Tag: "Pandora"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

| November 13, 2019

Salem Third Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. Total revenue for the third quarter of 2019 for Salem Media Group, Inc. was $64.1 million, down 2.2% from the same period in 2018.  It also posted an operating loss of $14.5 million in Q3 compared to operating income of $6.3 million a year ago.  Salem is reporting a net loss of $20 million, or $0.75 net loss per share, “impacted by a $17.5 million loss on the disposition of assets and a $1.9 million impairment of indefinite-lived long-term assets other than goodwill, compared to net income of $1.2 million, or $0.05 net income per diluted share in Q3 of 2018.  Salem breaks its divisions down into three segments: Broadcast, Digital and Publishing.  In the third quarter, net broadcast revenue decreased 2.3% to $47.7 million from $48.8 million.  Same station net broadcast revenue decreased 1.4% to $46.5 million from $47.2 million and same station SOI decreased 11.4% to $10.6 million from $12.0 million.  Digital was also down 12% for Salem to $9.1 million.   However, publishing revenue increased 15.3% to $7.3 million from $6.3 million.  Salem also reports a $17.5 million ($13.0 million, net of tax, or $0.49 per share) net loss on the disposition of assets which includes a $9.9 million estimated pre-tax loss for the pending sale of radio stations WAFS-AM in Atlanta, Georgia, WWDJ-AM in Boston, Massachusetts, WHKZ-AM in Cleveland, Ohio, KEXB-AM (formerly KTNO-AM) in Dallas, Texas, KDMT-AM in Denver, Colorado, KTEK-AM in Houston, Texas, KRDY-AM in San Antonio, Texas and KXFN-AM and WSDZ-AM in St. Louis, Missouri, a $4.7 million pre-tax loss from the sale of radio stations WWMI-AM and WLCC-AM in Tampa, Florida and WZAB-AM and WOCN-AM (formerly WKAT-AM) in Miami, Florida, a $1.6 million pre-tax loss from the sale of radio station WDYZ-AM (formerly WORL-AM) in Orlando, Florida and a $1.3 million pre-tax loss on the exchange of radio station KKOL-AM in Seattle, Washington for KPAM-AM in Portland, Oregon.

DeMann Named Director of Programming for JVC’s Florida Stations. Programming pro Stevie DeMann joins JVC Broadcasting as director of programming for the company’s Florida radio station group that includes talk WDYZ-AM, Orlando and WYGC-FM, Gainesville “Florida Man Radio 660AM/105.5FM” and five music brands.  DeMann was most recently operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster.  DeMann says, “I wanted to find the right situation before getting back into the business.  The team at JVC Florida is the best.  From management to programming, sales and promotions, they are all pros that love working together to create successful local content, events, and promotions.  I am thrilled and thankful to CEO John Caracciolo and EVP Shane Reeve for trusting me to ensure our on-air product is the best.”  Caracciolo comments, “Our company is in rapid-growth mode and we require someone with a significant and successful programming background to show that live and local radio is what listeners and clients want and can be done well.  Stevie’s history and background in Orlando allows JVC such a leg up on the competition in that market.  His experience in big markets like Boston, Orlando, and others will lend a tremendous hand with our already successful team in Gainesville-Ocala.  I am very excited about the future of JVC in Florida and across the country!”

TALKERS News Notes. In Miami, sports radio personality Brian “The Beast” London exits his position with Entercom’s sports talk WAXY-AM, Miami “790 The Ticket” where he was a cast member on the “Tobin & Leroy” morning show and assistant program director for the station…..Today, Lexington, Kentucky news talk WVLK “97.3FM/590 AM” is airing a nine-hour broadcast dedicated to addressing the opioid crisis and how it impacts Central Kentucky and the Commonwealth.  Titled, “Enough: Opioid Awareness Day,” the Cumulus Media station is partnering with Lexington city government, local organizations, and businesses to present the personal stories of addiction and recovery, city and state programs designed to help, the physical and physiological effects that lead to addiction, and alternatives to pain medications…..Envision Networks’ “GeekOut” celebrated the airing of its 500th episode this past weekend.  The daily audio and video vignettes are hosted by Peter Welpton, formerly managing director and resident technology “guru” for longtime, syndicated hosts “Lex and Terry.”  Envision says, “‘GeekOut’ is a daily vignette highlighting everything techies love.  Each episode covers a variety of topics including technology, movies, video games and all things geeky.”…..Lemonada is announcing its third original podcast, “Good Kids: How Not to Raise an A**hole,” is premiering on November 26 with five episodes.   Lemonada co-founders Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs say the new series “is a podcast for anyone in the trenches of parenting or anyone with an opinion on parenting (see: everyone).  For 15 minutes each week, a diverse set of parents, teachers, policy makers, and world shapers grab the mic and offer relevant advice, rants, and reflections on child-rearing today. It’s funny, touching, helpful, and exactly what the world needs right now.”  Earlier this year, Lemonada Media partnered with Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to distribute, sell, and build audiences across the Lemonada network…..There’s a new iHeartRadio Original podcast launching titled, “The Women.”  It’s hosted by Rose Reid and features “personal and candid interviews with some of today’s female changemakers – including artists, politicians, amateur kickboxers, mothers, and lovers – who didn’t back down in the face of resistance.”  Episode one features former CIA agent and current New Mexico congressional candidate Valerie Plame.  Plame revisits the year 2003, when she says the Bush administration blew her cover in retaliation for a critical op-ed written by her husband…..PodcastOne announces the debut of the “Adulting Like A Mother Father” podcast in partnership with The Direct Message Network.  New episodes each Tuesday feature actress and entrepreneur Daniella Monet and her fiancé Andrew Gardner navigating parenthood and defining what it truly means to “adult.”

Impeachment Process/Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, SCOTUS Hears DACA Arguments, Trump-Erdogan Meeting, Bitter Cold U.S. Weather, Hong Kong Violence, and the NFL’s Kaepernick Workout Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12). The impeachment process against President Trump and allegations against him in the Ukraine affair; the Supreme Court hears arguments about the status of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act; the controversy surrounding President Trump’s scheduled meeting today (11/13) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the unseasonably cold weather affecting the U.S. north and east; the violent protests in Hong Kong; and the NFL-organized workout for quarterback Colin Kaepernick were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Westwood One: AM/FM Radio Gets Out the Vote. The latest installment of the Westwood One blog uses Nielsen Scarborough data and Nielsen Media Impact to show that AM/FM radio is a consistently effective tool “for political campaigns needing to cut through the clutter.”  Some of the conclusions drawn include: AM/FM radio has mass reach: according to Nielsen Scarborough data, AM/FM radio reaches 88% of likely voters, more than the Internet (85%), TV (83%), and Facebook (62%). AM/FM radio also has significantly greater reach among likely voters than SiriusXM(18%), Pandora (17%), and Spotify (10%); AM/FM radio reaches Twitter users: with the recent announcement that Twitter will no longer take political ads leading up to the 2020 election, AM/FM radio steps in to fill the void. According to Scarborough, AM/FM radio (88%) outreaches Twitter (18%) among likely voters. Among likely voters, 90% of Twitter users are reached by AM/FM radio. By investing in AM/FM radio, political campaigns get virtually the entire Twitter audience for free; AM/FM radio reaches every key voting segment: 88% of Democrats, Republicans, and swing voters are reached weekly by AM/FM radio; and AM/FM radio makes your TV better: according to an actual U.S. Senate campaign run in Nielsen Media Impact for an October 2018 media buy, a TV-only media plan achieves a 79% reach. Reallocating 20% of the media budget to AM/FM radio boosts reach to 90%, a +14% increase in incremental reach versus just TV alone for the same budget.  Read the blog here.

NPR and Edison Research: Spoken-Word Audio Consumption Up 20% in the Last Five Years. During yesterday’s webinar, NPR and Edison Research revealed data from The Spoken Word Audio Report that examines listener behaviors and preferences related to spoken word audio – podcasts, news, sports, talk radio, and audiobooks – and includes five years of previously unreleased data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study.  Among the findings of the report are: The share of time spent listening to spoken word audio has increased 20% since 2014, while time spent with music across the same period decreased 5%.  This shift is led by a dramatic increase in spoken-word audio consumption on mobile devices across age groups and increases in spoken word share among those ages 13-34.  Other findings include: 121 million Americans listen to spoken-word audio each day, an increase of 16 million people in the last five years; growth in spoken-word listening has been greatest among young people: those age 13-34 now spend 19% of their audio time with spoken-word audio (up 58% from 2014); mobile technology use is driving growth in spoken-word audio category: 22% of listening to spoken-word audio in 2019 is now on a mobile device, compared to 9% five years ago; and spoken-word audio yields deep connections and involvement from its consumers, with large percentages of consumers reporting they turn to spoken-word audio content for information, inspiration, entertainment, and companionship.  See the study here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dylan Salisbury is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s CHR KKMG, Colorado Springs “98.9 MAGIC FM.”  He moves west from the company’s Indianapolis CHR WZPL where he was serving as assistant PD and music director…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” starring Jackie Kajzer adds Beasley Media Group’s rock WRXK-FM, Ft. Myers “96K-Rock” to its affiliate list as the station adds the program to its Saturday night program schedule. Kajzer is the KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year and a four-time FMQB “Metal Host of the Year” recipient for her work on “Full Metal Jackie Radio.”…..Another round of on-air staff reductions at an Entercom cluster, this time in Miami as on-air pro Todd Durkin exits the morning show at country WKIS “99.9 Kiss Country,” classic hits WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” midday host Jade Alexander Mia leaves, and adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE-FM” afternoon personality and APD Kimba is out…..In Madison, three on-air personalities are gone from the airwaves at Midwest Communications stations.  Julie Jacobs is gone from the midday gig at adult contemporary WMGN “Magic 98.”  Dave Ogden exits the middays/APD role at country WWQM “Q106,” and Jason Ryan loses his evening host/traffic reporter gig on “Q106.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One offers a four-hour, Thanksgiving country radio special hosted by CMA and ACM award-winning, multi-platinum artist Luke Combs.  Luke and his friends are going to talk food and traditions with a side of gratitude and a lot of music. Guests joining Combs on the show include: Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Old Dominion, and Kelsea Ballerini.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

| November 5, 2019

Townsquare Media Q3 Net Revenue Up 6.2%.  Third quarter 2019 net revenue for Townsquare Media was $112.6 million, an increase of 6.2% over the same period in 2018.  (Net revenue was up 7.9% excluding political revenue.)  The company also is reporting year-to-date figures (the first three quarters of the year) and says that net revenue was up 6.7% over the same period in 2018.  Net income was up $29 million during the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says in a statement, “Townsquare’s third quarter results exceeded our expectations, with ex-political net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increasing 7.9% and 12.9%, respectively, over the prior year.  In addition to the continued strong results of our digital marketing subscription business, Townsquare Interactive, which increased net revenue by 26.0% over the prior year, our Advertising business grew net revenue a very impressive 7.3% excluding political revenue over the prior year.  Both segments also achieved strong profit margins in excess of 30% in the third quarter and year to date periods, which as a result increased Adjusted EBITDA by a strong 11.5% in the first nine months of 2019.  Continued momentum in our revenue growth, coupled with our disciplined expense management, allowed us to reduce net leverage to 4.7x as of September 30th, a reduction of 0.6x year over year and the lowest net leverage level in our history.  The ongoing strong performance of Townsquare Interactive and Townsquare Ignite, our proprietary digital programmatic advertising platform, is contributing to digital revenue being 35% of our total net revenue and reinforces our belief that each of those digital divisions will generate $100 million in annual net revenue within the next two to four years.  We believe that our strong financial performance, talented teams, broad product suite of high quality, locally focused multiplatform offerings, and the size and strength of our digital businesses, further prove that Townsquare is not a traditional radio broadcaster, and has evolved to be a premier local media and digital marketing solutions company.”

‘ESPN Tucson’ Adds New Morning Show. The new, two-hour morning drive show on Arizona Lotus Corp’s sports talk KFFN-AM/K285DL in Tucson is hosted by Jeff Dean.  He’s a 20-plus year broadcast pro who has served as the PA announcer for University of Arizona Wildcats football and men’s basketball for the past six years.  Station operations manager Larry Mac says, “We are excited to have someone with the level of expertise that Jeff Dean will bring to the airwaves here in Tucson.  His love of the Wildcats, and his passion for sports will help make ‘ESPN Tucson’ the destination for local morning sports talk radio in the Old Pueblo.”  Dean, whose show will air Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, says, “It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to return home.  I really hope to strengthen the relationship between the University of Arizona athletic department and the great sports fans of Tucson.  It’s time for these fans to know the real U of A and I hope that I can help facilitate that.”

TALKERS News Notes. An 11-part series of reports in honor of the men and women who’ve served in the U.S. military is available from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One.  The Veterans Day report is approximately one minute long and features the men and women who make up the U.S. veteran population.  They include perspectives from national leaders and veterans of varying ages about how veterans view their service and the day set aside to honor it.  The series is reported and produced by Westwood One News reporter Chas Henry, himself a combat decorated veteran of the 1991 Gulf War…..A special episode of “The Adam Carolla Show” on PodcastOne was released yesterday (11/4) featuring Ford v Ferrari co-stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale.  PodcastOne notes that “perhaps the most ‘candid’ moment came after they finished recording the podcast as Carolla and Damon were overheard talking about Carolla’s longtime friend and colleague, and Damon’s long-time public nemesis, Jimmy Kimmel.”  Check it out here…..PBS is presenting a Christmas special that will air  a number of times in  this month and in December featuring some of the traditional popular holiday music written by such composers as Johnny Marks, who wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Serving as associate producer of the project is Chick Pallotta, who specializes in producing mini-radio programs for the holiday season using the voices of that era to introduce the recordings of their well-known compositions.  Some 300 PBS stations will be airing the special…..SiriusXM announces host changes to its SiriusXM Progress channel leading up to the 2020 elections.  First, “Signal Boost with Zerlina and Jess,” co-hosted by Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh will expand to two hours, airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  Wrapping up the day’s news will be SiriusXM’s John Fugelsang, who joins the Progress channel’s primetime schedule from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  Fugelsang previously hosted a show on SiriusXM’s Insight channel.  In addition to regular appearances as a political expert on MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News, Fugelsang recently co-hosted the nationally syndicated television entertainment program “Page Six TV.”

Celebrating Brian Kilmeade’s New Book. Crews from New York news/talkers WABC, WOR, and FOX News were at Del Frisco’s steakhouse in New York City to celebrate the publishing of FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade’s new book, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (2019, Penguin Publishing).  Pictured above are (from l-r): FNC’s Bill Hemmer, WABC executive producer Jill Vitale, WOR host Mark Simone, famed defense attorney and fill-in radio host Arthur Aidala, FOX News Radio affiliate relations account manager Tamara Karcev, Kilmeade, WABC program director Dave LaBrozzi, and WABC APD Matt Dahl.

Premiere Networks Offers ‘Early Edition’ of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’ An additional three-hours of “Coast to Coast AM” is being offered by Premiere Networks beginning this week.  The company says that “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory – Early Edition” is a partial re-broadcast from the previous night that is available to existing affiliates to air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET, Monday through Friday.  In the same press release, Premiere reminds affiliate stations that “Coast to Coast AM” is continuing its long-standing tradition of providing live programming throughout the holidays, including music, special guest appearances, open lines and surprises on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Impeachment Process, Trump Tax Returns Ruling, Roger Stone Trial, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S. Withdraws from Paris Climate Deal, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, and Popeye’s Chicken Stabbing Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4). The impeachment process against President Trump and the speculation about who will testify; a federal appeals court rules President Trump must turn over 8 years of tax returns; longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone federal trial on obstructing a congressional investigation looking into Russian hacking during the 2016 campaign begins this week; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. begins the final stage of exiting the Paris Climate Accord; the U.S.-China trade negotiations, and the death of a Maryland man as the result of an argument at a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hail to the… Chef!  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher as he broadcast his nationally syndicated program on Monday (11/4) from Famous Hamburger Joe’s restaurant in Surfside Beach, South Carolina to thank owner Tony Cherney for a large donation to Gallagher’s “Food For The Poor” campaign.  Gallagher says it was “magical” to have a restaurant provide such a major donation to feed hungry children through “Food For The Poor.”

Alex Luke Appointed SVP of Digital Content for SiriusXM and Pandora. Music and media executive Alex Luke joins SiriusXM to take on the newly created position of senior vice president, digital content for SiriusXM and Pandora.  In this role, Luke will lead programming for Pandora and editorial content on the Pandora and SiriusXM digital platforms.  Most recently, Luke was global head of programming and content strategy at Amazon Music.  He’s also served with Napster and Apple.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Alex is an expert in shaping the digital content experience for listeners, and we are excited to have him join us as we continue to advance and evolve how we create and present content for our listeners across our digital platforms.  It is vital we ensure that the great content we produce today, as well as what we create in the future, is done in the most attractive and consumer-friendly manner so that it drives growth in usage across our digital platforms.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Jack Shell exits the midday show at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis after almost two years there.  He moved north from the company’s adult contemporary WLYF, Miami “101.5 Lite FM” in December of 2017.  In a Facebook post, Shell says, “Would like to thank those who listened to my show on 95.5 WFMS in Indianapolis, and I am proud to have accomplished quite a bit during my brief time here in terms of ratings and connecting with this audience.  Thanks to Cumulus for getting me back into country music radio and giving me a great station on which to perform these last two years.”…..Also leaving a Cumulus Media country outlet is Nathan Fast.  He leaves his morning gig at KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” after a little more than a year there.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Lisa Taylor, who remains on the air in AM drive…..Entercom announces that 2019 CMA Awards nominee Luke Combs is hosting its exclusive one-hour “CMA Red Carpet Countdown” immediately preceding the televised CMA Awards beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 13.  The show will feature Luke Combs introducing additional content and a curated playlist from Nashville…..The lineup for night two of Entercom‘s RADIO.COM event “KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2019,” taking place on Sunday, December 8 at the Honda Center in Anaheim is revealed.  Taking the stage that evening will be: Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, The Raconteurs, Of Monsters and Men, The Interrupters, lovelytheband, Matt Mason, and DJ Jeremiah Red.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of tickets benefits Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center…..Pictured below is “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) with country star Miranda Lambert (right) after Lambert appeared as a guest on Smith’s podcast “Breaking Thru with Elaina.”  The interview will also be heard as part of Smith’s “With Elaina,” the Westwood One syndicated two-hour weekend country program for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans and country music lovers!

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.

Monday Memo: When YOU Win, Congratulate THEM

| September 16, 2019

by Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Stations that still have local news people: Congratulations.  You’re capable of meaning more to listeners than your mail-it-in AM/FM competition.  And lots more than Pandora or other robotic, non-local new-tech competitors or smartphone apps.

So enter awards competitions. And when you win, tout it; but not the way self-congratulatory local TV news proof-of-performance promos do. Thank LISTENERS.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

| August 6, 2019

Talk Radio Pioneer Mike Siegel is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Veteran conservative/libertarian talk radio personality Mike Siegel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Siegel, a former private practicing attorney and school teacher, currently syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN), was one of the early broadcasters to emerge in the late-eighties post-Fairness Doctrine period described by Harrison as “the modern era of talk radio.”  During that period, Siegel – who hosted shows on such stations as KING and KVI in Seattle – was, according to Harrison, “the quintessential, local, muckraker aggressively holding local politicians, government and big corporations accountable for their actions.” Harrison and Siegel, whose latest book is titled Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (Page Publishing, 2016), informally chat about the changes talk radio has experienced through the years as it has evolved from the analog era into the digital age, not to mention the transitional state of journalism itself.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Ten Candles Atop WBZ-FM’s Birthday Cake. One week from today (Tuesday, 8/13), Beasley Media Group Boston sports talk outlet WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” will commemorate its 10th anniversary by airing a ten-hour special (7:00 am – 5:00 pm) celebrating Boston sports moments and events. It will include the victories and agony the city has experienced, as well as special moments that have been broadcast the past decade. According to Beasley Media Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, “In ten short years, [WBZ-FM and national spoken-word brand manager] Mike Thomas and the amazing team that he has assembled have built ‘The Sports Hub’ into an award-winning iconic brand and a household name in New England.” Thomas states, “It is an honor to work with the incredibly-talented ‘Sports Hub’ staff, on and off-the-air Not many people gave us a chance ten years ago. We were heavy underdogs – but so were Boston teams for many, many years. The ascendancy that Boston sports fans have experienced is unprecedented. We are just happy to have been along for the ride the past ten years and we look forward to many more victories to come.” Nielsen Audio July 2019 results will be released later today, but in Boston’s June 2019 report, WBZ-FM placed fourth (5.6, 6+). “The Sports Hub” is the flagship station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins; Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and the Celtics. By the way, in the years since “The Sports Hub” surfaced in 2009, the Patriots have won three Super Bowl titles (2015, 2017 and 2019) and the Red Sox have scored two World Series championship banners (2013 and 2018). The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in the 2010 – 2011 season, while the Celtics were NBA champions in 2008 – one year before “The Sports Hub” debuted.

Cumulus Media Faces $233,000 Sponsorship ID Rule Violations Fine. The infraction as cited by the FCC stems from Cumulus Media’s apparent violations of the commission’s sponsorship identification rules. In addition, Cumulus Media ostensibly failed to promptly self-report some violations, even though the company agreed to do so under a 2016 consent decree with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. It is noteworthy, however, that the commission’s “Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture” only advises Cumulus Media on how it has perhaps violated the law and sets a proposed fine. This isn’t a final ruling. The FCC cannot impose a higher penalty than the proposed $233,000 amount. Cumulus Media has a chance to appeal to the “Notice.” Prior to  acting further to resolve the matter, the commission will evaluate Cumulus Media’s legal arguments and any submission of evidence. More than three years ago, the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau reached a $540,000 settlement with Cumulus Media regarding sponsorship identification in radio ads promoting a proposed energy project. It was the largest payment in FCC history for a single-station violation of the commission’s sponsorship ID laws. The settlement resolved an investigation into whether the company’s Dover, New Hampshire country outlet WOKQ “The Big 97.5” violated the rules. The FCC is alleging that in 2017 and 2018, seven Cumulus Media operations failed, in 26 instances, to air appropriate sponsorship identifications as required by its rules. Moreover, the FCC claims the company waited approximately eight months before reporting some rule-breaking, which would be in conflict of its 2016 consent decree commitments.

“Share of Ear” Study Highlights Audio Habits of Registered Voters. Share of Ear views how Americans consume audio content. Cumulus Media’s Westwood One has released results of Edison Research’s recent quarterly analysis. Edison reports share of audio time spent and percentage of Americans who use each type of content. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “To build name recognition, candidate perception, affinity, and voting intent, campaigns have to reach as many voters as possible. According to this new analysis, AM/FM radio has massive and powerful ad-supported audience shares among registered voters and key voter segments.” Among registered voters, AM/FM radio’s share of audio time spent (80%) is eleven times larger than Pandora (7%), twenty times larger than Spotify (4%), and twenty-seven times larger than SiriusXM (3%). Terrestrial radio has the highest share of ad-supported audio time spent among all three major political affiliations: Independents (79%), Republicans (82%), and Democrats (78%). Each quarter, Edison Research conducts a national study of 1,000 Americans (13+) to measure reach and time spent listening to audio sources. Respondents complete a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day. Diaries were completed both online and by-mail using a paper diary. Diaries were completed in English and Spanish. Each report consists of 4,000 respondents representing the prior year worth of surveys. This wave is based on persons from the third and fourth quarters of 2018, and the first and second quarters of this year (2019).

 

Recipe for Better Sales Revenue: Better Sales Compensation Programs.  In an exclusive TALKERS advice piece posted today (8/6), veteran radio/media sales pro Bill Brady – president/CEO of Futures & Options, Inc. – suggests that the key to reviving radio sales is to reward hard-working, well-trained reps with increased compensation packages.  He writes, “Over the last generation, radio companies have gone through several rounds of sales compensation reductions.  Sales staffs were reduced in size and byzantine commission and compensation plans were implemented.  Radio revenues have essentially stagnated ever since.” Read the article here.

Entercom, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics Join Forces. As part of the multiyear, multiplatform agreement, Entercom Philadelphia’s 50,000-watt WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” becomes the new radio home for Penn State football and men’s basketball games, beginning with the 2019 – 2020 athletic season. In addition, Radio.com will feature ancillary on-demand programming. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “As a proud Penn State alum, the easy access to Penn State sports content on air and on Radio.com makes me very happy for our listeners, the University, and all alumni. This will be an excellent partnership with Penn State Athletics and will complement our existing portfolio of leading sports coverage in the city.” Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics vice president Sandy Barbour states, “We appreciate the opportunity to create a new radio partnership with Entercom. The tremendous reach of WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’ allows us to connect with Penn State alumni and fans throughout the Delaware Valley, and promote the comprehensive excellence of Penn State Athletics. We look forward to our new partnership and having a great new radio home for Nittany Lion basketball and football in metro Philadelphia.” Penn State Sports Properties vice president and general manager Doug Nelson adds, “We’re happy that WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’ will serve as our new radio home for Penn State football and men’s basketball in Philly. The enhanced radio audience and promotional opportunities for Penn State with our new Entercom partnership are exciting for both fans and advertisers.” WPHT cluster-mates KYW “News Radio 1060,” WIP-FM “Sports Radio 94,” adult contemporary WBEB “B-101.1,” classic hits-oldies WOGL, and CHR WTDY “96.5 Today’s Hits” will provide promotional support for Penn State Athletics.

Mayor Joins iHeartMedia Louisville For Its First Community Breakfast. Last Friday’s (8/2) event at the Muhammad Ali Center united over 125 community leaders, business partners, and non-profits to showcase iHeartMedia Louisville’s commitment to the community. WHAS “News Radio 840” on-air talent Terry Meiners hosted the event which spotlighted iHeartMedia Louisville’s community partners. In his keynote speech, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer discussed the importance of giving back within the community. Fischer comments, “Compassion is good for business and it’s good for our city and our country. I want to thank the folks at iHeartMedia Louisville for supporting our vibrant and active non-profit community.” Plans call for iHeartMedia to quadruple its efforts by providing media support to twelve non-profit organizations that fall under the “Kids: Heart of Kentuckiana” theme. Region president for iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana Earl Jones notes that, “Each campaign will include PSAs, on-air personality endorsements, as well as streaming and digital placement. We are committed to using our resources to amplify the message of these organizations that work so hard for our community.” Pictured below (left to right) are Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana Region president Earl Jones, and WHAS “News Radio 840” afternoon personality Terry Meiners.

SiriusXM To Debut Daily “Jess Cagle Show” This Fall. Former editor of Entertainment Weekly (2009 – 2014) and People (2014 – 2019), Jess Cagle will host a two-hour weekday (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, PT) Los Angeles-originated eponymous show on SiriusXM starting this fall. It will feature pop culture news and long-form conversations from Cagle and co-host Julia Cunningham. Of Cagle, SiriusXM senior vice president of news, talk, and entertainment Megan Liberman notes, “It’s hard to think of anyone who knows Hollywood better or could bring more insight and expertise to the conversation about pop culture. This show will be a destination for the biggest stars in movies and television and a must-listen for entertainment fans.” SiriusXM chief entertainment anchor Cagle states, “As a magazine editor, I’ve done a lot of work with SiriusXM. The producers and executives there have been magnificent partners – smart, strategic, and innovative. Over the years, SiriusXM has become a second home to me. I’ve always wanted to do a news and talk show with a lot of humor, smart commentary, and in-depth interviews. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to make that a reality, and excited to work with SiriusXM on their growing podcast and video content. I’m a longtime fan of Julia Cunningham, and am really looking forward to working with her every day.” In addition to his daily show on “SiriusXM Stars” (channel 109), Cagle will host SiriusXM Town Hall events and appear across channels. Cagle spearheaded the partnership with SiriusXM to launch Entertainment Weekly Radio and recently joined the USC Annenberg Center of Communication Leadership & Policy as a senior fellow.

Focus 360 Partners With Lipstick & Vinyl. As a result of investing in the female-oriented podcast network Lipstick & Vinyl and assuming its ad sales representation duties, Focus 360 cracks the podcast arena. According to Focus 360 chief executive officer Phil Brown, “We have been looking for a podcast partner that offered stand-out content. By seeking out the underrepresented and diverse voices in the marketplace, Lipstick & Vinyl delivers audiences that are super-loyal and highly engaged. Expanding our suite of audio ad platforms enables us to offer more solutions to our advertisers.” Lipstick & Vinyl founder and chief executive officer Allyson Marino notes that, “Focus 360 is known for its outstanding relationships with agencies. That is extremely important to the growth of our company and our content partners. Podcasts provide a wonderfully unique and intimate way to connect with people and tell stories. Focus 360’s expertise in audio ad sales made them the perfect choice to help us grow.” Lipstick & Vinyl network hosts include journalists, TV writers, comedians, single mothers, and advocates for social change.

TALKERS News Notes. Changes going into effect today (Tuesday, 8/6) at iHeartMedia San Diego sports talk KLSD “XTRA 1360” find  Darren Smith taking over mid-days (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) and Jon Schaeffer shifting from that slot to 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, where he’ll join “Loose Cannons hosts Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger. Prior to his west coast broadcast career, Smith spent four years (1998 – 2002) at ESPN Radio, where he produced several programs, including “The Dan Patrick Show.” Smith will be joined by senior reporter/producer – and San Diego State University grad – Marty Caswell. Taking an “NFL Insider” role with the station is Nick Hardwick, who most recently co-hosted mid-days with Schaeffer. Hardwick’s “Football Hour” will air Monday and Friday at 8:00 am. The revised KLSD “XTRA 1360” weekday lineup is: Costa & Richards (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Darren Smith (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); “The Loose Cannons” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); and Ernie Martinez (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) ….. Meanwhile, across the hall at news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” Lou Penrose’s “Penrose Report” grabs the vacant afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) opening created when Carl DeMaio (“The DeMaio Report”) exited to focus on running for California’s 50th congressional district seat. Director of news & sports programming for iHeartMedia San Diego/Riverside Brian Long notes, “Lou Penrose is an exciting talent and a perfect addition for the afternoon drive show.” Penrose runs a full-service government relations and public affairs consulting firm and has served as district chief of staff for multiple U.S. congress members, including John Campbell, Ed Royce, and Mary Bono. He previously was director of news & talk programming for Morris Media’s KNWZ, Palm Springs (California) …..  Having covered the Washington Nationals for NBC Sports Washington, Bobby Trosset joins Hearst Television Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090” and co-owned WIYY “98 Rock.” He will anchor morning sports updates on both stations and be a significant part of the stations’ coverage of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. WBAL & WIYY president and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Nobody covers sports in Baltimore like we do. The home of the Baltimore Ravens and Navy Football welcomes Bobby Trosset to Maryland’s most-connected and elite sports staff.” Trosset – who starts his new assignment this Thursday (8/8) – adds, “Baltimore’s loyalty to its sports teams is second to none. I’m ecstatic to be returning to the city I called home during my college years at Loyola and look forward to providing coverage, insight, and analysis to a passionate fan base.” ….. “The Greatest Bluefish Tournament on Earth” begins two weeks from this Saturday (8/24) at 12:01 am throughout Long Island Sound. The tournament offers up to $40,000 in cash prizes, including the grand prize of $25,000 for heaviest bluefish. Connoisseur Media Bridgeport, Connecticut news/talk WICC “600 AM” will broadcast hourly update results all weekend from Captain’s Cove and interview the first-place winner live … After 14 years with ESPN, Ryen Russillo departs to join Bill SimmonsThe Ringer. On Twitter, Russilo writes, “So … the news is out. I’m headed to [The Ringer]. Want to thank [ESPN] for the last 14 years. I grew up on [SportsCenter]. To be on the actual set, my name on a show, I have to remind myself at times how cool that is.” Using the same social media platform, Simmons tweets, “Happy to confirm that [Ryen Russillo] will be working exclusively for [The Ringer] for all multi-media stuff starting in September. Will be a regular on my BS Pod as well.” ….. This Saturday (8/10), iHeartMedia Wilmington, Delaware holds its 15th annual “Miles For Military” motorcycle ride to benefit USO Delaware. A number of on-air personalities from the cluster will be on site hosting the event, one of the largest motorcycle rides crossing the state. Participants will finish at Dover International Speedway. USO Delaware director Bruce Kmiec remarks, “We are excited about our partnership with iHeartMedia Delaware for the ‘Miles for Military’ motorcycle event. It has grown over the years into a household name event. We are floored by the amount of support we get for our current military and their families by all the riders that attend this amazing event. The money raised provides funding to over 50 USO Delaware military support events and programs we hold each year.” The five-station iHeartMedia Wilmington cluster consists of WDOV “News Radio 1410,” WILM “News Radio 1450,” and WWTX “Fox Sports 1290,” as well as WDSD “94.7 Delaware’s Continuous Country,” and hot AC WRDX “92.9 Tom-FM.” ….. In an unusual move, “CNN Newsroom” showed the names of 49 GOP lawmakers who turned down an invitation to discuss this weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton. “CNN Newsroom” offered 50 Republican lawmakers a chance to discuss the attacks. Yesterday (Monday, 8/5), it led an interview with Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho by naming the 49 other GOP lawmakers, who refused to come on the network to talk about the shootings.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With over 20 years of broadcast industry experience, Al B. Sure! last night (Monday, 8/5) debuted his Sunday through Friday, 7:00 pm – 12:00 pm, REACH Media-syndicated “Love and R&B Hosted By Al B. Sure!” program. The five-hour longform show launched on affiliates in markets that included Dallas; Washington, DC; Detroit; St. Louis; Cincinnati; Columbus; Raleigh; and Richmond. REACH Media and Radio One chief executive officer David Kantor comments, “Al B. Sure! has a style that’s been well-established with his music, performance, and past broadcast experience that is ideal for evening listening. I’m confident he will be a nightly draw to a very large listening audience.” According to the host, “I am elated to be part of what media icon Ms. Cathy Hughes identified as the ‘Dream Team of Radio’ – REACH Media. I look forward to taking ‘Love and R&B’ to a new level.” When the program director of San Francisco’s KISQ “98.1 Kiss-FM” heard Al B. Sure! being interviewed in the early-2000s, he asked the singer if he would do a weekend radio show. Shortly thereafter came Al B. Sure!’s syndicated “‘Secret Garden Radio” show. His musical career dates back to 1988 with “In Effect Mode,” which was certified triple platinum and spent seven straight weeks at #1 on the R&B chart. He has received four Grammy awards; the American Music Award for “Best New R&B Artist”; and more than 75 ASCAP awards for writing and composition performance. Sean Andre is the program’s producer. Founded by Kantor and Tom Joyner in 2003, REACH Media is an Urban One company ….. Under program director Jeremy Reyes (a.k.a. “DJ Jeremiah Red”), Entercom Los Angeles introduces “FireLane” on KAMP-HD3 and Radio.Com. The station features mixers such as DJ Vice, Flipside, DJ Lisa Pittman, DJ Majestik, DJ Sophenom, DJ Drew Pierce, and DJ Sabio. Entercom Southern California regional president Jeff Federman notes that we are “currently living in a world where music tastes have collided and consumers are more interested in the authenticity of the music blend, rather than the genre. I have to credit a member of our team for suggesting the development of a station that encompasses today’s ‘festival tent’ feel with rhythmic, dance, hip hop, and EDM all being represented.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” picks up one-tenth in July to 1.6 (6+) and repeats at #20. The March 2019 through July 2019 topline for Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a very consistent 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (#23 to #22, 6+).  May’s one-tenth increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths. Following four successive decreases accounting for a loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 -1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), news/talk WABC adds one-tenth to 1.0 (#24 to #23, 6+). Cumulus Media is selling WABC to John Catsimatidis Red Apple Media for $12.5 million; the deal is expected to close later this year.

A May/June loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WFAN is followed by a July improvement of one-tenth to 3.6 (6+) as the Yankees’ flagship inches up from ninth to eighth. Off one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), WEPN has its weakest 6+-stat (1.6) since “Holiday” 2018’s 1.4. Before adding two-tenths in May, “98.7 ESPN New York” posted a 1.8 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom all-news siblings combine for a net June 2019 – July 2019 decrease of four-tenths, after an overall May 2019 – June 2019 loss of one-half share. Specifically, WINS is trending 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13), while Mets flagship WCBS-AM falters by a collective full-share via four straight declines (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, flat at #15, 6+). In advance of adding two-tenths in May, WINS was -1.1 in three successive down or flat reports (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).

While unchanged at #18, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM has lost a collective eight-tenths in three successive negative or neutral sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). An April boost of three-tenths curtailed four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+).  The February 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 (#37 to #35, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Within 3.1 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten ratings periods (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU erupts with an increase of six-tenths to 4.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+). The last time “103.5 KTU” reached the four-share level (6+) was in September 2018 (4.0). Its format rival, Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97,” has lost a collective half-share in four straight down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+). Peekskill, New York-licensed Pamal Broadcasting adult contemporary WHUD “100.7 – Westchester & The Hudson Valley’s Music Station” debuts with a .5 (#27, 6+). This marks the third month in succession that WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” logs a 6.8 (6+), as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period. WLTW posted a one-half share increase in March, but surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “Lite FM” was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). In back-to-back mega losses totaling a massive -2.7, WPLJ has virtually wiped away its May AQH-stat (3.1 – 1.5 – .4, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (#20 to #31). In conjunction with its sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation, WPLJ flipped from hot AC to contemporary Christian “K-Love Classics.” The legendary contemporary music outlet went out on a very positive note leading up to the format flip though, as it posted five straight New York City gains for a cumulative +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 3.1, “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019, 6+). Down one-tenth in May, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” follows the WPLJ format change with a combined June/July gain of six-tenths (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and enters the top ten (#13 to #8). Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” notches its fourth successive up or neutral move for an overall plus of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, flat at #11, 6+). In the last six sweeps, Spanish tropical sibling WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has recorded a 5.0 (6+) on three occasions and a 5.3 (6+) the other three times (5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – After a combined May/June uptick of eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” drops two-tenths to 4.3 (6+) but carries on in fifth-place. Ever since debuting in February, its internet stream notched three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .6 – .7 – .8, #34, 6+), but disappears from print in June and July. Co-owned news/talk KEIB regains the one-tenth it lost in July (.9 – 1.0, flat at #32, 6+). “AM 1150 The Patriot” was off by just an overall one-tenth in three straight down or flat sweeps (9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) before adding two-tenths in May to 1.0 (6+). Having regressed by three-tenths in June (.9 – .6, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” rebounds with a spike of two-tenths to .8 (#35 to #34, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” loses half (-.3) its 6+ AQH-share in three straight dips (.6 – .5 – .4 – .3, #41 to #42, 6+).

Just as they were in June, iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” and Disney-owned KSPN “710 ESPN” are deadlocked at #27, as both repeat June’s 1.4 (6+). KLAC was up two-tenths in June and KSPN improved by one-tenth.

Five straight negative or neutral monthlies by KNX “1070 News Radio” accounted for a full-share loss in that January 2019 – June 2019 timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+) but the Entercom operation is up one-tenth in July to 2.8 (#14 to #13, 6+).

Up one-tenth after June’s loss of one-half share (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” remains at #23.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Recording an AQH share between 1.4 – 1.9 in each of the last ten sweeps (1.8  – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” busts out an improvement of seven-tenths to 2.6 and reenters the top twenty at #16. This is its finest 6+-performance in over a year (2.6, as well in May 2018). Bouncing back from June’s decrease of eight-tenths with a one-tenth gain to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” is #1 the tenth straight time. After its “Holiday” 2018 13.0 (6+), “Coast” has followed with 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 5.8 – 5.9 (6+). Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 through five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Co-owned hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” is up or flat the third straight time for a half-share gain (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6, unchanged at #4, 6+). While it repeats in eighth-place, KLOS logs its seventh straight up or flat trend for a net gain of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Meruelo Media Holdings acquired KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and is programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement. A loss of three-tenths to 2.9 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX not only snaps at seven its consecutive string of up or flat moves that yielded a +1.1 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), “97.9 La Raza” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Notwithstanding that it has lost eight-tenths in five consecutive negative or neutral sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” continues in seventh-place. Prior to June, the last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory the 26th time in a row (2.4 – 2.3, #16 to #17, 6+). Slipping from #18 to #19, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” has lost two-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). It remains two-tenths ahead of format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ (flat at 2.0, #20 to #21, 6+), whose June gain of one-tenth ended four consecutive negative or neutral sweeps that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Tribune Media news/talk and White Sox flagship WGN repeats June’s 2.9 (6+), it drops from #12 to #13. Not only is WLS-AM “890 AM” without a loss the seventh consecutive report, doubling (+1.1) its 6+ AQH share in that “Holiday” 2018 through July 2019 timeframe (1.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet is back in the top twenty after a lengthy absence (#21 to #20).

In May, Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” posted its best 6+-showing (4.2) since October 2018, but the Cubs flagship loses a combined four-tenths in June/July (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.8, flat at #7, 6+). Erasing June’s loss of two-tenths with a July increase of three-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” progresses from #26 to #24.

Dipping from third to fourth, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM is an overall -1.4 via six successive down or neutral moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to April, WBBM-AM finished on top the previous three survey periods.

Off a collective nine-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ends the slide with a gain of two-tenths to 2.7 (unchanged at #19, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – A combined -1.3 in May/June (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” reduces roughly half the deficit with an improvement of six-tenths to 4.9 (fourth to third, 6+). The combination of a three-tenths uptick by Hubbard Broadcasting classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” (5.1 – 5.4, second to first) and an equal margin decrease by hot AC cluster-mate WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.5 – 5.2, second to first, 6+) results in the siblings swapping places at the top. “Mix” was #1 the past three months and continues its relatively steady January 2019 through July 2019 topline of 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 (6+); April’s 5.9 was its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 6.3. A combined +.9 in May/June (3.9 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (4.8 – 4.0, -.8, 6+), skidding from third to sixth. Advancing from #18 to a three-way scrum at #16, Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” has a February 2019 through July 2019 topline of 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8 (6+). Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned WEBG repeats June’s 1.6 (6+) but inches up from #24 to #23. Before dropping two-tenths in June, “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” had been up or flat the previous seven sweeps for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Chicago’s three principal adult contemporary operations all record June 2019 – July 2019 fluctuations of one-tenth. On the positive side, iHeartMedia’s WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is up or neutral the fourth time in a row for a gain of four-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Venture Technologies Group-owned WRME-LP “FM 87.7 – Me TV” has its third straight bump for a collective increase of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, WLIT was an overall -9.4 as a result of five successive down or flat reports (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). June’s 3.0 marked the first time WRME-LP reached the three-share level (6+) since November 2018’s 3.3. Meanwhile, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which was up one-tenth in June, returns that increase in July (2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8, #15 to part of that three-way logjam at #16, 6+). Before faltering by one-half share in May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive positive or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Up four-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss, alternative WKQX logs a 3.0 the third time in a row (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM has a January 2019 through July 2019 topline of: 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 (flat at #16, 6+).

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

| July 31, 2019

Mitch Rosen Adds PD Duties for Sports Talk WSSP, Milwaukee.  WSCR, Chicago “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is going to begin double duty with Entercom and add programming responsibilities for sister sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB, Milwaukee “105.7 The Fan.”  He’s taking over for WSSP program director Tom Parker, who is retiring on August 1.  Parker will continue as a programming consultant.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “Having worked closely with Jimmy de Castro and the Entercom Chicago team over the last year and a half, it was the logical next step in the partnership. Mitch has become quite familiar with the market and the WSSP staff over that time and we are very fortunate to now have him calling the plays in Milwaukee as well.”  Rosen has been with “The Score” for almost 15 years.  He adds, “It’s an honor to be part of this great Milwaukee sports brand.  ‘The Fan’ team has great personalities who identify with the sports fans who live and breathe Milwaukee and Wisconsin sports.  I plan to be here to help in any way I can to expand the brand both on the air and through all the digital platforms, including RADIO.COM Sports.”

SiriusXM Q2 Pro Forma Revenue Up 9%. Although SiriusXM is reporting its net income was down 10.8% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 ($263 million versus $293 million), the company’s pro forma revenue was up 9%.  The acquisition of Pandora pushed SiriusXM’s revenue to $2 billion – an increase of 38% over Q2 in 2018.  Chief executive officerJim Meyer says, “Our company produced outstanding financial and operating results once again this quarter, and I’m pleased by the quick progress we’ve made in integrating Pandora.  Revenues and adjusted EBITDA each reached records in the period.  We’re thrilled with the results in the first half of the year, and we are raising 2019 guidance for revenue and adjusted EBITDA and reiterating our guidance for net subscriber additions and free cash flow.” The satcaster reports that it added 290,000 self-pay subscribers during the second quarter that puts its total at 29.3 million.

Nielsen Second Quarter Revenue Rises 1.2%.  That 1.2% figure is for the company as a whole.  The company reports that its Media segment – the one that includes radio ratings – is being driven by Total Audience Measurement and that during the second quarter of 2019 its audience measurement business is up 4.2% over the same period in 2018.  Nielsen predicts that its audience measurement segment will finish 2019 up 2% to 3%.

Salem Selling Seven Florida Signals for $8.2 Million. Continuing to follow through on its plan to sell certain assets in order to reduce its debt, Salem Media Group is agreeing to divest itself of seven signals in the state of Florida. It has filed with the FCC to sell Spanish Christian-formatted WKAT-AM, business talk WZAB-AM, and FM translator W249DM in Miami and Spanish Christian-formatted WLCC-AM, business talk WWMI, and FM translator W282CI in the Tampa market (plus the construction permit for translator W260DM, St. Petersburg) to Immaculate Heart Media for $8.2 million.  Immaculate Heart Media will not get the WKAT call letters or that station’s intellectual property.  These moves will leave Salem with Spanish Christian WOCN, Miami, plus news/talk WGUL, Tampa “AM 860 The Answer” and religious duo WTBN-AM/WTWD-AM, Tampa.

2020 Presidential Race/Democratic Debates, Capital One Hack, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, North Korea Missile Tests, California Festival Shooting/Mississippi Walmart Shooting, and Katy Perry Song Copying Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the first Democratic debate from Detroit; the hack of Capital One that made data from 100 million credit applicants vulnerable; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and controversy over conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border; North Korea tests more short-range missiles; the deadly shootings at the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival and at a Walmart in Mississippi; and the jury’s ruling that Katy Perry copied aspects of a Christian rap song in her hit ‘Dark Horse’ were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Last week’s 19th annual “WSB Care-A-Thon 37-hour radio broadcast event raised more than $1.7 million for research and programs for the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, nearly breaking the record set in 2017. In the 19 years Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and CHR WSB-FM have been hosting the fundraising broadcast, more than $24 million has been collected to support patients and families.  WSB Radio director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs says, “There is an extraordinary local story to tell at the Aflac Cancer Center — one that is filled with emotion and hope.  Our entire team considers it the honor of their careers to be able to tell that story and to meet the kids, parents, families, doctors, nurses, and caregivers there.  But our listeners deserve all the credit, due to their incredible generosity year after year.”  WSB personalities Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Neal Boortz, and Brian Kilmeade took part in the broadcast…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its programming saw a 6% increase in listening with men 25-54 from the winter 2019 period (Jan., Feb., March) to the spring  book (April, May, June).  Breaking it down, the network’s “Golic and Wingo” saw a 6% combined increase for M25-54 in total audience across Nielsen subscribing stations in PPM markets on radio plus all platforms combined including television simulcasts.  “The Will Cain Show” also had year-over-year increases across M25-54 PPM audience on terrestrial radio and ESPNEWS simulcast for both June and the spring book.  The M25-54 total audience across all platforms for “The Stephen A Smith Show,” with the addition of its television simulcast which began August 13, 2018, grew 38% in June and 32% percent for the quarter from the same time periods in 2018.  For the quarter, the ESPNEWS simulcast of “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 33% from last year.  In June, the show saw a 9% year-over-year increase on ESPNEWS…..KTLK-AM, Minneapolis morning drive co-host Jon Justice has published his second sci-fi novel – part two of a series – titled, Embark: Treasure In Darkness.  Justice has self-published the book that follows the story’s protagonists after humanity is forced to leave the Earth following an industrial disaster.  Check out the Amazon listing here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9 FM” announces that “The Russ Parr Morning Show” is airing in the AM drive daypart. The Radio One station is programmed by Jay Dixon, who says, “This guy is fun, funny, and all about winning.  I’ve heard about Russ Parr for years.  He lives up to his reputation as a first-class broadcaster and content king.  He’ll be the icing on the cake to make ‘Classix 107.9’ one of the greatest classic R&B brands in history.  We are too happy to have him on board.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop “104.5 The BEAT” WTKS-HD2/W283AN, Orlando announces the lineup for its “The BEAT Music Fest” on Saturday, October 5 will feature DaBaby, YK Osiris, Afro BShordie Shordie, Summerella, Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.  iHeartMedia Orlando partnerships manager Chianna Ray says, “The entire Greater Orlando area has been patiently waiting for a music festival that highlights the hip-hop culture.  ‘The BEAT Music Fest’ could not have come at a better time and we are thrilled to give our listeners this experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2019 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 2 will include: Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee, and Ozuna, with more artists to follow.  For the fourth straight year, the concert event will be hosted by Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino and on-air personality for iHeartRadio.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

Hubbard Radio’s All-News WTOP, Washington Takes 2018 Revenue Crown. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory Services Investing in Radio Market Report is released and accompanying that is the ranking of radio’s top revenue-earning stations from 2018. Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue.  As seen in the graphic above, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017).  It was digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry.   The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million.  Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion and, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”  BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.  See more about the report here.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today zeroing in on public radio news/talk. A slight dip in weekly 6+ AQH share affects the format as 53% of stations go down and just 38% see a ratings increase from the February 2019 to the March 2019 survey.  The same situation applies to the year-over-year comparison – 53% of stations saw their 6+ number decrease from the March 2018 survey. There were four public radio news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in March: KQED, San Francisco; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KUT, Austin.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Q1 Radio Biz Revenue Up 2.9%.  In a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia releases financial data from the first quarter of 2019 that indicates the company’s radio and streaming revenue was $766 million, up almost 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  The company as a whole reports first quarter revenue of $1.38 billion, an increase of slightly less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Consolidated operating income dropped from $60.9 million in Q1 2018 to $28.3 million this year due to impairment charges of $91.4 million.

SiriusXM First Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 10%. The acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM adds a little wrinkle to the company’s 2019 first quarter financial report.  The company reports total revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 27% over the same period in 2018, that was driven by bringing Pandora into the fold.  On a pro forma basis, revenue increased 10%, hitting $1.9 billion in the first quarter.  But the Pandora acquisition impacted the company’s bottom line as net income was $162 million in Q1 of 2019, down from $289 million during the same period a year ago. During the quarter, SiriusXM added 131,000 net new self-pay subscribers, bringing its total above the 29 million mark.

TALKERS News Notes. Another major national award for Westwood One News comes on the heels of its recent National Headliner honor from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Now, the Society of Professional Journalists is bestowing its Sigma Delta Chi award upon Westwood One News for “Radio Breaking News Reporting” for the network’s coverage of the Parkland Florida School shooting and aftermath in February of 2018.  The award recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Last year, Westwood One News won the honor for its coverage of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting…..Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is joining the WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM-based Ravens Radio Network as color analyst alongside play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky for this season.  Johnson worked on game broadcasts during the past two seasons and earns the promotion to the booth.  Cary Pahigian manages the Hearst radio stations and says, “Jarret’s NFL experience, unique insight, and enthusiasm is a major component of our superb Ravens broadcast team.”…..Bay Area public media corporation KQED announces that DeLinda Mrowka is promoted to the newly created position of chief audience officer.  In this executive role, Mrowka is “responsible for extending brand, deepening audience engagement and growth, and strengthening the membership and corporate sponsorship programs for one of the largest stations in public media.”  Mrowka started her KQED career in 2013 as the station’s executive director of marketing and communications before being promoted to vice president of corporate sponsorship in 2015.  In 2017 she was again promoted to vice president of marketing, with broad responsibilities overseeing the audience development, marketing, digital fundraising and corporate sponsorship teams.

PodcastOne Issues Request to Luminary. The subscription podcast start-up Luminary is facing the issue of a number of content creators requesting their shows be removed from its service for various reasons.  PodcastOne is one of those companies.  It made the move when it became aware that Luminary was carrying PodcastOne’s podcasts without permission.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since Luminary’s focus has been promoted solely as a paid subscription model, we were surprised to see them also use the free model which they have spoken negatively about and compete against.  If they want to reach our audience to promote their site, then they should do the ‘unthinkable’ and advertise in our podcasts as hundreds of other advertisers do.”

WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley to Receive Inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award from NJBA. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley – heard daily on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM – is being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association at its 71st Conference and Gala this summer with the first-ever “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  NJBA president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq. says Hurley meets all of the criteria for this award “with a high degree of professionalism and a passionate dedication to his craft and the NJBA is very proud of our inaugural ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ recipient!”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk, Trump vs Subpoenas, 2020 Presidential Politics/Biden Enters Race, Financial Markets Rally, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Meeting, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ debate over impeachment possibilities; President Trump’s rejection of subpoenas from the U.S. House; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020, including Joe Biden’s entry into the race; U.S. financial markets hit records in latest rally; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings; Russia’s Vladimir Putin meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; 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.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Challenges Facing Talk Radio by Heightened Political Correctness.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely timely and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges being faced by talk radio during the current era of heightened political correctness.  Titled “Talk Radio in the Era of ‘Watch What You Say,’” the session will feature panelists Michael Berry, host, “The Michael Berry Show”; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart MediaBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB-AM, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO-AM, Providence. The session will be moderated by Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC.  Talk radio depends on the free-wheeling exchange of ideas, tolerance for controversy, and, most important, a healthy understanding of and respect for the First Amendment in order to operate effectively. These tenets are clearly under assault in the age of advertiser boycotts, righteous indignation and widespread hypocrisy.  This session will earnestly attempt to identify the issues at play and offer solutions to overcome the challenges and obstacles they present. Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix classic hits outlet KOOL-FM adds market radio personality Dee Garcia to its morning drive “The Niko Show” with host Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou.  She joins the Entercom station after having worked in the Valley at such stations as hot AC KMVA-FM and hip hop KKFR.  She says of her new gig, “I am honored to join Niko on ‘The Niko Show’ on KOOL.  Niko and [producer Abe] are positive, fun, and hardworking.  They are exactly the kind of people that you want to share your mornings with.”…..Alpha Media’s hot AC KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota “Mix 99.1” names Zannie Kaye program director and morning drive personality.  Cluster operations manager Jeff Spence says, “We are more than excited to add Zannie Kaye to our Alpha Mankato team as our new host for the ‘Mix 99.1’ morning show and PD duties.  Zannie has a lot of experience and has had a terrific career in lots of different markets, including Minneapolis.  His energy is contagious and his warm and funny nature will win fans over immediately.”…..SummitMedia appoints sales pro Larry Jennings general sales manager for its Birmingham, Alabama stations that include: urban contemporary WBHK “98.7 KISS FM,” hip hop WBHJ “95.7 JAMZ,” and Gospel WAGG-AM “HEAVEN 610.” SummitMedia market president John Walker says, “Larry is exactly the professional we were looking for to lead our outstanding team. He has a proven track record of team building, talent development, client relations, community involvement, and revenue performance.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM signs morning team “Preston and Steve” – Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison – to a new, multiyear contract extension.  The duo joined WMMR in May of 2005 and Beasley says the show has “maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia” since it launched.  The company says the show has “led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating daily, full-show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs, and cultivating a formidable social media audience.”  Pictured below (from l-r) are: agent Glenn Goldstein, BBGI president Bruce Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Elliot, Morrison, Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell, Beasley EVP of strategy and innovation Buzz Knight, and Beasley rock format brand manager Bill WestonPhoto: BP Miller/Chorus Photography

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

| April 17, 2019

Dan Sileo Exits Mornings at KWFN, San Diego; Remains with Entercom. Sports talk personality Dan Sileo has exited the morning drive daypart at Entercom’s fledgling San Diego sports talk outlet KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”  He’s been replaced on the station’s schedule by longtime San Diego sports talk personality “Coach” John Kentera.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger saying Sileo is still with the company in other capacities.  Sileo recently began hosting a Saturday afternoon show on the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston in addition to his duties in San Diego.  Sileo previously served with the former crosstown sports station XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” and was often critical of San Diego Padres management’s operation of the team.  KWFN serves as the Padres’ flagship station for play-by-play.  The Union-Tribune report says “many Padres fans on social media” were upset that the team was making team management available for interviews on Sileo’s morning show. Whether that was the reason for the change or not is unknown.

WFNZ, Charlotte and Kyle Bailey Agree to New Deal. Charlotte sports talk host Kyle Bailey and Entercom sports talker WFNZ-AM/W273DA agree to a new, long-term contract extension. Bailey hosts the afternoon drive “The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey daily from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Entercom Charlotte SVP and market manager Matt Hanlon says, “Kyle Bailey has proven to be an outstanding sports broadcaster in Charlotte, and we are thrilled that he is continuing with WFNZ.  He cares about the listener and demonstrates a genuine interest in the community, which is evident in the quality of the show he produces day in and day out.” Bailey joined WFNZ in 2017 as host of the station’s midday show prior to transitioning to afternoons in 2018.  Prior to joining WFNZ he worked in the Blacksburg, Virginia market at rock WBRW-FM.

OK City Sports Talker Jim Traber Pranked. KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City reports that WWLS-AM, Oklahoma City sports talk personality Jim Traber was pranked by a still-unknown person and the goof ended up taking a few twists.  Traber had said repeatedly on his radio show that Tiger Woods would never win another major tournament.  After Woods’ victory at the Masters on Sunday, someone paid local business Card My Yard to put the display you see at right on Traber’s front lawn.  Traber told his listeners he took the decorations off his yard and took them to the dump.  However, Card My Yard owner Jodi Peters – who didn’t know the order was a prank – picks up the decorations a day later and reuses them.  She told KOCO-TV she’s out over $400.  Traber didn’t realize tossing the stuff would harm a local small business so he’s offered to compensate Peters for the loss of her inventory.  Although Traber will be out $400, it’s great publicity for Traber and the station.  However, who pulled the prank remains a mystery.

Westwood One Brings Theresa Gage Aboard as Vice President for Sponsorship Sales and Marketing. Media sales pro Theresa Gage is named vice president, sponsorship sales and marketing for Westwood One.  In this role, Gage will be responsible for “managing sponsorship sales, partnerships, activations, and integrations for Westwood One’s personality-driven influencer network across music, entertainment, and spoken word syndicated programming.”  She’s based in LA and reports to WWO president of sales Bryan Forbes.  She has served with Pandora, Live Nation, and iHeartMedia, among others.  Gage says, “I am so excited to be back with my first love, Westwood One!  This is where I started my career in talent endorsements, branded content and sponsorships. It’s a legacy organization that has endured the changing media landscape and is a major contributor to the growth of audio and the power of authentic talent endorsements.”

Southern Border Issues/Barr Asylum Decision, Mueller Report Release, 2020 Presidential Politics, Notre Dame Fire, Denver Manhunt for Armed Woman, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). The Southern Border migrant issue and Attorney General William Barr’s decision to withhold bail for asylum seekers; the anticipation of the release of the redacted version of the entire Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Bill Weld’s decision to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination; the fire at Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral; the search for an armed woman believed to be “infatuated” with the Columbine massacre in the Denver area; NBA playoffs action; and MLB results 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. A new music show is being launched in syndication by Townsquare Media and Compass Media Networks.  “The Night Shift with Craig Allen” features hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s and is debuting on 17 of Townsquare Media’s classic hits stations in the 7:0 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “We’re excited to bring a fresh new show to classic hits radio.  It is great music and great content with a nighttime attitude.”  Townsquare says Allen has been playing classic hits and doing personality radio on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” since 2002…..Cumulus Media appoints Sid Kelly program director for KLIF-FM, Dallas “Hot 93.3.”  Kelly comes to Dallas from the company’s Indianapolis cluster where he was PM drive host and PD for CHR WYRG-FM “Energy 93.9.” Kelly says, “This is an unbelievable opportunity and I’m thrilled to be able to grow even more with Cumulus by joining the team in Dallas.  I’m looking forward to working hard to increase Hot 93.3’s brand and grow the audience.”

March 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the March 2019 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 March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. See the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Separated by four-tenths of a share (6+) in March, three commercial news/talkers rank #22, #23, and #24 – just as they did this time last month. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WOR forfeits one-tenth for the second month in a row (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+) but “710 The Voice of New York” – which was up four-tenths in January – remains at #22. Up three-tenths in February, Cumulus Media-owned WABC returns two-tenths (1.5 – 1.3, 6+) and repeats at #23. After recording a 1.4 (6+) in each of the last three survey periods, Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” drops two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) and is flat at #24.

Following a January gain of one-tenth, Entercom sports talk WFAN surrenders a combined three-tenths in February/March (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) as the flagship of the Brooklyn Nets and Yankees falls out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Without a loss for the third straight time for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Knicks, is back in the top twenty (#21 to #18).

The full-share (6+) February lead that Entercom all-news WINS had over co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to three-tenths as WINS is a combined -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, seventh to ninth, 6+), while WCBS-AM gains three-tenths (3.1 – 3.4, steady at #10, 6+). WCBS-AM improved by three-tenths in January but relinquished two-tenths in February.

Although it is down or flat for the fourth successive time for an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM carries on at #14. Co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM has seen its 6+ share sliced in half (-.3) February/March (.6 – .4 – .3, #31 to #33, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW post a one-half share increase to 7.7 (6+), following a combined January/February -5.3 (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period. WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). A collective +1.3 via three straight upticks (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” repeats in the runner-up position. Co-owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” which logged a 3.7 (6+) in five of the last six sweeps (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), gains one-tenth to 3.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, having posted a 3.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 KTU” (also) picks up one-tenth to 3.2 (6+), yet downslides from a three-way tie at #10 to #11. As a result of three consecutive up or flat trends, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” is up an overall six-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+). Without a loss for the third sweep in a row as well (for a collective +.4) is co-owned WPLJ (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4, #16 to #17, 6+). The hot AC is soon to become contemporary Christian when its sale to Educational Media Foundation is finalized. It trails Entercom’s similarly formatted WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” by two-tenths (2.5 – 2.6, +.1, #15 to #14, 6+). The wild ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station,” which netted a +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); surrendered all of it in January 2019 (-.9); posted a +.8 in February; and surrenders a -.5 in March (2.2 – 1.7, #18 to #21, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning the two-tenths it earned in February (3.8 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI slips from sixth to seventh. “AM 640” was a combined +.8 in January/February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), immediately after an overall -1.2 via eight straight down or flat trends  (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Its internet stream debuted in February and repeats its .6 (#38 to #37, 6+). After recording gains of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (.6 – .8 – 1.0, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” slips by one-tenth to .9 (6+) but stays at #30. This marks the fourth time in the last five survey periods that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” notches a .8 (.8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .8, #34 to #33, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is down or flat for the fourth consecutive time for an overall loss of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, #38 to #40, 6+).

A slip of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.1, 6+) sends Disney-owned/Lakers flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” from #25 to #29. Up or flat the past three reports for a net gain of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – the key station of the Dodgers – returns that increase in full (.7, -.2, #31 to #34, 6+).

Off one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KNX drops from eighth to ninth; “1070 News Radio” posted a +1.1 in January.

Owing to a loss of six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” plummets from the top twenty (#13 to #21).

Los Angeles Music Formats – The market’s big (non-ratings-related) news involves the just announced sale of Cumulus Media’s KLOS for $43 million in cash to Meruelo Media Holdings, which has already begun programming KLOS under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). When the sale becomes official, it will leave Cumulus Media with one Los Angeles property (news/talk KABC), while Meruelo will pair KLOS with rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106.” With a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 26 (6+), KLOS advances from #16 to #14. Its soon-to-be sibling “Power 106” is in the middle of a repetitive 3.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 sequence (#10 to #12, 6+). Unchanged at #6, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” is up a collective eight-tenths through three straight gains (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Level at 6.5 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST sets the pace for the sixth straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), “Coast 103.5” was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). It enjoys a one-share advantage (6+) over Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which is a cumulative +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Steady at #3, smooth AC sibling KTWV “94-7 The Wave” is a collective +1.1 as a result of its third positive spike in succession (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+). In addition to logging its fourth consecutive uptick for a +1.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). Down or flat seven straight times for an overall loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), format rival – Liberman Broadcasting’s KBUE “Que Buena” – ends the slide with a +.1 to 2.1 (flat at #21, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+) and Entercom-owned KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” (2.8 – 2.7, flat at #12, 6+) drop one tenth. “Kiss” was a combined +.9 in January/February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), while “Amp” – which is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 22nd time in a row – gained four-tenths in February.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning all but one-tenth of February’s one-half share gain (3.5 – 3.1, -.4, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though WLS-AM logs a 1.7 (6+) for the third time in a row, the Cumulus Media news/talker slips from #21 to #22.

After recording three straight gains that netted one-half share (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” has lost a combined February/March half-share (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) as the flagship for the Cubs and Bulls tumbles from #13 to #16. Despite picking up one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) thus ending three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective half-share loss (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” drops from #26 to #27.

Notwithstanding back-to-back (February/March) losses accounting for a -.4 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+) following a January gain of nine-tenths, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM is on top for the third month in a row.

Steady at #9, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is a combined +.8 via three consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Off one-tenth in both January and February (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” erupts with a +.8 to 3.0 (#20 to #13, 6+), its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (3.0, as well). After dialing up a November 2018 3.3 (6+), fellow CHR – iHeartMedia’s WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” – follows with five consecutive 2.9 showings (6+) and climbs from #15 to #14. A cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” curtails that streak with a six-tenths gain to 5.3 (fifth to third, 6+). Improving by six-tenths as well, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is an overall +.9 in three straight improvements (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Steady at #3, Hubbard-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is a collective +1.4 in its third successive increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing (5.3) since 5.5 in August 2018. Co-owned adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” is +.7 through three consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In addition to being up or flat for the third sweep in succession for a collective +.6 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams” enters the top ten (#12 to #8). A January increase of nine-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO curtailed its December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “Que Buena 105.1” is now -1.3 in February/March (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). Three-tenths behind WOJO is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT, which is an overall -9.4 via three consecutive declines (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to seventh, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that co-owned WEBG is without a loss and “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is up two-tenths in that stretch (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, #23, 6+). Its format foe – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” – forfeits four-tenths after February’s +.2 (3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and slides from #13 to #17.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats –With a December 2018 through March 2019 topline of 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO progresses from #17 to #15. Owing to six successive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate KGO is a collective -.7 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+) and carries on at #24.

Co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off three-tenths in February/March (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+); the Giants flagship remains at #13. Logging a 1.8 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” departs the top twenty (#20 to #22).

After posting three consecutive upticks for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM is off six-tenths in February/March (7.0 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) but retains the runner-up slot.

Up two-tenths after February’s decline of nine-tenths (8.0 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is on top for the third straight month. Following 11 months in succession at #1, KQED fell to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. Having more than tripled (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” suspends that streak by dropping two-tenths to 1.1 (#27 to #28, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is +1.1 in three successive upticks (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Tacking on six-tenths to February’s increase of four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0, #16 to #11, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” has its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1. Completely erasing February’s -.5 with a March +.5 to 4.8 (6+), KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” continues in fourth-place. The Bonneville-owned adult contemporary improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares in December/“Holiday” 2018, (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but was a combined -6.4 in January/February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Steady at #3, similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” is  a collective +1.2 via three consecutive gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Prior to January, the iHeartMedia outlet had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+) sends co-owned KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” from #12 to #15. By dropping three-tenths to 2.3 (#14 to #15, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” interrupts at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Although unchanged at #15, Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” gains eight-tenths via three straight positive spikes (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), nearly wiping away its -.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). For the third month in a row, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” posts a .7 (6+) and remains at #34, while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, flat at #36, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate, KTCK “The Ticket All Sports All The Time,” is in an alternating down/up pattern (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM was a +1.0, but “105.3 The Fan” is now -1.4 in February/March (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7, 18, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #22). Meanwhile, Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is off for the sixth time in succession and has had its 6+-share sliced in half (-.6) in that timeframe (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .6, #33 to #35, 6+).

Flat at #19, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM is without a loss for the third month in a row for a gain of three-tenths (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+); going back to “Holiday” 2016, “News Radio 1080” remains within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Not only is KERA a collective +.8 via three improvements in a row (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), the North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7).

Dallas Music Formats – An increase of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, #18, 6+) enables Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Worship Now” to log its strongest 6+-showing (2.4) since December 2016 (2.4, as well). Conversely, WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM, Uplifting-Upbeat-Real,” which was up one-half share in February (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), craters by -1.2 to 1.1 and fades from the top thirty (#19 to #31). Bumping up by one-half share (each) and finishing back-to-back are iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (3.8 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.7 – 4.2, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (4.3) is the highest 6+-share for KDMX since July 2018 (4.3, as well) and KLNO’s best (4.2) since September 2018’s 4.2. Unchanged at 6.3 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is #1 for the third month in a row. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Off seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” fades from the top twenty (#15 to #21). In February, Cumulus Media country siblings KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” were tied for fourth-place; however, as “The Wolf” adds three-tenths (4.1 – 4.4, 6+) and remains at #4, “New Country” regresses by one-half share to 3.6 (fourth to ninth, 6+). In addition to losing approximately half (-3.6) its 6+-share in three successive drops (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE exits the top ten (#9 to #11). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, “Star 102.1” almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Relinquishing the three-tenths it gained in February (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH departs the top ten (#10 to #12). “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+).

After losing a combined half-share in January/February, Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (.9) and 6+-market rank (#22). Up or flat six sweeps in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+), Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” has that streak suspended with a loss of one-tenth to .8 (#22 to #24, 6+). Continuing at #27, iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” has a December 2018 through March 2019 topline of .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 (6+).

Following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is off a combined three-tenths in February/March (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4, #18 to #19, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – An overall -2.0 in six successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” answers in February/March with a combined +1.4 (3.7 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+); 5.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since August 2018’s 5.7. Having logged a 3.9 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group country outlet KKBQ “93-Q” busts out a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull,” which had been +1.7 via three positive spikes in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), is off two-tenths to 5.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+). The three most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are +.5 in January (6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 in February (7.0 – 6.2, 6+); and now +.5 in March (6.2 – 6.7, steady at #2). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). While iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is #1 for the 12th straight time, “Sunny 99.1” is an overall -3.9 in three slips in succession (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to this slide, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive positive spikes (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Down or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period for a collective loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” repeats at #21.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s been an up and down ride lately for Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM, which erased two-thirds of December/“Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4. It was then -.9 in February and now picks up one-tenth (7.0 – 7.1, 6+) to finish at #1 for the third straight month. WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. As a result of three straight up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3  1.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” gains two-tenths and moves from #23 to #22. Tied at #29 are Entercom news/talk WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community,” off four-tenths in three dips in a row (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), and Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer,” which is trending .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 (6+).

Despite returning the three-tenths it gained in February (3.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” actually inches up from tenth to ninth. Up one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s Atlanta Braves flagship WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20).

With the largest (6+) February 2019 – March 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (4.8 – 3.4, -1.4, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13). Down or flat the past four sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS adds one-tenth to .8 (6+) but stays at #26.

Atlanta Music Formats – The market’s (6+) urban AC share balloons by +1.4, nearly equally divided between Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” (+.8, seventh to fourth, 6+) and Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” (+.6, steady at #2, 6+), which is a solid +2.5 via its third successive uptick (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+). “Kiss” is +1.4 in February/March (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+). Locked on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” breaks out a +.7 to 3.7 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#15 to #9). It overtakes format rival – Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” – which is flat at 3.5 (flat at #11, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January but forfeited six-tenths in February. Tacking on six-tenths to February’s one-half share increase (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” progresses from seventh to fifth. A “Holiday” 2018 increase of one-half share halted at three WSB-FM’s consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+); “B-98.5” was off by -1.0 in January. Four successive gains by Radio One urban contemporary WHTA accounted for an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “Hot 107.9” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty with a six-tenths’ drop to 4.6 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Co-owned WAMJ-HD2, nearly tripled (+1.3) its 6+-stat in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.1 – 2.0, 6+), but it surrenders one-half share to 1.5 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#18 to #21). The one-tenth advantage that iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” had over its country foe, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” grows to six-tenths as “The Bull” is up two-tenths 3.3 – 3.5 (#13 to #11), while “Kicks” falters by three-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, #14 to #16, 6+). WUBL was a collective +1.4 via four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), before eroding by -1.0 in February. WKHX rebounded from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase in February (2.6 – 3.2, +.6).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Frozen on 2.5 (6+) in January and February, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is off two-tenths to 2.3 (#17 to #18, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a net gain of two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” drops one-tenth to 1.4 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Bouncing back from February’s -1.3 with a March increase of two-tenths (7.2 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Phillies flagship WIP advances from sixth to fourth. “Sports Radio 94.1” was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); +.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and -1.3 (February 2019). Steady at #14, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – March 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 (6+).

Down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom’s KYW rebounded in January with a +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” is a combined -.6 in February/March (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, flat at #9, 6+).

Up by three-tenths in January/February (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), public news/talk WHYY falters by four-tenths to 2.6 (#13 to #16, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A one-half share gain by Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), coupled with a loss of three-tenths by classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” (7.1 – 6.8, 6+) results in WBEB progressing from third to first and WOGL segueing from first to second. A combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), immediately after a December/“Holiday” 2018 -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.0, 6+), WOGL jumped from a three-way January tie for third to first in February. WOGL finished on top in August 2018 and segued to second in September. This market’s pacesetter from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained two-tenths in February. WBEB’s format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Relaxing Favorites,” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (4.8) and 6+-rank (eighth). Formerly rhythmic hot AC “Real 106.1,” WISX became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). It was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but is now a combined +2.3 in four up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Unchanged at #7, Beasley Media Group-owned WXTU “92.5 Philly’s Country Station” is a collective +1.4 via three straight gains (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Owing to three successive improvements, co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” is an overall +1.7 (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, fourth to third, 6+). Conversely, cluster-mate WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined -1.3 in February/March (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+) and falls from second to sixth.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.4 in January/February (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” forfeits three-tenths in March (2.2, #14 to #19, 6+). Up or flat for the fourth straight time in Long Island for a net gain of two-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC progresses from #26 to #25.

Repeating in fourth-place, Entercom sports talk WFAN is up one-tenth (4.3 – 4.4, 6+), following February’s loss of three-tenths. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” bounces back as well from February’s -.3 with a gain of two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, #24 to #21, 6+).

As Entercom all-news WCBS-AM picks up two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, flat at #11, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS regresses by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #13, 6+). Tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November, these two siblings were a combined +1.3 in January.

Unlisted in October 2018 and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaced in December (2.0, #17, 6+); was off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #19, 6+); added four-tenths in January 2019; but is down one-half share in February/March (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6, #20 to #22, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – An overall -1.7 as the result of seven straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” pulls the plug on that slide with a +1.1 to 3.3 (#18 to #11, 6+). There is another significant shift for classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” whose five most recent moves are -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); -.5 (February); and now +.7 in March (3.0 – 3.7, #12 to #8, 6+). As a result of four successive sweeps without a loss, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” nets a +1.3 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). As it advances from #18 to #15, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” logs its fourth up or flat report in succession for a +.8 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance in Nassau-Suffolk (2.4) since August 2018 when it reached 2.6. Zooming into the top fifteen (#21 to a three-way logjam at #15), Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Long Island’s Home For Everything That Rocks” is a cumulative +.9 in five straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). While it remains at #1 for the fifth straight time, hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” has lost over half its 6+-share (-5.4) in three consecutive declines (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1, 6+). “Real Variety” was a combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). Off eight-tenths as well in March is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (fifth to tenth, 6+), which is a collective -5.8 through three drops in succession (9.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – For the sixth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” is without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23 to #24, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE), which had been down or flat the past five survey periods (.3 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) picks up one-tenth to .2 (#23 to #22, 6+). For the 15th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

In a December 2018 through March 2019 down/up pattern (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR pushes up from #12 to #11. Meanwhile, the September 2018 through February 2019 topline for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is .3 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .1 (#21 to #24, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Although it remains in seventh-place, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a collective +1.6 in three successive upticks (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Stuck on 1.8 (6+) in January and February, Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM “96.7 Rockin’ The Empire” posts a one-half share increase to 2.3 (6+) and carries on in tenth-place. Up or flat the past three survey periods for a gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KOLA stumbles by one-half share to 6.8 (6+) but is anchored in the runner-up slot for the 11th time in a row. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). It is chasing Entravision’s KLYY “Jose,” which is off for the fourth consecutive report for a collective -3.1 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4, 6+), but is #1 for the eleventh successive sweep. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario) station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. Not only is KLRD “Air 1 Worship Now” a collective -1.9 via four successive negative trends (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .3, 6+), the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet drifts from #13 to #19. Locked on 4.6 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” falters by one-half share to 4.1 (third to fourth, 6+). Even though co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD posts its fifth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +.2 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+) and is in one-share range (6+) for the 19th successive ratings period, “Recuerdo” backslides from #11 to #12. After being without a loss the past seven reports netting one-half share (.1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .6, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” dips by two-tenths to .4 (#16 to #17, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – While this marks KGO’s sixth straight San Jose sweep without an increase for an overall -1.1 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet climbs from #19 to #18. Netting one-half share via three straight modest gains (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 15, 6+), co-owned news/talk KSFO moves from #25 to a four-way tie at #22.

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off three-tenths in February/March (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+) yet manages to climb from ninth to eighth. By picking up two-tenths (1.5 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” returns to the top twenty (#23 to #20).

Without a loss the past four sweeps for a collective +1.4 (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM regresses by four-tenths to 6.7 (second to third, 6+). January and February’s 7.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018’s 7.2.

A combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED wipes away that deficit in its entirety with a +.9 to 7.1 (third to second, 6+). Unlisted in October 2018 and November, KQED returned with a 6.7 (December 2018, 6+). In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+). It added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; was flat in January 2019; and has added one-tenth in back-to-back (February/March) sweeps (.7 – .8 – .9, flat at #27, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Over and above being +1.5 via three positive spikes in succession (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. “Bay FM” was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.4 (2.2 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC returns all but one-tenth of that increase (-1.3) in February/March (3.6 – 2.9 – 2.3, #12 to #16, 6+). Off one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” has its lowest 6+-share (3.1) in nearly four years (3.0, May 2015). In addition to slipping by three-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of increases that generated an overall +1.0 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). In each of the past three sweeps, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” posted a shift of eight-tenths: It was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). In March, however, it is off two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. For the third straight month, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018.

Middlesex-Somerset-Union

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.2, WKXW relinquishes half that increase (-.6) in February/March (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), but the Townsquare Media news/talk outlet is on top for the third month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” occupied the top spot six straight sweeps before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 with a -1.1. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR slips by three-tenths to 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+). January’s +1.0 completely erased the overall -1.0 in December/“Holiday” 2018. Following its .8 in “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC notches a 1.0 (6+) for the third straight time and continues at #26.

Having regressed by one-half share in February, Entercom sports talk WFAN is unchanged in both 6+-share (3.0) and 6+-rank (#15). Similarly-programmed WEPN is a collective -1.0 in five straight reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+) as “98.7 ESPN New York” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23).

A loss of one-tenth to 1.8 (#24 to #25, 6+) by Entercom all-news WINS curtails four straight gains that accounted for a one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM picks up two-tenths (2.2 – 2.4, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19).

It is tied at #19 with WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM which is down four-tenths to 2.4 (#17 to #19, 6+), cutting in half its combined January/February +.8 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats –Without an increase four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” bounces back with a combined +1.5 in three straight improvements (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+) and continues in third-place. While unchanged at #5, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is up six-tenths through three consecutive gains (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, Emmis owned WQHT “Hot 97” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #13, 6+), thus drawing to a close five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 KTU” is up two-tenths as well (2.8 – 3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). With a one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WDHA “105.5 The Rock of New Jersey” checks in at #23. Co-owned adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites,” however, has its third slip in a row for an overall -2.3 (5.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+). Among hot ACs in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union report, Entercom’s WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11), while Cumulus Media’s WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which had been a collective +.5 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), surrenders three-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). The latter is in the process of being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to contemporary Christian when the deal is finalized.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

| April 16, 2019

Round One of Nielsen’s March PPM Survey Released.  The first round of (6+) data from Nielsen Audio’s March PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the March survey will appear at Talkers.com beginning tomorrow (4/17).

Francesa-Kay Battle at Center of New York Sports Talk Wars.  With the release of the March PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio yesterday, the battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay is back in the news.  Both afternoon drive sports talk shows are claiming victory in the “Winter Book” that uses the January, February and March PPM survey data.  The controversy lies in how one counts the numbers.  As Newsday reports, the issue here is whether not each station’s stream ratings are added to the over-the-air numbers.  Counting streams, Francesa beats Kay in Men 25-64 with 6.2 share to Kay’s 5.9 share.  But unlike WEPN, WFAN airs different spots in its stream and, WEPN would argue, WFAN doesn’t qualify for Total Line Reporting.  Taking away Francesa’s streaming numbers gives Kay a 5.9 to 5.5 (M 25-54) share advantage over Francesa.  No matter how one slices up the Nielsen numbers, neither host’s other avenues, such as Kay’s TV simulcast nor Francesa’s app data are taken into account in the “Winter Book” ratings.

Connoisseur and Cumulus Swap Stations in Allentown and Connecticut. This swap of assets gets Connoisseur Media two stations in the state of Connecticut in which it’s based – news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport and adult contemporary WEBE-FM, Westport – and it gives Cumulus Media four more stations for its Northeast Pennsylvania presence.  That group includes sports talk duo WEEX-AM and WTKZ-AM/W234AX, plus classic rock WODE-FM and alternative WWYY-FM.  The stations will begin being managed by the respective buyers under an LMA, effective May 1.  Connoisseur Media SVP and market manager Kristin Okesson says, “As a lifelong Connecticut resident and the former general sales manager of WEBE/WICC, it is my privilege to lead these stations.  The combined reach of our portfolio will offer exciting opportunities for our partners and to the communities we serve.”

WBRP, Baton Rouge Cuts Three Talk Personalities. Baton Rouge news/talk station WBRP “Talk 107.3” made what general manager Gordy Rush tells local TV outlet WAFB was a “business decision” and let go of morning show team Kevin Gallagher and Bill Profita as well as late morning talk host Clarence Buggs.  The Guaranty Media station’s morning show is cut to two hours and is now being hosted by program director Brian Haldane.  The late morning daypart is being filled by FOX News Radio host Brian Kilmeade from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Todd Starnes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

SiriusXM Making Its Talk Hosts Available Via Podcasts on Pandora. This content sharing will make audio from SiriusXM’s talk talent – from its entertainment, talk, comedy, music, and sports programming – available to Pandora subscribers via the newly announced Podcasts on Pandora platform.  The service will use the company’s Podcast Genome Project technology to recommend podcasts. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We’re excited that some of our most popular talk shows are now being made available to Pandora users.  This will be a great opportunity for new audiences to discover these SiriusXM shows, while providing Pandora with great programming, as we continue to collaborate on content opportunities for both platforms.”

2019 Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards being celebrated at The Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, May 21 and at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York on June 26.   Some of the honorees include Sean Hannity radio show producer Lynda McLaughlinAngela Yee of the urban morning drive show “The Breakfast Club”; syndicated country radio star Elaina Smith; Jayde Donovan of “The Jayde Show”; Jillian Barberie of “The Morning Drive” on KABC-AM, Los Angeles and more.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards.”  Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group and chair of the board of directors adds, “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery.  The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.” See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KTRH, Houston-based Michael Berry show called on its listeners to assist military veterans with PTSD – seeking the donation of 1,000 suits – and brought in more than 5,000. Berry says, “The reason talk radio is a great format for advertisers is the reason it is the best platform for charitable events: community engagement.  It’s not a passive medium.  Listeners are engaged; they share our values.  They respond when we put out the call.  In this case, it was for our veterans, but it’s also the case when we endorse goods and services provided by people who share our values.” Berry is the national spokesman for PTSD Foundation of America, that operates Camp Hope, a residential treatment center committed to reducing the 22 suicides per day our veteran community is experiencing.  The suits are being donated to assist veterans who are seeking employment after coming home from a war zone…..Today is Chicago newsman Bob Roberts’ last day on the job at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Roberts is retiring after a long career in the radio news biz.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason says Roberts is “one of Chicago’s best reporters” and “an invaluable member of our team thanks to his tremendous knowledge of the Chicago area and its transit system.  He’s second to none during breaking news situations.”  See highlights from Roberts’ career here…..Pubcaster WHYY in Philadelphia is acquiring the digital news publication Billy Penn.   The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the millennial-targeted publication’s staffers will become WHYY employees…..The podcast “Crime Junkie” expands on its relationship with cabana, the digital audio business of AdLarge Media, and is now the exclusive ad sales partner for “Crime Junkie.”…..The Omaha World-Herald reports the death of KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska talk show host Coby Mach.  He hosted the daily 5:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” program on the NRG Media news/talk station. He also served as the president of the Lincoln Independent Business Association.  The paper reports that he was ending his show due to his dealing with tinnitus and his wife’s ongoing battle with breast cancer.  Lincoln police are saying the death of the 53-year-old host was an apparent suicide.  He wrote in a Facebook post, “It’s time to slow down…Thanks to the KLIN crew for some great years and a lot of fun.  Thanks to the listeners and advertisers who made it all possible!”

KIRO-FM, Seattle’s Dori Monson Performs Sold-Out Stage Show. KIRO-FM midday talk show host Dori Monson (pictured above on stage) packed the Kirkland Performance Center on Friday (4/12) for his inaugural “What Are The Odds? An Evening with Dori Monson” one-man stage show.  The sold-out event did include guest appearances by other KIRO Radio talent, including news anchor Ursula Reutin, Monson’s longtime friend Dave Wyman, show producer Nicole Thompson and more.  KIRO-FM promoted the show with the following: “Sometimes a hustler. Frequently incorrigible. Often a rascal. What are the odds that an aimless kid from old-school Ballard would grow up to become Seattle’s most fiery and most-listened-to radio talk show host?  Find out when you reserve a seat as KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson introduces you to the remarkable people who helped shape his improbable career.”

Southern Border Issue/Sanctuary Cities Proposal, Redacted Mueller Report Expected, Notre Dame Fire, 2020 Presidential Politics/Weld to Challenge Trump for GOP Nom, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Premiere, Tiger Woods’ Masters Victory, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The Southern Border migrant issue and the related proposal by President Trump to transport migrants to sanctuary cities; the anticipated release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Republican Bill Weld’s announced challenge to Trump’s GOP nomination; the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones”; Tiger Woods’ stunning Masters victory; NBA playoff action; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hannity, O’ Reilly and Rome Set to Keynote Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. The agenda continues to grow as the 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention takes shape for Friday, June 7 in New York City. Heading up a roster of more than 55 speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, Key Networks radio commentator, best-selling author and former FNC personality Bill O’Reilly, and CBS Sports Radio giant Jim Rome. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019. Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio. A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group; Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOne; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Alex Fife, VP/regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast; Greg Foster, VP programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia/PD, KOA, Denver; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi Media; Sebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Thom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Andrew Kalb, executive director of programming, ABC News Radio; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra University; Bill O’ Reilly, commentator, Key Networks; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Dave Robinett, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; Jim Rome, host, CBS Sports Radio; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio; Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting; Rick Ungar, host, The Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The big music radio story is Cumulus Media’s announced sale of classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million in cash.  The deal was announced at the same time as the Connoisseur swap noted above.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy.  Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS-FM to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high-potential business opportunities.  The Connoisseur Media swap significantly strengthens our presence in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.”  There’s no indication from Meruelo if it intends to make programming changes to KLOS or not…..Two big moves take place in the Seattle market as former Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick joins Hubbard Radio’s cluster there as brand/content director for country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  At the same time, Hubbard Radio Seattle VP/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland announces the return of “Fitz in the Morning” to the Seattle airwaves. Mulholland says, “The country audience in Seattle has been without their favorite morning show host for too long.  I believe the dynamic duo of Fitz backed by Scott Mahalick will change the face of radio in Seattle.”…..Back in Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” grabs J Cruz away from crosstown competitor KPWR to host the afternoon show.  “The Cruz Show” had been heard in mornings on Meruelo’s Media’s KPWR.  Joining Cruz on his show will be executive producerJeff Garcia, DJ Lechero and DJ Lezlee.   KRRL program director Doc Wynter says, “iHeartMedia is all about attracting the very best on-air talent and I’m excited to add J Cruz to the growing list of super talents in our thriving Los Angeles market.  Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in the afternoons – I get chills just saying it!”…..Entercom names Boston radio personality Karen Blake the new afternoon drive host at adult contemporary WMJX-FM “Magic 106.7.”  Blake was most recently morning drive host on WQRC, Cape Cod.  In Boston she’d previously served in drive time at WODS-FM and the old WQSX-FM (now WEEI-FM). Blake says, “It is a privilege to return to the Entercom family.  I am looking forward to being part of an air staff that I’ve admired for years and am thrilled to be continuing my career in my hometown of Boston.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

| April 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files with SEC for Initial Public Offering. As the company wends its way through the final stages of Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files with the Securities Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its Class A common shares.  In the SEC filing, the company set a placeholder of $100 million but didn’t disclose the size of the offering or a price range.  The company intends to use proceeds from the IPO to pay off debt. Last year’s Chapter 11 reorganization allowed iHeartMedia to trim its onerous debt from about $20 billion to about $5.75 billion and forced the spin-off of Clear Channel OutdoorGoldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are listed as underwriters for the IPO.

Scott Mahalick to Resign from Alpha Media; Phil Becker to Assume EVP of Programming Role. After almost 10 years as the executive vice president of programming for Alpha MediaScott Mahalick is resigning from the company and handing the EVP of programming post to current vice president Phil Becker, effective April 8.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “Scott’s contributions are far too numerous to mention but suffice it to say that Scott’s work ethic, competitiveness, and passion are woven into Alpha in many ways.  Scott is and will always remain a huge Alpha fan, cheerleader, and significant shareholder in the Company.”  Mahalick comments, “It’s been a pleasure to contribute to Alpha for the past decade and lead our high-performance team.  I want to thank Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, Donna Heffner, our regional presidents, and John Grossi for supporting my innovative crazy ideas.”  Speaking about his new role with the company, Becker says, “I can’t thank Scott enough for bringing me into Alpha and for letting me work alongside him for the last 5 years.  The two of us have accomplished some remarkable things together and I want to thank Bob for allowing me the opportunity to continue to do so.  Alpha is a ‘think differently’ kind of company and I look forward to working closer with all departments.”

Bernie & Sid in the Morning Celebrates First Anniversary at WABC, New York AM Show. Yesterday, the team of Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk celebrated their one-year anniversary as the morning show on Cumulus Media’s legendary news/talk station “77 WABC Radio” in New York.  The “Bernie & Sid In The Morning” show launched on April 2 of 2018 after the retirement of Don Imus.  Among the celebrities joining the show to celebrate the anniversary was actor Chazz Palminteri, pictured above (center) with Rosenberg (left) and McGuirk (right).  Others appearing on the show were Bill O’Reilly, Congressman Peter King, Bo Dietl, Lisa LampinelliJim Breuer, Sukanya Krishnan and Jenn Lahmers from Fox 5 NY “Early Good Day,” WAXQ’s Jim Kerr, Michael Kay, John Batchelor, FOX News Channel’s Tom Shilue, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “We congratulate Bernie and Sid on an incredibly successful first year of what is now New York City’s destination morning talk show.  Bernie and Sid have created a great show that listeners love, with the biggest guests and the most entertaining talk in town.”  Station PD Craig Schwalb adds, “Bernie and Sid took on a huge task in replacing the legendary Don Imus.  Not only has the year been successful for our listeners and advertisers, it’s been very exciting to see it all happen.”

All-Newser KCBS, San Francisco Freshens its Image. Bay Area all-news outlet KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco reveals its new audio and visual “refresh.”  The Entercom news station debuts enhanced audio imaging featuring female voiceover pros Randy Thomas and Roberta Solomon as co-voices of the station along with its new logo that marks the first visual refresh in more than a decade.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “KCBS is an iconic news brand and it’s only fitting that our new image is of an equal caliber.  These changes are part of the KCBS evolution that elevates our connection with our broad Bay Area audience.”  KCBS-AM will celebrate its 51st year as an all-news station in May.

Share of Ear: Pureplay Listening Accounts for 35% of Audio Consumption. Internet pureplays are gobbling up more of the audio listening pie, rising from 22% of audio consumption in 2014 to 35% of in 2018, according to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study.  “Pureplays” include such services as Pandora or Spotify, the streams of radio stations, streams of SiriusXM, podcasts, or music from YouTube.  Edison Research director Laura Ivey says, “While the more established modes of audio delivery, such as broadcasting and listening to owned music, remain strong, with each update we show more audio is delivered through the internet.  These trends are especially pronounced among young people.”

Entercom Promotes Six Executives. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field reveals six promotions for company executives.  Michael Martin is now SVP of programming & head of music initiatives, Tim Murphy is EVP of corporate business development, Pat Paxton takes on the new title chief programming officer, Dave Richards is promoted to SVP of programming for Seattle, David Rosenbloom is appointed VP of corporate business development, and Esther-Mireya Tejeda is now SVP and head of corporate communications.  Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom and we are fortunate to have a highly talented team across the country leading us forward in pursuit of our transformational goals and working to capitalize on our many outstanding opportunities.”

Obamacare Vote Delayed, U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bill, Chicago Elects Black Lesbian Mayor, Mar-a-Lago Intrusion, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2). The announcement by President Trump that the vote to nullify the Affordable Care Act will wait until after the 2020 election; the migrant population status at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump’s threat to close the border; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the controversy over Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill affecting abortion access in the state; the election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s first Black, lesbian mayor; the case of the Asian woman gaining access to Mar-a-Lago with a hard-drive containing malware; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB 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. A shocker in San Diego as iHeartMedia and on-air pro Bob Buchmann part ways just a year after the classic rock KGB-FM morning personality inked a new, multi-year deal.  Buchmann revealed his surprise by the move in a Facebook post: “I’d prefer you hear this from me first, as I’m a bit in shock.  My position has been eliminated at iHeartMedia San Diego as of today.  I work for wonderful people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right. Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB-FM operations director last August.  In the afternoon drive Bob and Coe Show, the February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market.  Come to think of it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock!  Thank you for being there for me day in and day out.”…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Joe Browning operations manager for its four-station cluster in Melbourne, Florida that consists of CHR WAOA (for which Browning will serve as PD and afternoon host as Joe Kelley), classic rock WROK, country WHKR and sports talk WLZR-AM.  He was most recently with Corpus Christi-based Hometown Media as corporate program director for its 16 stations. Cumulus Melbourne vice president and market manager Gary Mertins says, “We’re super excited to have Joe joining our team as operations manager.  We also look forward to having him lead our heritage top 40, known along the Space Coast as ‘WA1A.’  Joe is a tremendous talent, an experienced broadcaster, and I’m certain he will be an asset to our cluster.”

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten 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.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

| October 25, 2018

Talk Host Lars Larson at Center of Gun Rights Issue in Portland.  According to a piece on Campus Reform’s website, KXL, Portland-based radio talk show host Lars Larson was required by the administration of Portland State University to promise not to bring his permitted gun (legal in Oregon) to a Second Amendment event on the campus being sponsored by the PSU College Republicans.  Larson was vocally critical of the school for making the request and for threatening the College Republicans if they invited Larson knowing he would bring his conceal carry weapon.  Ultimately, the group cancelled the event.  Larson is quoted saying he fought the school’s request for obvious reasons.  “It would be the height of hypocrisy, for me to say ‘I’m going to go talk to these kids about the importance of their Second Amendment rights,’ while voluntarily forfeiting mine.”  Larson also tells Campus Reform he plans to do a broadcast from the school.  “Later this week, my producer and I will walk up, sit down in the student union, and I’m gonna do five or 10 minutes on a Facebook Live stream, explaining the entire background.  I cannot speak to the students unless I give up my civil rights, I cannot do the broadcast that I wanted to do, and the students have been threatened.”

Nielsen Reports Q3 Financials; Net Income Down 32.4%. Ratings and consumer research giant Nielsen Holdings plc releases financial data for the third quarter of 2018 and reports revenue of $1.6 billion, down 2.5%, or 0.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2017.  Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2018 decreased to $266 million, compared to $425 million in the third quarter of 2017.  The company’s audio ratings service falls under its Watch segment and for the third quarter, Audio revenue dipped 1.6%, from $127 million in 2017 to $125 million in Q3 of 2018.  However, the company reports “Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis, due to continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system and our ongoing investments, including Gracenote.”  Nielsen executive chairman Jim Attwood says, “The third quarter revenue and earnings are consistent with our updated 2018 guidance despite a number of near-term challenges in our markets.  We have a number of key initiatives and actions that we are pursuing to improve our future outlook.  Together with the board of directors, we are aligned on a set of operational priorities to drive the business forward. In addition, the board of directors, with the assistance of our advisors and management team, is focused on the expanded strategic review that we announced in September, which includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for Nielsen and its businesses.”

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer on Pandora Acquisition. During yesterday’s third quarter investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer talked about the company’s bid to acquire streaming pure play Pandora. He said the two platforms have the ability to cross-promote.  He adds that the goal, obviously, is not to convince paying SiriusXM subscribers to leave for a cheaper or free version of Pandora.  “At SiriusXM, we are running about 23 million trials in new and used cars this year.  And the truth, as the flip side of our conversion statistics will tell you, is that most people don’t want to pay for radio at the end of the day.  I feel there is a strong opportunity if we can link non-converters back to a Pandora or maybe a Pandora with a bit more content in a way that makes our combined business bigger, better, and more profitable. There are many ways we believe that one plus one will exceed two very quickly and we plan to give you additional color on that over the next few months.”  The company is still waiting for anti-trust approval from the FTC and Justice Department before meetings with Pandora can affect any change there, but it is downplaying the synergies that might be realized from a combined operation. Meyer adds, “Last week, while I was out in Oakland for a Pandora board meeting, I had the privilege of speaking with a large group of Pandora’s talented employees.  It was fantastic to talk about our shared future, what we can do with all of our financial resources, vast troves of data, unmatched content, enormous user bases, and some of the most talented people in radio and technology.  I am confident that together, these two companies will be even stronger.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit’s “910 AM Superstation” – Kevin Adell -owned WFDF – brings local media personality Charlie LeDuff aboard to host a weekly, one-hour program airing Mondays at 4:00 pm, titled, “No BS News Hour.”  LeDuff is a former Detroit News and WJBK-TV, Detroit reporter.  The weekly show is being designed as a companion to LeDuff’s Michigan-focused podcast of the same title.  LeDuff says, “If you suffer from insomnia, I recommend you watch the news.  If you want the news, I recommend you tune into the ‘No BS News Hour.’ Original reporting, nowhere else.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliates news/talk KGVO-AM/FM and KMPT-AM “Montana’s Progressive Talk” in Missoula for the weekly program. Hill tells TALKERS magazine that the addition of the Townsquare Media stations puts the program at the 52-affiliate mark…..SiriusXM is adding “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law” to its P.O.T.U.S. channel programming, effective October 29.  The ABC News chief legal analyst will host a show that will “analyze the biggest news stories of the day from a legal perspective.”  Abrams says, “The legal side of news stories is more important and prominent than ever. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity on SiriusXM to really dig in and separate the legal realities from the wishful spin for listeners and people calling in to the show.”…..New York Public Radio names longtime Viacom executive Depelsha McGruder chief operating officer.  McGruder was most recently senior vice president of programming for BET Networks.  NYPR operates not only public radio news/talk WNYC-AM/FM, but WNYC Studios and New Jersey Public Radio, as well…..Legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 14th season of his SiriusXM talk show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” tonight at 6:00 pm ET.

SRN’s Larry Elder to Attend Meeting of Young Black Conservatives at Trump White House. According to a report in the New York Post, President Trump will entertain a group of hundreds of young, black conservatives gathered for the Young Black Leadership Summit, an event produced by Turning Point USA.  Also attending this evening’s kick-off of the conference will be Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder and actress-turned-conservative-pundit Stacey DashDonald Trump Jr. will also speak to the group this evening, as will HUD Director Ben Carson.

Pipe Bombs Sent to Top Democrats and CNN; Financial Markets Activity, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, Halloween ‘Blackface’ Issue, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The news of pipe bombs sent to CNN and top Democrats including the Obamas and the Clintons; the Dow loses 600 points and the activity in other world financial markets; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; one winning ticket in South Carolina is sold for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery; the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the issue of schools warning students not to dress in blackface for Halloween; the week’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. Seattle CHR KBKS-FM “106.1 KISS FM” is stunting in preparation for a format change.  The stunt began on Wednesday with jockless programming peppered with mysteriously worded sweepers teasing the change.  The status of the air staff with owner iHeartMedia is not known but numerous reports indicate AM drive personality Bender has exited…..Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” promotes afternoon drive personality Jason Cage music director, effective immediately.  He’ll continue hosting his 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Jason has proven to be a very valuable contributor to the overall sound and feel of KHMX and has helped to lead culture here at Entercom Houston.  We are excited to elevate him to the role of music director.”…..As a result of the flip of SummitMedia’s WJSR, Richmond from classic hits to adult hits as “Jack FM,” morning show team Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins exits after a four-year stint.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

| October 17, 2018

E.W. Scripps to Acquire Triton for $150 Million. Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company may not want to operate radio stations anymore (in August it announced a deal to sell its remaining 19 radio stations to SummitMedia for $47 million), but it likes the digital audio space enough to pony up $150 million for digital audio tech and measurement services firm Triton.  Scripps says that the move helps it “advance its strategies for near- and long-term value creation.”  Triton provides measurement in the digital audio space as well as hosting and advertising infrastructure (including dynamic ad insertion).  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson says, “Triton positions Scripps well to expand its role in the fast-growing global digital audio marketplace. Triton’s efficient business model, multiple growing revenue streams, competitive advantages and expanding international footprint made this an attractive opportunity.”  He adds, “The acquisition of additional television stations remains our number one M&A priority, with the goal of enhancing our national scale and in-market depth for our Local Media portfolio.  On the National Media side, acquiring Triton complements our strategy of owning growth businesses that capitalize on the evolving habits of media consumers and furthers our commitment to margin expansion.” Triton powers or measures streaming music and podcasting for media companies including: Pandora, Spotify, NPR, iHeartMedia, Entercom, Cumulus Media, Prisa (Spain), Mediacorp (Singapore) and Karnaval (Turkey).  This is a cash transaction and Scripps notes that Triton’s 2018 revenue is projected to be approximately $40 million, with EBITDA projected in the mid-teen millions. Triton’s 2019 revenue is projected to grow in the low to mid-teens percent range over 2018.  Triton co-founder and CEO Neal Schore and his management team will continue to lead Triton.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Names Kayla Blakeslee New Morning Host. News director Kayla Blakeslee is named as the new morning drive host at Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/W298BJ in Fort Wayne. Longtime station morning personality and market legend Charly Butcher died unexpectedly in August and the station had been searching for his replacement.  Blakeslee returned to WOWO as news director in 2016 after a year away from radio.  She’d been with the station previously from 2011 through 2015.  WOWO afternoon host Pat Miller announced Blakeslee’s appointment on his program yesterday (10/16).

Rosati Named President of Binnie Media. New England media company Binnie Media promotes EVP of New Hampshire and Maine radio Massimo Rosati to president of the company.  Rosati joined Binnie in 2015 as regional sales manager after having previously served with iHeartMedia and Saga Communications.  Binnie Media owner Bill Binnie says, “Massimo joined us five years ago and was responsible for regional sales before taking responsibility for New Hampshire radio sales and eventually all of the radio sales.  I am confident that Mass’ creativity, energy, and passion for the business will be crucial to our success.”

Cristina Mayer to Serve as iHM Washington-Baltimore Marketing Director. Marketing pro Cristina Mayer is named marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Washington DC/Baltimore operations.  She comes to iHeartMedia from Mimi Brown Studio in New York where she was production manager.  In this position, Mayer will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies in order to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and assist with driving in revenue for the region.  Washington/Baltimore RVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Cristina’s extensive experience across many different types of media and entertainment organizations made her the perfect person to oversee marketing & promotions for iHeartMedia Washington DC/Baltimore.”

TALKERS News Notes. At suburban Chicago news/talk WCGO, Evanston, the “Citizen Kelly” show hosted by William J. Kelly moves to the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  At the same time as the show time change is announced, Kelly takes the opportunity to announce the filing of his paperwork to run for mayor of Chicago.  He says, “As the only Republican candidate in this race against 15 Democrats, I can win this race with the 133,000 Trump voters in Chicago alone.  My callers support me 100%.”…..Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio is again presenting its holiday radio show “The Night Before Christmas,” starring Milwaukee media personalities Gene Mueller, Jane MatenaerJeff Wagner, and a cast of WTMJ hosts and local voices.  The annual show will be presented Monday, November 26 at Turner Hall.  It will be recorded in front of a studio audience and replayed on WTMJ and WTMJ.com throughout the Christmas season.  Five dollars from every ticket sold will benefit Kids2Kids Christmas…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that ESPN hires former Chicago Tribune and New York Times sports reporter Malika Andrews to serve as an NBA reporter for ESPN.com and WMVP, Chicago “ESPN1000.”  She’ll cover the Bulls as well as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.  She takes over for Nick Friedell who’s moving to NoCal to cover the Golden State Warriors for the company…..PodcastOne launches the new podcast, “Life Reboot,” hosted by television personality Leah Messer, self-empowerment speaker and teacher Lindsay Rielly, and celebrity journalist Brian Scott.  The podcast will guide listeners in learning to transform and live their best lives through personal stories, guest interviews, and tips from the Live Your Standard life coaching program…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks are debuting a new iHeartRadio original podacast titled, “The End of The World.”  It’s developed and hosted by fan-favorite Josh Clark, co-host of the beloved podcast “Stuff You Should Know”.   This program “tackles the existential risks humankind faces and how today’s technological advancements will contribute to our survival.”  Clark is joined by a number of top experts including, astrobiologists, philosophers, and economists…..There’s a new senior vice president for news at NPR as Nancy Barnes fills the role left vacant by Mike Oreskes last fall after allegations of misconduct from his past arose and forced him to resign.  Her background is in newspapers.  She’s served as executive editor of the Houston Chronicle.

Saudi Journalist Case, Elizabeth Warren Criticism, T.I. ‘Melania’ Video, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Trump-Russia Report, Trump-Stormy Daniels Spat, Canada Legalizes Pot, Hawking ‘No God’ Conclusion, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; rapper T.I.’s video that depicts a Melania Trump look-alike doing a striptease; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the legal and social media spat between President Trump and Stormy Daniels; Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana; Stephen Hawking’s final book concludes there is no God; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio pro Kathy Hart’s guest stint on news/talk WGN-AM over the weekend in which she spoke – to some degree – about her tumultuous end at Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX.  While co-hosting with WGN weekend personality Frank Fontana, Hart disclosed she underwent medical treatment for what ended up being Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome during the time she was off the air leading up to her exit.  But when asked why she ultimately did not return to the very successful “Eric & Kathy” show, she declined to explain…..Southern California sales pro George Herrera joins Meruelo Media as local sales manager for hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and urban contemporary duo KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario. Previously, he served as an account executive at alternative KROQ…..Envision Networks announces the return of the Wink Martindale-hosted program “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” for holiday programming.  This 10-hour show counts down from 100 to 1 the top-selling, highest-charted, and best-loved Christmas songs ever released…..The Radio Music License Committee announces that Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger is elected chairman of the RMLC.   He succeeds Ed Christian and John VerStandig, who had been operating as RMLC co-chairs for the past year.  Atsinger, no stranger to music licensing committees, previously served as chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters Music Licensing Committee for many years.  Ed Christian comments, “Given my vested interest in seeing to it that the RMLC continues to thrive, it’s reassuring that we now pass the baton to an experienced chairman who is perfectly positioned to hit the ground running.”  Atsinger adds, “I am fortunate to be assuming the mantle of chairman of the RMLC at a time when Ed Christian and a talented executive committee have worked so hard to build a solid foundation for the group and to enhance the RMLC’s stature in the industry. That said, it’s no secret that there are multiple challenges facing the industry right now and I am anxious to get to work with a great RMLC team that has already distinguished itself in many ways. We will continue the fight to maintain reasonable license fee levels during difficult economic times.”…..Pictured at right are “Steve Harvey Morning Show” cast members Shirley Strawberry (left) and Carla Ferrell (right) joining the more than 4,000 people who took part in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend organized by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” hip hop WGCI-FM, and Gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390.”…..Sun Broadcast Group appoints of Rich O’Brien vice president of programing & affiliate relations.  O’Brien comes to SBG with more than 25 years of experience in national radio syndication, having served as a VP of radio programs for Superadio Network…..Sad news from the Motor City as former WRIF air personality Mike Clark passed away on Monday (10/15) at age 63.  Clark was one half of the “Drew and Mike” show (with Drew Lane) that aired on the rock station in morning drive for more than two decades.  Lane is quoted in the Detroit News saying, “He had some medical issues the past couple years, but I’m still very surprised because we were texting yesterday and he was in typically good humor.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) during her appearance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show with Robin Roberts (right) to talk about her latest book, One Heart At A Time, (2018, Rosetta Books).  During the book tour, she’s also appearing on “Megyn Kelly TODAY” and is featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

| September 26, 2018

New Morning Host Greg Tish Takes Over on WVFT, Tallahassee. At WVFT, Tallahassee “Real Talk 93.3,” operator Magic Broadcasting II names Greg Tish the new morning host after declining to renew the contract of former morning personality Greg Marr Jr.  According to a story at Tallahassee.com, the new show, “Real Mornings with Greg Tish and Bobby Mac,” will focus less on politics than Marr Jr.’s “Voice of Freedom Today” program.  WVFT station manager Jon Jopling is quoted saying, “We are going to be intellectually honest and locally relevant.  It’s going to be more interesting and more thought provoking. We want to engage listeners on a higher level.”  Tish has been employed for the past 19 years with the Florida Sheriff’s Association.  He is described in the piece as a “partially retired DJ and man-about-town socialite.”

PodcastOne Sportsnet Beefs Up Offerings with Nine New Shows. These new programs now available on the PodcastOne Sportsnet platform are from The Pro Football Focus Network, The Underdog Network, The Collider Network, RealGM, and Natalie Eva Marie. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norman Pattiz says, “As a full-service sports network totally focused on podcasts, plus up-to-date coverage of live events and major sporting events from around the world, these new inclusions from our podcasting partners further signal our commitment to sports and maintaining our leadership position.” New shows include “The PFF NFL Show” with Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson; “The Underdog” with Chris Horwedel and writer Anshu Khanna; “You’re Wrong and Here’s Why”; “Tales from the Association”; “Collider Sports”; “RealGM Radio Football” with Jeff Risdon; and “The Natalie Eva Marie Show.”

NAB/RAB Radio Show Happening Now in Orlando — The 2018 installment of the annual “Radio Show” produced and presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) kicked off yesterday (9/26) in Orlando, FL and will run through Friday (9/28) at the dual location of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando.  TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay is on the scene providing first-hand coverage of the event and conducting interviews with speakers and attendees.  Read his coverage here.  McKay (on crutches due to a recent knee injury) is pictured below in front of one of the convention’s promotional posters that adorn the hallways and public spaces of the radio industry gathering.

Edison Teases ‘Share of Ear’ Data; Estimates SiriusXM-Pandora Market Share.  Tomorrow at the RAB/NAB Radio Show, Edison Research will unveil data from its 2018 “Share of Ear” study.  In advance of that, the company teases some of the findings, including that “in-car is the top listening location in the U.S. for all audio.”  That’s probably not a surprising statistic to radio pros, but the research puts some figures on that conclusion.  Edison says, “In any given day, nearly everyone in the U.S. will consume at least some audio, and on average, people age 13 and older spend four hours per day listening to music, news, personalities, and sports…70% of Americans age 13 and older listen to audio in a car each day – higher even than the portion who listen to audio at home.”  In a separate press release, Edison comments on the proposed acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM saying that its research indicates that if the deal is consummated, the new company would deliver 12% of all audio consumed in the U.S.

Beasley Media Group Presents Dr. Shawn DuBravac at Radio Show — The appearance by best-selling author Dr. Shawn DuBravac came at the Beasley Media Group-sponsored “Evening of Dinner and Disruption” event held last night (9/25).  DuBravac discussed transformative innovation, including smart cities, AI, data, and the opportunities for radio in the future.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: DuBravac, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, COO/EVP Brian Beasley, and president Bruce Beasley.

Westwood One’s Kevin Harlan Gives Advice to Future Broadcasters – At the Westwood One-sponsored presentation by “Monday Night Football” announcer Kevin Harlan (right), he spoke with a large group of 2018 Radio Show Student Scholars about the business of radio broadcasting.  Harlan shared stories and offered advice to the students.  He’s pictured above with University of Indianapolis student broadcaster Mallory Moreno (left).  “The Student Scholar Kick-off with Kevin Harlan” was hosted by Westwood One Sports EVP/executive producer Howard Deneroff.

Harrison: Corporate Media Will Stop Catering to Targeted Audience Biases Only If It Sees Ratings and Revenue in Journalistic Objectivity. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison appeared as a guest on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) yesterday (9/25) on “Across America with Carol Costello” to share his take on Brett Kavanaugh’s FOX News interview the night before (9/24).  As the conversation delved into the widespread practice of news organizations catering to target audience mindsets, Costello asked Harrison if he thinks any minds would be changed by Kavanaugh’s historically unusual FOX News appearance.  Harrison responded with the cynical observation, “I don’t think anything changes minds anymore.  We’re in a very strange impasse and I think it’s corroding our democracy.  I do hope that we eventually get to the point where it’s a little more fluid, where people are a bit more open-minded and that the media in general is a little bit more independent of adhering to its political flavor.  I guess the only way the media will ever get to that point will be if the media thinks it is in their interests to be that way – that you can actually get ratings and revenue and build an audience by not preaching to choirs.  But right now, we’re really in a quagmire of partisanship and polarized reporting where even media people who think they’re objective find themselves succumbing to the temptation to preach to their audience’s biases.”  Harrison went on to say that he does not hold FOX solely responsible for this type of positioning and insinuated that it is practiced to one degree or another by outlets all across the political spectrum including CNN and even TALKERS.

Trump UN Speech, Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Tensions, Bill Cosby Sentenced, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). Tuesday’s UN address by President Trump, including his warnings to Iran; the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the related status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the tense relationship between the U.S. and China over tariffs and weapons sales; entertainment icon Bill Cosby is sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault; the week’s NFL activities; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia names Rebekah “Bex” Maroun executive producer and co-host on CHR WXKS-FM’s “Matty In The Morning, effective October 1. She joins the program alongside well-known on-air personalities Matt Siegel, Billy Costa, and Lisa Donovan. She assumes the role previously held by Medha Gandhi, who recently joined the syndicated “Elvis Duran & The Morning Show.”  “Kiss 108” program director Dylan Sprague comments, “Bex’s chemistry with the Matty team was obvious at our first meeting.  Couple that with her magnetic personality and producing experience and it was really an easy choice.”  She was most recently an air personality and producer at Entercom’s hot AC WTDY…..BMI announces it has re-elected six members of its board of directors during the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.  The following have been elected to new three-year terms: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group, LLC; Amador Bustos, president and CEO, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; Michael Fiorile, current chairman, BMI board of directors; chairman and CEO, The Dispatch Printing Company; and chairman and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group; Bill Hoffman, president, Hoffman Communications, Inc. and retired president, Cox Media Group; Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson, Urban One, Inc.; and Jerry Kersting, former president, Tribune Broadcasting and past EVP/CFO, Clear Channel Radio.…..In Miami, Entercom adds Melissa Maxx to the air staff of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show. She takes over for Erin Lee, who remains with the station to handle weekends and fill-ins…..At company headquarters in Portland this week, Alpha Media programmers are meeting for the first-ever “Alpha Media Programming Pop-Up.”  Fifty of Alpha’s content directors from around the country are taking part in a two-day forum.  The company says the goal is to “motivate and educate Alpha’s brand leaders by providing interaction with and information from some of the industry’s top executives and celebrity influencers.  Meetings and presentations are taking place today and tomorrow at Alpha’s theater located at the corporate offices.  Pictured below at Tuesday evening’s rooftop cocktail party are (from l-r): Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick, Republic Records’ Sharon Dastur, Republic’s Gary Spangler, Alpha VP of content Phil Becker, Republic artist Mike Posner, Republic’s Brett Dumler, Republic’s Mike DePippa, and model/TV personality Kim Stolz.

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including 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 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; 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.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance – Open Letter

| August 7, 2018

“In recent months, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has signaled that, after more than two decades, they are open to revisiting the outdated rules that govern the local ownership of radio stations. Because of this unique opportunity, our industry, working with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), undertook a project to develop a radio industry proposal that could be presented to the FCC ahead of its 2018 quadrennial ownership review to help frame the next generation of these rules.

“Months of work by NAB board members and staff recently culminated in the NAB’s proposal to modify the current rules, which was sent to the FCC’s media bureau chief on June 15. Prior to its submission to the FCC, this proposal had been developed and vetted by a special committee of the NAB Board formed for this purpose, as well as by the full radio board itself. At both the committee and board level, the proposal to revise the ownership limits was debated and voted upon openly, and, at both levels of review, it passed with a substantial majority of support (it bears clarifying that what some have pejoratively characterized as ‘a faction’ was in fact a substantial majority).

‘As we believe this is an issue of paramount importance for the future of the radio industry, we have taken an active part in these discussions, and, like others, we have further studied the issues involved so that we may come to a carefully considered decision.  We wanted to share our conclusions in this regard, in the hope that it helps to clarify the public dialogue on this topic.  To be clear, we are fully supportive of and have endorsed the NAB proposal.

“It might be helpful to start with a little history as to why these rules exist. Regulation of public airwaves emerged in the 1930’s out of an effort to manage interference across the radio spectrum. Broadcast media ownership rules were introduced in 1940: the driving force then, as it has been for the many modifications that have taken place in the last 80 years, was the government’s desire to ensure that no one entity could exert too much influence over the flow of information, either nationally or in a single community.

“Reflecting the dynamic nature of media competition, these rules have undergone several modifications over the eight decades of their existence, each time to relax common ownership limits to reflect the competitive impact from changing technology. The proposal that the NAB sent to the FCC is simply the latest logical development in a conversation that dates back to 1940 and which, for the past eighty years and in each modification, has only been moving in one direction.

“The current numerical ownership limits were established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the 22 years since then, the emergence of digital and social media, not to mention the pervasive use of smartphones and other devices, has fundamentally disrupted how information is disseminated locally and nationally. The competitive landscape for information, as well as audio entertainment, has changed dramatically. In radio, our main competitors (Facebook, Google, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and SiriusXM, for example) did not even exist in 1996. And yet, our rules are based on that era.

“Given the vastly different competitive landscape in the information marketplace, it follows logically that the rules that were intended to limit advantage and undue influence must themselves adapt or be eliminated altogether. The rules that were originally intended to level the playing field for other competitors 80 years ago are now a constraint that inhibits radio’s ability to compete, as well as attract capital and investment. After all, on the internet, none of our competitors are subject to any of these limitations, nor were Sirius and XM subject to similar limitations to prevent their merger ten years ago.

“In addition, we would note that there are several other important factors that further reinforce our decision on this topic: First, ownership restrictions limit the ability of local stations to take advantage of economies of scale that could bolster the industry’s financial position at a time of unprecedented competition. For radio companies to continue to serve the public interest by providing local news, local sports, local weather, and essential emergency programming, these companies need to be economically viable entities, free to compete for assets, capital, and resources on a level playing field with their competitors.

“Second, common ownership will drive more format diversity, as the NAB noted in its letter to the FCC. This serves the best interests of both audiences and advertisers.  Companies will use their additional stations to experiment and develop new and micro-targeted formats, rather than compete with their existing stations. These new formats will serve specific communities and demographics in ways that most of commercial radio does not do today. This will help radio serve its audience better by providing greater consumer choice, serve its advertisers better by offering broader audience reach, and help our industry compete with the virtually unlimited channels and micro-targeted audio audiences offered by digital and satellite competitors.

“Finally, while elimination of the cross-ownership restrictions between radio, TV, and newspapers by the FCC in 2017 was a welcome and long overdue step (particularly for the newspaper business, where we believe this step, if enacted a decade ago, could have helped to save hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs), it seems counter-intuitive to us that radio companies are now allowed to expand into other forms of media, but not to expand our offerings in radio itself.  Cross-ownership only makes sense if it is also accompanied by the opportunity and choice to expand within our own industry, and in the form of media that we know best.

“At the same time, we are of course aware of the arguments against modification of the ownership rules and have considered them carefully in arriving at our conclusions. We have heard an argument that the NAB’s proposal will hurt the value of AM radio. As significant owners of AM radio stations, we have an abiding interest in the value of these assets. Nevertheless, our self-interest does not override the fact that media ownership rules were not intended to provide economic subsidies or determine winners and losers, and to use them in that way today, to advance the interest of one class or company in particular, is a perversion of their intent. Rather, the best way to ensure the value of AM stations, and to deliver for the listeners of this service, is to provide essential and important programming, and unique and valuable benefits to advertisers. In that regard, we can point to several AM stations that continue to be successful: Entercom’s [all-news siblings] WINS and WCBS-AM in New York and [all-news] WBBM-AM in Chicago, as well as iHeartMedia’s [news/talk] KFI in Los Angeles.  These were four of the top ten billers in our industry in 2017.

“Of course, it is also a reality that many AM stations are struggling in today’s competitive environment.  We think that the FCC has already addressed this issue through its AM Revitalization Effort and has given AM stations, and their owners, every available opportunity to ensure their success and longevity, short of stepping in to interfere with the functioning of a free market. This would not be the appropriate role of a regulatory agency, nor would it comport with the free market principles to which we subscribe.

“We have also heard an argument that common ownership offers no benefit to the advertiser. We disagree, and, as noted above, believe that the benefits of common ownership that accrue to the listener in the form of greater format diversity will also benefit the advertiser. Our experience in competition with digital media has been that a key point of differentiation between offline and online advertising is the latter’s ability to micro-target audiences for an advertiser, based on very specific audience characteristics. We know that advertisers value this capability, and that it drives dollar shifting from radio to digital. In conjunction with investment into and development of our own data collection and advanced audience insights, the prospect of being able to offer a greater number of unique formats, along with the localism that is our medium’s hallmark, will enhance radio’s ability to present a competitive advertising solution versus digital and social media. Yes, it is better for our advertisers if we can deliver a better product.

“Complete agreement on any issue is difficult, but given the opportunity before the FCC right now, it was vital that we find consensus. Therefore, we are pleased that the NAB was able to develop a proposal that represented the consensus of a substantial majority of its board of directors, and we thank the staff members of the NAB and the members of the ownership committee (that was formed for this purpose) for their service to the industry. Anything short of providing the FCC with a framework for reforming the radio ownership rules would have been an abdication of the job that the NAB and its board are obligated to perform.

“We respect dissenting views on this topic and hope that our thoughts, as expressed in this letter, have added to the public discourse. We know that all opinions are the result of strong feelings about what is in the best future interests of this industry, which we all love.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

| July 10, 2018

WSJ: Liberty Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  After taking its offer of $1.2 billion for 40% of iHeartMedia off the table a couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that now Liberty Media is “working on revamping its original offer.”  The story goes on to say that Liberty’s return to the table could signal a bidding war between it and private equity firm Silver Lake.  Last week, the New York Post reported that Silver Lake is in talks with iHM.  The Wall Street Journal story says Silver Lake has made an offer for 20% of the reorganized iHeart, though a dollar figure is not being reported.  Both Liberty – owner of a controlling interest in SiriusXM and a minority interest in Pandora – and Silver Lake are also said to be in talks with iHeartMedia creditors Franklin Advisors Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., both of which are expected to control the post-reorganization iHeartMedia.  For Liberty, the obvious synergies make it an attractive suitor with iHeart itself stating in a recent filing that Liberty’s original offer didn’t take into account some $500 million in annual synergies.

TALKERS News Notes. A Louisburg, Kansas woman prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled a lower court should not have dismissed her civil rights complaint against local police officers who ordered her to stop praying in her own home. The case developed after neighbors called police on Mary Anne Sause because she was listening to Michael Savage too loudly.   She claims police didn’t tell her why they were there, and she became frightened and asked to pray.  She says the officers then attempted to stop her from praying.  Read the account in The Hutchinson News here…..At the Podcast Movement event in Philadelphia on July 24, Edison Research will present the results of its latest podcasting study.  Titled, “Podcasting’s Next Frontier: 100 Million Listeners,” the address promises to “provide a research-based road map for the podcasting industry to grow audience and increase exposure to podcasts.”  It will provide “attendees with a look at the tens of millions of Americans who say they know what podcasting is but haven’t (yet) become regular listeners to the medium.”…..Fort Myers rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock” drops the Bubba the Love Sponge program from the morning drive daypart.  The Beasley Media Group station had Bubba’s show in morning drive there for the past 10 years and says an announcement about the new morning show is forthcoming. Beasley’s decision comes just days after Bubba Clem and Nielsen settled their lawsuits against each other…..Entercom Atlanta inks a deal with Georgia State University for sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” and sister news/talk WAOK to broadcast the school’s football and men’s and women’s basketball games, beginning with the 2018-19 season.   Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Expanding our sports content is an important part of our strategy to remain the leaders in sports radio.  We remain strong advocates of our local community and of delivering quality content to our city and beyond.  This agreement with Georgia State University is another step in that direction and we look forward to an exciting season with an excellent sports program.”  As part of the partnership, “92.9 The Game” will also host weekly interviews with Georgia State football coach Shawn Elliott on “Mornings with John and Hugh.”  Men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter will join “Dukes and Bell” for a weekly interview.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Luncheon Greetings by WNYM (AM 970 The Answer), New York Morning Host Joe Piscopo and “Humanitarian of the Year” Award Presentation to the Late Matt Patrick.  Today (7/10), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 11th installment is a video of convention luncheon greetings by WNYM (970 AM The Answer), New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce; and the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan.   Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Former KSTP, Minneapolis Talk Host Barbara Carlson Dies at 80.  Twin Cities talk radio fans are remembering Barbara Carlson, the former KSTP-AM, Minneapolis talk show host who died yesterday (7/9) at age 80 after a battle with lung cancer.  Carlson was a two-term Minneapolis city councilor during the 1980s. Prior to that, she was married for more than 10 years to former Minnesota Republican Governor Arne Carlson.  She hosted her talk show at KSTP from 1990 to 2002. See the Twin Cities Pioneer Press obit here.

Trump Supreme Court Nomination, Illegal Immigration Policy-Judge Rejects Trump Request, Trump-Russia Investigation/Impending Putin Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War, U.K Brexit Complications, Thailand Cave Rescues, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The anticipation and announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as nominee for Supreme Court Justice; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration policies and a federal judge’s rejection of administration’s bid to modify child detention policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the planned meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin; new tariffs and concerns over a U.S.-China trade war; the challenges facing British Prime Minister Theresa May in executing the British exit from the EU; the rescue of the boys’ soccer team from flooded caves in Thailand; 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.  Programmer and air personality Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra joins iHeartMedia’s Fort Myers station group to serve as program director for hip hop WBTT “105.5 The Beat” and hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1.”  He was most recently music director and an air personality at Entercom’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento.  iHeartMedia Fort Myers SVP of programming Louis Kaplan states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Short-E to iHeartMedia Fort Myers. He genuinely understands our market and brings adept format experience and lively energy to our team.  He’ll be leading two of our most popular brands, ‘105.5 The Beat,’ which has been a huge success for over 15 years, and ‘Y100,’ the area’s home for the Elvis Duran show, and I know his vast industry knowledge and creativity will take our stations to even higher levels.”…..iHeartMedia Los Angeles names Tamo Sein midday personality at alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7,” effective July 16.  KYSR program director Lisa Worden says, “We believe the ‘ALT 98.7’ audience will immediately take to Tamo’s relatable and down-to-earth approach.  Plus, she loves alternative music and is a food and wine enthusiast!  She’ll fit right in with LA.”  Sein comes to LA from iHeartMedia Charlotte where she was APD and music director at alternative WEND “105.5 The End.”.….Hubbard Radio’s country WIL-FM, St. Louis officially welcomed Mason and Remy to their new gig as afternoon drive team on the station. They take over for Stacey and Jonah, who move over to the company’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for afternoons.  The changes took effect yesterday (7/9)…..S-R Broadcasting flips KRKO-AM/K237GN from sports talk to classic hits. General manager Chuck Maylin says the new station is “custom designed to meet the musical appetites of local listeners, with a strong focus on information and activities of importance and interest in the greater Snohomish County area.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

| May 10, 2018

Emmis Communications Fiscal Q4 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Down 1%. Because of the recent sales of its Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute stations, the Emmis Communications fourth fiscal quarter report can be viewed two ways.  Fourth fiscal quarter revenue was $28.4 million – down 16%.  But, pro forma for the sale of Emmis’ Los Angeles and Terre Haute radio stations, revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter revenue and syndication revenue) was down 1% in markets that were down 3%.  The company says the New York and St. Louis clusters both grew their revenue in the quarter and outperformed their markets.  Looking at the whole fiscal year (ended February 28, 2018), radio revenue was $142.9 million compared to $165.1 million in the prior year – a decrease of 13%.  For the full year, Emmis’ pro forma radio revenue was down 2%.  The report notes that on April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations, and after applying the net proceeds therefrom, has less than $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves.  Ratings for our New York radio stations remain strong and they are rebounding nicely in Indianapolis.  The NextRadio team has done a tremendous job rolling out Dial Report, an industry-wide data attribution platform, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for robust analytics and insights into the behaviors of radio listeners.”

Liberty Media Group Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  “At the right price” is the phrase Liberty Media Group president and CEO Greg Maffei used during yesterday’s investors conference call.  Maffei noted that Liberty owns “about $660 million” of iHeartMedia bonds.  Regarding Liberty’s interest in iHeartMedia, Maffei adds, “I think the process is evolving as they go through their Chapter 11 proceedings.  Creditors are gaining an understanding of what they are proposing to buy.  I think at some point they are going to re-engage with us, and if the price is attractive, as I said, we would be interested.  And the rationale for that is there are both – I think some opportunities around radio.  They’re still having interest toward radio and are so interested in some of the assets that we have, including serious investment in Pandora.  I think there are both synergies on the revenue side and on the cost side potentially.  And iHeart is an attractive free cash-flow generator.  The wide pricing in combination with that is those are the factors and it will be additive to our music holdings.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Schulman Named CMO at Katz Media Group. Media executive Stacey Lynn Schulman is promoted to chief marketing officer for Katz Media Group.  The company says that in this new role, “Schulman will lead a team of marketing and insight professionals across both Katz Radio Group and Katz Television Group, driving overall marketing strategy and insights for Katz’s 14 regional offices that together serve as the trusted sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations, 800 television stations and their digital platforms.”  The company says Schulman joined it in 2014 as EVP of strategy, analytics and research.  “She quadrupled Katz’s proprietary research efforts on behalf of clients.  Schulman also introduced new marketplace tools to showcase the power of local media, including Katz’s DJ Personality Index, which helps marketers easily identify on-air personalities who already engage with their brands, and The Local Vote project, which provides political marketers with a media compass based on recent voter sentiment in local markets. Her efforts have been instrumental in bringing additional revenue into the radio sector and expanding the target-ability of local broadcast television.”

TALKERS News Notes. A piece published at CNNMoney that states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention.  Featured in the story is former KRLA, Los Angeles morning personality Elisha Krauss, who tells writers Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy that although she understands Salem can hire or fire any talent it wants, “They shouldn’t do it with the facade that they’re delivering multi-level opinions and they’re not puppeteering those opinions.” Krauss currently works with Ben Shapiro on his podcast programs.  The two worked together on KRLA’s “The Morning Answer.” Currently, “The Morning Answer” is co-hosted by anti-Trumper Brian Whitman and pro-Trumper Jennifer Horn.  Read the piece here…..As election season gears up, the Larry Young morning program on Radio One’s WOLB, Baltimore will participate in presenting public forums featuring candidates for office.  The station will present a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, June 5 and a state’s attorney forum on Wednesday, June 13 as part of the Larry Young morning program.

U.S. Exits Iran Nukes Deal, Israel Strikes Syria, North Korean Prisoners Released/Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, Stormy Daniels Case/Cohen Russian Money Allegations, Hawaiian Volcano Watch, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement; Israel’s strikes on Iranian targets inside of Syria; three American prisoners held in North Korea are released and the related planned meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the Stormy Daniels payoff case and allegations Trump attorney Michael Cohen received money from a Russian oligarch after the 2016 election; Hawaii’s oozing volcano and fears it may transform into a full blown eruption; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The evening program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” is getting a new voice as Emily Sklar takes over the daypart on Monday (5/14).  She comes to DC from her most recent gig as midday jock on the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Cumulus Media names radio personality Nikki Blades co-host of “The Morning Block Party” on rhythmic CHR KWIN, Stockton-Modesto.  Blades has been hosting the midday program since January.  Blades began her career as a professional model and was featured in Maxim magazine and earlier this year, appeared on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon.”  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says “We are very excited for today.  It’s not very often you find someone who fits the mold of the brand so well and is also destined for greatness.  Nikki Blades is by far the next big talent on the West Coast and I’m so excited for her to take the next step here at KWIN!”…..Entercom appoints Sean “Sonic” Leckie host of the afternoon drive show on WBMX, Chicago “104.3 Jams.”  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Sonic brings a passion for music and drive to succeed to ‘104.3 Jams.’  We’re looking forward to having him take the helm of Chicago’s new afternoon drive show.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Josh “Bru” Brubaker to the local anchor position for “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” on WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1.”  He joined WDRQ in 2017 as a weekend/swing talent and was elevated to production assistant shortly thereafter…..ACM-award winner and platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jake Owen is hosting Westwood One’s Annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program features music from Jake and his friends, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Zac Brown Band, and more. The show will also remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, June 8, 2017

| June 8, 2017

Industry Still Buzzin’ Over Talkers 2017: A New Era – Videos Soon to be Posted.  Positive response to the recently held 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers 2017: A New Era – continues to flow into the Talkers Communications Center.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are extremely gratified and appreciative of the wonderful feedback we continue to receive from industry professionals who attended the event.  We are looking forward to posting videos of the key sessions in the coming days and weeks so even more folks can gain benefit from the tremendous information shared last week in New York.”  Attendees universally approved of the new fast-paced “one-on-one” and “fireside chat” format that marked a major format departure from the “panel” style of most industry conventions.  Also, an exciting aspect of this year’s convention was the significantly increased number of young attendees – college radio students and new names rising in the business.  For example, Michael Harrison points out syndicated health show host Dr. Asa, “whose video presentation and live stage appearance elevated this dynamic young man to emerging star status in talk media.” (To view Dr. Asa’s powerful promotional video that impressed the crowd, please click here.)  Another unexpected moment that mesmerized the attendees was this year’s choice of opening patriotic video kicking off the day’s events – a Talkers Convention tradition.  According to Harrison, “Every year, we either have a special solo singer of musical group perform the national anthem live or play a powerful video of a performance to get our patriotic juices flowing. It pulls all the different political ideologies in the room together in a moment of unity under the banner of our common interest in free speech and broadcasting.  We recently blew the crowd away with the rock band Madison Rising’s stunning rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’  We’ll, this year we went ‘retro’ and opened the convention with a video from black and white TV in the early sixties – the late Judy Garland honoring the recently-slain president JFK with a soul-stirring and timeless rendition of ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’  It is simply one of the most incredible musical performances of all time. It stood out in startling juxtaposition to the extreme modernity of the venue, the forward-focused content of the conference, and the apparent youth of so many attendees!”  (To view the video, click here.)  To see earlier coverage of the conference, please scroll down this page.  The following are newly posted photos from Talkers 2017: A New Era.

The exhibition/meeting area at Talkers 2017: A New Era was always buzzing with activity.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike “Bax” Baxendale of WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA (l) and Larry Young of WOLB, Baltimore (r) discuss how local morning shows and stations benefit by creating “community” in their markets.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WMAL, Washington, PD Bill Hess (l) and syndicated star Thom Hartmann (r) talking about the future of radio.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

“Humanitarian of the Year” Dr. Daliah Wachs and WPHT, Philadelphia talker Dom Giordano engage in a one-on-one dialogue.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Attorney Steve Weisman of www.scamicide.com warning radio and broadcasters how to protect themselves against digital age internet scams and hacking.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Bernadette Duncan reporting on her recent “Yappy Tour” of shows and stations coast-to-coast.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

 

Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) GM/host Brad Shepard discussing hyper-local online radio.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Consultant Walter Sabo addressing the convention.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Michael Harrison (l), Mary Berner (c) and Mike McVay talking about radio at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

The “Woman of the Year” award plaque presented to Mary Berner at the convention.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Report: SiriusXM in PIPE Talks to Invest in PandoraReuters is reporting that SiriusXM is in talks with Pandora to negotiate a private investment in public equity (PIPE).  The story by Liana B. Baker and Greg Roumeliotis notes that this development happened after talks to acquire Pandora outright did not materialize.  The story explains that “a PIPE deal involves the sale of a company’s shares in a private offering, as opposed to a public secondary offering.”  Time is critical because the opportunity for Pandora to find an alternative to its agreement with private equity firm KKR & Co LP expires today (6/7).  KKR & Co LP has agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora.  Reuters’ sources say this is not a done deal and any number of things could crater it.  Read the Reuters piece here.

Heather Park Joins WXYT-FM’s ‘Jamie and Stoney’ Show. Detroit sports media personality Heather Park is joining the “Jamey and Stoney” show at CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” effective Monday, June 12.  Park is the in-park host at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers.  She’s also the past host of “Detroit Sports News” on WWJ-TV and is currently hosting “Michigan Golf Weekly” for the television station.  WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers says, “Heather’s experience with the Detroit Tigers and WWJ-TV, combined with her personality, makes her the perfect fit for the ‘Jamie and Stoney’ show.  I look forward to the evolution of the show with the addition of Heather.”

ABC Radio and Spotify Announce Podcast Deal. A new deal between ABC Radio and Spotify means the latter will distribute ABC Radio podcasts on its platform.  This comes as the two companies announce they are collaborating on the production of “Brilliant Minds,” a podcast named after the annual event led by Natalia Brzezinski.  She serves as the CEO of Symposium Stockholm, Brilliant Minds – a thought leadership symposium that focuses on the relationship between humanity and technology.  Rebecca Jarvis is ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent and also hosts the “No Limits” podcast.  She’ll co-host a special series of eight “Brilliant Minds” podcasts along with Brzezinski.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones states, “ABC News is America’s number one news source and Spotify is the global leader in digital audio distribution.  We’re excited that ABC News will now help to inform, inspire and empower Spotify users to better understand their world and improve the future.”

FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Three Weeks Away. The 11th annual Washington, DC radio row that addresses America’s immigration policies takes place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on June 28 and 29.  Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” will consist of more than 60 talk radio hosts from around the country holding “a national conversation with voters in all 50 states about what is happening, what isn’t happening, and what needs to be done to get things moving” regarding America’s “immigration laws being effectively enforced.”  FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “The goal of this year’s event is to call upon President Trump to honor the promise he made to voters in 2016 and demand that the 115th Congress implement real reforms to our nation’s immigration policies.  Time is of the essence and the president’s legislative priorities on immigration need to start moving forward.”  One of the guests who has been an annual favorite of the talk show hosts participating in “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” is Michael Harrison.  The TALKERS magazine founder and publisher has been a key component of the event for years and usually appears on as many as 25 radio shows during its two-day run.  Harrison states, “The FAIR event is a veritable ‘First Amendment Festival’ and that alone is enough reason for me not to miss it.  Although I stay out of the partisan aspects of the immigration reform issue, I really welcome the opportunity to speak about freedom of speech as well as the nuts and bolts of 21st century communications on what collectively is a gigantic platform – not to mention enjoy visiting with so many of my talk radio friends in one concentrated two-day period.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sales pro Mary Baxter joins Cumulus Media to serve as general sales manager for news/talk KABC-AM, Los Angeles and sister rock station KLOS.  Baxter was previously with Crossroads WOW serving as regional sales director.  She’s worked in Los Angeles as local sales manager for CBS RADIO’s CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP.”…..Entercom names Jim Clerkin executive producer of news/talk WRKO, Boston’s “Boston Dot Com” morning program with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie…..University of South Carolina Athletics and IMG ink a multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with sports talk WNKT-FM, Columbia, SC “107.5 The Game” as “The Official Flagship Station for the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.”…..ESPN’s “30 for 30” podcast series debuts on June 27 with episode topics including the origin of the “Yankees Suck” t-shirt and Reebok’s 1992 “Dan & Dave” campaign.  ESPN says each episode will explore and report on a new sports story that will be a combination of original interviews and archival sound.  The first season will include a total of five installments, with one debuting every Tuesday from June 27 through July 25…..With the exit of Neil Larrimore from his post as Arizona region director of spoken word programming for iHeartMedia, Aaron Trimmer will move from his position with the company as director of talk programming at the Richmond, Virginia station group to Phoenix to take over programming oversight of news/talk KFYI and KOY in Phoenix, sports talk KGME “FOX Sports 910” as well as KNST and KTZR in Tucson…..Envision Networks names Kerry Manfredi as a reporter at its Envision Virtual Services News Reports.  She was most recently a morning news reporter for WXIS, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Testimony from James Comey, Kamala Harris Questioning Flap, Iran Terror Attack-Trump Condolences Rejected, British General Elections, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Wonder Woman Film, MLB Action, NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Today’s testimony before a senate subcommittee by former FBI Director James Comey; criticism of Senator Kamala Harris’ questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; the recent terror attack in Tehran and the country’s refusal of President Donald Trump’s condolences; today’s British general elections and the fate of Prime Minister Theresa May; the aftermath of last weekend’s terror attacks in London; the runaway success of the new Wonder Woman film; MBL action; and NBA and NHL finals action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The 42nd Annual Gracies Gala. Pictured above are Alliance for Women in Media Foundation board member and Weiss Agency talent agent Heather Cohen (r), Canadian actress Jessica Parker Kennedy (l) and radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (c) at Tuesday evening’s 42nd annual Gracies Gala in Beverly Hills.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Guests on Harrison Podcast.  One of news/talk radio’s rising young stars, Rich Zeoli of WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Zeoli, who hosts afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the CBS O&O 50k flamethrower, came to the station several years ago as an accomplished political advisor and public speaking coach who was a regular guest on the outlet.  He grew up in New Jersey and spent his career advising candidates in all levels of political office including president, governor, and congress. He was the youngest chair of a political party in New Jersey history.  Zeoli is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008) and a visiting associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Harrison and Zeoli discuss the state of radio and media, along with politics, public speaking, and the challenges and opportunities that come with being on the air during the era of Donald Trump.  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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Toledo market, iHeartMedia brings the “Mojo in the Morning” show to town on CHR “92.5 KISS-FM,” effective June 19.  The Mojo show emanates from the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Madison, Wisconsin radio personality Aaron Rogers joins Entercom to serve as morning host on the company’s hot AC WMHX “MIX 105.1.”  He previously served with iHeartMedia, hosting the afternoon drive program on crosstown CHR WZEE “Z104.”…..More exits from CBS RADIO Philadelphia are being reported, including night jock Jennifer Reed being let go from country WXTU…..Sun Broadcast Group adds Keith Goldstein to its staff as national account manager.  He’ll work with the sales department focused on products including Shazam For Radio, “The Hit List with Fitz,” “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” “The Fitz Show,” Sun Latino Networks, and others…..Benztown appoints affiliate sales pro Maria Musaitef to its affiliate relations team.  She joins Benztown from Envisage Radio Group in Los Angeles, where she was vice president, affiliate sales and marketing…..Westwood One celebrates Independence Day with its annual “Celebrate the USA” holiday music special featuring country megastars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  The duo will play their music and share their Fourth of July memories in a four-hour, all-star program including friends Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, and more.  Stations can air the show any time Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

| May 18, 2017

Fox News Channel Architect Roger Ailes Dead at 77.  The family of former Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes announces that he died early today at the age of 77.  The cause is unknown at this time.  His widow Elizabeth says in a statement, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.  Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.  He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back.”  Ailes began building Fox News Channel in 1996 and its rise changed the landscape of cable news/talk.  Ailes recently exited Fox in the wake of a growing number of complaints by current and former FNC female staffers – most notably, former anchor Gretchen Carlson – of sexual harassment.  Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity tweets, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”

Report: SiriusXM in Talks to Acquire Pandora. The report is published in the New York Post and indicates that Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM has restarted talks with digital pure play Pandora’s creditors to acquire the company.  The story notes that Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei has previously indicated that he thinks Pandora is worth about $10 per share.  Yesterday (5/17), Pandora closed at $8.93 per share.  Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren has publicly maintained that he wants to keep Pandora operating as a stand-alone company, but the Post story says activist investors Matrix Capital Management and Corvex Management are pushing for a sale.  Although Pandora has roughly 76 million active users, the company has yet to turn a profit.  Read the Post story here.

Alex Jones Apologizes to Chobani.  Talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones and Twin Falls, Idaho-based yogurt maker Chobani have come to a settlement in the company’s suit against Jones.  If you recall, Chobani filed a defamation suit against Jones after he posted a story on Infowars headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”  The story noted Chobani’s policy of hiring refugees but then reported on a Twin Falls case involving refugee boys who admitted to assaulting a five-year-old girl, attempting to draw a connection.  Local authorities say there was none.  The lawsuit said, “The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products.”  As part of the settlement, Jones agreed to retract the story, which he did with the following statement: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars, Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong.  The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted.  On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

WYAY, Atlanta Loses Three from News Department.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media has cut two staffers from news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7.”  Reportedly let go are news director Jackie Howard and morning producer and reporter Michael Jones.  Morning drive co-host Cheryl White reportedly resigned her position with the station.  Ho notes that still on staff in the news department at WYAY are Chuck Roberts, Drew Nelson, Cheryl Castro and Rob Stadler.  Read the AJC story here.

Robert Mueller Appointed Special Counsel, Trump Resignation/Impeachment Speculation, the Dow’s Sharp Decline, Turkish Embassy Brawl, North Korea Missile Threats, New Cyberattack Threats, Giselle Reveals Brady Concussions, Rocker Chris Cornell Dead, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17). Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election and improper connections between Donald Trump campaign officials and Russia; speculation about a Trump resignation or impeachment; the biggest loss on Wall Street since September of 2016; the violent assault on protesters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S.; concerns about a new cyberattack that experts fear could be worse than the WannaCry malware; Giselle Bundchen’s surprise statement that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has suffered numerous concussions; rock artist Chris Cornell dies unexpectedly while on tour in Detroit; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is now hosting the afternoon drive show at iHeartMedia’s WARF, Akron “Fox Sports 1350” after his recent exit from Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland…..In Boise, Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO announces the addition of an FM translator signal at 107.5 to its broadcast.  KIDO’s main signal is 580 AM.  The station tells listeners, “KIDO Talk Radio is honored to have three platforms for the Treasure Valley…The addition of 107.5 FM allows the voices of the Treasure Valley to be exposed to an additional audience that may not be aware of alternatives to music radio.  KIDO will continue to proudly broadcast on its traditional home of 580 AM.  KIDOTalkRadio.com will be the home of your favorite photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos from throughout the Treasure Valley.

WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Featured on ‘Nightline.’  The topic of last night’s “Nightline” from ABC News was “Trump Under Fire,” exploring the challenges the president has faced over the past few weeks.  WOR, New York late morning host Mark Simone was one of the media pros featured on the show.  Simone, a Donald Trump supporter, said, “In the end he always succeeds…this [investigation] will go nowhere.”

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Urban programmer Maurice DeVoe joins the iHeartMedia St. Louis cluster to serve as program director for hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat.”  DeVoe joins KMJM from Cumulus Media, where he was corporate program director for urban and rhythmic formats and program director for urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. says, “I’ve always admired Maurice’s strong leadership skills, format track record and ability to thrive at community involvement.  I am honored to welcome him into our super-passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia St. Louis.”…..In the Atlantic City, New Jersey market, Coastal Broadcasting flips alternative WJSE to classic hits, branded as “106.3 The Shore.”  The talent lineup includes Mark Hunter in mornings, “Rudy on the Radio” for middays, and “Ashley & Brad” in afternoon drive…..The syndicated country morning radio show “Tony & Kris” will wrap at the end of this month.  Kris Rochester posted the announcement on the show’s website regarding the future of his and partner Tony Randall’s 25-year-old radio program.  The show has been syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks…..Entercom alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for the annual “Summer Camp” concert.  The two-day alt-rock festival takes place at Marymoor Park on August 12 and 13 and will feature headliners Vance Joy and Metric, with additional acts including Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Bishop Briggs, New Politics, K.Flay, and more.  KNDD program director Leslie Scott states, “Summer Camp has become a benchmark for new music discovery.  We’re excited for another year of great music and good vibes at Marymoor Park.”

 

 

Round Three of April PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

 

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The country format gets a mixed bag this sweep. On the positive side, Alpha Media’s KUPL pulls the plug on three straight months of notching a 4.2 (6+) by exploding with a +1.3 to 5.5 (its strongest 6+-showing since last July’s 5.5) as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges from ninth to fourth. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, after registering four straight gains for an overall +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is now a combined -1.6 in March and April (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) to slip from fifth to eighth. With a loss of eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” drops from fourth to fifth. Trending 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 (6+) since the “Holiday 2016” report, iHeartMedia’s KFBW breaks out a full-share increase to 4.5 (6+), enabling “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” to crack the top ten (#13 to #9). Off by one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” (#15 to #16) snaps at three its string of up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). At the same time, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KWEE “WE – 96.3” regains the four-tenths it lost in March (2.3 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #19. This is the third straight time iHeartMedia classic rock KGON (flat at #6) is without a loss (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+) for a collective +1.9. When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to March (and April), KGON last crossed the five-share threshold (6+) in March 2015 (5.5). Things are getting even tighter at the top as KGON adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW “K-103” drops three-tenths (8.6 – 8.3, 6+), while Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB is +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, steady at #2, 6+) thus it trails “K-103” (#1 for the 35th time in the last 37 ratings periods) by a slim one-tenth. Both stations chalked up impressive increases of nine-tenths in March. “K-103” was off by nine-tenths in February; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. The last time KOPB crossed the eight-share level (6+) was in March 2016 (8.0, 6+). In one sweep, Mount Hood Community College jazz outlet KMHD has its 6+-share erode by just over 50% (1.8 – .8, -1.0, #23, 6+). Similarly, Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game – Portland’s Sports Radio” (#27) is off six-tenths, slicing its 6+-share exactly in half (1.2 – .6, 6+). While it remains in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” drops one-half share (6.2 – 5.7, 6+).

2) Charlotte – As is the case in Portland (see above), a consistently spirited country skirmish exists in North Carolina’s “Queen City.” On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (5.2 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” prevails on this occasion, storming from fifth to second. Before April’s +.8, “Country’s Hottest Hits” was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Recent fluctuations for its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – have been -1.2 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.7 (January); +.2 (February); -.2 (March) and now a +.2 in April (5.2 – 4.0 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+). “The Kat” surrenders its runner-up slot to WSOC and slides to third. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) whereas the advantage now is just one-tenth. The same two groups owners are engaged in a competitive CHR battle here as well. Up or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #8. One-tenth behind at #9 (down from #8 in March) is iHeartMedia’s WHQC “Channel 96.1” (4.7, -.2, 6+), which has its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). After posting three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” gives up one-tenth to 7.6 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its +8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had a decrease in the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” shifts from third to fourth. Ending its 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 (6+) sequence, Entercom news/talk WBT loses one-tenth to 3.0 (6+), but stays at #15.

3) San Antonio – Following a February loss of one full-share, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT more than makes up for it in March and April with a collective +1.5 (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from sixth to second. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” was #1. Occupying that top spot in February, March, and now in April is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; and April’s +.8 (6.8 – 7.6, 6+). KONO-FM departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. The market’s two mainstream CHRs were tied at #14 in March, but by gaining four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) in April, iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends at six its string of consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and climbs to #12. Meanwhile, Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” regains the two-tenths it dropped in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) and remains at #14. Prior to its -.2 this time last month, “Energy” strung together four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). In six straight ratings periods covering October 2016 to March 2017, Cox Media Group classic country KKYX was a true model of consistency: 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (6+). When “Country Legends” gained six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) in March, it entered the top twenty (#20); however, KKYX surrenders that +.6 in its entirety and is back to 1.3 (#24, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well (to 5.6, 6+) and moving from second to third is co-owned KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). It is, however, now down for the third straight time (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+) more than wiping out that increase and dropping from third to fifth. As Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” gains three-tenths (5.2 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops two-tenths (4.6 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – It’s good news/bad news for CBS Radio outlets with the KDKA call letters. Applying the brakes to a mini-slump that accounted for a -1.4 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan – Pittsburgh Sports Radio” trots out a robust +1.8 to 6.1, its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, to progress from ninth to sixth. On the other hand, KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” which was +1.4 via three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), forfeits nearly half that gain (5.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. At #11 for the past ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” cracks the top ten (#9) with a gain of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned WDVE regresses by eight-tenths (to 9.6, 6+), thus curtailing at three its string of consecutive increases which generated a collective two full-shares (8.4 – 10.0 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+). The rock station – which had been #1 the past three months – drops to #2; in March, it matched December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to the top spot in January. Taking its place at #1 (from the runner-up slot) and rebounding from a -.8 in March is classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9 – 10.3, +.4, 6+). Just before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Following three straight downward moves in which it lost six full-shares and nearly half its 6+-stat (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” gains one-tenth to 6.5 (6+) and remains in fifth-place. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.8, 6+) to curtail three straight declines accounting for a -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), sibling WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” backslides from #10 to #11. In addition to KDKA-AM, other market outlets regressing by six-tenths in April are cluster-mate WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” (3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+); Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (third to fourth, 6+); and Renda Broadcasting’s WHJB “Classic Hits 107.1” (flat at #14, 6+). Without a decrease in each of the three previous sweeps, “Y-108” was +.8 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). “Bob” is off by one full-share in three straight dips (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+), while “Classic Hits 107.1” halts three consecutive up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). While unchanged at #12, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is off by three-tenths (2.8, 6+), concluding at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Just several days into the April ratings period (4/3), iHeartMedia transitioned adult hits KQJK “Jack FM” to classic rock KYRV and in its first report card, “The River” betters KQJK’s March numbers by +1.5. This actually marks the fourth consecutive improvement on that frequency for a whopping +2.9 (2.1 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 5.0, 6+). The switch was made when “Jack” ranked ninth and “The River” sails to fifth. Not only does Entravision’s KNTY extend its streak of successive increases to five and +1.5 in the period (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+), country-formatted “101.9 – The Wolf” rockets from #15 into the top ten (#9). The last time Sacramento’s “Wolf” reached the three-share level (6+) was November 2014 (3.0, 6+). There is good news in April as well for CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which adds six-tenths to March’s +.1 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+) to carry on at #4. With a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” inches up from #15 to #14. This marks the seventh straight time that “The Bull” is within 2.1 – 2.9 range (6+). Thus, all three of the market’s FM country facilities improve March 2017 – April 2017, combining for a +1.4; they accomplished the same feat February 2017 – March 2017 but with a collective +.8 (6+). Even though CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX is a combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+), “Mix 96” is #1 for the third successive time. It shook off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. After being a combined +2.4 in November and December, KYMX was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Drifting from seventh to ninth, Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is without an increase for the sixth successive ratings period for a collective -2.4 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Returning two-thirds of the nine-tenths it has garnered the last two sweeps (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.5 – 3.9, -.6, 6+) drops from fifth to seventh. Off by four-tenths to 2.1 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB (flat at #17) ends at five its successive streak of up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “K-Love” more than doubled its 6+-share since November.

6) Salt Lake City – On the heels of a one-half share increase in March, Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” doubles it with a full-share gain in April (3.5 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), jumping from tenth to fifth. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since last July’s 5.3. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.3 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 – Salt Lake City’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+), dropping from fourth to sixth. Two adult contemporary facilities in the market fluctuate by six tenths: Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (6.3 – 6.9, +.6, steady at #2, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7” (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, #13 to #15, 6+). “FM 100.3” is bouncing back from a massive -1.7 in March. Following three straight sweeps at #1, it shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. The six-tenths loss by “B-98.7” ends three consecutive uptrends for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+). In addition to KSFI, news/talk sibling KSL improves by six-tenths (6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and repeats at #1. Recent KSL shifts include +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January); -2.1 (February) and now +.6 in April. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KNRS erodes by -1.5 to 4.1 (6+), pulling the plug on three consecutive gains that netted a +1.8 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+); KNRS shifts from fifth to ninth. Powered by four straight upward moves, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by +2.6 (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and jumps from sixth in March to third. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Decreasing by one-half share each are Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #17, 6+) and KLO’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.6 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+). “U-92” is within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 11th straight time.

7) Las Vegas – At this time last month, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KKLZ (then in fifth-place) trailed the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” – by 3.4 shares (6+). The lead is now just over one full-share, as KKLZ hangs out a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+) and leaps to #2. Sputtering by approximately the same margin following a gigantic +1.8 in March (8.6 – 7.5, -1.1, 6+), “Sunny” is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. This is the best 6+showing for KKLZ since December’s 6.6. Making leaps of eight-tenths each are Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+) and cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (eighth to seventh, 6+). “The Point” logged a 4.3 (6+) in three of the past five sweeps (4.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), while KOMP is without a decrease for the fourth time in a row for a +1.6 (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+). Having been up in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio-owned KLUC forfeits more than half that gain (4.5, -1.0, 6+) and spirals from second to eighth. Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). The wild ride continues for Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF: Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), it rolled out a +1.2 in January, but followed with a -1.6 in February; -.6 in March; and now a -.5 in April (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), plummeting from #14 to #19.

8) Cincinnati – Boasting the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has thus far been released, iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” dusts itself off from a combined -1.2 in February and March (8.4 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.3 (6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, the Cincinnati Reds flagship registers its finest 6+-showing since last June’s 10.8. Once practically a formality to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+) – it hasn’t been on top since August. March’s 7.2 was the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. It is now two-tenths behind Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR, which has its own bounce back, posting a full-share gain after a -.7 in March (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). It has been #1 every month this calendar year and prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR marched from second to first. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), WUBE “B-105” answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrendered six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). In yet another rebound situation, the Hubbard country outlet jumps by eight-tenths to 7.8 – its best 6+-stat since last November’s 7.9 – and remains in third-place. Off by a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.0, advancing from #13 to #11.

9) Orlando – Going back to December, the 6+-line for iHeartMedia’s WJRR has been 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. With a one-half share increase in April though, “Orlando’s Rock Station” matches November’s 4.2 and enters the top ten (3.7 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+). For the past 17 ratings periods, co-owned WFLF has been exclusively within one-share territory, but owing to April’s +.7, the news/talk outlet reaches 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+). Still in that iHM cluster, not only is Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” on top for the fourth consecutive month, it adds two-tenths to the +.9 in March (11.7 – 12.6 – 12.8, 6+) as it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.8 eclipses by two-tenths the previous record (12.6, 6+), which – of course – was set this time last month. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. A very patient, steady climb continues for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (flat at #15) as it progresses for the fifth straight time – with each gain (ironically) being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Trailing “Rumba” by nearly three full-shares is its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the fourth consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). In that stretch, “XL-106.7” is a collective +2.7, easily erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 31st straight time (2.2 – 2.5, +.3, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE remains at #14. Inching up from #19 to #18, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to five its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). After being without a decrease in each of the past four sweeps for an overall +1.1 (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” drops one-half share to 5.5, but carries on in sixth-place.

10) Cleveland – Trending 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “Cleveland’s Rock Station” hauls out a +1.1 to 6.2 (its best 6+-share since November’s 6.5) to march from tenth to seventh. Much is made, of course, about the Chicago Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but many forget the Indians actually took them to seven games and nearly captured the Series. After being locked on 6.1 (6+) in February and March, the team’s flagship – iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM – improves by nine-tenths to 7.0, climbing from seventh to sixth. Tacking on eight-tenths to the one-half share it picked up in March (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” not only advances from fourth to third, it is just three-tenths from the top spot. A gain of two-tenths (8.2 – 8.4, 6+) enables iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). It has been #1 each month this calendar year. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. For 30 straight ratings periods, Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF had a 6+-share below a one-share, but in February, it ballooned from .9 to 2.3 (6+) before dropping to 1.9 (6+) in March. Off in April by seven-tenths to 1.2 (6+), “Moody Radio” moves from #14 to #15. After notching a +.4 in March, CBS Radio-owned WKRK surrenders six-tenths (4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains anchored at #12 for the 16th successive sweep. Behind it at #13 for the 13th time in a row is Ideastream’s WCPN (3.1 – 3.4, +.3, 6+). Prior to a -.2 in February, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Another MLB flagship enjoying a strong April is Entercom-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio.” The Royals’ key station ends a mini-slide (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) by hanging out a hefty +1.5 to 2.7 (6+) and returns to the top 20 (#16). Most notably victimized by its increase is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which follows March’s +.7 with a -1.1 (2.9 – 3.6 – 2.5, 6+) to drop from #15 to #18. WHB gained seven-tenths in January, before forfeiting one-half share in February. At this time last month, Cumulus Media siblings (classic rock) KCFX “The Fox” and classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” were locked in a first-place tie – each with a 7.5 (6+). That ends in April though as “The Fox” bounces back from a -.8 in March by busting out a full-share gain to 8.5 and is #1 for the fourth straight time. Meanwhile, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is flat at 7.5 (6+) and segues to #2. Before its +1.0 in April, “The Fox” registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). On top from May through September and then in December, KCFX had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). Ending its 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (6+) sequence with a gain of six-tenths to 4.7, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” progresses from tenth to seventh (6+). Via three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” was a collective +2.1, but is off by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), shifting from third to fifth. “Country 94.1” entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Entercom-owned, similarly-formatted WDAF-FM “106.5 The Wolf” improves by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and enters the top 10 (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+). Posting its fourth straight improvement for a nearly two-share cumulative gain (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from fifth to fourth. When KMBZ-FM dropped three-tenths in March, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In April, the Entercom news/talk outlet sputters by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) to slip from sixth to ninth. Down by six-tenths as well is University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR (#13 to #15), which is without an increase for the third successive time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) for a -.8. As the result of six straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” has eroded by more than three full-shares and slides from eighth to tenth.

12) Columbus – Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (8.9 – 9.4, steady at #2, 6+) and Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (6.1 – 6.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Ironically, both faltered by nine-tenths in March. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. The +.5 in April by “Sunny” pulls the plug on three successive negative moves which accounted for a -2.6 (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). After regaining the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” in March, WCOL not only repeats but adds four-tenths (10.1 – 10.5, 6+). The country property was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Ohio State University’s WOSU, down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, unchanged at #11, 6+) and Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B,” also off for the third successive sweep (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7, flat at #12, 6+). Unlisted for the fourth straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Friday, March 31, 2017

| March 31, 2017

Kaloustian Returns from Pandora to Lead Sales for WPHT, WIP-FM, and Phillies and Eagles Radio Networks. Radio sales pro Rob Kaloustian exited CBS RADIO in 2013 after an 18-plus year career with the company’s Philadelphia stations to assume a senior sales executive post with Pandora.  Now, CBS RADIO announces Kaloustian is returning to CBS RADIO to become general sales manager of SportsRadio 94WIP, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Phillies Radio and the Eagles Radio Network, effective April 5.  CBS RADIO Philadelphia VP and director of sales Dave Scopinich says, “We’re thrilled to bring Rob back home to CBS RADIO Philadelphia.  He’s a proven difference-maker who has a keen ability to connect our community of listeners with our advertising partners.”  Kaloustian started his radio career with CBS in 1995 as an account executive at KYW Newsradio.  He later was named local sales manager.  In 2008, he was promoted to general sales manager of Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.”

TALKERS News Notes. The 2017 Major League Baseball season gets underway Sunday and ESPN Radio is celebrating its 20th season airing games on the national network.  ESPN Radio will present 71 games with commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton returning as the lead commentator team.  Sunday’s game is the Chicago Cubs visiting the St. Louis Cardinals…..Over at SiriusXM, baseball is on tap as well.  SiriusXM is again providing “the most comprehensive national Major League Baseball coverage available on radio…subscribers will have access to every regular season and postseason game on their satellite radios and via the SiriusXM app, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.”…..The Golden State Media podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio.  The former is bringing 20-plus shows to the BlogTalkRadio platform “to take advantage of BlogTalkRadio’s unique monetization offerings.”  Golden State Media CEO Andrew Tate says, “Combining the GSMC Podcast Network with BlogTalkRadio is the perfect fit to move Golden State Media Concepts into the future of podcast media.”…..CBS Sports Radio continues its on-site coverage of the Final Four as the Doug Gottlieb show and “The DA Show” broadcast live from radio row.  Also, Gottlieb will broadcast live ahead of the highly anticipated National Championship Game on Monday, April 3.

Wayne Gardner Retires from WAVH, Mobile. Alabama talk show host Wayne Gardner retired from Bigler Broadcasting’s news/talk WAVH-FM, Mobile “Talk 106.5” this morning after a career in broadcasting that spanned 45 years.  Gardner, who worked as a morning radio personality in the Mobile market in music radio prior to joining WAVH-FM in 2009, was part of the show on crosstown WKSJ that ruled the ratings during the 1970s and 1980s, according to a story in AL.com.

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 27-31.  The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and the Trump campaign was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the GOP’s willingness to try again to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump travel ban, followed by the sanctuary cities/immigration-deportation policy stories 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.

 

 

New ‘Fair Play Fair Pay Act’ Officially Reintroduced. As expected, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D-NY) have reintroduced the Fair Play Fair Pay bill designed to end AM/FM radio’s immunity from paying copyright royalties on the performances of recorded music.  A joint statement from the bill’s co-sponsors says, “Our current music licensing laws are antiquated and unfair, which is why we need a system that ensures all radio services play by the same rules and all artists are fairly compensated.  Our laws should reward innovation, spur economic diversity and uphold the constitutional rights of creators.  That is what the Fair Play Fair Pay Act sets out to accomplish: fixing a system that for too long has disadvantaged music creators and pitted technologies against each other by allowing certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists.”  The National Association of Broadcasters issued the following statement in response: “NAB respectfully opposes the legislation reintroduced by Rep. Nadler that would impose a job-killing performance royalty on America’s hometown radio stations.  NAB remains committed to working with Congress on balanced music licensing proposals that help grow the entire music ecosystem, promote innovation, and recognize the benefit of our free locally focused platform to both artists and listeners.  We’re thankful to 165 House Members and 21 Senators who back the Local Radio Freedom Act that acknowledges broadcast radio’s indispensable role in breaking new artists and promoting record sales.”  Nadler’s website highlights the proposed bill here.

PPM Analysis: Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rock stations based on ratings data from the February 2017 PPM survey.  Kinosian writes, “Nearly twice as many rock panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (58%) versus those down (30%), while the remaining 12% of the sample is flat (6+).”  When it comes to comparing performances from February 2016 to February 2017, “there is just about an even split here, as 53% of our eligible rock sample improves year-to-year (6+), while 47% decline.  iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh is the only rock station ranking #1 in its respective PPM market, but seven others ranked (6+) in the top five.  See all the data here.

Convergent Broadcasting II Exits Radio Biz with Sale of Corpus Christi Stations.  The sale of three Corpus Christi FMs from Convergent Broadcasting II to ICA Radio Ltd. closes.  ICA acquires CHR KKPN “Planet 102.3,” classic rock KPUS, country KAJE “My Country 107.3.”  It also owns stations in the Odessa-Midland, Texas market.  Convergent owns no other radio stations.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former longtime WXRT, Chicago music director John Farneda is returning to the CBS RADIO triple A to serve as music director, at least on an interim basis.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Farneda, who exited the station in 2014 after more than 30 years with the station, is taking over the music director duties from Kelly Ransford, who’s leaving the station to become director of event marketing for iHeartMedia Denver.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom and hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5” are unable to come to terms with Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J. on contract renewals so the pair departs the morning show daypart.  Obviously, the station is on the hunt for a new morning show…..iHeartMedia’s KIIS, Los Angeles announces that Miley Cyrus is joining the bill at this year’s Wango Tango on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson…..In the Detroit-Windsor market, Bell Media makes cuts across its radio stations that affect alternative CIMX “89X