Tag: "PodcastOne"

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 #23). In fact, 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+). A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). After notching a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a +.4 to 3.0 (#18 to #14, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – At the same time that WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” improves by seven-tenths (1.6 – 2.3, #20, 6+), First Dallas Media’s similarly-formatted KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” regresses by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #27, 6+). It is the lowest 6+-share for KCBI since “Holiday” 2017’s 1.3. As the result of five straight sweeps without a loss, City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” more than doubles (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #15 to #13, 6+). At #1 for the ninth straight month, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” follows August’s +1.1 (5.5 – 6.6, 6+) with a loss of four-tenths to 6.2 (6+). “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+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Without a loss for five successive sweeps 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” surrenders four-tenths to 2.7 (#13 to #18, 6+). Notwithstanding it is down or flat  for the sixth time in a row (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” climbs from sixth to fifth. It is two-tenths behind co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3 and steady at #3, 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+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined nine-tenths in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH tumbles from #13 to #16; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” gains two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+) yet backslides from #23 to #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC returns August’s +.1 (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+) but “ESPN 97.5” remains at #27. Albeit flat at 3.2 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF advances from #17 to #16, where it is tied with KTRH.

Houston Music Formats – An overall -1.3 in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” responds with a +.4 to 3.9 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#14 to #9). In August, “The Box” slipped below a four-share (3.5, 6+) for the first time since July 2017’s 3.9. In addition to being on top for the fifth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is up six-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then rebounded from a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. 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. A cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ responds with a collective +.7 in August and September (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot for the fifth 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. On the heels of gaining four-tenths in August to 4.2 (6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” forfeits twice that increase with a September loss of eight-tenths (3.4, 6+), drifting from #9 to #15. In advance of the August sweep, “Mega 101” had a March – July 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8. Adult hits cluster-mate KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.2 in four straight positive spikes (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), surrenders just over half that combined increase (5.0, -.7, third to seventh, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2017, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK was an overall +1.4 in eight straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). The string ends in September though as “Houston’s Eagle” is off four-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 6+). KGLK’s 5.7 in July and August is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM rebounds in September with a +.4 to 7.9 and is #1 for the 34th consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Leveling out at 1.3 (6+), following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” continues at #21. WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Prior to April’s 2.0 (6+), WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is now an overall +1.1 in three upticks in a row (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3, #16 to #15, 6+). Doubling the two-tenths it picked up in August (2.0 – 2.4, +.4, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” carries on at #18. When the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves 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+). Down or flat five sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE recoups half that deficit (seven-tenths) in August and September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8, #12 to #11, 6+). April – September stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#25 to #23) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – An increase of three-tenths to 5.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” pulls the plug on four down or flat sweeps in succession for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). An overall -.9 in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” erases two-thirds of that shortage with a +.6 to 4.0 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). “Kiss” posted three negative trends in succession for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), but was up seven-tenths in June. This Georgia metro’s two CHR rivals again finish back-to-back, only in September, iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (ninth to seventh, 6+) emerges ahead of Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (unchanged at #8, 6+). “Power” is without a loss for the fifth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), while “Q-100” is up three-tenths in four straight up or flat moves (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 6.6 (6+) in June and July, classic hits-oldies sibling WSRV notched a one-half share increase in August to 7.1 (6+), but “97.1 The River” surrenders seven-tenths to 6.4 (6+), segueing from second to third. Three positive spikes in a row by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “The Fish” falters by six-tenths to 5.3 (fourth to fifth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Following a May through August (repetitive 6+) sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (seventh to ninth, 6+). In the market’s country contest, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is off one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, #11 to #12. 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” adds one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, flat at #14, 6+). A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was then -.7 in June. July’s 3.9 by “Kicks” is the station’s  best 6+-showing since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Not only does Entercom hot AC WSTR have its consecutive string of up or flat monthlies that yielded a collective +1.4 end at four (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” exits the top ten (3.6, -.3, #10 to #13). 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 fourth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing its winning ways, Entercom’s WPHT is +1.3 in five straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8, #15 to #14, 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. Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#21 to #22) is off two-tenths to 1.3, its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). After logging a +.7 in August, Entercom sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” levels out at 5.9 and remains in sixth-place (6+). Prior to August, WIP was a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); and +.7 in August. Flat at #18, Beasley Media Group sports talk WPEN-FM is without a gain for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. On the heels of an August +.7 to 5.2 (6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” slips by one-tenth to 5.1 but continues in eighth-place (6+). In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), KYW was -1.5. 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. An August increase of one-half share by WHYY discontinued three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet drops one-tenth in September (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) and stays at #10.

Philadelphia Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ jump from #13 to #11 with a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+), “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a collective -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). Over and above racking up its third improvement in a row for a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WDAS-FM marches from second to first. 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 positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot and shifting to second is Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which is a combined -1.2 in August and September (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0, 6+). 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. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WRFF gained a collective four-tenths, but “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative” falters by six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Unchanged at #4, WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). WBEB had been on top from March through June but was dislodged from the top spot in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.        Entercom is now operating WBEB under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until it officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase of the Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary outlet.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” was a collective -1.3, but the key station of the New York Mets recaptures one full-share (2.8, 6+) and rockets back into the top twenty (#22 to #13). Before surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC adds two-tenths to 1.5 (#23). 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+). Despite dropping two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN repeats at #1. August’s 5.2 is its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since November 2017’s 5.9. “Sports Radio” was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and the New York Yankees’ flagship was +.7 in July. WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is 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+). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). The Entercom all-news operation 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+). It is tied with co-owned and similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, #13 to #14, 6+). 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). Checking in at #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It remains tight at the top, as the first six Nassau-Suffolk September 2018 finishers are separated by seven-tenths of a share. Despite dropping four-tenths (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM remains in the runner-up slot. “Real Variety 97.5” was ousted from the penthouse in July after nine straight months there. Its +.1 in August halted seven successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -7.6 (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share decline (2.6 – 2.1, 6+) sends Entercom’s similarly-programmed WNEW “New 102.7” from #14 to #18. One-tenth behind is its NYC format rival – Cumulus Media’s WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.2 – 2.0, -.2, #18 to #19, 6+). Mirroring WALK-FM’s (6+) August – September 5.1 – 4.7 profile and thus part of the four-way tie at #2 is its classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom’s similarly-formatted 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 one  full-share in August and September (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). It moves from #5 to that aforementioned four-way logjam at #2. Included in that scrum as well is iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is flat or down slightly for the fifth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+) yet actually moves up from #4. Off one-tenth (2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#15 to #16) is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 47th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR regains one-tenth (1.4, #13 to #12, 6+). KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth Inland Empire sweep in succession (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” manages to climb from #19 to #17. It is tied with iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE,” which after debuting in July with a .2 (6+), gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+) and is flat in September (.3, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July with a .2 (6+); dropped one-tenth to .1 (6+) in August; and adds one-tenth in September (.2, #21, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the eighth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – In an absolute runaway, the honors for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 gain by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here goes to Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” (7.4 – 9.9, +2.5, 6+). Not only that, “Jose” finishes first for the fourth successive sweep and is +5.3 in five straight positive spikes (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+). The last time KLYY reached the nine-share level (6+) was in February 2017 (9.2). Continuing in the runner-up slot, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is a collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). 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+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE is a collective +1.3 as “Old School 104.7” carries on at #6. Following four straight Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario decreases for an overall -1.8 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is steady at #5. A collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI relinquished 80% of that increase in August (3.7, -1.2, 6+); however, “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” answers with a +.5 in September to 4.2 and continues in fourth-place. Improving by one-half share as well is All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1, #17 – #14, 6+), which had notched a .6 in four of the last five sweeps (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6 – .6, 6+). In three consecutive losses, Entercom country outlet KFRG was -1.5 (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), but “K-Frog” picks up one-tenth to 4.5 and carries on at #3. When KFRG sputtered by four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks” (ninth to tenth, 6+), which is -1.0 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+) and Lazer Licenses’ Spanish adult hits KCAL-AMLa Mexicana 1410” (.7 – .1, #16 to #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the fifth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1, #21 to #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” erupted with a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), only to disappear from print in September.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third increase in a row for Cumulus Media’s KGO for a cumulative +1.1 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+). July’s increase stopped four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, however, relinquishes exactly half of its 6+-share (-1.1) in three consecutive downward moves (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, #21 to #27, 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+). Immediately after registering 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 “The Sports Leader” spirals by one full-share (4.4 – 3.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +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 six most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk/Oakland A’s flagship KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 (6+). Even though it loses the one-tenth it gained in August (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM remains in second-place. 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). Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 to 6.2 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. Between January 2018 – June 2018, KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. A June increase of six-tenths by KQED followed a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+); it was +1.0 in January.

San Jose Music Formats – As a result of three upticks in succession (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” has doubled its 6+-share (+1.7) and vaults into the top ten (#18 to #10). A July gain of seven-tenths by adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ interrupted four straight negative trends that produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In August, “98.1 The Breeze” surrendered eight-tenths, but it recaptures seven-tenths in September (3.5 – 4.2, ninth to seventh, 6+). Erasing in full August’s -.5 with a September +.6 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” advances from #15 to #13. Enjoying an increase of six-tenths as well are University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.8 – 2.4, #19, 6+) and Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2 – 1.8, #22, 6+). KBLX cluster-mate, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” is a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) and is #1  for the third straight month. As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media triple A KFOG was up eight-tenths, but has that increase wiped out in full (1.9, -.8, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#13 to #21). After recording five gains in a row 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” returns one-third of that increase (5.4, -.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music,” which had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), is now -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – There is more good news for Townsquare Media news/talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which is #1 for the third month in a row and +2.0 in four straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0, 6+). Moreover, this (8.0) is its best 6+-share since March (8.1). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. WKXW was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Up or flat for the third time in a row for a +.6 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). The New York Mets flagship was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). The January – September 6+ topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (flat at #25) is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5.      Remaining at #10, Entercom sports talk and Yankees’ key station WFAN has its fourth Middlesex-Somerset-Union decrease in a row for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up eight-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5, #20 – #18, 6+). The March through September topline for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM (#22) is 2.9  – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 (6+). Stuck on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, all-news sibling WINS has now recorded a 1.7 (#23 to #24, 6+) for the fifth straight time. Tied with WCBS-AM at #22 is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM, which drops two-tenths to 1.9 (6+). An August gain of three-tenths 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).

Middlesex Music Formats – Off seven-tenths in July and August (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” roars back with a +1.0 to 5.4 (fifth to second, 6+). Even though it notches its third increase in succession for an overall +.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” backslides from fourth to fifth. Faltering by eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” slips from second to third. Its rhythmic CHR sibling – WQHT “Hot 97” – wipes out August’s +.3 with an August -.5 (3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to August, “Hot” was within three-share range (6+) in each of the prior 13 sweeps. Posting identical 3.5 – 3.2 (-.3, #12 to #14, 6+) profiles are Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which was down one-half share in August; Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1.” Despite being down for the fifth consecutive month for an overall -1.4 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” advances from #12 to #11.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

| September 25, 2018

It’s a New Deal for Cumulus Programmer Bill Hess.  Programming pro Bill Hess and Cumulus Media sign a new, multi-year contract extension.  Hess is the company’s vice president of news/talk, program director for WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, and operations manager for the Washington, DC cluster.  During his 41-year career, Hess has programmed WTEM, Washington; WHJJ, Providence; and WHYN-AM/FM, Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as SVP of programming for Air America Media and has programmed music outlets WASH and WBIG in Washington.  Cumulus Media Washington VP/market manager Jake McCann says, “This is an exciting time for news/talk in our nation’s capital and we have the privilege of being led by one of the strongest program directors in the country.  Under Bill Hess’ leadership and hands-on approach, WMAL has consistently grown ratings.  He works daily with on-air staff to guarantee they are delivering a top-level product to their audience.”

Stone Canyon Buys Northern Arizona Station Group. This deal has three broadcast management pros organized as Stone Canyon Radio and Marketing, LLC buying four Northern Arizona signals from Grenax II Broadcasting for an as yet undisclosed sum.  The stations are: news/talk KBTK-FM/K246AA “97.1 The Big Talker,” country KSED “107.5 KOLT Country,” classic rock KWMX “The Wolf-Classic Rock 96.7,” and 80s rock KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1.”  Stone Canyon’s principals are former Cherry Creek Media CEO Joe Schwartz (left), Emmis SVP John Beck (right), and Withers Broadcasting and Dana Communications president Dana Withers (center).  Schwartz states, “This is a wonderful opportunity for three veteran broadcasters to pool our years of broadcast experience to create exceptional programming, on-the-street marketing, top digital assets, and to bring the best advertising services available to the Flagstaff-Prescott area. In addition, I can’t wait to work with current VP & general manager Stan Pierce and his team.”  Schwartz will be relocating to the Flagstaff area to work with the cluster team and Beck and Withers will remain in their current positions in St. Louis and Mt. Vernon, respectively.  The start of an LMA is expected to be announced in the near future.

WMAL’s Mary Walter to Host Fisher House Foundation’s Talk Radio Special. The Fisher House Foundation’s annual talk radio special, “Home Away from Home – The Fisher House Story,” is being hosted this year by WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning co-host Mary Walter.   The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group are producing the program for talk stations around the country to be aired any time from Veterans Day (11/11) through the holidays.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that the Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary, free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  This year’s three-hour radio special will feature stories of our nation’s heroes, families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  Show producer Jeff Wyatt says Mary Walter’s love of the military will add to the quality of the program.  “Her talent, well known support for our military, and broad base of listening across the U.S. makes her a great fit to support our wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families.”  Stations interested in the program can contact Wyatt at: jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com

TALKERS News Notes. Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is celebrating 20 years on talk radio in the Ocean State this month. DePetro says that he was working part-time air shifts on WABC, New York while also serving as national sales manager for WABC and sister WPLJ when he was offered a weekend show on WHJJ, Providence in his home state.  After a few months, he took over the full-time job of mid-morning host on WHJJ in January of 1999.  He currently is heard in Rhode Island on WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.…..iHeartMedia announces the fruit of its partnership with technology platform creators Jelli and Foursquare is a new attribution product for broadcast radio that will offer marketers “a unique combination of iHeartMedia’s massive reach and Jelli’s programmatic buying capabilities, with the attribution and insights tools from location technology company Foursquare.”  iHeartMedia says this is the next step in its effort to make radio easier to buy and measure. It says it “invested in Jelli’s programmatic platform to make the purchase of data driven radio campaigns as easy as digital, and now with the addition of Foursquare, more in-depth campaign measurement and real-world attribution data is now available to advertisers who buy via Jelli’s demand side platform SpotPlan.”  iHM president of revenue and data operations Brian Kaminsky adds, “This initiative with Foursquare and Jelli is the next evolution in the development of our platform, providing retailers and QSRs the same measurement and accountability for broadcast radio as Google is in search and Facebook is in social.”…..Entercom and Telemundo’s KTMD-TV, Houston announce a multi-platform media partnership that includes distribution of content across all partner channels, including KTMD-TV and Entercom’s Houston stations sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650,” plus country KILT-FM, Spanish KLOL, and hot AC KHMX.  Content will also be distributed across each entity’s websites and social media platforms. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “We are excited to partner with Telemundo and further serve our community with enhanced coverage.  We’re looking forward to continue bringing our listeners improved access and coverage of live, local news.”…..Sun & Fun Media announces it has hired Tim Closson to join the company as a senior AE.  He was previously manager of affiliate sales for country & sports at Westwood One.  Sun & Fun Media offers a “suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter.”…..Donna Hardwick is appointed chief marketing officer for PRX, the public media program supplier that recently merged with PRI.  Hardwick was most recently senior director of communications & distribution for ITVS.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations/Cruz Restaurant Protest, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein’s Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Threatens Attacks, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24). The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the related restaurant protest that forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife to leave; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related uncertainty over the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Iran’s threats against Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. after the deadly attacks on its military parade; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Charlotte market, Beasley Media Group announces promotions at urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9” and hip hop WPEG “Power 98.”  Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson is upped to program director for both stations.  He was most recently APD for WPEG and previously held the music director, afternoon drive host, and morning drive co-host positions.  At the same time, the company bumps Janine Davis up from traffic correspondent for both stations to midday personality at “V 101.9.”  Nikki “Ya Girl Nikki” Davis rises from evening host to afternoon drive personality on “Power 98.” Finally, John Reynolds is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster.  Reynolds most recently served as the program director and operations manager at CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1” and Adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening comments, “John is an exceptional leader and very committed to the success of all of our Beasley Media Group Charlotte radio stations. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to build our strong brands for many years to come.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Collin Raye’s Rewind Country” adds new affiliate stations WVWF-FM, Waverly, Tennessee and WPAY-FM, Garrison, Kentucky.  “Rewind Country” is a daily, one-minute vignette that “highlights amazing stories behind the greatest country hits, shared by Raye and friends such as Dolly Parton, John Michael Montgomery, and Lorrie Morgan…..ABC Radio, Skyview Networks, and Front and Center Entertainment are introducing radio versions of the PBS programs “The Front and Center Sessions”  — for country stations — and “The Speakeasy Sessions” for rock outlets.  Both series will feature 12, two-hour programs that are being produced exclusively for ABC Radio’s distribution.  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “We are excited to work with today’s greatest performers in country and classic rock music.  We’re taking a wealth of content and weaving it into fast-paced radio programming that features great music and riveting behind-the-scenes stories and never-before-shared anecdotes from some of the biggest country and rock stars.”…..Westwood One is launching a new urban morning show on its 24/7 network starring former WHQT, Miami “Hot 105 FM” personality Rick Party (right) and former WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1” jock Sasha the Diva (left). Comedian Benji Brown is also named as part of the cast.  WWO says it has 20-plus stations initially lined up to carry the program that is targeted to females 35-44.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

| September 19, 2018

New Podcast Featuring Anthony Scaramucci Debuts on Radio.com. Will folks be interested in hearing what Anthony Scaramucci and his wife Deidre have to say?  Entercom is hoping so as it launches a new podcast on its Radio.com platform called “Mooch and the Mrs.”  Remember that Scaramucci was Donald Trump’s White House Director of Communications for 10 days.  He also served as a consultant to Trump’s campaign. Entercom says, “The new weekly podcast…will feature the couple discussing the world we live in from opposite sides of the political spectrum, while offering an intimate look into the strength of their marriage.”  Entercom SVP/GM Pam Russo adds, “Anthony Scaramucci’s first-hand political experience from his time in the White House, combined with his and Deidre’s unique points of view, will provide Radio.com listeners with a compelling podcast experience. We’re committed to providing a forum for diverse points of view and look forward to hearing Anthony’s and Deidre’s differing perspectives on the political landscape, through the unique lens of their personal relationship.”  The two have previously contributed to programming on the company’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles and Entercom says “ based on feedback and interest in these appearances, it’s clear that there is an appetite for a candid and refreshing look inside how this couple manages differing perspectives within their relationship.”

PodcasOne Brings Celebrity Gossip Maven Perez Hilton On Board. Digital celebrity news and gossip columnist Perez Hilton launches a new PodcastOne show called, “The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker.”  The new podcast delves into the world of celebrity news via “the bold and humorous lens of Hilton and fellow pop-culture expert, Booker.” PodcastOne says, “The pair bring their unique, and often clashing perspective and insight to the microphone, in this audio extension of one of the leading go-to sites for celebrity news. Plus, celebrity guests like to drop by to spill it all!  New episodes of the podcast will be released weekly, in line with the biggest news of the week.”  Hilton adds, “We are finally home!  PodcastOne is the leader in the space!  I’m upset we didn’t get here sooner!  Chris Booker and I have been doing ‘The Perez Hilton Podcast’ for over three years now and each week it gets better and better!  Our chemistry is unlike any other!  People keep tuning in every week and catching up on all the old episodes they’ve missed because they don’t just enjoy what’s hot in pop culture, they also love the two of us together.  That relationship with our listeners is so special to us!  And we are so confident and grateful that PodcastOne will help us get heard by even more people!  Tune in!  We’re trending now!”

Chris Cuomo to Host Daily Show on SiriusXM. Journalist and cable television personality Chris Cuomo is beginning a daily, two-hour talk radio program on SiriusXM, effective September 24.  The host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” launches “Let’s Get After It with Chris Cuomo,” to air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel.   SiriusXM SVP news, talk and entertainment Megan Liberman says, “Chris is a remarkable journalist with a history of tough interviews that have everyone talking the next day.  On his new SiriusXM show, Chris will continue that tradition of fostering important, engaging conversations, while also giving listeners the bigger picture about what’s going on in Washington and beyond.”  During his two-decade career, Cuomo has earned Polk and Peabody awards for team coverage, as well as the Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage.

Former CBS RADIO Stations Unveil New Websites. The web presence for the individual CBS RADIO stations was always part of the company’s local broadcast cluster so that a search for a station brought one to a site from which one could then access any of the radio or TV stations in the cluster.  Now, 10 months after Entercom closed on the CBS RADIO merger deal, the radio stations have their own URL. The sites conform to a template that prominently features their relationship to Entercom’s Radio.com digital platform and features news items relevant to the station’s format.  Back in the CBS days, a number of news and news/talk programmers privately complained to TALKERS editors about their dislike of the cluster website format.  They believed it diminished their station and limited their ability to present content relevant to the format.  Search for your favorite former CBS station and check out the new format.

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman Has October 22 Mediation Date. As TALKERS reported on August 29, Federal Judge Jean C. Hamilton ordered St. Louis talk host Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom into mediation, to be completed by November 1.  This order is relative to Allman’s suit against the two companies for breach of contract stemming from Allman’s dismissal from news/talk KFTK-FM for his social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  The parties have agreed to use Richard P. Sher of the St. Louis firm Sher Corwin Winters LLC and they’ll begin meeting on October 22.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Hurricane Florence Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, U.S.-China Trade War, Emmy Awards, Ernie & Bert Gay Revelation, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the devastating flooding in the Carolinas caused by Hurricane Florence; President Trump’s efforts to de-classify certain documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation; the meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House sells 1 million copies; the escalating trade war between China and the U.S.; Monday night’s Emmy Awards show; former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman reveals he wrote Ernie & Bert as a gay couple; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio exec Alissa Pollack is promoted to EVP of global music marketing at iHeartMedia.  The company says in her expanded role, Pollack will work closely with the company’s brand managers and national programming team to oversee and create custom data-focused roadmaps for artists, brands and advertising partners. She’ll also plan strategic roll-outs with artists, “keeping a strong pulse on what’s connecting with our consumers as well as generating opportunities for music’s current and next superstars in all formats.”  She’ll also retain her current duties and oversight of Mediabase, M-Score, RatetheMusic and BuzzAngle Music…..Geoff Vargo is retiring as president and general manager of Sarkes Tarzian’s triple A WTTS, Indianapolis after a 37-year career with the company.  Rising to the GM post in his place is 16-year station manager Brad Holtz, effective January 1, 2019.  In conjunction with these changes, Laura Duncan rises from APD/music director for WTTS to program director.  (She’s also adding PD responsibilities for sister news/talk WGCL, Bloomington, Indiana.) Holtz comments, “As I move into a new role in my career, I’m delighted that Laura Duncan will take over the programming reigns at WTTS.  As our APD/MD for the past 14 years, Laura has set herself apart as one of the most dedicated and passionate in our business.  She’ll be an outstanding programmer at WTTS.”…..The lineup for this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas includes: Justin TimberlakeFleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, Childish Gambino and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Heffron Drive.  The annual event takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday night…..Beasley Media Group’s legendary rock station WMMR-FM, Philadelphia was honored by the city of Philadelphia in recognition of its 50 years of service to the city.  Pictured below is the WMMR staff in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall receiving an official Resolution from Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh and other members of the council.  Beasley says WMMR-FM is regarded by the industry as the longest running rock station in America.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

| September 18, 2018

WHO, Des Moines and ‘Our American Stories’ Present Newt Gingrich Live Event.  “Our American Stories” host Lee Habeeb‘s American Private Radio and iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines are collaborating to present “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” on October 15 at the Iowa Historical Building. The event is being hosted by WHO afternoon drive personality Simon Conway and Lee Habeeb.  Gingrich is quoted saying, “I am very excited to join our listeners for an evening of questions, answers and thought-provoking conversation.  WHO is taking the lead in an important concept of storytelling that rebuilds and provides people with a better understanding of America, which is something we desperately need today.”  “Our American Stories” airs in the evenings on WHO.

FNC to Produce Election Series Hosted by Ben Shapiro. This four-part series to air on FOX News Channel beginning on September 24 is being hosted by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro.  Titled, “The Ben Shapiro Election Special,” FNC says that each Sunday, Shapiro will be joined by a panel of experts along with influential guests to discuss the major headlines of the week and their impact on the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.  The one-hour program will also feature Shapiro’s political commentary and analysis on the major issues affecting the younger voting demographic this election season.  Shapiro is editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and hosts a daily, eponymous podcast/radio show distributed by Westwood One.

Westwood One: AM/FM Radio Campaign Delivers ‘Significant Impressions.’ The study results are in the latest Westwood One blog post you can see here.  WWO says that it hired Nielsen to study a campaign for a major cable network’s season launch of a scripted drama that included AM/FM radio as well as paid TV spots and promos running on the network.  WWO says this was one of the first TV tune-in ROI studies to examine both TV and AM/FM radio.  The results indicated that although only 5% of the ad budget went to radio, it delivered 20% of total campaign impressions.  Further, with amplified frequency, AM/FM radio drove tune-in conversion: The more frequently consumers were exposed to tune-in ads, the greater the conversion to viewing the premiere.  Tune-in conversion is especially high among consumers who are exposed to ads six or more times.  The study also concluded that AM/FM radio delivered a much younger audience: TV’s audience skews older than AM/FM radio’s audience. 70% of AM/FM radio impressions came from 18-54-year-olds. Conversely, nearly half of all the TV impressions were from 55+.

TALKERS News Notes. According to the FCC, as of 11:00 am yesterday (9/17) 28 radio stations are out of service – 25 FMs and 3 AMs – in North and South Carolina.  Cell towers have also been affected by Hurricane Florence with 6% of the cell sites in the affected area out of service.  That’s down from the previous report of 7.2%.  Also, as a result of Hurricane Florence, the FCC and FEMA are alerting stations that the national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA is being moved from this Thursday (9/20) to October 3.  The WEA tests takes place at 2:18 pm ET and the EAS at 2:20 pm ET…..The NHL‘s Los Angeles Kings and iHeartMedia unveil a new media destination for all Kings action this season.  All Kings games – including preseason, regular season and postseason contests – will now stream live on the new official LA Kings Audio Network, a custom station available on iHeartRadio, beginning with tonight’s Kings-Arizona Coyotes preseason game at STAPLES Center.  Additionally, iHeartRadio will feature “Kings Talk,” the club’s call-in radio show, that will stream live after most regular season and postseason home games from inside the Impact Sports Bar & Grill inside STAPLES Center…..Hubbard Radio and its St. Louis sports talk station WXOS-FM “101 ESPN” are presenting the return of the live event Buds & Bourbon at RYSE Nightclub at AMERISTAR Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Missouri.  WXOS air personalities will host the event that allows attendees to sample “the finest bourbons from distilleries such as McKenna Henry, Rittenhouse Rye, Bernheim, and more.”…..SiriusXM  announces a new weekly show featuring sports journalist Christine Brennan and former professional tennis player Rennae Stubbs, titled “Game Changers.”  It will air every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm will cover women’s sports as well as examine the headline topics in the larger sports world that affect and interest women and girls everywhere, whether they be fans, professional athletes, or parents and kids involved in youth sports.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, U.S.-China Trade War, Hurricane Florence Destruction, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bloomberg Teases Presidential Run, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The allegations of a sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; President Trump ramps up the trade war with China; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Bloomberg announces he’s mulling a bid for president as a Democrat in 2020; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Charlotte alternative WEND “106.5 The End” names Maria Palmer music director and evening personality.  Palmer comes to iHeartMedia Charlotte from Washington, DC where she’s been handling weekend and fill-in work on the company’s alternative WWDC and country WMZQ.  WEND program director Chuck “DZL” Thompson says, “I can’t wait for the people of Charlotte to hear Palmer on ‘106.5 The END.’  She has a rare blend of creativity, humor, passion, and drive, but also possesses the administrative and organizational skills needed to assist in running the day-to-day operations of the programming department.  Palmer is definitely one to watch and we couldn’t be more excited to add her to the iHeart and WEND family.”…..Entercom names Jordin Silver host of the morning drive show on alternative KRBZ, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz.”  She’ll lead the “Mornings with Jordin Silver and Friends” program that features station air personalities Danny Boi and Mark.   Entercom regional president and Kansas City market manager Dave Alpert says, “We’re truly excited about the addition of Jordin to our morning show.  Pairing her with ‘Buzz’ morning vets Danny Boi and Mark will provide our listeners with a fresh show to start their day.” Silver has worked on air at KNDD, Seattle and KYSR, Los Angeles, to name a few…..Cumulus Media announces the five finalists in its rock artist competition neXt2rock.  More than 1,600 rock artists joined the competition from across the U.S.  The winner of the competition will get a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  The finale takes place on October 4 at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.  Music personality and longtime radio and TV host Matt Pinfield will host the evening’s festivities.  The five finalists are: Friday Pilots Club representing Chicago (WKQX); The Zealots representing Des Moines (KGGO); Black Rock Revival representing Memphis (WXMX); No Resolve representing Saginaw (WILZ & WKQZ); and Late Night Savior representing Salt Lake City (KBER & KHTB)…..Entercom reveals the lineup for this year’s “We Can Survive” concert to benefit Young Survival Coalition – an organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  This year’s event will feature musical performances by Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Ella Mai, G-Eazy, Khalid, Marshmello, Meghan Trainor, NF, and Tyga on Saturday, October 20 at the Hollywood Bowl…..DJ Envy, world-renowned DJ and co-host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning show, “The Breakfast Club,” has been nominated for a 2018 BET Hip Hop Award in the “DJ of the Year” category. Other nominees in the category include: DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, DJ Mustard, and Calvin Harris.

PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream CHR.  About half of the stations in this month’s survey saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares dip from the July 2018 survey to the August survey.  The year-over-year trend saw 52% of CHR stations in PPM markets decline from August 2017 to August 2018.  Four CHR outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the August survey.  Three belong to iHeartMedia: KHKS, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM”; WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108”; and KDWB, Minneapolis.  The fourth is Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle.  See the whole report here.

Friday, September 14, 2018

| September 14, 2018

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of radio stations based on data from the August 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  This survey period was good to public radio news/talk as some 59% of stations went up (6+, weekly AQH share), with just 28% seeing some decline (the rest were flat). Year-over-year, about half the sample stations were up compared to last August and about half were down.  Four public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the August 2018 PPM survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KOPB, Portland; and WUNC, Raleigh.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Midday Talker Brian Joyce Moves to AM Show. Pictured above is Cumulus Media talk show host Brian Joyce (center) with his new co-hosts Jim Reynolds (left) and PD/news director Kevin West (right).  Joyce is now part of “The Morning Press” after serving as midday personality for the past several years.  He’ll continue to host both shows while “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” searches for a replacement for the midday show.  Longtime WGOW morning personality Jeff Styles exited the station recently after an altercation with another motorist led to his arrest on assault charges for which he’s currently awaiting trial.

Westwood One Podcast Network Home to New Jim Rome Podcast. This new podcast starring sports talker Jim Rome is called RPO – for Rome Pryce Opinion (a play on run pass option) – and also features former NFL star Trevor Pryce.  Rome’s daily sports talk radio show is heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network but this podcast is being produced by Westwood One.  The program will “feature Rome and Pryce’s takes on the events and activities of the 2018 NFL season and will offer insight on how an NFL player may be experiencing the season as it unfolds.”  New episodes of this 20-week series will drop every Monday during the NFL season through Super Bowl LIII.  The episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Radio.com, CBS Sports Radio’s website, and the Westwood One Podcast Network website and app.  Rome says, “I have always worked alone but when the opportunity to work with a two-time Super Bowl winner and a presence like Trevor Pryce presented itself, I jumped.  He’s hungry, fearless and has takes for days. This one is a no-brainer and I know it’s going to deliver.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from PodcastOne will launch on September 17 called “Divorce Sucks!” hosted by family law attorney, author and founder of divorce platform It’s Over Easy, Laura Wasser.   New shows will be released weekly.  Wasser is well-known as an advocate for settlements and co-parenting and she provides relatable challenges, advice, inspiration, and solutions.  She’s known for her high-profile and celebrity clientele and her first guest on the September 17 debut is Kris Jenner…..In El Paso, Grupo Radio Centro is flipping KQBU from regional Mexican to sports talk as “Lone Star Sports 920 AM.”  The station is using programming from CBS Sports Radio and is airing play-by-play for Houston Texans and Houston Astros games.

Hurricane Florence and Trump Puerto Rico Statement Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 10-14.  The anticipation of Hurricane Florence and President Trump’s dispute of the death count in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House, tied with the controversial NYT op-ed piece.  Coming in at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.

Veteran Radio News Exec Harvey Nagler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Recently retired, longtime CBS News Radio vice president Harvey Nagler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Nagler discuss this week’s hot news regarding journalism, politics and media, including the anonymous op-ed piece in The New York Times, the new Bob Woodward book Fear, and the #MeToo resignation of CBS CEO Les Moonves.  This fascinating dissection of the state of the news business in the era of Donald Trump is another must-listen in this highly acclaimed series.  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.

Fantastic News Anchor Opportunity at WPTF, Raleigh. This is a morning news anchor position at Curtis Media Group’s heritage news/talk WPTF, Raleigh.  The station says, “‘The Triangle’s Morning News’ anchor will have a demonstrated record of excellent news judgment, strong writing skills that bring life to our news stories, and a keen appreciation for connection to our listeners!  The ‘star’ of our morning show is breaking news, extended weather, and the most frequent and in-depth traffic reports to service our growing Raleigh area, but we also need great presence to keep this high-paced show on track with a real touch of likeable personality to guide the busy mornings of our region.  Our candidate will have a strong work ethic with the ability to plan shows in advance as well as conduct and prepare interviews for air at any time.  To be clear, the morning anchor is responsible for the generation and preparation of content on the ‘TMN.’ The anchor will have a strong commitment to quality execution of the product being delivered to the listener.”  Interested broadcasters should submit their air checks and resumes to: Rick Martinez at: atrmartinez@curtismedia.com and Liza Weidle at: lweidle@curtismedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of changes take place at Entercom’s Milwaukee operations.  First, Molly Cruz – currently midday personality and APD/MD at hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” – adds APD and music director responsibilities for sister CHR WXSS “103.7 KISS-FM.”  Weekend personality JMatt moves up to midday host on WXSS.  He’ll also serve as digital program director for the entire cluster – including sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  Finally, Aaron Carreno is named the afternoon drive host for WMYX, handling the 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm shift.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan states, “Big things are happening in the Milwaukee cluster.  Molly is ready to dominate her expanded role as assistant program director and music director.  Aaron is a top-notch personality whose experience will bring improvement to The Mix’s afternoon drive.  And JMatt is going to take our cluster to new heights from a digital perspective.”…..CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with Carrie Underwood during her visit to his Nashville studio to promote the release of her new album, Cry Pretty.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

| September 11, 2018

Justin Acri to Manage KABZ, Little Rock. Fifteen-year station staffer Justin Acri is named general manager of Signal Media’s sports talk KABZ-FM, Little Rock “103.7 The Buzz.”  Acri has been serving as program director for the station and co-hosts the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program, “The Zone.”  Acri joined the station in 2003 as a part-time morning host while working at crosstown KATV-TV as sports director.  He joined KABZ full time in 2006.   Signal Media president and CEO Steve Jonsson states, “Justin has worked for ‘The Buzz’ in various capacities for 15 years.  His passions for sports, broadcasting, and ‘The Buzz’ make him a perfect fit for his new position.  Justin has been a major influence on ‘The Buzz’ since its inception as a sports and entertainment station in 2004, and this is the next logical step in the evolution of this great Arkansas radio station.”  At the same time, the station announces Derrell Young is promoted to operations director from his executive producer position.  Morning show producer RJ Hawk adds social media director duties.  Finally, Lindy Lanford returns to the station on a consulting basis assisting with marketing and events.

FOX Sports Radio Drops Steve Gorman Sports and JT The Brick.  Two sports talk shows are no longer part of the national lineup on FOX Sports Radio – the long-running JT The Brick program and “Steve Gorman Sports!”  Gorman and co-host Jeffrey Gorman posted a farewell message online in addition to saying goodbye on the air.  JT The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, issued a farewell message via Twitter.  He’d been with the network since 2001.  FOX Sports Radio has made no official announcement and, as of today, still lists the two programs as being part of the lineup on its website.  The network appears to be filling the daypart – from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET – with substitute hosts until permanent shows are announced.

Norden Named SVP of Sales at iHeartMedia Charleston. Radio sales pro Pete Norden moves from iHeartMedia’s Tampa station group to the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WSCC “News Radio 94.3” to serve as senior vice president of sales.  iHeartMedia area president Alene Grevey comments, “Pete is an exceptionally strong broadcaster and leader and we are truly thrilled to have him be a part of team iHeartMedia Charleston. His experience will blossom in our culture and his commitment to excellence will matriculate throughout the sales organization.”

New Sports Talker to Launch in Waco. According to a report in the Waco Tribune-Herald, Edwards Media LLC is preparing to debut a new sports talk station in the market on October 1.  The station will likely emanate from sister hip hop KWBT’s HD2 channel and be heard via FM translator K231CG at 94.1.  It will air local programming and shows from CBS Sports Radio Network.  Market radio pro Rich Richardson is serving as general manager for KWBT and “CBS Sports Radio Central Texas” and will host the morning drive “Go Big or Go Home” show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Lark Smith will host the local “Order in the Court” program from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. CBS’ Jim Rome show and the “Tiki and Tierney” program with Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney will air in afternoons.

Herskovitz: Wild Political Year Could Lead to Hot Sales. Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about the midterm political season that’s heating up. He reminds account executives of the rules for spot rate for many political ads and outlines who does not qualify for that rate.  For stations hoping to get some ad money from local and state candidates, Herskovitz offers some strategy for getting an order from their campaigns.  Read it here.

TALKERS News Notes. In observance of the anniversary of 9/11, iHeartMedia‘s iHeartRadio has teamed up with 9/11 Day of Service and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to create a special radio show that pays tribute to those affected and left behind.  The 30-minute radio show special is hosted by Tunnel to Towers Foundation founder Frank Siller and Jay Winuk and David Paine, co-founders of 9/11 Day of Service foundation.  They share their personal, heart wrenching, intimate stories on 9/11, explaining their motivation behind founding the two organizations that bring comfort and help millions of people across the United States.  You can hear the program here…..This one comes from the National Enquirer, so take it for what it’s worth.  The tabloid publication says Howard Stern is leaving his radio program at SiriusXM when his contract expires at the end of 2020.  The story quotes a source saying, “Howard is the golden goose that holds the company together.  Without him, it could crumble!”…..WINS, New York morning drive anchor Lee Harris is marking 25 years with the Entercom all-news station this week…..Dr. Ronald Hoffman‘s podcast version of his radio show “Intelligent Medicine” just surpassed the 6 million download mark.  Media Management Group EVP of business development Alan Eisenson comments, “We continue to be amazed at how fast our podcast audience is growing and we love all of the positive feedback we get from the audience.”…..ABC-TV’s talk program “The View” is being made available as a podcast via ABC Radio.  The company says it is re-purposing the television program’s audio into a daily download available at 4:00 pm ET each day.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says the show hosted by Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin, and Abby Huntsman is a “welcome addition” to ABC’s podcast offerings.  “There is an amazing season ahead and we think podcast listeners will enjoy the incredible guest lineup and conversations to come.”…..Attending this year’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform was a chance for WNRI, Providence talk show host John DePetro a chance to explore Washington, DC.  DePetro (pictured at right at the White House) was able to visit the West Wing and attend a press conference with President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

NYT Op-Ed Author Speculation, Bob Woodward Book, Positive U.S. Economic News, Hurricane Florence Approaches Carolinas, Serena Williams U.S. Open Meltdown, NFL’s Week 1, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  Speculation about who the author(s) of the anonymous anti-Trump op-ed piece published in The New York Times is; the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the positive U.S. economic data; the Southeast prepares for Hurricane Florence; the flap over Serena Williams’ meltdown at the U.S. Open; the first week of the 2018 NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A “best of” televised version of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood HITS” is airing on Fuse Music on Saturday (9/15) at 11:00 am ET.  The celebrity guests will include: Janet Jackson, Fergie, Kim Kardashian, and John Legend.  This televised version of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” Big Boy welcomes “the biggest names in music and entertainment, shares his take on the latest news in music and pop culture, and keeps listeners laughing with hilarious bits, including the infamous phonetaps with ‘Luther Luffeigh.’”…..Alpha Media announces that Jim Lowe is named the market manager for its Mankato, Minnesota station group.  Lowe launched his career in sales in the Fargo market 30 years ago.  He’s served in management positions in community broadcast organizations in the Owatonna and Minneapolis markets…..Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio says it has completed its research and the radio format of the summer of 2018 is – classic hits! Nielsen has been tracking the performances of stations by format in the PPM-rated markets for several years using a comparison of 6+ weekly AQH share.  A format’s total for the months of January through May is compared to the total for June, July and August and the format with the greatest improvement is the format of the summer.  The winning format the past two summers had been classic rock.  As you can see in the chart below, classic hits was up 4% as a format.  News/Talk and adult contemporary lost the most ground – 7% each.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

| September 4, 2018

Steve Gill Returns to the Nashville Airwaves on WLAC. Nashville-based media personality Steve Gill ended his syndicated radio program that was heard in mornings on WLAC and distributed via Radio America in January of 2013. Now, he’s returning to the WLAC “TalkRadio 1510” air with his “Tennessee Star Gill Report” that is airing from 7:30 am to 8:00 am daily.  Gill is the CEO of Gill Media and the political editor of The Tennessee Star.  He was also morning drive host on WWTN-FM, Nashville prior to joining WLAC in 2006.  iHeartMedia Nashville region president Dan Endom says, “There isn’t a more credible or recognizable conservative voice in Tennessee than Steve Gill.  With the top names in national conservative talk already on TalkRadio 1510 WLAC, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the addition of a Tennessee conservative voice like Gill rounds out the lineup with a strong local connection.” “Tennessee Star Gill Report” also airs on several radio stations across Tennessee, including WETR, Knoxville and WNWS, Jackson.  Gill says, “Our goal with the radio show is the same as with The Tennessee Star news site: to provide the critical news and insight that the liberal mainstream media overlooks, ignores or in too many cases covers up.  Based upon the numbers that The Tennessee Star has generated in the first 18 months of operation, with over 8 million visitors, there is clearly a demand for the facts, news and analysis that we provide on line and now, on air.”  In the past two weeks Nashville-based Star Digital Media has launched two new online news sites in addition to The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star (www.theohiostar.com) and The Minnesota Sun (www.theminnesotasun.com).  The company plans to expand into additional states over the next few months.

Bonnie-Jill Laflin Joins KNBR, San Francisco Morning Show. Radio and social media personality Bonnie-Jill Laflin is appointed to the on-air team of the “Murph & Mac” morning show on Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco, hosted by Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey.  Laflin is a former cheerleader for the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers. Her radio experience includes hosting SiriusXM’s “The Rush Hour” and “Fantasy Football Show.”  The station says she’ll appear in station videos across knbr.com and its social media platforms, in addition to her role on-air.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to add the talented Bonnie-Jill Laflin to the KNBR lineup.  A San Francisco native, she has maintained her passion for Bay Area sports and has a deep-rooted connection to the KNBR brand.  Her experiences and relationships built in the front office, on the sidelines, behind the microphone, and on camera will provide our core audience a rare perspective on their favorite local teams.  Bonnie-Jill is an established personality that will connect with our listeners on a multitude of platforms and keep KNBR on the leading edge of content creation from day one.”

iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman and NPR’s Jarl Mohn Keynote Closing Session at IAB Podcast Upfront. At this Thursday’s Interactive Advertising Bureau’s fourth annual podcast upfront in New York, iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and NPR CEO Jarl Mohn will host the closing fireside chat titled, “Leaders of the Audio Revolution Debate the Future of Sound.”  It will be moderated by IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg.  IAB says U.S. podcast advertising captured $314 million in revenue in 2017, a rise of 86% over $169 million in 2016, according to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study for full-year 2017 and is predicted to continue to surge to $659 million by 2020.  The press release goes on to say, “iHeartMedia is the largest commercial radio podcaster and NPR is the largest non-profit radio podcaster in the U.S. and these two media titans will share their views on the power of audio, the future of the audio/podcast ecosystem, the role of spoken word and the driving factors behind on demand and podcast listening.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured above is music mogul Clive Davis (center)after announcing on WOR, New York that he is organizing a memorial concert for Aretha Franklin at Madison Square Garden on November 14.  He told WOR’s Len Berman (left)and Michael Riedel (right)that it was scheduled before her passing as a tribute show but will now be a memorial concert…..In the U.K., the country’s most-listened-to morning host Chris Evans is leaving the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on December 21 after 13 years at the station to join Virgin RadioWireless CEO Scott Taunton says, “We are beyond thrilled that Chris has chosen to come back to Virgin Radio. He is the biggest name in radio and is synonymous with the brand.  He has the most exciting breakfast show in the industry and has an energy that captivates audiences.”  The station relaunched two years ago and is heard in the UK only on DAB and online…..After a 12-year stint with RadiOhio’s Columbus sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan,” program director Jay Taylor announces he’s leaving the station as his current contract ends…..Today the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh begin before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Salem Radio Network is presenting gavel-to-gavel coverage each day from Capitol Hill correspondent Wally Hindes.  Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt show will have exclusive commentary and perspective from U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) each day.  Hewitt show executive producer Duane Patterson says, “It is quite a coup to land color commentary on these important hearings from Senator Sasse – a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – each day.”…..Midwest Communications is flipping sports talk WQTX, Lansing, Michigan “The Team 92.1-FM” to adult contemporary on Wednesday (9/5).  A report in the Lansing State Journal quotes Midwest Communications Lansing vice president and market manager Mark Jaycox saying the station wasn’t profitable as a sports talk outlet.  It carried three shows syndicated by the Spotlight Radio Network: “Michigan’s Big Show with Michael Patrick Shiels,” “The Drive with Jack Ebling,” and “The Spartan Beat with Rico Beard.”  It also aired programming from FOX Sports Radio Network…..iHeartMedia Cincinnati and E.W. Scripps’ WCPO-TV are entering into a deal in which the TV station will provide the radio stations – including news/talk WLW and WKRC – with local weather forecasts and news features.  WCPO-TV reports that it will also provide “Don’t Waste Your Money” consumer reports from the station’s John Matarese to the iHM radio stations…..Westwood One begins its 32nd consecutive year as the exclusive network radio partner of the National Football League.  Thursday’s opening night game will be called by play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and color analyst Boomer Esiason will make his final appearance in the booth for his farewell broadcast.  NFL Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner is taking over the lead color analyst role on Monday.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Jeff Sessions Criticism, Kavanaugh Hearings, Labor Day Holiday/State of U.S. Economy, Nike’s Kaepernick ‘Just Do It’ Campaign, First Man Controversy, NBC News-Ronan Farrow Battle, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with the related criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Trump; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the Labor Day holiday weekend and the state of the U.S. economy; Nike’s use of national anthem protestor Colin Kaepernick in its new “Just Do It” campaign; the controversial omission of the U.S. flag planting on the moon in the new film First Man; the argument between NBC News and Ronan Farrow over the news organization’s handling of the Harvey Weinstein investigative report; the NFL pre-season; and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Corinna Delgado moves from Cumulus Media’s CHR KRBR, Houston to the company’s hot AC WRQX, Washington Mix “107.3” to star as the midday host.  She started her career at KMVN in her hometown of Anchorage after serving in the U.S. Army Reserves as a combat medic.  WRQX program director Rob Roberts says, “There were so many great candidates, but Corinna blew me away with her passion for the job. She also possesses an incredible set of digital and social skills.  Plus, anyone trained as a combat medic obviously has a place in radio today.”…..Urban radio pro Lou Bennett is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s urban adult contemporary WRBO, Memphis.  He was most recently with Elite Radio Group as director of operations and program director for its Natchitoches, Louisiana stations.  Cumulus Media Memphis operations manager Danni Bruns states, “We are exhilarated to have Lou as our newest team member at Cumulus Memphis. WRBO was built on soul just like our unique city and Lou has the exact soul we need to keep 103.5 WRBO a powerhouse on the air, as well as in the community.  I look forward to watching him grow WRBO’s ratings and plant his feet in The Bluff City.”…..In San Diego, Jeremy Pritchard is promoted from APD and music director to program director for Entercom’s alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9.”  He assumes the PD role from cluster operations manager Kevin Callahan…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Ramonski Luv exits his role at iHeartMedia’s urban AC WVAZ where he was hosting the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon shows…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show is the new morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B-106,” effective today (9/4).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case.  Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones.  According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed.  Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.”  Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money.  Read the American-Statesman piece here.

Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas 
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left).  A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.”  Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community.  We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape.  We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”  Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign.  But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.”  Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.”  The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.