Tag: "Pittsburgh"

Thursday, February 20, 2020

| February 20, 2020

Key Networks to Launch Jesse Kelly Show in National Syndication. Syndicator Key Networks says Jesse Kelly is a “fresh voice in conservative talk.”  The U.S. Marine veteran, former congressional candidate, and conservative radio and television host will launch his new, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET talk radio show on April 6.  Key Networks says network advertising is included within the show, with no additional barter units for stations to run.  Currently, Kelly hosts a two-hour version of “The Jesse Kelly Show” on KPRC, Houston as well as the “I’m Right” program on The First TV, a news and talk channel on Pluto TV.  Kelly was deployed to Iraq as an infantry Marine during the Second Persian Gulf War and received an honorable discharge after four years.  In 2010, he ran for congress and was narrowly defeated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The race initially ended in a vote recount.  After his congressional run, Kelly continued to be a major voice among conservatives, using his large social media following as a platform to continue many of the conversations started on the campaign trail.  He says, “I love talk radio and I’m beyond humbled that Key Networks realizes that I’m a generational talent.  While my background might be more blue collar than other radio hosts, I’m confident my huge ego will help make up for my lack of education.  I’m excited to bring something new to stations nationwide.”  iHeartMedia Houston region president Eddie Martiny comments, “Listeners won’t be able to see that Jesse Kelly stands 6 foot 8, but his towering humor and intellect will absolutely captivate the listening audience.  Jesse is an Iraq War veteran who will win the hearts and minds of listeners with the wit of a stand-up comic.  He’s been featured on most major TV networks, especially FOX News with Tucker Carlson who says, ‘Jesse cracks me up.’  Jesse is a fresh voice of a rational conservative for a new generation.  My listening audience and advertising community in Houston embraced Jesse immediately.  Informative, entertaining, but most importantly, unique!”

Kevin Battle Joins KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Morning Show. Radio programmer, host, and journalist Kevin Battle is joining “The KDKA Radio Morning News with Larry Richert” as co-host, effective March 9.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “As we celebrate the centennial of KDKA Radio, the world’s first radio station, we were focused on adding a host that can reflect the energy and pulse of where Pittsburgh is in 2020 and beyond.  Kevin Battle is the perfect person to join Larry Richert on the KDKA morning show and tell the story of our great city.”  During his career, Battle has served as program director and air personality for Entercom’s sports talk WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan,” been director of marketing and promotions and on-air personality for rock WDVE-FM, and was a member of the inaugural staff of “FOX News Headlines 24/7.”  The Pittsburgh native comments, “There have been three morning hosts at KDKA Radio in my lifetime – Jack Bogut, John Cigna, and Larry Richert, and I am thrilled I get to work with one of them.  Larry is part of the fabric of Pittsburgh.  I have been a fan of KDKA for a long time and fondly remember listening with my family each morning.  I cannot wait to help our listeners start their day off well-informed.”

FCC Permanently Dismisses License Renewal Applications for Four St. Louis Signals. An administrative law judge has ruled that the applications for license renewal for four radio stations owned by Entertainment Media Trust are “dismissed without prejudice due to the applicant’s failure to prosecute.”  Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin states in the ruling that Trustee Dennis J. Watkins’ failure to respond to a January 24 Order that was a final attempt to get information from EMT was the last straw in a series of non-compliances on the part of Watkins.  The stations in question are: KFTK-AM (formerly WQQX-AM), East St. Louis, Illinois; WQQW-AM, Highland, Illinois; KZQZ-AM, St. Louis; and KQQZ-AM, DeSoto, Missouri.  The case goes way back to 2012 when Mark A. Kern filed a petition to deny the license renewals, alleging that talk host and convicted felon Robert Romanik actually controlled the stations, in violation of FCC regulations.  Romanik’s Insane Broadcasting Co. operates the stations under an LMA, but is not allowed to own stations.  The ruling notes that the Media Bureau investigated the allegations and “found evidence that it concluded supports the claim that Mr. Romanik exercises defacto control over the stations.  The Media Bureau also adduced evidence suggesting that Mr. Romanik, who hosts a weekday talk show on one of the stations, has held himself out as the stations’ owner and is personally involved in station business.”  Romanik hosts a show on KQQZ-AM and positions himself as a local raconteur, calling himself “The Grim Reaper of Radio.”  Read the judge’s ruling here.

New Afternoon Show Among Lineup Changes at Sports Talk ‘105.7 The Fan’ in Baltimore. With WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Scott Garceau named the new play-by-play broadcaster and pre-game and post-game host for Baltimore Orioles broadcasts on cable’s MASN-TV, he leaves his daily talk show duties at the Entercom sports station.  His co-host Jeremy Conn moves to evening show duties and host of “Orioles Baseball Tonight.”  Beginning March 9, the new afternoon drive show is “Inside Access” with co-hosts Jason La Canfora and Ken Weinman.  La Canfora is a RADIO.COM Sports and CBS Sports insider.  Weinman is a longtime WJZ-FM air personality.   Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “This revamped programming schedule will allow us to continue providing around-the-clock content for Baltimore’s biggest sports fans.  Adding Jason and Ken to our already successful lineup is a big win for our market.  We are also excited about Scott and Jeremy’s new roles.  All are an integral part of the success of ‘105.7 The Fan.’”

Presidential Race/Las Vegas Debate, Stone Sentencing/Barr Criticism, Coronavirus Pandemic/Deadly Flu Season, Germany Mass Shooting, and Grenell to Lead Intelligence Agencies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and last night’s debate in Las Vegas; the controversy surrounding the sentencing recommendation for former Trump adviser Roger Stone and the related criticism of Attorney General William Barr’s leading of the Justice Department; the status of the Covid-19 pandemic and the deadly influenza season in the U.S.; the slaying of nine people in the German city of Hanau by a reported right-wing extremist; and President Trump’s naming Ambassador Richard Grenell acting director of national intelligence were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Round Two of January PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2 – 29.  Rebounding from the challenging Holiday 2019 survey, a number of spoken-word stations performed well – weekly, 6+ AQH share – in January.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington rises 1.9 shares from the Holiday survey to post a 6.9 share and climbs to the #5 rank in the market. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM adds five-tenths to finish January with a 7.4 share and the #2 rank.  In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO tacks on seven-tenths to finish the survey with a 3.5 share, while sister all-news WBZ-AM adds two-tenths for a 6.2 share and the #3 rank in the market.  Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle breaks out with 1.1 share increase to finish the month with a 6.0 share and the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KDFD-AM, Denver adds eight-tenths to finish the January survey with a 3.3 share, its best since it flipped from sports talk in July of 2019.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas-based, USA Radio-syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine his Newsmax TV show, “The Wayne Allyn Root Show: Raw & Unfiltered” is moving to a new air time – 10:00 pm ET – effective March 3.  Root says, “It’s a great honor to be part of Newsmax TV’s primetime lineup.  When I first began hosting my show in June 2017 on Newsmax TV it reached 15 million homes.  Then 30 million. Then 50 million. Then 60 million. Now just under 80 million.  And Cox cable added Newsmax TV a few weeks ago – so now my television show reaches the entire Las Vegas area, my hometown!  Kudos to Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, for building America’s fastest growing cable news network.”…..SiriusXM announces its MLB Network Radio channel presents its annual MLB Spring Training tour beginning Saturday (2/22) and running through March 13.  MLB Network Radio’s experts and insiders will visit all 30 MLB team camps to give fans an in-depth preview of every ball club.  It will consist of 30, two-hour shows, each focused on a single MLB team.  SiriusXM’s hosts – many of whom are former general managers or players – will be on location at each spring training ballpark to interview managers, players and executives, and share an insider’s view of each club as it prepares for the 2020 season…..iHeartMedia announces that it has partnered with Flatiron Books on a book imprint based on iHeartRadio’s popular curiosity podcasts.  The imprint, named “Stuff You Should Read: An iHeartBook,” launches with STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things, to recognize “Stuff You Should Know” – one of the first podcasts to reach one billion downloads.  iHeartMedia says it believes that this is the first line of podcast-based books between a major book publisher and leading podcast network.

Pop Music Historian and Curator Barry Scott of “The Lost 45s” Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the true legends of oldies radio, Barry Scott, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Scott is the host of the long-running, Boston-based music radio show, “The Lost 45s,” which has been on the radio since 1981 and in national syndication since 1993.  The premise of the show is that top 40 radio of the golden era (1960s – 1990s) missed a tremendous number of valid hit records that deserved airplay due to faulty research, closed-mindedness and a lazy, follow-the-leader mentality.  (“It’s not on the list suggested by our consultant.”)  Many of these songs have gone on to be completely forgotten within music radio culture.  Harrison states, “I had the pleasure of programming Barry’s flagship station in Boston back in the 80s and was amazed at the loyal following this weekend show generated – even within the context of a classic rock format.  Barry’s excellent curation and fascinating storytelling created tremendous interest in songs that were either obscure or considered unprogrammable within standard format categories. In today’s music radio desert, where pop music history is largely ignored or generally forgotten, this show is a priceless beacon of the culture that originally illuminated music radio.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Detroit rock outlet WRIF, Beasley Media Group promotes Jade Springart to assistant program director and midday host.  She has served with WRIF for the past 12 years, most recently as music director and weekend personality. Springart says, “This is an amazing opportunity for me to continue working and winning with a brand that I have grown up with.  It has been a privilege to learn from some of the best in the industry.  I’m very grateful for the support of everyone in the Beasley Media Group family and am excited to be able to continue 101 WRIF’s legacy in the active rock format here in the Motor City.”…..Air personality J.R. joins Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa Bay to host “Tampa Bay’s Morning Krewe with J.R. and Melanie,” effective March 2. He’ll join station air personality Melanie Mineau for the 6:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He was most recently co-host of the “J.R. & Beth Show” on Cox Media Group’s country KCYY, San Antonio “Y100.”  He also currently serves as the host of United Station Radio Networks’ syndicated “Twenty Country Countdown.”  J.R. says, “This is a very exciting time for me.  To be able to build a show under the direction of [operations manager] Travis Daily and alongside a talented co-host like Melanie Mineau is the opportunity I have been looking for.  We are going to have a lot of fun in an amazing city!  I am very grateful to Travis and the Beasley family for this opportunity and can’t wait to create live, local, and unique radio for the Tampa area.”…..Entercom stations and staffers are honored with three Academy of Country Music (ACM) Radio Awards.  KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull” (KILT-FM) was named Major Market Station of the Year and WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” was named Medium Market Station of the Year – the 8th time the station has received this honor.  WYCD, Detroit’s afternoon drive show “Rob and Holly” program was given the Major Market Personality of the Year honor.

January 2020 PPM Ratings

| February 19, 2020

Monday, December 9, 2019

| December 9, 2019

Monday Memo: Start in the Middle?  If you’re a radio newscaster, consultant Holland Cooke warns that “this week’s column is like a solar eclipse.  Look away!”  But for DJs, hosts, and commercial copy writers, he has a curious suggestion.  Read it here.

More Than $500,000 Raised in WMAL Fisher House Radiothon. Commenting on Cumulus Media Washington DC’s just-concluded two-day radiothon for the Fisher House, WMAL PD/Cumulus Media vice president of news/talk, Bill Hess, remarks, “Wow, listeners once again have come through with their support for the wonderful work of the Fisher House Foundation, donating $523,866 to this year’s radiothon. I say ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of our hearts. The Fisher House is recognized as one of the premiere nonprofits working to support quality-of-life for our military and their families. Ever since its inception (30 years ago next month), it has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation; more than 32,000 families were served in 2018. Over the past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $7 million to the Fisher House Foundation. Pictured left to right are Hess, WMAL on-air talents Larry O’Connor, Chris Plante, and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House president Dave Coker.

Cumulus Media Transfers Howell To Little Rock. Inbound from Oklahoma City where he was an on-air talent at Cumulus Media sports talk WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” and executive producer of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s radio broadcasts, Toby Howell arrives as program director at co-owned Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 102.9,” sports talk KARN-AM “920 The Sports Animal,” and the Arkansas News Network. He will also program religious KAAY. Cumulus Media Little Rock market manager Keith Liesman remarks, “We are very happy to get a guy like Toby with his radio background and look forward to watching him grow [our brands] across the Little Rock community.” Howell notes, “I’m very lucky to be able to work with the Cumulus Media group in Little Rock. To be in the news format at a time like this with 2020 on the horizon is very exciting.” He replaces Peter Thiele who exited roughly nine months ago.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Coming To Northern Arizona University. Along with support from the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is set to launch next summer (July 13 – 22) at Northern Arizona University. Hubbard Radio chief executive officer Ginny Morris comments, “All of us at Hubbard are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and the Arizona Association of Broadcasters on bringing this proven program to Northern Arizona University. The program is a great asset for the industry and a wonderful and expansive experience for the students that participate.” Vallie founded the National Radio Talent System in 2013 so radio stations can recruit young talent from their own region or nationally. Arizona Broadcasters Association President/CEO Chris Kline states, “There’s nothing more important to the future of broadcasting than helping to build the next generation of media leaders. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is exactly what we need in Arizona to ensure that new ideas continue to flood into the radio industry from young broadcasters. We couldn’t be more excited to support this program, to meet the participants, and to build new relationships.” NAU Media Innovation Center director Brian Rackham remarks, “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious opportunity for our students. There are jobs out there waiting for our graduates and the Hubbard Talent Institute is a great pipeline to the industry. We look forward to partnering with a great radio group like Hubbard, and the experts at the National Radio Talent System.” Sessions during the ten-day talent institute include on-air, production, news, sports, social media, podcasting, promotions, videography, sales, engineering, and includes the RAB’s radio marketing professional course. Applications are being accepted from college students/young talent from all universities in the region. Final application deadline is March 6, 2020; only 25 students will be accepted.

TALKERS News Notes. After an 11-year run on WTOP-FM “Washington’s Top News,” Chris Core will retire from the Hubbard Broadcasting DC all-news operation one week from Friday (12/20) following his “Core Values” commentary. He previously spent approximately 25 years at cross-town news/talk WMAL as a newscaster and sports anchor ….. This week, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax anchor JD Hayworth is doing his first live and local Phoenix news/talk show in approximately ten years. Guest-hosting today (Monday, 12/9) through Wednesday (12/11) for Seth Leibsohn in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Salem Media Group-owned KKNT “AM 960 The Patriot,” Hayworth was Mike Huckabee’s “designated guest-host” and has filled in for Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, and Laura Ingraham ….. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 12/10, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm) 12th annual Toy Field presented by Cumulus Media Nashville and Planet Fitness will benefit The Salvation Army’s “Forgotten Angels” program. Toys collected at Nissan Stadium will help fulfill the dreams of many “forgotten children” this holiday season. The Salvation Army will reach nearly 8,500 “angels” – less fortunate children and elderly. According to Salvation Army Nashville area commander Ethan Frizzell, “Thousands of toys have been donated throughout the years and we hope to see the same enthusiasm this year. We would not be able to provide for all these children, without the support of Cumulus Media and our community.” In addition to news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” and sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” Cumulus Media Nashville consists of country outlets WSM-FM “Nash Icon 95.5,” and  WKDF “103.3 Nash FM,” and urban AC WQQK “92-Q.” ….. According to The Des Moines Register, former Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell (KBGG, KXLQ, KXNO) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court. Indicted this past February, Tirrell accepted a plea deal Friday (12/6) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing April 7; nine other counts were dismissed. He was charged of scamming victims out of $1.5 million in a sports ticket reselling scheme …. The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is accepting entries for its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” competition, which recognizes outstanding performance among radio and television stations. All entries must be submitted electronically – the deadline is January 6 (2020). Winners will be showcased during the “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” luncheon March 30 at The Hotel Hershey. Meanwhile, the Colorado Broadcasters Association is inviting radio and television stations in that state to compete in over 50 categories; entry deadline is (Friday) January 10 (2020). The “Awards of Excellence” celebration will take place (Friday) April 17th in downtown Denver at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

iHM Charleston Fundraiser Brings in Over $176,000. The 12th annual iHeartMedia Charleston “Cares for Kids” radiothon raised over $176,000 to benefit Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. According to iHeartMedia Charleston area president Alene Grevey, “We’ve anticipated broadcasting from the brand new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for 12 years. Seeing this labor of love come to fruition thanks to the generosity of iHeartMedia Charleston’s listeners and advertisers is so inspiring.” This year’s two-day, fundraising “Cares for Kids” broadcast was held last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. The event featured iHeartMedia Charleston on-air talents Ric Rush, Brian Cleary, Kelly Golden, and Gary Goldman, as well as WCSC-TV personalities Justin Biegel, and Kaitlin Stansell. The radiothon featured more than 40 stories from MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital patients and their families. In addition to WSCC “94.3 The Lowcountry’s News Station,” iHeartMedia Charleston is comprised of adult contemporary WXLY-FM “Y-102.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” and WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 Station for New Country.”

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The music-intensive format in the spotlight this month is urban contemporary. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian notes that approximately half the stations on his urban contemporary panel improve (49%) October 2019 – November 2019 (6+). Meanwhile, a virtually identical 51% of urban contemporary panelists show November 2018 – November 2019 growth. Five urban contemporary stations ranked second (6+) in November 2019; the typical format finish was #11.41 (6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Media Group Holiday Soiree Features Lady Antebellum. As part of the company’s third annual “Holiday Soiree” client party last Thursday (12/5) in New York City, Beasley Media Group welcomed performances by Lady Antebellum; Joe King and Issac Slade from The Fray; and actor/musician David Duchovny. Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley, president Bruce Beasley, and chief operating officer/executive vice president Brian Beasley thanked guests for their ongoing support. Shown from left to right are Big Machine Label Group senior vice president of promotion Mathew Largis; Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group national country brand manager/country WKLB, Boston program director David Corey; Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group executive vice president of programming Justin Chase; and Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum).

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-six year WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9” midday personality Debbi Calton officially retired from the Beasley Media Group Philadelphia outlet last Friday (12/6). Prior to joining WMGK in 1993, Calton spent 10 years at cross-town rocker WYSP ….. Per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning host Courtney Landrum and evening talent Jill Devine have departed Entercom St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98.” A member of the station’s morning show the past 20 years, Landrum was promoted to top billing (“Courtney & Company”) two years ago when Guy Phillips left the station after a 38-year run. Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff, Lance Hildebrand, and Tim Convy remain at the retitled “Y-98 Morning Show.” Devine joined “Y-98” eight years ago. She previously worked in the market for CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7”; country KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull”; and hot AC WVRV “101.1 The River” ….. In celebration of their 20th year in radio syndication, “Big D & Bubba” were treated to a surprise party last Friday (12/6) at Silverfish Media’s Nashville studios where company president Patrick Thomas recalls that, “On December 6, 1999, The Big D & Bubba Morning Show first aired in Amarillo [Texas]. That marked the beginning of syndication for the show, which was based at WYNK, Baton Rouge. Syndicated mornings in the country format was widely known to be an impossible task.” According to Patrick, it is the country’s longest-running syndicated morning show and has more than 75 affiliates. Helping to note the occasion in person were Compass Media Network chief executive officer Peter Kosann, and fellow syndicated country talents Lorraine Crook & Charlie Chase (“Crook & Chase), Evan Paul, and Amber Atnip ….. Wrapping up last week’s (12/2 through 12/6) “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive to benefit the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” collected 70 school buses worth of new unwrapped toys. Senior vice president of programming David Edgar notes, “[This] is one of our biggest events throughout the year. The overwhelming response from ‘Kiss’ listeners and the Pittsburgh community will help many children have a great holiday this year.” ….. Through the Smiley morning show’s 23rd annual, 36-hour “Make-A-Wish Request-A-Thon,” Cumulus Media Indianapolis CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s Number One Hit Music Station” raised $839,638 for central Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses. Listeners called in last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) to request their favorite songs in exchange for a Make-A-Wish Foundation donation. Throughout the broadcast, WZPL shared inspiring wish stories from local Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Cumulus Media Indianapolis vice president/market manager Chuck Fredrick comments, “What a great way to head into the holiday season helping so many kids’ wishes come true in our community.” Operations manager JR Ammons adds that, “Thanks to the generosity of listeners and sponsors, we were able to surpass last year’s record total of $736,298. As a result, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant 83 wishes for kids here in central Indiana with life-threatening illnesses.” Over the course of the last 23 years, WZPL has helped raise more than $7.5 million for Make-A-Wish ….. Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena was the site of this past Saturday’s (12/7) 20th annual “B-96 Pepsi Jingle Bash” presented by Entercom Chicago CHR WBBM-FM. Katy Perry headlined the event. Entercom Chicago senior vice president and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “The ‘B-96 Jingle Bash’ has been a must-see holiday event in Chicago for two decades and has become a highly anticipated night of pop music and a beloved holiday tradition.” ….. Concluding today (Monday, 12/9) is iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPW’s fourth annual “House of Toys,” a six-day “Power 96.1” fundraising event to help collect toys for the “Toys For Tots” program. Morning drive personality PK notes, “We want to be sure every child has the best holiday they can. We are thrilled to team up with our listeners once again and help underprivileged children receive the joy of a new gift this holiday season.” WWPW’s fundraiser is presented by Delta Community Credit Union ….. Filling the midday spot at Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne, Indiana’s country WBTU “US-93.3” is Erica Gray, who most recently had the same responsibilities in Gainesville (Florida) at Gillen Broadcasting CHR WYKS “Kiss 105.3.” ….. The inaugural “Not So Silent Night” benefit concert featuring local artists will be held this Friday (12/13) at Panama City, Florida’s Salty Hobo. Proceeds from the event – sponsored by iHeartMedia Panama City’s WDIZ “96 Rock” – will benefit the Toys for Tots Program. Program director Paco notes, “We look forward to an evening filled with music and holiday giving.”

Friday, December 6, 2019

| December 6, 2019

Weiss Named iHM NYC Market President. Region senior vice president of  sales for iHeartMedia’s New York group, Bernie Weiss, is appointed market president of iHeartMedia New York City. Weiss will continue to report to iHeartMedia market groups division president Scott Hopeck. At the same time in a corresponding move, director of sales Steve DeLusant takes over for Weiss. Hopeck states, “I’m thrilled to promote both Bernie and Steve. It is especially rewarding to find the best candidates for key leadership roles in your own building. They are extremely knowledgeable about our ever-evolving business and have built their personal brands by accelerating the growth of our iconic stations. I’m confident they will continue to elevate our New York operation to even greater heights.” Weiss remarks, “Listeners continue to crave companionship and advertisers continue to demand ROI – broadcast radio delivers on both fronts. iHeartMedia continues to be one of the most innovative media players, offering the best content and programming for hundreds of millions of listeners. I am looking forward to working with the New York team to build on our already strong connection with listeners, advertisers, and in the community.” Weiss joined iHeartMedia New York in 2004 as an account executive for urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” and previously held several radio general sales management positions in Europe. DeLusant was sales manager for several iHM New York City stations and earlier was senior account executive for Emmis Communications, where he specialized in multicultural marketing. Earlier in his career, he was a sales associate for iHeartMedia’s WLTW. In addition to news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York,” iHeartMedia’s New York City cluster consists of market-leading (adult contemporary) WLTW “106.7 Lite FM”; CHR WHTZ “Z-100”; classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3”; urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1”; and rhythmic CHR WKTU.

KABC Resets Its On-Air Lineup. Major changes going into effect January 1 at Cumulus Media Los Angeles news/talk KABC include Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (“The Armstrong & Getty Show”) slotted in morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am). The syndicated duo succeeds locally-originated “The Morning Drive with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.” Continuing at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is Larry O’Connor (based from Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL). Aforementioned John Phillips segues solo from morning drive to assume the 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm slot occupied by Dr. Drew Pinsky and Leeann Tweeden (“Dr. Drew Midday Live”). Unchanged is Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), but the local 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm “Peter Tilden Show” will give way to Westwood One’s Michael Savage. Thus, displaced by the changes are Jillian Barberie, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Leeann Tweeden, and Peter Tilden. KABC general manager Drew Hayes comments, “KABC has a proud history as one of the first ‘all-talk’ radio stations in the United States. With these great additions to our lineup, KABC will offer our audience even more of the content that they love, featuring outstanding local and nationally recognized talent.” KABC will continue as the flagship for University of Southern California football and basketball. KABC more than doubled (+.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight upticks (.3 – .4 – .5 – .7, July – August – September – October, Nielsen Audio, 6+) but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” forfeits one-tenth in the November 2019 sweep to .6 (#35 to #38, 6+).

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/22).  The new episode titled “The Trump Paradox!” looks back at this past week of December 2-6, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Blanquita Cullum, talk show host, WCGO, Chicago /Smart Talk Network; Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, Fox News Channel / Fox News Radio; Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Sid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York; William O’ Shaughnessy, CEO, Whitney Global Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm; followed by WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

WDAF To Become K.C. Chiefs Flagship in 2020. As part of a multi-year agreement between the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Entercom Kansas City, country WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” will become the key station of the 70-station Chiefs Radio Network as of February 16, 2020. Sports talk sibling KCSP “610 Sports Radio” will become the official “broadcast partner” of the Chiefs, with rights to Chiefs programming, including radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs weekly in-season press conference with the club’s head coach (Andy Reid) and a weekly one-on-one interview with the starting quarterback (Patrick Mahomes). In addition, KCSP will broadcast the “Chiefs Kingdom Radio Show” (Monday, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Cross-town Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “101.1 The Fox” has been the team’s flagship since 1990. Entercom regional president/market manager Dave Alpert declares, “We are extremely pleased to enter into this new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the NFL’s most well-respected and prestigious organizations. Entercom’s eight-station cluster of music, news and sports talk stations hosted by Kansas City’s leading personalities align with vast digital and podcast opportunities. We will deliver the premium and comprehensive coverage Chiefs Kingdom desires seven days a week, all season long.” Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan comments, “We look forward to partnering with ‘106.5 The Wolf’ and the powerful Entercom family of stations. The ability to bring our game broadcasts and existing weekly radio shows under one roof is a large part of this change, but we are equally excited about creating new content and developing new opportunities for Chiefs fans to engage with their favorite team.” Returning for his 27th season as play-by-play announcer will be Mitch Holthus, who has called a franchise record 426 regular and postseason Kansas City contests.

ESPN Radio Taps Fitz To Succeed Smith. “First and Last” (5:00 am – 6:00 am) host Jason Fitz is selected to replace Stephen A. Smith in ESPN Radio’s 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (ET) slot. The change is effective next month (1/20) and allows Smith to devote more time to his ESPN TV duties. Smith, however, will make a regular weekly appearance on Fitz’s show, “First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz,” which will be simulcast on ESPNews. Executive vice president/executive editor of production Norby Williamson states, “Sports fans are passionate and they love spirited debate. Jason will be joined daily by a lineup of experts and sports fans who call in to further the debate and deliver their strong opinions.” Fitz, formerly of country group The Band Perry and a regular on ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo,” comments, “I’m excited to host a show aligned with one of the biggest franchises at ESPN that will let me continue to push the ‘First Take’ topics forward and keep building my relationship with ESPN Radio listeners that means so much to me.” Fitz studied classical violin at The Julliard School. 

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at performances in the sports talk format. Roughly half the eligible sports talk panelists improve October 2019 – November 2019 (52%, 6+) while just over one in three falter (37%); the remaining 11% are unchanged from last month. Meanwhile, essentially three of every five qualifying sports talk stations register November 2018 – November 2019 gains (61%, 6+), while one in three (33%) stumble; the remaining 6% are steady from a year ago. The format is #1 in Philadelphia (Entercom’s WIP) and Long Island (Entercom-owned WFAN-FM). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. One-year Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle vice president/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland has departed the cluster. Director/brand content Scott Mahalick is absorbing those duties on an interim basis. Mulholland previously worked in the market as general manager/director of sales for Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS; general sales manager of Entercom rocker KISW; local sales manager of Sandusky smooth Jazz KWJZ; and she was general sales manager of CBS Radio-owned (now Entercom) Pittsburgh hot AC WBZZ. In addition to KKNW “Alternative Talk 1150 AM,” Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle consists of adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9”; adult standards KIXI “AM 880”; CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station”; and country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.” ….. After spending the last ten years at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN,” program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert departs. Per a Facebook post, he writes, “Well, I’ve written this and deleted it a million times trying to find the most articulate way to say this but as of this week, I am no longer a member of the ‘101 ESPN’ team. Tough to write and see but excited/terrified/anxious/hungry – and a bunch of other emotions – to see the next chapter.” Tommy Mattern, the program director of alternative cluster-mate KPNT “105.7 The Point,” adds WXOS PD duties ….. Radio/Audio nominees for the 2020 Writers Guild awards have been announced. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report” category, the nominees are: “CBS News on the Hour with Norah O’Donnell – El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio – Communities in Mourning,” written by James Hutton, CBS News Radio; “Hail and Farewell: Remembering Some Headline Makers,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio; “World News This Week, August 9, 2019,” written by Stephanie Pawlowski and Jim Ryan, ABC News Radio; and “World News This Week, September 13, 2019,” written by Joan B. Harris, ABC News Radio. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary” category, the nominees are: “The Enduring Legacy of Jackie Kennedy Onassis,” written by Dianne E. James and Gail Lee, CBS News Radio and “Woodstock: Back to the Garden,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio. Winners will be announced February 1, 2020 in New York City at an event held in the Edison Ballroom.

Comrex Now Shipping ACCESS MultiRack. The rackmount multi-channel IP audio codec from Comrex occupies 1RU and can handle up to five full-duplex IP audio connections simultaneously. ACCESS MultiRack is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs, including ACCESS Rackmount; ACCESS Portable 2USB; ACCESS NX Portable; ACCESS NX Rack; BRIC-Link; and BRIC-Link II, as well as the FieldTap smartphone app. Comrex ACCESS MultiRack is Tech3326, AES67 and SMPTE 2110-30-compatible. ACCESS MultiRack includes Comrex CrossLock technology, a proprietary suite of tools that solidify connections over IP networks. By sending two identical streams through two separate networks (redundancy mode), or combining the network bandwidth of multiple networks (bonding mode), CrossLock provides a fail-safe in the event the primary network falters. Each of ACCESS MultiRack’s codec instances can deliver and receive four contact closures, as well as transfer ancillary data to the far-end using the serial data channel. Comrex has designed and manufactured broadcast equipment since its incorporation in 1961.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More than a quarter of a million dollars ($257,268) was raised in Entercom Philadelphia classic-hits oldies outlet WOGL’s 18th annual “98.1 WOGL Loves Our Kids Radiothon” to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are so grateful for WOGL listeners and community members who donated and also very thankful for the volunteers and on-air personalities who contributed their time and talent to help make this year’s radiothon a huge success.” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia president/chief executive officer Madeline Bell notes, “The hospital programs funded by radiothon donations make a lasting difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Each year, we look forward to raising awareness of these very important services.” Airing this past Tuesday (12/3) and Wednesday (12/4), WOGL’s radiothon concluded with on-air hosts Marilyn Russell, Glenn Kalina, Bobby Smith, and Nicky G. presenting the check to CHOP ….. The 13th annual “An American Country Christmas with Kix Brooks” features special guests sharing holiday music, favorite traditions, and memories. Among those joining Brooks are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Brett Eldredge, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Stations can air the show from Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One  6:00 am – 12:00 midnight  (Saturday) 12/21 through Christmas Day (Wednesday, 12/25) …..  For the third consecutive year, iHeartMedia San Diego CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3” morning drivers Kramer & Geena teamed up with “A Million Thanks” to send letters to deployed military members. Over 50,000 letters were collected from the San Diego community and are on their way to the troops ….. As part of Beasley Media Group Tampa rhythmic CHR WLLD’s eighth annual toy drive to benefit the Children’s Home Network, “Wild 94.1” program director/morning personality Orlando Davis climbs the toy drive platform today (Friday, 12/6) and will remain there until next Saturday (12/14). Davis will do his morning show from that platform every day next week ….. In its annual “Toys For Tunes” on-air event this past Wednesday (12/4, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm), Hubbard Broadcasting Cincinnati rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” raised over $8,00 for Cincinnati Children’s Child Life Program to ensure that every child staying at the hospital during the holidays receives a new toy. Listener song requests were granted, in exchange for a $20 donation ….. On “Giving Tuesday” (12/3), Mid-West Family Broadcasting Madison (Wisconsin) alternative WRIS “The Resistance Is On 106.7” announced that More Smiles Wisconsin is the recipient of its “Community Awareness Grant” for the coming year. WRIS launched a community awareness grant that will provide a local non-profit with $15,000 in advertising in 2020. Applicants were considered for the grant based on multiple factors including the organization’s history of community service, connection to the community, mission within the community, demonstration of need, population served, and geographic region served. More Smiles Wisconsin is a non-profit that provides access to quality dental care to Medicaid, BadgerCare, and uninsured populations of south central Wisconsin. “The Resistance” hopes to help in their goal of increasing funding and awareness so that they may continue to help a growing number of patients …..  WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz” morning host/music director Kaylan Moody is leaving the Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala (Florida) alternative outlet in two weeks (12/20). Moody notes, “I am so grateful for all I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve had, but I am excited to keep growing. I am moving to Nashville to pursue a career in the record label industry. The dream job is radio promotion, but I am excited to take on whatever opportunities may arise to get my foot in the door and to start learning.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

| November 27, 2019

Round Two of November PPM’s Released. The second of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The November 2019 rating period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington adds 0.6 to its weekly, AQH share for 5.7 and #4 in the market; Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington adds a half share to its October increase for a 4.8 share and the #8 rank; Patriots football is good to Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” as it adds 2.5 shares over the last three surveys for a 6.2 share and the #3 rank in the market; Entercom’s sports WXYT-FM, Detroit adds 0.8 tenths in November to land at a 5.5 share and #6 in the market; and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “100.3 K-FAN” tacks a 0.5 share onto its six-month, 3.4 share surge to finish November with a 7.3 share and the #3 rank.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.

John Shumway Leaves KDKA-AM to Focus on Television Role. Pittsburgh news pro John Shumway is giving up his role as co-host of the morning drive show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM in order to focus on his reporting position with KDKA-TV, effective today (11/27).  In a memo to staff, Entercom Pittsburgh market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “We have worked with John to determine it is best for him to relinquish his radio responsibilities and focus his time on his extraordinary work as a general assignment reporter at KDKA-TV.  John has been the cohost of the KDKA Radio morning news for over 15 years – his tireless work ethic and news judgment has been a cornerstone of KDKA Radio mornings.  His integrity is unquestionable. Simply put, John is one the most gifted, well-respected journalists in our city.  I want to personally thank John for his tireless work over the years with us, it has been an honor to work alongside him.”  Larry Richert remains host of the morning program.

Staskiewicz Promoted to Digital PD for Beasley Boston. At Beasley Media Group’s Boston station group, Tim Staskiewicz is promoted to digital program director.  He’d most recently been responsible for managing the digital programming efforts for sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WKLB “Country 102.5” for the past two years.  In his new role, he adds similar duties for urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9,” classic hits WROR, and classic rock WBOS “ROCK 92.9.”  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Staskiewicz spent six years as the digital content director for CBS RADIO’s Boston operations.

COMING FRIDAY:  Holiday Weekend Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The Thanksgiving installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted Friday afternoon (11/29) on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “Thanksgiving Weekend Edition!” will look back at the week of November 25-29, 2019 and feature guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSBrian Sussman, talk show host, KSFO, San Francisco; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media NetworkDoug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan MultimediaBrian Weigand, talk show host, WIQO, Lynchburg, VA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist/medical profession podcaster.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this weekend’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Grayson Headed to Full-Time KMBZ-FM, Kansas City Gig? Several radio trades are reporting that longtime St. Louis-based talk radio host Jon Grayson is soon to be co-hosting the midday show with Jayme Monacelli at Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City.  Grayson has been handling fill-in duties at the station since he exited CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis a year ago.  Prior to his work with KTRS, he hosted the overnight show at Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis that was, for a time nationally syndicated as “Overnight America.”  The KMBZ-FM website still lists Mike Wickett as co-host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show.

Impeachment Hearings, 2020 Presidential Election, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, UN Climate Change Report, Storms and Holiday Travel Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race; the on-again trade talks between the U.S. and China; the world’s financial markets react to the U.S.-China talks; the alarming conclusions in the latest UN climate change report; and the storms affecting Thanksgiving holiday travel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM personality Jenniffer Weigel is moving her late night show to the earlier 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, bumping the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show to 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Weigel started working with the Cumulus Media station earlier this year contributing to the morning drive Mancow show…..The Long Island Nets and Hofstra University’s WRHU “Radio Hofstra University” are expanding their partnership to incorporate television production for the 2019-20 season.  The three-time Marconi Award winning station will continue as the team’s flagship radio station.  This is the first season that WRHU will partner with the Nets to produce the televised broadcasts of all 24 home games.  Students, led by WRHU’s director of operations John Mullen and general manager Bruce Avery, will work and learn as producers, audio engineers, 3-play/replay engineers, and graphics operators and coordinators.  Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, says, “The Long Island Nets have had a very fruitful relationship with Bruce Avery, John Mullen and the students of WRHU.  We look forward to working with Hofstra University on creating a best-in-league television production with our talented in-house production team.”…..In Charlotte, Entercom’s sports talk WFNZ is hosting “WFNZ’s 17th Annual Street Turkeys” – its annual food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Loaves & Fishes.  Today, WFNZ is broadcasting 13 hours of live programming and encouraging listeners to donate turkeys, canned food, monetary donations, and non-perishable items…..Entercom news/talk WCCO, Minneapolis produced its 17th annual Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon on November 18, raising more than $342,000 to benefit Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities.  Since 2003, the station has raised more than $3 million.  Pictured below is WCCO morning personality Dave Lee (right) speaking with a guest resident of the Union Gospel Mission.

Robert F.X. Sillerman Dead at 71. The former radio station owner passed away on Sunday (11/24) after suffering from respiratory illness.  Robert F.X. Sillerman is remembered in the radio business for the several radio companies he built and sold, starting with Sillerman-Morrow Broadcasting with partner “Cousin Brucie” Morrow.  He also built Capstar, partnered with Carl Hirsch’s Legacy Broadcasting, and built SFX Broadcasting, all of which he sold at considerable profits both before and during the era of consolidation.  He created SFX Entertainment after acquiring concert promotion businesses and sold it to then-Clear Channel which ultimately renamed it Live Nation.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After recently announcing their Las Vegas residency presented by SiriusXM and their 50th anniversary tour, The Doobie Brothers are taking over SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl channel this Thanksgiving weekend. The band will share insight behind their biggest hits and play music from their own catalogue as well as other artists and friends…..Yesterday morning (11/26), Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” hosted a ‘Family Invasion’ with ACM Artist of the Decade Jason Aldean.  The whole morning was spent with Ty, TJ, and Chuck Wicks sharing a behind-the-scenes look at Aldean’s personal and road life as he prepares to spend Thanksgiving at brother-in-law Chuck’s house! Pictured below are (from l-r): Wicks, Aldean, Bentli, and TJ.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

| November 21, 2019

Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder Out in New WGN, Chicago Program Schedule. Two months after new management ousted station manager Todd Manley from his role at WGN, Chicago and hinted more changes were on the horizon, the Nexstar-owned news/talk outlet announces its new programming lineup and late morning duo Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder are the odd couple out.  After the close of the Tribune-Nexstar deal, Sean Compton became executive vice president and director of news and operations Mary Sandberg Boyle was named interim programming manager.  Yesterday (11/20), Boyle announced the changes via internal email.  Among the changes effective December 2 are: Steve Cochran’s morning show starts an hour earlier, airing from 5:00 am to 9:00 am; John Williams moves from his current 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Ji Suk Yi takes over hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “Wintrust Business Lunch” show; and Anna Davlantes leaves the co-host role on the afternoon drive Roe Conn program to host her own 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm talk show.  Conn remains in afternoons, followed by Justin Kaufmann from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, followed by Nick Digilio from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am.  WGN will simulcast the “WGN-TV Early Morning News” from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s coverage here.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Interviews President Trump. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Rich Zeoli interviewing President Trump in the Oval Office as part of Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the United States Mexico Canada trade deal.  The president also talked about the 2020 election and the impeachment hearings.  Zeoli says, “The president was incredibly gracious with his time and said how much he loves talk radio.”  Photo: Andrea Hanks

John Fredericks Show Interviews VP Mike Pence. At Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the USMCA treaty, Virginia talk station owner and statewide talk radio personality John Fredericks (right) posed for a photo with Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Fredericks’ wife, Anne (center), who serves as CFO of the John Fredericks Network.

Cumulus Inks ‘The Ticket’ Morning Show ‘The Musers’ to Multiyear Extension. Dallas sports talkers George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith – collectively known as “The Musers” – sign contract extensions to continue hosting the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KCTK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket.”  The Cumulus Dallas-Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “For 25 years, the Morning Musers’ George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith have performed at a market dominant level and we are excited that will continue for many more years in Dallas!”  The Musers comment, “We are very pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Cumulus and the wonderful leadership of the Dallas/Fort Worth market.  This company has made us feel appreciated and we are extremely thankful for their support of such a special station.  ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas/Fort Worth is our home and the bond that we have with our listeners is something we will cherish for as long as we breathe.”

Salem Covers A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Premiere. Above is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) interviewing director Marielle Heller (right) at last night’s premiere of the SONY Pictures film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  The film stars Tom Hanks as television icon Fred Rogers.  The premiere took place in Pittsburgh where the “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show was produced at WQED-TV.

Skyview Networks Sponsors Panels at MLB Rightsholders Conference. The photo above shows the participants in this year’s MLB Audio Rightsholders Conference in Las Vegas.  More than 20 teams and organizations participated in panels covering technology, audio sales strategies, and the future of emerging non-terrestrial mediums.  Digital content captured the main focus of the conversations as franchises shared strategies for monetizing this evolving platform.  Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Skyview Networks is proud to return as the title sponsor of this conference, which hosts an innovative group of baseball and broadcast executives as they discuss the critical role radio and digital audio play in fan engagement.  We look forward to developing additional technology to serve our partners in this evolving audio space.”  Additional panel topics included maximizing ad sales with an emphasis on innovative features and creating awareness for franchises’ ancillary digital content, especially concerning podcasts.  As the digital listenership rapidly increases, the franchises are hyper-focused on monetizing the platform.

TALKERS News Notes. The NM Political Report says that KIVA-AM/K229CL, Albuquerque owner Eddy Aragon is considering running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Udall, who is not running for re-election.  Aragon – a staunch conservative – hosts the afternoon show on the station branded, “the Rock of Talk.”  He tells NM Political Report this is something he’s only considering at this point. “You have to imagine the tremendous sacrifice that I have to consider.  Being off [the air] during the year Donald Trump is running in 2020, that’s a sacrifice to my radio station.”…..KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller is pictured below talking to KTVB-TV, Boise news about his annual Miller’s Mission Turkey Drive to help provide the hungry and homeless in Boise with a warm dinner for the holidays.  The goal is to collect 3,000 turkeys for the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries.  Each year Miller dons his turkey suit and broadcasts live from a local Walmart parking lot to collect turkeys and cash donations.

Impeachment Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Case/Prince Andrew Troubles, U.S.-China Trade Talks/Hong Kong Human Rights Act, and Mexicans Sue Walmart Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). Wednesday’s impeachment hearing with testimony from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Wednesday’s Atlanta debates; the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death and the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s BBC interview; U.S. trade talks with China and the U.S. House’s Hong Kong Human Rights Act; and Mexicans’ suit against Walmart over the mass shooting in El Paso were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Robyn Simone exits Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “Kiss 103.1” where she’d been serving as program director for the past year.  She says, “Working at Cumulus Media in Columbia was a challenge, but I gained a lot of knowledge in my short time there.  As the program director/air talent for ‘Kiss 103.1,’ I’m a stronger and more knowledgeable PD because the experience.  I would like to thank [VP programming operations] John Dimick and VP/urban programming Kenny Smoov for the opportunity and their commitment to set new standards for urban radio.”

Friday, August 30, 2019

| August 30, 2019

‘Mason & Ireland’ to Afternoons in KSPN, Los Angeles Program Changes. Longtime Los Angeles sports talk duo Steve Mason and John Ireland are moving from the early afternoon daypart to PM drive (3:00 pm to 6:30 pm) at ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710,” effective Tuesday (9/3).  Current afternoon host Jorge Sedano’s “The Sedano Show” moves to early evenings and Sedano continues his NBA duties for ESPN TV.  New to the lineup is ESPN Radio’s syndicated Will Cain show, to air in the early afternoon slot.  “ESPNLA” VP and general manager Scott McCarthy says, “We are excited to further strengthen an already powerful talk lineup by moving ‘Mason & Ireland’ to afternoon drive and capitalizing on the momentum of ‘The Will Cain Show.’ These two shows plus ‘Keyshawn, LZ and Travis,’ LA’s only local sports morning show, and the always compelling Stephen A. Smith will keep listeners updated on local and national major sports stories.  Jorge Sedano’s NBA expertise will prepare listeners for the night’s action and takes on greater importance with the high expectations surrounding the Lakers and Clippers.”  KSPN says that the “Mason & Ireland” show “is the highest-rated sports talk show in LA in any daypart over the past three years and is delivering some of its best audience numbers ever in 2019.”

TALKERS News Notes. The next Democratic debate takes place on Thursday, September 12 and ABC News Radio is providing live coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky in Houston.  ABC News Radio will broadcast the debate in its entirety followed by post-debate analysis.  In the hour leading up to the debate, affiliates are being offered an exclusive one-hour program, “Preview to the Democratic Debate.”  Brad Mielke will host the award-winning podcast “Start Here” from Houston on Thursday and Friday (9/12-13), and a special edition of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, featuring Jonathan Karl and ABC News political director Rick Klein, will tape in Houston the week of the debate.…..The nationally syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” program (10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET), starring Walter M. Sterling, will stay on top of the status of Hurricane Dorian this weekend.  Sterling says that citizen reporters are ready to phone in their reports and that he’s done this in the past with dramatic impact.  Sterling adds, “It would be irresponsible to present anything but hurricane information.  I don’t know how any station on the East Coast could run infomercials or yell at the Democrats when a hurricane is endangering lives, stopping air traffic to all of Florida, and blocking the interstates.  We will have eye level reports from people in Florida.”…..Kentucky sports media figure Matt Jones – who hosts the regionally syndicated “Kentucky Sports Radio” program based at iHeartMedia’s WLAP-AM, Lexington – is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Jones would run as a Democrat.  He tells “WAVE 3 News” reports that he is forming an exploratory committee to find out if he has enough support to challenge Democrat Amy McGrath in the primary and then incumbent Republican McConnell.  Jones says, “We’re in an era where people want you to be honest.  I think I said on the radio I almost wore a sweatshirt and shorts here today because that’s what I put on.  I think people like that.  It’s the biggest lesson of Donald Trump more than anything else.  It’s this idea that people like you to say what you think, be authentic.  Democrats don’t do that a lot.  I’m going to try to do it.”  Jones was let go by WLEX-TV, Lexington in July after his senatorial ambitions became known…..The recent changes at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KGME, Phoenix “FOX Sports 910” bumped “The Dan Patrick Show” off the schedule but the program is landing on another station in The Valley.  Hubbard Radio’s crosstown sports talk KDUS-AM “NBCSports 1060” is adding the show to the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Fire and Rain!” looks back at this past week of August 26-30, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London; Ross Kaminsky, morning host, KHOW, Denver; Dr. Mathew Knowles, CEO, Music World Entertainment (and Beyoncé’s father); and Bobbie Winston (“La Femme Bobbie”), American artist living in Rio De Janeiro.  This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Katz Scores One-On-One with VP. Pictured above is WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning drive host Tony Katz (right) with Vice President Mike Pence (left). Prior to his speech before the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis, Pence did a sit-down interview with Katz.  In addition to his WIBC morning show, Katz syndicates the “Tony Katz Today” midday show (11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET).  Earlier in his career, Pence was a WIBC talk host whose program was syndicated across Indiana.

‘98.7 The Fan’ Adds ‘James Connor Show’ to Steelers Coverage. Since Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger decided not to continue his radio show on Entercom’s sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” this year, the station is adding running back James Connor to its coverage of the team.  The Steelers player will join “The PM Team with Poni and Mueller” each Monday at 5:00 pm, beginning September 9.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “We are excited to welcome James to the ‘93.7 The Fan’ family this season. James is one of the most beloved personalities in the region and we know he will bring unique insight and inspiration to the show.”

U.S.-China Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 26-30. The battle of tariffs between the U.S. and China was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the activity in the world’s financial markets and economic reports warning of a recession on the horizon. Coming in at #3 was the aftermath of last weekend’s G7 Summit in France, followed by Boris, Brexit and the Queen at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Darlene Love Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most prolific singers to emerge from the 1960s-era “girl groups” of record producer Phil Spector’s legendary Wall of Sound – Darlene Love – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Since being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and accepting the Best Documentary Oscar for the 2013 film, “20 feet from Stardom,” and the GRAMMY for its soundtrack, her remarkable career has been full steam ahead.  At 78, she sells out shows worldwide, captivating audiences with her warm, gracious stage presence and sensational performances.  The New York Times describes Darlene Love as having a voice “embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics.”  Harrison says, “I am truly thrilled to have Ms. Love as a guest on the podcast.  Her life story is truly amazing.  She went from being a pioneer of the girl group genre to an unheralded and underpaid voice that launched some of the most iconic hits of all time to becoming a housekeeper to make ends meet to climbing her way out of obscurity and finally gaining worldwide recognition for her truly special contributions to popular culture – along the way also performing as a Broadway and film actress in a career that spans six decades of dynamic history!”  Harrison and Love discuss the early days of rock and pop, along with the singer’s experience as the daughter of a minister growing up in Los Angeles and Texas as a young African American female trying to establish a career in the music business.  In addition to her insights into race relations in America, Love talks about how she keeps herself in shape in her late-70s for the rigorous career that she continues to maintain.  By the way, today marks the 57th anniversary of the release of, “He’s a Rebel,” by the Crystals on August 27, 1962 which was actually recorded by Darlene Love and the Blossoms and never officially credited to them until years later.  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 daily email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Talk Radio Sales Opportunity. In New York City, Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive for radio and digital sales.  Here’s the ad: Salem Media Group is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA “AM570/102.3FM The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.”  Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills.  This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America.  Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales.  Interested candidates should apply online and email cover letter and resumes to Jerry Crowley’s attention.

Tom Joyner’s 17th Annual Family Reunion Takes Place This Weekend in Florida. This weekend at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner is presenting the 17th annual “Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion.”  It is featuring performances and appearances from: Charlie Wilson, The Bonfyre, Brandy, Robin Thicke, Guy Torry, Erica Campbell, Rickey Smiley, Donald Lawrence, Keke Wyatt, Kierra Sheard, Sir The Baptist, Tye Tribbett, DJ Standout, Lonnie Hunter, Shanice Wilson, Ollie Gabriel, Brownstone, Erica Campbell, Bebe Winans, Isaac Carree, DJ Kool, DJ Kev-Ski, DJ Flemingo and more. Joyner says, “I am so proud of the fun, entertainment-filled atmosphere that we created all those years ago to truly celebrate Black families and what we love.  We gladly continue this tradition, and I know it will be our best year yet.”  This year’s “Family Reunion” is part of Joyner’s year-long celebration of his 25-year career.  Joyner will retire from broadcasting in December.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Denver market, iHeartMedia names John E. Kage program director for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull” in addition to his current role as programmer for CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  Kage says, “I am beyond thrilled to make my return to country music on ‘106.7 The Bull.’  Country music has a special community with a unique bond between radio, the artists, and the listeners.  I missed it dearly and I’m very grateful for being able to be a part of it again.  A special thanks to iHeartMedia for giving me the opportunity and I look forward to working alongside the talented team here at ‘106.7 The Bull’ and contributing to the station’s ongoing success.”…..Chicago radio personality Erik Zachary leaves his position as evening host at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM.” He says, “I have nothing but appreciation for the opportunities that iHeart has afforded me in my seven-plus years on the air and look forward to seeing the continued success of the amazing team at KISS FM.  With that said, I’m excited to shift the full focus of my work to the television and digital video space.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

| August 16, 2019

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “A Variety of Unpleasant Conundrums!” looks back at this past week of August 12-16, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Renee Kohanski, M.D.; Kevin Miller, talk show host, KIDO, Boise; Joe Thomas, talk show host WCHV, Charlottesville; and Elaina Newport, co-founder and head songwriter, The Capitol Steps. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Podcast Network. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

First-Half Ad Drivers. It isn’t your imagination – automotive dealers and insurance providers are the top advertising categories in radio, TV, and cable. That’s the analysis of Media Monitors’ latest rankings that cover the period from January 1 through July 31. Local auto dealers finish far ahead of any other category during the same period last year. As far as the number of vehicle insurance commercials are concerned, Media Monitors opines, “New auto buyers are likely to shop around. To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they’ve aired this year.” Local car and truck dealers focus their advertising on radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked #10 (2,537,737). As far as specific advertisers are concerned, Home Depot, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and McDonald’s aired the most spots thus far through July 31 of this year. The top 10 radio advertisers for the first seven months of 2019 are: Home Depot, GEICO, Lowe’s, Indeed, McDonald’s, Progressive, Seriously, Sprint, Macy’s and JC Penney. By way of perspective, #1 Home Depot had more than three times the number of “radio instances” (1,777,560) than #10 JC Penney (579,288).

TALKERS News Notes. The new Phoenix affiliate for CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Radio Network primetime NFL coverage is CRC Broadcasting Company sports talk KQFN “The Fanatic.” CRC president and chief executive officer Ron Cohen remarks, “There are no more popular yearly sporting events in this country than NFL football. We’re proud to be the exclusive Phoenix radio affiliate and excited for the incredible opportunity to air these high-profile NFL games, including the Super Bowl in February.” ….. After 24 seasons covering University of Central Florida football – most recently as sideline reporter and pre-game host – Jerry O’Neill is retiring from the radio team. He made the announcement on Marc Daniels’ show on UCF football flagship, iHeartMedia Orlando sports talk WYGM “The Game.” Taking O’Neill’s place as pre-game host and sideline reporter is Scott Adams; former UCF defensive lineman and NFL player Leger Douzable joins as analyst. Meanwhile, producer Chris Vasquez is boosted to executive producer, and assistant producer Tom Morgan will produce all men’s basketball and baseball radio broadcasts ….. The corporate director of programming of Forever Media stations in Wilmington (Delaware) and Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland), Brad Austin, exits. In addition to his corporate duties, Austin programmed and did afternoons on WXCY “New Country 103.7.” He had been with WXCY the past six years and added corporate responsibilities three years ago. The Wilmington and Salisbury-Ocean City stations for which Austin was responsible included news/talk WDEL-AM & WDEL-FM; WXDE “News Talk 105.9”; sports talk WYUS “ESPN Delaware”; WSTW “Today’s Best Variety”; WAFL “Eagle 97.7”; classic hits-oldies WAVD “97.1 The Wave”; classic rock WNCL “Cool 101.3 Delaware’s Greatest Hits”; and gospel WFAI “Faith 1510.” ….. More than 300 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year’s NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free spots that address issues of importance to their constituents. The PSAs have been sent to radio and TV stations across the country. NAB executive vice president Dennis Wharton notes, “The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America. Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities.” NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.

Top Choice For News Among Teens? YouTube. A June 14 – June 25 poll of more than 1,000 U.S. teenagers (13 – 17) conducted by nonprofit Common Sense, in tandem with SurveyMonkey, found that 54% of respondents get news at least a few times per week from social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while one-half do so from YouTube. As David Cohen writes in AdWeek, “Six of ten citing YouTube indicated they were more likely to get their news from celebrities, influencers, and personalities than from news organizations.” The preference for YouTube may best be explained that more than six of ten respondents stated, “seeing pictures and video showing what happened” helped them understand major news events, while roughly one of three would rather “read or hear the facts.” In a release detailing its findings, Common Sense notes that the news habits of teens, “reflect the diversity of the modern media landscape. While most news organizations maintain accounts on social media and other platforms, they are competing for attention with corporate brands, celebrities, influencers, and personal connections.” Two of three teens who do turn to news organizations say it helps them better understand what is going on; 53% of those who get news from social media expressed the same sentiment. Meanwhile, one of five believe getting news via social networks makes them more confused about current events. Common Sense chief executive officer James Steyer observes, “These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions. There are few standards for what constitutes news and how accurately it’s portrayed on the platforms teens use.” SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen adds, “While it’s notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications. It’s a bit of a paradox: Overwhelmingly, teens say that they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they’re not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Yesterday at 5:00pm (Thursday, 8/15), iHeartMedia Indianapolis transitioned WOLT-HD2 (W248AW-FM) to CHR “97.5 “Kiss-FM.” Debuting commercial-free and featuring an air staff (KD, Rucker, Jake B, and Catalina) heard on a number of other iHeartMedia stations, “Kiss” will rely on a playlist from artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, and Shawn Mendes. Market president Brett Beshore states, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Kiss FM’ brand to Indy. The music, events, and personalities featured on ‘97.5 Kiss FM’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.” Senior vice president of programming for iHM Indianapolis Dave Hill comments, “Our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music they love without commercial interruption. ‘Kiss FM’ is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the [CHR] landscape.” WOLT-HD2 did not appear in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for Indianapolis. Existing CHRs in the market include WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.0, #5, July 2019, 6+) and WNOW “Radio Now 100.9” (2.9, #14, July 2019, 6+). A third CHR, WYRG “Energy 93.9,” flipped to rock WNDX “93-X” two months ago (May 2019) …. Heard weekday mornings (5:00 am – 10:00 am) on Hearst Television Baltimore’s WIYY “98 Rock,” Justin, Scott & Spiegel are expanding to television this weekend. The first episode of their half-hour “Justin, Scott and Spiegel Shouldn’t Be On TV” will air immediately following “Saturday Night Live” on Hearst Baltimore’s WBAL-TV (channel 11). WIYY president and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Pairing Baltimore’s most colorful and imaginative radio show in this great time slot after ‘SNL’ is a terrific opportunity to reach our listeners on one of the country’s strongest NBC affiliates. Justin, Scott and Spiegel are ready to take full advantage of this great lead-in.” WBAL-TV president and general manager Dan Joerres remarks, “Creating this television program for broadcast on WBAL-TV 11 is a natural extension of our partnership with sister station ‘98 Rock.’ Like our shared partnerships with the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Lottery, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our Baltimore viewers and listeners. Given the popularity of the live stream of Justin, Scott and Spiegel’s morning show, we saw an opportunity to develop this program for local fans.” Justin, Scott and Spiegel have been a morning show team since 2013 ….. Also in that Maryland market, WWMX “Mix 106.5,” Baltimore nighttime talent Neci Williams takes on music director duties there. Entercom Baltimore director of programming, music stations/WWMX PD Tom Cook remarks, “I’m happy to recognize Neci’s ability and talent with this promotion. She has a great ear for new music and really hears the art and flow when editing a log; being a music director has been a goal of hers for years.” Formerly with Washington, DC’s WHFS, Williams has worked for Baltimore’s “Mix” the past three years ….. Initiating this weekend is Premiere Networks’ two-hour “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” the founder and chief executive officer of “Hollywood Unlocked.” He and co-hosts Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage will “keep listeners on the pulse of hip-hop and pop culture.” Miami rapper Trina guests on the first show and discusses “stripper rappers.” Among the 50 stations clearing “Hollywood Unlocked” are iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlets KRRL “Real 92.3,” Los Angeles; WGCI-FM, Chicago; KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” Houston; WRDG “96.7 The Beat,” Atlanta; WUSL “Power 99,” Philadelphia; WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” Miami; and WJLB, Detroit ….. Nine stations are added to the roster for Entercom’s “Channel Q” on the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network. The network brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Channel Q’s already expansive reach nationwide is another step in the right direction as we aim to promote and support inclusion throughout our country. We remain as persistent about providing the LGBTQ+ community and its allies with a voice as we did when we first launched. We are proud to continue to expand our efforts into new markets.” Listeners can find Channel Q on the following stations via an HD Radio capable device: WSTR-HD3 “Star 94.1,” Atlanta (next month); WTDY-HD3 “96.5 TDY,” Philadelphia; WDZH-HD3 “98.7 The Breeze,” Detroit”; WDSY-HD3 “Y-108,” Pittsburgh”; WQMP-HD2 “FM 101.9, Orlando”; WXSS-HD3 “103.7 Kiss FM,” Milwaukee; WNVZ-HD2 “Z-104,” Norfolk”; WEZB-HD2 “B-97, New Orleans”; and WMQX-HD2 “Max 102,” Wilkes Barre-Scranton ….. In the summer of 1969, 400,000 people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 top musical acts. The 600-acre farm was overwhelmed with intense heat, rain and mud. “Woodstock” became a legendary scene and spawned an Academy Award winning film, soundtrack album, and major hit song. On the 50th anniversary weekend, CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One will have correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, New York; 50-year old sound will be replayed from the Westwood One News archives. The golden anniversary will be celebrated with a half-hour Mike Moss-hosted special, “Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages.” The news retrospective will run Labor Day weekend and explore Woodstock’s legacy with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews. In other Westwood One news, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host the network’s annual four-hour “Workin’ Hard Country” music special over Labor Day weekend. Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits from his own catalog, as well as songs from (among others) Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, and Keith Urban. Many of the artists will share stories about their pre-fame jobs ….. Starting one week from Monday (8/26), iHeartMedia San Diego hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” premieres Jesse Lozano and Tati Santiago (“Jesse and Tati in the Morning”) as its 6:00 am – 10:00 am wakeup team. KMYI program director Joe Haze states the show will be “entertaining and San Diego-centric, focusing on relatability. It will give listeners a great variety of music to get their day started.” San Diego native Lozano began his radio career inside the iHM San Diego cluster as “Boy Toy Jesse” on CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 FM” and moved to Los Angeles CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” in 2007 for afternoon drive duties. He has been hosting “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” on “Star” and remarks, “I’ve been a fan of Tati’s for a very long time – I feel so lucky to be teaming up with her. Adding her brand to ‘Star’ mornings is an incredible opportunity; our listeners are in for a good time.” Honolulu’s KIKI-FM was the site of Santiago’s first radio job. Her on-air credits since KIKI include morning co-hosting responsibilities at WPGC-FM, Washington and iHeartMedia San Diego urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’N 95.7.” She comments, “Being able to work mornings with Jesse Lozano on ‘Star’ is something I could never have dreamed. I’m excited to interact, laugh, and dig the ‘sleepies’ out of my eyes with the San Diego community every morning.” Santiago will succeed Delana Bennett, who – as noted here yesterday (8/15) – is boosted to KMYI’s assistant program director/afternoon drive host (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) ….. Assistant program director/music director DJ Q is elevated to content director at Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary and urban AC siblings WGZB “B-96.5” and WMJM “Magic 101.3.” DJ Q is a 15-year veteran at that Kentucky operation.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Cincinnati, Austin, and Cleveland. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of one-tenth to 9.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” halts three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in the loss of one-half share (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+). The Reds flagship – which had a January-only stay on top – continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC is off nine-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) and repeats at #13. Prior to June 2019 (2.7), the last time “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” fell below a three-share was June 2018 (2.8).

As a result of six straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has lost more than 50% (-.7) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .5, flat at #22, 6+). The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (steady at #23, 6+).

In addition to ending at three a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in a -1.2 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (2.8, +.3, 6+) progresses from #14 to #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the heels of June’s mammoth -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” answers with a +1.0 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 the sixth sweep in succession. Furthermore, WGRR has registered double-digits (6+) five times in the last six ratings periods. Entering the June report, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. The three latest moves for Radio One urban AC WOSL are +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+, May); -.8 (3.9 – 3.1, 6+, June); and +.9 (3.1 – 4.0, July, 6+). Not only does “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” return to the top ten (#11 to #9), it has its highest 6+-share (4.0) in more than five years (4.3, March 2014). Owing to five straight positive or neutral moves, Cincinnati Public Radio’s WGUC “Classical 90.9” triples (+1.2) its 6+-stat (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE has been on a wild ride lately. After logging three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” responded with a combined +1.5 in May/June (7.3 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), but erodes in July by -1.6 (7.2, flat at #3, 6+). June’s 8.8 was its best 6+-stat since January’s 9.4. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Radio One urban contemporary WIZF. Four consecutive positive or neutral reports yielded a +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “101.1 The Wiz” was down -.4 in May; bounced back with a June +.7; but regresses by -.7 in July (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Seven successive negative or neutral trends by Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” have resulted in a cumulative -1.4 (4.0 -3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #14, 6+).

By dropping three-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), country sibling WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 stall at six (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” has lost six-tenths and falls from ninth to tenth.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A June/July +1.4 by news/talk KLBJ-AM vaporizes three straight drops that accounted for a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” reenters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Advancing from #20 to #18, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” has a February 2019 through July 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+). After notching a .4 (6+) in May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is stuck on .5 (#24, 6+) in June and July.

A gain of nine-tenths (5.8 – 6.7, 6+) enables University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT to advance from fourth to second. Six of KUT’s seven shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (May) and +.9 (July). June’s 5.8 was its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).

Austin Music Formats – Up six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” progresses from tenth to eighth with its highest 6+-share (4.4) in more than two years (4.7, June 2017). Four successive reports without a loss by alternative KROX net a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+) as “101-X” climbs from #12 to #11. This (3.8) is its best 6+showing since September 2018’s 4.0. Off one-half share in May and then roaring back with a robust +1.1 in June, adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” loses one-tenth in July (9.3 – 9.2, 6+) but is the market pacesetter the fourth month in a row. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). There’s as intriguing situation in the market’s three-way country tussle. For openers, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM strings together its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). “Austin’s Country Alternative” jumps from #14 to #16 with its best 6+-stat (2.6) since February’s 2.7. At the same time, slipping by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are iHeartMedia country siblings KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” (4.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” (4.5, flat at #7, 6+). KASE is a combined -1.0 in June/July (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), directly after +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). It plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Likewise, KVET-FM is -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), following May’s +.9; “The Austin Texas Original” was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). After posting six successive positive or neutral monthlies that yielded an impressive +2.1 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” surrenders roughly half that increase (-1.1) to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” loses six-tenths to 3.6, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2, and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following May/June’s combined +1.1(5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” forfeits roughly half that increase (5.9, -.5, third to fourth, 6+). Having scored a March +1.2, regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is now a collective -2.7 in four subsequent decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+) and falls from eighth to tenth. With an April – May – June (6+) topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio classic hits-oldies KTXX-HD4 vanishes from print.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are: -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June); and another +.5 in July (5.6 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

Upon resurfacing in print this past April, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK logged a .5 (6+) in April, May, and June, finishing at #19. “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” however, is unlisted in July.

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -2.3 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it repeats June’s 3.6 (6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Cleveland Music Formats – Similar to its sports talk cluster-mate WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (see above), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104” is in an alternating down/up pattern. WQAL’s sequence started in January and includes July’s +.8 (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2, #11 to #10, 6+). A boost of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) propels “106.5 The Lake” from ninth to sixth with its strongest 6+-stat since January (6.1, as well). Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” (6.0 – 6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM” (#12 to #11). WDOK bounces back from June’s -1.5 which sent “Star” to 6.0, its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well). Meanwhile, “Kiss” is within 3.1 – 3.9 range for the sixth successive time (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Its classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” finishes on top the eighth straight sweep (9.8 – 9.2, 6+). Six of its recent shifts are: +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.6 (July). On the heels of June’s gain of six-tenths, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ suffers a setback more than four times that magnitude (7.0 – 4.5, -2.5, 6+) as “Z-107.9” tumbles from fifth to ninth. June’s 7.0 was its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. When urban AC sibling WZAK gained three-tenths in June, it suspended five successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+). The July report indicates that WZAK is off by -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7) and continues in fourth-place. Three positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia-owned WMMS netted a full-share (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) but “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” coughs up two-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and dips from seventh to eighth. In May, WMMS reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

| July 24, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  With baseball season in full swing and the NFL season still two months away, 57% of sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May to June surveys.  Year-over-year, half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets are up and half are down.  Gainers include Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” (+1.3), Entercom’s WFAN (+1.3) in the Long Island market, and Union Broadcasting’s WHB, Kansas City (+1.0).   WFAN is the only sports talk station to rank #1 in a market – in this case, the Long Island market – but three other stations ranked #4 in their respective markets in June.  They were: Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia; Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Limbaugh’s ‘Stand Up for Betsy Ross!’ Shirt Raises $2 Million-Plus for Charity. A few weeks ago, TALKERS magazine reported that Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio star Rush Limbaugh had launched a campaign to sell t-shirts with the message, “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” in response to Nike’s decision to pull the flag-themed sneakers from its line after a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.  Now, Limbaugh’s team reports that they have raised more than $2 million from the sale of the t-shirts to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The charity was named after the New York City firefighter who lost his life on 9/11.  The money raised has paid off the mortgages on the family homes of six slain American heroes.  Tunnel to Towers CEO and chairman Frank Siller says, “Thanks to the generosity of Rush and Kathryn, and the listeners of ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show,’ six families who have lost their husbands and fathers, killed while they were protecting us at home and abroad, can rest a little easier knowing they own their homes free and clear.”  Beneficiaries of the donations are: Kissimmee, Florida, police officer Matt Baxter, killed in the line of duty on August 18, 2017, while responding to a call on patrol. He left behind his wife and fellow police officer, Sadia, and their three daughters; Appleton, Wisconsin, firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, killed in the line of duty on May 15, 2019, shot by the person whose life he was trying to save. He left behind his wife, Lindsey, and three young sons; Auburn, Alabama police officer William Buechner, killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2019, after responding to a domestic disturbance call. He left behind his wife, Sara, and their two children; Kirkersville, Ohio, police chief Steven DiSario, killed in the line of duty on May 12, 2017, while responding to reports of an armed subject. He left behind his wife, Aryn, who was expecting their seventh child at the time of his death, and their six children; Arizona deputy U.S. marshal Chase White, killed in the line of duty on November 29, 2018, while serving a fugitive warrant. He left behind his wife, Sue Ellen and their four children; and U.S. Army chief warrant officer Jonathan Farmer, who was among four Americans killed in a suicide bombing on January 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria. He left behind his wife, Tabitha, and their four children.  Information on the charity and to donate, visit: Tunnel2Towers.org.

Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media Partner to Provide Custom Audio Solutions. This new, strategic partnership between Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media will help “drive the development of custom audio solutions for brands seeking to reach consumers across all audio platforms and devices.”   The two firms say this new service “will be a strategic resource for agencies and clients looking to curate branded audio content through digital devices, allowing them to extend the conversation with millions of consumers.”  Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein says, “What we know for sure in our work with radio, podcast, and smart speakers is that one-size-fits-all solutions rarely work. We are excited to be teamed with Skyview Networks to innovate, develop, and maximize audio content solutions for each platform.”  Skyview president and COO Steve Jones adds, “Branded podcasts are a rapidly emerging segment of podcast revenue, having grown more than 6X to $67 million from 2018-19, and are forecast to increase to $100 million by 2021.  Working with Amplifi Media, we’ll be better positioned to meet the developing needs of consumer brands that are seeking a voice strategy.”  Skyview says that under the new arrangement, chief marketing officers seeking to differentiate their brands with custom audio content will have access to its network of 5,000 radio stations to create awareness of their branded podcast and/or smart speaker initiatives.

Buck Sexton Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Mexico City during Pompeo’s Latin America tour aimed at strengthening U.S. partnerships.  Sexton traveled with Pompeo on Air Force One as he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City; and San Salvador, El Salvador.  Sexton broadcast the interview on last night’s program in which the two discussed the migrant crisis, the Iran standoff, China and North Korea negotiations, and the Venezuelan leadership fight.  You can hear it here.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/24) post: the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Justin Chase, EVP of programming, Beasley Media Group; Lee Harris, morning anchor, WINS, New York; Wayne Allyn Root, host, USA Network/Newsmax TV; and Walter R. Sterling, host, Westwood One.  The panel was moderated by Harry Hurley, host WPG, Atlantic City and introduced by Alex Fife, VP of regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast.   Posted yesterday (7/23): the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.   Posted prior to that (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race, House Israel Boycott Vote, the Squad vs Trump, Puerto Rico Protests, Johnson Assumes British PM Role, Trump Sues NY AG, Russia-South Korean Skirmish, and Big Tech Anti-Trust Review Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  Today’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the House votes against Israel boycott measure; House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley and their battles vs President Trump; the ongoing protests in Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Boris Johnson wins the race for Prime Minister of Great Britain; President Trump sues New York’s attorney general to block access to his state tax returns; a Russian bomber crosses into South Korean airspace; and the U.S. Justice Department begins an anti-trust review of the big tech sector were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM afternoon drive news anchor and fill-in host Lauren Cohn makes an appearance in the premiere of the Comedy Central television program “South Side” tonight at 10:30 ET.  The program is shot on location in Englewood on Chicago’s South Side.  Cohn’s appearance shows her as a TV news anchor on the set of “In The Loop,” a show she hosted on WYCC-TV.  Feder reports she’ll appear in about four or five episodes of the program…..Krantz Media Group Networks partners with bourbon expert Fred Minnick to create an array of audio programming.  Minnick is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine, a personality on the Spirits Network, and the curator for the annual “Bourbon & Beyond” music festival held in Louisville.  He says, “I couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to work with such a dynamic radio executive [KMG CEO Gary Krantz] and company like KMG to build an audio platform.  This partnership will help accomplish my goal of having a hand in every media for spirits.”…..The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers and WTMJ-AM have signed an extension for the station to continue as the team’s radio play-by-play flagship. The station has been the team’s radio home for all but two years of its 49-year history in Milwaukee.  This is the first Brewers contract inked by WTMJ’s new owner, Good Karma Brands, which acquired the station from Scripps Media earlier this year…..At this fall’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas (9/24-26), leaders from the podcast industry will participate in the panel discussion “The Podcast Revolution,” on for Wednesday, September 25.   Panelists will include Carter Brokaw, president of iHeartMedia’s digital revenue strategy; Neal Carruth, National Public Radio’s general manager of podcasts; and Oren Rosenbaum, emerging platforms and podcasting agent at United Talent Agency, discussing podcasting trends and strategies with moderator Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The business of podcasting is still so nascent with broadcasters experimenting and producing podcast networks that are leading the way.  This session will help any size broadcaster, audio specialist, and advertiser understand what’s working and what you can do to produce quality and revenue-generating podcast content in your local market.”…..Entercom’s Charlotte operations strikes a partnership extension with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for news/talk WBT-AM/FM to continue serving as the team’s flagship for play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the deal, sister sports talk WFNZ-AM will provide promotional support…..The “2019 SiriusXM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/25) featuring live shows from all 32 NFL teams’ training camps.  The series will present one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Emily West is named midday personality for Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York.  West has been with Entercom since 2017 when she became a fill-in on-air personality on the “Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele” show on sister classic hits WCBS-FM and as a traffic reporter for sister all-news WCBS-AM.  She also currently serves as a fill-in traffic reporter for WNBC-TV, New York.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “Emily has held various roles and done an exceptional job for our collection of New York stations.  We’re thrilled to have her on board at WNEW hosting her own show, featuring shorter commercial breaks to better spotlight our advertisers and offering an improved listening experience for our audience.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” announces the third lineup for its 10th Annual Free Summer Block Parties.  The Sunday, August 18 event will feature live performances by The Head and the Heart, Meg Myers, White Reaper, and The Dirty Nil…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” is now airing on Stephens Media Group’s rock KHHK-HD3/K295BT “The X 106.9” on Sunday evenings.  Station PD Sean Knight says, “Our listeners wanted a metal show and having been familiar with Full Metal Jackie from previous stations I’ve worked at, it was the obvious choice.  Jackie knows her metal and the guests she has on are great!”

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” 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.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

| March 27, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  The period between the end of the NFL season and the start of the MLB season usually means a dip in ratings for sports talk radio stations and this year is no different as 73% of sports talkers see a decrease in their weekly 6+ AQH share from the January 2019 survey to the February 2019 PPM survey.  Comparing last February to this, about half of the sports talk stations on our panel are up with the other half down or unchanged.  Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” was the highest-ranking station (6+) during the February survey, finishing the month at #3 in the Boston market with a 6.4 share.  Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 FM The Fan” is the sports station with the highest 6+ share in February with a 6.5.  See all the data here.

Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network Renew Through 2023. Talk radio pro Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network will continue to work together through 2023 as Salem announces the company and Gallagher have agreed to a new contract.  Gallagher’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show is heard on more than 420 affiliate stations via SRN.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are honored to have had Mike Gallagher in our Salem family for over two decades and thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with him.  Mike’s thoughtful and expert commentary is exactly what America needs in these turbulent times we live in, and it’s no wonder he is Salem’s highest-rated program.”  Gallagher comments, “Every broadcaster should be lucky enough to work for Salem Media Group.  I’ve worked hard and they’ve rewarded me with a partnership that will have spanned at least 22 years, a rarity in our business.  I’m so grateful to Ed Atsinger, Dave Santrella, and Phil Boyce for their support and visionary leadership.  And I will always appreciate Greg Anderson, who has since retired, for believing in me back in 2001 and bringing me into the Salem family.”

Jason Page Joins iHub Radio in Palm Springs. As the Palm Springs locally focused internet radio station iHub Radio approaches its first birthday, it announces that sports talk personality Jason Page is taking over the afternoon drive program, effective April 1.  Page has served with NBC Sports Radio, ESPN, and SiriusXM.  iHub Radio was founded by programmer John McMullen who asked Page to help with coverage of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  McMullen says, “Jason brought his A-game for the entirety of his stay in February and March.  After two weeks of upsets on the tennis courts, I felt that the timing was right on our final broadcast from Indian Wells to wrap up with a positive surprise. We offered Jason a full-time opportunity to not only take our 3 to 6 pm weekday slot, but to join our management team and put his vision in play for social media and other multimedia opportunities that are likely to involve expanding some of our local talent beyond the iHub Radio platform and local market.” In addition to hosting afternoons, Page will be director of multimedia platforms for the media outlet.  McMullen is giving up hosting the afternoon show to focus on management responsibilities. McMullen says iHub Radio is hyper-focused on its local connection to a marketplace rather than proactively seeking a national or global audience.  He adds that as the platform nears its first anniversary and continues to increase its weekly unique audience numbers that rival the terrestrial competition and double the time spent listening of most traditional talk stations, the company will enter its second year with an eye towards creating a handful of programming products that could ultimately be part of the terrestrial radio landscape by 2020.

Cox Media Group: Study Shows Our Customers Are ‘More Satisfied.’ The results of a three-year study designed to measure advertiser expectations and perceptions of traditional and digital advertising at CMG indicates CMG customers rate many CMG advertising solutions at least two to three-times higher than non-CMG advertisers rate similar competitor services on return on investment.  The survey of more than 450 businesses – including CMG customers and non-CMG customers – was done by research firm Magid. The advertising solutions include programmatic advertising, digital video, native, and traditional media.  Cox Media Group EVP of content, digital strategy, technology, and research Marian Pittman says, “This is part of the culture and commitment at Cox Media Group.  Our entire team is focused on driving results for our advertisers, providing innovative solutions and being a true partner for our clients.  We have a relentless focus on tracking, monitoring and optimizing every advertisers’ campaign.  The results of the survey show our clients agree.”

Westwood One’s 2019 Audioscape Report Highlights Podcasting and Smart Speaker Data. The company says this report examines the podcast and smart speaker consumer, listener, and user trends, podcast consumption among smart speaker users, and marketer and agency sentiment for advertising in podcasts and smart speaker environments.  Westwood One reveals some of what it calls the key findings on podcasting and smart speakers: 1) The podcast audience is maturing with the median age advancing from 29 in 2017 to 35 in 2018.  However, 2) podcast listeners are far more engaged and one-and-a-half times more attentive than social media audiences.  3) Smart speaker ownership has tripled in two years with 23% of U.S. households owning a smart speaker, and 4) GenXers – adults between the ages of 35 and 54 – represent the largest segment of smart speaker owners (38%). See more here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis-based, independently syndicated talk host Tony Katz adds Emmis Communications’ KLBJ-AM, Austin to his roster of affiliate stations for his “Tony Katz Today” program, effective April 15. Katz hosts the “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on WIBC-FM and his “Tony Katz Today” talk show airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  KLBJ-AM program director Mark Caesar says, “We are very excited about Tony Katz joining the NewsRadio KLBJ lineup.  Tony is a great guy who knows how to blend his excellent sense of humor with his strong insight on the day’s biggest stories.”…..MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” announce a new multi-year agreement that ensures the station continues to serve as the radio home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.   WEPN has served in this role since 2004.  “ESPN New York” vice president and general manager Tim McCarthy says, “We are proud to continue our 15-year relationship with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  As ‘98.7 ESPN’ continues to expand our listener base, the Knicks and Rangers serve as an integral component of our programming lineup.”…..Bonneville International’s sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix “Arizona Sports” inks a deal to serve as the radio and digital home for the Phoenix Rising FC for the 2019 season.  As part of the deal, “Arizona Sports” will stream all Phoenix Rising FC games live on ArizonaSports.com as well as air three Phoenix Rising FC games on sister KTAR-AM “ESPN 620,” beginning in June.  The partnership will also include a dedicated page of Rising coverage on ArizonaSports.com along with a weekly podcast hosted by Kellan Olson.

Mueller Investigation Aftermath, Obamacare Battle, Jussie Smollett Case, Green New Deal Vote, Israel-Gaza Tensions, Brexit Redux, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).The aftermath of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; the battle between the Trump administration and Democrats over the status of the Affordable Care Act; the Illinois state prosecutor’s decision not to charge actor Jussie Smollett; the U.S. Senate vote on the Green New Deal; the tensions in Israel over the missile strike from the Gaza Strip; the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit status; and NBA action and the NCAA Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is no longer with Radio One as the CHR format captain and program director for CHR outlets KROI, Houston and WNOW, Indianapolis.  Fruge had previously served with the old CBS RADIO in Houston as vice president of programming and operations manager as well as PD for KHMX and KKHH…..On-air personality Amber “Alabama” Cole is the new morning show contributor for iHeartMedia’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM.”  She exited the company’s Chicago country outlet WEBG “Big 95.5” where she was midday host back in December…..Griffin Communications announces that country recording artist Joe Diffie is joining the KXBL, Tulsa “Big Country 99.5” air staff, hosting the midday show.  Diffie is based in Nashville and will voice track the program, even when he’s on the road this summer.  Station program director Brian Jennings says, “Joe’s music is a reflection of the dominance of Oklahoma artists that have become part of the country music soundtrack across the nation. And ‘Big Country’ is the only station in Tulsa that is positioned to properly celebrate that legacy.  Think about the influence that Oklahoma music has on the nation: Joe Diffie, Reba,Garth, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood…shall I go on? Having Joe on as part of the team brings Tulsa pride to his national status.  I am so proud.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

| January 15, 2019

iHeartMedia Asks Bankruptcy Court for More Time. In a motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston yesterday (1/14), iHeartMedia asks the court to grant it more time in which it (the Debtors) may remove actions from its Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  It is asking the court to give it until June 7, 2019 to address the matters.  It says, “Given the size and scope of the Debtors’ capital structure and business operations, expeditiously moving toward exit from these chapter 11 cases will require significant effort. Due to the Debtors’ efforts to date, they are on track to consummate a restructuring that will maximize value for all stakeholders.  As a result, the Debtors have not yet determined conclusively which Actions, if any, they will seek to remove. The extension requested herein will provide the Debtors with time to make informed decisions concerning which Actions to remove and will ensure that the Debtors’ rights to remove Actions can be exercised in an appropriate manner.”  iHM notes that the rights of parties to the actions will not be unduly prejudiced.  “If the Debtors ultimately seek to remove Actions pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9027, parties will retain their right to seek remand with respect to such Actions pursuant to section 1452(b) of the Judicial Code. Therefore, the Debtors submit that cause exists for the relief requested herein.”

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Marty Griffin Cancer-Free. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces that afternoon personality Marty Griffin – who’s been battling cancer since last year – is cancer free.  Griffin co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show with Wendy Bell on the Entercom station.  He had a PET-CT scan at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center yesterday (1/14) and the results indicate he is officially cancer free.  Griffin was diagnosed with HPV-related cancer near his throat and underwent weeks of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.  He’ll continue with three more months of immunotherapy to increase his survivability rate.  Griffin said upon learning the results of this latest test, “I won the lottery today, its Christmas morning, it’s just beautiful.”

Cattles Named PD at ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk. Afternoon drive talk host Nick Cattles is promoted to program director at Max Media’s sports talker WVSP-FM, Norfolk-Virginia Beach “ESPN Radio 94.1.” Cattles served with the station from 2012 through 2017 when he left for a stint at now-Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  He returned to WVSP last June.  About his promotion, Cattles says, “I’m so grateful for being named the new PD of ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  “I’ve loved my time working as a host at the station and now enthusiastically jump into this next challenge. I’d like to thank Keith Barton, Rusty James, and the ownership at Max Media for this opportunity.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York news/talk WABC will have a place at the radio row for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The “Bernie and Sid Show” featuring Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg as well as Rosenberg’s “Sid Sports Sunday” programs will broadcast from the Atlanta Sheraton.  The “Bernie and Sid” show will broadcast on Thursday and Friday. Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine this is the first time a WABC show has gone on the road for the Super Bowl…..CBS News and Simon & Schuster announce a joint podcast/book project by popular “CBS SUNDAY MORNING” correspondent, humorist, and history buff Mo Rocca. His long love of obituaries has led him to write Mobituaries, an “irreverent but deeply researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him — from an unsung Founding Father to the first Chinese-American superstar, from Neanderthals to the station wagon.”  The Mobituaries podcast premieres January 17 with eight weekly episodes in the first season…..Television talk host, game show host and Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning radio star Steve Harvey is hosting the “NFL Honors” program live from Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Saturday, February 2.  The two-hour primetime awards show is in its seventh year and is designed to recognize the NFL’s best players, performances, and plays from the 2018 season.  It will air at 9:00 pm on CBS TV.

Border Wall Issue, Government Shutdown, Barr Confirmation Hearing, Federal Birth Control Ruling, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Rep. Steve King Troubles, Jayme Closs Case, Today’s Brexit Vote in U.K., and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The ongoing battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the issues surrounding the federal government shutdown; today’s senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr; federal judges block President Trump’s birth control mandate rollback; the potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020; U.S. Rep. Steve King has committee assignments taken away after white supremacist comments in NYT story; missing teen Jayme Closs escapes captor in Northern Wisconsin; today’s Brexit vote in the U.K.; and the NFL 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 LGBTQ-targeted “Channel Q” format comes to Seattle as Entercom adds it to KNDD-HD2 and translator K277AE at 103.3 FM.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are thrilled to bring ‘Channel Q’ to Seattle.  We’re passionate about giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, and look forward to partnering with people and organizations that help the LGBTQ+ community thrive in Seattle.”…..“The Breakfast Club” co-host Angela Yee is named the first-ever BSE Global Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) Ambassador.  As such, Yee will “play a prominent role in helping the organization build deeper connections to Brooklyn neighborhoods to further expand awareness of the company’s events and community initiatives. As part of her position, she will participate in BSE Global’s youth educational programs throughout the community.”  Her nationally syndicated morning program is based at iHeartMedia’s WWPR, New York “Power 105.1.”  Yee says, “As a Brooklynite, this borough holds a special place in my heart and I’m excited to represent BSE Global and identify opportunities that elevate our community to new heights.  Brooklyn has a strong, historic relationship with both music and basketball, and I look forward to working with BSE Global to find new ways to deepen and celebrate that relationship within our community.”…..In Southeastern Wisconsin, Magnum Communications names Mitch Morgan morning show host at country WVTY, Racine.  Morgan also hosts the afternoon show on the company’s sister country outlet WMBZ, West Bend “92.5 Buzz Country,” a position he’ll continue. Prior to his work with Magnum, Morgan served as music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMIL, Milwaukee for more than 25 years…..Two programming staff moves take place at Neuhoff Media’s Lafayette, Indiana station group.  Jared Jesulaitis gives up the program director position at CHR WXXB “B102.9” and takes on the dual roles of sports director for the cluster and morning co-host on sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101-7 The Hammer.”  Rising from APD to program director for “B102.9” is Joe LeCay.  Cluster vice president of programming Mike Shamus comments, “These guys have both worked very hard over the last few years and we are happy to see them move into positions that will make Lafayette an even stronger market for Neuhoff Media.”

iHeartMedia and The CW Renew for Television and Streaming Deal.  Television network The CW and iHeartMedia announce a new, multi-year agreement for The CW to remain the exclusive television broadcaster and video streaming partner for the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the annual holiday iHeartRadio Jingle Ball event.  The two have partnered for the events since 2012.  Under the new agreement, The CW will air a “best of” special featuring one of iHeartRadio’s 2019 marquee events as well as live stream four of iHeartRadio’s Theater Shows from New York and Los Angeles.  The CW Network president Mark Pedowitz says, “The CW has really enjoyed the incredible relationship we’ve shared over the years with our friends at iHeart, as we’re able to showcase for our fans the best of the best in the world of music.  As the exclusive TV broadcast and video streaming partner, The CW is looking forward to continuing our tradition of starting our fall launch with the iHeartRadio Music Festival, celebrating the holiday season with Jingle Ball and adding some new events through the year.”

Friday, January 11, 2019

| January 11, 2019

New Afternoon Show to Launch at KIRO-FM, Seattle; Jason Rantz to PM Drive at Sister KTTH-AM.  Talent changes take effect at Bonneville’s Seattle talk stations on Monday (1/14).  The new “Candy, Mike and Todd” Show launches with hosts Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd HermanHeather Bosch handles news updates twice hourly for the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’ve put together what we feel is a winning team.  Candy, Mike, and Todd are a fun, entertaining and intelligent trio.  They will be a perfect complement to the news, traffic, and weather elements that ‘KIRO Radio’ listeners expect every weekday afternoon.”  Candy Harper most recently served as the afternoon producer on KIRO-FM.  Mike Lewis has worked at KIRO-FM as a reporter and fill-in host since 2016, and Todd Herman moves over from sister conservative news/talk KTTH where he’s been the afternoon drive personality.  As a result of that move, Bonneville shifts KTTH morning show host Jason Rantz to the afternoon drive daypart and brings Saul Spady aboard to host the morning drive program.  Spady is described as “very active in local politics” and an accomplished businessman.  Candy Harper says of the new KIRO-FM show, “Mike, Todd, and I are three opinionated friends who may disagree on almost everything but love to talk about why.  Turns out, people are quite capable of disagreeing on issues and still being decent human beings. This show is going to be unique.”  About joining KTTH-AM for mornings, Spady comments, “I’m excited for this opportunity to create a new type of conservative talk radio show in mornings that gives a 21st century perspective both locally and nationally. I hope to connect with listeners both new and old, transplant and local alike in our quest to create a rational opposition to the rudderless leadership we have in Seattle and Olympia.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  There’s wasn’t great movement up or down for public radio news/talk stations in PPM markets from November to December – 48% were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) and 41% were down. Year-over-year, 39% of those stations were up with 55% of them losing audience share.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in December – KQED, San Franciscio; WAMU, Washington; and KPBS, San Diego – while four other stations ranked #2 in their respective markets. Also in this report is a chart comparing the performances of all-news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk. See the whole story here.

Timeless Wisdom from Radio Legends.  Consultant Bill McMahon, principal of The Authentic Personality, offers some advice to TALKERS magazine readers that he picked up a few years back that he says bears constant reinforcement:

TalenTrak was an annual event in Chicago created by The Conclave to inspire and educate radio personalities. The year I attended, it delivered big-time on both accounts.

Radio legends Larry Lujack and Jonathon Brandmeier were the featured speakers. They put on quite a show. Their passion for radio and its possibilities lifted the conference room at Columbia College. Their performance demonstrated radio’s unique ability to create intimate human relationships. The stories they told about their lives in radio — the ups and downs, the successes and failures — really resonated with the audience. Lujack and Brandmeier established a real connection and emotional bond with everyone in that room. It was great radio.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for aspiring radio personalities from the success stories of Uncle Lar and Johnny B:

Don’t copy anyone. Be yourself and you’ll be distinctive. There is nobody exactly like you. Lujack said it this way. “One of my advantages was not being able to hear big-city radio growing up in Caldwell, Idaho. I never copied anybody because I didn’t have anyone to copy.” Here’s Brandmeier’s perspective: “I don’t know what’s going on in radio.  I don’t listen to other shows. In my head, I’m the only guy on the radio.”

Constantly expand what you know. If you don’t know more than your listeners, you can’t add much to their lives. Lujack “read newspapers and magazines for seven hours a day” to expand his knowledge. Brandmeier said, “I read everything. You gotta to be aware of the world around you. The more you read the more you have to react to. It’s like filling a cooler with meat. I just keep filling it.”

Don’t present anything on the radio that you don’t really care about. If it doesn’t ring your emotional bell, if it’s not interesting, meaningful, or fun to you, forget it. It won’t matter to your listeners if it doesn’t matter to you. Brandmeier put it this way, “if you’re not curious about it or care about it, don’t talk about it. The audience knows.”

Find the right boss — someone who totally believes in you. Don’t go to work for people who want to change you and what you do. They’ll make your life miserable, destroy your confidence, and then fire you. Lujack and Brandmeier’s careers took off when they found PDs who believed in them. Lujack was fired repeatedly by bosses who didn’t understand or appreciate his often “cynical, sarcastic, negative attitude” on the radio and insisted he change. He refused because, “it was easier to be me than somebody I was not. I believed me would work.”  It sure did once he found Pat O’Day at KJR in Seattle. “He was the first PD who encouraged me to be me.” Brandmeier found Don Benson who heard him breaking format doing a midday music show in Milwaukee. Brandmeier recalled, “I would start talking to listeners on the radio the minute the programmers left the building for lunch. I figured they wouldn’t hear me while they were eating.” Benson heard him. He called Brandmeier with an offer that changed his life. “There’s a voice inside you that wants to get out. How would you like to let that voice out on a morning show in Phoenix?” Brandmeier took the job at KZZP. The “voice” Benson heard attracted a few listeners. “They let me do whatever I wanted”, remembered Brandmeier, “and the ratings tripled.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the partnering of Chicago radio personality Kathy Hart with Frank Fontana on Tribune Broadcasting’s news/talk WGN-AM continues with a regular, Wednesday evening show.  Hart, formerly the morning drive co-host on hot AC WTMX, has been sitting in with Fontana on his weekend show since October and now the two will have a regular, weeknight program…..According to a report by Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Laurel Highland Total Communications Inc. has flipped WAVL, Apollo, Pennsylvania (northeast of Pittsburgh) from news/talk as “Talk PA” to variety hits.  It has changed the call letters to WXJX.  The reason for the switch is reportedly due to the disappearance of Laura Ingraham’s daily live radio show and the re-configuration of Michael Savage’s program, combined with the loss of exclusivity for the “Quinn & Rose” show hosted by Jim Quinn and Rose Somma Tennent (pictured here).  Their show is also heard on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh.  Station executive David Waugaman states, “Then we found out Laura Ingraham would be quitting radio and staying with TV [and a podcast].  And finally, finding that Michael Savage was dropping away from radio as well.  So without great replacements, we felt it was best to go with a music format and we have had great success with our ‘Jack’ programming at our radio station down in Morgantown.”

Beasley and UNLV Hackathon Initiative Winners. Pictured above are the winners of Beasley Media Group’s Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019.  Done in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the initiative was launched in October 2018 with the goal of generating potential commercial products and services utilizing existing media technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as to conceptualize the kinds of transformative, disruptive technologies that will become mainstream in the next 20 years.  The first-place team (pictured above) won $5,000 for its work using AM/FM frequencies to charge devices.  The second- and third-place teams won $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Pictured are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, UNLV’s Dr. Mary Croughan, Consumer Technology Association senior director of Innovation & Trends Ben Arnold, Beasley’s Buzz Knight, UNLV students Erick Serrano and Yuria Mann, UNLV’s Zach Miles, UNLV provost Diane Chase, and Brian Beasley.

Celebrating ‘The Sopranos.’ Pictured above is “The Sopranos” actor Steve Schirripa (center), who played Bobby Baccalieri on the iconic HBO series.  He stopped by the WOR, New York studios yesterday (1/10) to talk about the 20th anniversary of the premiere of  the show with morning drive team Len Berman (left) and Michael Riedel (right).

Trump Border Wall Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 7-11. Tuesday evening’s Oval Office address by President Trump about the border wall issue was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing federal government shutdown. Coming at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the potential 2020 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Multi-Platform Performer Kate Delaney Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  She is a woman of many platforms and talents who casts a wide net.  Kate Delaney is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, top business and motivational speaker, best-selling author, and a weekend host for the NBC Sports Radio Network.  In addition, she hosts a long-running news/talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called “America Tonight” and a weekly online feature with Forbes Books showcasing movers and shakers in the business world.  Her most recent book published by Forbes is titled, Deal Your Own Destiny: Increase Your Odds, Win Big and Become Extraordinary.  Delaney is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Delaney discuss sports, politics, business, and breaking the glass ceiling.  Harrison says, “More people in the talk media industry should know about this hard-working renaissance woman and we are so pleased to launch this podcast’s fifth year by spotlighting her views and accomplishments.”  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 daily newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3,” evening personality Jordan Alamat gets to take the “assistant” off his music director title.  In a statement, station program director Christy Taylor says, “Jordan has been a key member of Go 96.3’s programming since before I returned.  His knowledge of music as a fan and a musician gives him a passion I’ve rarely seen in a music director.  With great pride ‘GO Radio’ is happy to announce that Jordan Alamat has been officially elevated to music director of ‘GO 96.3.’  Along with his music director duties he will continue to host the most interactive night show in the cities.”…..Sarkes Tarzian’s Fort Wayne, Indiana alternative outlet gets another signal to expand its presence in the region.  The company bought WGBJ-FM, Auburn, Indiana last year and now adds its class A 102.3 FM signal to the “ALT 99.5” format airing on WAJI-HD2, Fort Wayne. Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne VP and market manager Lee Tobin comments, “This expands the reach of Fort Wayne’s only alternative station beyond Allen County into the surrounding counties of northeast Indiana.”…..The syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” show – distributed by YEA Networks – adds two new stations to its affiliate roster. KORQ, Abilene, Texas and KHQT, Las Cruces, New Mexico pick up the program.  It’s currently heard on almost 40 stations nationwide.

Thursday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2019

iHeartMedia’s New WONK-FM in DC to Deliver ‘Inside-the-Beltway’ News and Talk. The new station will air on WWDC-HD2 (101.1) and W284CQ at 104.7 FM and is branded “WONK-FM, Smart People. News.”  iHeartMedia says the launch of the new station comes after its recent on-air and online celebration of “National WONK Day” – a day created for listeners that have a keen interest in inside-the-Beltway news – and WONK-FM will be “a news and talk station serving thought leaders, influencers, and stakeholders inside the Washington, DC beltway.”  The press release states, “The new station will broadcast renowned anchors Stacy Lyn and Alexandra Lane weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and will feature the latest breaking news and headlines from Washington, DC.  In addition, WONK-FM will air instant reactions from opinion leaders and on-air talk personalities originating from iHeartMedia’s 130-plus news and talk stations throughout the United States.” iHeartMedia region president Michael Preacher comments, “WONKs are the behind-the-scenes people in DC who are innovators, experts, and are passionate about their work.  DC’s WONKs are the unsung heroes who solve the world’s most difficult problems and they deserve to have a dedicated platform.”  Programming the new station is current WRKO, Boston programmer Michael Czarnecki, who will work in Washington. He adds, “With the accelerated pace of today’s news cycle, we look forward to providing a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.  I’m thrilled to be joining the iHeartMedia team in Washington DC as part of Washington’s WONK-FM.”  You can see a video the company made to promote the station and their targeting of “wonks” here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The drop off in cume from end of the 2018 baseball season affected some sports talk outlets negatively as 61% of those stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share diminish from the November to the December surveys.  However, year-over-year, 62% of sports talk stations realized improved 6+ numbers. In the market rank category, RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus takes the blue ribbon, ranking #3 in the market with a 7.3 share.  Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia ranked #4 in December with a 6.3 share; and three stations – Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM (Long Island); and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh – all ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Emmis Communications Releases Fiscal Q3 Numbers; Pro Forma Revenue Up 5%. The third fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications Corporation ended November 30, 2018.  The company notes that, due to the recent sale of five stations (KPWR, Los Angeles in August 2017 and four radio stations in St. Louis on April 30, 2018), its reported results are not comparable year over year.  Emmis’ radio net revenue for fiscal Q3 was $28.7 million, down from $34 million in the prior year.   However, pro forma for all radio station sales, revenue “was up 5% in markets that were up 2%.”  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “With this quarter’s strong performance, Emmis is now outperforming its markets through the first nine months of this fiscal year – quite an achievement.  Political revenues certainly helped, but we also saw growth in our core advertising categories, all of which contributed to Emmis having its strongest quarter in four years.  New York and Indianapolis both outperformed their markets and continue to produce strong ratings, which should help sustain Emmis’ revenue growth.  That certainly appears to be the case in January and February, where both months are pacing up mid-to-high single digits.”

#250 Working on Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Maximizing Direct Response Spot Success.  It is no secret that a significant percentage of talk radio advertising consists of direct response advertising and the results are tallied by the sponsors – making it even more imperative that the spots get measurable action.  Considering the fact that much of the listening is done while driving, it makes it even more of a challenge to get people to make the leap from hearing an 800 phone number and actually placing the call while the thought is top of mind.  The firm #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial has been making progress in simplifying this process for talk shows, stations and networks across the nation by creating simple word prompted codes and phrases designed to simplify the act of calling while behind the wheel.  Now they have taken it one step further addressing another problem.  #250 chief marketing officer Dave Robinett tells TALKERS, “Accomplishing the task of making your advertiser’s phone ring is tough enough.  But there are many points of ‘breakage’ after that.  Phone reps can be poorly trained or rude.  Client phone systems or call centers might have technical issues.  Long hold times might encourage abandonment.  The #250 platform recently solved a major-yet-unrealized problem for a Premiere Networks advertiser.  A timeshare exit company’s ad was working well – so well that when the spot ran and calls came pouring in, they exceeded the 15 available call center agents.  The ‘overflow’ callers then got a busy signal.  Since these callers came in via dialing #250, for the first time ever, this advertiser has visibility to how many calls they were blocking.  It was also revealed that only one in 15 of these blocked callers bothered to attempt to call the advertiser later that day or next day.  This was clearly significant lost revenue – that the advertiser never knew they were missing – since they never before had visibility to calls they never received!”  Robinett continues, “But #250 was able to implement a call saver feature to detect the busy signal, take back the call, and prompt the caller to leave their name and number for a callback.  This voice message was set up to be emailed immediately to a designated sales manager back at the advertiser.  The advertiser was extremely pleased with the proactive discovery of a way to increase revenue by the Premiere sales executive, John Buckley.  Loyalty established.  Media spend secured.”  Dave Robinett will be one of 55 industry leaders speaking at the forthcoming convention Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in NYC on Friday, June 7.  He can be reached at 816-559-0620.

2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards Issues Call for Entries. The 37th New York Festivals Radio Awards is open for entries.  Established in 1982, New York Festivals Radio Awards is an international audio awards competition in which entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. New York Festivals enlists jurists from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury.  Jurors include some of the world’s most recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry.  Building on last year’s category reorganization, the competition once again added new categories with respect to today’s robust radio industry. New categories for 2019 include: Best Audio Book – Children’s, Best Digital Esports, and Human Rights Documentary.  NYF expanded its Podcast categories to include Serialized Podcast, Companion Podcast, and Narrative/ Documentary Podcast.  NYF Radio Awards VP and executive director Rose Anderson states, “Listeners everywhere are embracing the expanded audio universe and they are clamoring for authentic storytelling experiences from direct-to-digital podcasts and documentaries, to audiobooks and esports coverage.  Our advisory board and industry leaders have been a great help as we continue to recognize innovation and excellence.”  The deadline to enter the 2019 Radio Awards competition is March 15, 2019 and you can do that here.  Winners will be honored at the annual gala in New York taking place on June 24.

TALKERS News Notes.  On Tuesday (1/8), iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Bloomberg Markets” program with Vonnie Quinn and addressed a number of radio business topics, including: iHeart’s exit from Chapter 11, the company being open to partnerships with other media companies, iHeart being ‘under-monetized’ compared to its reach, TSL and return on investment, and more.  Watch the segment here…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “The Dr. Mitch Show” to its network roster.  Dr. Mitchell Ghen hosts an interactive health talk show relying on his 38 years of experience in anti-aging, holistic, and integrative medicine to answer listeners’ health-related questions…..“Amazing Race” winner, “Big Brother” contestant, and reality star Jessica Graf launches a new podcast called, “Now What?” via PodcastOne.  Graf says, “Having a podcast for me is like having a very public diary!  And I’m really excited about that!  Up until now, I’ve really focused on staying active on Instagram, but there’s so much that goes on in life that I feel like Instagram doesn’t always provide the opportunity to share.  So now I have this brand-new podcast platform to be brutally honest on!”…..Reality TV stars Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” are jumping into the podcast world via YEA Networks.  The program, “Weekly Dose of B.S.,” is an “anything-goes, unedited, uncensored weekly podcast.”…..Cadence13 partners with “Comments by Celebs” founders Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer to produce a podcast of the same name.  The friends and recent Syracuse University grads took advantage of Instagram’s 2017 algorithm changes that make it easier to see comments by verified accounts across the platform to create the @CommentsbyCelebs account that captures the “cheeky and witty comments” celebrities post on one another’s posts. Since its inception, @CommentsbyCelebs has amassed a following of almost one million people and worldwide recognition, with media and celebrity followers including: Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Couric, John Mayer, Kelly Ripa, and Chrissy Teigen.…..WBUR, Boston announces the public media stations selected to participate in BizLab’s initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age.  The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Each participating station will work with WBUR’s BizLab for six months, “using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station.  By engaging audiences and quickly testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.”  The selected stations are: WAMU, Washington D.C.; Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL); Capital Public Radio, Sacramento; WLRN-FM, Miami; Vermont Public Radio; and WDET-FM, Detroit…..Yesterday (1/9), Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs celebrated her 10th anniversary as a talk radio show host…..Appearing on Lou Simon’s “The Diner” program on SiriusXM’s “Volume” channel (talk programming dedicated to music and the music business) recently were legendary radio personalities John Records Landecker, Shotgun Tom Kelly, and Joey Reynolds, as well as “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo.  The three jocks were together for the Radio Dream Lunch in Los Angeles and, according to Vuolo, the show was so much fun that Simon is adding guests to his program. He’s already interviewed Paul Peterson of “Donna Reed Show” fame and singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon.  You can see video of the show here.  Pictured below are Landecker (left) and Kelly (right) in the studio.

Trump’s Border Wall Address, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Ed Buck Case, Bezos Divorce, Showtime’s Roger Ailes Series, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9). Tuesday night’s presidential address on the U.S.-Mexico border wall issue and President Trump’s battle against Democrats on the matter; the ongoing government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; possible 2020 presidential candidates including Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and Kamala Harris; the case of Democratic donor Ed Buck and the recent deaths of men at his California home; Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and wife divorce amidst speculation about infidelity; the legal battles surrounding the Showtime series about late FOX News Channel chief Roger Ailes; and the NFL 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 nominees for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards presented by iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company on Thursday, March 14 live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles have been announced.  This is the sixth year of the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the 2019 telecast will feature live performances from today’s star performers, artist collaborations, celebrity guest appearances, and live award presentations in multiple categories.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “It’s no secret why this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards nominees are a Who’s Who of music.  These are the artists and the songs iHeartRadio listeners couldn’t get enough of this past year.  It’s going to be an unforgettable show.”  See the whole list here…..San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore is officially named morning drive host on Tegna Inc’s adult hits KFMB-FM “100.7 San Diego.” Cantore – who’s served with KPRI, KBZT, and XTRA-FM in the market – has been filling in hosting the morning show for several months.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Cantore has that cool, laid-back vibe that is so easy to connect with. He’s not only entertaining, but he’s an authentic guy who cares about our community.  He epitomizes all things San Diego and is an ideal ambassador for our station.  I’m thrilled to have him joining our ‘100.7 San Diego’ family!”…..iHeartMedia Sacramento announces that Paul Robins is the new afternoon drive host on KBEB “92.5 The Breeze, Sacramento’s #1 For Relaxing Favorites at Work,” effective Friday, February 1.  Robins also heads up William Jessup University’s Digital Communication and Design Bachelor of Arts degree program.  He’ll host his show from the university’s studio while giving his students the opportunity to earn hands-on training with broadcast and digital content for the station.  During his career, Robins has worked in Detroit, Dallas and Sacramento, including for 20 years as half of “The Paul and Phil Show” on KGBY “Y92.”…..Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 10-3.1” adds the Westwood One-syndicated “Rick and Sasha” program for morning drive. WWO just the launched the program starring Rick Party and Sasha the Diva into national syndication…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of programmer pro Harve Alan, who passed away on January 6.  During his career he’s served with CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC Radio Networks, NextMedia, and Metro Networks.  He also operated his own consulting firm.

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. 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. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018

| November 1, 2018

Report: Apple and iHeartMedia in Talks for Possible Investment.The report in the Financial Times indicates the talks between tech giant Apple and iHeartMedia are in the preliminary stages but sources tell the paper there are a couple of possible results from these talks.  One source indicates iHM – still wending its way through Chapter 11 reorganization – is pursuing Apple taking an equity stake in the company that could be worth “tens of millions of dollars” to help iHeart reduce its debt load. But another source tells the paper the deal could be a “multimillion-dollar marketing partnership rather than a direct investment.”  The story describes a scenario in which Apple could get its Beats 1 format on broadcast radio stations as a result of a relationship with iHeartMedia.  Neither company is responding to requests for comment from numerous media outlets.

Carton Trial Continues with Nets CEO Brett Yormark Testifying His Signature Was Forged.  It appears that at the heart of the feds’ fraud case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is who is the jury going to believe, Carton or his former partner, convicted felon Anthony Meli (Meli pleaded guilty to fraud in a separate tickets scam and is serving 6-1/2 years)?  According to coverage of the trial in Bloomberg, on the witness stand on Wednesday was Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark who testified that his signature on a contract to supply concert tickets to Carton’s firm was forged.  Carton’s attorney said Carton did not know the signature was forged and blamed Meli. The trial is expected to last a couple more weeks.

Mike Francesa’s App and WFAN Status the Focus of Multiple NYC Media Stories. A report in Bloomberg delves into the status of New York City sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s online app “Mike’s On” to determine how well the $8.99 annual subscription app is doing.  The piece notes that interest in the success of the app is amplified by Francesa’s recent kerfuffle with a New York Post reporter who suggested he’s only sold a couple hundred subscriptions.  Francesa and his rep firm Creative Artists Agency say the app is way more successful than that but aren’t disclosing hard-and-fast numbers.  They also say numbers quoted by research firms Sensor Tower and Apptopia are inaccurate.  See that piece hereNewsday also published a story that looks at the app and his status in afternoon drive on WFAN.  Remember that he returned last spring after exiting in December of 2017.  There is no deal on paper between him, Entercom’s WFAN and CAA and he says the parties are trying to work out how to share ownership of the app.  He says he’s not giving up the app and is not surprised that people are trying to put it down.  “That’s human nature.  It’s always been that.”

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Talker Jamie Allman and Emmis/Entercom Settle on Compensation Issue; Still Disagree on Right to Terminate. St. Louis talk media personality Jamie Allman’s suit against Emmis Communications and Entercom was forced into mediation by the judge and the parties have agreed to a settlement regarding payment of Allman’s earned benefits.  But that was just part of Allman’s case against Emmis (which owned KFTK-FM, St. Louis at the time of his dismissal) and Entercom (which was operating the station under an LMA).  The parties disagree on the companies’ right – as per Allman’s contract – to terminate him for conduct that could bring the radio station into disrepute. If you remember, Allman Tweeted that he was “getting ready to ram a hot poker up [Parkland shooting survivor] David Hogg’s ass.”  He lost his gig with Sinclair Broadcasting‘s KDNL-TV, St. Louis as a result and caused KFTK-FM advertisers to reconsider their campaigns.  The companies’ say in their Motion to Dismiss the breach of contract complaint, “Specifically, Allman now contends that the termination of his employment by Defendants somehow does not meet the definition of ‘cause’ in his employment agreement because another employer, a TV station, also terminated Allman for the same tweet. Merely to articulate his new theory is to demonstrate how utterly without merit it is.”  The court will now consider the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.

Marty Griffin to Return to KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh on Monday. Host of the late morning “Inside Story” program on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh – Marty Griffin – says he’ll be back on the air on Monday after completing his chemotherapy and radiation treatment for throat cancer brought on by the human papillomavirus.  Griffin was diagnosed in August and has been off the air since early September. He tells Triblive that the treatment was hard on his body but says he’s done with chemo and radiation and is now in recovery mode.  “I lost about 40 pounds.  I’m very weak, but very blessed…Lots of folks I see here at Hillman (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center) struggle to live, and I’m going to be healthy.”

Scott Shannon to Host National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. When the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on the 15th of this month in New York, WCBS-FM, New York morning personality and 2006 HoF inductee Scott Shannon will serve as emcee. Presenters at this year’s event will include: Rush Limbaugh, Bruce Morrow, a.k.a. “Cousin Brucie,” actor Alan Alda, sportscaster Jim Nantz, radio personality Jim Harper, Entercom exec Jimmy deCastro, consultant Gabe Hobbs, consultant Greg Moceri, and Jacobs Media’s Paul Jacobs.  This year’s inductees are: Jonathon Brandmeier, Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a. The Fabulous Sports Babe, Mike Francesa, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg (Mike & Mike), Joan Hamburg, Fred JacobsKid Kelly, Jim Kerr, Mark Levin and Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “Scott Shannon is the perfect person to host the 30th anniversary of the National Radio Hall of Fame induction in New York City.  And with the support and presence of this years’ presenters, and of course our inductees, this is going to be a most memorable evening for all.”

Jansen Named VP of Sales for iHM Twin Cities. Sales pro Dave Jansen is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Twin Cities station group that includes news/talk KTLK-AM, sports talk KFXN-FM “The Fan,” and four music-formatted signals.   The cluster also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan/Trump Ad, Birthright Citizenship Issue, Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings Aftermath, Mail ‘Bombs’ Case, Indonesian Jet Crash, Whitey Bulger Killed in Prison, Megyn Kelly NBC Exit, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31). The November 6 midterm elections and President Trump’s campaigning; the caravan of Honduran migrants and Trump’s illegal immigrant cop killer ad; President Trump’s claim he can eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive signing; the aftermath of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail “bomber” Cesar Sayoc; the crash of Lion Air’s brand-new Boeing 737 in Indonesia; Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is murdered in prison; Megyn Kelly’s messy exit from NBC; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Kimmi Couture is named midday host at Entercom’s hip hop KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102.1.”  She moves into that role from her most recent position as a contributor to the morning show. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz states, “Kimmi first showed us her star power on social media and we knew she would be a great addition to the’ Q102.1’ team.  We are confident she will build a strong rapport with her listeners and we are really excited to elevate her to a more high-profile spot on the station.”…..Austin, Texas has a new throwback station as Entercom launches “HOT 95.9” on KKMJ-HD3/K240EL.  The station will feature “curated throwback hits” from the 1990s and 2000s from core artists including: Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys…..As WKTI, Milwaukee drops country for sports talk with the transfer of ownership from E.W. Scripps to Good Karma BrandsMagnum Media is flipping its WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin to country as “VTY Country.”…..Entercom debuts the LGBTQ-targeted “Channel Q,” formerly known as “Out Now,” on KQPS-FM, Palm Springs.  That station flips from AC and changes the calls from the former KEZN.  The new station will provide the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music…..Alpha Media flips KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota from CHR to hot AC as “Mix 99.1.”  Content director Brad Steele says, “This new sound of ‘Mix 99.1’ is what the listeners demanded!  We are always listening to our fans.  What they said they wanted was less repetition while adding more music and content.”…..Pictured below are WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts morning personalities “Bax & O’Brien” – Mike “Bax” Baxendale at left, John O’Brien at right – at their October 26 “Bax & O’Brien LIVE” event. The duo tells TALKERS magazine that the show was a sellout for the sixth straight year, packing in almost 500 fans to see them, comedian Pat Oates and New England-based guitar legend Gary Hoey.

October 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – After finishing in fifth-place the past four months, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” proceeds to fourth-place by recapturing the one-tenth it lost in September (5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). KXL was up six-tenths in April and then off a combined one-half share in May and June. By gaining three-tenths (1.9 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX not only progresses from #20 to #18, “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” has its best 6+-showing (2.2) in more than two years (2.2, as well, in August 2016). The March 2018 – October 2018 topline trending for Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .7 – 1.0 – .8 – .9 (#26 to #23, 6+). A collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” surrenders two-thirds of that increase (1.7, -.6, 6+) and drops from #18 to #20. Just prior to August, “The Fan” posted six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). Repeating at #22, Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” logs a 1.4 (6+) for the fourth time in the last ten sweeps (1.4 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is flat in both (6+) AQH-share (.5) and (6+) market rank (#28). In addition to being without a loss for the third time in a row for a collective gain of eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9, 6+), KOPB is back at #1. The Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet had been on top from January to August (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October).

Portland Music Formats – More than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-share in three straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” swims all the way into the top ten (#16 to #8). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Down or flat four straight months for a collective loss of four-tenths (7.3 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH erases that deficit with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+) and continues in third-place. Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (4.2, #11 to #7, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (3.0, #17 to #14, 6+). As a result, “Charlie” and “The Bull” halt similar three successive month losing streaks: Charlie had been -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and below a four-share for the first time since April 2016’s 3.9, while “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is up or flat in four successive ratings periods for an overall +1.6  (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+) – including its best 6+-stat (8.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9 – “K-103” segues from first to second. KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). A combined +1.4 in August and September (4.4 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” relinquishes that gain in its entirety (4.4, -1.4, 6+) and slips from fourth to sixth. Prior to August, KINK last reached the five-share level (6+) in February (5.0). Off a collective nine-tenths in three straight decreases (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share as well in October is Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix,” which is -1.0 in four successive slips (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #16, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned KGON is a collective -.9 in three decreases in a row (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), yet “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops from #14 to #17.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A positive spike of nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) takes WBT to its highest 6+-share (3.8, (#15 to #12) since February’s 4.3. The Entercom news/talk outlet entered the October sweep with a May – September (6+) topline of 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it halted three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). In three straight gains (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (steady at #19) more than doubles (+.7) its 6+ share. This particular streak follows four straight down or flat moves that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+). A combined -1.6 in four downward trends in succession (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE continues at #17. Up one-half share in June, “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” had a consistent January – May topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). Erasing September’s -.1 with a +.2 in October (.6 – .5 – .7, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC carries on at #20.

Charlotte Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth straight month netting an overall +2.3 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” advances from fifth to third. This (6.4) is the strongest 6+-share for “The Lake” since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.5. The market’s (6+) CHR share bloats by +1.1 as Beasley Media Group’s WNKS “Kiss 95.1” gains six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+) to crack the top ten (#11 to #9), while iHeartMedia-owned WHQC “Channel 96.1” – which logged a +.8 in September – improves by one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and also enters the top ten (#12 to #10). The country format boasts Charlotte’s top two October 2018 finishers with Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5, -.2, 6+) repeating at #1 and iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” climbing from third to second. October’s decrease by WSOC pulls the plug on four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Meanwhile, “The Kat” is an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). WKKT was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+) and then gained two-tenths in July. As the result of three slips in succession (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is -1.8 and falls from second to fourth. “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” finishes in eighth-place. Following five consecutive increases for an overall +.9 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), “Power 98” is off by one-tenth in September and October (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). The five most recent trends for iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX were 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.4 (6+), but “The Fox” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (fourth to fifth), its lowest 6+-showing since April (5.9, as well). Dropping by one-half share in October as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (#13 to #15), which is a collective -1.4 in four straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Up one full-share as a result of three improvements in succession (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” progresses from ninth to eighth with its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). The July 2018 – October 2018 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#22 to #21) is 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+). KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Stuck on .7 (6+) in August and September, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops one-tenth to .6 (#27 to #29, 6+). After posting a +.4 in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is unchanged from September in (6+) AQH share (3.4) and (6+) AQH rank (#12). A July loss of seven-tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Bouncing back from September’s one-half share decline, Alpha Media’s KTFM posts a +.7 (2.3 – 3.0, 6+) and jumps from #19 to #16. Prior to September’s -.5, “Energy 94.1” was +.7 via three straight increases (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which picks up one-tenth (to 3.0, 6+), thus suspending five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). That followed four straight increases for a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+). By gaining six-tenths (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” cracks the top ten (#15 to #10) and has its best 6+-performance (3.8) since February’s 4.0. An overall +1.0 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” remains at #7. While its classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM is #1 for the tenth successive sweep, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” falters by one-half share to 8.3 (6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that generated a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, it reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. When KONO-FM logged a +.4 in June, it ended three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). The game of musical chairs between the market’s two country FMs continues as KONO-FM cluster-mate KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” picks up one-tenth (6.0 – 6.1, 6+) moving from third to second, while iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), falling from second to fourth. September’s loss of eight-tenths by “Y-100” curtailed three straight gains that netted +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, it reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, the +2.7 that “KJ-97” racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Off three-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #15, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1” has its consecutive string of up or flat reports that accounted for a +.6 stall at four (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 4.6 (6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. A June uptick of two-tenths interrupted four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Bouncing back from September’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths (6.1 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” advances from fifth to fourth. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Flat at .2 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has notched either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 18 ratings periods. Essential Public Media news/talk WESA is a cumulative +1.4 via three straight upticks (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+) as “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bumps up from #13 to #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Adding seven-tenths to September’s +.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” inches up from sixth to fifth with its best 6+showing (6.3) since April’s 6.6. Classical WQED is up one-half share (1.2 – 1.7, 6+) and moves from #15 to #14. Faltering by seven-tenths (10.2 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is nonetheless on top for the 20th consecutive ratings period. Co-owned rocker WDVE, which was off eight-tenths in August, duplicates September’s +.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the tenth successive sweep. No sooner had WKST hauled out a +1.1 in September than “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits it all in October (6.7 – 5.6, -1.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to September, the iHeartMedia CHR was a collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+). After being unlisted the past three  months, these five Forever Media stations reappear in October: classic country WLYI (1.7, #14, 6+); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.6, #16, 6+); country WOGG (1.6, #16, 6+); country WOGI (.9, #20, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.6, #26, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Having not posted an increase for eight straight reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” busts out a +1.4 to 7.0 (third to second, 6+). KFBK was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; first in January 2018; second in February; tied for first in March; second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August and September. In two-share range in each of the last 13 sweeps, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” gains four-tenths to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+). In three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8), but “ESPN Radio 1320” adds a collective seven-tenths in September and October (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #19). It is two-tenths ahead of Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and is in a four-way tie at #21. Steady at #4, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ is without a loss for the third straight time and up a collective eight-tenths (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+). After three straight up or flat trends that produced a net gain of four-tenths (.3 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI dropped two-tenths in September to .5, but regains one-tenth in October (.7 – .5 – .6, #27 to #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, second to third, 6+) takes Bonneville adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” to its largest 6+-stat since February (6.6, as well). Despite dropping one-half share (9.7 – 9.2, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the ninth successive sweep. “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; -.9 in July; +.6 in September; and now -.5 in October. For the 12th consecutive sweep, Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (-.4, #13 to #14) is within 2.2 – 2.9 range: 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.3 (6+). Once again, there are no big month-to-month shifts in the market’s country contest. Remaining at #8, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is up one-tenth to 4.3 (6+); iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” regains the two-tenths it lost in September (2.3, #17 to #14, 6+); and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is off two-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but stays at #16. “New Country” was a combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+); “The Bull” was -1.3 in that same timeframe (3.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+); and the July-August-September topline for “The Wolf” was 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 (6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” becomes the first station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far to register a (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of at least two full-shares (4.8 – 7.2, +2.4, 6+). Over and above having its highest 6+-share (7.2) since April’s 8.1, KSL vaults from sixth to first. In fact, this marks the first time KSL has been at #1 since April. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Powered by a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” jumps from tenth to seventh with its loftiest 6+-showing (4.7) since March 2017’s 5.6. Its +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). There is no (6+) change from September for Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” in terms of (6+) AQH share (1.8) or (6+) AQH rank (#21). Prior to the August ratings period, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). After four successive sweeps without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER falters by a collective eight-tenths in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, #14 to #15, 6+). It previously was an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuted in September with a .9 (6+) but is off six-tenths in October to .3 (#26 to #27, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to September’s gain of nine-tenths (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). In the PPM-era, this is perhaps the closest KBEE has ever come to its adult contemporary rival, Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” (6.2 – 5.6, -.6, second to third, 6+). KSFI was -2.3 in four successive March through July down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with July’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. “FM 100.3” was on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). With a +.6 to 2.6 (#20 to #17, 6+), Brigham Young University classical KBYU concludes a string of three consecutive slips that resulted in a -1.0 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). After taking sole possession of first-place in September, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (6.7 – 5.6, 6+) and shifts to third-place. KODJ – which shared the #1 slot in August – was #1 this past June and July, as well. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). Up eight-tenths in September, hot AC sibling KJMY falters by seven-tenths in October (4.7 – 4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+). A one-tenth decline in August by “MY-99.5” ended at three a consecutive string of increases that generated a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). Dropping seven-tenths as well is Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” (2.8, #13 to #14, 6+), whose consecutive string of increases that produced a collective +1.1 is halted at five (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). After posting three straight sweeps without a loss for a collective +.9 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC  KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” forfeits four-tenths to 5.3 (fourth to sixth, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in September (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT  remains at #20. Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840”had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). The March – October topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 (flat at #24, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+). A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is now up a cumulative four-tenths July-August-September-October (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9, #25 to #26, 6+). An overall +1.2 via five consecutive improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR progresses from #13 to #11. A cumulative -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” repeat at #1, it solidifies its lead by tacking on nine-tenths to September’s +1.2 (6.3 – 7.5 – 8.4, 6+). This (8.4) is the highest 6+-share for “Sunny,” which spiraled by -1.3 in August, since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. KSNE has been on top this calendar year in March, May, June, July, September, and October. Bouncing back from September’s one-half share decrease (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) with an October gain of seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” jumps from #16 to #11. Logging an improvement of seven-tenths as well is Entravision’s KRRN “La Suavecita 107.1” (.9 – 1.6, #21, 6+). After spiraling by nine-tenths in September, Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” responds with a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is back in the top twenty (#22 to #17). Entering the September sweep, KOMP had been within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous six survey periods (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+). By notching a one-half share increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Faith Communications’ contemporary Christian KSOS not only enters the top ten (#11 to #10), “SOS Radio” has its highest 6+-stat (3.8) since January’s 3.9. Seven doesn’t prove to be lucky in October for three Las Vegas outlets as Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (5.1, flat at #4, 6+); Entercom CHR KLUC “98.5 Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.8 – 4.1, sixth to eighth, 6+); and Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “103.5 Zona Mx” (#17 to #21, 6+) all sputter by seven-tenths. “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 in five consecutive upticks (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “Zona Mx” is now -1.2 in three negative moves in succession (2.8 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.6, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from September’s -1.4 with a robust +1.7 (9.1 – 10.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW sets the pace for the fifth consecutive sweep. Immediately prior to September, WLW was an overall +2.8 in three straight increases (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+). This is WLW’s highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016). Some recent fluctuations this calendar year for WLW include: a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); and now +1.7 (October). Wiping out three-quarters of September’s -.4 with a +.3 (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” bumps up from tenth to ninth. WKRC was a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), with July’s increase stopping four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” trots out a +.5 (.9 – 1.4, 6+) and advances from #19 to #17 with its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well). Locked in August and September on 3.5 (its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU drops two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and remains at #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Despite posting a one-tenth increase (9.1 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” relinquishes its half of September’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talker WLW and drops to the runner-up slot. Following four straight sweeps without an increase for a net loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 5.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Owing to a +.6 (8.3 – 8.9, steady at #3, 6+), Hubbard’s country WUBE “B-105” registers its finest 6+-stat in more than two years (8.9, as well in August 2016). Hot AC sibling WKRQ is a collective -1.3 in September and October (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+), but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues in fourth-place. Up an overall +1.1 in August and September (4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” relinquishes approximately half that bounty in October with a -.6 (4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Frozen on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, “Mix” was off eight-tenths in July, with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. In six straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS is -1.5; “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). A September gain of eight-tenths by co-owned WEBN nearly erased its -.9 in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+). “Cincinnati’s Rock Station,” however, sputters by one-half share in October to 4.3 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies is unlisted for the second month in a row.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being +1.8 in four consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1, 6+),  Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). It leapfrogs iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want,” which is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). As the result of four successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is a collective +1.2 and has nearly doubled its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, steady at #15, 6+). Following seven successive up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” surrenders two-tenths to 1.1 (#18 to #20, 6+). It is tied at #20 with Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando,” which is flat at 1.1 (6+). On the heels of September’s +.5, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” forfeits seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) but continues at #12.

Orlando Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB an overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B” leaps from sixth to third.  Logging a one-half share October improvement as well is JVC Media’s WOTW “103.1 The Wolf – New Country & All Time Favorites” (1.0 – 1.5, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in April, “The Wolf” is trending 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.5 (6+). There is a tie at #1 between two iHeartMedia siblings. While Spanish tropical WRUM extends its time at #1 to the tenth month in a row, “Rumba 100” is an overall -3.5 in three slips in a row (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Catching WRUM at the top is co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.7 – 8.1, +.4, second to first, 6+). A one-half share September increase halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, WXXL was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). Returning one-third of the +2.1 it racked up via three straight upticks (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” shifts from third to fourth (6.4, -.7, 6+). A collective +1.0 – or nearly double its 6+-share – in seven sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WTKS-HD2 coughs up 60% of that increase (1.5, -.6, #15 to #17, 6+). Erasing September’s +.4 with an October -.5 (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” dips from fifth to sixth.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” answers with a +.8 to 6.8 (#8 to a four-way tie at #3, 6+). A loss of one-tenth in June interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). Repeating at #9, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is +1.7 in four successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Cleveland’s “Fan” was a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN returns 80% of September’s +.5 (3.2 – 2.8, -.4, 6+) but continues at #13; September’s 3.2 is its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.6.

Cleveland Music Formats – In five straight down or flat trends between March and August, WZAK lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). The Radio One urban AC bounces back in September and October though with a collective +1.5 (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5, fifth to second, 6+). WZAK reached the top spot in December 2017, but fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. It is just three-tenths behind iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the fifth consecutive sweep but erodes in October by -1.5 (9.3 – 7.8, 6+). That loss brings to a halt four straight improvements that – ironically – generated an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+), Eleven recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); +.6 (September); and -1.5 (October). When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” falters by six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, 6+) to stumble from fifth to eighth, while CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains at #12.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, 6+) KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” progresses from ninth to sixth. When the Entercom news/talk outlet notched a +.7 in August, it halted five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” advances by four-tenths as well (2.2 – 2.6, 6+), climbing from #19 to #18. While it remains at #23, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three down or flat reports that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). Not only does Union Broadcasting’s WHB double (+2.0) its 6+-share in five straight increases (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), “Sports Radio 810” vaults into the top ten (#16 to #10). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and now +1.2 in October. This is its highest 6+-share March (4.0, as well). Up four-tenths (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” inches up from #15 to #14. KCSP more than doubled its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+). Returning the three-tenths it gained in September (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR falls from #12 to #15.

Kansas City Music Formats – There is apparently no stopping Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which is #1 for the fifth month in a row and an overall +2.6 in five straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6, 6+). Furthermore, this is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since December 2017 (9.6, as well). By posting a one-half share increase (3.2 – 3.7, steady at #13, 6+), CHR cluster-mate KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” has its best 6+-showing (3.7) since November 2017’s 3.9. Unchanged at #3, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a cumulative +2.0 via three upticks in a row (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) before dropping seven-tenths in July. No sooner had Steel City Media’s KBEQ gained six-tenths in September than “Q-104 New Hit Country” erodes by twice that much in October (5.6 – 4.4, -1.2, fifth to ninth, 6+). “Q-104” was off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+), after being up or flat in seven straight December 2017 through June 2018 sweeps for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” (sixth to eighth) is a combined -1.7 in September and October (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). KFKF improved by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+). When “Country 94.1” posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down or flat for the sixth straight time for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but continues at #10. Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.7 in seven successive March through October declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May. Declining by one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point,” a collective -.8 in four straight down or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, #10 to #12, 6+) and alternative sibling KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #17, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to October’s +.6 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” shakes up its extremely steady March – September topline of 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.5 (6+). Seventh-ranked in January with a 4.4 (6+), RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” stopped subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM survey.  The station reappears in a huge way by trotting out a +1.1 (5.6 – 6.7, #4, 6+). Returning September’s +.2 (.9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” drops from #14 to #16. After being without a loss for three months in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU plummets -1.1 to 3.5 (seventh to ninth, 6+). Whereas September 2018’s 4.6 is its strongest 6+-stat since 4.7 in August 2017, October 2018’s 3.5 is its softest since October 2017’s 3.4.

Columbus Music Formats – A cumulative +.9 in three up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Displaying gains of six-tenths each are One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River,” which bounces back from September’s loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, steady at #8, 6+) and Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” (6.5 – 7.1, unchanged at #3, 6+). Similar to the situation with “The River,” WLVQ’s hot AC cluster-mate – WVMX “Mix 107.9” – answers September’s -.6 (3.3 – 2.7, 6+) with a one-half share increase (3.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters by one-half share (15.0 – 14.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the tenth consecutive sweep and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. When WCOL eroded by -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); and -.5 (October). Holding down the runner-up slot for the tenth sweep in succession is WCOL’s CHR sibling WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (9.4 – 7.8, -1.6, 6+), although this is its weakest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (7.8, as well). WNCI was +1.3 in June; a collective -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+); +.5 in September; and -1.6 in October. Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” falters by an overall -1.4 in September and October (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

| October 9, 2018

ESPN’s WMVP, Chicago to Celebrate 20 Years as Sports Talker. Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP “ESPN1000” is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a sports talk radio station this Friday (10/12), dubbed “Fanniversary.”  The station will broadcast live from Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville, including the ESPN Radio morning show “Golic & Wingo,” plus “Kap & Co,” “Carmen & Jurko,” and “Waddle & Silvy.”  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says, “ESPN 1000 has provided Chicago sports fans with an outlet for listening to, sharing and experiencing every top Chicago sports story for the past twenty years.  We gave them a front-row seat during championship runs by the Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox, and Bulls and we introduced them to new voices who would become part of their daily routine.  It’s a great source of pride knowing the role we play in keeping Chicago sports fans informed and entertained.”

Marty Griffin’s Return to KDKA-AM Postponed by Fall.  Late morning talk show host Marty Griffin did not return to the air on Monday as many of his listeners had hoped. The KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh host has been battling throat cancer brought about by the HP virus and has been off the air recently while undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. Griffin posted a video from his hospital bed at UPMC Cancer Center explaining that he blacked out early Monday and hit his head, though assuring his listeners he did not suffer a stroke. Griffin was diagnosed back in August and is keeping listeners posted on his treatment and progress via his blog here.

Elvis Duran Invites Radio Biz to This Year’s ‘Carney Awards.’ This is the fourth year Premiere Networks and “Z100” New York personality Elvis Duran has been serving as executive producer of “The Carney Awards” – named after Art Carney and dedicated to honoring exemplary character actors – and this time Duran is inviting all of his radio industry friends to attend the star-studded event.  It takes place October 28 at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California.  This year’s class of honorees include: Joe MortonJessica Walter, Joe Pantoliano, M. Emmet Walsh, James Cromwell, and Bruce Greenwood.  Comedian Patton Oswalt hosts the evening’s program. Red carpet begins at 3:00 pm and the televised show begins promptly at 5:00 pm with a cocktail reception following. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.  RSVP to david@elvisdurangroup.com or amir@foresterpublicrelations.com. The Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother Jim Katz, an Emmy Award winning producer, and Brian Carney, actor/voice-over artist and Art’s son.  The Carney Awards is a joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures.  Elvis Duran, the Katz brothers and Carney are executive producers.

TALKERS News Notes. WHP, Harrisburg afternoon talk show host Ken Matthews will be attending the opening of the new film, First Man, at the local Regal Cinemas to hand out “moon flags” to moviegoers this Friday (10/12) at 7:00 pm.  Matthews says that, as many people are aware, the film reportedly does not show Neil Armstrong – played by Ryan Gosling – planting the U.S. flag on the moon.  Matthews will tell moviegoers, “By holding your “moon flag” up to the screen at that moment, you can get the exact effect.  You may keep your moon flag and hold it up to the sky as you gaze at the moon for years to come.  One moon flag per American citizen at the event.”…..In Washington, DC, Hubbard Radio’s FederalNewsRadio.com and WFED-AM is changing its name to Federal News Network, a move aimed at highlighting its many distribution platforms and channels that include on-air, online, podcasts, video, and more.  Federal News Network editor-in-chief Lisa Wolfe says, “Our reporters, editors, radio hosts, and producers will continue to find and share the most important news of the day across all platforms, making Federal News Network a great meeting place for thought-leaders to have conversations, share ideas, and discuss topics meaningful to the federal workforce.”….The nationally syndicated financial talk radio show “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate station WSAU, Wausau, Wisconsin to its roster of affiliates.

Kavanaugh Confirmation Aftermath, November Midterms, Columbus Day-Indigenous Persons Day, Deadly New York Limo Crash, Clintons Speaking Tour, Tracking Hurricane Michael, Weekend’s NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/8).  The response to the Senate’s confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; the coming November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control congress; the Columbus Day versus Indigenous Persons Day debate; the upstate New York limo crash that killed 20; Bill and Hillary Clinton to embark on a joint speaking tour; the potential strength and path of Hurricane Michael; the weekend’s NFL action; and the MLB 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. For air during Veterans Day weekend (Saturday through Monday 11/10-12) Westwood One is making available the annual Kix Brooks program “A Salute to Our Military Veterans.”  The host of Westwood One’s “American Country Countdown” rallies his long list of friends to join him for this musical salute, including Tim McGraw, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Sam HuntCole Swindell, and more.  These country superstars talk about their appreciation for the nation’s military and Kix Brooks plays the most popular songs that capture America’s patriotic spirit…..iHeartMedia is announcing the lineups at the numerous “Jingle Ball” concerts taking place in cities across the country.  The list of performers playing at the concerts varies from city to city but many will include: Cardi B., Shawn Mendes, Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Alessia Cara, Bebe Rexha, Bazzi, NF, G-Eazy, and Sabrina Carpenter.

Monday, October 8, 2018

| October 8, 2018

KQED Names Blakley Executive Director/Radio Programming. Four-year Minnesota Public Radio program director Jonathan Blakley is appointed executive director of radio programming for Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, San Francisco. The Western Michigan University graduate previously was a senior producer and editor at NPR and launched all-news on WKZO, Kalamazoo. He has also worked for all-news WWJ, Detroit and the Associated Press. In other station news, KQED promotes executive director of news Holly Kernan to chief content officer. She will now oversee news, arts, science, and education for radio and TV programming. Kerman joined the station in 2014 from San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW, where she was news and public affairs director. Meanwhile, managing editor Ethan Lindsey succeeds Kernan as executive director of news. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 report for San Francisco, KQED is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In San Jose, KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. It finished first in that Bay Area market between January and June.

Harrison:  Neither Side is as Bad as Political Opponents ClaimTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, described by TV anchor/moderator/commentator Carol Costello as “the voice of reason” appeared today as a panelist on CNN’s Headline News channel (HLN) to discuss the impact of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation on the coming mid-term elections.  He joined other panelists Republican Scott Jennings and Democrat Nomiki Konst.  Jennings supported the President’s assertion that the Democrats and Liberals have become an unruly mob unfit to govern.  Konst expressed the opposite view that working people have never faced the level of economic inequality that presently exists and that the Kavanaugh addition to the Supreme Court feeds into the “women are doomed” scenario.  When asked by Costello if we as a nation are “going to remain as divided  – men versus women, Democrat versus Republican – as we are now permanently forever more?” Harrison replied by saying “Hopefully not permanently.  Let’s hope it ebbs and flows as it has through history.  Both sides are extremely energized.  The coming mid-term election promises to be as exciting, if not more, than a presidential election.  But we can’t tell which side will feel that way in a few weeks on Election Day when it will be decided by voter turn-out. From a media standpoint, which is the lens through which I view this, even though both sides in ‘biased media’ express righteous indignation – and there is extreme bias on both sides in the media  – both sides are loving this because this is a golden era for media that plays the news for the American public viewing it as a spectator sport.  The demonization of the ‘other side’ is just that – excessive hyperbolic demonization.  Nothing is going to be so terrible no matter how it plays out.  Women are not doomed and the Democrats are not a mob.  And if for some reason Trump loses his majority in Congress, he’ll work that to his advantage as well.  It’ll be his excuse for not fulfilling all his campaign promises to his base.”

One Putt Lands O’Rorke as VP/GM. Ten-year Lotus Broadcasting Fresno market manager Kevin O’Rorke joins cross-town One Putt Broadcasting as vice president and general manager, succeeding Josh Riley. One Putt partner John Ostlund comments, “We are excited to have Kevin on our team. His passion for radio, [as well as his] experience with many of our clients and involvement in non-profit organizations, makes him a great fit.” Another One Putt partner – Chris Pacheco – notes, “I have known and worked with Kevin many times over the years – he brings tremendous experience to our team.” California State University-Fullerton alum O’Rorke adds, “Radio is an exciting industry, but locally-owned radio with the kind of community focus that Chris and John have demonstrated over the years is very unique. I am looking forward to getting started and making a difference.” One Putt’s Fresno cluster includes sports talk KFIG “940 ESPN Radio”; KFRR “New Rock 104.1”; classic rock KJFX “95.7 The Fox”; triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5”; CHR KWDO “99.3 Now FM”; and classic hits-oldies KYNO-AM.

Daniel Joins Fresno’s KVPR and Bakersfield’s KPRX As News Director. News/talk KQED, San Francisco reporter Alice Daniel is appointed news director of similarly-formatted KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield. Valley Public Radio interim president Joe Moore comments, “Alice is a talented reporter and educator, who always finds a way to bring out something special or unexpected in her stories. Six years ago, we didn’t have any local reporters at the station; now, we have three. Our work is increasingly being recognized with awards at the regional and national level.” Daniel remarks, “I am excited by the prospect of working with other reporters to cover this diverse and story-rich region in a way that makes a difference for the community at large. I love the creative process of figuring out the best way to tell a compelling story. There is nothing I love more in journalism than finding that gem of a story that no one else has unearthed.” In addition to contributing to Success Magazine, Daniel – who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University – has taught journalism for 17 years at Fresno State University.

TALKERS News Notes.  In a presentation to be made this coming Saturday (10/13), Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk KSFO morning host (5:00 am – 9:00 am) Brian Sussman will receive the Don Sherwood Award from the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. The listener-voted honor recognizes the Bay Area’s favorite news/talk radio broadcaster for 2018. Sussman replaced Lee Rodgers in morning drive on KSFO in February 2010 ….. Beginning this Thursday (10/11), The New York Times debuts “The Argument,” a weekly opinion podcast hosted by three of the paper’s op-ed columnists – David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat, and Michelle Goldberg ….. As reported by the St. Louis Dispatch, “Real Housewife of Orange County” Meghan King Edmonds will appear with “Meghan’s Must Haves” every week on the Sunday morning edition of Rick & Tracey Ellis’ show on Entercom St. Louis news/talk KFTK “FM Newstalk 97.1.” The segment starts this Sunday (10/14). Edmonds is the wife of former St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels outfielder/current Fox Sports Midwest analyst Jim Edmonds ….. The former six-year general manager of Tri-States Public Radio and an adjunct instructor at Western Illinois UniversityJonathan Ahl, will be a Rolla, Missouri-based reporter for University of Missouri-St. Louis news/talk KWMU. Ahl previously was news director and reporter at Iowa Public Radio ….. KTTC-TV, Austin (Minnesota) multimedia journalist James Bunner has been fired for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Trump’s appearance last Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota. KTTC news director Noel Sederstrom said Bunner was let go for wearing campaign gear while covering the political event – not because of his personal politics. Sederstrom told BuzzFeed News, “[Bunner] violated our policy so he’s no longer with us. We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.” On the day of Trump’s inauguration, Bunner posted a video of himself on Facebook dancing to “Celebration” (Kool & The Gang). KTTC removed Bunner’s online profile from its website last Friday …..  Listeners will be able to use touch and voice to tune into live iHeartRadio radio stations on Portal and Portal+ – Facebook’s home video communications devices. The Portal comes with a variety of features such as AI-powered video cameras, smart sound technology, and crystal-clear audio. Powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice control system, the video chat devices were introduced today (10/8).

Richard Neer Pens Sixth Murder Mystery Book.  Longtime TALKERS columnist Richard Neer, a 30-year sports talk veteran at WFAN, New York and former WNEW-FM, New York radio great, has released his sixth Riley King murder mystery, An American Storm (Amazon Digital Services, 2018). This one has a strong radio sub-plot as King’s cohort Rick Stone deals with a career crisis after moving from making big dollars at a large market station to a small labor-of-love outlet, attempting to create a free form talk and music format. He is frustrated by a dearth of callers and the aging demo. Neer is well-known for his landmark radio non-fiction FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and is developing a large following as a writer of the mystery fiction genre. He can be reached for interviews at novelistcafe@windstream.net. The new book is available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Kavanaugh Confirmation and Ensuing Protests Across the Nation Top the List of Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio Over the Weekend.  The U.S. Senate Confirmation and Swearing-in of controversial Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the protests that took place during and after the vote topped the list of stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend.  These stories were followed by the US-China trade war; November midterm elections and the battle for control of Congress; the new USMCA deal; the disappearance of the head of Interpol after traveling to China; NFL action during week number five and the MLB divisional playoffs which were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Welsh, Porreca Join JAM Media Solutions. East Orange, New Jersey-based JAM Media Solutions names Donovan Welsh executive vice president of sales and Kerry Porreca executive vice president of finance. JAM Media Solutions closed on its media properties last Wednesday (10/3). They take over eight media properties in Outer Banks, North Carolina and Muscatine, Iowa. The Outer Banks properties include WCMS “Water Country”; hot AC WCXL “Beach 104”; WVOD “99.1 The Sound – The Outer Banks’ Alternative”; WZPR “Classic Rock 92.3”; and “The Outer Banks Voice.” The Muscatine properties include classic rock KMCS “Vintage Sound 93.1”; KWPC “The Voice of Muscatine; and “The Voice of Muscatine.” JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. remarks, “In the early years of my career in New York, I worked with Mr. Welsh and am honored that he has decided to join JAM Media to oversee our sales efforts. Mrs. Porreca is a veteran finance executive and has extensive knowledge of the Outer Banks. She is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our goal of giving back to the communities we seek to serve. I am humbled to step into the next phase of our collective journey. Our goal is to deliver a first-rate experience for the communities we serve. We love our radio local and our listeners will come to know that for themselves.” Most recently, Welsh was sales manager of Entercom New York sports talk WFAN. Porreca has spent the majority of her professional career in the manufacturing and advertising areas.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Additions at Entercom Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” find DJ Vice hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix” weekdays from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Krystal Bee joining the station’s weekend lineup. According to Entercom Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Jeff Federman, “DJ Vice and Krystal Bee have been household names in the Southern California radio and music scene for more than 25 years collectively. We look forward to them delivering a fresh listening experience for fans.” DJ Vice remarks, “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family. This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal Bee notes that, “[KAMP] has a vision for radio that is so exciting. I have loved working with the team and I am excited about everything the future holds for me, the station, and our amazing listeners.” In 2011, DJ Vice was named one of “America’s Best DJs” by DJ Times. Prior to joining Entercom, Krystal Bee held on-air roles for cross-town rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” since 2011 ….. Following last week’s departure of brand manager/program director Ron Valeri, Entercom Boston-owned WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” names Joe Galgaro, PD of Saga Communications Milwaukee’s WHQG “102.9 The Hog,” as Valeri’s replacement ….. Most recently doing mid-days for Beasley Media Group Tampa’s WQYK “99.5 New Country Hits,” June Knight joins Entercom Miami’s similarly-formatted WKIS “Country 99.5” as morning drive co-host, where she will pair with assistant program director/music director Tim “TC” Conlon as “TC & June. Knight previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and WODS …  As we reported last week, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for the Cumulus Radio Station Group, continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as PD for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Associated with that move, Cumulus Media vice president/contemporary programming (CHR and hot AC) Cat Thomas departs. Thomas joined Cumulus Media nearly three years ago, after a 27-year career with CBS Radio Las Vegas where he was vice president/programming. For approximately 20 years, he programmed that company’s Las Vegas CHR, KLUC ….. Morning co-host Brian Fowler exits WGAR. He joined “Country 99.5.” in 2011 to team with LeeAnn Sommers, who remains with the iHeartMedia Cleveland outlet ….. Next year’s iHeartRadio “ALTer Ego” officially sold out on the first day on sale. The second annual music event, which will broadcast live (1/19/2019) across over 70 iHeartRadio alternative and rock stations, reportedly sold out in less than a minute of being on sale to the general public. The “ALTer Ego” lineup at Los Angeles’ Fabulous Forum includes The Killers, Weezer, Rise Against, Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists. Chief programming officer for iHeartMedia Tom Poleman notes, “It was remarkable to watch how fast tickets sold out. All tickets immediately went the moment we made them available. It speaks to the power of the lineup and how fast the ALTer Ego brand has grown in just two years.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia president/national sales, marketing & partnerships Tim Castelli comments, “The lineup is incredible and reaches the millennial trend leaders who make up the mega-event’s core audience. Given such an amazing response, we are expecting this to break social chatter records like we have done with our lineup on our other iHeart marquee events” ….. Former WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM,” Peoria (Illinois) program director Jonathan Steele is named to a similar position at Martz Communications Pittsburgh urban contemporary WAMO …..Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and congressional hopeful Jim Cooper have picked up a big-name endorsement – Taylor Swift. The singer usually doesn’t express her political beliefs but notes on Instagram, “Due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.” Bredesen and Cooper are Democrats ….. At the box office, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” remake took in $41.3 million. According to comScore, with $174.5 million in tickets sold at United States and Canadian theaters, it was easily the best October weekend ever…. Starting today (10/8), iHeartMedia Columbus CHR WNCI-originated “Dave (Kaelin) & Jimmy (Jam)” will air (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix” 94.1.” WHBC-FM operations manager Bo Matthews comments, “Dave & Jimmy are Ohio guys [who] celebrate the region with their content. They experience all the pain that comes with being Cleveland sports fans. I am super excited for the show they will be providing us every weekday morning.” According to Jimmy Jam, “Canton is my hometown so I have about 200 relatives [who] will be listening every day.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff 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. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Down 1.8%. The 2018 second quarter financial report from Cumulus Media Inc. comes a bit late – the company had let the SEC know its first post-bankruptcy report would be tardy.  Net revenue for Cumulus (reflecting the combined results of the Successor and Predecessor Companies in connection with the emergence from Chapter 11) for the second quarter was $285.2 million, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago.  For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Cumulus reported net revenue of $548.9 million, down 1.0% from the first six months of 2017.  Cumulus reports in two segments: the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The radio station group reported net revenue of $203 million – down 2.5% from a year ago, and Westwood One’s net revenue was $81.2 million – up 0.1%. President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In the second quarter, we emerged from Chapter 11 with new and supportive ownership, a billion dollars less debt and results that demonstrate our operational and financial momentum, despite industry challenges and the distractions posed by our Chapter 11 proceedings.  Normalizing those results for $4.8 million of write-offs related to United States Traffic Network’s well-publicized financial problems, our Adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter by 5.5%.  Looking forward, we are excited about the potential of our digital products, improved pricing, and inventory management across the entire platform and our young but fast-growing podcasting business to supplement the performance of our core business.  These growth drivers, combined with our continued focus on operating fundamentals, our reduced debt load, our ability to generate significant free cash flow, and our renewed focus on optimization of our portfolio of assets, position us well to build substantial shareholder value in the quarters and years to come.”

Cumulus Signs Traffic Deal with TTWN. On the same day it announces its second quarter financials and references the $4.8 million write-off related to its deal with United States Traffic NetworkCumulus announces its new deal with iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Network to be the exclusive provider of traffic content.  This is an addition to the existing deal for TTWN to provide weather content.  TTWN will provide real-time traffic reports and data to Cumulus’ 441 radio stations nationwide.  Additionally, TTWN’s 24/7 News division will provide news support, including anchored news and reporting services.

Quinn & Rose Back on Pittsburgh Airwaves. The Pittsburgh radio duo “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant – is returning to the air in the Steel City, this time on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH “ESPN Pittsburgh” on September 24.  The two enjoyed a long stint on the company’s former Pittsburgh FM news/talk WPGB (now country music) but exited the station in 2013.  The two have worked separately since then on various platforms.  Their show on WBGG will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am daily.

New Boston Operations Center for iHeartMedia.  The photos above are of the new studios and offices of iHeartMedia in Boston.  At left is a lounge area outside an on-air studio and at right is a portion of the all-news WBZ-AM newsroom.  It’s a 43,000-plus square foot state-of-the-art facility that also includes news/talk WRKO-AM, talk WXKS-AM, and seven music outlets.  iHeartMedia says the “innovative space is designed to invoke collaboration and to embody the iHeartMedia brand.  In addition to cutting-edge design elements, the studios will feature digitally advanced technology and resources for talent and programmers that will help them connect even faster and easier with listeners delivering even more great content to the Boston community.”  The facility was designed by Michael Beneville.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball teams. As the 2018 season unfolds, see how the 6+ weekly AQH shares of flagship stations are affected. Among some of the comparisons presented are flagship stations ratings fluctuations from June 2018 to July 2018 as well as from July 2017 to July 2018.  Based on July 2018 PPM data, flagships with the largest market shares (6+) are: WLW, Cincinnati (Reds); WTMJ, Milwaukee (Brewers); and KMOX, St. Louis (Cardinals). See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio icon Mike North is the subject of a new film being developed by Chicagoans Jeremy Morrison and Adam Rifkin.  The biopic of the hot dog vendor-turned sports talk radio giant is set for production in 2019…..It may seem elementary to industry insiders but the how and why of the appeal of sports talk radio to male consumers is the focus of a recent piece in The New York Times.  Writer Jason Notte speaks with representatives of ESPN Audio and Entercom, as well as marketers who’ve had success advertising on sports talk radio.  That includes a law firm specializing in divorce that’s been a regular advertiser on Portland, Oregon’s three sports talk stations.  Read the piece here…..Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is moving into new studios in Chevy Chase, Maryland in December or January.  According to a piece in Bethesda Magazine, the new location at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. on Wisconsin Circle is just over the Washington, DC line in Maryland.  The Hubbard Radio all-news station has been at its current Idaho Ave. location since 1989.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff 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. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

| August 16, 2018

WOWO, Fort Wayne Morning Host Charly Butcher Dead at 61. The Pathfinder Communications news/talk station says that longtime station personality Charly Butcher died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon (8/15) due to what is likely a cardiac event.  He was 61 years old and leaves behind his wife Sarah and three children.  The Journal Gazette notes that Butcher had been a radio host in the market for more than three decades, including time as part of the “Those Two Guys in the Morning” show alongside Tony Richards on co-owned music outlet WMEE-FM during the 1980s.  WOWO posted a statement from Indiana congressman Todd Rokita in its website that reads: It is with a heavy heart that WOWO reports, Charly Butcher, a family man and Fort Wayne radio fixture, has passed away at the age of 61. He died Wednesday afternoon likely due to a cardiac event.  “It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany Charly on his ‘Morning News’ segment over the years.  Charly is a beacon of truth and courage to all that have known him and has always put the interests of his listeners and community first. Your legacy lives on, my friend.”

Entercom’s ‘93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh Announces Fall Lineup Changes.  Steel City sports talker KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” tweaks its lineup, effective September 4.  Chris Mack is partnered with Colin Dunlap for “The Fan Morning Show.”  Jim Colony continues his role as anchor for updates on the program.  (Meanwhile, Jeff Hathhorn and Eric Hagman continue to report and cover Pittsburgh sports and anchor the station’s weekday 20/20 updates.)  Andrew Fillipponi leaves middays and the current “Cook and Poni” program to move to afternoons with Chris Mueller for “The PM Team with Poni and Mueller.”  Ron Cook remains in middays as Joe Starkey moves from the current “Starkey and Mueller” show to co-host the new “Ron and Joe” show with him.  Entercom SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “‘93.7 The Fan’ sets the tone for the sports scene in Pittsburgh.  This new lineup elevates our sound and will engage the Pittsburgh sports fans beyond the level they have already come to expect from us.”

FCC Sues Austin Pirate Dubbed Alex Jones’ ‘Flagship.’ Although the station hasn’t broadcast since last December, the Federal Communications Commission is suing the operators of the pirate radio station that called itself “Liberty Radio” for non-payment of the $15,000 fine levied against them.  The defendants are Walter Olenick and Rae Nadler-Olenick and, according to the complaint, the two had operated the station that aired the Alex Jones program on the 90.1 frequency for about four years.  “Liberty Radio” is currently operating as an online station.

Entercom Recruits Lee Davis to Lead Sales at TWIN.  That’s the company’s Traffic Weather and Information Network and Lee Davis is joining Entercom to serve as senior vice president of sales for the division.  Entercom chief revenue officer Bob Philips comments, “With a premier collection of leading radio brands across the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to provide advertisers with compelling solutions.  We welcome Lee to the team and look forward to growing TWIN under his guidance and expertise.”  Davis was most recently with MediaCrossing as executive vice president for the programmatic digital media agency.  Prior to that, he was EVP of sales for Univision Communication’s Local Media division. But he was also a one-time VP/GM at then-CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York and achieved “#1 billing station” status during his tenure there.

TALKERS News Notes. In Philadelphia, air talent Geoff Mosher exits Beasley Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he was co-hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show and handling fill-in duties.  With his exit, Devon Givens continues hosting the evening show solo.  In a Twitter announcement, Mosher says he’s had “an amazing experience” during this three years with “The Fanatic” and that he’s pursuing new opportunities that he can’t talk about right now…..The sale of WAMT-AM, Pine Castle Sky Lake and WHOO-AM, Kissimmee in Florida (Orlando market) to Immaculate Heart Media closes.  The stations were sold to the religious broadcaster by Bruce Maduri-owned Genesis Communicationsfor $1.5 million.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..ABC Radio is offering four three-hour specials for broadcast during the Labor Day weekend.  “Rock and Roll Labor Day Salute” is hosted by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant playing classic rock saluting the “hard-working men and women of America”; “A Labor Day Salute to Country Kids” is hosted by Little Big Town and invites listeners to spend Labor Day weekend with family by taking a look at the baby boom that has occurred in country music stars’ families over the past few years; “America Works: Ten Years Since the Great Recession” is hosted by ABC News Radio’s Aaron Katersky and chronicles the decade since the Great Recession hit in 2008; and ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “The 2018 Back to School Special” that looks at a buzzing Amazon fulfillment center in Seattle where back to school supplies and clothing are being shipped out daily, a peanut butter factory in Arkansas making the popular lunch spread as well as explores the technology currently being used in the classroom, a new lunchbox craze, back to school styles, dorm room tips, and school safety.

The Boys of Summer.  Two talk media industry luminaries were spotted last night (8/16) at the Yankees-Rays game in the Bronx by the “selfie-paparazzi” who sold this exclusive piece of celebrity gossip and incriminating evidence to TALKERS for the cost of a dirty pretzel and a ride on the #4 train.  Pictured above taking in the action are media consultant and RT America talk host Holland Cooke (l) and Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum (r). Testifying in his own defense, Cooke tells TALKERS, “I remain a lifelong Red Sox fan.  I have not gone over to the dark side.  It just happens to be Cap Night at Yankee Stadium.”  “Sure, sure,” TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian responded, “Wait’ll the guys at the Block Island Times get their hands on this!”

Trump Revokes Brennan’s Security Clearance, Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa Recoding/Book tour, Tuesday Primary Results, Cuomo’s America Comments, PA Church Sexual Assault Scandal, Italian Bridge Collapse, New Haven Mass Overdose, Crazy Rich Asians Film, Western Wildfires, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan is revoked by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; primary elections in several states and talk about the midterms in November; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comment that America was “never that great”; more than 300 priests and Catholic laymen accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania; the deadly collapse of a major highway bridge in Genoa, Italy; some 71 people overdose on synthetic marijuana in a New Haven park; the film Crazy Rich Asians premier’s with all Asian cast; the deadly wildfires affecting the U.S. West; NFL pre-season activity; 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. Country radio programming pro DJ Stout exits Beasley Media Group where he was program director at WSOC, Charlotte and corporate country format captain.  That opens a plum programming position in North Carolina…..Also in the country format, Graham Bunn decides to pursue new opportunities and leaves Mt. Wilson Broadcasters’ KKGO, Los Angeles “GO Country 105” where he co-hosted the AM drive show with David Bugenske.  Bunn was a part of television’s “The Bachelor” franchise before entering radio. Bugenske is handling mornings solo for now…..The syndicated “Dana Cortez Show” is being added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s KTFM, San Antonio “Energy 94.1” for afternoon drive.  The program is being syndicated by ABC Radio and Skyview Networks.  Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker states, “From previously competing against them, we know that listeners in San Antonio are passionate about Dana and [co-host] Auto.  We are thrilled to have them joining the KTFM team.”…..The Farm Aid festival will air live on AXS TVSiriusXM Satellite Radio, and FarmAid.org.  This year marks the fifth consecutive year that AXS TV will bring the annual Farm Aid festival to a television audience.  Farm Aid 2018 is scheduled for Saturday, September 22, at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford.

Twelve Takeaways from July PPM – Part Four. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM survey.  This fourth and final report includes the markets of Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – May’s market leader with the station’s highest 6+-share (8.2) since November 2016 (9.0) before segueing to second in June, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT returns to #1 in July (7.8 – 8.1, +.3, 6+). A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths interrupted three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Continuing its up/down pattern that commenced in February (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” returns to the top ten (+.4 from June, #11 to #10). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Immediately after its one-half share improvement in June, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” relinquishes nine-tenths (2.3 – 1.4, #16 to #18, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Locked on .3 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is frozen on .5 (6+) in June and July (flat at #24, 6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – By gaining six-tenths to 2.8 (#17 to #14, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” suspends five straight January through June down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Although remaining at #18, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in four straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+). Off by a collective nine-tenths in May and June (5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” reduces that deficit approximately in half with a +.5 to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). After having logged a 2.4 in three of the last four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” improves in July by one-half share (2.9, #14 to #13, 6+) with 2.9 its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. It is a brief one-month stay at #1 for Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM,” which returns in its entirety June’s +.6 and drops to second (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). Showing uptrends in April, May, and June for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” surrenders the entire gain with a July -1.1 to 4.7 (fifth to seventh, 6+). June’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). This marks the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned KASE has a fluctuation of one-half share: “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 in May; +.5 in June; and now, -.5 in July (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). In three straight downward trends, co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM (third to fourth) is an overall -.8 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down for the third straight time for a -.6 and drops below a one-share (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, #22 to #23, 6+). Stuck on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths over the past three sweeps (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – July’s -1.1 (8.7 – 7.6, 6+) by WUNC erases June’s +.9 as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk slides from first to third; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. While flat at #8, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” adds four-tenths to 5.4 (6+), thus halting three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April decline of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). In five sweeps in succession without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (#19) is a collective +.4. In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. There’s another significant shift for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and now -.6 in July (2.6 – 2.0, flat at #14, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WDNC is unlisted for the second straight month. After eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does Radio One urban contemporary WQOK put together a string of six straight up or flat trends that nets a whopping +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+),      “K-97.5” surges from fifth to first. Adding eight-tenths to June’s +.4 (4.9 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” climbs from seventh to sixth, reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2017’s 6.0. Powered by an increase of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). A collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL relinquishes exactly half that gain in July (6.4, -1.3, 6+) as “Mix 101.5” slips from third to fifth. The 7.7 in June was its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -.9 in June and July (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2, third to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (flat at #13) is up one-half share via three straight modest upticks (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Even though Educational Information Corporation classical WCPE is off one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+), it moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – After being down seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI answers with three straight (May-June-July) increases for a combined +1.2 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Having posted a +1.1 in June, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” regresses by seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) and slips fourth to sixth. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, co-owned sports talk WFNI is a collective -.7 in June and July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. It is tied at #17 with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” which notches a +.1 (to 1.6, 6+), thus ending three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Not only does Cumulus Media’s WJJK add six-tenths to June’s +.5 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), “Classic Hits 104.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-share since October 2017 (7.9, as well). It trades places with co-owned WFMS (8.2 – 7.7, -.5, first to second, 6+), which had been #1 the past three months. July’s one-half share loss by “95.5 The Country Station” pulls the plug on four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its July 2017 – July 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; +.5 in May; and now -.5 in July 2018. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regains four-tenths of June’s -.9 (6.2 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to June, “Hank” was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that eventuated in a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Owing to a +.6 to 4.4 (#11 to #10, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” halts four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). With four consecutive increases, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH “Hot 96.3” (steady at #7) is a collective +1.2 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+); however, urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WNOW-HD2 drops eight-tenths (1.3 – .5, #20 to #22, 6+). While remaining at #9, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU nearly wipes out June’s -.6 with July’s +.5 (4.3 – 4.8, 6+); 4.3 in June is the lowest 6+-stat for “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” since re-appearing in print in December 2016. Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia-owned WOLT  (3.8 – 4.3, steady at #11, 6+). “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” rebounds from June’s -.7 to 3.8 – its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8. Eroding by a combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at #8.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There is no June 2018 – July 2018 6+ change for Scripps news/talk WTMJ’s share (7.8) or market rank (#2). In June, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. In April, the Milwaukee Brewers flagship matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, WTMJ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” is a combined -1.0 in June and July (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+) but remains at #4. With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 15th consecutive sweep (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – A July increase of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, 6+) enables Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” to advance from #15 to #13. Bouncing back from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 (to 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL  proceeds from seventh to fifth. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” is within 4.0 – 4.4 range for the sixth consecutive month (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Even though it falters by seven-tenths to 9.8 (6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 41st consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 12 sweeps, WRTI has been in double-digits (6+) four times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); and June (10.5). Meanwhile, while unchanged at #20, Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s classic hits-oldies WZTI “Fonz FM” (#20) has eroded by 50% (-.5, 6+) through five straight February through July down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). As Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (ninth to eighth) improves by four-tenths to 4.9, its highest 6+-share since June 2017 (4.9, as well), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” forfeits three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #13 to #15, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight down or flat trend for Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music,” which is a combined -.9 in that stretch (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #9, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Separated by one-half share are Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7,” which has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths for the third straight sweep, (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+) and sports talk sibling WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” without an increase for the sixth consecutive month for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). January’s half-share improvement by “Super Talk” halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – July 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (four-way tie at #16 to #18, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2. After cratering in June by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” stabilizes at .9 (#20 to #21). “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – By gaining nine-tenths (5.9 – 6.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” jumps from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-showing since April 2017’s 7.0. Down or flat four ratings periods in a row for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” is an overall +1.3 in June and July (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+) and advances from third to second. Despite being off four-tenths (9.2 – 8.8, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -.4 (6+) June 2018 – July 2018, after being -1.1, May 2018 – June 2018. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” drops another eight-tenths after June’s -.8 (5.2 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” regains the four-tenths it lost in June (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6, flat at #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) country share is -1.4 from June as all three major country FMs take a hit. In addition to being down eight-tenths to 3.8 (6+), curtailing three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). WKDF was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to eighth) is a collective -.7 in that timeframe (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (6.2) since January (6.2, as well). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Off two-tenths (6.4 – 6.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” slips from fifth to sixth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) obliterated its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). While unchanged at #4, iHeartMedia classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” posts its third modest gain in a row for a +.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being down or flat the third month in a row for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” progresses from eighth to seventh. May’s setback of eight-tenths erased the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following three positive spikes in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders half that increase (3.4, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Drifting from #15 to #20, co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has an ultra-steady January 2018 – July 2018 topline of: .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 (6+). Immediately after gaining six-tenths in February, iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#13 to #16) is down an overall nine-tenths in five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Sputtering by one-tenth each and finishing at #10 and #11, respectively, are The Wheeler School’s WELH and WGBH Educational Foundation WGBH (1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public news/talk facilities finished back-to-back four straight times and they were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.3 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Seven (primarily Boston) stations that have either been on extended hiatus or brand new to being listed in the Providence report surface in July 2018. They include Townsquare Media CHR WFHN (1.7, #12, 6+); iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WCIB (1.6, #13, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN (1.5, #14, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM (1.5, #14, 6+); iHeartMedia News – Talk WBZ-AM (.8, #18, 6+); WGBH Educational Foundation classical WCRB (.1, 6+); and WGBH Educational Foundation classical WGBH-HD2 (.1, 6+). Basically substituting June’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” carries on in sixth-place. The large June decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). Continuing to be on a roll, co-owned classic hits-oldies WWBB (unchanged at #4) is a whopping +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and “B-101” reaches the eight-share level (8.1) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). With even greater momentum than WWBB, Hall Communications’ WCTK is not only +2.9 (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) in seven straight sweeps without a decrease, “Cat Country 98.1” progresses from second to first. Moreover, this (10.1) represents the first time WCTK has reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Setting the pace in May and June, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” slips by four-tenths to 9.9 (6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. “Lite Rock” was a combined +1.7 in May and June (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Down seven-tenths but flat at #4, co-owned WPRO-FM “92 PRO-FM Today’s Hit Music” is within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) for the fifth successive sweep (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+). Plummeting from #12 to #17, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is a combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Roaring back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE is a cumulative +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) and jumps from fifth to third. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3 2WD” strung together three positive spikes in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the lead for the 20th time in a row and a collective +2.5 in four straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 28th time in the last 29 sweeps. This (14.6) ties the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era (November 2017), breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) WVKL set in September 2017. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – which previously was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). On the heels of June’s -1.0 (8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” freefalls by -1.2 to 6.1 (third to fourth, 6+), the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” forfeits one-half share to 1.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom hot AC WPTE was +1.0 (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but “94.9 The Point” returns half that gain with a -.5 to 3.4 (flat at #7, 6+). As the result of three slight dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) is a cumulative -1.2. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). As the result of seven successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (flat at #12) craters by a massive –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Meanwhile, rhythmic hot AC WMOV-HD2 debuts at #14 with a .1 (6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips by one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) but stays at #9. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+); WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). This is the third time in a row that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps, 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+) finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is without an increase for the fourth straight month for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, it returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS is off 75% (-.6) in four straight dips (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2, 6+). Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Off -2.5 in five consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” answers in July with a +.9 to 10.0 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot for the seventh straight sweep. It is nine-tenths behind co-owned urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which – despite being -1.3 in three straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9, 6+) – is #1 for the seventh straight sweep. Furthermore, WQMQ notches double-digits (6+) for the 21st time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March but then +1.2 in April. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG” spent seven straight survey periods on top. After plummeting by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+), country sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” hauls out a +9 (4.7 – 5.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -1.5, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April). Its April decrease curtailed three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is off three-tenths to 6.9 (flat at #5, 6+), thus snapping its streak of three straight increases for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is its highest 6+-share since October 2017’s 7.3. When WTQR registered a +1.2 in May, it drew even with “The Wolf.” Following a long absence of being unlisted, Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR resurfaces. “Rock 92” posts gains in four of the five February through July sweeps and is a collective +1.5 in that stretch (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). Co-owned CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” is in the same boat as “Rock 92.” The six latest 6+-stats for WKZL are: 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Having faltered by six-tenths in May and bouncing back with an increase of nine-tenths in June (7.9 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jams” surrenders eight-tenths in July to 7.4 (6+) but remains at #3. WJMH was a combined +1.1 (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, January – February – March, 6+), but off one-half share in April. It is a remarkably similar scenario for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG, which was -.6 in May; +.9 in June; and now -.6 in July (7.5 – 6.9 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+); “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” remains at #4. Entering the May sweep, WMAG netted +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+). Although flat at #12, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #9 are iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” ( +.2, 6+) and Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (3.1 – 2.9, -.2, 6+). This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for WJNO for a collective gain of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that netted +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Whereas this is the highest 6+-showing for WJNO since “Holiday” 2017 (2.9, as well), 2.9 is the lowest 6+-stat for WLRN since (ironically) “Holiday” 2017 (2.3, as well). While flat at #11, Alpha Media’s WFTL gains two-tenths for the second month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). “News Talk 850” had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” (#12 to #16) is down or flat for the third straight time for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In four straight upticks (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+), Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” gains seven-tenths and checks in at #22.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds in July with a +1.1 to 3.8 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Flat at 9.3 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is nonetheless on top for the seventh month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 ratings periods in a row on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Falling from fourth to fifth, iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” erodes by -1.1 to 4.1, its softest 6+-stat since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Despite dropping one-half share to 4.4, its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” moves from fifth to fourth. It is 1.9 shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” (6.5 – 6.3 -.2, flat at #2, 6+). Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and had been +.8 (December 2017); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); +.5 (March); and -1.0 (April). Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” (flat at #6) is off one full-share in five successive sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Five iHeartMedia Miami stations that haven’t recently appeared in the West Palm Beach report show up with their May, June and July data. They include: CHR WHYI (1.9, #12, 6+); urban contemporary WMIB (1.8, #13, 6+); classic rock WBGG (1.3, #17, 6+); rhythmic hot AC WMIA (1.0, #19, 6+); and news/talk WIOD (.9, #20, 6+).

 Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three positive spikes in succession for a +2.1 (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” returns one-third of that increase (8.7, -.7, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. It fell there in June after a one-month stay at #1; WOKV was -.9 in March. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Flat at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – July 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Similarly, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (unchanged at #20) is consistent with its February 2018 – July 2018 trending of .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .3 (6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); erased 80% of that margin with a +.8 in April to 5.0 (6+); forfeited -.5 in June to 4.5 (6+); and is +1.0 in July (4.5 – 5.5, seventh to sixth, 6+). This (5.5) is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. After faltering one-half share in June to 7.9 (6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” responds in July with a +.8 to 8.7 (third to second, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s -.5, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+); WJGL was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Flat at #14, iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD 3 is up one-half share (2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Albeit down one-tenth (10.4 – 10.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” repeats at #1. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WEJZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” was an overall +5.8 in four straight uptrends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WEZI – is a collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+) as “Easy 102.9” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Having registered a +1.1 in April, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE Gator Country 99.9” (fifth to seventh) has it all erased with three May through July decreases in succession for a -1.1 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). The station it is chasing – iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” is off one-tenth (7.2 – 7.1, 6+) and carries on in fourth place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 ( 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). Leading the field for 12 straight ratings periods, “Jacksonville’s Country” shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to #1 in January 2018 and March; October 2017’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. In October 2017, WQIK  had a 10.3-share advantage (13.6 – 3.3, 6+) over WGNE.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” picks up two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #11. Its eight-tenths’ setback in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for a collective +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Owing to a -.6 (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” slips from #11 to #12. Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Having logged a .1 (6+) in March, April, and May, Entercom sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” posts a .3 (6+) in June and July (#18 to #17).

Memphis Music Formats – Within 7.1 – 7.9 range (6+) in each of the last six survey periods (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” hangs out a +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9, and continues in fourth-place. It has a sizeable (6.5-share, 6+) lead over Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (1.4 – 1.6, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Co-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” adds six-tenths to June’s +.5 (3.9 – 4.5, 6+) and continues at #9. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Flat at #13, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is down four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+). Locked in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” is a collective +1.7 in four straight gains (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Without a loss in May, June, or July for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+) urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” finishes in the lead position for the third month in a row. After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. Having registered four straight increases for an overall +2.3 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.0 (6+) but continues in fifth-place. June’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Even though it is a combined -1.2 in June and July (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+), with May’s 10.0 its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.6 in three downward moves in succession (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” continues in third-place. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Steady at #6, co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a collective -2.5 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+); June and July’s 4.8 is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.6. Ranked #17 in June with a .8 (6+), Shelby County Schools urban AC WQOX “88.5 The Voice of SCS” disappears from print in July.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a one-half share gain by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM (5.7 – 6.2, steady at #7, 6+) conclude three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), the 6.2 propels “News Talk 1080” to the six-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 6.7. An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just prior to that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). While Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh down or flat trend in succession for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” improves from tenth to ninth. WNPR followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Directly after being an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.2 in five successive down or flat trends (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #12 to #13, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods. Despite regaining the two-tenths it lost in June (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips from #13 to #14. By losing two-tenths in June, “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had its consecutive streak of up or flat trends, which produced a +.4, end at five (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Dusting itself off from June’s -.7, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” roars back with a +1.5 to 8.6 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. This (8.6) is the first time WTIC-FM reaches the eight-share level (6+) in exactly one year (July 2017, 8.3). “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Notwithstanding it is the only station in the 48 PPM-markets with a June 2018 – July 2018 (6+) decrease of at least two full-shares, co-owned adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” (-2.2, 6+) is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 21th time in the last 23 sweeps. It is, however, an overall -4.1 in four straight March through July downward moves (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March but then -1.1 in April. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). Unlisted in the Hartford report since March 2012, Cumulus Media Springfield (Massachusetts) adult contemporary WMAS-FM returns at #11 with (6+) May – June – July trending of 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.2. While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” is -1.4 in June and July (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+), with July’s 6.3 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.0. Within 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) in each sweep between October 2017 and May 2018, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ picked up three-tenths in June to 4.0 (6+); in July, however, “Radio 104.1” regresses by one-half share to 3.5 (flat at #9).

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; 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. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

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.

Friday, May 25, 2018

| May 25, 2018

Gregg Henson Named WRVA and WRNL, Richmond Program Director.  Talk radio pro Gregg Henson is named program director for Richmond stations news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910.” Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team.  Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.”  Henson has worked in sports talk in Detroit as well as in news/talk in markets including Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Townsquare Media Sells North American Midway Entertainment Back to Previous Owner.  Three years ago, Townsquare Media, Inc paid $75.5 million for North American Midway Entertainment and it was the lynchpin of the company’s Entertainment division.  Now, Townsquare is selling the mobile amusement company back to previous owner Danny Huston for $23.5 million. Townsquare has made no secret of the fact that the investment hasn’t panned out, so the sale is not surprising.  In addition to the cash sale price, Townsquare also stands to benefit if Huston sells the company within the next 10 years. It would get a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale.  Townsquare says it will hang on to the net proceeds from this sale, “pending future investment.”  For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue of $92.2 million and a net loss of $33.7 million.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Families.  The anger in Newtown, Connecticut – and beyond – over talk show host and InfoWars chief Alex Jones’ assertions that the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has boiled over into a new lawsuit against the broadcaster filed by four families of the slain children, two families of killed educators, and one FBI agent.  The suit also names Wolfgang Halbig and Cory Slanka – who assisted in video production and website management – as well as Jones radio syndicator Genesis Communications Network.  The suit – filed in state court in Connecticut – alleges that Jones does not believe that the massacre was a hoax but continued to promote the narrative on his program and on his website. “Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims and promote their harassment and abuse…the Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money.  Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”  The five counts in the suit are: invasion of privacy by false light; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unfair trade practices.  Jones addressed the suit on his radio program this week saying the allegations in the suit are “out of context.”  Jones is also being sued in Texas state court by two other families of Sandy Hook victims.

Entercom Promotes Nine in Senior Management. President and CEO David Field says, “We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities.  These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.” The promotions include the following: Fred Bennett, senior vice president, Traffic Weather Information Network; JD Crowley, chief digital officer; Mike Dash, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; Liana Huth, senior vice president, programming innovation; Jen Morelli, senior vice president, events and experiences; Jenny Nelson, senior vice president, ad sales marketing; John Pacino, senior vice president, product and engineering; Sam Rogers, senior vice president, national sales; and Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president, radio and Radio.com programming.  Chief operating officer Weezie Kramer adds, “This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term.  We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed.  With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”

Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia Investigation.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal 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.

TALKERS News Notes. June 30 is the last publication day for most Cox Media Group’s sports verticals, including SECCountry.com, Landof10.com, and Diehards.com.  CMG has not explained the reason behind the move. Usually, lack of revenue is the reason for shutting down a business, but SEC Country’s Christopher Smith tweeted, “The Cox Media Group sports verticals grew traffic 36.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.  We were rocking it.  Even our Facebook traffic was up.”…..This morning (5/25), WFAN, New York morning team Boomer Esiason and Greg Gionnatti broadcast their show live from Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey for their “Boomer and Gio’s Kickoff to Summer” show. The program featured the live music of Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot. It also included a “Hairiest Back Contest” during the broadcast…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live play-by-play of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are booth announcers for the series and former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter with Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosting the pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports.

Brian Kilmeade Scores Exclusive POTUS Interview.  When President Trump spoke at a forum in the Long Island community of Bethpage Wednesday (5/23) discussing the problem of violent MS-13 gang-related activity in that town and across the country, FOX radio and TV talk personality Brian Kilmeade was on hand to cover it.  In the process, Kilmeade scored an exclusive stand-up interview with the president that covered a variety of issues pertaining to gang violence and the broader topic of border security and immigration reform.  The president defended his recent comment describing gang criminals as “animals” by describing MS-13 members as being “stone cold killers…vicious killers.”  The extensive interview ran yesterday on the FOX News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” co-hosted by Kilmeade along with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

Radio Historian and Videographer Art Vuolo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio historian and videographer Art Vuolo is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Vuolo has been chronicling radio conferences for nearly 30 years and archiving the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. He has recorded video of some of the greatest on-air legends in studio doing their shows. In many cases, these are the only recorded documents of these figures in existence. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit soon to be unveiled at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Harrison describes Vuolo as “the biggest devotee of American radio that I have ever met.” He was aptly dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary DJ (and current WCBS-FM, New York morning host) Scott Shannon in the early 1980’s… a moniker that has stuck over the years. On June 8, Vuolo will be the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement award at the annual TALKERS convention in New York City, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Harrison and Vuolo take a deep-dive conversation into the golden era of radio’s top 40/personality stations and then some. This interview is a radio freak’s delight. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS Magazine Posts the 2018 Heavy Hundred. The 2018 edit