Tag: "PodcastOne"

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

| April 9, 2019

Craig Carton Appears on WEPN’s Michael Kay Show After WFAN Decides to Pass.  Three days after receiving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in a concert tickets re-sale Ponzi scheme, former WFAN morning personality Craig Carton made an appearance on WEPN “98.7 ESPN” on the afternoon drive Michael Kay show.  Carton talked about his sentence, his gambling addiction, and the sports talk battle between WFAN and WEPN.  The New York Post’s Greg Joyce reports that Carton’s former partner – WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason – told his listeners that Carton, contrary to internet chatter, had not “backstabbed” WFAN by going on the competition.  In fact, he offered to go on the “Boomer and Gio” show to talk, but Esiason felt uncomfortable with that.  He said, “At the end of the day, [WFAN vice president of programming Mark] Chernoff and I sat down, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it.  I really didn’t.  I don’t know necessarily if they talked to Mike [Francesa] about it, or whoever.  I know that he went on with Sid and Bernie [on WABC Radio].” Carton wrapped his appearance on the Michael Kay show by saying he “owes his audience an apology” and “he thanks those who believed in who he was and what he said on-air.”  He also advised people dealing with addiction or who are victims of sexual assault to seek help.

In the Halls at the NAB Show. Pictured above at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas are (from l-r): NPR CEO Jarl Mohn, Geller Media International president Valerie Geller, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, and the NAB’s Josh Miley.

2019 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City. Consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show covering the confab for TALKERS magazine.  Coverage from Monday includes his notes from the opening presentation by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith that included bestowing actor Alan Alda with the NAB’s Distinguished Service Award.  See his report here.

Trump’s Homeland Security Purge/U.S.-Mexico Border Battle, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Mueller Report Aftermath, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Netanyahu Re-Election Bid, NCAA Final, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The ouster of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the further purging of DHS officials and the related state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts by the House Ways and Means Committee to get access to President Trump’s tax returns; the aftermath of the Mueller Report and Attorney General William Barr’s appearance before a House appropriations subcommittee; guilty pleas in the college admissions scandal; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for re-election; Virginia beats Texas Tech for NCAA hoops crown; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Chris Daniel Celebrates 10 Years On-Air. Pictured above is KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno afternoon drive host Chris Daniel (wearing hat) at a special live event to celebrate his 10th anniversary in the position.  Standing with Daniel is Fresno Mayor Lee Brand who presented Daniel with a framed declaration marking “Chris Daniel Day” in the city.  Hundreds of Daniel’s loyal fans attended the event that featured music and comedy.  Daniel told the crowd, “Thanks for being there, thanks for listening, but most of all – thanks for the laughs!”

Beasley Media Group Partners with ConnectedTravel for HyperDrive Rewards Safety Promotion. As the result of an increase in fatal crashes in Nevada in 2018, the firm ConnectedTravel is expanding its HyperDrive Rewards mobile app to the Las Vegas market with the assistance of Beasley Media Groups local stations.  HyperDrive Rewards is a free app that gamifies everyday driving challenges, helps users to improve their driving habits on the road, and offers them points and rewards for success.  The app, available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, alerts Las Vegas drivers when and where they speed, how often they use their phone, how they accelerate, how they brake, and how much time they spend on the road and in traffic.  The multi-city rewards can be redeemed for cash and gift cards from over 50 local and online retail partners.  Beasley’s stations – including news/talk KDWN and its four music-formatted siblings – are promoting the app.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Christine Malovetz is promoted to assistant program director at Entercom’s alternative WNYL-FM, New York “ALT 92.3.” She’ll continue to host the station’s midday show.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan says, “Christine has been a huge contributor to the team.  She’s been my true partner-in-crime and I’m thrilled for her on this much-deserved promotion.  Christine has her finger on the pulse of alternative music in New York and we look forward to the station’s continued growth under the leadership of this team.”…..Programmer Curtis Johnson is named program director for Lotus Communications’ Fresno rock outlet KKBZ “105.1 The Blaze.”  Johnson takes over for Jon Ballard, who recently exited the station.  Johnson notes in his Facebook post he’s been out of radio since leaving One Putt Broadcasting in 2014.  “Today starts a new chapter in my career… My skills may be a little rusty, but I still have a face for radio.”…..WUSY, Chattanooga “U.S.101” morning show “Mo & StyckMan” (pictured at left) is honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Radio Award for “On-Air Personality of the Year – Medium Market.”  The show was recognized at the annual Radio Winners Reception in Las Vegas…..Through his entertainment company the Elvis Duran Group, New York-based radio star Elvis Duran is embarking on a nationwide talent search for documentaries, docu-series, reality and lifestyle shows.  EDG is working with NYC TV/film/digital production firm Atlas Media Corp to leverage Duran’s “10-plus million listeners to help find talent.”  The press release says, “This innovative nationwide casting initiative will deputize millions of eyes and ears to help find talent that Atlas Media and the Elvis Duran Group can develop into TV shows, documentaries, short-form webisodes, podcasts, and other content. Through verbal prompts on the top-rated Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, and related social media blasts, listeners and fans will be encouraged to submit their TV-friendly friends, family members, and interesting local personalities to a nationwide talent search on elvistvcasting.com. Atlas and EDG will review the submissions and offer development deals to the most promising talent. Resulting projects will be pitched to networks and SVOD platforms.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival taking place on Saturday, May 4 at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin.  The free, daytime event will feature live performances by: Russell Dickerson, Michael Ray, Lauren Alaina, LOCASH, and Morgan Wallen.

iHeartMedia Execs Honored by UJA-Federation of New York. Last week’s gathering of music and media executives at Freds at Barneys New York was a precursor to the June 11 UJA-Federation’s Music Visionary of the Year Award Luncheon at which iHeartMedia’s Bob PittmanRich Bressler, John Sykes, and Tom Poleman will be honored for their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements.  Pictured above from left to right are: Rob Stringer, Fred Davis, Julie Greenwald, John Sykes, Bob Pittman, Daniel Glass, Rich Bressler, Tom Poleman, Jessica Reif Ehrlich, Kevin Liles, Barry Weiss, and Avery Lipman.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

| April 2, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/Talk Part Two. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part two of a look at the performances of news/talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey.  This report looks at the format on a more localized basis, ranking the PPM markets in order of weekly 6+ AQH share for commercial news/talk stations.  Cincinnati was the top market in February, with a 13.1 share for news/talk led by perennial ratings-getter WLW.  See the rest of the markets ranking as well as which markets saw news/talk listening increase and which saw decreases from the January survey to the February survey here.

Hannity Hosts Limbaugh on FNC Show. Nationally syndicated talk legend Rush Limbaugh – the man who pioneered the modern-day radio talk show – appeared on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” last week to discuss the situation in Washington in the aftermath of the completion of the Mueller investigation.  Sean Hannity and Limbaugh – both syndicated in radio via Premiere Networks – have done a couple of these TV segments in the past few months.  Limbaugh chooses his television appearances carefully and his conversations with Hannity put two of the most important news/talk personalities in America in the homes of conservative fans simultaneously.

Fans Upset, Affiliates Perplexed by New York Mets Network Decision. A decision by Entercom not to pony up for satellite time for the New York Mets Radio Network this year has some upstate stations miffed.  As it stands now, the only place New York Mets baseball can be heard on the radio is WCBS-AM, New York.  Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is quoted at Syracuse.com calling it a “middle finger to Syracuse and all of Upstate New York.” Levine blames the Mets, saying the team would request the broadcast plan for its games from its broadcast partner.  “This is why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Mets are the Mets.  It’s not like we told the Mets we didn’t want them. They reneged on the deal. They are too cheap to do what every other major league franchise does.”

‘National Defense Radio Show’ Distributed by Envision. The national distribution of “The National Defense Radio Show” is being handled by Envision Networks.  The weekly two-hour program is hosted by Randy Miller and Jerry Newberry.  The program focuses exclusively on topics concerning today’s active-duty military, veterans, and those who support them.  Recent notable guests on the show include: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Jay LenoDolly Parton, Colin Powell, and former President George W. Bush.  Randy Miller says, “We are so excited to get started with Danno [Wolkoff] and the great folks at Envision.  They have become one of the most successful content providers in America and we know that this will give ‘The National Defense’ a greater platform to celebrate our nation’s heroes.”

TALKERS News Notes. WBEN-AM, Buffalo contributor and national Republican strategist Michael Caputo is hosting a weekly podcast that’s being made available on Entercom’s RADIO.com platform.  “Still Standing with Michael Caputo” features his “unique perspective on national political and cultural events, gained from 30 years in the international political arena.”  Caputo states, “I’m truly honored to be featured on RADIO.com.  This is a great way for me to celebrate five years working for Entercom.  Each week, I try to bring a ‘flyover country’ perspective to global events, not just the conflict between President Donald Trump and the Washington elite.  A unique populist movement elected him, something I know well and hope to help listeners understand along the way.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc. announces that the popular national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” is now being heard on more than 400 weekly affiliates, reaching more than 1 million leisure and business travelers.  The program airs live on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.

Radio Hofstra University Celebrates 60th Anniversary.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday night (3/30) at the Long Island Marriott attended by more than 450 staffers, alumni, and VIPs.  The two-time Marconi Award-winning station also inducted six alumni into the WRHU Hall of Fame.  Pictured above (from l-r) are the inductees: Marc Ernay, sports director/morning sports anchor, WINS, New York; John Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyJohn Caracciolo founder, JVC Broadcasting, and Andrew Schmertz, co-founder/CEO of Hopscotch Air. Not pictured is Shirleen Allicot, co-anchor Eyewitness News, WABC-TV 7, New York.  Since WRHU produces and distributes the New York Islanders Radio Network, it was fitting that the team clinched an NHL playoff spot on the same evening and the broadcast team was able to stop by and join the festivities.  Pictured at right are Islanders play-by-play team Chris King (r) and Chris Buckley (l) posing for a pic with John Mullen (c).  Saturday’s dinner was preceded by several panel discussions on Friday (3/29) about the state of radio and media and industry leaders including Mike McVay, EVP content and programming, Cumulus and Mark Chernoff, senior VP programming WFAN/Entercom NY and captain/sports format CBS Sports Radio participated as speakers.

Border Closure Threat, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, WH Security Clearance Issue, Disaster Relief Stalled, Rep. Omar Campaign Funds Investigation, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1). The threat by President Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from entering the U.S.; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; allegations of improper issuance of White House security clearances by the Trump administration; Democrats’ Puerto Rico strategy stalls Midwest disaster relief funds; campaign fund spending violation allegations against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, programmer Jon Ballard exits Lotus Communications’ rock KKBZ-FM “105.1 The Blaze.”  Ballard joined the station in March of 2013…..Entercom announces the “Y108 8 Man Jam” will take place on May 23 at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater.  The event, emceed by country WDSY-FM “Y108” morning personality Stoney Richards will include acoustic performances by: Jimmie Allen, Devin DawsonRiley Green, Brandon Lay, Justin MooreDavid Lee Murphy, and Morgan Wallen.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

| March 26, 2019

‘Free Talk Live’ Helps Ugandan Orphanage with Cryptocurrency Donations. The nationally syndicated radio program “Free Talk Live” — hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge — has rallied its listeners to assist children in a small, African village through the donation of cryptocurrency.  The listeners, with the help of matching contributors Cell411, Bitcoin.com, and Shire Free Church, raised more than $45,000 to construct the orphanage and another $35,000 to purchase farm land to help the orphanage become self-sustaining by growing crops and raising animals.  Listeners are able to share in this project by donating their choice of cryptocurrency to help fund the project through the program’s cryptocurrency “tip jar.”  Free Talk Live’s Mark Edge says they worked with The Foundation of Hope Uganda, the organization that coordinated the building of the orphanage.  Edge says the Foundation is now in the process of securing a piece of land with funding provided by “Free Talk Live” donors and sponsors.  He adds, noting there is a misconception among many that libertarians are self-centered misers, that this project is one of many instances that proves nothing could be further from the truth.

Chuck Knight Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming. Most recently serving as program director for hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “B101,” Chuck Knight moves west to take on the regional senior vice president of programming position for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio and Austin markets that include news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio and sports talk stations KVET-AM, Austin and KTKR, San Antonio, in addition to some 12 other music brands.  Knight will also serve as program director for adult contemporary KQXT, San Antonio “Q 101.9.”  In addition to Knight’s new, elevated role, Brian Gann will continue to serve as the program director at WOAI and will focus on a variety of iHeartMedia’s spoken-word stations.

New Hampshire News Talkers Raise Cash for Veterans Organization.  New Hampshire news/talk stations WGIR-AM, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth “NewsRadio 96.7” helped raise more than $153,000 for Veterans Count during the fifth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon held on March 20. The radiothon has been undertaken for the last five years by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath (pictured here) for Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  During the day’s commercial-free broadcast, Heath conducted interviews with a variety of service members, ranging from World War II veterans to active members of the military.  He also addressed the challenges facing veterans today and discussed how Veterans Count helps local service members.  The event emanated from the iHeartMedia Manchester studios and was broadcast statewide on the New Hampshire Today Network, including WKXL-FM, Concord and WASR-AM, Wolfeboro.

TALKERS News Notes. On-air pro Kelly Cheesborough is becoming a cast member of the Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings Show,” effective April 1.  She was most recently known to Atlanta listeners as Kelly Cheese, executive producer of the WSTR “Star 94.1” “Jeff and Jenn Show.”  Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels says, “After an exhaustive national search, we are thrilled to have Kelly join ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings.’ Maybe it’s good karma that Kelly’s on-air name is Kelly Cheese – but the real reason we picked Kelly is that she is a total professional and our audience will appreciate the opportunity to hear a woman’s perspective on the topics ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ covers every day.”…..Westwood One’s syndicated late-night show “Red Eye Radio” is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.  The show’s golden anniversary celebration will feature a guest appearance by GRAMMY-winning country singer Gretchen Wilson and other artists throughout the three-day convention. Show host Eric Harley will be on site to introduce attendees to the lineup of country music artists who will mix and mingle, take photos, sign autographs, and engage with drivers…..iHeartMedia sports talk stations WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440” and WPEK, Asheville, North Carolina “ESPN Asheville” are joining the Atlanta Braves Radio Network to carry play-by-play of the National League club’s games, beginning March 28.

New York Radio Pro Bob Slade Dies After Battle with Kidney Disease. On-air pro Bob Slade – host of the long-running public affairs program “Open Line” on WBLS, New York – died recently after a long battle with kidney disease.  After originally setting out to be an actor, Slade got into radio, beginning his career on Long Island.  He became the news director at “98.7 Kiss FM” in New York and there developed the “Open Line” program with co-hosts attorney Bob Pickett and musician James Mtume.  The program moved to WBLS in 2012.  Most recently, Slade had been doing the show with Pickett and executive producer Fatiyn Muhammad.

Mueller Report Aftermath, Avenatti Arrest, Administration Obamacare Action, Green New Deal Vote, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, New Migrant Caravan, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25). The reactions to the Mueller report; former Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti is arrested on fraud and extortion charges; the Trump administration sides with Texas court on invalidating Obamacare; Mitch McConnell schedules senate vote on Green New Deal; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; reports of a new migrant caravan leaving Central America; the status of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan; the Jordan Peele film Us; and NBA and NCAA Tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Comrex to Debut ACCESS MultiRack at NAB 2019. At the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Comrex will release ACCESS MultiRack – a new rackmount IP audio multi-codec. Comrex says that the ACCESS MultiRack occupies only 1RU and it can handle up to five full-duplex IP audio connections simultaneously.  It allows for five simultaneous full-duplex connections to ACCESS Portables (Classic, 2USB, and NX), ACCESS Racks (Classic and NX), and BRIC-Link (Classic and II) codecs as well as the FieldTap app.  The first codec features AES67 in addition to AES3 and standard analog I/O while the remaining four codecs all utilize AES67 I/O. MultiRack also supports a wide array of connection protocols and audio encoders. It’s driven via a new HTML5-based web user interface.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Say good-bye to “NASH FM” in New York City. It stands to reason that Entercom – now operator of country WNSH, New York after a swap with Cumulus Media – would ditch the “NASH” brand that is attached to so many Cumulus Media country stations and re-brand.  And so it does as WNSH is now “Country 94.7.”  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “New Yorkers have a strong appetite for country music, and we’re excited to continue to deliver the greatest country hits with the rebrand of New York’s ‘Country 94-7.’  We have a great team and programming in place and look forward to remaining country’s home on the biggest stage in America.”…..Entercom announces the promotion of Andrea Burtscher to music director for country KMLE, Phoenix.  Burtscher will continue in her position as marketing and promotions director for the Entercom Phoenix cluster that includes classic hits KOOL-FM and CHR KALV “Live 101.5.” Burtscher says, “I’m excited to jump over to the programming world after being in promotions for over 12 years.  I look forward to pursuing my passion of country music and serving Phoenix listeners by curating their favorite hits each and every day.”…..On-air pro Chio Acosta moves from Philadelphia where he was most recently a morning personality at iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WISX-FM to New Hampshire as the new co-host of the “Chio and Kira in the Morning” program based as Townsquare Media’s country WOKQ, Portsmouth and simulcast on WPKQ, Portland, Maine.  Acosta takes over for the recently departed Bill Fox alongside current morning host Kira Lew.….Alpha Media programmer Ernie Martinez – the company’s new national director of digital content – is betting honesty is the best policy with the new positioning statement for CHR KTFM, San Antonio – ‘San Antonio’s #2 Hit Music Station.’  Martinez says, “People inherently smell B.S. a mile away.  Audiences are smarter than most programmers give them credit for and because of this we are taking a radical approach to branding.  We are going to tell the truth.  There is one thing that audiences crave today and that is authenticity.  We aren’t going to brag; we aren’t going to boast. What we will do is work harder than everyone else to show audiences that their attention is appreciated.”…..iHeartMedia expands its partnership with digital media firm LiveXLive Media, Inc that gives the latter exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17iHeartRadio marquee events, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, as well as licensing and streaming rights for select iHeartRadio Theater shows.  The partnership will also feature new co-produced and co-promoted video content for fans, including a co-created iHeartRadio channel on LiveXLive built on an extensive library of content.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| March 19, 2019

Cumulus Media Reports Q4 Net Revenue Up 5.2%; Net Income $43.7 Million.  The 2018 fourth quarter and full-year 2018 financial data from Cumulus Media is presented in two segments – the predecessor company (prior to emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization) in business from January 1 through June 3 of 2018, and the successor company in business from June 4, 2018 to the present.  Net revenue for Q4 2018 was $309 million, compared to $294 million in Q4 of 2017 – an increase of 5.2%.  The successor company realized net income of $43.7 million in Q4 2018, compared to the loss of $206 million the predecessor company took in Q4 of 2017.  For the full year of 2018, the combined predecessor and successor companies took in net revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 0.4% over the predecessor company’s 2017 net revenue.  For the year 2018, net income was $757 million compared to the predecessor company’s 2017 loss of $207 million.  For all of 2018, the Cumulus Media Radio Station Group’s net revenue was $780 million and the Westwood One segment’s net revenue was $357 million.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We are delighted by the company’s strong 2018 performance.  Despite the challenges presented by our bankruptcy in the first half of the year and industry headwinds throughout the year, Cumulus was able to deliver its first full year of revenue growth in four years fueled by digital growth of more than 60%, its eighth straight quarter of increased market revenue share and its second consecutive year of EBITDA growth after years of declines.  That EBITDA growth, in conjunction with our October 2018 $50 million voluntary debt prepayment, brought our net leverage down to 5.2x at year end. Additionally, as previously announced, we entered into two station transactions this quarter, which should further reduce net leverage when completed later this year.  In combination, these results demonstrate our firm commitment to the execution of our strategic priorities – maximizing operating performance, growing our digital businesses, and optimizing our asset portfolio – and the achievement of our financial goals of annually generating up to $100 million of free cash flow, reducing our net leverage to below 4.0x, and reinvesting in meaningful growth opportunities.  With the entire Cumulus team, I look forward to demonstrating continued progress against all these objectives in coming quarters.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Names Stephanie Tichenor Program Director; Brings Lauren Cohn Aboard News Team. After former program director Peter Bolger’s retirement was announced last month, Cumulus Media gets the next program director for news/talk WLS-AM from crosstown competitor WGN-AM, naming Stephanie Tichenor to the position.  She’s been with Tribune Media as WGN-AM’s director of news & operations.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “All of us at WLS-AM 890 are thrilled to have someone with the experience and talent that Stephanie brings as WLS enters its 95th year of broadcasting. Stephanie completes the rebuild of a legendary brand and positions the station for growth in 2019 and beyond.  Her history in Chicago will give her the insight and knowledge to positively affect our local and nationally syndicated programming for our Chicago audience.”  At the same time, Lauren Cohn – with WLS as a contributing reporter and fill-in host – joins the on-air news team.  Nyren says, “Lauren Cohn has been a valuable part of WLS-AM 890 for years as a part-time contributor that we will now be able to utilize on a full-time basis.  Lauren’s media experience in Chicago television, print, podcasting, and radio, makes her uniquely qualified to give the WLS audience a reason to listen on a daily basis.  Her journalism background and political knowledge fit perfectly within the station’s focus.”

Deneroff Extends with Westwood One Sports. For three decades, Howard Deneroff has served with Westwood One.  Now, he signs a multi-year contract extension to continue serving as EVP/executive producer of Westwood One Sports.  Deneroff has been executive producer of the division since 2008 and he’ll continue to direct, coordinate, and execute all of the on-air coverage and production elements for Westwood One’s live, national radio play-by-play broadcasts as well as continue his role in talent and rights negotiations between Westwood One and its many prominent broadcast partners. He says, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working at a job I love and have loved since day one.  There is nothing that replicates the excitement and drama of live sporting events, and to be able to produce broadcasts for so many great games and historical events for Westwood One over the years has been a pleasure and an absolute honor.”

Salem Media Group Acquires PJ Media. Another digital publication is acquired by Salem Media Group to become part of its Townhall Media suite of conservative sites.  The conservative opinion and commentary site PJ Media was founded in 2004 by Roger L. Simon and operated by majority owner Aubrey Chernick.  Townhall Media vice president and general manager Jonathan Garthwaite says, “We’re excited to add PJ Media to the Townhall Media network.  PJ Media has done great work covering the issues that impact the future of the country. Townhall Media’s reach at a critical point in our nation’s history grows tremendously with PJ on our team.”  Salem says the addition of PJ Media will increase Townhall Media’s footprint to more than 15 million unique readers each month.

Sports Talk KLSD, San Diego Makes Program Lineup Changes. San Diego sports talk outlet KLSD “XTRA 1360 FOX Sports” makes changes to its daily talk show lineup.  The iHeartMedia station moves morning drive co-host Nick Hardwick to middays partnered with Jon Schaeffer; afternoon personality Mike Costa moves to mornings with Judson Richards as co-host; and midday host Rich Ohrnberger moves to afternoon drive as co-host with Steve Hartman on the “Loose Cannons” show. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs in the late morning daypart.

TALKERS News Notes. Charm City sports talker WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a sports talk station. The Entercom station is inviting listeners to “The Fanniversary” celebratory event at The Winslow in Baltimore that will allow fans to meet their favorite local sports giants, past and current on-air personalities, while noshing on food from local restaurants. Attendees will include: Vinny Cerrato, Jerry Coleman, Jeremy ConnTerry Ford, Scott Garceau, Bob HaynieRob Long, Ed Norris and Ken Weinman. The event will also welcome Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; Ross Grimsley, former pitcher, Baltimore Orioles; Bruce Laird, former defensive back, Baltimore Colts; Chris McAlister, former running back, Baltimore Ravens; Patrick Onwuasor, linebacker, Baltimore Ravens; and Gary Williams, former University of Maryland men’s basketball head coach…..Cumulus Media’s Nashville sports talk station WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” conducted a charity event to benefit the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The station’s “Midday 180” show – led by Jonathan Hutton – hosted a basketball tournament called “Z-O-N-E” (like the game H-O-R-S-E) and brought in $32,510 for the charity.  The winner of the Z-O-N-E tournament was Titans Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern.….SiriusXM is providing comprehensive national audio coverage available for the 2019 Major League Baseball season, offering subscribers access to live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.  The 2019 MLB season begins March 20 – 21 with the 2019 Japan Opening Series featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome.  MLB’s traditional Opening Day is Thursday, March 28.

NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Trump-Russia Probe Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren CNN Town Hall, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18). The aftermath of the attacks on the New Zealand mosques that left 50 people dead; the status of the Trump-Russia investigation; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s CNN Town Hall event; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Entercom promotes Chris Huff to program director for country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” Huff has been serving as APD and music director for the station as well as APD for sister KKHH “95.7 The Spot.”  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “After an extensive nationwide search, we realized the best person to lead ‘The Bull’ was already with us here in Houston.  Chris’ knowledge of radio, and specifically country radio in Texas, is next to none.  His everyday actions display a pragmatic and hardworking leadership style and it is evident that he is the right person to lead this terrific team moving forward.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Shandra “Babs” Littleton midday host on rhythmic CHR WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1.” She was most recently with the company’s CHR WXKB-FM, Ft. Myers as co-host of the morning show.  She says, “I’m so happy to continue pursuing and realizing my dreams within the Beasley family.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of ‘WiLD,’ so I’m thankful and ready for this amazing opportunity in Tampa.”…..Programming pro Nate Bell exits iHeartMedia Detroit after a year as program director of urban contemporary WJLB and urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3.”…..Entercom’s rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ, New Orleans “Hot 92.9” adds the nationally syndicated “DL Hughley Show” for afternoons…..Legend Communications announces that Ted Peiffer is named general manager of the seven radio stations of the Basin Radio Network that serves Gillette, Wyoming, Campbell County, and the surrounding basin.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the February 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  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.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) sends iHeartMedia news/talk WOR out of the top twenty (#20 to #22); “710 The Voice of New York” was up four-tenths in January. It has a two-tenths lead over Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which adds three-tenths to January’s one-tenth increase (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), advancing from #24 to #23. This is the third successive time that Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records a 1.4 (#22 to #24, 6+).

Following a January gain of one-tenth, Entercom sports talk/Giants, Brooklyn Nets, Yankees flagship WFAN surrenders two-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Repeating its 1.8 (6+), after picking up four-tenths in January, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Jets and Knicks, exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Up one full-share in January (3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS falters by seven-tenths to 4.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM relinquishes two-tenths, following a January improvement of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1, #9 to #10, 6+).

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM drops from #11 to #14. Co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM squanders two-tenths (.6 – .4, 6+) and drifts from the top thirty (#27 to #31).

New York City Music Formats – Significant fluctuations continue for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station,” which netted a +.9 in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); surrendered all of it in January 2019 (1.4, -.9, 6+); and now posts a +.8 to 2.2 (6+), propelling it into the top twenty (#22 to #18). Following three straight decreases for an overall decline of seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight surveys for a cumulative loss of one-half share (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 (steady at #8, 6+). Tacking on one-half share to January’s increase of seven-tenths (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), urban AC sibling WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” climbs from third to second. Four-tenths ahead of WBLS is WLTW, which is a combined -5.3 in January and February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 20th successive sweep. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was +5.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Much like aforementioned classical WQXR, it has been an up/down affair lately for Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+);+1.3 to 6.4 (6+) in January; and now -.5 in February (5.9, second to third, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), immediately after an overall -1.2 via eight straight down or flat trends  (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, its internet stream debuts with a .6 (#38, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” notches gains of two-tenths (.6 – .8 – 1.0, #33 to #30, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it acquired in January (.8 – .9 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” skids from #31 to #34. Locked on .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” repeats January’s .6 (#37 to #38, 6+).

Albeit down one-tenth after a January gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Disney-owned/Rams and Lakers flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” carries on at #25. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – the key station of the Chargers and Dodgers – is up or flat for the third time in succession for a net gain of two -tenths (.7 – .7 – .9 – .9, flat at #31, 6+).

On the heels of January 2019’s +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips by one-tenth to 3.6 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Down one-tenth as well is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC (2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Voice of Southern California” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” erupts with a +.5 to 4.0 (eighth to sixth), its best 6+-showing since July 2018 (4.0, as well). Having surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST  answers with an uptick of three-tenths (6.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fifth straight time. Prior to January, “Coast 103.5” was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in succession (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). The yoyo effect continues for hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which erased “Holiday” 2018’s -.9 with a January 2019 +1.0 but is -.7 in February (4.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+), falling from third to fifth. When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). “My FM” spent five successive months at #1 before being dislodged in October. An increase of four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+) is enough to push Entercom CHR KAMP from #20 to #12; “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 21st time in a row. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is a combined +.9 in January and February (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Kiss” is tied with Entercom smooth AC KTWV “94-7 The Wave,” which is a combined +.8 in January and February (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4, fourth to third, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” climbs from #22 to #21.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.3 (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Although flat at 1.7 (6+), following a January 2019 gain of six-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM inches up from #22 to #21.

Returning the three-tenths it scored in January (3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” not only curtails a string of three straight gains that netted one-half share (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), the flagship for the Cubs and Bulls departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Even though it remains at #26, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off a collective half-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

Having shifted from first to second in December, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM repeats its January #1 finish (6.2 – 6.1, -.1, 6+); the flagship of the Bears posted a January gain of nine-tenths.

A combined +.7 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ cracks the top ten (#12 to #9).

Chicago Music Formats – Replicating January’s six-tenths’ increase (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” cruises from sixth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (5.1) since 5.5 in August 2018. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” gains two-tenths to 3.0 (#16 to #13, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WPPN “Amor 106.7” regresses by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#19 to #22, 6+). A combined +10.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is now an overall -8.9 in January and February (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). Despite tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.6 (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” backslides out of the top ten (#10 to #11). A January increase of nine-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO halted its December – “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “Que Buena 105.1” forfeits one-half share in February (5.5 – 5.0, second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -1.4 in eight straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” remains in fifth-place.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats –In the last three sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+) has ranked #15 (“Holiday” 2018); #16 (January 2019): and #17 (February 2019). As a result of five successive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate KGO is a collective -.7 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, #22 to #24, 6+).

Co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #13. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in September 2018 (2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (-.2) slumps from #18 to #20.

Having logged three consecutive upticks for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM returns one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but continues in second-place. At #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December, KCBS-AM was in 5.3 – 5.8 range (6+) between February 2018 – “Holiday” 2018.

While it repeats at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED sputters by nine-tenths (8.0 – 7.1, 6+), erasing January’s one-half share improvement. Following 11 straight months at #1, KQED fell to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. More than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #28 to #27.

San Francisco Music Formats – On the heels of displaying a January 2019 increase of one-half share, iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” follows with a +.6 (4.3 – 4.9, fourth to third, 6+). Prior to January, “The Breeze” had been off a combined nine-tenths in three setbacks in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). Advancing from tenth to seventh, co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of posting a fluctuation of one-half share: It was -.5 (3.5 – 3.0, December, 6+); +.5 (3.0 – 3.5, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and -.5 in January 2019 (3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Via six straight reports without an increase (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS was an overall -.7, but “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” records a +.3 to 1.7 (#24 to #21, 6+). After posting a +.6 in January, University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC spirals by -1.0 (3.6 – 2.6, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#7 to #14). KDFC notched one-half share increases in November and December (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+) before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. In December and “Holiday” 2018, KOIT-FM improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but the Bonneville-owned adult contemporary is now a combined -6.4 in January and February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up six-tenths in January and February (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) after a -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” progresses from #16 to #15. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is unchanged from January 2019 in 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#34). Down or flat the past five times for an overall loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .4 (#37 to #36, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), its sports talk cluster-mate – KTCK – bounced back with a one-half share gain in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” stumbles by three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM was a +1.0, but “105.3 The Fan” returns 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #13 to #18, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is down for the fifth time in succession for a collective -.4 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, #32 to #33, 6+).

Up a combined three-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” inches up from #20 to #19. Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM remains within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Stuck on 3.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is up by four-tenths in January and February (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Dallas Music FormatsA December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 mini-slide by iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS resulted in a -1.2 (5.4     – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), but “Lone Star 92.5” answers with a February increase of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fourth to second, 6+). Having logged a 2.6 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” breaks out a +.6 to 3.2 (#18 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for a collective loss of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA “K-104” wipes away all but one-tenth of that deficit with a one-half share increase to 3.2 (#17 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-half share uptick as well – after a January loss of eight-tenths – is co-owned urban AC KRNB (1.7 – 2.2, #26 to #22, 6+). When “105.7 Smooth R&B” gained four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, it ended five consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” repeats at #1. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. On the heels of recording a January +1.3 to 4.9 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” relinquishes all but two-tenths of that bounty (3.8, -1.1, second to sixth, 6+). Five straight up or flat trends by Radio One urban AC KZMJ netted seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+) but “Majic 94.5 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” surrenders all of it plus another one-tenth (1.5, -.8, 6+), freefalling from the top twenty (#19 to #27). In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1” is now a combined -3.4 in January and February (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7, fourth to ninth, 6+). Dropping by one-half share as well in February is City of Dallas’ WRR “Classical 101” (1.9 – 1.4, #29, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH recorded a move of seven-tenths: -.7 (4.3 – 3.6, December, 6+); -.7 (3.6 – 2.9, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); and +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, January 2019, 6+). While “News Radio 740” doesn’t continue that streak (3.6 – 3.9, +.3, 6+), it does progress into the top ten (#12 to #10).

For the sixth sweep in succession, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without a loss and is up three-tenths in that stretch (.6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9, #23 to #22, 6+). It is tied with Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which has lost a combined half-share in January and February (1.4 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #22, 6+). Trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” continues at #27.

Off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, 6+), following a January gain of eight-tenths, University of Houston news/talker KUHF is flat at #18. Entering the January sweep, KUHF was without an increase the previous six ratings periods for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Mirroring its January increase of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” lunges from eighth to fifth. Within 2.1 – 2.8 territory (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KQQK “El Norte 107.9” erupts with a +.6 to 3.4 (#17 to #16, 6+). An overall -2.0 in six successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Off one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is on top for the 11th straight time. “Sunny,” which was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive positive spikes (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+), spiraled by -3.5 in January. After improving by one-half share in January (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.2 (6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). In addition to being down or flat in four consecutive ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21). An overall +1.5 as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” surrenders three-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner does WSB-AM erase two-thirds of December and “Holiday” 2018’s combined -2.1 with a January 2019 +1.4, the Cox Media Group news/talk facility relinquishes nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+). Even so, WSB-AM – which had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 – repeats at #1. Despite picking up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” backslides from #22 to #23; WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation. After eight successive up or flat sweeps for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK is a combined -.3 in January and February (.7 – .5 – .4, 6+) but stays at #28.

By gaining three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). “The Game” was a combined -.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+). In addition to slipping by three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s Atlanta Braves flagship WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is bumped from the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Notwithstanding that it tacks on a one-tenth increase to January’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE backslides from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period, WABE was a collective +1.2, owing to five straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) Georgia State University news/talk WRAS continues at #26.

Atlanta Music Formats – Zooming from tenth to sixth, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall +1.9 as the result of four successive upticks (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). In a bit of a statistical irony, urban AC sibling WAMJ-FM “Majic” (5.4 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAMJ-HD2 (#18) each improves by nine-tenths. WAMJ-FM posted a +1.0 in January, while WAMJ-HD2 has nearly tripled (+1.3) its 6+-stat in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.1 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from eighth to seventh, WAMJ-FM’s urban AC rival – Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” – logs a gain of six-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.5. The market’s country tussle tightens as Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” rebounds from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #16 to #14, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” which was a collective +1.4 via four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), erodes by -1.0 to 3.3 (#9 to #13). Flashing gains of one-half share (each) and continuing at fifth and seventh, respectively, are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Having almost doubled (+4.2) its 6+-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” faltered by -3.7 in January. A “Holiday” 2018 increase of one-half share by “B-98.5” halted at three a consecutive string of decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), but WSB-FM was off by -1.0 in January. A combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned CHR WWWQ logged a +.7 in January but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” forfeits six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #11). A combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+) Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (second to third, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January uptick of one-half share, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is unchanged in 6+-share (2.5) and 6+-market rank (#17). Despite being up or flat the third time in a row (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” backslides from #21 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies Entercom sports talk WIP – has the dubious distinction of registering the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here (7.2 – 5.9, -1.3, first to sixth, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, as well, was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); +.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -1.3 (February 2019). Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – the key station of the 76ers and Flyers – has an October 2018 – February 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom’s KYW rebounded in January with a +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” drops four-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Three declines in a row by WHYY led to a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet is a combined +.3 in January and February (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A combined +2.1 in January and February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), immediately after a December and “Holiday” 2018 -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” jumps from a three-way tie for third to first. November’s increase of six-tenths curtailed three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August 2018 and segued to second in September. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share increases by six-tenths as Entercom-owned WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is up two-tenths (6.3 – 6.5, steady at #3, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites” improves by four-tenths (ninth to eighth). On top from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but is now a combined +2.3 in three upticks in succession (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM” returns in full the six-tenths it earned in January (2.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #18, 6+); January’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since July 2018’s 3.4. Without a loss the past three sweeps for a collective +.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” forfeits that half share in its entirety (3.7, 6+) but continues in tenth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR accounted for a -1.5 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “710 The Voice of New York” adds a combined four-tenths in January and February (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, #15 to #14, 6+). The October 2018 through February 2019 Long Island topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (flat at #26, 6+).

Having gained four-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WFAN sputters by three-tenths in February (4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from a three-way tie at #2 to #4. Down three-tenths (1.9 – 1.6, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” slumps from #20 to #24.

Finishing back-to-back with a combined -.4 are Entercom all-news siblings WINS (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, flat at #10, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #12 to #11, 6+). These two news siblings – which were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November – were a combined +1.3 in January 2019.

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

Long Island Music Formats – On one hand, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by six-tenths (4.3 – 4.9, sixth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WBLI “106.1 BLI – Long Island’s #1 For All The Hits” regresses by one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, fifth to sixth, 6+). It is the best Long Island showing for “Z-100” since July 2018 (4.9, as well) and lowest 6+-stat for WBLI since September 2018’s 3.8. In addition to recording its strongest 6+-performance in Nassau-Suffolk since August 2018 when it reached 2.6, Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” has its third up or flat report in succession for a +.6 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top twenty (#22 to 18). On top for the fourth straight time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” regresses by one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+), after January’s -4.5. “Real Variety” was a combined +6.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). Major shifts continue for classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was -.8 (December 2018); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #11 to #12, 6+). In six consecutive sweeps without a loss, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ  more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) but “La Mega 97.9” drops one-tenth to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+). Slipping from #15 to #18, Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” is an overall -1.7 as the result of seven straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth consecutive negative or even trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK (formerly KUBE) is likewise without an increase for the fifth successive time (.3 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #24 to #23, 6+). “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; and added one-tenth in both September and October. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 14th straight sweep.

Following a January increase of four-tenths (1.1 – 1.5, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth to 1.4 (#11 to #12, 6+). The September 2018 through February 2019 topline for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is .3 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Without a loss the third sweep in succession for a gain of six-tenths (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is anchored in the runner-up slot for the tenth time in a row. KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). Albeit down the third report in a row for a collective -2.4 (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is on top for the tenth successive sweep. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. After four straight down or flat reports that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and is steady at #6. Not only is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD in one-share range (6+) for the 19th successive ratings period, “Recuerdo” has its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +.2 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, #13 to #11, 6+). Without a loss for the seventh report in a row (.1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .6, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is up one-half share in that timeframe and advances from #20 to #16. While it continues in fifth-place, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” falters by two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping five successive up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.8 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media’s KGO, which is an overall -1.1 in that stretch (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). Unchanged at #25, co-owned news/talk KSFO is a combined +.5 in January and February (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), following a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR added six-tenths in January to curtail five straight down or flat moves that yielded a combined -1.6 (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). While “The Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in February (3.4 – 3.3, 6+) it manages to climb back into the top ten (#11 to #9). Down three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” slips from #21 to #23.

Even though it is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat moves including remaining flat in February (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM is displaced from the top spot (first to second). January and February’s 7.1 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018’s 7.2.

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); added four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; but is a combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+). It added two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018; was flat in January 2019; and adds one-tenth in February (.7 – .8, #26 to #27, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Boasting the strongest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 improvement of any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG more than obliterates its January’s -1.0 with a +1.5 (4.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Amor 100.3” was a combined +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). In four successive San Jose decreases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ lost roughly half (-2.3) its 6+-share (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” answers in February with a +.7 to 2.9 (#15 to #12, 6+). “The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena,” which is an overall +1.0 via three straight upticks (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.3, #12 to #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media triple A KFOG (2.1, #18, 6+), which regains the one-half share it lost through three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+). As a result of five consecutive declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX had its 6+ AQH share sliced nearly in half (-3.2), but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Three increases in a row netted it a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Piling on four-tenths to January’s +.7 (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3, 6+) is enough to boost Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” from second to first. “Bay FM” was a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after being an overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). In November, KBAY reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” logs a shift of eight-tenths: It was -.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.8, 6+); +.8 in January 2019 (3.8 – 4.6, 6+); and now -.8 in February (4.6 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. Following four straight up or flat trends that yielded a +1.4 (2.2 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC returns half that increase (2.9, -.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Big ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was a collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (3.9 – 3.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). As the result of five straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), KOIT-FM was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Entercom adult contemporary facility, however, is unlisted in San Jose for the second straight month.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.2, WKXW drops two-tenths (8.2 – 7.9, 6+) but the Townsquare Media news/talk outlet repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” occupied the top spot six straight sweeps before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018 with a -1.1. November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). On the heels of January’s +1.0 – which completely erased its overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 – iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is unchanged in 6+-share (3.4) and 6+-market rank (#12). Entering December’s Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). As is the case with WOR, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged from January in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#26). WABC had been down or flat seven successive reports for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+).

Faltering by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN slumps from #11 to #15. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” has lost six-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS improves for the fourth straight time gaining one-half share in the process (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, flat at #24, 6+), co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM is down one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22).

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+); was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+); and is up a combined eight-tenths in January and February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, #18 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Down or flat four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by a combined nine-tenths in January and February (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). With a September 2018 through January 2019 topline of 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #8). Without an increase the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “95.5 PLJ – New York’s Best Music Mix” posts a one-half share gain to 2.6 (#22 to #19, 6+). Educational Media Foundation is expected to close on its purchase of WPLJ in early-summer. On the heels of its January gain of seven-tenths (3.5 – 4.2, 6+), Pillar Of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” surrenders six-tenths to 3.6 (seventh to tenth, 6+). January’s 4.2 is its highest 6+ performance since May 2018’s 4.6.

Friday, March 8, 2019

| March 8, 2019

WGN, Chicago Brings Back ‘Extension 720’ with Host Justin Kaufmann. The original “Extension 720” was hosted by the late Milt Rosenberg for 40 years but was canceled by station management in 2012.  Now, the Tribune Media station announces that Justin Kaufmann will leave his role with the morning drive Steve Cochran program to take over hosting the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.  Pete Zimmerman will serve as producer.  WGN station manager and VP on content Todd Manley says the new show will honor the format of Rosenberg’s program with long-form interviews.  Kaufmann will also “meet Chicago voices on location in the communities and neighborhoods where they live and work and will focus on a variety of topics, from arts & culture to politics and innovation.”  Monday evenings will still belong to “Andrea Darlas & The Reporters” and sports play-by-play will bump the show from time to time.  Kaufmann has been with WGN since joining from public media outlet WBEZ-FM in 2015.  He says, “I’m honored and humbled to be at the helm of one of the best radio shows in Chicago history.”

WHO, Des Moines Goes ‘All-Female’ in Honor of International Women’s Day. In recognition of today’s International Women’s Day, iHeartMedia news/talk WHO, Des Moines is presenting a lineup of entirely female hosts.  WHO’s International Women’s Day program lineup will include: Bonnie Lucas, Leila Rush, and Heather Burnside-Parizek from 1460 KXnO as hosts for “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” with WHO personality Adrianne Branstad and WHO news director Wendy Wilde as hosts for “Need to Know with Jeff Angelo,” and WHO news anchor Sue Danielson as the host for “The Simon Conway Show.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart says, “As a company we aim to celebrate the contributions of women in music and radio year-round and on International Women’s Day we are highlighting our accomplished radio personalities even more as we support and promote gender balance in the workplace and the world.”  The station adds that in addition to broadcasting 1040 WHO’s most renowned on-air personalities and hosts, the International Women’s Day programming will showcase a variety of different topics that inspire women – ranging from sports, business, and agriculture.  Cristen Clark, a successful farmer and founder of agricultural website Food and Swine, will be featured on-air with several successful women in Iowa agriculture and will be joined by co-host and producer, Morgan McEnany.  To end the day, 1040 WHO will also broadcast coverage of the nationally ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team as they play their first game of the Big 10 Conference Tournament.

KYW, Philadelphia Personalities Seek Federal Mediator in Union Negotiations. A report by Philadelphia Business Journal’s Jeff Blumenthal indicates that the SAG-AFTRA-represented on-air staffers at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia are asking for federal mediation to resolve their issues in contract negotiations with the company. As TALKERS reported previously, SAG-AFTRA publicly called out Entercom for what it is now calling “low-balling” during negotiations for the all-news stations previously owned by CBS RADIO.  Entercom responded, saying: “These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS RADIO, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”  Local SAG-AFTRA president Sam Clover tells the PBJ, “We’ve bargained for years with CBS RADIO and never had to take this step, but now we’re dealing with a new company who won’t compromise, so we’re reaching out for help.”  Most cutting to KYW talent is the company’s desire to cut severance benefits by 50% to 90%, according to the story.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: January 2019 Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the January 2019 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio to see which formats/specific stations are in the lead (#1 and #2) positions in their respective markets.  Interestingly, while no news/talk station finished #2 in its market, five news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in the market during the January survey.  They were: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and Cox’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

PodcastOne and Law & Crime Network Team Up. A new deal between PodcastOne and the Dan Abrams-founded Law & Crime will include a series of new podcasts focusing on the worlds of law and true-crime.   Law & Crime is a 24/7 linear and OTT live trial network.  The first podcast to debut is the self-titled “Dan Abrams Podcast,” set to release new episodes every Thursday.  Abrams says, “Law & Crime is excited to expand its distribution to yet another important medium.  Our partnership with PodcastOne will allow us share some amazing stories with expert legal analysis to a new audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Boston sports media personality Kirk Minihane is the subject of a profile piece in Boston Magazine.  Last fall, Minihane refused to sign a document promising to not attack the Boston Red Sox or the Boston Globe and to “not be mean-spirited” on the radio and that led to his departure from the WEEI, Boston morning show with co-host Gerry Callahan.  But, he’s still with Entercom, working on his own program emanating from the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  The piece recounts Minihane’s battle with depression and how WEEI changed its morning show…..Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network are partnering to distribute 14 of the latter’s talk programs to radio stations.  GAB’s shows cover topics including news, sports, music, lifestyle, and more.  GAB general manager Chuck Duncan says, “GAB Radio has become one of the premier production and distribution companies in network radio.  Partnering with Envision was the natural progression to our growth strategy.  Their unbridled vision and outstanding team are an extension of GAB Radio Network.”…..iHeartMedia announces Annette Geiser is promoted to SVP of sales for its Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets that include news/talk KCSJ, Pueblo.  Geiser was most recently a senior account executive.  Market president Jessica Farias says, “I’m excited to have Annette step up and take on this leadership role as the senior vice president of sales.  Annette’s depth of knowledge in the Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets along with her deep relationships are key in leading a best-in-class sales team at iHeartMedia Colorado Springs and Pueblo.”…..Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia is presenting the annual live event “SportsRadio 94WIP Birds Town Hall” – a discussion about the state of the Philadelphia Eagles led by WIP on-air personalities and featuring various NFL and Eagles experts.  It’s taking place all day at MaGerks Pub & Grill in Horsham, Pennsylvania…..Podcast company Cadence13, is presenting the SXSW Podcast Stage at this year’s SXSW in Austin taking place today through March 17. The SXSW Podcast Stage presented by Cadence13 will host podcasts across a number of genres — music, film, technology, comedy, politics, and more — recorded in front of a live audience during the SXSW conference…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show is added to the daily lineup of Spirit Broadcasting’s WINT-AM, Willoughby, Ohio (Cleveland market).

Cohen Sues Trump Organization Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4-8, 2019. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s suit against the Trump Organization and his congressional testimony about President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the U.S. House investigation into President Trump for obstruction of justice and more.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, followed by the state of the U.S.-Mexico border 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 and Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Morning Talk on a Classic Rock Station: Mike “Bax” Baxendale is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The co-host of what is pound-for-pound one of the most successful talk shows on American radio, Mike “Bax” Baxendale, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past 24 years, Baxendale has co-hosted the “Bax & O’ Brien Show” with his team-mate, John O’ Brien in mornings on the Saga Communications powerhouse classic rock station, WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts.  The all-talk show is an eclectic blend of local and national politics, regional issues, pop culture, lifestyle trends, frivolous “locker room” banter and compellingly candid insights into the personal lives of the show’s participants.  “Rock 102” boasts a “flame thrower” signal that radiates far beyond Springfield and Western Massachusetts to blanket the neighboring market of Hartford, Connecticut – going far north into Vermont, south to New Haven and west into parts of New York State.  Michael Harrison says, “Saga doesn’t need to subscribe to the ratings to sell advertising on this gem of a property in its primary listening area – the team of Bax and O’ Brien are superstars in this heavily populated region of New England.  Their success and impact are self-evident.  They are household names and two of the most beloved ‘bad boys’ I’ve ever seen in radio.  They are examples of the sheer power of this medium when done properly with authenticity and consistency.  They are also wonderful examples of the growing number of ‘all-talk’ shows that have popped up over the years on FM music stations – shows that defy the narrow, self-imposed restrictions that have come to define programming on traditional AM news/talk outlets.”  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 or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Jacksonville station WWJK-FM flips from adult hits to rock as “107.3 Planet Radio,” anchored by the morning drive “Lex and Terry” show.  The station is featuring core artists such as: AC/DC, Nirvana, Metallica, Linkin Park, and Sublime. iHeartMedia Jacksonville SVP of programming G-Wiz says, “Planet Radio is Jacksonville’s best rock station ever.  The legendary Planet Radio not only features Jacksonville’s highest rated morning show, ‘Lex and Terry,’ but has the hardest working, 24/7 radio staff.  I’m excited to have ‘Planet Radio’ back at its original frequency 107.3.”…..In San Francisco, morning personality Elvis Medina exits Entercom’s alternative KITS “ALT 105.3” and co-host Daena “DK” Kramer continues as solo host.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

| March 5, 2019

Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins.  Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him.  Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.”  Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge.  “It’s a dark tunnel.  I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk.  I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”

Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes.  She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive.  Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season.  The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units.  iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks.  The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee.  Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1.  She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization.  McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.

Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations.  EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia.  iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).

House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF.  Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11).  Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado.  Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’  Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native.  Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.”  She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel.  Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

| February 26, 2019

Cumulus Media Preliminary Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up Near 5%. The company will not release its actual fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data until March 18.  But Cumulus Media filed an 8-K form with the Securities Exchange Commission on Monday (2/25) that indicates it expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 to be up in the 4.5% to 5.2% range.  For the full year of 2018, it expects net revenue to be in the $1.14 billion neighborhood – basically flat compared to the full year of 2017 when net revenue was $1.135 billion.  Cumulus notes that these preliminary unaudited results are not adjusted to reflect the impact of the recently announced divestiture of six stations to Educational Media Foundation.  That would have lopped $23 million to $25 million off the full-year net revenue figure.  The filing also reveals that the company is pacing flat for the first quarter of 2019.

Henry Lake to Host Late Nights on WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. The Entercom Twin Cities news/talker adds a new, late-night show to its program schedule hosted by Henry Lake.  WCCO-AM’s new “Lake Night” will debut on March 11.  Lake comes to Entercom from his most recent gig as an air personality at the company’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City.  He’s served with Upper Midwest sports talk giant KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” as a host in the past.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “The introduction of a new late-night show allows for our station to better serve our listeners as they are winding down their days.  We are thrilled to welcome Henry to our broadcast team in the Twin Cities and look forward to his fresh perspective on the daily events and topics that matter most.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Announces New Programming Additions. Seattle sports talk KIRO-AM is adding air personalities Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps to the evening “Seattle Sports At Night” show hosted by Curtis Rogers.  Rost is a reporter, website content provider and Seattle Seahawks insider for the Bonneville station and former Seahawk Heaps joined KIRO-AM last year as a part-time host and weekly guest on the “Bob, Groz, and Tom” midday show.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “Curtis has done an incredible job hosting this spot solo, but we are excited to add Stacy and Jake as hosts as well.  Stacy has made a huge impact on our building and we are thrilled to add a regular hosting spot to her 710Sports.com writing duties. Jake has been a huge contributor as a guest host, football analyst, and digital/video star.” Curtis Rogers is also part of the new weekend show, “Seattle Sports Saturday,” with co-hosts Lydia Cruz and Taylor Jacobs that debuts on March 2 in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.

iHeartMedia Acquires Audio Tech Firm Radiojar. The press release makes no mention of the financial aspects of this deal but iHeartMedia says that, through its subsidiary RCS, it will acquire Greece-based Radiojar Information Technology S.A. – a firm whose technology is “a centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform.”  The release further states that “with Radiojar’s sophisticated cloud-based assets and engineering, iHeartMedia and other RCS clients, will now have a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music, and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute, and monetize streams, podcasts, and other audio content in real-time from anywhere.”  iHeartMedia COO Rich Bressler says, “We recognize that broadcast radio has a very unique set of programming tools that make listening a smoother and more enjoyable experience.  These new capabilities will allow for the seamless nature that has only been available on radio to transition to other audio mediums including digital stations and podcasts.”

SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Sues Neo-Nazi for $1 Million.  According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Muslim-American comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah is suing neo-nazi Andrew Anglin – founder of The Daily Stormer – for $1 million for falsely accusing him of being the mastermind behind the May 2017 terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.  Obeidallah is asking the court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Anglin.  Obeidallah’s complaint charges that Anglin libeled him by falsely naming him as mastermind of the attack and went so far as to plant fake Twitter messages claiming responsibility that appeared to come from Obeidallah’s account.

TALKERS News Notes. This week’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is being covered extensively by the news networks. ABC News is broadcasting from Hanoi, Vietnam and will present coverage and analysis via ABCNews.com (in addition to regularly scheduled TV coverage) and ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, including special reports and one-minute status reports.  The “Start Here” podcast will provide a special episode focusing on the summit…..Westwood One News is also in Hanoi for the summit.  White House correspondent Bob Costantini is there providing dozens of live custom reports for affiliates, appearing on Westwood One long-form news and talk programs, and reporting on Westwood One newscasts.…..Bay Area progressive news/talk KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910” adds “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather to its program schedule.  The show is being produced by AXS TV and is distributed by KMG Networks…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, two new podcasts are coming from radio broadcasters in the Windy City.  First, WSCR “The Score” personality Julie DiCaro is launching “The Score: Behind the Headlines.”  The first subject will be the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James.  Second, urban talk WVON morning host Maze Jackson and Salem Radio Network/WIND host Joe Walsh are producing a weekly podcast titled, “Uncomfortable Conversations,” an extension of their recent co-hosted live events of the same name…..Crossover Media Group is taking on ad sales responsibilities for the new podcast from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called, “Dr. Laura Call of the Day.”  CMG is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the show’s social-media channels.

Trump-Kim Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Testimony, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration Vote, Kraft Arrest-Sex Trafficking Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, Sunday Night’s Oscars Show, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  This week’s meeting in Vietnam of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the effort to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for it; the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on prostitution soliciting charges and the larger issue of human sex trafficking; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro tries to remain in power; Pope Francis addresses the numerous sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church; Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Programming pro Kashon Powell is promoted to vice president of programming for Radio One’s Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia markets.  She’s been serving as operations manager for the six-station DC cluster while programming its urban contemporary WMMJ as well as the syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “Love and R&B with John Monds” programs.  Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “I’m delighted to have Kashon in this position.  Not only has she proved to be an outstanding programmer with the huge success of our Washington cluster, but it will be great to have the voice of a woman, our primary demographic, among our senior programmers.  I know Kashon’s contributions to the company will be enormous.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WRTB, Rockford, Illinois “95.3 The Bull” promotes afternoon drive personality Gordon Mays to assistant program director.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| February 19, 2019

WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Sidelined by Stroke. Afternoon drive talk show host Mark Belling reportedly told his listeners that he’ll be taking “a few days” off from his work at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN, Milwaukee after suffering a stroke during his program back on February 11.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Belling is not having problems talking – a common effect of a stroke – but that his peripheral vision is affected and Belling says it makes reading difficult.  He told his listeners that on the February 11 program he began experiencing a “weird sensation” that progressed. “It was not excruciating, it was not debilitating.  Your head’s crumbling inside.”  Belling added that reading copy live is a part of his program and that is very difficult.  “I’ve got to do this right or I’m not going to be able to come back and be any good at this thing — at all.”  He says he may do some one-hour segments of his show before coming back full time, but “nothing is set in stone.”

Phil Kornblut Building Network for South Carolina Sports Talk Show. Longtime South Carolina sports talk host Phil Kornblut’s statewide “SportsTalk” show was dealt a setback last month when Learfield Communications shut down the South Carolina Radio Network that distributed the program for more than 30 years.  Kornblut is continuing his 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily show show, based at Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF, Columbia, and is building a roster of stations across the state to carry the program.  The Post and Courier reports Kornblut saying he has a network of 20 stations ready to carry the show beginning on February 25.  At the same time, Kornblut says University of South Carolina football standout Rick Sanford is joining the program.  Korblut is quoted saying, “He’s one of the great athletes to come out of this state and one of the great Gamecocks of all time, and he’s made himself into a very good sports talk show host.  His name and knowledge will bring a lot to the show.  He wants to cover press conferences, go to games.  He’s really throwing himself into it, and I think it’ll be fun.”

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Host Scoot Victim of Hit and Run. The picture here is of WWL-AM/FM early afternoon talk host Scoot in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in New Orleans early in the morning of February 15.  The station’s website posted the photo along with the story.  Authorities are still seeking information in an attempt to find the driver.  Scoot was crossing Canal Street near the corner of Canal and Bourbon when he was hit.  WWL management says, “Scoot’s ok, but he’s recovering from some tough injuries to his body.”  Police have video from surveillance cameras, but the lack of light and the speed of the motorcycle make it impossible to identify the driver.  They are seeking help from nearby businesses to see if better surveillance footage is available.

Crossover Media Group Takes on Ad Sales for Nancy Grace Show. Cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm Crossover Media Group is now handling ad sales for SiriusXM’s daily, two-hour “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” program.  As part of the agreement with Red Seat Ventures, Crossover Media Group is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the program’s social media channels.  Crossover sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Nancy has that rare storyteller’s ability to connect with audiences.  The addition of ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ places CMG in an even stronger position to offer marketers access to hard-to-reach female demographics with proven national personalities.”

BFoA Names 2019 Leadership Award Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces this year’s recipients of the 2019 Leadership Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  The 2019 Leadership Awards honorees are: Bobby Caldwell, owner & CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters, Inc.; Jean Dietze, president, affiliate relations, NBC Broadcasting; Richard A. Foreman, president, Richard A. Foreman Associates, Inc.; Mark Gray, CEO, Katz Media Group; Paul McTear, former president & CEO, Raycom Media; David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president,CBS Vision.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the BFoA in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large.

Border Wall Issue/Emergency Declaration Suit, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Sanders Enters, Venezuela Unrest, Florida ‘Pledge’ Arrest, Jussie Smollett Case, NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; President Trump’s feud with “Saturday Night Live” and Alec Baldwin over its parody of him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Democrats entering the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders; President Trump ramps up criticism of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela amidst the political unrest; the case of the Florida sixth grader arrested after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance; the investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s controversial attack by two individuals in Chicago; and NBA and NCAA hoops 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. In Phoenix, Entercom swaps morning shows at classic hits KOOL-FM and country KMLE.  Beginning February 25, Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell (pictured at right) will take over the morning daypart on KMLE “Country @ 107.9.”  Meanwhile, Niko Petrou (left) will move from KMLE to KOOL-FM for mornings.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “This transition will allow us to maximize the content we deliver daily to this market.  Maria and Chad are market veterans who know and love the country format and we are excited for KMLE listeners to get to know them.  Niko has a great connection to Phoenix and we are confident that his passion and energy will enable him to connect with KOOL’s listeners.”…..On-air pro Alek Halverson joins Entercom’s Seattle country outlet KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” where he’ll serve as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective February 21.  He comes to Entercom from his most recent position as Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s CHR KLTA, Fargo where he was afternoon host, APD, and music director.   Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison comments, “Alek’s passion for radio and dedication to entertaining people on air and on social media makes him a great addition to our team. We are excited to welcome him to Seattle and to start a new chapter of afternoon drive in Seattle.”…..Midday personality Nikki Imbrascio exits Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” after 10 years in the position.  Her bio, etc. has been scrubbed from the station’s website and no successor has been named at this point…..The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the recent station swap between Cumulus Media and Entercom that’s turning ownership of Indy stations CHR WZPL, AC WNTR and sports talk WXNT-AM over to Cumulus will mean a move of those stations from their current studios, but no timetable has been set.  Cumulus already owns classic hits WJJK-FM, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG in the market.  The three new stations will join the current three at Cumulus’ Shadeland Avenue studios. The report says no format changes are planned but TALKERS magazine has speculated that the company will not continue to operate two CHR stations in the market and will eventually flip underperformer WYRG to another format…..As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, WFNB-FM has flipped from adult contemporary to alternative as “92.7 The Rock.”  DLC Media president and GM Dave Crooks tells the paper, “That was a bold move.  We had done some research over the last several months.  It looked like my original idea of trying to have all gold-based formats (adult hits or classic hits) was creating some duplication and chasing the same listeners.  So, we decided to make this move to help us expand our reach.”  Core artists will include: Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

| February 7, 2019

Midwest Communications Paying $21.6 Million for Peoria Stations. When broker KALIL & Co. announced the deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications on Tuesday, it did not include the price. Now that the contract is showing up in the FCC database, we know that Midwest will pay Alpha $21.6 million for the six-station cluster in the Peoria market that includes: news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM.

Media Exec Peter I. Morris Named CEO of PodcastOne. Media and business executive Peter I. Morris joins PodcastOne as chief executive officer in a new role in which he’ll manage all day-to-day operations while exploring growth opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new content initiatives.  He joins the management team led by executive chairman Norm Pattiz and president Kit Gray.  Morris comes to PodcastOne with 10-plus years of experience in senior management, business development, and business affairs across film, television, and digital media. He was most recently EVP of Barstool Sports.  He’s also served as EVP of entertainment at IMAX, and head of business affairs & strategy and general counsel at Funny or Die.  Morris says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of podcasts and a strong believer in the power of the fan communities this medium champions.  The opportunity to work with a legend like Norm Pattiz at PodcastOne, a market leader, is one I couldn’t pass up.  I look forward to leading PodcastOne’s evolution and next chapter of growth.”

Entercom’s Radio.com Strikes Deals with CNN and Bloomberg. This content sharing deal between Entercom and CNN and Blomberg Media provides for Entercom’s RADIO.com platform to air 10 live simulcasts of CNN and Bloomberg programs, in addition to making podcasts from Turner Podcast Network available on the platform.  Simulcast content will include: CNN International, CNN en Español, and HLN from CNN and Bloomberg Radio National as well as New York, D.C., Boston, Bay Area, and London editions.  Entercom chief digital officer JD Crowley says, “We are thrilled to welcome CNN and Bloomberg to RADIO.COM as we increase our premium content offerings.  Through our deep roster of industry-leading radio stations and premium live and on-demand content, RADIO.COM is quickly becoming an important part of the daily audio habit for the tens of millions of listeners we reach per month.  These agreements further cement RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content on a national scale.”

ABC News to Launch ‘The Investigation’ Podcast. Beginning next Tuesday (2/12), ABC News is tackling the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in podcast form.  The new podcast, “The Investigation,” is hosted by ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by senior executive producer Chris Vlasto.  ABC says it will provide a weekly, behind-the-scenes look at Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and will focus on the lead-up to the highly anticipated report and explore its aftermath, analyzing the potential fallout and political consequences.   ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “We’ve provided extensive coverage of the Mueller probe on our daily podcast ‘Start Here,’ but there’s so much more that Kyra Phillips and our investigative team can provide, that launching a dedicated podcast made spectacular sense.  ‘The Investigation’ will break news, offer context, and make our growing ABC Radio podcast network even more attractive for advertisers hoping to reach an informed and engaged audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Last Saturday evening, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM officially moved from its Idaho Ave studios in Northwest DC to its new studios on Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Check out the video of the station making the flip from the old studio to the new one here…..WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia announces a special Saturday program to address the political scandals affecting Democratic politicians that have the state in the national discussion.  WJFN is operated by conservative talk radio personality John Fredericks and he has been determined to broaden the conversation about Virginia politics by adding Democratic talk hosts to the program schedule.  This weekend, Democrat Susan Platt, who hosts the “Find Your Roar” hourly interview program Saturdays at 9:00 am and Democrat Gene Rossi, host of the “Gene Rossi Show” on Saturdays at 12:00 noon, will team up for a special, two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to address the scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring.  Fredericks says, “At WJFN, our mission is to provide listeners with timely updates, behind-the-scenes details, and clear analysis about the world of Virginia politics.  In the past week, Virginia has been rocked by three distinctive scandals related to race relations and sexual conduct.  These are serious and sensitive subjects involving prominent public officials.  Many Virginians are reeling from these revelations.  In such highly charged moments, we recognize our responsibility to accurately inform our listeners as they put these events into context.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT is losing the host of its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily program as Los Angeles-based Norman Goldman’s program will end in the near future. Goldman has told his listeners that the show will end because it is losing money and has “no more money to lose.”…..A new podcast called “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna” is launching on the LadyGang on PodcastOne Network.  The program features “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and musician Jenna Parris as Sigler, a working and traveling mother, and Parris, a stay-at-home mom and avid researcher, bring together their different perspectives and delve into parenthood with celebrity guests…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WERC, Birmingham is partnering with the Alliance of American Football club the Birmingham Iron to air all 10 of the team’s games.  The inaugural season of the new football league begins on Sunday (2/10).  Veteran broadcaster Thom Abraham serves as the play-by-play voice with former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson as the color commentator.

Trump-Russia Investigation, House Intel Committee Investigation, State of the Union Address, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren Native American Issue, AOC’s Green New Deal, Virginia’s Political Chaos, Border Wall Battle, Chicago Cubs Racism Troubles, Venezuela Unrest, James Brown Murder Allegation, and NBA Trade Deadline Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s expansion of his committee’s investigation into President Trump; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address; the Democrats intending to run for president in 2020 and the related story of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American; freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislative agenda; the issues of racism and an allegation of sexual assault dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, attorney general Mark Herring, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the racist emails associated with Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs; the political unrest in Venezuela; the allegation that both James Brown and the legendary performer’s wife were murdered; and the deals taking place at the NBA’s trade deadline were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, Cumulus Media names Corey Dylan co-host of the “Caddy & Corey” morning show on country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” alongside Cadillac Jack.  Dylan has worked in radio at hot AC WMTX, Tampa and news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  She most recently has been on television’s TMZ and HSN as a guest host.  WKHX program director Brian Thomas comments, “I feel so fortunate for Corey to join Cadillac Jack in mornings.  Her multi-media experience will create one of the best country shows in radio.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. 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 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. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

| January 29, 2019

Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group.  In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources.  In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.”  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”

Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets.   iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company.  Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees.  I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.”  Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market.  The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled.  I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”

News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’”  WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.”  Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.

A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director.  Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities.   WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position.  He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years.  “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018.  In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup.  We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays.  With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”

Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72.  Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke.  The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL.  The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV.  After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM.  WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met.  He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia.  This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big TownLauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris JansonBobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes.  Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage.  He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year.  It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO.  Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships.  iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment.  I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah.  Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career.  He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years.  What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster.  What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion.  We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederMelissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show.  As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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 Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

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.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

| January 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Reorganization Plan Awaits Confirmation. The Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia is awaiting confirmation by United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur.  Yesterday’s filing of the confirmed plan will allow iHeartMedia to erase $10.3 billion in debt off its books, leaving it with $5.75 billion in debt once Judge Isgur has signed the order.  Last month, the court approved iHeartMedia’s separation from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as part of the reorganization plan.  Yesterday’s filing will permit iHeartMedia to begin to implement the plan without seeking authorization from the court.  As is usual in bankruptcy cases, once the plan is confirmed by the court, most other claims against the debtor are discharged.  In this case, the judge rules that certain liabilities the company is required to honor after the effective date – called a Cure Claim – and that includes the BMI license agreements, an almost $600,000 payment to SoundExchange LLC, and its Framework Digital Distribution Agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.   Additionally, the new iHeartMedia must honor all SAG-AFTRA contracts and must assume all contractual agreements with the Denver Broncos.  Once signed, iHeartMedia will be in a period between Confirmation and the Effective Date.  There are several hearing dates scheduled and they are: January 10 to consider all confirmation issues other than those scheduled to be heard on January 17, and January 22; January 17 to consider all issues concerning the CCOH separation settlement, other than those issues scheduled to be heard on January 22, and any issues continued from the January 10, hearing; January 22 to consider all remaining issues concerning consideration of the class action settlement related to the CCOH Separation Settlement and the GAMCO Motion; and January 23 to consider all remaining confirmation issues.

‘Our American Stories’ Surpasses 160-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program adds a number of new affiliate stations and now has 163 total affiliates. The program is hosted by Lee Habeeb who is also president of program producer American Private Radio.  He says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly they love the topics we share every night and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  The program is described as “a two-hour, daily radio magazine program that showcases Americans from various industries, including sports heroes, musicians, film performers, political or cultural icons, business leaders, military heroes and more.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is extremely fond of this program stating, “I fully expect ‘Our American Stories’ to be the surprise breakout program of 2019. It is the classiest, best-researched, meticulously produced, dependable piece of quality content to come down the pike in years.  It is conservative news/talk’s knock out answer to public radio and will become an institutional part of the genre for years to come.”

Wayne Allyn Root: I ‘Got the Ball Rolling’ on Trump’s Wall Option.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root says he first talked about the idea that President Trump can declare a national security emergency and use $25 billion from the Pentagon budget to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Root points to his November 17 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that details, among other things, that the president can declare a “national security emergency” and use military money for the project.  Root says, “I shared this column and my idea with my audience on both my Newsmax TV show and USA Radio show in the days before publication.  Then I flew to Wyoming as keynote speaker for the Wyoming GOP annual dinner on Friday 11/16/18.  I shared my idea with that audience.  Result. Two standing ovations.  That column was handed directly to President Trump by my great friend Lee Lipton at Mar a Lago on 11/18/18.  President Trump has talked about this exact option all week in the media.  It’s the hottest topic in the country.  My idea started this all… I’m sure it will come up in Tuesday night’s national presidential address.”

Mike Gallagher Films LifeLock Ad on NYC Streets. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Mike Gallagher is pictured above on the streets of New York filming commercials for identity theft prevention firm LifeLock.  Gallagher has been voicing spots for LifeLock – as have many talk radio hosts since LifeLock is a big advertiser on talk radio – but not long ago he needed the company’s services.  The Salem Radio Network talk host was the victim of a personal security breach when someone accessed his personal information, changed his cellphone number, and tried withdrawing $25,000 from Gallagher’s checking account.  He credits LifeLock with alerting him to the compromises and acting to protect his personal assets.  He says, “I’ve proudly done their commercials for years.  But after seeing for myself how they swing into action, I believe anyone is stupid not to have LifeLock protection.”

Eric Zane Launches Daily Podcast.  After being let go by Cumulus Media last week due to the format flip of WBBL, Grand Rapids from sports talk to country music, morning personality Eric Zane tells Mlive.com he’s doing a daily podcast designed to pick up where his radio show left off.  He’s offering the show to listeners for free and for a fee with various options, including video.  Zane tells MLive he hopes to reach a sizable audience via his 18,000 Twitter followers.  He says, “Most people get some content via podcast or streaming content and they’re a different audience.  They’re zeroed in because of the programming. They seek it out as opposed to background noise.  I won’t ever say radio has no place because it’s still great to get in your car and push a button and there it is.  This medium (podcasts), which was laughed at five, 10 years ago, isn’t laughed at anymore because it’s very viable.”

Steve Triplett to Lead Beasley’s Tampa Stations. Sales and management pro Steve Triplett is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster that includes financial talk outlet WHFS-AM and six music radio stations.  Triplett has been serving as interim market manager and director of sales for the Tampa operations.  He says, “Over the past four years, Beasley Media Group has created something truly special in Tampa.  We have a team of the finest media professionals in the industry and it’s an honor to continuing serving them in this new capacity.”

PodcastOne Partners with LadyGang for Podcast Network.  “The LadyGang” podcast recently celebrated its 200th episode and 40 millionth download.  Now, PodcastOne is entering into a deal with the brand for a podcast development, production, and marketing deal to launch The LadyGang Network on PodcastOne.  The network will feature a female-driven, all-star lineup of pop culture, reality television, and motherhood trend-setters.  PodcastOne says the deal combines its vast resources and reach with The LadyGang’s brand power and curated talent lineup.  The inaugural program under this new network will be “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna,” hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler and Jenna Parris. Additional programs will be announced soon.

Hogenson Communications to Rep Americans for Tax Reform Campaign. Talk media is the target for Americans for Tax Reform and it has hired Hogenson Communications to represent the organization to talk media for its 12-month campaign.  Scott Hogenson states, “We’re proud to have been selected by Americans for Tax Reform as their talk media partner.  As America’s preeminent tax policy organization, ATR brings a lot to talk media audiences by breaking down complicated policy issues in a way that everyone can understand.”

KNUS, Denver Hosts Boyles and Tubbs to Broadcast from Vancouver, BC During Fact-Finding Mission.  Talk show hosts Peter Boyles and Steffan Tubbs – air personalities on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – will broadcast live from Vancouver, British Columbia during their fact-finding mission to the city’s safe injection sites.  The Denver City Council passed an ordinance that will create safe or supervised injection sites for users to inject heroin, opioids and cocaine in locations that will employ trained medical personnel.  The KNUS remote broadcasts will take place on Friday (1/11).

iHeartMedia Unveils New iHeartRadio Features at CES. The company announces a number of new consumer technology integrations for its digital platform, iHeartRadio.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, iHeartMedia unveiled new integrations including the Honda Dream Drive Platform, the new Bixby from Samsung, Roku devices, and Google’s Android TV and Android Auto.  It also launched the fully redesigned iHeartRadio Family app on Amazon Fire Tablet with iOS and Android coming soon.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, U.S.-Syria Policy, Tlaib Israel Statement, Kim Jong Un-Xi Jinping Meeting, NCAA Football Championship, and NFL Playoffs Action Among Top News-Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). The battle over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related government shutdown; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria; the controversy over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comments that GOP senators are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Monday night’s NCAA football championship game; 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 nationally syndicated Ty Bentli show is off Cumulus Media’s New York City country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  What was originally called “America’s Morning Show” back when Blair Garner was lead host and has twice morphed since then has been the only morning show on the stations since its inception.  Now, afternoon drive host Jesse Addy is sitting in hosting mornings as the station teases a new program…..In Los Angeles, “volunteer” air personality Greg Beharrell is named evening host on Cumulus Media’s classic rock 95.5 KLOS…..Afternoon drive host, APD and music director Mark Razz is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia.  With this new role, Razz will move from afternoon drive to middays.  Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell comments, “Nobody deserves this opportunity more than Razz.  He has been an integral part of 92.5 XTU’s success for years and has demonstrated the leadership, commitment and creativity that you look for in a PD.  Plus, he’s an amazing talent, is loved by listeners and respected within the industry.”…..Midday personality Corey O’Brien is named assistant program director and music director at Broadway Media’s alternative KXRK, Salt Lake City “X96.”…..Buffalo market radio pro Joe Chille is named morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “96.1 The Breeze.”  Chille was a longtime personality at WJYE prior to its becoming WMSX.  Most recently, he’d been handling part-time duties at Radio One Buffalo’s oldies WECK-AM…..Beasley Media Group names Sean Varicalli host of the “KICKS Wake up Crew” morning show on country WKXC-FM, Augusta, Georgia.  Varicalli was most recently midday jock and APD at Curtis Media Group’s country WQDR, Raleigh…..Alpha Media’s WKXI, Jackson, Mississippi “107.5 Kixie” replaces the Tom Joyner show with the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

| December 18, 2018

Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’  In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent.  Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill.  It’s all about corporate control.  Taking him off the air is not a business decision.”  Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.”  Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night.  “The only reason I can see is because of politics.  It makes no sense.  I have a loyal, large audience.  Why not at least do reruns at night?”  Read the Times piece here.

Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.  I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come.  Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.”  Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000.  The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.

iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled.  Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit.  An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH.  This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan.  iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.

TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station.  The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit.  Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some.  I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.  The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter.  Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center.  Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Remembering Dave Robbins.  Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles“This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick“I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack.  He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years.  Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract.  Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.”  Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’  We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois.  Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

| December 11, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  The news/talk stations that saw the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share improvement over the October 2018 survey were iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+ 0.9) and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+ 0.7).  On the negative side, Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City was down a 1.8 share, iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver dipped a 1.1 share and Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee was off a full share.  Year-over-year, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville was a big winner, up 3.5 shares.  On the flip side, iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego dropped 1.9 shares since November 2017.  Five news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in November: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (8.6 share); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (10 share); Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (9.4 share); Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (8.3 share); and Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville (11.2 share).  See the entire report here.

Latest Settlement Talks May Push Back iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Exit. The latest events in iHeartMedia’s journey through Chapter 11 reorganization may push the company’s exit further into the future, according to a piece in Bloomberg Law.  The story says that as the result of Monday’s court filings indicating objections to the Plan because of iHM’s settlement talks with Gamco Asset Management, the actual exit from bankruptcy protection could move past the anticipated February time frame.  The piece says it appears certain creditors object to iHM and Gamco settling a class-action suit, arguing that such suits shouldn’t be settled in bankruptcy court.  Today (12/11), was the original Confirmation Hearing date that’s been pushed back by the negotiations.

Maxwell Schaeffer to Host Weekend Show on WHO, Des Moines. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, longtime Des Moines radio personality Maxwell Schaeffer is returning to the airwaves hosting the Saturday morning “Maxwell & Friends” program on news/talk WHO-AM, beginning January 5.  Schaeffer has been with the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster serving as director of promotions and marketing since August.  Previously, he spent 23 years as morning host on Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA-FM.  Schaeffer tells the paper, “I kind of want the show to feel like we’re having a brunch party.  Maybe without the mimosas — or at least visually.  It is the radio, after all.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart comments, “It really just seemed like the wise move for us was to let him get settled then find where’s the right place to get him in an on-air role.  Saturday morning seemed like a really good fit.  We’re really not looking for a hardcore talk show.”

KRLA, Los Angeles-Based ‘The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler’ Reaches 250th Episode – Now Available for Syndication Distributed via Salem Radio Network.   This Sunday (12/16) will see Los Angeles’ “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” air its landmark 250th episode on local Salem Media Group O&O KRLA “AM870 the Answer.”  The Sunday night call-in show has been airing on the SRN Southern California affiliate since March of 2013.  The show is hosted by commentator/talk show host Timothy Spangler and co-hosted by Phillip Sparks and David C Fisher.  Spangler tells TALKERS, “We started the show five-and-a-half years ago with a very different view on what live AM radio could and should be.  We wanted our show to appeal to a much broader and younger audience than was currently being engaged by stations across the country – what we like to refer to as the #AltCenter.  Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great inspiration for us.”  Broadcasting live from the studios of KRLA 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT, the program covers a wide range of issues both domestic and international, punctuated by a unique blend of humor and wry observation. The show is now also available in other markets through Salem Radio Network (via XDS “SRN2 – The Bigger Picture”).  For more information, check out the website www.biggerpictureradio.com.

KQTH-FM, Tucson Wraps News/Talk Format. Tomorrow, Tucson news/talk KQTH-FM flips from news/talk to a religious format as Family Life Radio closes on its purchase of the station in a divestiture from the Scripps MediaLotus Communications transaction. The FM news/talk format was originally installed on the station in April of 2007 by Journal Communications.  The station transitioned to Scripps Media with the merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps. The station was airing mostly syndicated talk in addition to local morning show “Tucson’s Morning News” with Mike Rapp.

Trump-Russia Probe, Migrant Caravan/Border Wall Issue, Clean Water Act Changes, Google CEO to Testify, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the battle in Washington over funding for the border wall; the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act; Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before a House subcommittee about bias allegations and China’s Project Dragonfly; the recent stock selloff and concerns about a bearish 2019; the Brexit complications dogging British Prime Minister Theresa May; and the weekend’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. In the San Diego market the executive management team operating Local Media San Diego has entered into an agreement to acquire the company operating alternative XETRA “91X,” CHR XHITZ “Z90,” and rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5.”  The management team consists of vice president and general manager Gregg Wolfson, chief financial officer Norm McKee, and director Steve McNeely.  Wolfson says, “LMSD has always operated locally and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider.”…..More cuts at Hubbard Radio-owned stations as the KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops morning team Allan Fee, Ashley Ryan, and producer Kevin Justik.  At sister country KNUC, evening personality Michael Kraig Mason exits…..Urban One flips Gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9” to rhythmic oldies as “Classix 107.9” while keeping the Gospel format on WPPZ-HD2…..Pictured below is WHTZ, New York “Z100”-based, Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Elvis Duran (left) on the December 7 episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon (right).  The two discussed Duran’s taking care of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his getting engaged on the unluckiest day of the year – Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

| December 4, 2018

Armstrong & Getty Launch in National Syndication. KSTE, Sacramento-based morning program Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – is rolling out into national syndication.  The program is currently heard on 15 stations in the Western U.S., including KGO, San Francisco; KFMB-AM, San Diego; KEX, Portland; KKAT, Salt Lake City; KHHO, Seattle; and more.  But that’s going to change as the program goes fully national.  Craig Whetstine is handling affiliation relations for Armstrong & Getty Media and reports that the show is fed live on XDS from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET.  He adds, it would be “a great alternative for stations looking to replace Laura Ingraham with another live show in that daypart.”  Whetstine can be reached at 503-975-6153 or emailed at craig@armstrongandgetty.com.  Check out this video of a “behind-the-scenes” tour with Armstrong & Getty.

Report: Liberty Media Seeking Up to 35% of Reorganized iHeartMedia.  According to a story in the New York Post, John Malone-led Liberty Media is talking with iHeartMedia’s creditors to acquire approximately a 35% ownership in the post-Chapter 11 iHeartMedia.  The piece suggests that “gaining control of iHeart would give Liberty a music four-pack, as it already owns 71 percent of publicly listed SiriusXM Radio. Sirius in September agreed to buy streaming service Pandora Media. Liberty also owns 33 percent of listed Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster.”  The story goes on to note that post-Chapter 11, “creditors Pimco and Franklin Resources will own about 25 percent of the business, while Liberty, which owns $660 million of iHeart debt, will end up with between 4 percent and 5 percent of iHeart post-bankruptcy.  Liberty in June unsuccessfully tried to buy 40 percent of iHeart at a $2.9 billion valuation…Liberty is expected to want only a minority iHeart stake so it does not have to consolidate financials and hurt Liberty’s trading multiple.”

News Anchor Judy Pielach Takes WGN-AM Buyout. According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WGN afternoon news anchor Judy Pielach is taking the buyout being offered by Tribune Media.  Her last day handling the news on the afternoon show with Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes will be December 21.  She’s been with the station for 32 years.  Also taking the buyout are engineers Aubrey Mumpower and Ben Cortez.  The future ownership of WGN-AM is up in the air as television operator Nexstar has successfully bid to acquire Tribune Media and, should the deal make it through the regulatory process, most media watchers believe Nexstar would sell the lone radio outlet.  Potential suitors include iHeartMedia, Entercom, and Hubbard since all three companies have space under the ownership caps in Chicago.

Chris X Joins KSEV, Houston for Afternoon Show. Houston talk station KSEV names Chris X host of the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  The station is owned by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who introduces him as “a strong conservative and the new generation of conservative talk.”  Chris X says, “I couldn’t be happier to be part of ‘The Voice of Texas.’ Houston is my hometown and I’ve been listening to this station for the last 30 years.  There is plenty of anger and division out there, but I prefer to embrace this sociological environment with a little humor and lot of common sense, which has been lacking in today’s political discourse.”

Westwood One to Rep Fox News Radio Programming. Beginning on December 31, Westwood One will begin representing ad sales for FOX News Radio’s long-form talk programming.  As such, Westwood One will be the exclusive seller for FNR’s Brian Kilmeade, Todd Starnes, and Tom Shillue programs as well as the weekday and weekend editions of Benson & Harff,” the weekend “I’ll Tell You What with Perino & Stirewalt,” “FOX News Sunday,” and “From Washington” shows. WWO president Suzanne Grimes states, “Westwood One is known for unique, exclusive, premium content partnerships with iconic brands, and FOX News Radio is a terrific addition to our portfolio.  We’re excited to bring this impressive talk lineup to blue-chip advertisers on our radio, podcast, and streaming channels.”

TALKERS News Notes. This week, FOX News Radio is covering the passing of former President George H. W. Bush and the memorial services with live reports for all radio affiliates through Thursday, December 6.  Gurnal Scott, Jared Halpern, Jon Decker, Jeff Monosso and Tonya J. Powers are leading the coverage.  Additionally, FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide updates every 15 minutes on SiriusXM…..Chicago urban talk outlet WVON is presenting a five-part radio docu-series reporting on “the declining Black population in what was once considered America’s Black Mecca.”  The program is titled, “Exodus: Movement of the People,” and will chronicle the two migrations that occurred in the past century; the first that made Chicago home to more than 1.2 million Blacks and the series of occurrences which has caused the decline of nearly 300,000 of its residents.  WVON reporter and special assignment producer Josh McGhee wrote and produced the five-part series that includes exclusive interviews from a number of long-time residents, historians, demographers, and urban planners.  It will air Monday through Friday at 7:50 am, 11:50 am, 4:50 pm and 7:50 pm on WVON from December 9 – December 13, and can also be accessed live on the iHeartRadio…..NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn announces he will transition into the role of president emeritus of the media organization when his contract runs out at the end of June, 2019.  In a memo to NPR staff, Mohn also announced that he and wife Pam are donating $10 million to the organization to demonstrate their commitment to helping it “achieve long-term financial stability, particularly at a time when journalism is under economic and political pressures.”   The NPR board of directors are beginning a search for the company’s next chief…..Glamour and iHeartMedia are premiering the first episode of “Broken Harts,” Conde Nast’s first investigative podcast in collaboration with HowStuffWorks.  The series features director Justine Harman and books editor Elisabeth Egan joining field reporter Lauren Smiley to explore the case of Jennifer Hart, her wife Sarah their six adopted children who all died after Jennifer Hart drove off a cliff in California, killing all eight of them.  Also, from iHeartMedia on the iHeartRadio platform is “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” The audio series will launch on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network in early 2019, co-produced by Funny Or Die.  The first of 24 episodes will launch in the first quarter of 2019.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Year-End Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has launched its annual year-end appeal for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  The year-end drive asks broadcasters to reflect on their success and good fortune and give back with a tax-deductible personal or corporate donation that will help the Broadcasters Foundation continue its mission of delivering financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only charitable organization devoted exclusively to broadcasting professionals.  The year-end giving campaign comes as more broadcasters than ever before are reaching out for monthly or emergency relief. This year, the Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid, surpassing last year’s record-setting figure of more than $1 million.  Close to $300,000 of this year’s total is for the emergency assistance that is disbursed quickly to broadcasters whose lives or homes have been affected by the unprecedented number and severity of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Maria, Florence, and Michael and the wildfires in California.  Monthly aid is distributed to qualifying broadcasters who have been confronted with unexpected medical emergencies, including life-threatening critical illnesses and devastating tragic accidents.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Our lives can change in the blink of an eye.  In its 70-plus years of existence, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided financial aid to every broadcaster who qualified. It is only through the generosity of the people in our industry that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to deliver this much-needed assistance to those in our profession who need it most.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, the Passing of George H.W. Bush, Migrants at U.S. Border, Government Shutdown Threat, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Brexit Process, Paris Protests, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/3). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the death of former President George H. W. Bush; the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border where migrants seeking entry into the U.S. have amassed; the threat of a government shutdown over border wall funding; the tensions over the military incursion into Ukraine by Russia; the status of Britain’s exit from the European Union; the rollback of the gas tax in France after violent protests in Paris; the NCAA’s College Football Playoff selections; and the weekend’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. Radio personality Brian “Sludge” Haddad is returning to Chicago from Philadelphia where he’s been creative director at Entercom’s sports talk WIP to host the morning show on alternative WKQX.  Haddad and co-host Ali Mattacola and executive producer Justin NettlebeckBrian Phillips has been hosting the morning show for past year and will transition to a part-time role with the station…..Former country WMIL, Milwaukee and country WKTI, Milwaukee personality Karen Dalessandro joins Saga Communications’ rock WKLH, Milwaukee for fill-in work.  She was most recently with WKTI before the station flipped to sports talk as Good Karma Brands assumed operations…..Programming pro Brad Hansen, most recently with country KRST, Albuquerque, is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Northern Colorado cluster that includes country KUAD and four other music formatted stations.

November 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. November 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin Spoken-Word Formats – A November gain of four-tenths to 4.5 (6+) by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM erases its combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” progresses from ninth to eighth. This (4.5) is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in October (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX continues at #16. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. The 2.5 in November (and September) is its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). Albeit flat at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+).

This is the third straight month at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT (8.6 – 8.5, -.1, 6+), which had been a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – After dropping three-tenths in October, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX erases it with an increase twice that margin (2.1 – 2.7, +.6, #18 to #15, 6+). Just before October’s -.3, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” is a cumulative +1.0 in three straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3, 6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned KLBJ-FM is a collective -1.3 in three straight sweeps without an increase; “93.7 The Rock of Austin” departs the top ten (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, #10 to #11, 6+). The last three sweeps have found Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); and now -.5 in November (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), but “Majic 95.5” continues at #3. Its 6.7 in August and October is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. Level at #20, urban AC KKMJ-HD3 hasn’t had a decrease since February and is up three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Off by one-half share in addition to KKMJ  is KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, the iHeartMedia-owned country outlet was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Moving from fifth to fourth is co-owned and similarly-programmed KASE (5.3 – 5.4, +.1, 6+), which has been within 5.1 – 5.7 range (6+) in each of the last 10 ten survey periods. “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and a combined +.6 in August and September. Up two-tenths (1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). With a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), KOKE-FM erased three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK dips from fifth to sixth. In September and October, “106.1 Stay Connected” was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). A July increase of four-tenths halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by two-tenths in November to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders two-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

Over the last five survey periods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); unchanged at second; and now in November, second to third (8.3 – 7.4, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Powered by a +1.8 to 7.1 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” zooms from eighth to fourth. The massive November increase obliterates its collective -1.7 in September and October (7.0 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Earlier this calendar year, “Mix” was an overall +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements; -1.3 (July); +.6 (August); and a collective -1.7 in September and October. Roaring back from October’s loss of two-tenths with a November uptick of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the third straight month with its strongest 6+-stat (10.3) since January’s 10.7. While it notches a gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.3, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” remains at #12. It is a bit over two-shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Prior to posting a one-half share increase in October, “G-105” was a combined -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Just after adding one-tenth in October, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” erodes by -1.7 (8.0 – 6.3, 6+), segueing from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.0. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR halted three straight downward moves that led to a collective -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” – is an overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #12 to #14, 6+). A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – By tacking on seven-tenths to a full-share October increase, Emmis news/talk WIBC – which was off seven-tenths in September – progresses from fifth to third.

Just as they were in October, WIBC sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” are tied at #16. Both are up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+). WFNI improved by six-tenths in September, while WNDE notched a one-half share gain in October.

Off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases that deficit with a one-half share increase to 4.6 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Despite being off one-tenth to 9.9 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK is #1 for the fifth month in a row. The loss, however, does pull the plug on five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Within 4.3 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps (4.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by one full-share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12, 6+). While the FM signal of Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” falters by one-half share (#13 to #12, tied with WKLU) and continues a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3      – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), its online “stream” debuts at .6 (#22, 6+). Five straight decreases by Radio One CHR WNOW for a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+) send “100.9 Radio Now” from #14 to #15. Dropping from third to fourth, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share shrinks one full-share as Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” sputters by seven-tenths (5.7 – 5.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” falters by three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, second, 6+). “Hank” improved by six-tenths in October after September’s -1.5. On top in April, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); and +.9 (October).

Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats – While it relinquishes 40% of October’s massive +2.5 (10.4 – 9.4, -1.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ repeats at #1. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is the key station of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers. Adding nine-tenths to October’s +.4 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN vaults from ninth to fifth. In advance of October, “News/Talk 1130” was a combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

The market’s sports talk scene has become more crowded as – approximately three-quarters through the November sweep – Good Karma Brands shifted country WKTI (3.4 – 2.3, -1.1, #12 to #15, 6+) to “94.5 ESPN.”   In addition, co-owned, Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee” debuts with a .5 (#20, 6+). It is tied there with iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920,” which has quintupled its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” drops four-tenths to 1.5 (#16 to #17, 6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Flat at #12, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM follows October’s gain of seven-tenths with a +.2 (3.4 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – November 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 (flat at #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – As of November 1, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is without a direct format competitor as Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” has transitioned to sports (see above). Already making the most of the situation, WMIL is a collective +2.2 in three positive spikes in succession, including November’s +1.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, fourth to third, 6+). WKTI finishes its country tenure with an overall -2.1 in six straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). After an astonishing 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” was knocked out of the top spot in October by Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ. WRIT trailed WTMJ by 2.5 shares in October but, with a gain of eight-tenths (7.9 – 8.7, steady at #2) and WTMJ dropping one full-share, “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” narrows the lead to seven-tenths. Notwithstanding that is an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in succession (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” manages to improve from #14 to #13. Flat at #6, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is off one-half share in three successive modest downturns (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), while co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” more than doubles (+.9) its 6+-share with its third straight gain (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7, #17 to #16, 6+).

Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – Once again, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” – which departs the top ten – logs a month-to-month fluctuation of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, -.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Dating back to March, it has – in that stretch – been 3.5 – 3.7; 3.7 – 3.5; 3.5 – 3.3; 3.3 – 3.5; and 3.8 – 4.0 (6+).

The May 2017 – November 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#20 to #19) indicates a (6+) high of 1.4 and (6+) low of .8: 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 – .8 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.2.

Having more than doubled (+3.3) its 6+-share in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” surrenders nine-tenths in November to 5.4 (fifth to seventh). October’s 6.3 was the highest 6+-share for the Tennessee Titans’ flagship since January’s 6.5. Steady at #18, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is a collective +1.0 via three consecutive improvements (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), wiping out roughly half of its -1.9 in four straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Owing to three setbacks in succession, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Transforming October’s loss of seven-tenths into a November gain of nine-tenths (8.1 – 9.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” sets the pace for the 10th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations this calendar year are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); and now +.9 (November). As a result of four upticks in a row (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.0. This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since 6.6 in March. A loss of one-half share to 2.6 (#14 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” suspends five consecutive sweeps without a loss that generated an overall increase of eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). In three straight downturns, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.3 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5, third to fourth, 6+). August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), since January (7.8, as well). In the market’s three-way country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (-1.0 in September) logs an improvement of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, sixth to third, 6+), while co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” posts its third increase in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, stable at #10, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which had been +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), falters by one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Providence Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight increases (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from eighth to seventh. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). A combined +.6 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is steady at #12. This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it picked up in October (.5 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” continues at #21. In five straight Providence sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is up three-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1, #16 to #17, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net gain of two full-shares (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI inches up from seventh to sixth. Before dropping six-tenths in July, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

After logging a +.4 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH surrenders six-tenths of that combined +.8 in November (2.0, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth. In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). It is tied at #10 with WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH, which follows October’s one-half share gain with a loss of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+). In September, WGBH returned the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – Having lost a combined eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” bounces back with a gain of one-half share to 2.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Stable at 9.4 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. June’s 10.3 is its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting 90% of its combined September and October +1.0 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” slips to 4.6 (-.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Off by one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (8.7 – 8.2, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (6.9 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+). Ironically, both “Cat Country” and “B-101” were up one-half share in October. Prior to October’s +.5, WWBB was a  combined -1.7 in August and September.

Norfolk – With a one-half share increase (1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WNOH has its best 6+-stat (1.7) since April’s 1.8 as “Alt 105.3” breaks into the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly tripling (+1.2) its 6+-share in four upticks in succession (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to this particular run, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Although it is without an increase for the third sweep in a row for a -2.4 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 24th straight time and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 32nd time in the last 33 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Following five consecutive months in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI falls to fourth, as “103 Jamz” is a combined -2.0 in October and November (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.2, 6+). Its erosion of -1.2 in October curtailed five consecutive up or flat moves that yielded an overall gain of nine-tenths (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+). In four consecutive (albeit slight) decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE is off a combined six-tenths and segues from fourth to fifth; “101.3 2WD” was +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks,” which was an overall -2.5 via four straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+); roared back with a +1.1 in October; and is now -.6 (6.9 – 6.3, 6+) but carries on at #3. Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” falters by one-half share to 2.9, its lowest 6+-stat since April (2.9, as well). There are two new Norfolk entries this month, the online “stream” of Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music,” which debuts with a .4 (#14, 6+) and the online “stream” of co-owned urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” popping on with a .1 (#15, 6+).

Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – By adding four-tenths to October’s +.3 (3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” climbs from tenth to ninth; WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Flat at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” hands over half of October’s +.2 (.4 – .3, -.1, 6+). Going into the October sweep, WSJS lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share as a result of six straight down or flat moves (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+).

One streak continues for Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD and another one ends. It’s the sixth consecutive time that “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13, but after four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD falters by one-half share to 1.9 (6+). Its +.1 in August concluded at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the May through November topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (unchanged at #15) is: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding one full-share (10.4 – 11.4, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” finishes at #1 for the 11th straight sweep and 24th straight time that it is in double-digits (6+). October’s +.2 pulled the plug on five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). After being off a combined nine-tenths in three straight declines (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” picks up two-tenths to 9.3 (6+) and stays in the runner-up slot for the 11th straight sweep. A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Having occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps, WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” bumps up to #11. The iHeartMedia CHR was +.5 in September (2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 in October (3.4 – 2.8, 6+); and now +.9 in November (2.8 – 3.7, 6+). Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Remaining at #3 with its highest 6+-showing (8.5) since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary sibling WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is up or flat for the third straight month for a collective +1.7 (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). In the market’s always competitive country battle, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gains three-tenths (6.4 – 6.7, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” falters by four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, 6+). The two rivals remain at #5 and #7, respectively. “Q-104.1” was a combined -.8 in October and September; “The Wolf” was up one-half share in October.

West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats – Answering October’s loss of four-tenths with a November increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” progresses from #12 to #11. October’s -.4 ended at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Conversely, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” drops one-tenth to 2.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). This is the third straight month at 1.8 (6+) for co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which slips from #13 to #14; WZZR gained one-half share in August. In addition to erasing the four-tenths it gained through three straight increases (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Miami news/talk sibling WIOD departs the top twenty (.9, #18 to #22, 6+).

Three straight improvements by WLRN resulted in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), but the Dade County School Board news/talk station forfeits 60% of that increase (3.3, -.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Tacking on one-half share to October’s robust +1.1 and advancing from sixth to fifth is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF (3.9 – 4.4, 6+). “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” was down one-half share in September but now has its best 6+-share (4.4) since January’s 5.3. Stable at #10, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” is +1.3 through five positive spikes in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Its similarly-formatted Miami sibling, WZTU “94.9 Donde Viven Tus Hits,” debuts at #22 in West Palm Beach with a .8 (6+). Having posted an overall +1.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF relinquishes all of that increase and one-tenth more to 8.9 (6+). The -1.8 represents the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here. Even so, “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 for the 11th survey period in a row. Its 10.7 in October was the highest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2017’s 11.2. The market’s two mainstream adult contemporary outlets continue to remain close together as iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” adds two-tenths to October’s +.1 (5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but drops from a second-place tie to third, while Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” improves by four-tenths (4.6 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4. Prior to October’s increase, “Kool” was an overall -1.2 via three straight decreases (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). “Sunny” was up four-tenths in August and September, but then down six-tenths in October.

Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last five survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has been -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); and now +.6 in November to 11.2, its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. The station’s “old” record of 10.6 (6+) was set … this time last month. Moreover, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

Having logged a .5 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” improves three-tenths to .8 (#20 to #18, 6+).

As a result of three consecutive downward moves (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT is a combined -1.2 and remains at #13.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Within 4.2 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL records a gain of eight-tenths to 5.2, its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in March; “V-101.5” carries on at #8. Not only is Cox Media Group CHR WAPE an overall +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+), “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its strongest 6+-share (7.0) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, WAPE sibling WEZI remains on a roll: “Easy 102.9” is an overall +1.9 through four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Simultaneously, Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). August’s 10.6 was the best 6+-showing for WEJZ, which was #1 in June, July, August and September, since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. WEZI and WEJZ remain at #7 and #3, respectively. After debuting in October with a 1.1, Delmarva Educational Association contemporary Christian WCRJ “The Joy FM” adds one-half share to 1.6 (#17 to #16, 6+). Following six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE notches a +.4 to 4.1 (6+) as “Gator Country 99.9” repeats at #9. Despite a loss of seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row.

Memphis Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining the three-tenths it lost in October (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” remains in tenth-place. July’s +.2 to 3.1 (6+) interrupted five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+).

Off six-tenths in July, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has followed with four straight gains for an overall +.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s top three stations are all in double-digits (6+). Boasting the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 upswing by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (8.8 – 10.7, +1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO advances from third to second. Moreover, this (10.7) is the highest 6+-share for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Anchored at #5, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is up one full-share in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Having logged six downward moves in succession for an overall -2.7 (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and remains at #4. A gain of three-tenths to 4.7 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -2.4 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the July sweep, the Entercom hot AC was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Basically stabilizing after October’s massive +2.4, its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRVR “104.5 The River,” is off one-tenth (11.0 – 10.9, 6+), repeating at #1. October’s 11.0 is its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (steady at #14) – is an overall +.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). When co-owned WGKX lost two-tenths in September, it suspended three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” however, falters by one-half share in back-to-back (October and November) sweeps (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), segueing from #7 to #9.

Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of October’s +.8, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is off two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+0 but continues in fifth-place. Going into the October sweep, “News Talk 1080” notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” has an ultra-consistent topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+) and remains at #14.

Despite faltering by four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” advances from #13 – #12.

A combined +1.1 in three positive spikes in a row (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” progresses from ninth to eighth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at 14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – While unchanged at #11, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 displays an increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+). In addition to being an overall +1.4 via three straight improvements (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” marches from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Up four-tenths to 6.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down eight-tenths (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRCH “Lite 100.5,” is #1 for the 28th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th time in the last 27 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which stymied four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKSS (7.9 – 7.1, 6+), which slides from second to fourth with its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.9. As a result of three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is an overall -1.3 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Grapplers Guide to Grinding Out Pinpoint Podcasts

| November 28, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES — On-air personalities have enhanced their “celebrity status” in recent years via personal websites; social media and professional homepages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.); and by becoming bloggers.

Such platforms have also simultaneously provided a strong voice heretofore largely unavailable to the non-broadcaster.

If not in the traditional over-the-air or satellite-delivered sense, virtually anyone with a computer can achieve their own degree of “stardom” on the internet and there’s been no shortage of those giving it a go through podcasting.

Read More

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’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. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

| November 20, 2018

Minihane Says ‘Difference of Opinion’ Led to Departure from WEEI, Boston.  Appearing on public television outlet WGBH-TV, Boston’s “Greater Boston” program with host Jim Braude on Monday (11/19), former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane explained his exit from the “Kirk & Callahan” program, saying he and station owner Entercom had a “difference of opinion” on how the morning show should go forward. He said, “There was just a philosophical difference between the station — Entercom, the ownership — and me.  They wanted to go one way.  I didn’t want to go that way.”  Minihane said he was asked to sign a document that he wasn’t comfortable with.  “It basically said you can’t be interesting, you can’t be mean-spirited, you can’t take chances, you can’t rip the Red Sox, you can’t rip the Boston Globe.  And I said, ‘I’m not going to participate.’”  As reported last week, Minihane will launch a national program on Entercom’s RADIO.COM in 2019, he’ll host his own podcast and will write for the digital platform as well.  Mike Mutnansky now co-hosts the WEEI morning show with Gerry Callahan.  Read coverage of the WGBH-TV appearance here.

Nielsen Names IBM SVP David Kenny New CEO. Ratings and consumer behavior giant Nielsen Holdings LLC names former IBM senior vice president David Kenny its new chief executive officer, effective December 3.  Kenny takes over for the retiring Mitch Barns at a time when the company is reviewing its corporate strategy – led by board chairman James Attwood – and that could lead to a sale of either its Watch (ratings) or Buy (consumer behavior) segments or a sale of the entire company.  Kenny will earn $1.3 million in base salary, the opportunity to earn up to $1.9 million in the Annual Incentive Plan, and participation in the Long Term Incentive Plan.  Additionally, Nielsen agrees to compensate Kenny for his loss of unvested equity in IBM with 487,505 Nielsen RSUs (Make Whole RSUs) that will vest in three equal annual installments through 2021; Nielsen will pay him $2.5 million on February 15, 2019 for his loss of an IBM cash retention award; and will pay him $1.5 million upon starting his employment for his loss of the IBM 2018 annual incentive payout.

PodcastOne Launches Four New Podcasts. New programs launching on PodcastOne this month include: “Chad’s World,” starring “Bachelorette” villain Chad Johnson; “Zane’s World” in which world traveler Zane digs deeper into places he’s featured on his other travel shows and shares unheard, amazing stories and interviews celebrities about their experiences; “Selfie Made,” with author Meredith Rojas on building one’s online brand; and “Just Between Us,” with “Good Witch” star Bailee Madison and her sister Kaitlin Vilasuso.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “We’re really proud to have created a prime space for social and on-screen influencers to extend their digital brands in the rapidly growing podcast space.  We have seen great success in the last year with influencers like Kaitlyn BristoweSpencer and Heidi Pratt, Kim Zolciak, and more and we’re excited to welcome these four new programs to the party!”

TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio dynamo Simon Conway (left) – heard in afternoon drive on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and sister WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids – is pulling a couple of days of double duty this week.  In addition to his own show, he’s also sitting in for WOAI-AM San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right)…..As Major League Baseball’s New York Mets change flagship stations from iHeartMedia’s WOR to Entercom’s WCBS-AM, Mets color analyst of the past six seasons Josh Lewin is leaving New York to return to San Diego to host pre- and post-game shows for San Diego Padres radio broadcasts.  Lewin also handles play-by-play for UCLA football.  He previously worked in San Diego doing radio broadcasts for the NFL’s Chargers…..This Thanksgiving weekend, ABC News is making available a three-hour special titled, “America Gives Thanks,” hosted by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky that will “highlight tales of prosperity, hope, and kindness that Americans across the country have experienced.  It will feature stories of Americans in diverse situations including survivors of wildfires, students from Africa given a chance to succeed in the United States, and recipients of kidney transplants.”…..Voxnest announces that  podcast producer and host Jonathan Zenti joins the company as head of content.  Voxnest notes that Zenti is an award-winning podcast producer and host with more than a decade of distinguished experience across the industry who was most recently made a member of the advisory committee for PRX’s Google Podcast creator program.

Acosta Pass Restored/New WH Press Rules, Democrats’ Internal House Speaker Battle, Democrats’ Whitaker Challenge, Federal Asylum Claims Ruling, Gun Violence Incidents, California Wildfires, Sinking Dow, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19). The White House restores CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass and institutes new rules for reporters covering the White House; the Democrats’ battle over Nancy Pelosi as next House Speaker; Senate Democrats challenge appointment of acting AG Matthew Whitaker; the federal ruling blocks President Trump’s asylum ban; Monday’s spate of gun violence; the devastation from California’s wildfires; the reeling Dow loses 400 points and the plummeting of tech stocks; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Stuttering’ John Melendez Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Media personality John Melendez, who spent 15 years as an outrageous sidekick and field reporter on Howard Stern’s radio and TV shows, followed by a 10-year stint as announcer and writer on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Melendez, whose “Stuttering John” character rose to fame in the Howard Stern universe for asking unsuspecting celebrities extremely intimate and embarrassing questions, has just published a memoir, Easy for You to Say (Rare Bird Books, 2018).  It discusses his lifelong battle against stuttering going all the way back to his experiences being bullied in school as well as his colorful media career and the major stars with whom he interacted.  Melendez talks to Harrison quite candidly about his relationships with both Stern and Leno as well as his perspective on the industry and life.  According to Harrison, “This guy is extremely interesting.  He’s lived both a charmed life and career which he discusses in candid detail in our conversation.  What a great guest!”  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. In Pittsburgh, Michael “Frogman” Ovadia exits Forever Media’s country WOGI, “Froggy 104.3” after four years there.  Erika “Aligator” Hink – co-host of the “Frogman & Gator” show – continues to host the program solo…..Madison, Wisconsin morning personality Pat O’Neill announces via social media that he’s exiting Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WMGN “MAGIC 98” for a yet-to-be-named gig he’ll start in January…..WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108” morning drive icon Matt Siegel – host of the “Matty in the Morning” show – comes home with the Broadcaster of the Year award from the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association’s “Sound Bites” event. The honor is given annually to “a Massachusetts radio or TV broadcaster who has shown an unwavering dedication to the evolution of broadcasting, breathing life into his/her work by being creative, enthusiastic, and committed to the community.”  The iHeartMedia personality says, “I am thrilled to receive this honor.  I can’t believe I’ve gotten to wake up the city of Boston for the past 38 years while working alongside some of my closest friends.  I am very humbled and appreciative to be recognized with such high honors.”…..Also from the MBA Sound Bites Awards, Entercom rock WAAF, Boston grabs first place in the “Digital Media” category for “LB’s Big Decision,” featured on the station’s website…..Entercom unveils its “Channel Q” format on KKHH-HD2 in Houston.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Since its inception in October, ‘Channel Q’ (formerly known as ‘Out Now’) has provided a voice for the LGBTQ+ community and we are very excited to bring that voice to the Houston area.  We believe this is a perfect fit considering our long-term partnership with Pride Houston.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

Laura Ingraham to Transition Radio Show to Podcast in January. Talk media personality Laura Ingraham will end her 17-plus years of hosting a live radio talk show in January and launch an original podcast via PodcastOne.  Ingraham, who joined FOX News Channel’s prime-time lineup last fall, has also been hosting her late morning radio show syndicated via Courtside Entertainment.  She says, “While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible.  Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life.  Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”  She adds, “Without phenomenal producers, a committed sales team, great station managers and program directors — and of course my loyal advertisers – this show wouldn’t have been possible.  Now it’s time for a new adventure.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Due to her HUGE success on the FOX News channel, daily podcasts are a much better fit for Laura’s hectic schedule and provides her listeners in all markets access at any time to the new Laura Ingraham show podcast.  She’s at the top of her game and her new original podcasts will fit perfectly on PodcastOne.”

Cumulus Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.7%. The third quarter financial numbers for Cumulus Media have been released and the company reports Q3 net revenue of $282.3 million – an dip of 1.7% from the same period in 2017.  Net income was $12.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million.  Due to its emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year, the company notes in its report that “for the purposes of the analysis of the results presented herein, the company is presenting the combined results of operations for the period June 4, 2018 to September 30, 2018 of the Successor Company with the period January 1, 2018 to June 3, 2018 of the Predecessor Company.  Although this presentation is not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the company believes presenting and analyzing the combined results allows for a more meaningful comparison of results for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 to the nine months ended September 30, 2017.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In our first full quarter of operations since emerging from Chapter 11, our positive momentum continued and we remain focused on the path ahead.  We delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA growth – approximately 50 basis points on a reported basis and 3.9% when adjusting for the impact of USTN and our exit from WLUP-FM in Chicago.  Additionally, in early October, we completed a $50 million prepayment of our term loan using cash generated from operations, demonstrating both our ability to produce significant free cash flow and our commitment to pay down debt with that cash.  We continue to believe that our key growth initiatives, including our digital businesses at the Cumulus Radio Station Group, our rapidly expanding podcast business and pricing and inventory management improvements across the Company, as well as our substantial free cash flow generation, position the Company well to create value for all our stakeholders.”

iHeartMedia Names Future Board of Directors.  When iHeartMedia emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization, it will have a new board of directors and today the company announces who will sit on the board.  Current board chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and current president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will continue to serve on the board with five new board members.  They are: former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo; Spyglass Entertainment co-founder and former MGM Inc. chairman and CEO Gary Barber; Altimeter Capital founder and CEO Brad Gerstner; private investor and director for both Aptiv plc and Arconic Inc Sean Mahoney; and Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.  Bob Pittman comments, “We are excited about both the depth and range of our new board members.  We know our ability to draw on the experience of this unique combination of leaders in their respective fields will give us an unparalleled competitive advantage as we build our next level of growth.”

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity Hits 600-Affiliate Mark. After a little more than 17 years in national syndication, Premiere Networks talk radio superstar Sean Hannity reaches the milestone of 600 affiliate stations.  Premiere states, “Hannity’s provocative, informed, and passionate commentary on news and politics has amassed a loyal following of more than 18 million listeners monthly.  Broadcasting live on weekdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Marconi Award winner is one of the most prominent and influential talk radio hosts in the country, whose political foresight and focus on the American agenda has made him the second most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S.”  Hannity comments, “I am humbled and appreciative to not only our 600 amazing affiliates, but also to the listeners of this radio show in each and every city. Thank you for this honor!”

Good News for Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link II Users; HotSwap Feature Now Available.  This new HotSwap feataure allows users of Comrex’s IP audio codecs ACCESS and BRIC-Link II to back up dedicated links.  This long-sought reliability feature allows users to back up their studio-to-transmitter link or other dedicated link with a wireless modem.  CrossLock is Comrex’s powerful technology for increasing network reliability and allows codecs to use multiple IP networks at once.  CrossLock lets users bond networks together so that more bandwidth is available.  Alternately, in redundancy mode, users can send identical streams down both networks.  Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to designate one network as primary and a second network to be used only when the primary fails.  HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails.  The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored.  Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.  For ACCESS codecs, any supported modem can be used as a back-up.  For BRIC-Link II, only Comrex Connect Modems are supported.  4G LTE Comrex Connect Modems are available for purchase through any Comrex dealer.  When ordering, ask for the NX model of Connect Modem.  Verizon, AT&T, and International versions are available.  HotSwap is included in firmware version 4.3, which is available now for all ACCESS and BRIC-Link II codecs.  Users can download it for free using Device Manager.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Orlando “Big O Alzugaray exits Entercom’s WQAM, Miami after a four-year stint hosting the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program.  He’d previously served with the station from 1997 through 2010…..The National Radio Hall of Fame announces it is creating a new award called the “One to Watch,” chosen by the NRHoF nominating committee.  It was inspired by radio legend Art Laboe, the active radio performer with the longest continuous period of service on air for 75 years and a 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee.  The inaugural “One to Watch” award will be given to Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro…..At Salem Media Group’s Pittsburgh cluster, Brad Marshall is named general manager.  The station group includes news/talk WPGP “1250 The Answer” and its two Christian-formatted outlets.  During his career, Marshall has served with iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media in Youngstown, Ohio…..In more Salem Media Group news, the company chooses software provider Aptivada to power the company’s contesting, promotions, database management, and newsletters…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio advertising unit cabana adds the investigative podcast “Bear Brook” from New Hampshire Public Radio to its content portfolio.  The podcast, hosted by NHPR reporter Jason Moon, centers around a decades-old mystery involving four unidentified bodies found in two barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in the 1980s. The first six episodes of “Bear Brook” garnered more than 1.1 million downloads…..NuVoodoo Media Services promotes Eric Cohen to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. New York-based Cohen joined NuVoodoo Media Services earlier this year as vice president of finance…..iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston re-ups with the Houston Astros to continue serving as the ballclub’s flagship radio station for play-by-play broadcasts.

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; 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. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

| November 13, 2018

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS, Orlando; Jim Colbert Show to Fill PM Drive Slot. On-air pro Jim Philips has been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for more than 30 years.  On November 20, he’ll host the final live “Philips Phile” show and on November 21, the station will air a “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute program.  During his time as host of the afternoon show, Jim Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift for Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth, and championing LGBTQ rights.  The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly.  Philips says, “It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life.  I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.”  iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd announces “The Jim Colbert Show” will air in PM drive.  Led by longtime “Monsters of the Morning” cast member “Dirty” Jim Colbert, the Jim Colbert show will include co-host and news director Deborah Roberts, award-winning stand-up comedian Rauce Padgett, and executive producer and 20-year “Real Radio” veteran Jack Bradshaw.  Byrd states, “We are very excited about the Jim Colbert show expanding to five days a week. After 26 years of entertaining morning audiences as part of the ‘Monsters of the Morning’ show on ‘Real Radio,’ Jimmy will now be doing the same in afternoon drive time with his unique comedic take on the world.”  Colbert says, “Before I was in radio I was a longtime listener of Jim Philips and the ‘Philips Phile.’  It is an absolute honor to bring my show to the same time slot on ‘Real Radio 104.1.’”

Longtime KMJ, Fresno Personality Craig Hansen to Retire. Station program director Blake Taylor reports that Craig Hansen – a fixture on the KMJ, Fresno airwaves for 42 years – is retiring from the Cumulus Media news/talk station in December.  Taylor says, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of KMJ’s Craig Hansen at year’s end.  For those who don’t know, Craig is a virtual encyclopedia of KMJ’s long history and import to Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.  Craig’s first day at KMJ was November 24, 1976.  As far as we can tell, Craig’s 42-year tenure is probably the second-longest in KMJ’s 96-year history – second only to Jerry Higgenbotham’s run from 1949 to 1994.  Mr. Hansen has held a number of on-air positions over the decades but is probably best known for his years as our go-to guy on Saturdays hosting news, ‘Autoshop Talk,’ ‘Real Talk,’ and of course ‘Radio Tradio!’  Craig’s final show at KMJ will be Saturday, December 22.  After that, he and his better half will be driving his Corvette out of the mayhem of California and moving out of state to retire in peace.”

Cumulus to Launch Local Ad Guarantee. The company says that it is “doubling down on the industry-leading ROI guarantee of its Westwood One division” and “will launch an innovative program leveraging the proven effectiveness and reach of broadcast radio, combined with the precise targeting capabilities of its digital products.”  Cumulus Media radio station group EVPs Dave Milner and Bob Walker announce the company will support local advertisers’ number one objective: attracting more customers.  Cumulus says it will guarantee participating local advertisers a minimum number of Engaged Potential Customers (EPCs): listeners who have contacted the business as a result of the coordinated program.  Should the program not deliver the guaranteed results, the business will receive free advertising.  Milner says, “Marketers took notice of our commitment to results when we debuted the Westwood One ROI Guarantee and challenged us to deliver something similar to our local advertisers.  After touting the benefits of a combined radio and digital campaign, we’re now putting our money where our mouth is in our local markets with the EPC Guarantee.”  Walker adds, “Using radio’s exceptional 10:1 ROI, and a proven 19% lift when messages are coordinated between media platforms, we are delivering a hyper-efficient brand building and customer generation program all in one.  We’ve known all along that we can be an advertiser’s one-stop shop for results; now we guarantee it.”  The EPC Guarantee will launch in 65 Cumulus markets later this month, in the home and professional services categories, and will be available in all 90 Cumulus markets in 2019.

Entercom Names Sarah Harris VP of Social Impact. This is a new position at Entercom that Sarah Harris will begin on January 2.  She comes to Entercom from Emmis Communications where she was a senior vice president. While there, she founded and led “Incite,” a cause and social marketing division within Emmis.  Previously, Harris served as director of community outreach for Emmis.  She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and recently completed University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Education in Social Impact Strategy.  In her new role with Entercom, Harris will oversee all aspects of the company’s community engagement initiatives, including its recently launched corporate social responsibility platform, Entercom Cares, as well as Entercom’s government business practice.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “Sarah is a pioneer in cause and social impact marketing and wholeheartedly believes in the power of media to create positive impact.  With her significant experience and expertise in creating and managing social impact programs and campaigns, Sarah will be a terrific addition to our team.”

NPR to Be Honored at Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on January 18, NPR will be the recipient of the iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.  NPR is being honored as a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry” and the award “will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”  The press release notes that NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and it officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts.  In less than a year, NPR reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007.  NPR SVP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award.  Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR.  They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas, and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show.  They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”

Adam Clanton Back on the Air in Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton – who had been with iHeartMedia’s KBME until being fired last May – joins Entercom’s crosstown KILT-AM to host a regular Tuesday evening program with co-host (and KPRC-TV sports anchor) Adam Wexler as well as to handle fill-in and weekend air shifts.  Clanton tells Barron, “It’s nice to be out of radio purgatory and with a group of true professionals who have welcomed me (back) with open arms.  610 has been amazing to me, and sometimes life really does come full circle.  I’m excited going forward.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to Insider NJ’s Top 100 Power List.  Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley was again named to Insider NJ’s “Top 100 Power List” – landing at #42 this year.  The publication says of Hurley, “The conservative talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine about what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey politics and is at the top of his game.”

Florida Recounts, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Whitaker Appointment Challenge, Dow Drops 600 Points, California Wildfires, Michelle Obama Book Tour, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Stan Lee Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The partisan fighting over the election recounts in Florida; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; legal questions about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General; the Dow dips 600 points; the deadly California wildfires that have claimed 42 lives; former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for Becoming; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; Marvel comics founder Stan Lee dies at 95; and the weekend’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. Another “Breeze” is blowing, this time in Detroit as Entercom flips CHR WDZH to adult contemporary as “987 The Breeze.”  This comes on the heels of two recent flips to adult contemporary “Breezes” from iHeartMedia – KBEB, Sacramento and WISX, Philadelphia. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “We are excited to launch ‘987 The Breeze’ and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene.  We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”…..Beasley Media Group – after cutting ties with morning personality Bigg Boy, moves afternoon personalities Gello and Joanna to AM drive as “The GELLO Show” and adds former AM drive co-host Shay-Shay to middays.  The station is on the search for an afternoon drive personality…..Urban One adds the WNOW, Indianapolis-based “Joe & Alex” show – Joe Piesz and Alex Clark – to the morning drive daypart on its Houston CHR KROI.  KROI program director Charese Fruge comments, “Joe and Alex are the perfect combination of caring and crazy, the comedy and quirkiness they bring to mornings is infections and is sure to be a treat for listeners in Houston.”…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks is offering unparalleled, multi-platform coverage of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” tomorrow (11/14).  In addition to programming leading up to the awards show, The Bobby Bones Show’s Amy Brown will provide iHeartCountry mainstream stations with live updates from the red carpet leading up to show time.  Premiere Networks will also provide a live radio simulcast of the CMA Awards show co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

| October 30, 2018

Eric Brooks Exits WTMJ, Milwaukee to Join KCBS-AM, San Francisco. As Milwaukee heritage news/talk prepares to change hands from E.W. Scripps to Good Karma Brands on Thursday (along with sister soon-to-be-sports talk WKTI-FM), the station is bidding adieu to director of news and programming Eric Brooks as he joins Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco as assistant news director.  General manager Tom Langmyer (who himself is leaving the duo when it changes hands on Thursday) says Brooks has “grown tremendously” during his eight years at WTMJ. “As director of news & programming at WTMJ, we’ve counted on his being dedicated and engaged every day on content – and he’s challenged our team to lead on topics, stories, events, and community service.”  Brooks comments, “For someone who has been a news/talk/sports broadcaster, this is a dream come true.  The Bay Area is one of the richest markets for spoken-word formats and I’m beyond humbled to join Jennifer Seelig and the talented team at KCBS.  My thanks to Steve Wexler, Tom Langmyer, and Scripps for the tremendous opportunity and trust in leading this great heritage brand over the past few years. Milwaukee is a very special place with very special people, many of whom are lifelong friends.” Brooks starts at KCBS-AM on November 12. Steve Wexler (taking over for Langmyer) has begun the recruiting process for a new programming leader for WTMJ.

WDEL, Wilmington Makes Programming Adjustments.  Program director Chris Carl announces a new programming lineup on Delmarva Broadcasting’s news/talk WDEL-AM/FM. The syndicated Clark Howard program now airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Following Howard is “Delaware’s Afternoon News,” hosted by Carl.  Allan Loudell moves to the late morning daypart hosting “Del-AWARE with Allan Loudell” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Regarding the afternoon drive show, Carl says it will bring listeners “the latest news from Delaware and around the world, TrafficWatch on the 9s, the up-to-the-minute AccuWeather forecast, and sports with “Big” Don Voltz,” as well as “more reporting on health issues, the latest in technology, travel ideas and the award-winning daily commentary from Dave Ross.”  He says Loudell’s program “will focus on news and issues for the First State, but he’ll feature more in-depth coverage, with lengthier reports that allow for deeper digging by the WDEL News team.”

Rick Lewis Re-Ups with iHeartMedia Denver. Radio personality Rick Lewis re-ups with iHeartMedia on a new three-year deal to keep him there through the end of 2021.  Lewis hosts the morning drive show on classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” and co-hosts the afternoon drive program with Dave Logan on sister news/talk KOA.  Additionally, Lewis works Denver Broncos games for flagship station KOA as color analyst.  Lewis says, “I feel very blessed and grateful to iHeartMedia and our market president Tim Hager for the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is make radio magic.  I am also very grateful to the fans that allow me into their homes, cars, and offices daily to be a part of their lives.  This is a performance-based business and without their support I wouldn’t be here.  As long as I stay healthy, continue to do good work and have fun, I’m not going anywhere.  The best is yet to come!”

WIP, Philadelphia Ends Wing Bowl Promotional Event. On this morning’s program on sports talk WIP, Philadelphia, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti announced that last February’s Wing Bowl – the 26th edition – was the last.  The station decided to end the mega-promotion that began in 1993.  Program director Spike Eskin explained to the WIP audience that the initial Wing Bowl –held the Friday before the Super Bowl – was borne of the frustration of the Philadelphia Eagles not getting to “the promised land” year after year.  With the Eagles championship last season, it seemed like the right time to go out.  The first Wing Bowl was held in a hotel lobby.  It rapidly grew into a huge event and was packing the Wells Fargo center in its final years.

KPCC, Pasadena Evacuated During Bomb Scare.  As reported by the Los Angeles Times, public radio news/talk KPCC, Pasadena was evacuated – as were nearby businesses – for a period on Monday evening (10/29) after authorities were called to investigate a suspicious device that were affixed to the undercarriage of a U-Haul truck.  The device did appear to actually have been an explosive one but was designed to look like a pipe bomb.  Police detonated the device and the explosion was described as not loud.  Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.

Elvis Duran’s 4th Annual Art Carney Awards Honors Hollywood’s Great Character Actors. On Sunday evening (10/28), the “most recognizable faces in television and film” were at the 4th Annual Carney Awards, created by nationally syndicated radio host Elvis Duran, Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, and his brother Jim Katz and is dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors. This year’s class of inductees included: Joe Morton, Jessica WalterJoe Pantoliano, M. Emmet Walsh, James Cromwell, and Bruce Greenwood.  Actor Patton Oswalt served as this year’s host, while performers Donny Most (“Happy Days”) and his Orchestra and recording artist Lily Meola lent their musical talents to the ceremony.  Mike Farrell, Harrison FordMarilu Henner, Debbie Allen, Gregg Henry, and Stephen Tobolowsky served as presenters during the show that will be telecast on Tribune Broadcasting’s WPIX, New York on Saturday, November 24 at 8:00 pm ET.  Pictured above are (from l-r): David Katz, Morton, Greenwood, Walter, actor and voice-over artist Brian Carney, Cromwell, Walsh, and Jim Katz. (Photo: Brian Friedman)

‘Red Pilled America’ Podcast Launches on iHeartRadio. New to the iHeartRadio Original Podcast offerings is “Red Pilled America” – created by the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Courrielche (left) and Adryana Cortez (right).  The two, along with Premiere Networks, describe the new program as “a weekly storytelling series that promises only one thing – the truth.  Each episode will search for answers in the stories of forgotten men and women of America. Why is the middle class shrinking? What is causing the homeless crisis in Los Angeles? Is ‘fake news’ really a new phenomenon?”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Patrick and Adryana are a powerful creative and investigative force.  With their background in journalism and marketing, they’ll expertly guide listeners through the tough questions and topics that Americans face every day in a crowded and often conflicting media landscape.  We’re confident ‘Red Pilled America’ will inform, entertain and enlighten audiences.”

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Mail Bombs Case, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Hillary Clinton 2020 Aspirations, Indonesian Jet Crash, NFL Action, and Boston Red Sox beat Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). The deadly assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail bomber Cesar Sayoc; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020; the Lion Air flight 610 crash; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Boston Red Sox triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World series were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After selling its television assets in 2017, Saga Communications said it will consider the acquisition of radio stations if they are seen as beneficial to the company and CEO Ed Christian likes the Ocala-Gainesville cluster owned by Ocala Broadcasting.  Saga is entering into an agreement to buy country WOGK-FM and the three-station “Wind FM” classic rock-formatted properties WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM.  Christian is quoted saying, “A number of years ago we let the Dix family know that these stations would be a great fit for Saga.  It’s not often you get the opportunity to buy stations from the fifth generation of the founding family.  We see a lot of opportunity with these stations and these markets.  We are pleased that the family has decided to entrust Saga with continuing their long-standing heritage of serving the Gainesville-Ocala region with market leading WOGK “K-Country 93.7” and the WIND classic rock trimulcast.   Saga intends to continue building its business in radio by identifying and acquiring middle market stations in dynamic communities.”…..Rock WWSK, Smithtown, New York “94.3 The Shark” announces that Rob Rush is the new program director and morning personality Brian Orlando is taking on assistant program director duties.  Rush has been with the station since 2003, most recently as music director, a role he accepted in August of 2017.  Connoisseur Media SVP regional strategy and market manager for Long Island Jim Condron comments, “It is always a pleasure to be able to recognize and reward talents like Rob and Brian, both of these men live and breathe ‘The Shark.’ We are very fortunate to have two such talented individuals expanding their roles with us.”…..In New York City, Emmis Communications promotes Bethany Kent to director of marketing and events for the radio stations – rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” urban AC WBLS, and Gospel WLIB-AM – as well as serving as lead producer for live events including the Summer Jam and Circle of Sisters…..Envision Networks invites the industry to join a free webinar event called, “Music Research in the Age of Digital,” presented by RadioTraks president Hal Fish.  He says, “While the way we interact with radio listeners has drastically changed due to the evolution of digital platforms, our need for actionable data about their preferences has not, making it vitally important to use research strategies that keep pace with this evolution.”  The webinar takes place on November 8 at 1:00 pm ET.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the October 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). 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 below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After losing a collective eight-tenths in four downward moves in a row (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR bounces back with a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #16, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Steady at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its sixth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), while Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged in both 6+ AQH share (1.1) and 6+ AQH rank (#24). WABC had been without an increase for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths before picking up two-tenths in September. Bouncing back from a loss of eight-tenths in September with an October increase of one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps from #9 to a three-way tie at #6. The 4.7 logged by the flagship of the Yankees and New York Giants in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following three months in succession of posting a 1.4 (July – August – September, 6+), New York Jets flagship WEPN notches a 1.7 (6+) and remains at #21; “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and is part of the aforementioned three-way logjam with co-owned WFAN. Despite picking up one-tenth, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM, which is trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 (6+), backslides from #13 to #14. In July, WCBS-AM ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which lost a cumulative seven-tenths in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); gained seven-tenths in August; surrendered six-tenths in September; and now recaptures six-tenths in October (2.8 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it added in September, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM (#27 to a four-way tie at #29) is back at .5 (6+); prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – Even though it surrenders in its entirety September’s increase of four-tenths (7.1 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 15th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “Lite FM” fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Without a decrease for six straight months for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” forfeits four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to tenth, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it is Emmis’ similarly-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” (3.7, -.2, flat at #9, 6+), which had posted a 3.9 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). After four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” drops from #11 to #13. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by three-tenths as Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7” is flat at 2.8 (four-way tie at #13 to #15, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (-.3, #17 to #19) is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.0 (May through October, 6+). After regaining the two-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 2.1 (#13 to #18, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to eighth. Stuck on 1.2 (6+) in August and September, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+), advancing from #27 to a four-way tie at #25. Erasing September’s -.2 with an October +.2 (1.1 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” moves from #32 to a three-way tie at #30. “The Patriot” was flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+) and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). Following four months in a row at .4 (6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is off one-tenth to .3 (#41 to #43, 6+). The flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers – iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – has more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH through nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), progressing from #27 to #24. Sunday night, the Dodgers lost the 2018 World Series to the Boston Red Sox in five games. KLAC has a four-tenths advantage over similarly-formatted KSPN “710 ESPN,” which is up four-tenths to 1.3 (#32 to #25), its best 6+-showing since November 2017 (1.3, as well). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, Los Angeles Rams AM flagship KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A collective -.4 in September and October (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips from #11 to #14; KNX was up four-tenths in August. Off six-tenths in April, the all-news outlet followed with an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). The eight most recent 6+ postings for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#16 to #15) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is KBIG off for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), “104.3 My-FM” drops to third, ending five straight months at #1. Furthermore, it is the first time the iHeartMedia hot AC is below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Supplanting KBIG at #1 is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” whose last six (6+) trends are: 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0. The last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KRTH and KBIG is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs have modest October decreases: iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” is off two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), while Entercom’s KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” drops one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), “Kiss” picked up four-tenths in August. Meanwhile, “Amp,” which logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – handed over one-half share in September. Off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), progressing from #20 to #18. One-tenth ahead of it is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KROQ, which is a combined -.4 in September and October (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5, #14 to #16, 6+), after being +.7 in six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). KROQ is tied with Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO, which is without a loss for the fifth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a net gain of four-tenths; “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 36th time in succession. Following five (slight) decreases in succession that led to an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “92.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” picks up two-tenths (3.8, 6+), progressing from seventh to sixth. Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” has the same August – September – October (6+) profile as “Jack” (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.8). Tied at #9 are Cumulus Media’s  KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California,” which is up a combined half-share in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), and iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3,” which is +.4 in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOL was 2.0  – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but “Mega 96.3” disappears from print in October.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #16 to #15. The Chicago White Sox key station was down one-half share in August and then up three-tenths in September. Entering the August sweep, WGN posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Picking up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Flat at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through October topline trending of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Following a gain of eight-tenths in September, Entercom sports talk (and Chicago Cubs flagship) WSCR returns one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+) but carries on in sixth-place. Prior to September, “670 The Score” logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the previous three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP continues at #24. “ESPN Chicago 1000” had been without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Following six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM is a collective +1.0 in September and October (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), as the key station of the Chicago Bears progresses from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 is its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is flat at 2.3 (6+) but advances from #20 to #19. Up one-tenth in September, WBEZ was a combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of regressing by eight-tenths in September, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” erases a bit more than half that deficit with a one-half share improvement to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, Chicago’s “Mix” was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps. In three consecutive upticks, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (unchanged at #3) is +1.3 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). At #1 for the tenth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” repeats September’s 5.7, its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). Up or flat the past five months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE surrenders the entire half-share increase (2.6, -.5, 6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Not only does iHeartMedia’s WLIT wipe out its combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+) with a collective +.6 in September and October (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), “93.9 Lite FM” is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). On one hand, Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the ninth month in a row, but on the other, “FM 87.7 Me TV” loses four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Moreover, WRME-LP has its consecutive string of up or flat reports that netted one-half share end at three (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Owing to a -.4 to 5.0 (second to fourth, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” has a similar fate, as it snaps at three a successive streak of improvements that generated a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 15th straight time, Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (flat at 3.7, 6+) bumps up from ninth to eighth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is an overall -.3 in September and October (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5,  #23 to #22, 6+). For the fourth time in the last six sweeps, Entercom’s WBBM-FM “B-96 Chicago’s New Hit Music” (#19 to #18) logs a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO recoups 70% of that loss with a +.7 to 3.1 (#15 to #11, 6+). Immediately prior to August, KSFO put together four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). In an up/down sequence that began in July (1.7 – 2.1 – 1.8  – 2.2, 6+), cluster-mate KGO is an overall +.5 and reenters the top twenty (#22 to #17). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Immediately after dropping eight-tenths in September, co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by another four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). The key station of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers gained nine-tenths in April. A combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18); “95.7 The Game” was -1.1 in July (2.6 – 1.5, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, KGMZ was up or flat the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM (5.3 – 5.6, +.3, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in a row. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. It is 1.1 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended 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+). Having logged a one-half share five times in the previous seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is up one-tenth to .6 (#32 to #31, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) by Bonneville adult contemporary KOIT-FM wipes away its collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” vaults from tenth to fourth. In addition to being an overall +1.0 in five straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Tacking on six-tenths to September’s +.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” jumps from #19 to #14. Within 3.0 – 3.2 range (6+) in each of the last four sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” sputters by eight-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #16, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) takes mainstream CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7 – New Hit Music” to its lowest 6+-showing since December 2017 (3.1, as well) and out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Without a loss the past four months for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC surrenders four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). After being an overall +.6 as the result of four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ was down four-tenths in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). In October, “98.1 The Breeze” adds one-tenth to 4.7 (6+) and continues at #3.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Doubling September’s gain of two-tenths with a +.4 (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+),Cumulus Media’s WBAP pushes up from #19 to #15. Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). While level with September’s .9 (6+), Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” advances from #34 to #33. Entering the September sweep, “The Answer” was down or flat the preceding four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Returning September’s +.1 (.4 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at #35. A gain of four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #12, 6+) by co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” ends a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” picks up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #20 to #18. Prior to August, the flagship of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#32 to #30) is a collective +.3 in three straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+). A consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+) from June through October, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) climbs from #14 to #13. Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (4.0 – 4.6, seventh to third, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” (3.2 – 3.8, tenth to ninth, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing (3.8) since January’s 4.1. At the same time, WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA, which improved by seven-tenths in September, forfeits eight-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.3 – 1.5, 6+) as “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” departs the top twenty (#20 to #24). A gain of one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” halts six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It overtakes (by one-tenth) co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3,” which is -1.1 in three straight reports without an increase (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1, third to fifth, 6+). When KSCS dropped nine-tenths in August, it curtailed seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Substituting September’s -.4 with an October +.4 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” – which was +1.1 in August – is on top for the tenth straight time. “Kiss” was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+), after a +1.5 via three upticks in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). Owing to five straight up or flat sweeps, City of Dallas-owned WRR more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), but “Classical 101” spirals by -1.1 in October to 2.0 (6+), cratering from the top twenty (#13 to #22). Immediately following five successive sweeps without a loss for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is now -.9 in September and October (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 3.7 (#16 to #12, 6+). Among the market’s sports talk competitors, KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 (flat at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” repeats September’s 1.1 (6+) as the Houston Texans’ AM flagship moves from #24 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC adds two-tenths (.6 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+) as “ESPN 97.5” has its best 6+-showing since May (.8, as well). In three straight down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) and slips from #16 to #17.

Houston Music Formats – As the result of three straight upticks (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is an overall +1.7 (#13 to #8) and reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly two years (4.0, October 2016). Likewise, co-owned regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” strings together three straight improvements for a collective +1.3 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0, 6+) to progress from fifth to third. The last time “Que Buena” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was one year ago (6.3, October 2017). It is a bit of a different story though for Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5,” which dials up a one-half share increase to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA continues one streak and ends another. “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the sixth month in a row, but is off four-tenths to 7.2 (6+), thus interrupting three straight up or flat trends that yielded six-tenths (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+) remains in the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. After three successive (slightly) up and flat trends (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” falters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (third to seventh, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.2. Showing decreases of one-half share each are Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (3.1 – 2.6, #18 to #20, 6+) and Texas Southern University-owned jazz KTSU “Your Community Station – The Heart & Soul of Houston” (1.2 – .7, #27, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 35th consecutive time, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is a collective +.7 in September and October (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), after being down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+). When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted four consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY was flat in September (1.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) in October, “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #20). WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). An overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” jumps from #15 to #11. The Atlanta Falcons’ flagship was a combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths. The April 2018 through October 2018 (6+) topline for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is: 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0; the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #18. When WCNN lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Unchanged at #11, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +.8 in three straight increases (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). April – October stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#23 to #26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – It is a mixed bag in October for the market’s country-formatted outlets, including a format change. Specifically, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” piles on six-tenths to September’s +.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) to enter the top ten (#14 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is -1.1 via three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 2.9, #12 to #17, 6+). Approximately halfway through the October sweep, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Your Georgia Country” transitioned to regional Mexican as “La Raza” and is down one-half share (.6 – .1, #31, 6+). Once again, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are on top of each other. Without a loss for the sixth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #7, while Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (unchanged at #8, 6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). A one-half share increase (6.7 – 7.2, 6+) takes Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” to its highest 6+-share (7.2) in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). Following a (repetitive 6+) May through August sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA  surrenders a combined -1.1 in September and October (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) with “Hot 107.9” exiting the top ten (#9 to #13). Similarly, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” is an overall -1.1 in September and October as well (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+). Three gains in a row by “The Fish” netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+); August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #14, Entercom’s WPHT has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (+1.4) in six straight increases (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Regaining half of September’s -.2 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” continues at #22; September’s 1.3 is its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). Philly’s FM sports talk format notes a (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of +2.1, with Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” +1.4 (5.9 – 7.3, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” notching a +.7 (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #16, 6+). Moreover, Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP (key station of the Phillies, as well) jumps from sixth to first. WIP was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); and now +1.4 (October). Meanwhile, prior to October, “The Fanatic” was without a gain the past five months for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Picking up four-tenths (5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” – which was +.7 in August and -.1 in September – inches up from eighth to seventh. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April, leading to four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. Up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), public news/talk WHYY repeats at #10. An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), adult contemporary WBEB reduces that deficit by roughly 30% with a gain of seven-tenths to 7.0 (6+), as “Today’s 101.1 More FM” jumps from fourth to second. WBEB was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. The longtime Jerry Lee Radio property is now being operated by Entercom under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until Entercom officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase. Not only does a -1.1 to 6.6 (6+) pull the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAS-FM departs the top spot after just one month there and tumbles to fifth. August’s 7.3 marked the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reached the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). On the heels of a September gain of four-tenths, Beasley Media Group-to-Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” surrenders more than twice that increase (5.7 – 4.8, -.9, seventh to eighth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-showing (4.8) since 4.6 in March. A combined -1.4 in three straight negative trends (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” – which finished first in August – segues from second in September to third. This comes immediately after six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after logging a +1.0 in September, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” tacks on an additional eight-tenths (2.8 – 3.6, #13 to 6+), jumping from #13 to #9. By way of perspective, WOR finished at #22 in August and was a collective -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC surrenders half of September’s +.2 (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+). Both of New York City’s major sports talk outlets that penetrate Long Island gain six-tenths in Nassau-Suffolk: Entercom’s WFAN (5.0 – 5.6, 6+) is #1 for the third month in a row, while New York Jets flagship WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (1.6 – 2.2, 6+) jumps onto the top twenty (#22 to #16). October’s 5.6 is the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. WEPN had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). An improvement of six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, 6+) lifts Entercom all-news WINS from #14 to #13. Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds a collective three-tenths in September and October (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+), and ranked #19 in September disappears from print.

Long Island Music Formats – In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains all of it (+1.2) in three increases in succession (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, steady at #2, 6+). Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+) and dropped four-tenths in September (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), plummets one full-share in October to 3.7 (four-way tie at #2 to #7, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-stat since March (3.7, as well). Registering a loss of six-tenths are Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock,” a combined -1.3 in three straight drops (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, sixth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” (3.6 – 3.0, #10 to #14, 6+), with its lowest 6+ Long Island stat since January (3.0, as well). Flat at #4, its mainstream CHR cluster-mate WHTZ “Z-100” is flat or down slightly for the sixth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth consecutive time for an overall decline of one-half share (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT advances from #16 to #15; “Hot 97” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 48th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR adds two-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.4 – 1.6, 6+) and continues at #12. KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). Down or flat the past four Inland Empire sweeps (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC doubles September’s .3 to .6 as “The Voice of Southern California” stays at #17. Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+); was flat in September (.3, 6+); and is up one-tenth in October (.4, four-way tie at #17 to #18, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August (.1, 6+); and adds one-tenth in both September (.2, 6+) and October (.3,  #19, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the ninth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of September’s massive +2.5 (7.4 – 9.9, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” returns four-tenths (9.5, 6+) but is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. The loss though curtails five straight upticks that netted a whopping +5.3 more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Prior to September, KLYY last reached the nine-share level (6+) in February 2017 (9.2). A collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA falters by three-tenths to 6.9 (6+), but stays in the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row. With a 6.5 (6+), KOLA was #1 in May. Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #6, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” drops four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on four straight sweeps without a loss that generated a collective +1.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+). Not only is Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM -1.1 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), “96.7 Rocks” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the sixth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #23, 6+). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+). “La Preciosa 1440 AM” posted a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), but is unlisted for the second month in a row.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Progressing from #15 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KGO notches its fourth uptick in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). July’s increase discontinued four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to 1.2 (#27 to #25, 6+) by co-owned news/talk KSFO applies the brakes to three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the evaporation of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After posting a +.8 to halt three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR is a combined -1.2 in September and October (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). “The Sports Leader” was +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. The seven most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 – .6 (#26, 6+). All-news sibling KCBS-AM (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+) finishes in second-place for the third month in a row. Its -.8 in July curtailed four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Between January 2018 – June 2018, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), KQED jumped from sixth to fourth but the station is unlisted in October.

San Jose Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten survey periods, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI erupts with a +1.2 to 4.4, its highest 6+-stat since December 2017’s 4.5. In addition, “Star 101.3” reenters the top ten (#12 to #8). Making a nearly equal leap is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KEZR (5.1, +1.1, eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), before becoming -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). It’s a stellar month as well for co-owned classic hits-oldies KBAY, which racks up a +.6 to 6.9, its strongest 6+ showing since 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Moreover, “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” marches from #3 to #1, the first time it has held the lead spot since “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. It dislodges Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had been #1 the past three months, but shifts to third-place. Prior to plummeting by one full share in October (5.9, 6+), “K-Fox” was a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). After registering five successive gains for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” is a collective -1.6 in September and October (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+). As a result of three successive increases (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF doubled its 6+-share (+1.7); however, “iHeart80s @ 103.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). Faltering by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” (6.0 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+). After logging a 2.7 in five of the last six sweeps (2.7    – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KVVF “Hot” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex-Somerset-Union

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above being +2.2 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In addition, this (8.2) is its best 6+-share since January (8.3). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a +1.3 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR vaults from #20 to #15. WOR was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #24) is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Entecom sports talk WFAN rebounds with a +.7 to 4.2 (tenth to sixth, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is +1.2 through four consecutive improvements (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+); the flagship of the New York Jets climbs from #18 – #17. Flat at #22, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has a March through October topline of: 2.9   – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 (6+). Right behind it is all-news sibling WINS, which records a 1.7 (6+) for the sixth straight time; WINS was locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April. An August gain of three-tenths by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6). In September, WNYC-FM dropped two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), but it disappears from print in October.

Middlesex-Somerset-Union Music Formats – Down an overall eight-tenths in August and September (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” erases nearly all of it with a +.7 to 3.9 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #8). Recording its fourth increase in succession for an overall +.8 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” carries on in fifth-place. Down for the sixth consecutive month for an overall -1.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” drifts from #11 to #17. Flat at #14, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; 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. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

| October 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases August Financial Figures; Revenue Up 6.3%. Although iHeartMedia is not publicly traded and required by law to release financial data, it is making monthly reports public during its Chapter 11 reorganization process. According to yesterday’s statement detailing August financial data, the company’s revenue climbed 6.3% to $299.4 million.  Operating income rose significantly to $76.8 million, and net income rose to a five-month high of $66.9 million.  (iHM posted sizable losses of $139.8 million and $119.7 million in both April and June, respectively.) During August, iHeartMedia paid out $9.7 million to outside professionals – those handling the reorganization process – down from July’s five-month high of $15.7 million.

Michael Harrison Podcast Poses Provocative Question:  Does the Human Brain Act as a Kind of Radio/Television Antenna?  Silicon Valley high-tech industry financial expert Mark Gober is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Gober is the author of a provocative new book titled “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life” (Waterside Press, 2018).  In it, he presents the latest scientific research and evidence suggesting that, contrary to popular belief and mainstream science dogma, human consciousness doesn’t originate in the brain but, rather, in a higher universal dimension – perhaps even beyond time and space as we perceive them.  The implications of such a possibility are profound.  Harrison states, “I’ve always been fascinated by the obvious connections between human biology and our technological extensions of it.  In other words, our inventions are enhanced mechanical versions of what nature has already provided us.  Is it not possible that just as the content of radio and TV programs does not originate in the physical appliances that pluck it out of the air for us, our consciousness – thoughts, words and creativity – comes from some other invisible source outside the brain?  Maybe the brain is a biological radio antenna processing signals from elsewhere?  Mark Gober’s book tackles this issue in a direct, credible and understandable way.  He’s a great guest!”  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. The NFL’s Washington Redskins are working with Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software and Live Read Capture system, under a new, multi-year deal.  Skyview says, “AdView’s custom design makes scheduling complex play-by-play inventory efficient, providing the Redskins a user-friendly solution as they bring their radio rights in-house for the first time.  With the ability to manage their own broadcast, the Redskins will benefit from scheduling flexibility and quick proof-of-performance turnaround to their sponsors.”  Skyview vice president of business development Matt Stys comments, “We are thrilled to work with the Washington Redskins and believe that AdView will be a powerful tool as they begin managing inventory in-house for the first time.  AdView is custom-tailored to play-by-play broadcasts, which maximizes value in scheduling.  We look forward to growing our partnership in seasons ahead.”…..More Washington Redskins news as Entercom announces it has inked a deal with the club to present Spanish play-by-play on WJFK-AM “El Zol Deportes.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We’re excited to partner with the Washington Redskins and bring Spanish-language coverage of the team to fans in the community. As the unrivaled leader in sports radio, we remain committed to expanding our sports content and reaching an even broader audience.”…..In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications news/talk WIBC-FM takes on a new television partner for news and weather coverage. Since 2011, the station had a relationship with E.W. ScrippsABC affiliate WRTV-TV.  Going forward, the station is partnering with Nexstar’s CW affiliate WISH-TV.  As part of the deal, WIBC-FM will air an audio simulcast of the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “Daybreak” program.  Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “WIBC has a serious commitment to local news.  We are thrilled to work with a TV station that is equally passionate about local coverage.  This partnership is a natural.”  WIBC director of programming David Wood adds, “We are already planning for some joint projects that will make this TV-radio partnership unique to the market.”…..The Waco Herald-Tribune reports that the launch of a new sports talk station by Edwards Media LLC is being delayed until the end of this month due to “engineering and recent weather issues.” The station – be heard via the HD2 channel of the company’s co-owned hip hop KWBT-FM and on translator K231CG at 94.1 FM – is expected to air CBS Sports Radio programming such as Jim Rome and “Tiki and Tierney,” along with local morning show “Go Big or Go Home” with station GM Rich Richardson.….It’s been seven seasons since the Milwaukee Brewers made the MLB playoffs and to celebrate, flagship radio station WTMJ is hosting “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” for game one of the National League Division Series on Thursday (10/4).  At the venue, fans will hear Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Uecker calling the game on WTMJ while watching the television video.  Station director of programming and news Eric Brooks says, “We can’t wait to hear Mr. Baseball calling October baseball with hundreds of Brewers fans hanging on his every word.  This what the postseason is all about.”

Warner Wolf Loses Imus Age Discrimination Suit; Attorney Vows to Appeal. According to a report in the New York Daily News, longtime New York sports media figure Warner Wolf has lost his age discrimination suit against former employer Don Imus, largely on jurisdictional grounds.  Imus fired Wolf, who had been handling sports reports on the “Imus in the Morning” show from his home in Florida, in 2016.  In the complaint, Wolf states that Imus regularly mocked his senior citizen status on air prior to firing him.  But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James d’Auguste ruled that since Wolf lived and worked in Florida, any discriminatory conduct would have taken place there.  In his decision, Judge d’Auguste also noted that Imus’ jabs about Wolf’s age didn’t rise to the level of discrimination since Imus himself is also old. Wolf attorney Doug Wigdor says they will appeal.

Kavanaugh Investigation, Sanders’ Stop BEZOS Bill, the USMCA Deal, U.S.-China Tensions, Kanye West ‘SNL’ Pro-Trump Speech, Midterm Elections, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; Bernie Sanders’ bill that would tax Amazon, Walmart and others for the amount their workers receive in federal benefits; the new USMCA trade pact between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the flap over Kanye West’s pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; November’s midterm elections and the battle to control congress; 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. In Atlanta, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for Cumulus Radio Station Group.  Diaz is continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as program director for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay states, “This move recognizes the success that our company has had with Louie Diaz, first in Dallas, then in D.C., and now in Atlanta.  We’re excited to have him join the team in the Office of Programming at Cumulus Media.”…..Adult hits WRRA, Pittsburgh “96.9 BOB FM” has a new program director as John Robertson announces his retirement from the Steel City Media station and Sean Stevens rises to the PD position.  Robertson has spent the last 20 years of his 40-plus year radio career with Steel City Media.  Stevens is currently the afternoon drive star and will retain that role while assuming the PD position…..M-10 Broadcasting’s classic hits WQLL-AM “Q1370” brings Ken Merson, a.k.a. Merson Person, aboard to host the “Merson Person in the Morning” program, effective October 8.  Merson has most recently been program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel.  Current morning host Platinum Pat O’Neill moves to afternoons to make room for Merson…..In Kansas City, Steel City Media’s adult contemporary KCKC “KC102.1 ups Natalie “Rush” Randall from her APD/MD role to program director. She says of her promotion, “I discovered a new family since joining the team at ‘KC102.1,’ and being able to watch the station grow has been such an honor.  I’m excited to continue the forward momentum of KCKC and to lead the next chapter of the station.”…..WKLB, Boston morning personality Hannah Byrom exits the Beasley Media Group country station after two-plus years there.  She says via Facebook, “This morning was my last show with ‘COUNTRY 102.5.’  It’s been a great run for the past two-and-a-half years, and I’ll miss getting to hang with [co-host] Jackson Blue & [producer] Santi DeOleo every morning. THANK YOU to every one of you that allowed me into your life every morning.”…..Drake Hall and “The Drake Hall Show” come out on top again in The Memphis Flyer’s “Best in Memphis” 2018.  Hall hosts the morning show on Cumulus Media’s rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”…..The new classic hits radio show, “Throwback Nation Radio,” debuts tonight from 7:00 pm-12:00 midnight on AC and classic hits stations in multiple markets across the U.S.  The show is being hosted by Tony Lorino and Danny Hustle…..Connoisseur Media announces the “One Song, One Us” campaign that is designed to “encourage unity, love, kindness, acceptance, and hope in our communities through the power of music and the artist’s messages by featuring a song at 2:00 pm every weekday on all stations.” Connoisseur director of brand management Michelle Stevens says the song will be chosen by the listeners.  She says, “The interactive nature of this initiative will provide listeners an authentic acceptance of the things that really matter most to each of us as human beings.  We all have struggled with issues like depression, addiction, insecurity, abuse, and a host of other things that can be disabling to the human spirit without compassion and support. Music is so often the familiar tie that is able to connect us all on a deeper level when it’s difficult to articulate for ourselves.  Together, we can take a fresh approach to the meaning behind the lyrics and weave a bond of unity, inner strength and the simple reassurance that we are not alone.”

September 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the September 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. 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.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Off in each of the last four months for a collective -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” adds three-tenths in September to 2.0 (#20 to #19, 6+). The key station of the Mets was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Flat at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its fifth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Down of flat for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC mirrors WKXW by picking up two-tenths (1.1, #25 to #24, 6+). Having logged a 4.7 in three of the last four sweeps (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (6+), sliding from fifth to ninth; 4.7 (May, July and August) is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). For the third month in succession, WEPN posts a 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+); “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS manages to advance from seventh to a sixth-place tie. Trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 (6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM progresses from #15 to #13. In July, it ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). With an August improvement of seven-tenths, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM recaptured in its entirety the seven-tenths it lost in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); however, the public radio news/talker surrenders six-tenths in September (3.4 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, after recording a .5 (6+) three times in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM gains one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Up or flat for the sixth time in succession for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” jumps from tenth to eighth. It overtakes Emmis’ similar-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop,” which sits at 3.9 for the fourth time in the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) and repeats at #9. After posting four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. An overall -1.6 via three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 14th successive sweep. Prior to July, the last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) as “Power 105.1” climbs from #12 to #11. In the market’s hot AC battle, Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7,” whose April through August topline was 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 (6+), is off two-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to a four-way tie at #13), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” adds one-tenth and is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 (May through September, #18 to #17, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Repeating August’s 1.2 (6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” inches up from #28 to #27. Flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+), and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” drops two-tenths to .9 (6+) and remains at #32. Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” logs a .4 (6+) for the fourth month in a row and stays at #41 (6+). Matching the (6+) August – September (1.2 – 1.2) topline of KRLA is iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which triples its 6+-stat (+.8) through eight successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, #28 to #27, 6+). Tied with news/talk KEIB is sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” which bounces back from August’s -.4 with a +.1 to .9 (#33 to #32, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A decrease of just one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+) is enough to force Entercom’s KNX from the top ten (#9 to #11); “1070 News Radio” added four-tenths in August. Down six-tenths in April, KNX followed with in an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). Over the course of the last seven sweeps, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (unchanged at #16) has a 6+ topline of 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 12 ratings periods, Meruelo Group rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” busts out a +.6 to 3.2 (6+), catapulting from #15 to #9. On top for the fifth straight sweep, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG is nonetheless off one-tenth for the third sweep in a row. In fact, its seven most recent trends are: 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+). Dating back to December 2015, “My-FM” has set the pace on 17 of the past 37 Los Angeles sweeps: February 2017 through November 2017; January and February 2018; and May 2018 through September 2018. Remaining in the runner-up slot is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which continues a repetitive 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 (6+) sequence. A collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV was then a combined six-tenths in three straight dips (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). In September, however, “94.7 The Wave” improves by four-tenths to 4.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS picked up four-tenths in August, but “102.7 Kiss-FM” returns half that increase in September (4.6 – 4.4, -.2, 6+), slipping from third to fifth. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” – which had logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – sputters by one-half share to 2.3 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #20. In six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), co-owned KROQ was a combined +.7, but the alternative outlet drops one-tenth to 2.8 (#11 to #14, 6+). Its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+). After logging a 2.1 (6+) the past three consecutive months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA drops one-tenth to 2.0 (#21 to #22, 6+); “Zona Mx 101.9” is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 20th ratings period in a row. Similarly, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (#20 to #17, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 35th time in succession and is without a loss for the fourth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) for a net gain of three-tenths.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from August’s one-half share loss with a gain of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #17 to #16. Entering the August sweep, the Chicago White Sox flagship posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). When WGN picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). The May through September topline trending for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM is 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+). Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Having logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the last three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” trots out a +.8 to 4.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), the Chicago Cubs flagship rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is up two-tenths to 1.2 (#26 to #24, 6+). After six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM adds two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+); February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. A combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is up one-tenth to 2.3 (flat at #20, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+). A March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – While on top for the ninth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 5.7, -.3, 6+) has its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). In a highly-noteworthy eight straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV more than doubled its 6+-stat (a combined +3.0). In September, however, “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” forfeits more than one-third of that increase (4.4, -1.1, second to fifth, 6+). Upon entering the September sweep, co-owned hot AC WTMX was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps; however, “101.9 The Mix” regresses by eight-tenths to 4.1 (6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. A combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT erases half the deficit in September with a +.3 to 3.2 (#15 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to that, “93.9 Lite FM” notched three increases in succession for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Following August’s eight-tenths’ leap, Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI “90.1 Moody Radio” surrenders more than half that increase (1.7 – 1.2, -.5, #24, 6+). Via three consecutive upticks, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM is a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, third to second, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Up or flat for the fifth successive month for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE carries on at #13. Seven-tenths ahead of “100.3 SHE” is Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV,” which is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the eighth month in a row and up or flat for the third successive time (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.3 – 3.7, +.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) has a more than two-to-one advantage over iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.8 – 1.6, -.2, #22 to #23, 6+). This is the 14th straight time that “US-99” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO falters by a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, #12 to #15, 6+). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). As a result of forfeiting three-quarters of August’s +.4 (2.1 – 1.8, -.3, 6+), cluster-mate KGO departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). The August increase ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). After trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR spirals by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#5 to #14). “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Chipping away at July’s -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is a combined +.5 in August and September (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0, #22 to #21, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, the key station of the Oakland A’s had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). This marks the eighth time in a row that sibling KCBS-AM (5.7 – 5.3, -.4, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, the all-news operation was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). It is 1.5 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8, +.4, 6+), which 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+). San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” notches a one-half share for the fifth time in the last seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, #32, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Steady at #4, Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC is up or flat for the fourth straight time for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adult contemporary cluster-mate KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by a collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). Unchanged at #3 is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is -.4 in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), after being an overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by one-half share each and making healthy ranker moves in the process are Bonneville urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay” (3.3 – 3.8, tenth to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #6, 6+); and co-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” (2.7 – 3.2, #15 to #10, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Star” since February’s 3.8. Meanwhile, the last time KOSF reached the three-share level was nearly three years ago (3.0, October 2015). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN is an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to August, “107.7 The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) is enough to send Cumulus Media’s WBAP  back into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Preceding the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which had been without an increase the past four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+), gains two-tenths to .9 (6+) and is steady at #34. Down or flat four consecutive ratings periods (.6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .5 (flat at #25, 6+). Displaying a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline, co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” continues at #16. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) that “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Although level at 2.3 (6+), Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” drops from #19 to a three-way tie at #20. Prior to August, “The Fan” had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). The ten most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#33 to #32) are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0. Despite being a consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 (6+) from June through September, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” exits the top twenty (#19 to #2