Tag: "October 2019"

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

| November 19, 2019

BREAKING NEWS – Masked Intruders Break In and Set fire to Hong Kong Office of The Epoch Times.   Four masked intruders dressed in black (three of which are pictured above in a still from a security camera) set fire to the printing press of the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times in the early hours this morning (11/19), marking the fourth attack on the Hong Kong facility of the international news organization since its opening more than a decade ago.  According to a breaking report in The Epoch Times online edition, the manager of the printing press said that the incident took place around 3:40 am HKT at the facility located in the Mong Kok area, as the newly printed newspapers were about to be delivered to the stands.  Moments after staff at the press opened the factory door, however, the men walked into the facility and pointed batons towards the workers, shouting, “All of you don’t move!” Surveillance footage from the printing shop shows two of the men dressed in all black carrying batons, while one of them holds newspapers, and another carries two containers containing a flammable liquid, which he poured onto the factory machines and newspapers.  The other black-clad man then ignited fires with a lighter. The men immediately ran away after the fires started. The whole incident lasted about two minutes. The fire caused the sprinkler system to turn on, and a staff member used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. The staff then called the police and fire department, who arrived shortly afterward. The Tsuen Wan police bureau has launched an investigation.  Two print machines, four rolls of printing papers, and several stacks of newspapers in the factory suffered damage from the fire. Some papers were also damaged by the water.  In February 2006, thugs broke into the print shop and attempted to smash the presses. In October 2012, the door of the print shop was damaged. In December 2012, seven men carrying multiple tool boxes appeared and began attempting to break through the gate. They fled after police were called.  The Epoch Times has a long history of persecution in which reporters have been arrested and suffered violence at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.  Talk show hosts interested in booking a spokesperson from The Epoch Times to discuss today’s break-in may do so by contacting Victoria Jones at the DC Radio Company by phone 917-865-3991 or email at victoria@dcradiocompany.com

PPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 2). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a second look at the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  This report delves into commercial news/talk listening by market, comparing data from October 2018 to October 2019.  A review of the 47 PPM markets (Puerto Rico not included), show news/talk listening (based on weekly, 6+ AQH share) was up in 19 of those markets and down in the other 28 PPM markets.  Markets that saw gains were led by Chicago, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, and Memphis.  Markets losing share were led by Denver, Providence, Seattle, and Milwaukee.  Which markets, as of October 2019, are the biggest news/talk listeners?  The top five are: Milwaukee (13.4 share), Cincinnati (12.9 share), Orlando (12.1 share), Minneapolis (11.9 share), Middlesex (10.8 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nick Kayal Exits Nashville’s “102.5 The Game.” Morning drive sports talk personality Nick Kayal exits Cromwell Media’s sports talk WPRT, Nashville “102.5 The Game” in a move that appears to be a cost-saving effort.  The show currently stars Braden Gall and former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason.  Kayal joined the WPRT morning show in 2018 after having previously served with WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Sports Fanatic.”  Gall and Mason discussed Kayal’s departure on today’s program and an appreciative good-bye text from Kayal appears on the morning show’s page on the station website.

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated “John Fredericks Show” – based at WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia – is broadcasting today (11/19) live from the White House.  Fredericks says the show will be “no-holds-barred as we delve into White House and GOP strategy for passing USMCA, prescription drug pricing, vaping restrictions, stopping surprise medical billing, and of course, the impeachment witch hunt.”  Guest will include members of Congress as well as press secretary Stephanie Grisham, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Vice President Mike Pence…..Sports talk radio personality Matt Jones – whose “Kentucky Sports Radio” program is based at WLAP-AM, Lexington – announces he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Mitch McConnell.  FOX 17 Nashville reports Jones made the announcement on Friday (11/15).  Jones says he intends to publish a book about McConnell titled, Mitch, Please, sometime in the New Year.  After he made that announcement in August, he was fired from his TV show on WLEX-TV, Lexington.  The station says Jones will not return to air there.  Jones briefly was off his radio show after the Kentucky Republican Party filed a complaint about his candidacy being promoted on the radio…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that he hears Rachel Williamson – currently president of Cox Media Group’s multiplatform advertising organization Gamut – is the odds on favorite to take over for Jimmy de Castro as senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Chicago operations.  During her career, Williamson has served as director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group and director of national ad sales for Cumulus Media, among others…..iHeartMedia adds an FM translator to the WVOC-AM, Columbia, South Carolina news/talk brand.  The station can now be heard on W278CY, Columbia at 103.5 FM…..ABC Audio is presenting three special programs for affiliate stations to air during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  For news/talk stations there is “America’s Bounty.”  Hosted by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondents Alex Stone, Jason Nathanson, Jim Ryan, Michelle Franzen, and more, the program takes listeners to an egg farm in New Hampshire, a five-generation livestock farm in South Dakota, and a hydroponic vegetable farm in New Jersey to report on the people who produce what ends up on America’s table.  The program also visits a vineyard in California’s Santa Maria Valley, where sustainable winemaking is their mission…..Public media firm KQED, San Francisco is creating a dedicated news desk to cover the Bay Area’s housing and affordability crisis.  The desk is comprised of journalists Erika Aguilar, Erin Baldassari, and Molly Solomon.  The team’s goal is to provide ongoing coverage of housing and affordability issues in the Bay Area for multiple KQED platforms.  The formation of KQED’s housing desk has been made possible in part by a generous grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative…..Last Friday (11/15), Eric Goranson, host of “Around The House With Eric G.” and Jeff “JT” Tracy, host of “Barbecue Nation,” – both distributed in syndication by Envision Networks – led the effort to raise funds for the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center via the “Operation Helping Our Heroes” radiothon on KPAM, Portland “AM 860 The Answer.”  The production netted $51,225 for supporting active military, veterans, and their families in obtaining benefits, services, and resources to meet their basic needs.  Below from left to right are: Tracy, retired Portland and KPAM radio legend Bob Miller, and Goranson.

Entercom Presents Live Event Addressing Addiction Hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky. The two-hour live event titled, “I’m Listening,” takes place Thursday (11/21) before a live audience at the Entercom Baltimore Performance Studio presented by Recovery Centers of America and hosted by radio host, television host, and addiction medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky.  The program airs live on adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” and Facebook Live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Dr. Drew and a panel of expert speakers will discuss substance abuse, suicide prevention, and information on how to get help.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “Millions of people are affected by mental illness.  It is our goal to open up the conversation and help end the stigma surrounding mental health.  We are proud to leverage our platform and voices to help provide the appropriate resources and information to those affected and encourage people to talk.”

Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations, Trump Hospital Visit, A Warning Book Released, Trump West Bank Reversal, 2020 Presidential Race, Hong Kong University Siege, Prince Andrew Interview, Iran Protests, and Fresno Shooting Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18). The impeachment testimony scheduled for this week and the allegations of President Trump’s impropriety with regard to Ukraine military aid; controversy over President Trump’s unannounced, weekend visit to the hospital; today’s publication of the book A Warning by Anonymous, purportedly a White House insider; Trump’s reversal of the 1978 U.S. policy declaring West Bank settlements illegal; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the siege by Chinese soldiers of the protester-occupied Hong Kong Polytechnic University; the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein; the protests in Iran after the government shut off the Internet; and the investigation into the football party shooting in Fresno that left four dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Glenn Kalina becomes part of the morning show at Entercom’s classic hits WOGL-FM, Philadelphia alongside incumbent AM drive host Marilyn Russell for the new “Glenn Kalina and Marilyn in the Morning.”  Kalina had been doing weekend and fill-in work for the station.  Kalina has worked on air in the market on WMWX-FM, WIOQ-FM, and the former WLCE-FM…..Actress, model, and radio personality Claudia Jordan exits urban contemporary KRNB-FM, Dallas “Smooth R&B 105.7.”  Air personality Rudy Rush moves from KRNB to Service Broadcasting’s co-owned hip hop KKDA-FM, Dallas “K104” as part of the “DeDe in the Morning” show, led by DeDe McGuire…..ABC Audio presents two music-oriented shows for affiliate stations to air during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The three-hour country music special, “Every Girl At Christmas,” is hosted by Trisha Yearwood and includes appearances by Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, Brett Eldredge, Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Keith Urban, Dan + Shay, Luke Bryan, and more.  “Rock & Reelz” is a three-hour program hosted by Journey’s Jonathan Cain that takes a look back at some of the greatest rock songs from popular films such as Goodfellas, Easy Rider, Bohemian Rhapsody, and more.  The special features artists including Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Aerosmith, Bob Seger, Pat Benatar, Blondie, and Journey.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Revenue Rises 3%. Revenue for iHeartMedia, Inc. – whose shares became listed on the NASDAQ on July 18 of this year – was $948.3 million, an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  Digital revenue increased 33.4%.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, revenue was $2.66 billion – an increase of 2.8% over the same period in 2018.  The company says, “Our traditional radio business, which is comprised of our Broadcast and Networks revenue streams, is stable and growing.  Broadcast revenue declined by 0.6% on a reported basis and increased 0.4% excluding the impact of political revenue, while Networks grew 9.2% year-over-year driven primarily by growth in our Total Traffic & Weather network.  Networks also grew sequentially by almost 300 basis points over the second quarter. Our growth was also driven by our Digital revenue stream, which grew 33.4%.  Digital revenue growth was primarily driven by growth in podcasting, as well as other digital revenue.  Audio & Media Services declined 14.3% on a reported basis and increased by 0.2% excluding the impact of political revenue.  Political revenue primarily impacts our Broadcast and Audio & Media Services revenue, and therefore these revenue streams tend to show greater variance in non-political years.  Sponsorships increased by 4.4% year-over-year. Importantly, all of our revenue streams grew year-over-year excluding the impact of political revenue, demonstrating the continued momentum in our business.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Income Up 1.5%. Net income for Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2019 third quarter was $66.1 million, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2018 and the company says that “reflects increased revenue in the Company’s Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Wilmington market clusters. Net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the Company’s other market clusters.”  For the first nine months of 2019, net income was $189.5 million, an increase of 4.1% over the same nine-month period in 2018.  Station Operating Income increased 12.7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2019.  The company says the year-over-year increase is primarily attributable to higher revenue in the 2019 third quarter and lower station operating expenses related to $1.7 million of non-recurring bad debt expense that was recorded in the comparable 2018 period, partially offset by higher expenses at recently acquired stations.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout the third quarter, we continued to advance our revenue diversification initiatives and actively manage our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms, while implementing our operating disciplines at recently acquired stations to drive SOI growth and margin expansion.  Record third quarter net revenue of $66.1 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in four of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset the approximate $0.9 million of combined political, spectrum and United States Traffic Network traffic revenue recorded in the 2018 third quarter, which did not recur in the 2019 third quarter…Third quarter results also began to reflect financial contributions related to our new and expanding digital development and diversification initiatives. Beasley generated a year-over-year increase in digital revenue of approximately 37%, with digital now accounting for 7.4% of total revenue, compared to 5.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Going forward, we remain committed to increasing digital share of total revenue as we continue to aggressively roll out our digital transformation strategy across the organization.”

Urban One Third Quarter Net Revenue Basically Flat at $111.1 Million.  While third quarter net revenue was up just 0.3%, Urban One’s broadcast and digital operating income was up 3.2% on $44.8 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  Operating income was approximately $32.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to approximately $32.1 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred Liggins III says, “During the third quarter we completed the sale of WDMK to Beasley Broadcasting, as a result of which our cash position improved, and net leverage was reduced. On a same station basis, our third quarter radio revenues were up 4.2%, and I was pleased that we were able to grow the Radio Broadcasting segment Adjusted EBITDA by 6.6%.  Same station core radio revenues, excluding political, are currently pacing down low single digits for the fourth quarter.  Cable Television advertising was robust in the quarter, up 7.8%. While digital revenues decreased by 6.4%, we were able to post significant Adjusted EBITDA growth in that segment as a result of improved cost control.  Overall, we were able to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 5.8% for the quarter, and I believe we are well positioned to achieve our strategic goals for the year, with Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $138-$140 million.”

Nielsen Announces Plans to Split into Two Companies.  Along with its third quarter financial results, Nielsen Holdings Plc is announcing that it will “separate the Global Media and Global Connect businesses through a spin-off of the Global Connect business.”  Global Media is the audience measurement division and Global Connect is the consumer data division.  CEO David Kenny says, “We are pleased with our third quarter results.  Both Media and Connect revenues were ahead of our expectations, reflecting strong execution as well as our focus on driving faster, bolder decisions to enhance value for Nielsen and for our clients.  We also announced today the conclusion of our strategic review and our decision to separate Global Media and Global Connect.  As we look forward, we remain focused on executing on our growth strategies and positioning both businesses to create value for our shareholders.”  The strategic review was led by chairman of the board of directors James Attwood, who says, “Nielsen has two strong and global franchises — Global Media and Global Connect.  Following an extensive review process, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the Board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximize value creation.  As independent companies, both Nielsen — the Global Media business — and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership.”

Q3 2019 Flat for Saga Communications. Third quarter net revenue for Saga Communications, Inc. was $31.3 million, basically flat compared to 2018’s Q3 figure of $31.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $171 thousand to $23.6 million and operating income decreased $520 thousand to $4.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net Income decreased $361 thousand to $3.3 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis, third quarter net revenue decreased $1.4 million to $30.3 million.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, net income was flat with the same period in 2018 at $9.4 million.  Net revenue decreased $610 thousand to $91.3 million.  On a same-station basis for the nine-month period, net revenue decreased $3.8 million to $88.1 million.  Saga reports having $42.3 million in cash on hand as of November 4, 2019.  The company’s total bank debt was $10 million as of the end of the quarter.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on the public radio news/talk format.  More than 60% of public radio news/talk stations were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) compared to the September 2019 survey.  Year-over-year, the results were split about 50/50, with half the stations up and half down. Four high-performing public outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in October.  They were: WAMU-FM, Washington; KPBS-FM, San Diego; KOPB-FM, Portland; and KUT-FM, Austin.  Perennially top-ranked public outlet KQED, San Francisco ceded the #1 spot to Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco in October.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Sun Broadcast Group to Rep All of Envision Networks’ Products in 2020. This agreement between Sun Broadcast Group and Envision Networks is an expanded sales representation agreement that now includes all Envision Networks shows and services.  Envision Networks CEO and president Danno Wolkoff says, “We started with Sun Broadcast Group selling all of our Spanish inventory and began adding more general market advertising to their networks as we grew.  SBG’s ability to maximize our lineups and create networks with such high advertiser demand fueled the development of many new shows and services.  It’s only fitting that Jay [Bailey], Julio [Aponte] and the Sun team now represent all of Envision Networks’ advertising sales in 2020 … we’re thrilled to be working together.”

TALKERS News Notes. Greenville, South Carolina news/talk WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” adds a translator to its broadcast.  Now carrying the station’s signal is W270AM, Anderson, South Carolina at 101.5 FM. Anderson is about 25 miles southwest of Greenville.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We’re happy to meet the demand from listeners and advertisers to expand 106.3 WORD’s over-the-air signal to Anderson County using 101.5 FM.  Anderson is a fast-growing market that we are looking forward to serving with 106.3 WORD’s programming on all of our platforms.”…..Kentucky sports talk host Matt Jones will be off his WLAP-AM, Lexington-based program after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.  Jones has announced he’s exploring the possibility of running as a Democrat for McConnell’s senate seat.  The iHeartMedia station asked Jones to step away from the program after the complaint was issued.  Jones was relieved of his duties at WLEX-TV, Lexington in July after he made his political ambitions known…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting a news special titled, “30 Years After the Fall: The Legacy of the Berlin Wall,” that explores the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Correspondent Chas Henry hosts the program as he reports from the site where the Berlin Wall once stood.  He talks to scholars about why the wall was constructed and with residents who watched it come down.  The half-hour program airs Thanksgiving weekend.  Stations interested can contact Jim Jones at jimjones@westwoodone.com or 202-840-7933 for more information.

Impeachment Process, Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Mormon Family Massacre, China-Hong Kong Tensions, New HIV Strain, and OK Boomer Meme Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6). The impeachment process against President Trump; the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Democratic victories in Virginia and Kentucky in Tuesday’s elections; the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family by drug cartel members in Mexico; the ongoing tensions between Hong Kong and China; the discovery of a new strain of HIV; and the controversy over the “Ok Boomer” meme were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, iHeartMedia names Angel “Visa” Jarquin program director for hip hop KBOS “B95.”  He comes to “B95” from his most recent position with the company’s CHR KDON, Monterey where he was afternoon drive personality and assistant program director.   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Central California and Nevada Tony Matteo says, “Angel’s incredible track record of success and his experience in the format make him an ideal fit to spearhead this market’s leading brand in Fresno.  We’re excited to bring his energy to the ‘B95’ team.”…..JVC Media announces the addition of Long Island radio personality Bill “The Wiseman” Wise as morning host at WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “The Wiseman is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves of ‘Oldies 98.1,’ he will also work with the team to develop new and exciting live events and concerts for ‘Oldies 98.1.’  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country outlet WYCD, Detroit  hosted last night’s “Stars and Strings Presented by RAM Trucks Built to Serve” event that raised more than $25,000 for Folds of Honor, the organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Entercom has now raised more than $275,000 to support the cause.  The RADIO.COM event featured performances by Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, and Ryan Hurd…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Cocoa Beach, Florida announces the all-star lineup for its “Earthday Birthday Number 27” music festival taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Orlando Amphitheater.  Performing will be: Shinedown, Halestorm, Theory Of A Deadman, Beartooth, Fozzy, Dirty Honey, New Years Day, Crobot, and Dinosaur Pile-Up, with more to be announced…..Cox Media Group classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 The River” will celebrate its 14th birthday with “The River’s Rockin’ Birthday Bash Presents: Journey with Pretenders” on Thursday, August 13 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta.  Station director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “We can’t wait to celebrate The River’s 14th birthday with our awesome fans.  Journey and Pretenders will definitely put on an unbelievable show to help us party on August 13!”

Friday, November 1, 2019

| November 1, 2019

Round Four of October PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for news/talk stations during the October survey include: Sinclair Telecable’s KLBJ-AM, Austin rises 0.7 to a 5.0 share and the #6 ranking in the market; iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh continues its three-month upward trend with a 0.6 increase for a 6.0 share and the #6 rank in the market; Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ, Milwaukee puts up a 0.9 to rise to an 8.4 share and the #1 rank in the market; Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds to recent increases with a 0.5 hike for a 4.2 share and the #12 rank; and iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach adds 0.3 tenths to its six consecutive sweeps without a loss to stand at a 4.0 share and is tied at #5 in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations.  See his “Takeaways” from this first round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/1).  The new episode titled, “A House Divided!,” looks back at this past week of October 28 – November 1, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, Talkers Magazine; Chip Franklin, talk show host, KGO, San Francisco; John Fredericks, talk show host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Ethan Bearman, political analyst, FOX News Channel; Jim Blasingame, talk show host, “Small Business Advocate”; and Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/webmaster, Scamicide.com.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Rush Limbaugh Honored with Buckley Prize. Talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh is pictured above at The Breakers in Palm Beach last night (10/30) at the National Review Institute’s sixth annual William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner where the Premiere Networks-syndicated star was honored with the Buckley Prize for Leadership in Political Thought.  The honor was bestowed upon Limbaugh for his “exceptional success articulating and popularizing conservatism to millions of Americans through his acclaimed talk show.”  Limbaugh accepted the award saying, “This is as meaningful as any award I could have…to be mentioned in the same sentence as that award and to have the National Review acknowledge me this way, it’s a big deal to me and I appreciate it.”  Photo: Lila Photo

Jason Myrtetus Ousted from Beasley’s WPEN, Philadelphia. Sports talk host Jason Myrtetus tweets that he’s been let go from Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” where he co-hosted the midday show with Anthony Gargano.  He says, “Today was my last show on 97.5 The Fanatic.  I was laid off after the show today.  The company decided to eliminate a lot of positions, including mine.  I spent 7 years with The Fanatic and worked with a lot of great people.”  Anthony Gargano will continue to host the midday show solo.

Impeachment Process and Ukraine Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 28-November 1. The impeachment process being moved forward by House Democrats and the related issue of a possible quid pro quo request of the Ukraine by President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was a tie between the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and the aftermath of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential race, followed by the California wildfires and climate change tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. On Tuesday (11/5), SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall event featuring an in-depth conversation about race in America, hosted by SiriusXM Urban View’s Karen Hunter.  Topics will include the wealth gap between African-Americans and Caucasians and The New York Times’ 1619 Project – the initiative that explores the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and its ongoing impact on our society.  The special will be recorded before an audience at SiriusXM’s New York City headquarters and Hunter will be joined  by Teri Williams, president and COO of OneUnited, the largest Black-owned bank in America; Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times reporter and creator of The 1619 Project; and Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning journalist Trymaine Lee.  The special will then premiere on Urban View on Thursday (11/7) at 5:00 pm ET.…..College basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski signs a multi-year extension to continue hosting his exclusive show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on SiriusXM.  The Duke University Blue Devils coach begins his 15th season hosting the show this week with six-time All-Star and 2007 Cy Young Award-winning pitcher CC Sabathia and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as guests.  The program airs live each Thursday at 6:00 pm ET on both the ESPNU Radio and SiriusXM ACC Radio channels…..Public media journalist and former national host of the weekend edition of “All Things Considered” on NPR, Arun Rath, is named the new executive editor/host of “All Things Considered” at WGBH, Boston.  Rath assumes the role permanently after serving as interim host of the program since July.  Phil Redo is general manager for radio and local news at WGBH and he says, “‘All Things Considered’ is one of the most important programs in the WGBH Radio lineup, offering listeners the opportunity for deeper understanding of stories that may have developed during the day.  As an experienced reporter, a deft interviewer, and a natural radio host who knows how to pull listeners into important stories, Arun adds immense value to the program.  His perspective is shaped by a natural curiosity and an awareness of cultural issues, all of which will benefit the audience. We are excited to have him step into the role and look forward to all that he has to offer.”

Caroline Beasley Featured at Drive to Digital Event in London. Pictured above at the 2019 Drive to Digital Event at the British Library Conference Centre in London is Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (center) with Xperi VP of radio Joe D’Angelo (left) and Digital Radio UK CEO Ford Ennals (right).  On Wednesday (10/30), Beasley was a featured speaker at the annual event for UK radio and the audio industry that brings together 250 executives from national and local broadcasters, device and car manufacturers, retailers and the supply chain, the UK government, and regulators.  Beasley shared her insight on radio in the United States as well as new digital capabilities and innovation impacting the industry, including QUU ad sync technology.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Amanda McGraw is named program director at iHeartMedia’s country KHGE, Fresno “102.7 The Wolf” and country KOSO, Modesto “92.9 The Big Dog.”  She was most recently serving with the company’s Sacramento cluster as assistant program director for country KYRV-HD2/K296GB “107.1 The Bull” and adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze.”  iHeartMedia Fresno market manager Steve Darnell says, “We’re very fortunate to have Amanda join our team.  She’s a motivated and skilled programmer and will help elevate our iHeartCountry brands.”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that staffer Amanda “Ice” Habrowski is named the 2019 MIW GroupNielsen Music programming mentee.  “Ice” is the assistant program director, music director, and midday host of CHR KBFF “Live 95.5.”  The one-year mentorship matches a female programming candidate with key leaders from both the MIW Radio Group and Nielsen Music aimed at sharpening the programming and professional skills needed to further their career in music-formatted radio.  The program encourages hands-on mentorship through conversations and shared insights from some of the most accomplished professionals in the field.  “Ice” says, “What an honor!  I am so excited to learn and grow alongside some of the most influential and inspiring women in our industry.  I cannot thank the MIW Group and Nielsen enough for this incredible opportunity and you better believe I’ll be taking full advantage of this mentorship program.  Chicks rule!”

October PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| November 1, 2019

October 2019 PPM Data – Information for the October 2019 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 survey period covered September 12 – October 9. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – When Sinclair Telecable news/talk KLBJ-AM gained six-tenths in August to 4.8 (6+), it marked the station’s best 6+-performance in more than six years (5.0, June 2013). Bouncing back from September’s half-share loss with an October +.7 (4.8 – 4.3 – 5.0, tenth to sixth, 6+), “News Radio 590” matches that June 2013 5.0 (6+). Entercom’s KJCE “Talk Radio 1370” repeats September’s .3 (#26, 6+).

An overall +1.1 through four straight improvements (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” advances from #15 to #14. More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH-share in five straight reports without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” continues at #25.

Truly roaring back from September’s loss of six-tenths with an astonishing +2.0 (7.3 – 9.3, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT progresses from second to first with its highest 6+-performance (9.3) since March (9.5). Among KUT’s shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); +1.2 (August) -.6 (September); and +2.0 (October).

Austin Music Formats – On the heels of September’s massive +1.7 to 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia’s country KVET-FM adds another half-share (5.5, 6+) and leaps from sixth to third. September’s 5.5 is the best 6+-showing for “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” since May, when it gained nine-tenths to 5.8 (6+). Following that uptick, however, KVET-FM was an overall -2.5 via three successive significant setbacks (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.3, “98.1 The Austin Texas Original,” which was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) in more than six years (3.1, February 2013). Also boosting by one-half share in October is Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9,” which reaches the five-share level (6+) and posts its fourth straight increase for an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.2 in four straight dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” segues to #2 after six consecutive months at #1. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to this past April, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). More than doubling (+.9) its 6+ AQH-share in four consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” advances from #19 to #18. Immediately after logging September’s +1.1 to 3.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2018 (3.1, as well), regional Mexican cluster-mate KLQB surrenders -1.0 (2.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Entering the September sweep, “Que Buena 104.3” was off an overall four-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Similarly-formatted KLZT, which was a combined +1.3 in August/September (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.3, 6+), falters by one-half share to 4.8 (fourth to eighth, 6+). Directly following March’s +1.2, “107.1 La Z” was a collective -2.7 in four straight decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). A combined +.6 in August/September (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI surrenders seven-tenths (fifth to ninth) as “96.7 Kiss-FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its lowest 6+-stat (4.5) since January’s 4.3. As a result of six successive reports without a loss, Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company alternative KROX was a collective +2.1 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+); however “101-X” drops four-tenths in October (4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). With a 4.7 in September 2019, KROX reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.0). Directly after May/June’s combined +1.1 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is an overall -2.8 in four straight setbacks (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Progressing from eighth to seventh, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is an overall +1.3 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 5.2 -5.4 – 6.0, 6+). On the other hand, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” has lost nine-tenths as a result of four consecutive reports without an increase (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.0, #17 to #18, 6+).

In consecutive months, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” notches a gain of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). After finishing at #15 five months in a row, Raleigh’s “Fan” now repeats at #14. September’s increase halted five straight down or flat moves that resulted in a loss of three tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through October 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 (flat at #25, 6+).

After posting an August +1.0 and then a September -1.1, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” levels off with a +.1 (7.4 – 7.5, flat at #3), 6+). August 2019’s 8.5 was its best 6+-stat since 8.8 in August 2018.

Raleigh Music Formats – Making September’s loss of seven-tenths disappear is Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9 – The Triangle’s Inspiration Station,” which posts an October increase of the same magnitude (5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, +.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). The 5.2 in August 2019 and October 2019 is WNNL’s strongest 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.2, as well). Immediately prior to the September ratings period, “The Light” was a collective +1.5 via seven consecutive up or flat moves (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Jumping seven-tenths as well in October is Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW-FM “Pulse FM” (4.2 – 4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+), which records its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (also 4.9). Replicating September’s increase of six-tenths, iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” crosses the four-share level and climbs from #13 to #12 (3.5 – 4.1, 6+). Its April 2019 through August 2019 topline was: 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 (6+). After having its 6+ AQH share sliced by roughly 72% (-2.3) as a result of nine negative or neutral Raleigh reports in succession (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” applies the brakes with a +.1 to 1.0 (#20 to #18, 6+). While it repeats at #1, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” erases August/September’s +.6 (8.2 – 8.4 – 8.8, 6+) with a -.6 to 8.2 (6+). “Foxy” spent 12 consecutive survey periods on top; had an August-only stay at #2; and returned to #1 in September. Its August gain of two-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -2.8 (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Seven recent WFXC (6+) fluctuations include: +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.1 (February); -.6 (July); and -.6 (October). January’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Remaining in fourth-place, Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life – Your Music” is in an up/down pattern that began in June (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven tenths in September/October (6.5 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” falls from fourth to sixth. Recent WIBC shifts include: +1.0 (October 2018); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); +.9 (June); +.5 (August); and -.5 (October).

Adding one-tenth to September’s +.8 (1.7 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” climbs from #16 to #15. The June 2019 through October 2019 topline for iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 (flat at #18, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” logged a .1 (6+) in July and August; disappeared from print in September; and returns in October with a .1 (#22, 6+).

After surrendering one-half share in September, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI bounces back with a +.4 (4.8 – 5.2, eighth to seventh, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – It is a mixed bag for the market’s two major FM country players as Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank” obliterates August/September’s -1.2 (7.2 – 7.1 – 6.0, 6+) with a robust +1.3 to 7.3 (sixth to third, 6+). Prior to July’s 7.2, “Hank” last reached the seven-share threshold in May 2018 (7.1); WLHK was a combined +1.1 in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+). Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” was a combined -.7 in July/August (7.6 – 7.5 – 6.9, 6+); up four-tenths in September to 7.3 (6+); but is -.8 in October (6.5, third to fifth, 6+). October’s 6.5 is its lowest 6+-stat since 6.1 in “Holiday” 2018. In three straight drops, WTLC-FM was a collective -1.1 (5.5 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) but the Radio One urban AC halts the slide with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Steady at #4, iHeartMedia classic rock WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” (+.6 in October) is in an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in June: 6.7 – 5.9 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 6.9 (6+). Having lost roughly 42% (-2.1) of its 6+ AQH share via four straight down or flat moves (5.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” curtails that streak with a gain of four-tenths to 3.3 (#13 to #11, 6+). Despite its October loss of seven-tenths (11.1 – 10.4, 6+), its classic hits-oldies sibling, WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” is #1 the tenth report in a row. WJJK’s 11.1 (July and September) represents the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing April’s 10.2. After spending six straight ratings periods on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 this past January. WJJK has had some dramatic fluctuations this year including: +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); +1.4 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.1 (September); and -.7 (October). The overall +.9 that Emmis adult contemporary WYXB racked up in three straight spikes (7.4 – 7.8 – 8.0 – 8.3, 6+) vanishes as “B-105.7” sputters by nine-tenths and returns to 7.4 (flat at #2, 6+). Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” is off a combined eight-tenths in September/October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and is unchanged in tenth-place. Logging its fourth loss in a row for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” slips from seventh to ninth.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ tack on nine-tenths to September’s +.4 (7.5 – 8.4, 6+), “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” darts from third to first. Immediately prior to this, the flagship of the Brewers and Packers was -2.3 in three straight setbacks (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). Repeating in eighth-place, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is up four-tenths in September/October (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), directly after a collective -1.1 through three decreases in succession (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+).

By breaking out a +.9 to 1.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRNW more than doubles September’s .7 (6+) as “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” jumps from #18 to #14. Its last time in double-digits was December 2018 (2.8, 6+) when WRNW was a CHR. Tied at #20 – all with .7 (6+) – are Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN”; Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan”; and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920.” WKTI had gained two-tenths in three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). “The Fan” has improved by one-tenth in three sweeps in a row (.4 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+). Until posting a half-share increase to October’s .7 (6+), “The Big 920” logged a .2 (6+) in six straight sweeps and eight of the last nine.

Up one-half share in three straight positive or neutral moves (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM remains at #13. Despite being up six-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (.8 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD backslides from #15 to #17.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to September’s +.3 (4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” advances from ninth to eighth. Debuting in print with a 1.1 (6+), Magnum Radio’s WVTY “Country 92.1 VTY” checks in at #19. After four months in a row at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (9.6 – 8.3, -1.3, 6+) segues to #2 with its lowest 6+-figure (8.3) since December 2018’s 7.7. A combined +1.1 in June/July (8.6 – 9.4 – 9.7, 6+), WRIT occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before dropping to second in May. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, “Big FM” shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Nine of its recent (6+) moves are: -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); +.8 (June); and -1.3 (October). Repeating at #10, Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss-FM” is an overall -1.4 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+) and has its softest 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.1, as well). This is the eighth straight sweep without an increase for Alpha Media’s WIIL, which has lost three-tenths in that February 2019 through October 2019 timeframe (.8 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+); “95 WIIL Rock” falls from #21 to #23.

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s another good month for Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN, which is now +1.1 as a result of five successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+); “Super Talk 99.7” repeats at #12. A combined +.4 in September/October (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” remains at #17; 1.8 (in July and October) is its best 6+-stat in four years (2.0, October 2015).

As a result of four straight spikes, Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (Tennessee Titans) is a collective +2.4 (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) and jumps from tenth to eighth. Prior to June, the last time WGFX fell below a three-share (6+) was July 2017 (2.7, as well). By adding three-tenths in consecutive sweeps, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” nearly doubles August’s 6+ share (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3, #20 to #19, 6+).

Following August/September’s combined +1.8 (5.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” relinquishes more than half that increase (5.9, -1.0, third to sixth, 6+). The news/talk/classical hybrid outlet was a combined +1.2 in May/June (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but lost one-half share in July (5.6 – 5.1, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Substituting September’s loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, 6+) with an October +1.0 (3.4, 6+), Cromwell-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” proceeds from #14 to #13 with its best 6+-stat since last November (3.4, as well). There’s good news/bad news in the Midwest Communications cluster involving adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” and adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” After being on top the past five months, “Mix” – a collective -2.2 in three straight setbacks (9.8 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 7.6, 6+) – falls to the runner-up slot. This particular streak directly follows an overall +1.6 in three successive spikes (8.2 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+). Eight recent (6+) WJXA fluctuations include: +1.9 (December 2018); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.6 (October). WJXA’s “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share by any Nashville outlet since its 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to its current 7.6, “Mix” last fell below an eight-share (6+) in January 2018 (7.7). Succeeding WJXA is (aforementioned) co-owned “Jack,” which is +2.1 in three successive upticks (6.8 – 8.0 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). It is the first time at #1 for Nashville’s version of “Jack” since April, when WCJK logged an 8.4 (6+). Improving by one-half share each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (fifth to third); its CHR sibling WRVW “107.5 The River” (sixth to fourth); and Cumulus Media country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.0, #11 to #9, 6+). In three straight up or flat trends “The Beat” has gained nine-tenths (5.6 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), while “The River” has picked up nine-tenths as well in four successive reports without a loss (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Nash Icon” had lost an overall seven-tenths in four straight down or flat sweeps (5.2 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is a collective -1.0 as a result of three drops in a row (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+), immediately after its +2.7 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.2, 6+). “The Big 98” reached the six-share level (July 2019, 6.2, 6+) for the first time since April 2017’s 6.1. Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which notched three improvements in a row for a collective +1.5 (2.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), forfeits 60% of that increase (2.6, -.9, #13 to #14, 6+); September’s 3.5 was its highest 6+-stat since April’s 3.7. Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s similarly formatted WFFH “The Fish” has relinquished approximately 47% (-2.1) of its 6+-share as a result of four down or flat moves in a row (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). This directly follows a collective +1.0 via four straight increases (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four bumps in a row (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is now a combined -.8 in September/October (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+). In August, “92-Q” reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (5.5, as well). An overall -1.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” repeats in fourth-place.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats –Down six-tenths in September/October (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” carries on in eighth-place. August’s +.3 halted three consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Without an increase the eighth time in a row for an approximately three-fourths reduction (-1.6) of its 6+-AQH share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” repeats at #19. Flat at #20, Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has lost four-tenths via five consecutive negative or neutral moves (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Anchored in seventh-place, Entercom sports talker WVEI continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February: 4.1- 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.8 (6+). July’s 3.1 is its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 2.8.

Following five consecutive ratings periods without an increase that led to a loss of four-tenths in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston news – talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” posts a half-share increase to 1.4 (#18 to #13, 6+).

A combined -.4 in August/September (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+) following July’s +.6, WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH busts out a +.8 to 2.6 (6+) and reenters Providence’s top ten (#11 to #9). In six consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH has lost six-tenths but advances from #14 to #13.

Providence Music Formats – Albeit down one-tenth (9.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” repeats at #1. After occupying the lead position three months in a row, WHJY shifted to the runner-up slot in August; “94 HJY” was +.7 in September. A combined -1.6 in July/August (10.2 – 9.8  – 8.6, 6+), WHJY lost nine-tenths in April, forcing it from the penthouse after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Nine recent (6+) shifts for co-owned hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” include: -.9 (November 2018); -1.0 (Holiday” 2018); +.5 (March); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); +1.4 (July); -.5 (August); +.5 (September); and -.6 in October (5.7 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of seven-tenths, WSNE was a collective +1.2 in three consecutive improvements (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). Hall Broadcasting country WCTK follows September’s -1.0 (9.3 – 8.3, 6+) with a -.5 to 7.8 (flat at #3, 6+). Entering the September sweep, “Cat Country 98.1” was a collective +1.7 in three straight upticks (7.6 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 9.3, 6+), with August’s 9.3 (#1, 6+) representing its highest 6+-share since 10.1 in July 2018. Unlisted for the fourth month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #12, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” has nearly doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight bumps (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Not only is Entercom urban AC WVKL #1 the tenth consecutive month, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” adds six-tenths to September’s massive +2.3 (9.1 – 11.4 – 12.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 in July/August (11.4 – 10.0 – 9.1, 6+), WVKL last failed to log double-digits (6+) in January 2014 (9.8). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been the market pacesetter 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Saga Communications’ WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock,” which was -3.0 in three setbacks in succession (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+), ends the slide with a +.5 to 5.7 (6+) and continues at #4. Prior to September’s 5.2, “The Fox” last fell below a six-share (6+) in December 2018 (5.5). Three straight spikes by Max Broadcast Group adult contemporary WVBW yield a +1.7 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+) as “92.9 The Wave” progresses from seventh to fifth. It is tied with Entercom’s similarly-formatted WWDE “101.3 2WD” (4.9 – 5.1, +.2, sixth to fifth, 6+). WWDE was a combined +.6 in July/August (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+) and then off one-tenth in September. Without a decrease March 2019 through September 2019 and +3.2 in that stretch (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 8.9 – 9.1, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” forfeits exactly half that bounty with an October -1.6 to 7.5 (second to third, 6+). September’s 9.1 marked the first time in the PPM-era that WNOR appeared in print with a 6+-share reaching the nine-share level (6+). Adult standards cluster-mate WJOI “Great Songs – Great Memories,” which had been trending 1.2 – .9 – 1.2 (6+), erodes by nine-tenths to .3 (#16 to #17, 6+). The three most recent shifts by Max Broadcast Group’s country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” are: -.6 (August); +.9 (September); and -.8 in October (4.7 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight positive spikes by WOKV-FM netted a +2.9 (7.5 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+), but the Cox Media Group news/talk outlet surrenders a -1.0 in October to 9.4 (6+). Nonetheless, “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is #1 the fourth month in a row. July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -2.9 (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.5, 6+).

More than quadrupling (+.7) its 6+ AQH share since June in three straight gains (.2 – .5 – .7 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “97.3 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” repeats at #18. August’s +.3 halted nine consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a net loss of 75% (-.6) of its 6+-stat (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Unchanged at #11, public radio news/talk WJCT, which lost nine-tenths in five consecutive down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), is a combined +.4 in September/October (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Boasting September 2019 – October 2019 improvements of nine-tenths each are iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” (fifth to fourth) and Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCRJ “HIS Radio” (2.1, #17 to #15). WQIK is a combined +1.1 in September/October (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5, 6+); WCRJ had been trending 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). WQIK’s format rival, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Jacksonville’s Hottest Country,” is down six-tenths in September/October (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Up a cumulative eight-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” pushes up from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-stat (5.4) since May’s 5.7. Conversely, urban contemporary sibling WJBT “93.3 The Beat” sputters the third time in a row for an overall –1.6 (6.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, fifth to eighth, 6+). Repeating in ninth-place, co-owned gospel WKSL-HD3 is +1.2 via four straight up or flat moves (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Even though cluster-mate WWJK  is without an increase the fourth consecutive report for a net loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” climbs from #13 to #12.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining the two-tenths it lost in September (4.0 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” pushes up from sixth to fifth. Prior to September, WJNO was an overall +2.0 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches,” which was down one-tenth in September, picks up four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 2.4, #13 to #10, 6+). August’s +.2 halted three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). By dropping nine-tenths to 1.8 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL not only suspends four straight boosts that netted a +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), “News Talk 850” drifts from #10 to #14. September’s 2.7 was its strongest 6+-stat since December 2018’s 2.9. Repeating at #21, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD “610 News Radio” is trending 1.0 – .7 – .8 (6+).

After doubling (+.3) its 6+ share in three straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” drops one-tenth to .5 (flat at #22, 6+). This is the 15th sweep in a row iHeartMedia-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” has been a “no-show.”

The alternating down/up March 2019 through October 2019 topline for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is: 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.8 (flat at #9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Bouncing back from September’s loss of one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+) with an October spike of nine-tenths to 4.0 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIRK “New Country 103.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. This (4.0) is its best 6+-showing since September 2018’s 4.2. Four consecutive decreases by hot AC cluster-mate WRMF that resulted in a -3.4 (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+) are directly followed by an overall +1.4 via three straight gains (7.8 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 9.2, 6+). Moreover, WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 the tenth time in a row. Whereas July’s 7.8 is WRMF’s lowest 6+-share and first time below an eight-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016 (7.7), 11.2 in March is its best 6+-showing since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Emphatically wiping out its August/September +.7 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) with an October -1.4, iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” slips from third to seventh with its lowest 6+-figure (3.3) since February’s 3.0. Miami CHR sibling WHYI “Y-100,” which had been within 2.0 – 2.6 range (6+) the last five ratings periods (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), falters by six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) but continues at #12. A collective +.7 in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9” surrenders two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but remains at #15. In the adult contemporary arena, iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” loses one-tenth (6.9 – 6.8, unchanged at #2, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” adds two-tenths (4.4 – 4.6, fourth to third, 6+). WOLL was -.8 (July); +1.0 (August); and -.5 in September. Whereas August 2019’s 7.4 is the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5, July 2019’s 6.4 (6+) is its softest since March (6.4, as well). “Sunny” was a massive -2.2 in August/September (6.6 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to September, the last time WEAT fell below a five-share (6+) was in October 2018 (4.6). When “Sunny” gained one-tenth in July, it suspended three straight decreases that accounted for an overall -1.7 (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). In three improvements in succession, Moody Bible Institute gospel/religious teaching WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” doubles (+.7) its 6+-figure (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #19 to #16 , 6+) and has its highest 6+-stat (1.4) since March (1.5).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Answering September’s -1.3 with an October improvement of six-tenths (to 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). August’s 4.3 is its best 6+-stat since February (4.4).

Up one-tenth (.8 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” climbs from #16 to #15.

Even though it drops three-tenths (2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is locked at #13 the 18th consecutive ratings period. In six consecutive reports without a loss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has more than tripled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH-share (.5 – .8 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, steady at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Powered by a +1.4 (8.9 – 10.3, steady at #2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is back in double-digits (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (10.3, as well). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM All the Hits” is +1.1 in September/October (2.9 – 3.1 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+), reaching the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since April (4.6). At the same time that “Kiss” notches an October +.9, Dick Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by that magnitude (6.0 – 5.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). The loss curtails three straight up or flat trends that (appropriately) netted nine-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). September’s 6.0 is its best 6+-stat since January’s 6.3. WKZL has prevailed over WMKS in all 10 head-to-head battles this year; the closest was in April when WKZL beat “Kiss” by six-tenths (5.2 to 4.6, 6+). As a result of adding eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.7, 6+), WKZL’s sibling, WKRR “Rock 92,” leaps from seventh to fourth. Without a loss three times in succession for a collective +2.1 (8.8 – 9.5 – 10.9 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” has been on top in March, June, August, September, and October. Among its 2019 (6+) fluctuations are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); -1.0 (July); +.7 (August); and +1.4 (September). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached the top in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). In addition to the market’s (6+) country share shrinking by -2.3, the two key players are deadlocked. More to the point, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” takes the bulk of the hit (6.8 – 5.2, -1.6, fourth to sixth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is -.7 (5.9 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” replicated August’s +.8 and posted its best 6+-stat (6.8) since October 2017’s 7.1. August/September’s +1.6 came directly after WPAW was down or flat three reports in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+). Up six-tenths in August, WTQR had a May 2019 through September topline of: 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 (6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, “Q-104.1” was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Over the course of the last 18 sweeps (June 2018 through October 2019), WTQR has triumphed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top six times (December 2018, February 2019, March, April, August, and September; and there have been two ties (June 2019 and October 2019). Immediately after busting out a September +1.0 to 7.6 (6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” relinquishes 70% of the increase (6.9, -.7, flat at #3, 6+). Five straight upticks by WVBZ netted +2.3 (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) but the iHeartMedia-owned rocker is now a combined -1.3 in September/October (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+); “105.7 – Man Up” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). WVBZ reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four consecutive increases that yielded a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drops seven-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

Repeating at #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is a combined +.7 in September/October (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+). September’s increase suspended seven consecutive down or flat trends that led to a collective -1.7 (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) as well as its lowest 6+-stat (2.3) since July 2018. Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is now up or (mostly) flat the 13th straight time for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .4 , flat at #20, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Off six-tenths in August/September (10.1 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” responds with a +1.0 in October to 10.5 (6+) and is #1 the 12th time in a row. July’s increase of three-tenths ended four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) 14 successive ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock 98.1 The Max” is +1.2 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) in September/October and jumps from tenth to sixth. After logging three consecutive downturns that accounted for a net loss of eight-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” recaptures seven-tenths (4.2, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to exiting the top ten (#8 to #11), hot AC cluster-mate WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is an overall -1.5 via three drops in succession (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+) and falls below a four-share (3.7) for the first time since April’s 3.8. Off one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic rock and urban-rhythmic siblings WEGR “Rock 102.7” (seventh to eighth) and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (flat at #13). “Rock 102.7” is down nine-tenths in September/October (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), while WDIA is an overall –1.5 as a result of three straight decreases (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of September’s robust +1.2 (6.2 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is level at 7.4 (6+) but slips from second to third. Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in April:  .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .7 (steady at #14, 6+). For the 17th survey period in a row, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (6+) and is anchored at #16; WPOP was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Off one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6, 6+) after September’s increase of two-tenths, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” continues at #12.

In the last three sweeps, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR had a shift of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). In October, “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” gains two-tenths to 4.5 and is steady at #9. Flat at #13, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” returns September’s spike of three-tenths (.8 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths enables Red Wolf Broadcasting classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale” to cross the seven-share threshold (6.5 – 7.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). Off seven-tenths in August/September (7.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” bounces back with a half-share increase to 7.7 (third to second, 6+). Although down six-tenths to 10.1 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is #1 the 40th consecutive time. Its August/September +1.3 (9.4 – 9.5 – 10.7, 6+) basically wiped away June/July’s -1.4 (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+). Eight recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: +1.8 (December 2018); -6.9 (January 2019); +1.0 (February); -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); and +1.2 (September). “Holiday” 2018’s +5.6 was to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, “Lite” was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Owing to four straight negative or neutral sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” is an overall -1.2 and falls below a six-share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 5.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). Entercom adult contemporary WMAS-FM, which ranked #12 in July (1.5, 6+), is unlisted for the third month in a row. Down or flat the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.4 (7.2 – 7.2 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WHCN “105.9 The River” continues in seventh-place.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

| October 31, 2019

Round Three of October PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Here are some of the ratings gains (6+) of note from this group of markets: Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City puts up an astonishing 2.4 share increase from last month to finish at a 6.4 share and a #3 rank in the market; Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland adds 0.4 to its September number for a 5.1 share and a rise to the #5 rank in the market; iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds to its four-sweep, upward trend to finish the October survey at a 5.7 share and a #2 rank in the market; in Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds 0.4 tenths to finish at a 4.1 share and the #10 rank while sports talk sister KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” increases 0.8 for 7.1 share and remains ranked #4; and Entercom’s sports talk WKRK, Cleveland adds 0.9 tenths to its four-month upward trend to finish with a 5.3 share, good for a #8 rank in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations.  See his “Takeaways” from this first round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Cumulus Names Robert Berju Vice President of Finance and Strategy. Media finance pro Robert Berju joins Cumulus Media in the newly created position VP, finance and strategy. In this role, Cumulus says Berju “will lead financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, capital management, and modeling of strategic initiatives, while having financial oversight of Westwood One.”  Berju is based in New York City.  Berju was most recently with Clever Devices as SVP, finance and accounting.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as VP, corporate finance and as VP, finance and operations for AMC Networks.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes says, “Robert is a highly accomplished media veteran with over two decades of finance, accounting, and strategic planning experience.  He will play an important role in building upon the success of Westwood One and propelling the organization to new heights in 2020 and beyond.”

SiriusXM Reports Third Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 7%. Reporting 2019 third quarter financial data, SiriusXM says revenue jumped 36.7% to $2.01 billion due to the impact of the February acquisition of Pandora.  Revenue was up 7% on a pro forma basis.  However, net income was $246 million – down from $343 million during the same period a year ago – due largely to expenses tied to redeeming its 6% senior notes due 2024 alongside prior-year non-recurring tax benefits.  Still, the satellite/internet radio business added 210,000 net subscribers, pushing the service’s total to 34.6 million.  Self-pay subscribers now total 29.6 million.  Pandora’s ad revenue rose 8% to $315 million, an all-time high for the service.

TALKERS News Notes. As the wildfires in California continue to create havoc, ABC News Radio says that it is providing extensive coverage with correspondent Alex Stone having spent two days on the fire lines in Northern California covering the Kincaid Fire and correspondent Jason Nathanson on the fire lines in Southern California.  Stone will also host the ‘Start Here’ podcast on Thursday and Friday morning from Los Angeles with a heavy focus on the wildfires…..The content creators at public media organization WHYY-FM in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union with 99% voting in support.  The election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.  The move allows the unit to proceed with negotiating a first contract.  The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for all areas of the station, including radio, television and digital.  It also covers those working in the news department, on the digital team, on podcasts, in the production departments and on “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Pulse,” “Billy Penn,” “PlanPhilly,” and “Radio Times.”…..iHeartMedia announces the premiere of “Second Oil Age,” a new, scripted sci-fi podcast set in a deep-sea adventure in a post-energy crisis world.  The first three episodes are available on the iHeartPodcast Network and new episodes debut every Tuesday and Thursday.  The podcast is written by host Robert Lamb and follows Synøve Pan, voiced by Angèle Masters, a specially conditioned agent of the UDEX Oil Corporation as she investigates the disappearance of an oil executive on the deep-sea Atlas Station.  iHM says, “The 10-episode scripted podcast will have true sci-fi fans not only hooked but left with their blood pumping.”

Al Herskovitz Honored by the Media Roundtable in Sarasota.  TALKERS marketing director Al Herskovitz was honored yesterday (10/30) at the monthly luncheon gathering of the Media Roundtable, a Sarasota, FL-based, 300-plus member organization of active and retired media professionals.  Herskovitz (right) pictured with the organization’s chairman Dick Miller (left) was honored for his “years of success in the media and great service to the Media Roundtable.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “We are so proud of Al and indeed lucky to have his knowledge and wisdom to draw upon.  At 88, he is still going strong and brings a wealth of career experience to our ‘table’ that spans the decades and centuries.  He is indeed an industry treasure and we love him.”

Impeachment Inquiry, California Wildfires, Twitter Bans Political Ads, 2020 Presidential Race, APEC Summit Canceled/U.S.-China Trade Deal, and Nationals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30). The testimony for the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the millions affected by the California wildfires and the PG&E power blackouts; social media platform Twitter announces a ban on political ads; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Chile cancels the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit due to civil unrest and the related U.S.-China trade deal; and the Washington Nationals upset the Houston Astros to win the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jake Thomson rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head “BOB 106.9,” taking over for Hunter Meyer, who exited the station back in May.  Thomson will continue to host the PM drive daypart…..Air personality Isaac Wenzel exits iHeartMedia’s Madison country outlet WMAD “96.3 Star Country.  He was also in charge of promotions for the company’s Madison station group.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

| October 30, 2019

Round Two of October PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Some (6+) ratings gains of note from these markets include: Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington rises 0.8 to a 4.3 share and a #8 ranking in the market; both Boston sports talkers see positive movement as Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs 1.1 to a 6.1 share and #4 in the market while Entercom’s WEEI goes up 0.7  to 4.4 share and #7 in the market; Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit climbs 0.6 to a 2.9 share; Bonneville’s KMVP, Phoenix “98.7 Arizona Sports” gains 0.7 to a 3.1 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego ranked #5 in the market after a 0.7 increase to a 5.0 share; and recent programming changes at iHeartMedia’s KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7” push it up a full share to a 2.1 and #18 in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations. See his “Takeaways” from this second round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (10/31), C-SPAN2 will air a one-hour special television program about the new book by nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes titled, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press).  Former longtime FOX News Radio host Starnes is launching a new, three-hour talk show on Monday (11/4).  Interested stations can inquire about the program by emailing: media@hamiltonstrategies.com…..The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that WIP, Philadelphia overnight on-air personality Big Daddy Graham is dealing with a setback in his health situation that began with a spinal cord injury back in July.  His daughter Ava Graham, who works on the Angelo Cataldi morning show on the station, told listeners her father is back in the hospital suffering with double pneumonia, an inflamed kidney, and a necrotic femur.  He spent 88 days in the hospital recovering from the spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed from the waist down…..Tomorrow night (10/31), Premiere Networks personality George Noory will continue his traditional “Ghost to Ghost AM” version of the “Coast to Coast AM” show.  It will feature ghost stories, open-line callers, and a Halloween greeting from actor Bill Mumy (“Lost in Space” and “Babylon 5”), as well as a deceased guest.  He’ll also welcome special guests, including The Haunted Housewives – Theresa Argie and Cathi Weber…..WSCO-AM, Appleton, Wisconsin “The Score” morning personality Brian Butch is adding duties with the Big Ten Network this season as a game and studio analyst.  The former University of Wisconsin basketball star says, “I’m excited for this opportunity and for a chance to get back to my Big Ten roots.  I look forward to continuing my growth as a broadcaster and sharing my knowledge of basketball with the viewers.”  Butch co-hosts the “BJ and the Bear” program on the Woodward Radio Group sports talk outlet.  He’s also filled in on FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen show…..Premiere Networks and Dr. Dave Creative Entertainment announce the launch of the “Legit Check” podcast, hosted by Yeezy Busta.  The program is “a journey through the evolving and influential world of sneaker culture.  Each week, Yeezy Busta will invite celebrities, musicians, comedians, athletes, and other sneaker enthusiasts to discuss the state of sneaker culture –where it’s going, the people who influence it, the latest trends, its effect on music, and much more.”

Westwood One: Boomers Are a Demographic Brands Shouldn’t Ignore. In its weekly blog post, Westwood One states that while so many advertisers are focusing on targeting Millennials, “Boomers account for 54% of all disposable income, making them an important demographic brands can’t afford to ignore.  Using AM/FM radio, they can reach and influence this desirable consumer group.” Some of the data points in the report include: Boomers 50+ spend nearly $550 billion annually on their home and personal retail. Boomers have a more active lifestyle than Millennials, spending 56% more time doing leisure activities and sports and 22% more time shopping than Millennials 25-34, according to the Video Advertising Bureau; Weekly, persons 50-64 spend an average of 14 hours and 35 minutes with AM/FM radio.  Daily, they are clocking an average of 2 hours and 5 minutes with AM/FM radio; and Boomers especially connect with classic rock, the music of their formative years, as well as news/talk and sports format stations.  See the blog here.

Impeachment Inquiry Testimony, California Wildfires, 2020 Presidential Race, Boeing CEO Testimony, Rising Sea Levels/Global Warming, and Brexit Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). Tuesday’s testimony from National Security Council member Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman before the House Intelligence Committee about President Trump’s plea to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden; the California wildfires that have some 25 million people on edge and the PG&E power blackouts; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the latest report on climate change and rising sea levels; and Britain’s December 12 elections in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to gain conservative PMs to push his Brexit plan through were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Nominations Open for 2020 NAB Technology Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters announces it is opening nominations for the 2020 Technology Awards to be presented at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards are presented to individuals for their outstanding accomplishments in the radio or television broadcast industry and include the following honors: Radio Engineering Achievement Award; Television Engineering Achievement Award; Technology Innovation Award; and Best Paper Award.  NAB executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “It is an annual highlight to present these awards to deserving individuals and organizations in celebration of our industry’s technical and engineering achievements.  I look forward to again recognizing the successes that foster progress in broadcast technology and broadcaster innovation at the 2020 NAB Show.”  The deadline for nominations is January 13, 2020. Nomination forms and detailed award rules are available at nab.org/events/awards.asp, along with listings of past recipients.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM” promotes overnight and weekend personality JRDN to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “He brings a level of energy to events that no one can match.  Through his charisma and passion for both music and radio, JRND creates inviting and exciting experiences for listeners on the air and in person.”…..Eight-year iHeartMedia New York engineer Tony Peiffer returns to Lewistown, Pennsylvania to take on the market manager role at Mifflin County Communications/Nittany Media where he’ll be in charge of active rock WCHX-FM, country WVNW-FM “Star Country 96.7,” and classic hits WKVA-AM/W262DO “Big 100.3.”  He says, “This is sort of a homecoming, as I had worked with this company prior to my move to the Big Apple.  I’m looking forward to rejoining and now leading the team in Lewistown.  I’d like to thank Ann Hain, Jon Hain, and the entire leadership team at Nittany Media for putting their faith in me to rebuild their hometown heritage stations and brands.”…..Entercom announces the lineups and dates for the “Stars and Strings” concerts in New York (12/4), Detroit (12/6), and Chicago (12/8).  Entercom SVP of programming and music initiatives Michael Martin says, “‘Stars and Strings’ has been consistently sold out in Chicago every year since its inception and sold out in under 30 minutes in its debut in Detroit.  We look forward to expanding the show to additional cities to reflect the strength and mass appeal reach of country music.”  The Detroit lineup includes: Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young and Ryan Hurd and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Folds of Honor – a charity that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.  To date, Entercom has raised more than $250,000 for Folds of Honor.  The New York show will feature: Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Blanco Brown, Runaway June, Gone West, and Matt Stell.  The Chicago event will feature: Kane BrownChris Janson, Scotty McCreery, Lindsay Ell, and Seaforth…..Google and SiriusXM announce that SiriusXM will be available on Google Nest smart speakers and displays via the Google Assistant.  Rolling out over the next week, users will see SiriusXM’s extensive lineup of programming in the Google Home app, available on iOS and Android devices…..Last night (10/29), Big Sean took the stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for iHeartRadio LIVE.  He performed hits including” “Bezerk,” “Single Again,” and “Bounce Back,” as well as some of his earlier hits.  Pictured backstage at the Apollo are (from l-r): iHeartMedia EVP of programming Thea Mitchem; iHeartMedia manager, artist relations, urban programs Newal Dehan; Big Sean; iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes; and iHeartMedia artist operations and production Natasha Lees. Photo: Rachel Kaplan.

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