Tag: "Pandora"

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,” which lets go of morning personalities Cal Cagno and Gillian Reilly, midday host Phil Kukawinski, and afternoon personality Reed Petitpren…..Cumulus Media SVP of content and programming Mike McVay will be a recipient of one of the inaugural music industry awards bestowed by the Innovation in Music Awards.  McVay is being honored with the Heritage Award in Innovation, while CMT’s Leslie Fram will receive the Innovation in National Media Award at a ceremony in Nashville on June 6.  The Innovation In Music Awards were founded by Cold River Records CEO Pete O’Heeron.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments 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.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

“Heard” at the NAB/RAB Radio Show – Day Two

| September 23, 2016

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffwriter2016-radio-show-logoNASHVILLE – Day two of the Radio Show in Nashville included sessions about the connected car featuring Fred Jacobs; a conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn; and it culminated with the Marconi Awards reception. Here are some conversations that took place in the halls of the Omni Hotel, and four blocks away at the home of Cumulus Media, where I was treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the NASH America Morning Show.

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Analysis: Hivio 2016 Conference

| June 3, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — “Radio isn’t radio; radio is life.”  Noted international talk radio consultant Valerie Geller stressed that point yesterday (6/2) during the kickoff of the two-day Hivio confab in Los Angeles.  The “labor of love” event organized by San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey and Slacker Radio director/content initiatives Jaime Solis concludes today (6/3).

Ten people – including Geller – were interviewed in one-on-one “Q&A” sessions with Ramsey, or they madegellervalerie individual presentations. Emphasizing that on-air talents and podcasters are all in the story business, Geller states, “It is all about how to powerfully communicate your story. The real secret is how does it matter to you?” She reasons that, if the talent does not care, there is no reason to think the audience will either. “You are an actor playing the part,” she remarks. “Radio – audio – is magical – you are in someone’s head.”

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Friday, June 3, 2016

| June 3, 2016

kornheisertonyKornheiser to End Long Run on WTEM, Washington.  Sports media personality Tony Kornheiser is announcing he’s exiting his midday talk show on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Kornheiser was part of the sports talk outlet’s original lineup when the station debuted in 1992.   In a statement, Kornheiser says, “I have loved every minute on the radio at WTEM.  But I felt it was time to pursue a new and appealing challenge.  I will be launching a podcast this September.  I am excited that this endeavor will allow me to continue to work with so many of the people who have been a part of my radio show for over the past 20 years.  But I will miss all of my friends and colleagues at WTEM.”  Kornheiser’s final show will air later this month and WTEM will announce his replacement at a later date.

rickardsreeseiHeartMedia Grand Rapids Eliminates Reese Rickards WOOD News Director Role.  As reported by MLive.com, longtime Grand Rapids radio personality Reese Rickards has been let go by iHeartMedia after 24 years in the market.  Rickards was a high-profile morning personality (along with Neal Dionne) on country WBCT “B93.7” until being named news director at news/talk WOOD in 2014.

hivio16imageHivio 2016 – Day One Coverage.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian is in Los Angeles at the Andaz Hotel covering the Hivio 2016 conference organized and presented by San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey and Slacker Radio director/content initiatives Jaime Solis.  Among the media experts Ramsey interviewed during Thursday’s day one of the two-day event were radio consultant Valerie Geller and Pandora SVP of ad product sales & strategy Lizzie Widhelm.  Geller explained to attendees that whether one is doing on-air radio or a podcast, “It is all about how to powerfully communicate your story.  The real secret is: How does it matter to you?”  Interestingly, what Pandora is trying to achieve is what AM/FM radio has going for it: ease of use.  Widhelm said, “Discovery, ease of use, and personalization have to be in the DNA of everything we do.  Pandora lovers want to stay on the platform: It is easy; it is in your pocket; and it is an app that is integrated in cars and homes. We want things to be frictionless.”  Read more of Kinosian’s report here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race and Clinton Email Case Top Talkers TenTM for Week of May 30-June 3.  The most-talked-about topic discussed on news/talk radio this week was the presidential race.  Following close behind at #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case.  At #3 was the euthanizing of a rare gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo because a child had entered the animal’s enclosure.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Minneapolis morning drive personality Jason Matheson is getting a four-week test run of his dailymathesonjason “The Jason Show” television program on three stations outside the Twin Cities market.  Matheson co-hosts the morning drive show on Hubbard Radio’s female-targeted talk station KTMY, Minneapolis “myTalk 107.1” with Alexis Thompson.  His TV show is produced by Fox Television’s KMSP-TV.  During the test it will also air on KTTV, Los Angeles; KDFW-TV, Dallas; and KSAZ-TV, cosbyritaPhoenix…..Former Mexican president Vincente Fox appears on WABC, New York on “Election Central with Rita Cosby.”  During the conversation, Fox said he’d like to have an “official debate” between him and Donald Trump.  Fox told Cosby the debate would serve the purpose of having Trump “listen to our arguments” about the economy, jobs, the value of Mexico, his views on the wall, and more…..There’s a new baseball show on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7” called “Balls & Strikes with Matthews and Rubin.”  The show promises “the most complete baseball show in New York, bar none,” with hosts Wallace Matthews and Adam Rubin each Sunday from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Salem Media Group is announcing it is paying a quarterly dividend of $0.065 per share payable June 30 for shareholders of record as of June 16.….Minnesota Public Radio staffers voted to join SAG-AFTRA.  The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for MPR News, American Radio Works, and the newly formedkantzkelly Investigative Unit.  This election allows them to move forward to negotiate a first contract…..Centerpost Limited – the parent company to Youtoo America, BizTV and BizTalkRadio – announces the hiring of Kelly Kantz as vice president of programming.  Kantz was most recently SVP of programming sales for Rural Media Group – parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet and Rural Radio.

podcastone bStuttering John Launches Show on PodcastOne.  Comedian, longtime Howard Stern show personality and former “Tonight Show” emcee John Melendez, a.k.a. Stuttering John, launches a new podcast on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says on this show, Melendez “delivers his daring style with celebrity interviews, in addition to his funny banter with comedians, rock stars and politicians on any topic that comes to mind.  Throughout the series, Melendez will discuss, in depth, his life after divorce, bizarre online dating experiences and untold stories from behind the scenes of the Howard Stern show and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”  In the first episode, he speaks about making up with Stern after a very public rift.  The first show also features an interview with Howie Mandell.

ufcUnfilteredUFC Partners with DGital Media for Podcast Series.  Global sports brand UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and DGital Media are working together to produce and monetize an exclusive, on-demand audio series called, “UFC Unfiltered with Jim Norton and Matt Serra.”  The program will be hosted by veteran comedian Jim Norton and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra.  UFC says that, effective June 21, it will publish two episodes per week, available each Tuesday and Thursday on-demand via multiple outlets and apps, including UFC.com, iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and others.  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran comments, “There is no fan base that craves and consumes insider content more than the loyal followers of UFC, and we feel this new partnership will help bring them even closer to the athletes and stories they love.”

The Podcast Consumer 2016

| May 27, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

Holland Cookewebster, tomBLOCK ISLAND, RI — On yesterday’s webinar, Edison Research VP Tom Webster surmised, “It’s safe at this point to call podcasting ‘mainstream media.’”

It’s always puzzled me how talk radio demonizes that term, while sales reps have been telling prospects that their stations ARE mainstream.  What advertiser wants to utilize FRINGE media?

edison-logo-300x137Admittedly, when I started attending podcasting conventions a dozen years ago, the medium did seem, shall we say, unconventional.  Not any more, according to data culled from the ongoing Edison/Triton “Infinite Dial” research series, and Edison’s “Share of Ear”™ studies, which Webster presented.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

| May 17, 2016

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Flies with the Black Eagle, Joe Madison.  This week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” presents a fascinating conversation between the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher and SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View” channel morning host Joe Madison.  Listed at #8 on the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Joe Madison is the highest-ranked African American news/talk show host inmadisonjoe the US radio industry.  Michael Harrison describes him as a “political, cultural and inspirational thought leader.”  The two discuss their 25-year friendship as well as race relations in America, Black Lives Matter, the 2016 presidential election, and the pros and cons of the dizzying advances in communications technology that we are all experiencing.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

austinbradBrad Austin Named Corporate PD for Delmarva.  This promotion puts Brad Austin in charge of the programming of the company’s nine radio stations.  Austin is operations manager for Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s country WXCY, Wilmington, Delaware – a position he’ll continue to hold.  But he’s now also overseeing Wilmington stations hot AC WSTW, news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, and Gospel WFAI; Milford, Delaware classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL, sports talk WYUS, and news/talk WXDE; plus Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland country WKTT, adult hits WICO, and classic hits WAVD.  The company says Austin will oversee the programming and promotions efforts on all stations and assist the staffs on a wide variety of issues involving local programming and community service.  Austin says, “I appreciate the confidence president Jeff Boden and WXCY general manager Bob Bloom have placed in me with the creation of this position.  Making local radio great, compelling and of service to our listeners is priority #1.  Oh – and we plan to have a hell of a lot of fun doing it!”

PodcastOne Names Amy Lewis Schachter to Sales Post.  Radio and digital sales pro Amy Lewis Schachter joins PodcastOne as vice president, East Coast sales.  She’s been with CBS Radio for the past 20 years and in 2013 was named Digital Sales Person of the Year for CBS Radio NY.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “So, I get all these calls from people telling me how great Amy is.  I met with her and they were right.  She hit the street running last week before her start date.  What more can I say?”

nielsen logoContentious Nielsen vs Flinn Broadcasting Case Settled.  The hotly contested case in which Nielsen Audio was suing Memphis market operator Flinn Broadcasting for failure to pay for PPM ratings (and other services) and Flinn was countersuing, alleging inaccurateflinnlogo PPM surveys that adversely affected minority-patronized stations, has been settled.  This comes after a court-ordered attempt at settlement.  The terms of the pact are, of course, sealed.  Nielsen alleged Flinn owed almost $140,000 in PPM fees accrued over the course of eight months.  As long as the settlement is consummated within 30 days, the suits cannot be filed again.  It’s anyone’s guess how the settlement panned out but it’s a safe bet that Nielsen did not want to go to trial, if only because even more information about the inner workings of the PPM surveys would have been made public as part of the evidence.  As a result of the press this story received, the industry and the public already learned more about the fee structure for the service than it had known before.

glassiraIndiana Public Station and TAL Founder Ira Glass Disagree on Pandora Strategy.  A disagreement over Ira Glass’ decision to make “This American Life” available via Pandora has caused public station WBAA, West Lafayette, Indiana general manager Mike Savage to cancel his station’s affiliation with the program, effective in August.  Savage posted a criticism of the Pandora move on his LinkedIn page stating that it’s “inconsistent with the mission of public radio” – assuming because Pandora is a for-profit company.  He also writes, “I am all for improving the bottom line.  However, we as publicwbaa radio leaders must keep the balance between mission and bottom line in the forefront.  If all we wanted to do was grow the audience, we could change our formats to country music and accomplish that objective.  We must respect the mission.  Do the ends justify the means?  For a program that got its start on public radio and had some of the best on-air fundraising messages for listeners where Ira Glass says he is volunteering his time because he believes in the mission of public broadcasting, the move by ‘This American Life’ to Pandora is disingenuous at best.”  But Glass says TAL is not leaving public radio and its presence as a podcast before (and now on Pandora) is not hurting listening on public radio stations.  In fact, Glass says the numbers bear that out and that the influx of cash is allowing him to hire more staff and produce better and more far-reaching programming.  You can read his more detailed response in The Current here.  What this really shows is divergent broadcasting philosophies.  Many media observers would consider Savage’s take on the issue to be outdated, and would say Glass is successfully taking advantage of the platforms available to grow his program and his staff.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nuke Negotiations Controversy, Russian-Syria Military Cooperation, Yellowstone Baby Bison Case, Bathroom-Gender Laws, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16).  The activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the White House’s refusal to allow former aide Ben Rhodes to testify about misleading the press; Russian’s reported building of a military base in Palmyra, Syria; the case of a baby bison that was euthanized after tourists at Yellowstone put it in their van; the ongoing debate over the legal use of public restrooms by transgender individuals; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Odds & Sods.  Sports media giant ESPN promotes Nate Ravitz to vice president of audience development.  In this new role, Ravitz will oversee programming of digital content across ESPN.com and the ESPN App, in addition to his existing responsibilities leading ESPN-branded social media content, mobile push notifications and digital video.  Ravitz also will manage the new ESPN Daily email newsletter.  He will continue to report to Ryan Spoon, SVP of digital product management…..Sports USA releases its 2016 NCAA football schedule.  The firm’s slate of offerings includes games featuring defending national champion Alabama, plus conference champions Stanford, Oklahoma, and Michigan State.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Sports USA is proud to announce this fantastic schedule to our affiliate stations, the advertising community and college football fans nationwide.  We are featuring an incredible array of major rivalry games this year.”…..Former WFED, Washington daily personality Francis Rose is adding some television to his current roster of projects.  Rose – who currently hosts “National Defense Week” on WMAL, Washington – is joining WJLA-TV, Washington as host of the Sunday morning “Government Matters” program.  Rose tells TALKERS the program will soon expand to nightly broadcasts.

2016 Moms & Media

| May 6, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — A mother employed full time is a heavier media user than the population overall.  And as Secretary of The [family] Treasury, she means a lot to stations and advertisers.

  • She’s making purchasing decisions for herself and the entire household.
  • Her lifestyle is mobile, allowing for engagement at any time or anywhere.
  • She is very active on social media, using multiple sites.
  • As a multi-tasker, Mom will find time for new media in her day.

So, just in time for Mother’s Day, Melissa DeCesare — VP of the Edison Research unit “The Research Moms” – anddecesaremelissa herself “a mom of two daughters” – walked webinar attendees through her firm’s 6th annual “Moms & Media” study, sponsored by Triton Media.  It’s a national telephone survey, conducted in January; and “Mom” is defined as a woman having a child under 18 living in her household.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cooke: Analysis of Infinite Dial 2015

| March 5, 2015

Most Now Stream, Podcasting Mainstreams, YouTube is Music Radio, Facebook tops Social

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Just-released results of the Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2015”  — the 23rd research survey in the series – are must-reading for anyone, in any format, in radio.  And “anyone” includes sales.

See the entire slide deck at http://www.edisonresearch.com/the-infinite-dial-2015/

Among highlights from this January/February survey of 2002 Persons 12+ presented by Edison’s Tom Webster and Triton’s John Rosso:

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

| September 24, 2014

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison Sings Praises of Podcasting as “a Fundamental Broadcasting Process” of the New Era.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) reiterated his longtime praise of podcasting as “the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread” as a natural and obvious supplement to the tools available to broadcasters “in distributing their media products to a potentially unlimited global consumer base.”  In a statement made Monday (9/22) during the weekly TALKERS conference call, Harrison described podcasting as “so simple, elegant and traditional a distribution concept, it is amazing many people in radio are still confused as to exactly what it means now that it has become reincarnated in a digital age configuration and is being called podcasting.”  According to Harrison, “Podcasting has always been around.  On a fundamental level, a ‘podcast’ is simply a convenient unit of packaging in the distribution of a cohesive piece of pre-produced media content.  From the perspective of basic media theory, music records were ‘podcasts’ before the advent of the internet.  In 1978 and ‘79, when the infamous Ayatollah Khomeini — while in ‘exile’ in France — instigated a revolution that ultimately ousted the Shah from Iran, he did so, in part, by sending his manifesto and doctrines to his constituents via recordings on audiocassettes which were duplicated and/or ‘bicycled’ around the country from interested person to interested person.  That was also a pre-internet form of podcasting.”  Harrison says that modern digital podcasting should be a fundamental service of every radio station, network, syndicator and individual radio show every bit as important as their on-air service and online streaming.  He says, “Basically the word ‘pod’ – although stemming from an Apple device – should mean programming on demand. What we are really talking about is the vital and growing role ON DEMANDpattiznorm programming will play in the presentation of radio-oriented content.  We might soon reach a point when the only real-time, appointment broadcasting in both radio and television will be ‘live events’ most typified by sports presentations, breaking news, and talk shows dependent upon live listener/guest interaction.”  Harrison continues, “We will be getting into deeper and deeper discussions about the optimum programming of podcasts (or on demand content) as we figure out better and more practical ways to slice and dice the episodes into pragmatically digestible portions.”  When asked if he could cite an example of a broadcaster, station or company effectively executing podcasting at this point on the timeline, he immediately responded, “I’d put my money on Norm Pattiz and what he is doing with Podcast One.  This prestigious platform he is developing with attractive on demand entities performed by significant names with built in followings is an example of elegant, obvious genius at work.  This is an example to emulate.  Podcast One is going places and fast!”  He concludes, “But there is room on this train for everyone who has decent content and a handle on digital age promotion.  Thankfully, lots of bright folks in radio are well on their way to fully capitalizing on this marvelous technological gift.”

ludlumandyLudlum Leaves KNX. After nearly six years as director of news programming at Los Angeles’ KNX, Andy Ludlum exits the CBS RADIO all-news outlet.  He spent more than 16 years at onetime (similarly-formatted) KNX sibling KFWB in a variety of capacities including program director; news director (2003 – 2006); and executive producer (1998 – 2003).  KNX news director Julie Chin is the station’s interim PD until CBS RADIO Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney hires a successor to Ludlum.  After a -.6 to 2.4 (May – June, 6+), KNX advanced to 2.5 in July and to 2.7 (#14) in August. It registered a 3.1 in January (#9) and March (#10).

podcastone logoThree New Multi-Media Talent Debut PodcastOne Shows.  Speaking of Norm Pattiz’s PodcastOne, the company announces three new podcast series preparing to debut.  TV and radio legend Larry King and his wife Shawn King will premiere their podcast on October 10.  “Pawn Stars” cast member Rick Harrison debuts his “Pawncast” next month, and Ultimate Fight Club star Chael Sonnen begins a series in October as well.  The Kings will interview guests and Shawn will lend a female perspective to the show.  Larry King comments, “I’ve never worked with a partner before.  It’s going to be fun doing this with the wife!”  Harrison will talk about history, pop culture and more, plus speak with Las Vegas mainstays and celebrities on his show.  And, saying the company is building upon its colossal success with former WWE stars Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, Roddy Piper, Bill Goldberg and Jesse Ventura, the PodcastOne is targeting the lucrative MMA audience with Sonnen’s new weekly show featuring mixed martial arts talk and special guests.

scba logoSCBA White Paper Contrasts AM/FM Radio Satisfaction with That of Pandora.  In an effort to combat the perception that pureplays like Pandora are running away with consumer satisfaction – and more important, being an effective advertising medium – the Southern California Broadcasters Association is issuing its latest white paper titled, “Consumer Response and Listening Satisfaction of Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora Internet Music Service.”  Using data from Bridge Ratings LLC and Scarborough, the study included a survey of 4,339 Pandora Prime users and 4,400 heavy users of broadcast radio.  The SCBA states while marketers are always looking for something new and different, “questions of how the audience is measured and/or its effectiveness over time may not have been looked at in the rush of the ‘new media blitz’ on advertisers.  Moreover, how is the consumer using broadcast radio vs. the Pandora internet music service over time and what are the trend lines advertisers should concern themselves with to protect their media investment and ensure the media plans are performing as they should?”  Some of the conclusions reached by the SCBA include: customer dissatisfaction with Pandora over time as evidenced by a 40% drop in reported satisfaction over the course of three years; the collapse of session use on Pandora; and diminished awareness – or recall – of ads heard on Pandora versus broadcast radio.  See the white paper here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Holds Live Online Chat Regarding Missing UV Student.  With the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham a top story in the region, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington held a live chat about the case with reporters Neil Augenstein and Mike Murillo from a press conference in Charlottesville.  Augenstein Tweeted statements from authorities and the questions from the media and then took questions from visitors to WTOP.com.  It was during the chat that Augenstein reported the breaking development that 32-year-old Jesse Matthew has been charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with the missing Graham.

woodwardeliseWoodward Exits KJR-AM, Seattle.  Sports talk outlet KJR-AM cuts midday personality Elise Woodward from the payroll.  She was co-host of the 10@10 show with Jerry Brewer on the iHeartMedia-owned station.  The Seattle Times reports the former UW basketball star was surprised by the move after being at KJR since 2002.  She worked in afternoon drive with Mike Gastineau for four years until Gastineau retired from the station in 2012.  Woodward maintains her roles as both a sideline reporter for UW football on crosstown KOMO and color analyst for UW women’s basketball home games that air on KKNW.

espnPDspanelESPN Holds Affiliate Programming Conference.  At the recent affiliate programming conference held at ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus, radio PDs and brand managers at affiliate stations took part in panels and discussions on such topics as the state of sports radio, best programming practices, how to produce great talk shows and more.  Pictured here taking part in the “Producing Great Talk Shows” panel are (from left to right): ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, KGMZ, San Francisco PD Jason Barrett, ESPN Radio talent producer Josh Drew, and “The Herd” producer Vince Kates-Paulus.

U.S. Strikes in Syria/ISIS Fighting Coalition, Domestic Violence and the NFL, Climate Summit 2014, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, White House Security Breach, and Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23).  The strikes against ISIS in Syria by the U.S. military and the building of a coalition; the NFL’s domestic violence cases; President Obama’s address at the UN Climate Summit 2014; the prospects for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race; the looming mid-term elections and potential majority changes in Congress; the recent Secret Service White House security breach; and the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.