Tag: "Pittsburgh"

June 2019 PPM Ratings

| July 11, 2019

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 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” has been posted. This annual list – compiled by the editors of TALKERS and known informally as the Heavy Hundred – ranks American radio talk show hosts in importance from one to 100. Today, TALKERS presents the 24thedition of this prestigious list in which the editors use a number of hard and soft factors in creating the ranking, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. Congratulations to all of the radio talk show hosts who made this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic hits-oldies.  Kinosian reports that 59% of qualifying classic hits-oldies stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers go up from April 2017 to April 2018.  There were nine stations that ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets and 21 that ranked in the top three.  iHeartMedia’s WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” wears the April crown for the highest 6+ market share at 11.2%.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The campaign to get a Detroit street named after Bob Seger continues as Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM promises to play 24 hours of Seger’s music on June 2 to drum up support for the effort.  The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” challenged WCSX-FM program director Jerry Tarrants, saying they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page.  Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed.  As a result, listeners will be able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station…..In Rochester, Entercom’s classic rock WCMF is hosting the annual Roc City Rib Fest – a BBQ and music festival featuring nationwide and local food favorites. The four-day, family-friendly festival will feature live music from Sean Patrick McGraw, Branded, and Kid Kurry, among others…..iHeartRadio is presenting holiday weekend-themed content.  Today it launched a suite of playlists “perfect for kicking back and enjoying this weekend.  From playlists to enjoy the unofficial start of summer to patriotic anthems to reflect and honor those who give everything for our freedom, iHeartRadio has what you are looking for.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

| March 22, 2018

Townsquare to Acquire Three More New Jersey Signals. This deal with Connoisseur Media will transfer ownership of Trenton, New Jersey’s CHR WPST and sports talk WNJE “AM 920 The Jersey” and Christian teaching WCHR, Flemington to Townsquare Media.  The price tag for the three is $17 million.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says in a press release, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of these radio stations, particularly WPST, one of the Northeast’s most respected and highest-performing CHR stations.  Combined with our market leading news/talk radio station based in Trenton – ‘New Jersey 101.5’ – and our existing portfolio of 10 other stations in the state of New Jersey, we believe these assets will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, engaging, local content and superior, multi-platform marketing solutions.  This is the third strategic acquisition that we have announced within the past nine months, demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing capital at attractive values in our local media business.”  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “This is a bittersweet deal for us. We are very proud of our talented team and their accomplishments in New Jersey. I’m confident that these stations will continue to thrive as part of the Townsquare family.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is former deputy White House assistant to President Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, in the Washington, DC studios of Salem Radio Network as he sits in for nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager on Wednesday’s program.  (Prager was addressing audiences in Australia.)  SRN vice president/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup says that although Gorka is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel, it was his first time hosting a radio show. He says, “His debut was flat out amazing.  Nothing fazed him.  Dr. Gorka was calm, unflappable, and performed as if he’d been a talk radio host for 20 years.”…..Next week, ABC News launches a daily news podcast titled, “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke.  ABC News says the 20-minute episodes will “draw on the global resources of ABC News and deliver meaningful insights on events shaping the world.”  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “This new venture will provide expertise, curation and credibility as an antidote to information noise.  The median age of podcast listeners is 29.  Brad’s inviting and energetic delivery powered by ABC News gives us the opportunity to reach that next generation of ABC News consumers in a medium they love, and allow them to not just hear the news, but to step inside of it and emerge better equipped for their day.”…..The Dr. Daliah Wachs show, syndicated by Genesis Communications Network, adds a new affiliate station as Wynne Enterprises’ KFLS, Klamath Falls, Oregon adds the show for weekdays and weekends…..ESPN’s WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM New York” is broadcasting the 45th annual NYPD vs. FDNY charity hockey game taking place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (3/24).  Station personality Don La Greca – co-host of the Michael Kay show – will do the play-by-play alongside Rick DiPietro – co-host of the Humpty & Canty program – who will be color commentator…..iHeartMedia news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth, New Hampshire “NewsRadio 96.7” raised more than $160,000 during Wednesday’s fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon – spearheaded by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath.  The funds benefit Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  Heath says, “‘New Hampshire Today’ is committed to supporting the men and women that selflessly serve our country.  With the help of our generous listeners and sponsors we were able to raise a significant amount of money to help the vets in our local community.”

Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes Announces Podcast Deal with Westwood One.  Eight months after exiting SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes has struck a deal with Westwood One to join the company’s podcast network.  Hughes released a YouTube video in which he talks about the project.  He’ll do a twice-weekly podcast and look for other shows that he can include under the “Opie Radio” umbrella he’s been asked to build.  He says there is a possible radio component to his deal with Westwood One, but that hasn’t been ironed out yet.  He credits Westwood One’s Tim Sabean with brokering the deal.  Sabean worked with Hughes at SiriusXM.  The podcast debuts on April 17.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Hometown Heroes Awards Take Place Next Thursday. Next Thursday evening, the “Sixth Annual Larry Hometown Heroes” event takes place at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  This annual awards program is hosted by KDKA-AM morning host Larry Richert and honors individuals who are giving back and making a difference in their local community.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.  Former football player Merril Hoge will be the keynote speaker.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “It is a privilege to give back to our local community and honor our hometown heroes who have been doing extraordinary things for the Pittsburgh community and to place a spotlight on the selfless work they do.  We are looking forward to having Merril Hoge join us as the keynote speaker for this year’s Larry’s Hometown Heroes.”  Also this year, the Larry Hometown Heroes “Lifetime Hero Award” is being presented to local sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove for his philanthropic efforts within the community and through the University of Pittsburgh.

Trump-Putin Relationship, Mueller’s Russia Investigation, Trump Women Litigation, Facebook-Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Austin Bomber Case, Fed Raises Interest Rates, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The controversy over President Trump’s congratulating Vladimir Putin for his “election” victory and speculation about their relationship; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the legal battles being waged against President Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s CNN apology; China’s threat of retaliation if the Trump tariffs go into effect; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the death of the Austin serial bomber; the Fed raises interest rates; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Jack Daniel joins Beasley Media Group in the Charlotte market to serve as afternoon personality on adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and classic hits “94.7 Smoke.”  Daniel comments, “I’m thrilled to be working with longtime friends John Reynolds, DJ Stout and Bill Schoening.  It will be exciting to host the drive home show on ‘K-104.7’ and ‘94.7 SMOKE’ and be part of the Beasley team in Charlotte.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Entercom names Chris “DECiPHA” Hernandez program director for CHR KALV, Phoenix “Live 101.5.”  He rises from his role as APD and music director.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to continue to have Chris on the ‘LIVE 101.5′ team.  His hard work and dedication, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community, make him ideal for this role.”…..iHeartMedia Chicago promotes Matthew Harris to promotions director for hip hop WGCI.  Harris has been with the station’s programming since last year.  He will report to iHM Chicago director of marketing and promotions Echo Robinson.

The Jim Brickman Show Welcomes Hannah Rae as Co-Host.  The Envision Networks-syndicated Jim Brickman show announces Hannah Rae joins as the new producer and co-host.  Rae (center) joins award-winning songwriter and best-selling solo pianist Jim Brickman (right) and “formidable slacker and gen-Xer” Bob (left) as the most recent member of the show.  Brickman says, “It’s rare to discover an authentic talent who’s never done radio and yet shines when the mic goes on.  Hannah Rae rounds out the B-team with a refreshing, millennial point of view.”  As well as serving as a co-host, she writes for the show, coordinates in-studio recording, interviews, and handles social media.

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. 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 below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland Spoken Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it returns all of the +1.1 it racked up in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.6 – 8.5, -1.1, 6+) remains at #1. When it entered the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there though as KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Its recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018) and now -1.1 (February). Despite posting its third increase in a row for a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). After gaining one-half share in January to 1.7 – its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well) – iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” repeats the 1.7 and stays at #19. Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is off two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #23, 6+). As it returns the four-tenths it picked up in January (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” moves from #17 to #18. Dropping four-tenths as well is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” (1.4 – 1.0, unchanged at #22, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#25, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (4.4 – 5.4, eighth to fifth), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.2. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) co-owned KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+). Although steady at #7, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of gaining one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #10) applies the brakes to six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths slices in half the 6+-share of Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD “Jazz Radio 89.1” (1.4 – .7, #25, 6+). Over the course of the last two ratings periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW (-9.0) has seen its 6+-share dwindle by more than 50% (16.9 – 8.5 – 7.9, 6+) but “K-103” remains in second-place. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Off one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” dips from #16 to #17.

2) Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging its third uptick in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). Earlier, WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). Dropping one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE remains at #15; “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.6 (October); +.5 (November); -1.1 (December); and +.6 in January. Off seven-tenths (1.9 – 1.2, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” slips from #18 to #19.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), “V-101.9” jumps from #2 to #1. This represents the first time that WBAV has reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Exiting the top spot and segueing to #4 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which surrenders seven-tenths of January’s +1.9 (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.9 it registered this time last month was the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since 7.0 in May 2016. WKKT hadn’t hit #1 since August 2017, when it registered a 6.1 (6+). Tied at #4 with “The Kat” is its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” – which is off two-tenths, thus ending at three a consecutive string of gains that netted seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” (7.0, unchanged at #2, 6+); CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (#16 to #13, 6+); and Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.5, steady at #17, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. “Channel 96.1” has its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), while “The Block” was -.3 in three successive down or flat moves (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A +.9 in January by Radio One gospel outlet WPZS ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” surrenders six-tenths in February (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In a similar situation, iHeartMedia’s WEND picked up seven-tenths in January to suspend three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); however, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” now forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #14).

3) San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January +1.6 to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well) – iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is flat in both 6+-share (4.4) and 6+-market rank (#9). Before that massive +1.6, WOAI was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” continues at #20. A combined -1.7 in January and February (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #13 to #15. With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Flat at .5 (6+) iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” checks in at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – If January’s +1.1 to 5.2 (6+) wasn’t sufficient, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” follows with a +1.6 (6.8, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. With a (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase half that of KAJA, CHR cluster-mate KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #15 to #11 (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, 6+). A January +1.8 by KONO-FM lifted the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to #1, as well as suspending three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In the February report, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and repeats in the lead position. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. An overall +1.8 in seven sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. By picking up one-tenth to 2.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of January’s +1.1 (5.4 – 4.4, -1.0, 6+), classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” plummets from third to ninth. Down by one full-share as well (3.4 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+) is Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which improved by eight-tenths in January.

4) Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – When Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM broke out a +1.3 in January to 5.3 (6+), it pulled the plug on four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Remaining at #7 in February, “News Radio 1020” matches that 5.3 – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), sports talk sibling KDKA-FM surrenders nine-tenths in February to 5.7 (6+) but “93.7 The Fan” remains in sixth-place. January’s 6.6 represents the best 6+-showing for “The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. While it is true that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG is without a loss for the eighth ratings period in a row, “ESPN Pittsburgh” has a net gain of just one-tenth in that stretch (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Following a six-tenths gain that halted three successive downward trends resulting in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and stays at #12.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double digits (6+) as it was September through “Holiday” 2017, “94.5 – 3WS” gains nine-tenths and is #1 for the 12th ratings period in succession (9.4 – 10.3, 6+). It is rebounding from January’s loss of seven full-shares. Adding six-tenths to January’s +.4 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” inches up from fourth to third. A collective -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” carries on in fifth-place. In “Holiday” 2017, the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary facility posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. More major ups and downs for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January); and now -.9 in February (9.2 – 8.3, #2, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in eight of the last nine sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4).

5) Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – After only a one-month stay at #1, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” sputters by one-half share (8.6 – 8.1, 6+) and slips to the runner-up slot. Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Having posted a 2.7 in January – its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8 – co-owned KSTE regresses by two-tenths (2.5, #13 to #16). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January. By posting a one-half share gain in January, KXJZ recaptured approximately half of its combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet returns three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) to dip from fifth to sixth. There’s little movement in the market’s sports contest as Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (#21).

Sacramento Music Formats – As part of a steady September 2017 through February 2018 progression, Capital Public Radio classical-formatted KXPR “88.9 The Classical Station” is a collective +1.5 in six straight up or flat trends and reaches the two-share level (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well in February is Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to fifth, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.2 – 8.3, 6+), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” marches from second to first. Its +2.0 in January basically erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; “The Eagle” was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Steady at #4, CHR sibling KUDL “106.5 The End” is off two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), ending three positive trends in succession that produced a +1.8 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative moves, Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2 (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+), but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with an overall +1.6 in January and February to 6.7 (6+) and continues in second place. After logging a +.7 in January, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off one-tenth to 3.9 (flat at #10, 6+). Having trended 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November, but was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting all of January’s +.8 and three-tenths more (4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” slumps from a three-way tie at #19 to #21.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Rebounding from January’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” flashes a +.9 to 2.1 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19, 6+). This (2.1) is its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). In addition to registering a +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), allowing it to leap from #17 to #12, Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” reaches the three-share level for the first time since January 2017’s 3.1. Albeit a whopping -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fifth ratings period in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. A one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.2, 6+) takes Broadway Media adult hits KYMV to its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (1.2, as well in January 2017) as “Rewind 100.7” departs the top twenty (#19 to #23). Given that both stations’ 6+-share is unchanged from January, there’s still a seven-tenths difference between Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (flat at 5.3, 6+) and independent rival KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (steady at 4.6, #7, 6+). “K-Bull” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but logged a +2.0 in January. Up or flat for the tenth sweep in a row – including 1.4 (6+) in each of the last four (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” continues at #22.

7) Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by one-tenth after January’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR is this market’s only spoken-word representative to appear in February 2018’s top twenty (#17 to #15). This (2.6) is KNPR’s best 6+-stat since May 2017’s 2.8. Up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” continues at #21, while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” doubles its 6+-share via five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7      – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) to carry on at #23. Conversely, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.4 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” to its strongest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 5.6. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.0, progressing from fifth to fourth. Despite surrendering roughly half of January’s +1.1 (7.6 – 7.1, -.5, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” repeats at #1. In December, KKLZ was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 (December). Down or flat the past six survey periods for a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” dials up a +.5 to 3.8 and enters the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+). Without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is now a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), spiraling from #8 to #15; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4.

8) Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – After logging five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), WLW is +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, flat at #2). The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. It returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances in the runner-up slot. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” backslides from #10 to #11. Its +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following January’s one-half share improvement, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet slips from #11 to #12. The market’s 6+-sports talk share shrinks by three-tenths as iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” is down two-tenths (.7 – .5, #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Three gains in succession by Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (unchanged at #3) flips December’s -1.4 into a +2.3 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10) with its strongest 6+-share since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Unchanged at 9.6 (6+), cluster-mate WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The classic hits-oldies facility dusted itself off from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” (4.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January’s -7.6, “Warm 98” (#1 in “Holiday” 2017) was an overall +9.1 in five improvements in a row since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A January +1.3 by “Mix” virtually eliminated its -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) – immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+) – Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ picks up one-tenth to 1.5 (6+) as “Soul 101.5” moves from #18 to a four-way tie at #16.

9) Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner did iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS explode with a January +1.7, “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” immediately follows with a +1.3 (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). January’s mammoth gain ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WTKS bypasses Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM, which after January’s +1.3, is flat in both 6+-share (4.7) and rank (#10). Entering the January sweep, “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); WDBO-FM registered a +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January but coughs up three-tenths in February (1.9 – 1.6, flat at #16, 6+). Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE slides from #11 to #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Tied at #20 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (1.2 – .7, -.5, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.8 – .7, -.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” erupts with a full-share gain to 6.0 – its best 6+-share June 2017’s 6.1 – progressing from eighth to fifth. After recording four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017. It faltered by nine-tenths in January but “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative” bounces back in February with a +.7 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Its hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” improves by six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, ninth to sixth, 6+), as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.6 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and +1.0 in January. “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plummeting -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+) in January. Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is up two-tenths (9.3 – 9.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. At the same time, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted WNUE “Salsa 98.1” erodes by nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #15. A collective +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country-formatted WWKA hands over all but two-tenths of that margin (4.0, -1.1, 6+) as “K-92.3” drifts out of the top ten (#7 to #12). The wild journey keeps going for iHeartMedia CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive positive moves (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before recording a -.9 in “Holiday” 2017. It logged a +1.6 in January to 8.9 – its best 6+-stat since April 2017’s 9.9 – but is -.6 in February (8.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.5 – .9. #17 to #19, 6+). In January, iHeartMedia’s WJRR posted a +1.3, obliterating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” returns one-half share in February (5.3 – 4.8, sixth to ninth, 6+).

10) Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – Having gained one-half share in January to curtail three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” regresses by two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+) but moves from eighth to seventh. A major winning streak is snapped as Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN – which was a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+) – relinquishes roughly half that increase (3.6, -1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). In four successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up six-tenths and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Cleveland Music Formats – The loftiest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase logged by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here is by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (8.4 – 10.3, +1.9, 6+), which progresses from second to first. Ironically, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Even though it displays a +.4 (9.1 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC is displaced from the top spot after a one-month stay and shifts to #2. Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” posts a +.6 to 6.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Eroding by more than 50% (-5.6) in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) after being a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” dips from seventh to ninth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above racking up six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” zooms from eighth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.0 and remains at #19, while Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 (#22, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR shifts from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+). When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Owing to a loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” falls off the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Kansas City Music Formats – Recapturing all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” storms from second to first. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which falters by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8, first to second, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Frozen on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” registers a one-half share increase and is back at 5.0 (tenth to seventh, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned KCMO-FM, skidding by six-tenths as well are KQRC’s country cluster-mate WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (5.3 – 4.7, fifth to ninth, 6+), up one-half share in January, and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #15, 6+), which gained eight-tenths in January. Ups/downs continue for Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz,” which was an overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; +1.0 in January; and now -.5 in February (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+).

12) Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” relinquishes two-thirds of that gain (6.1, -1.0, third to fifth, 6+); WTVN was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) for five sweeps in a row, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU registered a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) in January. It follows with a +.1 in February to 4.3 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Locked on .9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” repeats January’s .8 (#17 to #16, 6+). This time last month, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk station has ceased to subscribe to Nielsen ratings and will not appear in this or future public releases of 6+ data from Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” makes up about one-fifth of January’s -5.8 and advances from #5 to #3. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Notching a February increase half that of WSNY is iHeartMedia adult hits WODC (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). Even with a +.6, however, “93.3 The Bus” backspins from fifth to sixth. Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. “The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+), but -2.9 in January. After spending six months at #1, country-formatted sibling WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January and repeats in February with a 12.3 (6+). It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Accustomed to major fluctuations, WCOL was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); and now -1.7 in February. Elsewhere in that cluster, urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” drops six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 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, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Monday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2018

Imus: Show Will End on March 29.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media or Westwood One, but Don Imus announced on the WABC, New York-based morning program today (1/22) that he will end the “Imus in the Morning” program on March 29.  The iconic New York and nationally syndicated program has been part of the broadcast landscape in America since the early 1970s.  Stay tuned as more information about the change is revealed.

WTVN, Columbus Talk Host John Corby Dead at 61.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that afternoon drive host John Corby had been off the air a few days prior to his unexpected death at 61 on Saturday (1/20).  No cause of death has been announced but the Dispatch story says fellow station personalities said on the air that he passed peacefully at Mount Carmel West Hospital.  He is survived by his wife Jodi and a daughter.  He worked at WTVN from 1984 to 1994, when he left to host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh.  He returned to WTVN in 1997.  Read the Dispatch obituary here.

Profile: Reliable Remote Royalty Comrex.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of the company so many broadcasters have turned to over the years to provide them with the high-quality, American-made equipment to get “studio-quality” audio from remote locations to their transmitters.  The 60-year-old Comrex Corporation was born as a firm dedicated to providing wireless microphones to the Broadway theater and live events markets.  But, the company quickly transitioned into one that used telephone lines to deliver “higher-quality audio” from remote locations to broadcast facilities.  Comrex truly upped its game by leading the industry with its mastery of voice-over-Internet protocol in its line of ACCESS products.  Read all about it here.

Are Radio and Agencies Missing the Mark by Not More Heavily Targeting Boomers?  Two noted media consultants think that the radio and advertising industries are blowing a huge opportunity by not paying more attention to the increasingly growing 65-plus crowd.  TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke and Jacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs tackled the issue this past Friday on the latest installment of Cooke’s weekly TV talk show “The Big Picture” on RT America.  The two boomers make a very strong case for their generation’s radio marketplace pertinence showing statistics and examples of the affluence and influence wielded by today’s upper-demo audience.  To see the video of “Baby Boomers: The Most Consequential Generation,” please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The sale of Boston AM signal WBIX, means the demise of the Salem Media Group conservative talk format in the market.  Salem is selling the station to religious entity International Church of the Grace of God Inc. for $685,000 — $185,000 more than it paid for the signal when it bought it from ABC/Disney almost three years ago.  The church is already airing a Portuguese-language format on the station under an LMA…..The fourth signal that made up Connoisseur Media’s “Talk of Connecticut” format is being sold to Trignition for $260,000.  WWCO, Waterbury and the construction permit for an FM translator were not part of the recent announcement of the sale by Connoisseur of WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden to Red Wolf Broadcasting for $8 million…..At San Diego’s Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas, Jenny Rose Gonzalez is promoted from her local sales manager post to general sales manager for the cluster that includes: sports talk XEPRS “The Mighty 1090,” sports XEPE “ESPN 1700,” and classic hits XHPRS “105.7 Max-FM.”  Station president and general manager Mike Glickenhaus comments, “It is always great when you can promote from within your organization.  This promotion reflects the dedication, creativity, passion, leadership, and great work ethic that Jenny Rose has demonstrated day in and day out since she walked in the door.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning personality Steve Harvey is getting another year for his television talk show.  NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announces that it is picking up a second season for the “Steve” program.   Of course, Harvey’s daily radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  NBCUniversal says that Harvey’s show delivered “a season high 1.5 rating for the week ending 1/7/18.”  The program “recently averaged a 1.4 national household rating for the November 2017 sweep, delivering the highest November sweep rating for a new, first-run, one-hour syndicated program in five years.”…..In Maine, Townsquare Media steals Boston Red Sox play-by-play away from Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor.  With the new affiliation with the WEEI, Boston-based Red Sox Radio Network, Townsquare’s WEZQ, Bangor “92.9 The Ticket” holds the play-by-play rights to all four Boston sports teams.

Government Shutdown, DACA/Immigration Policy, Women’s Marches, Allegations Hillary Clinton Investigation Was Fixed, the SAG Awards, Middle East Peace Talks, Kabul Hotel Attack, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown and the politics of crafting a solution to the impasse; the Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama era DACA act and its immigration policy; the weekend’s women’s marches that took place across the country; allegations that former members of Robert Mueller’s team knew that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted in the emails investigation ahead of time; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards show; Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel after visiting Egypt and Jordan for Middle East peace talks; terror attacks at the International Hotel in Kabul; and Sunday’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the establishment of the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away last week at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, Florida.  McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is responsible for putting legendary talk host Rush Limbaugh into syndication in 1987.  McLaughlin was a longtime chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of chairman emeritus at the time of his death.  To donate to the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email: info@thebfoa.org.

Karen Hunter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of the most important talk media personalities in the industry whose time has definitely come,” SiriusXM Satellite Radio star Karen Hunter joins the TALKERS founder as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Hunter hosts a daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm talk program on the SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel that has been receiving glowing industry acclaim.  She is also a prolific New York Times best-selling co-author; CEO of highly successful Karen Hunter Publishing; and a professor of film and media at Hunter College in New York City.  (The name is coincidental.)  Hunter is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the first female African American news columnist at the New York Daily News.  Harrison and Hunter discuss today’s hottest issues regarding media, race, society, gender relations, education, science, religion and politics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. If Cumulus Media gets its way and a bankruptcy judge allows the company to get out of its deal to buy WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago from Merlin Media, Merlin principal Randy Michaels says the company is prepared to step in and operate the alternative and classic rock stations, “essentially, as is.”  That’s according to Robert Channick’s piece in the Chicago Tribune.  Cumulus appealed to the court to get out of certain deals that are losing ventures – such as the White Sox and Bulls play-by-play contracts for WLS-AM that are revenue negative.  Cumulus told the court that the Merlin LMA of the two rock stations has cost it $8.4 million to date.  Merlin exercised the option in the contract to sell the stations to Cumulus for $50 million.  Cumulus is asking the court to allow it to get out of that deal, as well.  Cumulus and Merlin have been trying to negotiate a new deal but have not been able to come to terms that each side like.  A judge is set to decide on Cumulus’ requests by February 1.  Cumulus hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by May 29…..Alternative rock radio pro Lisa Worden is adding program director for KSYR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” to her responsibilities for iHeartMedia.  She was appointed vice president of programming for the station and alternative rock brand manager for the company’s National Programming Group when she joined it back in November.  She was previously assistant program director and music director for crosstown KROQ-FM, Los Angeles prior to the station’s sale from CBS RADIO to Entercom…..After two years in the St. Louis market as regional SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, A.J. moves to the company’s Charlotte market where he’ll be the new program director for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” effective February 12.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments,  “Bringing A.J. to Charlotte is a game-changer for the market.  He is passionate and creative as well as analytical and strategic.  He’s the perfect addition to team Charlotte.”  In St. Louis, he programmed CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Entercom and KMXB, Las Vegas “Mix 94.1” agree to terms on a contract renewal for morning personalities Mercedes Martinez (right) and JC Fernandez (left).  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “‘Mercedes in the Morning’ is an integral part of the Las Vegas community’s morning and we are proud to continue our partnership with the iconic Mercedes and JC for the years to come.  Both bring an exciting energy to ‘Mix 94.1’ and we are looking forward to seeing them take the show to new heights.”…..Sean Stewart is the new program director and morning drive personality at Entercom’s rock WRXR, Chattanooga “Rock 105.”  Stewart, who moves to WRXR from his post as music director at crosstown CHR WDOD, says, “This role is a huge opportunity and I’m excited to bring new life into Chattanooga’s best rock brand.”…..Westwood One is again the official radio broadcast partner of the Recording Academy and the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.”  As part of its build-up to the January 28 awards show, Westwood One is presenting 13 “intimate performances for passionate music lovers and dedicated station listeners” live from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 high atop Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Hot AC WPLJ and country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” are hosting the invite-only performances that will feature: Troye Sivan, Lauv, Bleachers, Cody Simpson, Logan Henderson, Shane Owens, Max, Marshmello, Jessie Chris, Lauren Alaina, PJ Morton, Midland, and Kelly Clarkson.

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.

“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.

Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.

 News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.

TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England PatriotsTennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.

Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.

PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.

SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.

FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).

Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.

Monday, December 18, 2017

| December 18, 2017

Pittsburgh’s All-News KQV to Shut Down at Year’s End.  According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the news does not mean a format change or sale to a new operator – the Dickey Family-owned station is signing off at the end of the year after 42 years as a news operation.  Robert W. Dickey Jr. (no relation to the Atlanta and Cumulus Dickeys) tells the paper, “Candidly, I think it’s a sad day for broadcasting.”  The Dickey family has owned or co-owned the station since 1982.  The historic signal has been on the air for almost 100 years.  Dickey Jr. adds, “It’s fair to say we’ve been trying to provide a community service.  The bottom line is I just can’t sustain the business model.  We’re an independent, labor-intensive format, and we were happy to take it on as long as we could financially do it.”  Barring some interest from a buyer or investor, the station – which employs about 20 people – will shut down on December 31.

Hubbard Announces Changes to Digital Leadership.  At the corporate offices of Hubbard Radio, EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler announces that Jeremy Sinon is being elevated to VP/digital strategy and Steve Goldstein is being named senior director of digital sales strategy.  Sinon was most recently the director of digital strategy for Hubbard Radio.  He will work closely with Bestler, Hubbard Radio president/COO Drew Horowitz, and Hubbard Radio chair Ginny Morris to oversee day-to-day corporate digital initiatives as well as the strategy for Hubbard Radio’s long-term digital goals.  Goldstein will split duties in Washington, DC where he also oversees the local digital sales effort as director of digital sales.  Goldstein has been at WTOP and WFED in Washington, DC for the past 11-and-a-half years.  As senior director of digital sales strategy, Goldstein will work with the local Hubbard markets to utilize best practices and maximize digital sales opportunities.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Tom Bauerle Recovering from Successful Bypass Surgery.  The Entercom news/talk station reports on its website that afternoon drive talk host Tom Bauerle underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery at Gates Vascular Institute on December 8.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported that Bauerle had been experiencing chest pain and, at the insistence of his co-host David Bellavia and Bauerle’s fiancé, he went to a local urgent care clinic and was then transferred to Gates where his heart condition was being evaluated.  At that time, Bauerle stated he believed he’d miss time on the air to recuperate and may not return until later in January.

TALKERS News Notes.  Embattled public TV personality Tavis Smiley says PBS “made a huge mistake here” – referring to the pubcaster’s decision to cut ties with his firm to distribute “The Tavis Smiley Show” to PBS affiliates after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him.  Speaking during a live, sit-down interview on “Good Morning America,” Smiley said he’s never groped women nor has he coerced any women into relationships with him.  He admits to romantic relationships with women while working on his show but says the relationships were consensual and he can prove that.  See the ABC News story here…..An MSNBC spokesperson is saying that NBC made a “separation-related payment” to a former staffer of talk show host Chris Matthews after a complaint of sexual harassment against him.   The amount paid as part of a severance package for the unnamed, former assistant producer for the “Hardball” program is in dispute, but the company says after a review of the accusation, Matthews was reprimanded.  The Daily Caller reports that MSNBC deemed Matthews’ behavior “inappropriate and juvenile,” but not to be taken seriously as propositions…..Singer-songwriter and Sportsman TV Channel host Andy Ross has just released a new song – one that perfectly touches on the intersection of the holiday season and the turbulent political times – titled, “Make Christmas Great Again.”  Ross, who has been a successful host of “Maximum Archery” on the Sportsman TV channel for years, was inspired to release the new song given the political climate.  You can hear the song here.  Ross makes a great guest on talk radio and is available for interviews.  To book him, call Janet Fallon at 703-469-3766 or email her at Janet.Fallon@gmail.com.

California Wildfires, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Sen. John McCain Health, ATL Airport Power Outage, North Korean Nuclear Program, Pope Speaks on Media ‘Sins,’ The Last Jedi, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The now two-week-old Southern California wildfires; Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents and Mueller’s acquisition of key emails; the state of the GOP tax reform bill; Arizona Senator John McCain’s health as he returns to Arizona for treatment for brain cancer; a power outage at the Atlanta airport causes massive U.S. air travel problems; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; Pope Francis says sensational journalism and fake news are sins; the latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi, and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

“Yappy Tour” Rolls in the UK.  Pictured above being interviewed by famed British talk personality (BOB-FM, BBCGraham Mack in London, England is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).   Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation and now internationally to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on into 2018.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 125 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Guam Radio Broadcaster Ray Gibson of Choice Broadcasting’s ThePOINT is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Guam, a small tropical island in the Western Pacific, is the farthest outpost from the US mainland of all American territories.  Aside from its active tourism industry, Guam is home to a major US military presence and has long played a very important role in American geopolitical interests.  It is the American “tip of the spear” in terms of present-day heightened tensions between the US and North Korea.  In spite of its remote location, Guam has always been an active market for American-style popular