces the lineup for its annual “The REAL Show” hip hop concert event.  It takes places at The Forum on November 18 and performers will include: J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz and Cozz, with a special performance from Young California…..Connoisseur Media Connecticut launches alternative rock “Mod 102.3” on FM translator W272DO, fed by WPLR’s HD2 channel.  Connoisseur Connecticut operations manager Keith Dakin is programming the station.  The company says it made the decision to bring current alternative music to the signal after an extensive music study for sister stations in the New Haven market.  The study showed a clear void for the format, making it a natural fit to launch “Mod” on 102.3.  Station personalities include Ed Oliveira and Christian TurnquistTristan Haller is handling the marketing for “Mod.”

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the August 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, focusing on rhythmic CHR.  Kinosian reports that “only about three of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up July 2017 to August 2017 (29%, 6+), while more than half (55%) are down; the remaining 16% of the sample is flat.”  He adds that comparisons of August 2016 to August 2017 pretty much mirror the month to month changes; 60% of rhythmic CHR stations in the sample are down year-over-year.  Entercom’s WJMH, Greensboro is the rhythmic CHR station that ranks highest in its respective market, ranking #3 in August.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

| August 8, 2017

Honolulu Morning Mainstay Rick Hamada Guests on this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime, KHVH 830 AM, Honolulu morning host Rick Hamada is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hamada and Harrison discuss the view of life – nationally and locally – seen from the perspective of an iHeartMedia-owned conservative news/talker in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  They discuss the North Korea crisis, immigration reform, race relations and a number indigenous topics impacting the lives of those who call the 50th state home.  Harrison says, “I met Rick Hamada at the recent FAIR ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ immigration reform radio row in Washington, DC and was a guest on his show.  I was taken by his gentlemanly manner and articulate insights into the worldview from the United States of America’s most westerly outpost and knew right there I’d have to invite him on this podcast. I’m glad I did.  This is a real cool 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.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI.  While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for their station and brand.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media, into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.  Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.  To read all about TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s story covering this phenomenal success, please click here.

Davis Deal Keeps Him at iHM for Four More Years. On the heels of celebrating his 25th anniversary with the company, Darren Davis agrees to a four-year contract extension as president of iHeartMedia Networks Group. “We are pleased that Darren will continue to lead the integration of our Networks group that enables iHeartMedia to harness the unparalleled power, reach, and scale of our digital and broadcast platforms,” notes iHeartMedia chairman and chief executive officer Bob Pittman. “His 25 years of experience working in every facet of iHeartMedia means he has a unique understanding of every aspect of our company, from our broadcast radio stations and iHeartRadio to our sales teams and partnerships, and how they can all work together to best serve our consumers, partners, affiliates, and advertisers.” Davis, who was appointed to his current position three years ago, comments that he is always “amazed by iHeartMedia’s evolution, which is built on broadcast radio and now provides one-of-a-kind programming and opportunities to connect our advertising partners across our unparalleled range of multiple platforms in ways that no other company can.” Davis continues as president of iHeartRadio’s live-streaming and podcasting and oversees integration of the company’s multi-platform assets. He started at iHeartMedia Washington, DC in 1992 as an intern at WASH-FM (then owned by Evergreen), where he graduated to program director of the heritage adult contemporary outlet. The George Washington University alum later advanced to regional vice president of programming for the company’s Chicago and Detroit operations and to senior vice president of programming and executive vice president/general manager of national programming.

CBS Radio Second-Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. While Q2 revenue for parent CBS Corp. rose 9% year-to-year to a record $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion in 2016, radio division revenue was reported at $306 million, down from $313 million (-2.2%) in 2016. Conversely, that figure is up from $250 million in 2017’s first-quarter. A noncash charge of $365 million for discontinued operations resulted from reducing the carrying value of CBS Radio to the level of the stock valuation of Entercom as it prepares to merge with Entercom in the second half of this year. In terms of CBS Corp. earnings, CBS Radio is classified as “held for sale,” adjusted each quarter based on Entercom’s stock price until that deal is finalized. CBS Radio recorded a $7 million restructuring charge tied with reorganizing some of its business operations, including severance costs and fees from ending some contractual obligations. According to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “We continue to have more and more success as the landscape continues to change. Revenue was up 9% with top line growth in every one of our four business segments and EPS was up 12% to $1.04, representing our 30th consecutive quarter of EPS growth. Both of these totals were second quarter records for us. Our base advertising business is strong and growing, and at the same time, we’re laying new groundwork to ensure even more growth ahead. We are not only capitalizing on the changes in our industry, we are shaping the direction of these changes.” Local media revenue, which includes the company’s owned and operated television stations and CBS Local Digital Media, was $412 million, up 4% from $396 million last year.

PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Frandsen, Hoffar to Host “KNBR Tonight.” Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen and Drew Hoffar are the two on-air talents selected for “KNBR Tonight” on Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader.” The 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm program debuts next Monday (8/14). KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe opines, “Drew and Kevin are primed to make a huge impact in their new roles. Their work ethic is unmatched and both are committed to the smallest of details that will generate a great listener experience. They are relatable to the common fan, yet they each possess a vast knowledge of the overall sports landscape. I applaud Cumulus San Francisco for putting them in a position to shine.” A San Jose State University grad, Frandsen was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and played for the team from 2006 – 2009, before joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010), Philadelphia Phillies (2012 – 2013) and Washington Nationals (2014) before ending his 10-year MLB career with the Giants in 2015. He has filled in regularly on KNBR the past two years and remarks, “In my time as a major leaguer, I prided myself on performing in several roles as a utility player. Since arriving at KNBR. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the format’s most established personalities across a variety of timeslots. This evening post is a chance to advance my relationship with one of the best young talents in radio, connect with the best sports fans in the country, and move the KNBR brand forward into the digital age.” Hoffar grew up in San Leandro and has over 12 years of hosting experience and most recently served as lead host on KNBR morning show “The Audible,” alongside Frandsen. Hoffar previously held anchor and host positions at KGMZ, San Francisco and KHTK, Sacramento. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to reach so many diehard Bay Area sports fans on a nightly basis,” he states. “Hosting evenings on KNBR carries a responsibility to serve fans the quality content they deserve as the daily news cycle hits a close. Kevin and I will provide a unique perspective on the games and will look to entertain/inform listeners every time we open the mics.” The station’s revised weekday on-air lineup is comprised of “The Show Hour with Patrick Connor” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Murph & Mac” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Gary Radnich & Larry Krueger (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); “Fitz & Brooks” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “Tolbert & Lund” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “KNBR Tonight with Drew Hoffar & Kevin Frandsen” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (10:00 pm – 5:00 am).

NPR Adds Bennett As Fourth White House Reporter. After serving as an NPR congressional reporter the past five months, Geoff Bennett is named White House reporter. In addition to Bennett, NPR’s team covering the White House now includes national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith. NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan comments, “Just a few months into his return to NPR, Geoff has demonstrated the substantive reach, solid sourcing, and fluidity in stories. Those of us lucky enough to work alongside Geoff know he has done it with the grace and good humor we so need.” Before becoming a Washington reporter with NY1 News, Bennett spent almost six years at NPR as “Weekend Edition” editor.

McDonald Podcast Added to iHeartRadio. Two-time Emmy winner Rushion McDonald is making his “Money Making Conversations” podcast available on iHeartRadio. “I have known Rushion McDonald for over a decade and we have worked together on many projects,” states Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “I can honestly say he is one of the great creative business minds of our time. He has the uncanny ability to understand and solve the marketing needs of clients with innovative solutions involving talent, media, and events.” McDonald comments that he is “excited to share” his “Money Making Conversations” podcast “across iHeartRadio’s vast number of device platforms. Being available on iHeartRadio will allow me to help even more people reach their dreams through my meaningful discussions with celebrity friends and small business leaders.” Among others, guests thus far on McDonald’s podcast have included Cedric The Entertainer, Patti LaBelle, Carl Lewis, Roland Martin, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sherri Shepherd, Rickey Smiley, Stephen A. Smith, Michelle Williams, and Charlie Wilson.

Salem Q2 Revenue Declines. Consolidated second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group decreased 2.5% year-to-year to $66.1 million. Net income was down from $3.4 million to $1.3 million and net broadcast revenue fell 1.4% to $49.3 million. Meanwhile, digital media revenue was off 1.6% to $10.9 million. Publishing revenue dipped 11.3% to $6 million. Salem Media Group is projecting third quarter total revenue to be off by 6% to 8% year-to-year, owing to lack of political revenue; reduced book release schedule; elimination of four loss-making magazines; and a continued soft Dallas market.

Texas Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees. There are 16 new members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In alphabetical order, they include: Nick Alexander (Dallas/Fort Worth); Mark Carrillo (San Antonio); Ed Chandler (Marble Falls); R.W. “Catfish” Crouch (Houston); Bill Davis (Tyler); Roger W. Garrett (College Station); Bill Harrison & Dana Adams; Bill Ingram (Houston); Tempie Lindsey (Dallas/Fort Worth); Bobby Lopez (San Antonio); Sam Malone (Houston); John McCarty (Dallas/Fort Worth); Chrissie Murnin (San Antonio); Denise Partridge (Houston); and Mark Watkins (Dallas/Fort Worth). The class of 2017 will be honored in three months (11/4) at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore.

Comcast Advertising Execs to Headline Radio Breakfast. Members of Comcast Cable’s marketing team, including senior vice president of media strategy & sciences Kavita Vazirani, will participate in a discussion moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber regarding the company’s relationship with radio. According to Farber, “Radio drives behavior, and Comcast Cable is a prime example of a top advertiser using radio as a method of communication to new and existing customers about new products and services. We look forward to welcoming Kavita Vazirani and her marketing team in Austin at the Radio Show to discuss radio’s role in their advertising mix.” The event will be held (Thursday) September 7 (7:30 am – 9:00 am) at Austin’s JW Marriott. The Radio Show is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the RAB.

WNYC Studios Adds Bharara Podcast. “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara, has been picked up for distribution by WNYC Studios. The podcast – described by WNYC as being a series about justice and fairness – is produced by his brother Vinit Bharara’s media firm Some Spider Studios and Pineapple Street Media. According to New York Public Radio president and chief executive officer Laura Walker, “WNYC Studios is honored to add Preet Bharara’s compelling and timely podcast to our lineup. We have built our portfolio around distinct personalities; ‘Stay Tuned with Preet’ promises to bring podcast audiences and people interested in our political and legal culture something new, relevant, and utterly engaging.” Vinit Bharara adds, “I am really looking forward to Preet launching his podcast and sharing with the world his unique insights about justice and fairness – especially at a time when those two issues are at stake.” Initially asked to stay on board by the administration, Preet Bharara was fired by President Trump in March.

TALKERS News Notes. Hosted by NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner, “Rough Translation” is a new podcast about how topics that are discussed in America are handled in other countries. Debuting next Monday (8/14), “Rough Translation” will release new episodes weekly. Correspondents from NPR bureaus worldwide will contribute stories to the podcast, a product of NPR StoryLab ….. As first reported by the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Peterson last Friday (8/4) closed out his 43-year radio career and 18 years as host of Townsquare Media Rochester, Minnesota news/talk KROC’s “Good Morning” show. In addition to two separate KROC “AM 1340” stints, Peterson worked at Omaha news/talk KFAB. Taking over the KROC morning slot are “This Morning with Gordon Deal” and Salem’s Mike Gallagher.

 

 

 

KDAY Back as Raiders’ Los Angeles FM Affiliate. Syndicated via Compass Media Networks and originating from Entercom San Francisco’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried in Los Angeles on Meruelo Media’s KDAY “Back in the Day Hits.” KDAY program director Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive FM radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 – 1966) and head coach (1979 – 1987) Tom Flores. The NFL franchise played in Los Angeles for 12 years (1982 – 1994) and have committed to move to Las Vegas upon completion of a stadium projected for the 2020 season.

O’Brien, Smith Added to WJXA Morning Mix. In two weeks (8/21), Midwest Communications Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” will debut a morning show featuring Brandon O’Brien and Ricki Smith. O’Brien most recently was the afternoon talent at Sinclair Telecable Norfolk country outlet WUSH “US-106.1,” while Smith arrives from Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” where he was morning co-host. They will join producer/co-host Clint Redwine and succeed Kim Leslie, who exited after 10 years to develop a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, former “Mix” morning co-host Anna Marie is segueing to nights. Vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon states, “When you find the talent you feel will help add exciting new chapters to the storied history of ‘Mix,” you only have one choice – hire them. I can’t wait to hear this [morning] show come together. Anna has been the heart and soul of ‘Mix’ for a long, long time. I am delighted we can apply her special talents to the evening show where she can fully expand on her unique ability to connect with listeners.” Operations manager Barbara Bridges comments, “I am so excited to add Brandon and Ricki to the morning show. These two individuals have a ton of talent. This combination with Clint will elevate an already successful morning show to the next level – we are thrilled this all came together. Anna has a 20-year track record of success with our female audience; our fans absolutely love her. The warmth and connection she will bring to a special nighttime show will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what we can do when Anna gets rolling.” O’Brien remarks, “Not only do I live in the greatest city in the world, I will also have an opportunity to be a huge part of the Nashville community and work alongside some amazing and talented folks.” Smith notes, “A personality looks for nothing more than what happens every day with this incredible team of talented people in Nashville. I am totally pumped about being able to contribute to the station’s continued success.” Anna Marie adds, “I love my listeners and this move gives me the opportunity to get closer to them. We have had a wonderful 20-year relationship so far – now we get a new time and space to get together.” July 2017 results will be released on Thursday (8/10), but among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM report, “Mix” finishes in fifth-place (6.8, 6+), one full-share behind the pacesetter, iHeartMedia classic rocker WNRQ (7.8, 6+).

TKRN Taps Thomas for Affiliate Relations. Former program director and brand manager of Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” Darla Thomas joins the affiliate relations department of the Tom Kent Radio Network (TKRN), representing adult contemporary and hot AC products. TKRN senior vice president of affiliations Ed Douglas comments, “Having a pro of the stature of Darla Thomas join our affiliate team is a dream come true. She understands the adult contemporary world and she values the commitment Tom Kent has made to making great radio.” Thomas notes, “I have known Tom for years and I am so impressed by the network he has built across the country. When Ed asked me to join the team, I just couldn’t resist the chance to help build the TKRN brand and make it even bigger. I am excited to get started.” Thomas’ previous programming credits include iHeartMedia Charlotte adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” and five years as operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group Tucson, after programming that company’s Omaha hot AC KSRZ “Star 104.5.”

Charlotte’s “Block” Inks Dutchess. One of the stars of the VH1 series “Black Ink Crew” – Dutchess – is added to the on-air lineup of Radio One Charlotte urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block.” The Charlotte native and cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University will handle  Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm duty. Radio One Charlotte vice president and general manager Doug James states, “Dutchess is an exceptional artist and media personality. We are very excited that she is bringing her talents to our fantastic lineup.” Radio One Charlotte program director Mary K. notes, “I am thrilled to have Dutchess join [our] team. She has great energy, a contagious spirit, generous heart, and immeasurable talents.” Splitting time between North Carolina and New York, Dutchess opened a tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in Charlotte.

Sanderson, Ramsey Headed to WNFN for Middays, Nights. Arriving from iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River,” where she was assistant digital PD and part-time on-air talent, Kage Sanderson crosses the street to Midwest Communications’ similarly-programmed WNFN “i106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” for midday duty, as well as being the station’s social media coordinator. In addition, JR Ramsey from Townsquare Media Portland, Maine CHR WJBQ “Q-97.7” joins “i106.7” to handle nights. Sanderson comments that she is “stoked for this new role at WNFN. Doing radio in Nashville – an electric city that I truly love – is unbelievable. I can’t wait to connect with our listeners and be part of this fantastic growing station.” Ramsey notes, “I can’t express how excited I am to be making this big move to Nashville. I am really looking forward to cracking the mic and entertaining the city.” He and Sanderson begin their new assignments in roughly two weeks (8/21). Meanwhile, WNFN assistant program director/music director/9:00 am – 2:00 pm personality “Butter” adds on-air duties at co-owned adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” and will be videographer for WNFN; “Mix”; and co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM.”

Now Appearing – Harry Connick Jr. Currently promoting his television show “Harry,” Harry Connick Jr. stopped by iHeartMedia Milwaukee CHR WRNW “97.3 Now” prior to his guest appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pictured left to right are “Now” morning show personalities Rahny Taylor and Binky Lee, Connick, and morning show producer “Dave.”

Cumulus Media Des Moines Tickets Taylor as Operations Manager. Six-year Townsquare Media St. Cloud, Minnesota operations manager Chad Taylor transitions to Cumulus Media Des Moines for similar duties at its five-station cluster. In addition to his OM duties, Taylor will host afternoon drive on country KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon.” Cumulus Media Des Moines vice president and market manager Craig Hodgson comments, “Chad is a highly-regarded operations manager, program director, and on-air talent. He is as active and community involved as they come. We will enjoy having him on our team and look forward to achieving great things together.” Taylor notes, “My wife was born and raised in Altoona. She is set to enjoy all things Iowa again and has already purchased a family pass to Adventureland. I’m beyond excited to work alongside the talented team at Cumulus Des Moines.” Prior to working in St. Cloud, Taylor was operations manager/program director for Community First Broadcasting’s three Iowa Great Lakes-area stations. The Cumulus Media Des Moines cluster consists of KBGG “1700 AM News-Talk-Sports”; KGGO “Classic Rock That Rocks”; KHKI “97.3 Nash FM”; KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon”; and KWQW “98.3 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop.”

More Music Radio News and Career MovesScheduled to perform at CBS Radio Los Angeles adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack’s 12th Show” October 7 at Irvine’s Fivepoint Amphitheater are 311, Cypress Hill, Gin Blossoms, Eve 6, Lit, and The Offspring. Proceeds will benefit Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) ….. Approximately 17% ($50,000) of the $294,091 Entercom Greenville, South Carolina helped raise during the Children’s Miracle Network radiothon was given by a father whose son was killed by a drunk driver ….. After hiring Tom Ferguson (“Ferg”) for afternoon drive duties, Entercom Wilkes Barre-Scranton classic rock WMQX “Max 102.3” operations manager Michael O’Donnell comments, “He is a born and raised Northeast Pennsylvania guy who knows his audience. He has a natural ability to relate to them and will raise the roof on PM drive.” Ferguson formerly worked at crosstown Times-Shamrock alternative WFUZ “Alt 92.1” ….. The former music director of Townsquare Media Flint, Michigan rhythmic CHR WRCL “Club 93.7” ArtArtemisSmith remains in the Great Lake State as he joins Midwest Communications mainstream CHR WLMI “i-92.9,” Lansing today (Tuesday, 8/8) as brand manager. Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy remarks, “We are excited to have Art lead our team. He has demonstrated a solid work ethic and strong working knowledge of the contemporary hit format.” Prior to working at WRCL, Smith was promotions director and night talent at WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan ….. While a replacement hasn’t been named yet to succeed her, afternoon drive personality Nikki Reid (also known as Erika Kay) departs iHeartMedia Tulsa CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Reid/Kay joined “The Beat” in March 2016 from WNDV “U-93,” South Bend (Indiana) ….. Following an extended medical leave, former WSLC “Star Country 94.9” midday talent Robynn Jaymes returns to the Mel Wheeler-owned Roanoke, Virginia station for weekend/swing duty. Taking to Facebook, she writes, “When illness took me off the radio, I wondered if I would ever [again] have the privilege to be on the air, sharing music and connecting with [the audience. Returning] this past Sunday [8/6] was a dream come true.” Jaymes has undergone surgery and multiple treatments since 2011, when she began battling pancreatitis ….. Meanwhile, 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Don Carpenter returns to Springfield, Missouri, signing on with Midwest Family country outlet KOMG “100.5 The Bull” to host a classic country show. In the 1980s, Carpenter did morning drive in the Missouri market at CHR KWTO-FM before grabbing similar duties as “Dr. Don” at CBS Radio Detroit’s country-formatted WYCD. In two separate tenures, “Dr. Don” spent 18 years at WYCD; he has been off the air the past two years ….. WUSW “US-92.7,” Springfield, Illinois program director and morning co-host Kellie Michaels will leave the Mid-West Family Broadcasting country station in two weeks (8/21). She has been co-hosting “Brian & Kellie” with her husband Brian Pierce for 25 years. After 15 years at co-owned adult contemporary WNNS, they went to country KFDI, Wichita (2007 – 2015), before returning to Springfield at “US-92.7.” Pierce will continue as morning co-host with Troy Armstrong assuming the co-host role. Michaels remarks, “I wanted to step back and spend more time on other interests. I’ve had a great time with Brian doing mornings. I will certainly miss the fun he and I have had, but certainly won’t miss the early morning hours.”

Thursday, June 22, 2017

| June 22, 2017

Hugh Hewitt to Host Weekend Show on MSNBC. TVNewser is first with the report that Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will begin hosting a Saturday morning show on MSNBC on Saturday (6/24).   The program will air live at 8:00 am ET.  Obviously, some will be surprised by the addition of conservative Hewitt joining the left-leaning cable news/talk channel, but as The Hollywood Reporter points out in its coverage of the story, MSNBC recently added former Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush Administration communications staffer Nicole Wallace.  In illustrating the gains MSNBC has made over the last 12 months, THR also notes that Standard Media Index just released a report showing MSNBC’s ad rates are up 43% over last year’s.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second in a series of analyses based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, this time focusing on sports talk.  The return of Major League Baseball is usually good for sports talkers during summer ratings periods, and in this report, Kinosian concludes that, for the 6+ demo, “just over half the stations (53%) on the panel are up April 2017 – May 2017; one in four (25%) are down; and the remaining 22% of the sample is flat.”  However, “approximately two of every three eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (64%) while 26% improve; the remaining 10% are steady.”  Just five sports talkers ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the May 2017 survey, led by CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit at #2 (behind the company’s all-newser WWJ-AM).  See the entire report here.

Joey Hudson Rises to GM of Mike Gallagher Show. Longtime Mike Gallagher show team member Joey Hudson is named general manager for the Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show.  Hudson serves as executive director of the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund charity, a position in which he’ll continue to serve.  He’s also been GM of Salem-owned Caron Broadcasting’s WGTK-FM and WRTH-FM in Greenville, South Carolina.  He’ll leave that position.  Mike Gallagher says, “2017 has been the strongest year we’ve had in terms of affiliates, ratings and revenue for our national radio show.  Joey is the perfect person to oversee the growing daily operations of our show throughout the rest of 2017 and into the exciting future.”

Warren Franklin Named Morning Host at KYKN. In Salem, Oregon, iSalem Media news/talker KYKN announces that market pro Warren Franklin is named morning drive host.  In addition to handling the morning news and commentary duties, Franklin will do 15 live remote broadcasts each month.  KYKN program director (and afternoon air personality) Gator Gaynor says, “We are delighted to have someone of Warren’s ability and robust personality on our team.”

Edison Research and NPR Study Smart Speaker Owner Habits. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of radio station operators that the smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod – can bring radio listening back into the home.  NPR and Edison Research have partnered to research the habits of current smart speaker owners to see if that optimism is well grounded. The results of the “The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research” will be revealed in part at a June 28 webinar.  Edison VP of strategy Tom Webster says, “Although Smart Speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio.  The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.”  The study consisted of a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+.  Eight hundred respondents owned at least one smart speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both.) Eight hundred and twenty respondents did not own a smart speaker device and were surveyed for comparative purposes.

Starnes Keynotes Writer’s Conference. Pictured above is Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes serving as keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.  During the event he also led workshops for more than 500 writers.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Starnes is launching a new, three-hour radio talk show on FNR on July 5.  See more about him at toddstarnes.com.

Central PA Host and GM Differ Offer Different Takes on Programming Policy.  By now you’ve heard about classic rock WTPA, Palmyra, Pennsylvania weekend personality Bruce Bond’s exit from the station after, as he claims, feeling forced to resign for being ordered not to talk critically about President Trump.  WTPA general manager Tim Michaels is now speaking out, telling Fox News that Bond was hired to do an entertainment program.  His orders were to not talk politics – nothing specific about being for or against Trump.  Obviously, that’s not how Bond expressed it when he first spoke to media about his exit.

New York Festivals 2017 International Radio Program Award Winners Announced. The big winner in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards – the annual awards program honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs – was RTÉ Ireland which was presented with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year.  TBI Media UK was honored with Production Company of the Year.  RTÉ Radio Ireland earned an impressive 10 Gold trophies, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze, and 12 Finalist Certificates.  Among the United States winners were, SiriusXM, CBS RADIO Boston, Westwood One, ESPN, ABC Radio, and iHeartMedia.  See the entire list of winners here.

Edwards Returns to Lead Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago.  Windy City media maven Robert Feder tips us that Steve Edwards is returning to public media outlet WBEZ, Chicago after five years away.  In 2012 Edwards – who hosted a popular two-hour afternoon show – left WBEZ to become executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.  Now, he is set to lead WBEZ programming as vice president and chief content officer.  Read Feder’s story here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Election Hacking Hearings, GOP Health Care Plan, Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Flint Airport Attack, Tropical Storm Cindy/Western Heatwave, ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russian election hacking; the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan critics say is being devised behind closed doors; Republican Karen Handel wins the race for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the attack on a police officer at the Flint, Michigan airport by a suspected radical Islamist; Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Louisiana and the Western U.S. heatwave; the controversy over ABC-TV’s ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ program; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ, Hartford “Country 92-5” is “Damon & Cory” – Connecticut radio pro Damon Scott and incumbent WWYZ morning personality Corey Myers.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining longtime morning host, Cory Myers.  Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years.  He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.”  Scott spent the past 27 years as PM drive host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WTIC-FM…..The new morning show is launched on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” and it’s called  “Caddy, CJ and Ali,” featuring Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac.  This comes after the recent move of former morning show co-host Dallas McCade to music director and midday personality.  Concurrent with the lineup changes, “Kicks 101.5” takes on the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life.”…..The Tom Kent Radio Network signs a contract with SAG-AFTRA top become the first major independent American music syndication network to ratify such an agreement.  TKRN CEO and president Tom Kent states, “Our team is more than excited to become a SAG-AFTRA shop!  We embrace all of its principles and look forward to a long and prosperous future together.  Working with the head of SAG-AFTRA local Brian Lysell has been a total pleasure. Our current and future affiliates know how committed we have been to showcasing excellent talent and this deal is a major indication that our commitment will continue.”

iHeartMedia Throws VIP Party at Cannes. Hip hop star The Weeknd was the featured performer at the intimate VIP dinner hosted by iHeartMedia and MediaLink at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, along with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and president/COO Wenda Harris Millard, hosted the party that – for the sixth consecutive year – brought together the “senior most-influential decision makers and thought leaders in the media ecosystem.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; The Weeknd; Michele Anthony, EVP of Universal Music Group; and Scott Borchetta, founder, president & CEO of Big Machine Label GroupPhoto by Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

| May 30, 2017

NYPost: iHM Creditors Seek New Restructuring Adviser. According to a report published in the New York Post over the weekend, iHeartMedia creditors are requesting the company replace current restructuring adviser Moelis & Co.  iHM did not comment specifically on the reported request other than to say, “Moelis continues to be the firm advising us in connection with our restructuring.”  The story also states that a lead iHM institutional lender believes that iHeartMedia has “only a 50-50 chance of reaching a restructuring deal with creditors and avoiding a bankruptcy by early 2018.”  The current restructuring offer from iHM that would pay 75 cents on the dollar, has been extended five times and has less than 1% of shareholders on board.  But the Post story indicates the company plans to offer a new proposal to creditors within the coming weeks.  See the Post story here.

Cooke: Are Your Weekends Hit… or Miss?  Media consultant Holland Cooke says smart news/talk stations take advantage of programming that appeals to their listeners’ weekend mindsets.  “At many talk stations, Saturday and Sunday are the most profitable days of the week.  At smart stations, shows are ‘appointment listening’ that reflect listeners’ weekend routines and bring revenue the station wouldn’t otherwise get.  At other stations, management shrugs, and doesn’t (dare) listen.”  Yes, a lot of stations put home improvement and consumer-oriented shows on, but often they don’t end up selling them properly and the shows get forgotten by the sales department.  Read what Cooke has to say about the potential for revenue with weekend programming here.

News/Talk Personalities Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney Target Rachel Maddow Show with Online Campaign.  Saying that their hand is being forced because of the Media Matters campaign against Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel advertisers, news/talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney are spearheading a similar advertiser campaign targeting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  The two operate the Media Equality Project and are using the hashtag #StopTheScalpings associated with Maddow’s show, urging people to complain if they disagree with her show content.

TALKERS News Notes. Exiting the news department at iHeartMedia Richmond’s news/talk WRVA is anchor/reporter Jeff Stapleton.  He writes on his Facebook page, “After 26 plus years in the radio business, and almost 17 years here in Richmond, I was told today that my services were no longer needed.  It was sudden and completely out of the blue and it was the day I got back from vacation—which made it very odd.”…..According to the New York Post, Mike Crispino will not return in the fall to call New York Knicks games after the MSG Networks elected not to renew his deal after 25 years with the company.   Analyst Brendan Brown is expected to return to the broadcasts…..There’s been no official word from MSNBC, but The Hollywood Reporter is saying that president Phil Griffin – president since 2008 – has signed a new contract to remain in charge of the network.  The Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC has done well in the early days of the Trump Administration, “To be sure, all three of the top cable news networks were up in the first quarter of the year.  But MSNBC has bested even perennial leader Fox News Channel in the all-important 25-54 demographic during primetime in recent days.  And ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ has been the No. 1 cable news program since March.”

Frank Deford Dead at 78. Legendary sports writer and longtime NPR contributor Frank Deford died Sunday in Key West, Florida at the age of 78.  Deford contributed sports commentaries for NPR for 37 years before retiring from that position earlier this month.  He spent much of his earlier career writing for Sports Illustrated.

Jared Kushner-Russia Connection Investigation, Trump International Trip Aftermath, Texas Sanctuary Cities Bill Protest, New North Korean Missile Launch, Baghdad Bombing, Memorial Day Holiday, Gregg Allman Dies, Tiger Woods DUI, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that the FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secure communications line with Russians; the aftermath of President Trump’s nine-day trip abroad; the rowdy protests at the Texas State House over a bill prohibiting sanctuary city status in the state; North Korea launches a missile into the sea in Japanese territory; ISIS takes credit for deadly car bombing of a Baghdad ice cream shop; the Memorial Day holiday weekend; Allman Brothers founding member Gregg Allman dies at 69; golfing great Tiger Woods is arrested for DUI; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KKOB, Albuquerque PD Pat Frisch Member of Nevada Broadcasters Class of 2017 HOF.  When the 22nd Nevada Broadcasters Association gala kicks off on August 19 at the Four Seasons Las Vegas, Cumulus Albuquerque programmer and OM Pat Frisch will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Frisch is OM/PD for heritage news/talker KKOB-AM, talk KTBL, and sports talk KNML in Albuquerque.  From 1990 through 1999, he worked in the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas markets in Nevada.

JT The Brick Emcees ‘Coaches vs Cancer’ Golf Event. Pictured above is FOX Sports Radio’s JT The Brick (at the podium) surrounded by college coaches as he emcees the official celebration of the 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in Las Vegas on May 21.  This was JT The Brick’s fourth year emceeing the event.  Fellow FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb did his May 22 program live from the tournament that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego radio pro Robin Roth is named assistant program director at Midwest Television’s rock KFMB-FM.  She’s also hosting the evening show.  Program director Mike Vasquez comments, “Robin Roth is synonymous with rock and roll in San Diego and having her on our programming team on a full-time basis is going to make us stronger.  She brings talent, knowledge and the will to do whatever it takes to win and I’m so thrilled to have her.”  Roth has worked in the market at XHRM, XTRA-FM, and KIOZ…..Raleigh morning radio personality Bob Dumas signs a contract extension to continue hosting the “Bob and The Showgram” morning show for iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105.”  The show cast also includes Erica and Brody.  iHM Virginia/Carolina region president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to sign Bob Dumas for another three years – Bob and the G105 brand are synonymous with Raleigh.”…..iHeartMedia flips classic rock WDTW-FM, Detroit to variety hits branded as “106.7 The D.”…..Over in St. Louis iHM leaves classic hits behind and brings the “Majic” brand back to the market as W279AQ becomes “Majic 103.7 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Core artists will include Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Maxwell and Janet Jackson.  iHM St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. states, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979. With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

Thursday, March 16, 2017

| March 16, 2017

Michael Savage in Altercation with Man at California Restaurant.  Several news reports indicate that Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage was allegedly assaulted by an unidentified man outside a restaurant in Tiburon, California.  According to TMZ, the Daily Mail and other media outlets, while Savage was eating inside Servino Ristorante with his pet poodle Teddy, the man taunted him by repeatedly saying “weener, weener” – a reference to Savage’s legal surname, Weiner.  It’s not clear how it escalated but one report says the two got into some sort of scuffle outside the restaurant, ending with each man declaring the other under a citizen’s arrest.  Police arrived, interviewed both men and released them.  The local district attorney’s office is reviewing the matter and will determine if charges will be filed.  Savage’s attorney – Daniel Horowitz – told the Mercury News that another restaurant patron who attempted to intervene was punched in the face by the heckler.

NPR Ratings at ‘All-Time High.’  Based on data from Nielsen Audio, NPR is reporting that “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of about 37.5 million in the fall of 2016 – a nearly 4 million person increase from the same period in 2015.  Listeners for NPR programming and NPR Newscasts account for about 30 million of that total.”  During the build-up to the 2016 election and in the months since, talk-oriented public radio has seen its 6+ ratings in Nielsen’s PPM markets improve.  NPR SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes states, “At a time when many news organizations have been forced to contract, NPR is expanding coverage and focusing resources on the local and national issues that listeners care about.  Now, more and more people are turning to NPR as their source for unbiased fact-based news.”  NPR also notes that flagship programs, “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” reached their largest weekly audience ever, at 14.4 million and 14.65 million listeners, respectively.  “The number of listeners for all NPR programming increased considerably this year, particularly in the coveted 25-44 age demographic which expanded by 26%.”  Additionally, NPR says that its digital content at NPR.org has average monthly users grow by 28%.

BFoA to Honor Jeff Smulyan with Lowry Mays Award. This honor from the Broadcasters Foundation of America will be presented to Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan at the BFoA annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually by the BFoA on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  The breakfast is complimentary to all, although pre-registration is required.

Westwood One Adds Two Shows to Podcast Offerings. Audio content syndicator and sales division Westwood One announces new partnerships with Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, known together as the comedic duo Frangela (right), and radio pro, author, blogger and cancer survivor Robin Marshall.  Callier and Shelton are hosting WW1’s first fully produced podcast titled “Frangela: The Final Word,” that promises “insights and witty perspective on news and culture.” Marshall’s “Sugar Mom” is for “smart and sexy women who want to try something new.”  Both programs are available via the iTunes and audioBoom platforms.  Westwood One president/Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Frances, Angela, and Robin are powerful women who inspire, motivate, and make us laugh.  Westwood One is proud to help these fresh and funny shows build audience and brand partnerships.”

TALKERS News Notes. Hard-working talk show host Simon Conway (left) is doing a couple days of triple duty this week.  Today and tomorrow, Conway will do is regular shows – afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and morning drive at the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids – as well as filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right)…..Pamplin-owned Portland news/talk KPAM drops the afternoon “Margie and Carl” show hosted by Margie Boulé (right) and Carl Wolfson (left) due to budgetary reasons.  Wolfson, who also hosted a program in the market for years on the crosstown, former news/talker KPOJ, posted a gracious message on the show’s Facebook page giving thanks and credit to his former co-workers…..Nationally syndicated morning talk personality Doug Stephan checks in with TALKERS magazine to report his show, “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria,” has added 17 new affiliates in the first two months of 2017, including: KPHX, Phoenix; WOMI-AM, Owensboro, Kentucky; KQAM, Wichita; WXDE-FM, Salisbury, Maryland; and KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona.  Stephan says, “The table for conversation is growing larger, and co-hosts Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan embrace the future and are constantly reinventing the program.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk radio stations WBAP-AM and KLIF-AM in Dallas picked up multiple honors from the 2016 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters contest.  WBAP won first place for “Spot News by a Station” for its coverage of the July 7, 2016 Dallas police ambush. For the third consecutive year, KLIF’s Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff (pictured at right) grabbed first place for “News Anchor/Anchor Team.”  WBAP’s Brian Estridge took home first place for “Sports Play-by-Play.”  Cumulus Media RVP for Dallas/Houston Dan Bennett states, “We are all extremely proud of our news team, news director Freda Ross and program director Kevin Graham.  These awards speak to them and the talent in our newsroom.  The awards honor a team that brings their news ‘A-game’ every day.”

Jones Receives RTDNF Award. At Tuesday evening’s 2017 Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (right) received the First Amendment Service Award.  He’s pictured above with ABC News’ Robin Sproul (left).

Trump Travel Order Blocked, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, Trump Budget Cuts, Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). A judge blocks the Trump Administration’s second attempt at a travel ban; Fed Chair Janet Yellen announces raising of key interest rate hike for overnight lending of a quarter point; the Trump Administration’s budget proposal that seeks to make drastic cuts to a number of federal departments; the accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes up short in Wednesday’s Netherlands elections; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio personality and programmer Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new program director and afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento “92.5 The Bull.”  He was most recently with CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix as music director and PM drive host.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “B-Dub thinks big.  He’s a fun and entertaining personality.  B-Dub is a destination, lean forward and pay attention type of air-talent.  I have no doubt he will put ‘92.5 The Bull’ front-and-center in the minds of Sacramento country fans.”  Washington also hosts the weekend syndicated country show “Buckwild Saturday Night.”…..Geoff “G-Off” Owens is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop KXJM, Portland “JAM’N 107.5” and KUBE, Seattle/Tacoma.  Owens has been serving as afternoon drive personality at both stations…..iHeartMedia’s Las Vegas hip hop outlet K280DD “REAL 103.9” announces that Roxy Romeo is promoted to APD and music director for the station, adding to her current midday air shift from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  About her new responsibilities, Romeo says, “I am beyond ready to enter the programming world and take on this new role here in Las Vegas.  In the short time ‘REAL’ has been on-air here, it has touched the people and I’m excited to help make an even bigger impact and take it to the next level…..Midwest Communications promotes Ron Allen to format captain for the Duke FM country format.  Allen will continue to program the company’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” in addition to his new duties.  He says, “My two great musical passions are adult hits and country.  To be able to continue as brand manager for ‘96.3 JACK FM’ and work with our Duke FM brand as format captain from my hometown of Nashville is the best of both worlds.”…..iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones show and its listeners joined forces to honor wounded United States Air Force Captain Nathan Nelson (pictured at right with his family), who was paralyzed from the chest down during his third tour in Afghanistan and in need of a home to accommodate his needs.  Bones and his on-air crew worked to donate proceeds from the sale of camouflage #PimpinJoy T-shirts on TheShopForward.com and, in just a few days, sold enough T-shirts to raise $100,000 – doubling the original goal of $50,000.  With the help of Building Homes for Heroes, a new ADA-certified custom home will be built for Nelson and his family.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

| March 1, 2017

Nielsen: News/Talk Grabs Highest Millennial Ratings in Five Years.  Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio presents some data from the January 2017 PPM survey that indicate the news/talk format (more on that to follow) registered its best numbers in the 18-39 demographic since November of 2012.  Nielsen reports that AQH share in the demo was 4.9% in the January survey.  That beats January 2016’s 4.1%, and as you can see in the accompanying graphic, it’s easily the best in the last seven January surveys.  Nielsen writes, “Much has been said about resetting norms in the political sphere, but Nielsen’s unique insight into total audience behavior across a variety of platforms allows for more macro trends to emerge.  When it comes to media consumption, and in this particular case, radio listening, 2017 could turn out to be a year where traditional patterns and results don’t repeat in the ways we’ve seen in the past.”  One caveat to consider here is that, for Nielsen, the news/talk format in the PPM markets also includes some 50 public radio NPR affiliates, a factor that likely heightens the number of Millennial listeners who may identify themselves as progressive or liberal.  Read the whole report here.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from the January 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  As Kinosian notes, the end of the holiday season (and the accompanying all-Christmas music bonanza for some music formats) and the anticipation of a new presidential administration – and a highly controversial one at that – made for positive ratings results for most of America’s all-news radio stations.  According to Nielsen’s data, three stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) – WBBM-AM, Chicago; WWJ, Detroit; and KFBK, Sacramento.  Additionally, four stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See which stations they were, plus all the rest of the comparative data here.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine says, in a piece written for TALKERS magazine, that talk radio can learn some valuable lessons from President Donald Trump.  No, it’s not a lesson in politics, but a lesson in entertainment value.  Valentine writes, “I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s.  Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious.  After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment.  And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business.  That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.”  Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Drew Olson to Host Midday Show on WOKY, Milwaukee.  Brew City sports media figure Drew Olson is taking over the midday show at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOKY “The Big 920,” effective today (3/1).  Olson – a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports reporter and former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America – has been with WOKY since August of last year, serving as co-host of the afternoon drive Mike Heller show.  Olson takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show from Mitch Nelles (who transitions to a sales role for the iHM cluster) and will continue to co-host with Heller.  The station says Olson’s show will feature regular guest appearances from OnMilwaukee.com writers and Olson’s longtime friends, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and Fox Sports Wisconsin commentator Bill Schroeder.  Prior to joining WOKY, Olson spent 12 years with Good Karma’s crosstown sports talker WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee.”

Beasley Media Group Names Kalinowski EVP of Digital.  Named to this new, corporate position for Beasley Media Group is Brian Kalinowski.  The company says that he’ll be based at its Charlotte offices.  Prior to joining Beasley as executive vice president of digital, Kalinowski was leading the digital strategy firm XMark Consulting that he founded in 2015.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Brian’s track record for growing and developing profitable businesses within the digital landscape make him the ideal person for this new role.  As we expand Beasley’s national reach, a progressive digital strategy will be imperative for our company.  We are confident Brian will lead that charge.”

Fisher to Remain with Entercom – At Least for a While.  Last fall, Entercom announced that company chief financial officer Steve Fisher would be leaving the company when his contract expired on February 28, 2017.  Now, given the amount of work that’s popped up due to the merger with CBS RADIO, Fisher will remain with the company for a while, maybe as long as the end of this year.  The company announces that Fisher will remain CFO through April at a salary of $55,344 per month.  After that he’ll assist CEO David Field with transitional services and be paid $36,111 per month.  He’ll also be eligible for a bonus of up to $650,000 for services rendered this year.

New Cannabis Show Airing on Biz Talk Radio.  Radio pro and health and consumer advocate Frankie Boyer is now hosting “Cannabis Talk A to Z” Fridays at 11:00 am ET on Biz Talk Radio.  Boyer says the program “pioneers the science-driven landscape of the emerging cannabis industry featuring medical, legal and educational professionals, along with practical and published expert research on the health benefits of dietary phytocannabinoids.  In addition, the show includes CEOs, cannabis investors, growers, and more.”  Boyer is also host of her eponymous talk show on Biz Talk Radio Network and host of the “Frankie Boyer Health Show” on WCRN, Worcester, Massachusetts.  She says, “I created this show to address the dramatic growth in the cannabis industry since some form of legalization has taken place in over 40 US states.  As awareness grows, the old stigmas associated with cannabis are fading.  My objective is to completely lift the veil and to inform, entertain and educate.  I see myself as a responsible advocate for both the industry and its new consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Joining CBS Radio News is Bill Rehkopf, who’ll serve as a correspondent based in Washington, DC.  His duties will include anchoring CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as reporting on Washington newsmakers.  Rehkopf was most recently with The Hill.  Prior to that he was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in Baltimore/DC and an anchor and talk host at KDKA, Pittsburgh…..Former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sopel is joining Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as a hockey analyst and show host.  The station says he’ll appear on the weekend sports show “The Beat,” with hosts Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton.  He’ll also contribute to the station’s weekday shows.  WGN VP of programming and content Todd Manley says, “With Brent Sopel joining our sports conversation, we can ramp up for more expanded Blackhawks coverage.  As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present, and future of this great game.”…..It appears that Cumulus Media may have taken sports talk KFNZ-AM, Salt Lake City dark.  The station ceased broadcasting yesterday (2/28) and as yet there has been no filing for Special Temporary Authority with the FCC, however the company has 10 days to file such a request.

Trump Congress Address, Future of the Affordable Care Act, Trump Blames Obama for Leaks, Rise in Colorectal Cancers in Young Americans, Uber PR Troubles, Kellyanne Conway WH Photo Flap, Obamas Ink Book Deal, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28).  The anticipation of and coverage of Tuesday evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act; Trump blames former President Barack Obama for leaks from government agencies to the press; the report of the stunning rise in colorectal cancers among Americans in their 20s and 30s; Uber’s public relations troubles stemming from allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the company and video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with one of his drivers; the flap over an Oval Office photo of Kellyanne Conway sitting with her feet on the couch; the Obama’s sign book deals with Penguin Random House; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

A Podcast Tribute to Alan Colmes. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison produces and hosts a special installment of his weekly PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” paying tribute to FOX News radio and TV personality Alan Colmes. Colmes, a multi-talented broadcaster whose half-century career intersected popular culture and impacted broadcast media at several historical junctures, died last week at the age of 66 after battling a brief illness. Harrison opens the 50-minute podcast with a deeply personal eulogy to his friend and colleague whom he met when they were students at Hofstra University and weekend DJs on WGSM, Huntington, Long Island. It is followed by a 2015 segment from the first installment of an experimental show about human consciousness titled “Healed Planet” that Colmes hosted and on which Michael Harrison guested on TalkersRadio – a workshop/lab for professional broadcasters to develop new programming concepts outside the box of traditional talk radio. Although Colmes is famous for his work on Fox as a progressive political media voice, his personal background and interests stretched way beyond that playing field to include comedy, music, philosophy and the farthest boundaries of science. His interest in human consciousness and metaphysics are amply on display (as are Harrison’s) in this fascinatingly candid conversation between two old friends throwing programming restrictions to the wind. That is followed by a dialogue between Harrison and TALKERS managing editor and noted radio historian Mike Kinosian analyzing the unique role Colmes played while at Fox as one of talk media’s rare progressives – a position that put him in the cross-hairs of critics in both the conservative and liberal camps. To listen to this 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.

Broadcasters Foundation Raises $280,000 at Golden Mike 2017.  At Monday evening’s 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, $280,000 was raised to help the Broadcasters Foundation of America assist broadcasters in need.  At the event, Meredith Broadcasting Group president and CEO Paul Karpowicz was presented with the Golden Mike Award.  More than 250 radio and television executives attended the black-tie gala.  Pictured above are (from l-r): retired president of Cox Media Group Bill Hoffman (who received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award), singer-songwriter Andy Grammer (who performed at the event), and Karpowicz.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It was an apparently very close call for the crew of Cumulus Media’s syndicated “America’s Morning Show” as you can see by the remains of the car in which they were traveling at right.  On Monday, personalities Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks and producer Glenn Johnson were driving from an appearance at an affiliate station in Columbus, Mississippi to New Orleans where they were to serve as grand marshals for a Mardi Gras parade when their vehicle hit water during heavy rains, hydroplaned and flipped twice.  Fortunately, it appears all will be well. Bentli, Ford and Johnson were treated and released and Wicks was kept overnight for “additional observation” at the hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…..The on-air lineup at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJMN, Boston “JAM’N 94.5” sees some changes.  With the departure of longtime night jock Geespin, DJ Pup Dawg takes over the evening show.  Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” is the morning show, Maverick moves from afternoon drive to middays, and Ashlee jumps from mornings to afternoon drive…..Phil Rossi joins Equity Communications-owned CHR WAYV, Atlantic City to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

| October 19, 2016

Melanie Morgan to Leave KSRO, Santa Rosa.  Bay Area news and talk pro Melanie Morgan tells her listeners that she will be stepping down from her position hosting the “Sonoma County’s Morning News” at morganmelanieAmaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned news/talk simulcast KSRO/K278CD, Santa Rosa, California before the end of the year.  Telling her listeners that she’s basically tiring of the lifestyle of a morning radio personality, i.e. getting up hours before dawn, she wants to spend more time with her husband – KCBS, San Francisco director of news and programming Jack Swanson – and dedicate more time to her Move America Forward group.  Morgan, who co-hosts the program with Larry Olson, has not set a specific date for her exit.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Rigged Election Claim, the Hillary Clinton Document Dump, Battle with ISIS for Mosul, Ecuador Restricts Assange’s Internet Access, Philippines Anti-U.S. Protest, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Nominees, MBL Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The race for president and the build-up to this evening’s final debate; Donald Trump’s ongoing claim that the election is being rigged; the effects of the Wikileaks document dump on Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq to take control of Mosul; the restricted Internet access of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by the Ecuadoran embassy; anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte courts China for a new military partner; debate over which nominees for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame should be included; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NPR Reporting Big Ratings Increases in 2016.  From a story posted at NPR.org, the public media organization is announcing that multi-platform journalism efforts have seen across-the-board audience growth this year.  President and CEO Jarl Mohn is quoted saying, “NPR’s increased ratings and digital engagement can benpr attributed to first-rate journalism, riveting storytelling, revamped newsmagazines, live reporting, and better user platforms.  And that means we are all doing a far better job of our public service mission, community engagement and local impact.”  Mohn concedes that the unusual election cycle is certainly part of the reason for the growth but says that NPR stations have outperformed many of their commercial news counterparts, who’ve also experienced growth during the period.  “Commercial news radio, which operates in the same news cycle and is affected by the same events, is up 15% in the morning; NPR is up 26%.  In the afternoons, commercial news radio is up 19% in the top markets; NPR is up 43%.”  NPR says that “All Things Considered” hit an all-time weekly audience high of 13.3 million, and “Morning Edition” is at its second-highest at 13.5 million.

Talk Radio Pioneer Barry Farber Being Honored by Hungarian Government for Role Assisting Refugees of 1956 Revolt.  This Saturday, talk radio pioneer Barry Farber is being honored in Budapest, Hungary for his role in helping Hungarians revolting against Soviet oppression escape from Hungary into Austria.  farberbarryFaber was one of two correspondents for the Greensboro Daily News at the Austro-Hungarian border in October of 1956.  Farber met an old friend from Norway who was part of a team of Norwegians assisting fleeing Hungarians.  Farber volunteered on the spot to work the “Freedom Navy” – an old rubber raft with two oars.  When the refugees, about forty at a time, would gather on the Hungarian side of the border canal the two oarsmen would row across, load the boat with about five refugees at a time.  They would pull the raft over to the Austrian side.  Then the oarsmen would row back and repeat the process. Farber and the others helped about 200 refugees out on Christmas night of 1956.  Hungarian Consul-General Ferenc Kumin reports that the government asked Hungarian communities around the world to look for people who’d taken part in the refugee exodus.  Of all the names on the 60th anniversary, Barry Farber is the one still alive!  Farber, who still hosts a show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, says, “We owe the Hungarians big time.  That heroic freedom fight marked communism’s high-water mark.  Things went steadily downhill from there.”

RAIN Summit Nashville 2016

| September 21, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterNASHVILLE — The NAB/RAB Radio Show is underway today in Music City, but several hundred of us arrived a day early for Tuesday’s Radio And Internet News event.  Some attendees I spoke with came only for the RAIN conference, a full day agenda on state of the art in Internet-delivered audio.

“Embrace the future!”

RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson’s State of the Industry presentation summarized Edison Research and other data I’ve covered here; and he urged that broadcasters show up everywhere listeners now use to consume audio.  Use is migrating from “single-purpose AM/FM receivers to multi-purpose connected devices.”  1 of every 5 audio minutes are now heard via smartphone.

Read More

Thursday, July 14, 2016

| July 14, 2016

KNBR Staffers Picket at AT&T Park Over Wage Negotiations.  It’s been almost two years since the staffers at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KNBR, San Francisco voted to unionize under SAG-AFTRA, but negotiations between the union and the company are moving slowly.  A number of Cumulus employees picketed outside AT&T Park — home of the MLB’s Giants (whose games are broadcast on KNBR) — on Wednesday to draw attention to their case.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, theknbrlogo sagaftra logounion is seeking a minimum wage of $17 an hour for off-air staff and $30 an hour for on-air talent.  Cumulus has reportedly countered with the new San Francisco minimum wage of $13 an hour, plus 1%.  Despite Cumulus Media’s enormous corporate debt, KNBR staffers say the station is making plenty of money.  The union commissioned a study that indicates the station brings in the fifth-most revenue of Cumulus’ 453 stations.  SAG-AFTRA San Francisco executive director Len Egert tells the paper that a work stoppage is not out of the question.  The story notes that when sister news/talk station KGO voted to unionize, contract negotiations took four years before a pact was finally signed.  Read the SFGate story here.

NPR and iHeartMedia Strike Deal for Streaming.  This new relationship between iHeartMedia and NPR will allow NPR’s more than 260 member stations to make their live news/talk programming available via iheartradio newiHeartRadio.  iHM says that “in support of the public radio mission, all stations that join iHeartRadio will also have access to 50% of their individual iHeartRadio landing page’snpr digital banner inventory to encourage listeners to donate and directly support the station’s public programming.”  iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis comments, “The addition of NPR’s member stations helps to create even more signature audio content for iHeartRadio listeners.  By joining forces, it is the perfect way for public radio stations to reach listeners on new platforms and to provide iHeartRadio users with additional high-quality news/talk programming wherever they are.”

Radio Business Reacts to Music Biz Study on Millennial Listening Habits.  The release of the study from Music Biz and LOOP titled “Music & Millennials” is raising the hackles of AM/FM radio operators, some of whom are vigorously challenging the study’s findings.  The study, made available to members of the Music Biz Consumer Insights portal, was conducted by LOOP (which stands for Lots Of Online People) in May and used information from 3,014 U.S. respondents.  It should be noted that the summary made public focuses on 15-19 year olds, so any comparison to the larger group of Millennials – often described as those between 18 and 35 – cited in other studies, is a mismatch from the start.  Regardless, here are some of the study’s findings: AM/FM radio reaches 65% of 15-19 year olds.  That’s much lower than the 93% reach of 18-34 year olds Nielsen says are reached by AM/FM.  The Music Biz study reports that 15-19 year olds only spend 12% of their time with AM/FM radio.  It also concludes that, for the first time, YouTube is the primary source of new music discovery, surpassing AM/FM radio.  That conflicts with other research that traditionally serves the radio industry.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison had the following to say about the topic at this morning’s editorial meeting, “As Bob Dylan wrote and sang, ‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’  This is as much a matter of using your powers of observation, day-to-day experience and gut-based intuition to read the tea leaves on the generational divide impacting both radio and music.  All of these so-called official surveys and research studies are as wrong as they are right. They are like out-of-date GPS systems.  Now is not the time for the radio industry to seek temporary victory through the use of limited statistical surveys and numbers-bending persuasion, but rather to find sustainable truth through accurate, first-hand observation and intelligence.  With all due respect to Nielsen, the worst thing radio can do in 2016 is put its head in the sand of comforting statistics that fly in the face of observation and reality.  We have work to do to remedy a growing and inevitable problem facing this industry.”

The Presidential Race, Police Violence Against Blacks/Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, and Pokemon Go Craze Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; deadly violence against blacks at the hands of police and the aftermath of the slaying of five Dallas police officers last week; ongoing talk about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; and the Pokemon Go game that’s sweeping the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Radio One Announces Plans to Cover RNC and DNC Conventions ‘From the Black Perspective.’  The largest Black-owned and targeted media company is announcing it will cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions “from the Black perspective.”  Host Roland Martin will broadcast TV One’s “News Oneradioonelogo Now” live from the convention sites each morning at 7:00 ET.   The company also says WKYS, Washington midday personality EZ Street will provide daily live coverage from the convention floor, along with recaps on all of Reach Media’s nationally syndicated morning shows.  Radio One VP of corporate communications Yashima White AziLove states, “There couldn’t be a more critical time in our country for Black media to engage in the political process.  More now than ever the outcry of Black people continues to reverberate throughout this country for equality, justice and reform. Our entire platform will be represented at each convention to ensure our community is informed of each presidential nominee’s plan to address the issues plaguing America, especially those that impact daily Black life. ”

Redskins Great John Riggins to Co-Host Pre-Game Show on ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  NFL Hall of Famer and Washington Redskins great John Riggins is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington wtemlogo“ESPN 980” for the co-host role on the official “Washington Redskins Pregame Show.”  The Super Bowl XVII MVP will work with WTEM’s Kevin Sheehan.  Riggins says, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, well, most of the time… maybe… I think.  Oh, yeah, El Riggo is back.  And, that means the circus is back in town!”  Riggins will also serve as a contributor to regularly scheduled “ESPN 980” shows.

SiriusXM to Launch Star-Hosted Series Called ‘The Source.’  The four-week show is a co-operative effort between SiriusXM and IMG and it’s described as “a unique new radio program curated and hosted by stars from every genre” that “will give listeners an opportunity to connect with celebrities in a new way as they share theirsiriusxm insights on everything from fashion, art and entertainment to businesses, politics, and pop culture.”  The program is presented by the AARP-created Life Reimagined, “a platform that helps people navigate transitions and pursue their goals in life.”  Celebs involved in the project include: Arianna Huffington, Ricky Williams and Donovan McNabb, Ashley Graham, Jerry Springer, Niecy Nash, Carolyn Murphy, Jenna Elfman, Ashley Judd, and Chanel Iman.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Bringing new voices to radio has been a hallmark of SiriusXM, and we are excited to work with IMG to bring this eclectic slate of personalities for our listeners.  This new show will draw talent from the fields of music, sports and entertainment and beyond, and give them the opportunity to speak at length and in uncensored fashion about their work, passions, views, and life experiences.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

Analysis: More Hivio Highlights

| June 7, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — The third and final installment of our recap of last week’s Hivio 2016 conference sums up three of the 17 sessions presented Thursday (6/2) and Friday (6/3) on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, literally steps away from the famous Comedy Store.  Most of the agenda featured one-on-one interviews conducted by event co-organizer Mark Ramsey, who declares, “Contests on radio are pathetic.” The “attraction to listen,” he notes, is “a one in a million chance to win something.” That incentive to listen, Ramsey stresses, “makes no sense” and the San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst seamlessly utilizes that statement to introduce Omaze co-founder/co-chief executive officer Ryan Cummins, who Ramsey comments has a “different – better – way [that] will change the way you view contesting.”

Read More

Analysis: Hivio 2016 Day 2

| June 6, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — After presenting a full slate of activity Thursday afternoon (6/2), San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey returned the following morning (Friday, 6/3) with another packed schedule as part of Hivio 2016. Kicking things off was a one-on-one discussion with Panoply Media chief content officer Andy Bowers, who has been working on Slate podcasts since 2005. The former, 14-year NPR correspondent joined Slate in April 2003 when it was working on various internet projects. “By magazine standards, we jumped in pretty early,” he recalls. “It proved to be one of the most popular things Slate did.” By 2014, they realized other magazines would most likelybowersandy get into the business as well and Bowers opines, “We could either compete [against them] or we could try to form a network and help teach them what we had learned.” That was the idea behind Panoply, a full-service podcast network that “connects sophisticated listeners with top publishers and thinkers,” which was started approximately 16 months ago. “We are trying to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for media brands, authors, and people we think should be doing a podcast,” Bowers told Ramsey.

Read More

Monday, March 28, 2016

| March 28, 2016

The Presidential Race-Sanders Weekend Victories, Brussels Terror Attack Aftermath, Taliban Terror Attack in Pakistan, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and Bernie Sanders’ three primary victories in Saturday elections; the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks; the Taliban orchestrated terror attacks in Pakistan on Sunday; and the weekend’s action in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

savagemichaelMichael Savage to Host Trump; Threatens End of Support.  Nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage has been a very vocal supporter of Donald Trump in the latter’s bid to win the GOP presidential nomination – more supportive than most other major talk hosts.  Savage has now made it public that he will drop his support of Trump if the campaign is responsible for a story published by the National Enquirer accusing GOP opponent Senator Ted Cruz of having had extramarital affairs.  Over the weekend, Trump said he or his campaign had not fueled the story and shot back that Cruz’s campaign “started it” – referring to an anti-Trump PAC’s use of a racy image of Melania Trump from her modeling days in an ad.  However, that Trump will be able to prove a negative – that he didn’t have anything to do with the Enquirer story – to Savage is impossible, and it’s unlikely the Enquirer will reveal its source.

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs to Close Practice; Takes Touro University Position.  Doctor of Family Medicine Daliah Wachs – a nationally syndicated talk host whose show is distributed by Genesis Communications Network – announces she’s closing her private practice and will join Touro University Nevada as director of community outreach and assistant professor.  In a statement, Wachs says, “After 16 years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to stop practicing medicine and to transfer my loving and wonderful patients to a medical organization who can conform and survive our new health care system…I will have the phenomenal opportunity to teach medical and physician assistant students!!  Nurturing baby doctors into full grown doctors has always been my passion as well as partnering with community leaders to make medical awesome happen!”

metaxasfreemanThe Story of God.  Pictured here are Salem Radio Network personality Eric Metaxas (left) and actor Morgan Freeman (right).  Freeman appears on Metaxas’ program in a two-part interview (part one airing today) about his new National Geographic series titled, The Story of God.  The series – which debuts on Sunday, April 3 – investigates mankind’s many different ways of worshipping and the cultural aspects of religion.  Currently, Freeman plays the vice president of the U.S. in the film London Has Fallen.

Odds & Sods.  Joining NPR in the newly created post chief digital officer is Thomas Hjelm.  He moves to NPR after a five-year stint with New York Public Radio where he headed up the digital strategy and operations.  In a press statement from NPR, it notes that Hjelm developed digital products for WNYC and WQXR, the WNYC app as well as content partnerships including the “New Yorker Radio Hour.”…..ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff is this year’s recipient of the NAB Distinguished Service Award, to be presented at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The NAB recognizes a member of the broadcast community who’s made “significant and lasting” contributions to the industry with this annual award.  Previous honorees include: Jerry Lewis, Jorge Ramos, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

| August 12, 2015

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Voting Starts Today. After a five-year hiatus, listeners again have the opportunity to participate in selecting National Radio Hall of Fame inductees. For the next two weeks (through Wednesday, 8/26), voters can text 36500 with their one vote for the four nominees (each) in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin declares, “These eight personalities are beloved by their listeners. Giving the audience an opportunity to participate in the process of acknowledging their favorite hosts for their contributions over the years just makes sense.” Nominees and text info for the “Music Format On-Air Personality” are Delilah (text “DELILAH” to 36500); Elvis Duran (text “ELVIS” to 36500); Steve Harvey (text “STEVE” to 36500); and Ryan Seacrest (text “RYAN” to 36500). Nominees and text info for the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” are Sean Hannity (text “HANNITY” to 36500); Clark Howard (text “CLARK” to 36500); Jim Rome (text “ROME” to 36500); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (text “DR. LAURA” to 36500). Listener-chosen winners will be announced at the end of this month (8/31), and we cannot forget that all-important fine print that “message and data rates may apply.” In addition to the two listener-voting categories, four categories are being voted on by a panel of 400 industry professionals. The induction ceremony takes place November 5 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

Interactive Advertising BureauIAB Gears Up For Debut Podcast Upfront Showcase. The one-day marketplace for advertisers and media buyers to preview podcast programming will be held next month (9/10) in New York City. Scheduled to present at Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s inaugural podcast upfront showcase include representatives from AdLarge Media, Midroll, NPR, Panoply, Podtrac, and WNYC. Industry Initiatives, IAB vice president Carl Kalapesi explains, “More and more advertisers are incorporating audio programming into their digital marketing strategies. The individual and intimate listening experience enjoyed by podcast listeners provides a unique vehicle for brands to connect with consumers. IAB is excited to bring so many digital audio leaders together to discuss their upcoming programming and the wide array of advertising opportunities available through podcasts.” Invited executives will get to preview content developments from each presenting company in 20-minute segments.

Cassell, RussCassell (Posthumously) Wins SCBA Radio Personality of the Year Award. The “State Television And Radio” (STAR) awards of the South Carolina Broadcasting Association honor “exceptional accomplishments of the state’s stations and their broadcast professionals.” Entercom-owned talk WYRD-FM, Greenville-Spartanburg host Russ Cassell (left), who passed away last year, won the “Radio Personality of the Year” award. Entercom market vice president and generalEntercom Upstate manager Steve Sinicropi declares, “The broadcasting legacy of Russ Cassell lives on; our entire team is grateful for the SCBA recognizing Russ with this important award.” The cluster’s production director Stan Fisher received STAR recognition for best production-multi spot campaign on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” for local attorney Rob Ianuario. In the station’s first year in the format, WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” sports broadcaster Greg McKinney was recognized with a “Sportscaster of the Year award of merit at the event, which was held in Columbia, South Carolina over the weekend.

McCollim, JasonMcCollim Heads to Colorado Springs as iHeartMedia’s Senior VP/Programming. Transferring from Spokane where he programmed iHeartMedia talker KQNT and KKZX “The Classic Rock Station,” Jason McCollim is appointed senior vice president of programming for the company’s Colorado Springs and Pueblo stations. Senior vice president of programming/regional markets Tony Coles states, “McCollim is one of our rising stars. He has done an incredible job for us iHeartMediain Spokane. His leadership skills and passion for programming will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales teams.” Colorado-Pueblo market president Darci Ewell comments, “Jason’s proven track record in Spokane and his versatile experience will make him an incredible asset to the Colorado Springs-Pueblo cluster. Jason brings a high level of energy and creativity that will greatly benefit our team.” McCollim remarks, “I am very excited about working with the fantastic iHeartMedia team in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo; thanks to Tony Coles and Darci Ewell for the opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful parts of our country.” McCollim spent more than 14 years at KQNT and KKZX; he is vice president of the Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search & Rescue. The Colorado Springs stations he will oversee are rhythmic CHR KIBT “The Beat”; hot AC KVUU “My-99.9”; adult contemporary KKLI “Sunny 106.3”; country KCCY “Y-96.9; and classic rock KDZA “Z-107.9.” The three Pueblo facilities are classic hits KPHT; KCCY “Fox Sports 1350″; and talk KCSJ.

rdio-logoRdio Debuts Live Broadcast Radio. The global music streaming service begins with nearly 500 U.S. stations. Listeners can mark songs they like as a favorite, share the song, start a custom station based on the song or view more music by the artist. Paying subscribers to Rdio’s $3.99 and $9.99 plans can download songs for unlimited listening, add it to a custom playlist, listen to related songs from that artist or recently played songs on that station as often as they want. Rdio chief executive officer Anthony Bay comments, “We are committed to providing Rdio customers around the world with easy access to the audio content they want to hear through innovative features that enhance listening. Broadcast radio brands and talent continue to be the dominant tastemakers in music, so integrating live broadcast radio into Rdio’s critically acclaimed customer experience is an exciting development that we are thrilled to introduce.” Through a September 2013 partnership with Cumulus Media, Rdio has access to Cumulus’ programming and is promoted on Cumulus stations. Cumulus Media chief executive officer Lew Dickey states, “Bringing our national platform of stations to Rdio allows us to instantly create broader access for our listeners and new opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences. The combination of our premier broadcast assets with Rdio’s acclaimed user experience and music discovery features creates a full-service listening experience that is unparalleled.” In addition to music, live broadcast programming includes sports content from local stations as well as through Cumulus Media’s Westwood One. Featured stations include Cumulus Media-owned country WNSH, New York; rock KLOS, Los Angeles; triple-A KFOG, San Francisco; urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM, Indianapolis; and country WSM-FM, Nashville. Additional stations will launch later this year.

WOWOWOWO Producing 90-Year Retrospective. The Fort Wayne (Indiana) talk outlet is observing its 90th anniversary and – appropriately enough – is putting together a 90-minute documentary. Station executives are in the process of gathering interviews from former employees for the special, which will cover WOWO’s impact and reach. In addition to audio samples of historic and comical moments, Bob Sievers, Jack Underwood, Jay Gould, and Bob Chase are among those who will be featured. Program director Ryan Wrecker (Wrecker@WOWO.com) is seeking station memorabilia that can be displayed during the ongoing celebration, as well as memories past staffers or listeners would like to share. Those contributing will receive a preview edition of the special, which is scheduled to air on Federated Media-owned WOWO (Thursday) November 19.

KNX 2KNX Schedules Second Annual Blood Drive. In light of the fact that blood donations typically dip during summer months, KNX, Los Angeles is joining the American Red Cross for the CBS Radio all-news outlet’s second annual blood drive. The five-day event at participating Red Cross blood centers starts two weeks from Saturday (8/29) and concludes the following Wednesday (9/2). CBS Radio vice president/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney American Red Cross 2comments, “KNX is proud to team up with the Red Cross once again as we expand our blood drive effort. We know summer is a challenging time for people to think about donating blood, and we hope to raise awareness so our listeners will lend their support and help the Red Cross maintain a safe and stable blood supply.” American Red Cross Southern California blood services external communications manager Tony Briggs notes that although many donors stepped up to give following a pressing call issued earlier this month, “The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before Labor Day.” Last year’s inaugural two-day KNX blood drive produced 834 pints of blood, which helped 2,502 patients. Greater Los Angeles/Southern California donation locations include Arcadia, Glendale, Santa Monica, Claremont, Downey, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Laguna Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Woodland Hills, and Yorba Linda. As an incentive (and while supplies last), blood drive sponsor – The Southern California Gas Company – will give blood donors a KNX emergency preparedness guide; two tickets to Hollywood’s Laugh Factory; a ticket to Madame Tussauds Hollywood; and a sample of Hawaiian Host chocolates.

Maranville, TimMaranville Departs USA Radio Networks. One-year USA Radio Networks chief content officer-director of channel development Tim Maranville exits. He expresses thanks to “everyone at USA for all the hard work, especially show hosts Steve Deace, Kevin Jackson, Steve Noble, Jim Sharpe, Joe Messina, Chris and Emilee, Angie Austin, and Tony Perkins. The future is bright and I hope to have one, maybe two, announcements about my next contribution to the planet by mid-September.” Maranville joined USA after a nearly six-year run as vice president of programming at Westwood One. He previously was vice president and director of operations of the Denver Radio Company; vice president and director of operations of Sun City Communications; director of operations at KFRC, San Francisco; and director of operations of Phoenix stations KMLE, KOOL, and KZON. In addition, he owns/operates Mutations Media and he co-owns The Show Must Go On, an independent syndication consulting and affiliation company.

Donald Trump Continued to be the Second Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday — a VERY close second to Barack Obama (8/11).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Economy.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

| June 4, 2015

charleskenKen Charles to Program All-News KNX, Los Angeles.  Longtime iHeartMedia news and talk programmer Ken Charles joins CBS RADIO as the new program director of the company’s KNX, Los Angeles “1070 Newsradio.”  Charles, who exited his post as iHeartMedia Sacramento’s vice president of programming and national brand manager for news, talk and sports earlier this year, says of his new post,knx logo “I can’t wait to begin working for CBS RADIO, a company committed to local news, and the team of award-winning professionals at KNX, L.A.’s heritage home for local news and traffic.  I’m thankful to Chris Oliviero, Scott Herman, [CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager] Dan Kearney, and Kevin Weatherly for giving me this incredible opportunity.”  Kearney adds, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a programmer with as much experience and success in the news format as Ken.  He is one of the most respected managers of news operations in the country and during this seminal, fast-changing period of how people get their news, he is uniquely qualified to build upon KNX’s reputation as Southern California’s news, traffic and information authority.”

steelejimmySteele Surfaces in Salisbury-Ocean City as Senior VP/Programming. One week from Monday (6/15) is Jimmy Steele‘s start date as iHeartMedia Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland’s senior vice president of programming. Regional market president Chris Walus states, “Jimmy has an extraordinary record of success in leading operations, developing formats, and coaching top-tier personalities. This – coupled with his remarkable skill for driving breakthrough revenue growth – set Jimmy apart from the pack. Our team is excited and eager for him to start.” Steele remarks that he is “truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to reunite with iHeartMedia” and is looking forward “to working with Chris Walus, along with senior vice president of programming Jon Zellner and regional programming manager Dave Symonds, in advancing our strong and diverse brands in the Salisbury-Ocean City market.” Not to be confused with Emmis vice president ofiHeartMedia programming/rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106,” Los Angeles program director Jimmy Steal, Jimmy Steele previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia San Diego, and Columbus’ regional vice president of programming. The company’s Salisbury-Ocean City operation consists of urban AC WSBY “Magic 98.9”; WJDY “Newsradio 1470”; CHR WKZP “Kiss 95.9”; adult contemporary WQHQ “Q-105”; WTGM “Fox Sports 960”; and country WWFG “Froggy 99.9.”

wbnslogoColumbus’ Wolfe Family to Sell Print Assets, Retain Broadcast Properties.  The publishers of the Columbus Dispatch (part of the Dispatch Printing Company) are selling the Columbus, Ohio daily along with 24 suburban weeklies and seven magazines to New York-based New Media Investment Group.  The Wolfe family will remain in the broadcasting business with its two television stations – WBNS-TV, Columbus and WTHR-TV, Indianapolis – as well as its RadiOhio subsidiary that operates sports talk radio simulcast WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus.  As reported in The Dispatch, chairman and publisher John Wolfe states, “We are proud of our 110-year legacy of family ownership of The Dispatch, and the newspaper’s heritage of quality journalism and community involvement.  However, the past two decades of accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry made it clear to us that maintaining a single-city, family-owned paper in this environment was untenable long-term.”

NPRNPR’s Lesher Succumbs to Stomach Cancer. Staffers received word yesterday (Wednesday, 6/3) that NPR associate editor for news operations Jim Lesher lost his battle against stomach cancer; he was just 46 years old. NPR managing editor Chuck Holmes explains, “Jim’s value to this newsroom was so apparent that I once joked with him that I was going to make up a wanted poster with his photo: ‘Jim Lesher: Most Wanted Man at NPR.'” Executive producer for newscasts Robert Garcia states, “There is an entire news organization full of heavy and broken hearts. If the measure of a man is how much he is loved and appreciated by others, Jim was successful beyond his wildest dreams.” Washington, D.C.-area native Lesher joined NPR as an intern soon after graduating from Catholic University in 1990. His parents; a sister; and two nephews are among his survivors.

Odds & Sods. San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus is sitting in for Iowa talk personality Simonmcmanusadam Conway on WMT, Cedar Rapids Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 17 from 9:00am to 11:00 am…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make weekly appearances on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” this season.  Roethlisberger will appear Tuesdays at 11:00 am on the “Cook & Poni Show.”…..KOIL, Omaha held its “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” rally in support of the police in honor of officer Kerrie Orozco, who died in the line of duty on May 20, a day before she was to take maternity leave.  The “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” was a two-week appreciation campaign during which KOIL broadcast free commercials for merchants providing complimentary services to Omaha law enforcement officers on June 3.

madisonrisingstillPatriotic Rock Band Madison Rising forms Non-Profit ‘Shows for Heroes.’  Industry pros attending the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12 will see the new video from the patriotic rock band Madison Rising (pictured here).  The band just announced that is has formed a 501(c)3 chartered organization that will assist in covering the costs associated with having the group perform at military bases, veteran organizations and first responder events.  Madison Rising has an especially strong following among military personnel, veterans and first responders, and is often asked to do performances around the country by organizations that simply cannot afford to cover the costs associated with travel and production.  With the creation of Madison Rising Shows For Heroes, tax-deductible contributions from individual and corporate donors will allow Madison Rising to provide more live performances for the men and women who have given so much of themselves.

ISIS Military Progress, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Obama Approval Ratings, Baltimore Murder Rate Soars, Obama Trade Deal, Duggar Family Scandal, Police Kill Boston Terror Suspect, Texas Open Carry Challenge, Caitlyn Jenner Story, FIFA Corruption Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Amoong Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Concern over ISIS’ military success in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military’s Iraq policy; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Republican George Pataki and Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the races; chatter about the dip in approval ratings for President Obama; the escalating murder rate in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death; the state of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal; the sexual scandal plaguing the Duggar family, stars of ’19 Kids and Counting’; the police shooting death of a terror suspect in Boston; the challenge of Texas’ open carry law; Bruce Jenner’s gender transition and new Caitlyn identity; the far-reaching effects of the FIFA corruption case; and the finals in both the NBA and the NHL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

| April 21, 2015

littlelindaLittle Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia.  Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little.  She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group.  Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX.  She also served as integrated media business development manager.   She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.” In this position she’ll oversee news/talk KFYI, talk KOY, and sports talk KGME.

schreiberjonathanSchreiber Promoted at Mercury Radio Arts.  Moving up from his head of strategy and special projects position with Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts to president of the company is Jonathan Schreiber.  In this new post, Schreiber will oversee Mercury’s divisions including digital, radio andmercuryradioarts logo publishing and its continued growth in film, television and “digital content across different genres beyond politics and current events.”  The company says Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor to TheBlaze, the company’s news, information and entertainment network led by CEO Betsy Morgan.  Schreiber has an 18-year pedigree in the tech, mobile and entertainment businesses.  Beck says, “I personally recruited Jonathan to help take our company to the next level.  Since joining Mercury, he has played an integral role in both the strategy and execution at Mercury Radio Arts and my overall business philosophy and approach.  He is a trusted advisor and this title reflects the leadership position he has and will continue to assume in this new era for both me and our business.

quayledonIndustry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.

theblaze radio networkPremiere and TheBlaze to Present Memorial Day Special.  The annual Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network returns in 2015 with Premiere Networks handling affiliate relations.  The three-hour program – titled “Reflections from a Gratefulpremierenetworks Nation” – features the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin, Chris Salcedo, Mike Broomhead and others.  In addition to special appearances by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak and members of the military, listeners will hear personal stories and conversations about the meaning of the holiday in this special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend America’s freedom.  It’s available to news/talk stations for airing from May 23-25.  Interested stations can phone Premiere at 818-377-5300.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief  Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others:  the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio.   During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells TALKERS magazine publishersciaccajoe Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.”  He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue.  There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business.  So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.”  This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom.  It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world.   Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page.  They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.”  Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days.  Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

clipinteractiveFour More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive.  According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3.   Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life.  FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users.  Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast.  The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”

Odds & Sods.  Appearing in the KFAQ, Tulsa studios this morning is a crew from “Good Morning America” as morning host Pat Campbell interviews attorney Clark Brewster.  Reserve Sheriff Deputy Robert Bates hiredcampbellpat Brewster to represent him in the case of the fatal shooting of Eric Harris that took place during a drug sting.  Bates has been cleared by the FBI of violating Harris’ civil rights but faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidently using his pistol instead of a taser on Harris.  Pat Campbell tells TALKERS magazine, “Our station has been ground zero for many exclusives on this story, including the foxsportsradio logoonly sit-down interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.  KFAQ news director Tami Marler has been all over this since day one, getting scoops and guests other outlets can’t secure.”…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting “FOX Sports Live 2015 NFL Draftcast” – a multi-platform NFL draft special featuring Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Peter Schrager, Mike Garafolo and Don Bell in Chicago.  It will air on the network’s more than 400 affiliates nationwide beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 30…..The last Buckley Broadcasting property – KIDD-AM, Monterey, California – has been sold to Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters for $50,000.  Buckley took KIDD-AM dark a few months ago and recently tore down its aging tower structure.

ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Controversy/U.S. Naval Presence in Yemen, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Police Shootings Controversies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20).  The reports of ISIS executing Christians; the controversy about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the United States’ naval presence in the waters off Yemen; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the cases of police shooting citizens in Baltimore, Tulsa and elsewhere; and the weekend’s Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Opinion: Getting Back to the Basics

| March 31, 2015

Talk Radio in 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

bradybillwriterJUPITER, Fla. — Over the last year, the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings have shone a light on the struggles of the talk format.  It’s not a pretty picture.

Since 2008, same station ratings in a select group of top 50 markets have declined by 39%.  While some stations still earn respectable ratings, many have lost significant audience share and fallen dramatically in rank.  A drop of that magnitude is likely to have a significant impact on the revenue side and endanger a station’s pricing structure and advertiser demand levels.

Read More

January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part Two of Two)

| March 5, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Yesterday’s analysis (Wednesday, 3/4) of the ratings performance by talk outlets in the January 2015 ratings period dealt with commercial stations – many of which are heritage, institutional properties with ultra-familiar call letters.

As a “part two” follow-up, we turn the attention to noncommercial/public signals in the same sweep.

A huge caveat, however, needs to be stated regarding the stations that appear below. This is not simply a laundry list of public stations. Noncommercial/public outlets with a fulltime music-intensive format such as classical, adult alternative, contemporary Christian, or urban contemporary (as examples) are not highlighted here.

Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR). Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. “Variety” or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under “talk” (since that is their primary thrust) with an added “noncommercial/public” designation.

As far as ratings criteria is concerned, it is the same for the overviews posted earlier this week for news, sports, and commercial talkers: Noncommercial/public outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

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

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

Read More

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

| November 4, 2014

magliozzibrothersIndustry Mourns Passing of Tom Magliozzi.  One of the two hosts of the long-running NPR program “Car Talk” died yesterday.  Co-host Tom Magliozzi passed away at age 77 after complications from Alzheimer’s disease.  Industry insiders know the popular show has been airing reruns for the past two years after Magliozzi and younger brother Ray elected to stop producing new shows.  The program was in national syndication from NPR for 25 years after beginning as a Boston-only show.  Though the brothers were certainly knowledgeable about all things automotive, it was their infectious personalities and their ability to create hilarious dialogue with callers that made the show so popular.  Read NPR’s piece on Magliozzi and “Car Talk” here.

duckworthpaulPaul Duckworth to Retire from KOMO and KVI in Seattle.  He’s been back at news and talk outlets KOMO and KVI in Seattle for two-and-a-half years, coming out of retirement to program the stations, but now he’s ready to “try my hand at that whole ‘retirement’ thing again.”  Paul Duckworth jokes that his two previous retirements ended in a return to work so why should we believe him now?!  He says he’s enjoyed his time with KOMO, KVI and the staff there but he’s going to try it again.  “No promises, but I think this time it may stick.  I love the business, but it’s time for a break…probably a nice LONG one.  I’m leaving behind an unbelievable group of people here in Seattle.  They’re the best!”  Duckwork’s last day will be Friday (11/7).  No word about his replacement yet.

kinosianmike2014 MLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the fifth of a five-part series of analyses detailing the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time including October 2014 PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past seven PPM surveys, compared to October 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

westwood one news logoWestwood One News Sets Four Anchors. In place for its debut are four anchors for Westwood One News.  Dirk Van will cover AM drive; Evan Haning will do middays; Molly Paige will anchor PM drive; and Barbara Kusak will cover evenings.  Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler comments that he is “thrilled” to debut Westwood One News “with some of the industry’s most respected and best-vandirksounding anchors.  Following up on our announcement of award-winning beat reporters, these broadcast journalists will enhance our product and add substantial power to our winning team.”  Van hosts Westwood One’s “First Light” and “The Week in Review.”  He previously anchored newscasts for NBC News Radio; was a reporter for WCBS-AM, New York; and news director of WHN, New paigemollyYork.  Paige joined Westwood One’s Washington, DC news operation two years ago.  She has worked for several Los Angeles stations; was an anchor/writer/producer for NBC News Radio; and frequently substituted for Jim Bohannon on “America in the Morning.”  For nearly a decade, Haning was a reporter/anchor for Washington, DC’s WTOP and has been on-air in the nation’s capital for 30 years.  Most recently, he anchored afternoon drive there for CBS Radio‘s WNEW-FM.  Kusak was a reporter and Sunday talk show interviewer at Greater Media Detroit classic rocker WCSX; an anchor/reporter at CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; a writer at MSNBC; associate producer at Fox News Channel; and a writer/assignment editor at CBS Radio New York all-news WINS, New York. Westwood One News launches at the end of the year.

brownejoypartyDr. Joy Browne Honored by City Harvest for Helping Provide Food for City’s Homeless.  The humanitarian organization City Harvest rescuesbrownebusstopboard food from restaurants and stores and delivers desperately needed meals to shelters and underserved areas in New York. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has been a high-profile donor for a decade working on numerous occasions at their distribution centers in addition to being the poster girl in their ad campaigns and as a spokesperson.  She was recently honored by the group at a special food demonstration/dinner at the prestigious Institute for Culinary Excellence (ICE) in the Big Apple.  Pictured at left: the philanthropic “party girl” having a good time at the event embraced by Ritz Corporation executive Lehi Dowell and at right, a Harvest City poster featuring Dr. Joy Browne at a NYC bus stop.

podcastone logoRoss Mathews Debuts on PodcastOne.  Television personality and best-selling author Ross Mathews begins producing a weekly podcast program for the PodcastOne platform, starting Thursday, November 6.  The host of E!’s “Live from E!” and the former “Tonight Show” correspondent debuts “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews,” a podcast that showcases “Mathew’s trademark voice and hilarious takes on the latest gossip, entertainment and celebrity news, in addition to featuring visits from his extensive network of celebrity friends.”  PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “I’ve been a fan of Ross since his days at ‘The Tonight Show.’ His unique connection with celebrities, combined with his love of pop culture, brings a distinct flavor to entertainment gossip and news that consistently pushes the boundaries, which is perfect for podcasting.”

denenbergadamDenenberg Named Chief Technical Officer for iHeartRadio.  There’s a new chief technology officer at the iHeartRadio Network as Adam Denenberg joins the company in that role.  Denenberg comes to iHeartMedia from the Huffington Post and begins on November 17.  In this role he’ll be responsible for the technology strategy and vision for iHeartRadio, the company’s all-in-one digital radio and streaming music service, including technical direction and research and development of new products; he will also oversee the technology infrastructure across iHeartRadio’s network of websites, including the more than 859 local radio station and talent-specific sites.  Denenberg will also work closely with other divisions within the company to develop new technology initiatives that create dynamic experiences for iHeartRadio listeners, advertisers and partners.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a big remote coming up for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” as the Greater Media sports talker welcomes Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN Radio to town for a live broadcast from XFINITY Live!  The daylong broadcast on Monday, November 10 is free and open to the public.  After the Mike & Mike show, “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to broadcast from XFINITY Live! Harry Mayes and Brian Westbrook (10:00 am to 12:00 noon), The Jon & Sean Show (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm), and Mike Missanelli (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)…..Kristina Quintos joins CBS RADIO as its new press representative.  Quintos come to CBS from J. Walter Thompson where she’s been since January 2013.  She was an intern at CBS Entertainment before graduating from New York University with a degree in media, culture and communications…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents its next “Ask the Mayor” program where listeners can call in and speak with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tomorrow (11/5).  The program is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

medvedaward14Michael Medved Honored by Police Union.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured here holding his 2014 Quill & Badge Award from the International Association of Police Unions, AFL-CIO.  Salem Radio Network says that he received the honor in the wake of his on-air defense of Ferguson, Missouri police and several print columns he authored in USA TODAY.

Mid-Term Elections, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Brittany Maynard Suicide Case, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Navy Seals-bin Laden Slaying Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/3).  Today’s mid-term elections and the possibility of a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate; the potential candidates for president in 2016; controversy over the assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard; the ongoing concerns over the Ebola epidemic and the U.S. cases of the virus; the threat ISIS brings to a stable Middle East; the flap over the TV movie detailing the slaying of Osama bin Laden and the violation of the Navy Seals’ code of secrecy and humility; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

| September 16, 2014

iheartmedia logoClear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia.  This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.  We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobilepittmanbob devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises.  Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”  Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name.  Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average.  It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities.  The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison:  “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.”   TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.”  Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and  it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era.  However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.”  Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted.  That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television.  It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.”  Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age.  It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”

wjbc logoTim Lewis Named PD, Afternoon Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois.   Thirty-year radio pro Tim Lewis is the new program director and afternoon personality at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington “The Voice of Central Illinois.”  Lewis was most recently with KBLY, Idaho Falls hosting AM drive and serving as program director.  He’s also worked at such heritage signals as KSL, Salt Lake City; KOA, Denver; and WLW, Cincinnati and has received numerous industry awards.  During the 1990s, he hosted a nationally syndicated sports talk show on the One on One Sports Radio Network, eventually clearing more than 250 stations.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “Tim Lewis’ long and diverse experience in spoken-word radio make him the perfect choice to lead the remarkable WJBC programming team and guide the station to even greater success.”

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Show Podcast Debuts.  The nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show is now heard on demand via PodcastOne as the Norm Pattiz-founded and let podcast producer and distributor launches the new program format.  A press statement from PodcastOne notes, “Laura’s phenomenally successful radio program, which airs on over 200 stations, has been a radio staple for a long time but market conditions have now made it very difficult for an independently produced program to get distribution in many of the major markets.”  Pattiz adds, “As undeniably great as Laura’s program is, it doesn’t air on a single Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) station.  Her ability to make and influence news is a well-known fact.  So as of this week, the Laura Ingraham show can be heard in every market in the country as well as around the globe, on-demand from PodcastOne.  Obviously, Laura’s fans are finding her and significantly expanding her radio audience.”

wodt logoOdds & Sods.  Former Spanish sports talk WODT, New Orleans has flipped to English-language sports as “Fox Sports 1280.”  The iHeartMedia-owned station had been airing ESPN Deportes  content…..The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS RADIO’s WIP and WPHT have signed a one-year deal to keep Phillies play-by-play on the company’s stations through the 2015 season.  Phillies management tells the Philadelphia Business Journal that the one-year pact will allow the sides to hopefully work on a long-term deal before the end of next summer…..espnW and ESPN Radio are collaborating on special program dealing with domestic violence in the NFL and the Ray Rice case.  It’s called “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL” airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com at 9:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.  espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, who have been sharing their perspectives on issue, will be featured.

wqamschellenbergerMarc Hochman Show Voice Schnellenberger Honored.  Florida football legend and “voice” of “The Marc Hochman Show w/ Zach Krantz” on WQAM, Miami, Howard Schnellenberger, was honored on Saturday as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton renamed its football field “Howard Schnellenberger Field.”  Schnellenberger has coached for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University among many other teams.  Fans of the Hochman show know Schnellenberger voices all its opens, rejoins, and imaging.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Hochman, Schnellenberger, and Krantz.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Student Scholarships.  Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced.  The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon.  For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.

cbi logoJournalist Training Session Available at Seattle College Broadcasters Conference.  At next month’s CBI National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle (October 20-25) KUOW, KPLU, NPR and College Broadcasters Inc. are offering a unique training opportunity.  The student media project is seeking student applicants to their first event.  The week-long session is an opportunity for college and graduate students to learn from professional journalists.  A committee of journalists will select up to six students to pair one-to-one with public media journalists and college multimedia instructors from around the country. Three students will be selected from the Seattle/Tacoma area.  The Student Multimedia Project will emphasize multimedia storytelling focused on character development.  Students who are selected for the project will each find a person to focus on for their story — someone doing something interesting who is willing and available to be interviewed.  Students will produce a radio story about the person and then tell their story differently for the web.  NPR consultant and project manager Doug Mitchell says, “NPR and its member stations support the Project because it allows us to discover and groom a diverse pool of young talent.  The Project gives public media professionals a chance to see if students have what it takes to do the work and lets our industry build a pipeline of new professionals who understand our way of storytelling.”

The NFL and Domestic Violence, Hillary Clinton in Iowa/2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Forms ISIS Coalition, Mid-Term Elections, Scotland Separation Referendum, and Ebola Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The furor over domestic violence cases in the NFL and the league’s plans to address the situation; Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Iowa and the probability she’ll run for president in 2016; President Obama’s formation of a coalition to fight ISIS; the looming mid-term elections; the build-up to Scotland’s Thursday referendum to leave the United Kingdom; and the threat of an Ebola pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

| July 29, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Panel Discussion, “The State of Talk Radio Programming.” Today (7/29) marks the 11th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.   The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a panel discussion titled, “The State of Talk Radio Programming,” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Panelists include: Andy Bloom, OM, WPHT/WIP, Philadelphia; Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess,programming panel 14 PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media; and Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York.  The panel focuses on a variety of topics pertinent to today’s talk radio programming strategies with an emphasis on dealing with the common criticism that the format is skewing too old.  Moderator Casey starts it off asking “Is talk radio a kingmaker that wins elections or is talk radio dead?”  He points out that to read the press this format receives, one would get the impression both of these statements are true.  The reasoned answers by all participants are illuminating – drawing upon facts and context as opposed to bias and emotion.  To view this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  A panel discussion moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian titled, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”  Featured speakers include:  Tom Becka, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, WYD Media; Tom Marr, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, WNYM, New York; and Martha Zoller, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

castnermichaelMichael Castner Moves to AM Drive at KEX, Portland.  Changes in the programming schedule at Clear Channel’s Portland news/talker KEX include the shift of afternoon drive personality Michael Castner to host of the morning drive program alongside the current staff of co-anchor Lacey Evans, news director Brad Ford and traffic reporters Michael Convery and Lynne Masterson.  As a result Paul Linnman leaves the AM show for a commentator role with the station.  Taking over the afternoon drive slot is Houston-based talk personality Michael Berry whose show slides down from evenings to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm time slot.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Doesn’t Discount Run for Office.  It’s not exactly a statement of intent, but Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated talk show host Laura Ingraham tells RealClearPolitics that she’s “keeping an open mind about running for office in the future.”  The comment comes at the end of a piece about her influence on some of the primary races – specifically the assertion that she was instrumental in helping Dave Brat upset Eric Cantor in the Virginia U.S. House primary and her current stumping for Joe Carr as he takes on Lamar Alexander in the Tennessee U.S. Senate primary that takes place on August 7.  Ingraham was in Nashville recently at a campaign event for Carr – a Tea Party-backed candidate who is drawing a line in front of Alexander on the immigration issue.  Read the entire story here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Posts Q2 Revenue Hike of 10%; 380,000 New Self-Pay Subscribers.  After a somewhat down 2014 Q1 report, SiriusXM rebounds with what CEO Jim Meyer is calling an “outstanding” quarter.  SiriusXM’s revenue for the quarter was $1.035 billion – a 10% increase from the same period a year ago.  Net income was $120 million.  Last quarter, SiriusXM reported adding just 267,000 new subscribers but that figure is up dramatically with almost 475,000 new subscribers added – approximately 380,000 of those self-paying subscribers.  Meyer comments, “We set new records for trial conversions to self-pay, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted meyerjimEBITDA margin in the quarter, and we are raising our 2014 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow.  Our extraordinary operating performance supported the buyback of over 350 million shares in the quarter, or approximately 6% of our outstanding stock.  Perhaps more importantly, we improved our superior content by adding even more channels and shows created with major brands and personalities, such as Joel Osteen, NBC’s TODAY Show, and YouTube, and we expanded the range and depth of our commercial-free music programming with the introduction of three new channels in the categories of country, women’s pop, and dance.  As the leader in audio entertainment, we never rest in searching for new content that our subscribers will love.”

harrisonrobinsonMeeting of the Mentors.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) paid a visit Sunday (7/27) to his old friend, radio legend Dick Robinson (right), founder and chairman of the mega-successful Connecticut School of Broadcasting (CSB).  The two veteran radio “mentors” compared notes about the state of the industry and according to both men, it was an uplifting, stimulating discussion that left them “inspired and optimistic” about the future of the business.  CSB – the oldest and largest group of broadcasting schools in America — is a tremendous success story that celebrates its half-century anniversary this year.  The institute that launched thousands of careers was founded by then-renowned Hartford DJ Robinson in 1964 (pictured below at WDRC, Hartford at that time) to help aspiring young broadcasters learn the fundamentals of radio performing and production and has since grown to include 12 East Coast campuses from Boston to Miami.  According to Robinson, “Our success is based largely on the fact that we have grown, evolved and expanded the definition of what we cover as the years and decades went by…and we are still doing exactly that – evolving with the times.  Whereas we started primarily as a school for DJs, we have grown to encompass all aspects of the radio business as well as television including the burgeoning field of sports and all aspects of audio and videocsb logo production.”  Robinson says, “We are a remedy to the high cost and long-term commitment required to attend a standard college or university communications department curriculum – a process that leaves graduates in significant debt and doesn’t necessarily guarantee enhanced prospects of gaining employment in the field.”  Robinson also explains, “We are also a practical alternative to four-year schools for adults in their late 20s, 30s and even older who want to change careers or start a new one in the broadcast business.”  The obvious question arises:  Considering the economic challenges facing radio today with staff cutbacks and the future of AM/FM in question, are there still opportunities for people of any age in the fields of radio and broadcasting?  Robinson’s response:  robinsondick1964“Absolutely!  More than ever!  With radio stations and multi-dimension ‘media station’ operations that include audio, video, graphics, and text elements all on one platform popping up not only on newspaper websites – but the online arms of a wide variety of businesses, demand for people who have what we would consider basic radio and television skills is growing exponentially.  And that’s only half of it – never before in the history of our industry has there been so much opportunity for entrepreneurial broadcasters to make it on their own.  In the old model, a majority of the people aspiring toward a career in radio or television would have to seek employment and get past a gatekeeper to be able to work in the field.  Very few had the resources and connections to go out and buy a radio or TV station.  But today, it is just a matter of ‘knowing what to do’ to be in business for yourself as a media practitioner.  At CSB we are teaching our students how to be entrepreneurs as well as talent, technicians, and marketers.”  Reflecting upon the get-together, Michael Harrison states, “Dick Robinson is one of the most extraordinary men the radio industry has ever produced.  His school has taught countless broadcasters the art and craft of our wonderful business and he is still going strong as a station owner, format innovator and mentor of mentors.  There isn’t a lifetime achievement award big enough for what this guy has done and continues to do.”

adlargelogoAdLarge Media Appoints Green VP/Digital Sales. Former PodcastOne national account director Jay Green is tapped to become AdLarge Media‘s vice president of digital sales and content partnerships.  AdLarge Media co-founder and president Cathy Csukas comments, “We are delighted to bring Jay on board to steer our digital audio and mobile strategy.  Jay’s impressive background and knowledge of digital audio advertising trends, combined with his expertise in operations and management, make him the ideal candidate to help us meet our expansion goals.”  The company’s chief executive officer and co-founder Gary Schonfeld remarks that, “Jay’s keen understanding of the digital audio marketplace will advance our objectives and those of our digital and mobile partners.  He is skilled at developing the kind of customized programs and packages that national advertisers have come to expect from AdLarge Media.”  Green states that he is “passionate about digital audio advertising” and that he is “dedicated to creating first-to-market campaigns for our advertisers.  AdLarge’s reputation for innovation and excellence was a compelling reason for me to become an integral member of their team.  It’s an exciting time to join the company.”  Prior to working at PodCastOne, Green spent 10 years at Dial Global, where he ultimately became vice president of strategic operations. His background includes sales, campaign management, sales planning, research, audience analysis, and market research for various new product launches.

relm networkWashington, DC-Based RELM Network Adds Food Show.  The program – titled, “Foodie and the Beast,” has been airing on Hubbard Radio-owned WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” for the past six years and now joins the growing lineup of streaming and on-demand content at RELM Network.  The program is hosted by David and Nycci Nellis and is an offshoot of Nycci’s popular DC website “The List” (AreYouOnIt.com,) which has been dubbed by The Washington Post as “one of the premier resources for all things food and wine in DC and beyond.”  Nycci is a gourmet cook and a veteran food journalist in radio, TV and print.  The show is also seasoned with world-renowned guests, including celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, Michel Richard and Mike Isabella – as well as famous cookbook authors, farmers, marine biologists, oystermen, winemakers, distillers and brewmasters.

nprNPR Debuts New Curated Streaming App.  An interesting new development from NPR is its curated streaming app dubbed NPR One.  A story in TechCrunch identifies the new app – separate from NPR’s existing mobile platform apps – as one that “combines the benefits of both streaming and traditional terrestrial radio” with the new app.  TechCrunch reports that it “uses a combination of streams of NPR’s public news broadcasts, combined with stories that are curated for your specific tastes.  You can get regionally relevant content by letting the device have access to your location settings, and you can also search for podcasts and other content to teach the app about what you want and get it instantly.”  Read the whole TechCrunch story here.

cumulusyoungstownCumulus Media Honors Youngstown Cluster with President’s Cup.  The corporate prize for best sales performance for the second quarter of 2014 at Cumulus Media goes to the company’s Youngstown, Ohio eight-station group as it receives the coveted President’s Cup.  Each quarter, one market is recognized for its overall performance among the company’s 90 radio markets.  The Youngstown staff (pictured here) that operates country WQXK “K105,” CHR WHOT “Hot 101,” news/talk WPIC, news/talk WSOM, classic rock WYFM “Y103,” rock WWIZ “Rock 104,” and sports talk simulcast WBBW-AM/WLLF-FM will share the $10,000 prize.  Vice president and market manager Rick Parrish says, “I am very proud of the success our Youngstown sales team, programming team and support staff have achieved with our eight radio stations that serve northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Our team set the goal to bring the Cumulus President’s Cup to Youngstown, and through hustle and hard work, we did it!”  Cumulus EVP and Co-COO John Pinch adds, “The team in Youngstown has performed at record levels this year and is well deserving of this award.  To win the President’s Cup requires contribution from every person at every level in the cluster.  Congratulations, Cumulus Youngstown!”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking talented sales people to work in the Charlotte Market at news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link.”  Greater Media is seeking applicants with: quantifiable success in radio/media sales or another industry; the drive, hunger, and ability to see the sales process through from prospecting to the final close; courage to ask for and deliver remarkable programs; a love and passion for winning; integrity and pride in being a full-service rep; new business expertise and a creative mind; a desire to exceed expectations and move up quickly; independent and entrepreneurial performers; excellent verbal and written communication skills.  At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who love to have fun and work extremely hard.  We offer great benefits and lots of incentives for self-starters, while enjoying the stability of a privately owned media company with two of Charlotte’s best radio stations.  If you think you are ready for the next step in your career and think you have the talent to make it happen, we want you on our team!  Send your resume and a cover letter to: Sandra Szoke, director of sales, Greater Media Charlotte, Inc., WBT/WLNK Radio, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208; sszoke@gmclt.com.  No phone calls please.  Greater Media Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Gaza Violence/New Anti-Semitism, Flight 17 Probe/Russian Influence in Ukraine, Immigration Policy Debate/Child Illegals Influx, Pentagon Afghanistan Waste Report, Ebola Fears, and Ray Rice Suspension Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28).  The continuing violence in the Gaza Strip and increased incidences of anti-Semitism in Europe; Russia’s influence in the Ukraine and the effort to fully investigate the downing of Flight 17; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S. and the influx of illegal minors entering the country; the recent Pentagon report detailing billions in spending waste in Afghanistan; renewed fears of an Ebola virus outbreak; and outrage over the two-game suspension NFL star Ray Rice received after knocking his wife unconscious in a domestic dispute were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

| July 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  Mike Francesa’s Sports Talk Keynote Address.  Today (7/16) marks the second day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms. The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful sports talk keynote address delivered by WFAN, New York sports talk radio legend, Mike Francesa.  The focus of Francesa’s speech consists of 1) his opinion that the current lack of ratings for online “re-purposed” radio content is damaging radio; 2) the benefits of being live andfrancesaNYC2014 still local; and 3) the burgeoning role of sports in American life.  Francesa states, “I have done the same show at the same time on the same station for 28 years. I never wanted to be syndicated.  I believe in live and local.”  Although respecting the importance of digital and social media, he believes that radio broadcasters place too much emphasis on it to the detriment of their on-air content and performance stating, “I take a limited approach to the new technology…I don’t have a Twitter account.”  Regarding sports, itself, as a subject and field of interest to the media, he advises, “I think we are at the beginning of a sports explosion the likes of which you haven’t seen yet.  If you’re in the communications business, you’d better get on board.  Sports today is what Hollywood was in the 40s and 50s.”  To see the entire session, please click here.  Coming tomorrow (7/17): RAB, CEO/president Erica Farber moderating the panel, “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” with Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.   The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

elswickdaveDave Elswick Show Expands to Searcy, Arkansas Market.  Longtime Little Rock talk radio personality Dave Elswick’s KHTE “96.5 The Voice”-based show will be heard on KSMD, Searcy, Arkansasksmd logo starting July 21 as the show begins efforts to network across the state.  Elswick states, “This is exciting as I will now reach the North Central part of the state.  My goal is to touch all Arkansans and keep them informed about what is happening in their state.”  Additionally, Elswick tells TALKERS magazine he is in the process of launching a 24/7 online TV station as he explores new platforms.

sayreUSSAlbuquerqueKKOB, Albuquerque Personality Rides on Soon-to-Be-Deactivated Sub.  The market’s namesake nuclear sub USS Albuquerque is being de-activated after 30 years of service to the U.S. Navy.  Last week, KKOB, Albuquerque weekend personality Terrie Q. Sayre – pictured here at the periscope of the sub – was able to take a voyage on it.  The sub is based in San Diego and during Sayre’s visit, she went out to sea in it and was able to dive to 600 feet, take sharp angle maneuvers, take part in periscope viewing and more.  Sayre reports they even did a burial at sea involving a three torpedo salute.

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Morning Show Gets Online Video Simulcast.  Beginning immediately, the morning drive show hosted by Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, and Dana Jacobson on the CBS Sports Radio Network – heard from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET – is available in a live, online video simulcast, especially targeting consumers using mobile and tablet devices.  Network director of programming Eric Spitz says, “We are excited to launch yet another way to expose our programming to audiences nationwide.  Tiki, Brandon and Dana prove every day to be dynamic and passionate sports hosts, and providing additional access to the show follows the trend of listeners spending more time with the program.”

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds ‘Fan Town Hall.’  Tomorrow morning Capitol Broadcasting-owned sports talk WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is presenting the first-ever “Fan Town Hall” with four of the most influential people in Triangle college sports today at Full Frame Theater in nearby Durham.  Panelists will include: Duke athletic director Dr. Kevin White; North Carolina Central athletic director Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree; NC State athletic director Debbie Yow and North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham.  The 90-minute, commercial-free event will be moderated by WCMC-FM afternoon drive host Adam Gold and WRAL-TV sports anchor Jeff Gravley.  Topics to be addressed include the state of college athletics, successes and challenges athletic departments are experiencing and much more.  Station program director and OM Dennis Glasgow states, “This is a historical event that’s never been done before in the Triangle, and to bring together these four remarkable people will be a fascinating 90 minutes inside the looking glass of college sports.  Our Town Hall format will be less traditional in that we’re encouraging conversation among our special guests, and its unique format will allow social media questions throughout the event.”

golloherjessicaGolloher Joins Fox News Radio as Correspondent.  Former freelancer Jessica Golloher – who’s been based in Moscow for the past six years – joins Fox News Radio as a correspondent based in New York. foxnewsradio small In this new role, Golloher will report on breaking news and provide daily live reports while covering stories in the Northeast and across the country.  During her time in Moscow, Golloher provided live coverage of stories, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  Golloher previously worked at radio stations in Washington, Boston, Tulsa, and Los Angeles.

knx logoOdds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles is tackling the Western drought story as it relates to Southern California on July 31 during a day-long program titled, “Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought.”  The CBS RADIO station says KNX’s news staff, “led by producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, will look at the impact the worsening drought will have on” the population.  KNX will detail what sets the current drought apart from those the state has experienced in the recent past.  Among the questions to be answered are what food products might disappear from shelves and which ones will get costlier, who decides who’ll be able to tap into the eroding water supply and what will the long-term effects be on the local environment and wildlife?  Seven KNX reporters have conducted more than 50 interviews with California Governor Jerry Brown, representatives from the Metropolitan and Orange County Water Districts, climatologists,theridehome logo environmentalists, farmers and others…..Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, New York reports a coup as former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson appeared on “The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby” on Wednesday afternoon to “address publicly for the first time” her departure from the paper.  She talked about her reaction to Arthur Sulzberger saying she was let go because of her management style, her feelings about  the current state of journalism and more…..Thirty-two year NPR veteran Margaret Low Smith is leaving the public radio network where she’s been serving as senior vice president/news to become a VP at The Atlantic.  Smith will also be the president of the publication’s AtlanticLIVE Events division…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announced the winners of its 2014 Food & Wine Awards during an appearance at the 33rd Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii.  CRN president & CEO Michael J. Horn and CRN personality “Sommelier of the People” Michael Jordan made the presentations on a special live broadcast of the network’s nationally syndicated “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” show.  Michael Browne of the Kosta Browne Winery and Robert Cabral of Williams Selyem shared the Winemaker of the Year honor.  Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas was named Chef of the Year.  Zimzala Huntington Beach, California was crowned Restaurant of the Year.  Sommelier of the Year honors went to Troy Smith at Montage in Laguna Beach, California.  CRN listeners selected the winners from a list of nominees.

pragerdeathrowSRN’s Dennis Prager Visits Death Row.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager is pictured here (right) with an unidentified death row inmate at Angola State Prison in Louisiana – the nation’s largest prison.  Prager spent Monday, July 14 at the prison as part of the annual “Returning Hearts Celebration,” organized by the Christian organization Awana.  Among that organization’s projects is work with prison inmates.  Prager has been lecturing to evangelical pastors all over the country about the American Renewal Project.  Prager shared his experiences at the prison with listeners on his programs yesterday and today.  During a meeting with the inmate pictured here, Prager asked the man if he felt sorry for himself.  “No,” he responded.  “But I do regret the things I’ve done.”

geraldosimoneNYC Competitors Get Together at Big Fundraiser.  These two New York City talk radio personalities – Geraldo Rivera from Cumulus Media’s WABC (left) and Mark Simone from Clear Channel’s WOR (right) – usually compete against each other in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot.  But they are pictured here together as they attend and speak at a fundraiser luncheon for the city’s 100-year-old charity The Police Athletic League of New York City.

Child Immigrant Crisis-Immigration Policy Reform, Eric Holder Racism Comments, Middle East Turmoil, Possible Warren 2016 Presidential Run, Hookah Craze, and Western Drought and Summer ‘Polar Vortex’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  The ongoing child immigration crisis in the Southwest and debate over who’s responsible and how to fix it; Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration are race-based; the violence between Israel and Hamas and the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recent travels and speculation she’s gearing up for a ‘stealth’ 2016 presidential bid; chatter about the health issues surrounding the current hookah craze; plus the Western drought and the summer ‘polar vortex’ affecting the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

If I Owned a Radio Station Right Now

| June 17, 2014

By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
Publisher

delcollianoSCOTTSDALE, AZ — This is a question I get all the time especially because I have devoted my career to generational media.

When 95 million millennials are rejecting radio, music, network television and disrupting everything they can, operating a radio station for profit seems like a bad business.

One thing I can tell you upfront.

I wouldn’t run my station the way the biggest majors run theirs.

Nor would I go brain dead not knowing whether to go or grow.

Read More

Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in the