Tag: "Premiere Networks"

Monday, November 5, 2018

| November 5, 2018

Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to Appear at Tonight’s Trump Rally in Missouri. The president’s final rally before tomorrow’s midterm elections takes place tonight in Cape Girardeau, Missouri – hometown of Premiere Networks talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh – and the favorite son will make a “special guest appearance” there, as will Premiere and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity.  Hannity is hosting his 9:00 pm ET FNC show from the rally, similar to the way he did at a Trump rally in Las Vegas in September.  Not surprisingly, the move has media observers analyzing the relationship between the Donald Trump White House and conservative media outlets.  CNN.com’s report on Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s appearances writes that “the Trump campaign isn’t making a distinction between interviewing the president and showing up at the rally as a ‘special guest.’”  For its part, FOX News says that Hannity is not “sponsoring the rally or campaigning for Trump,” but will be interviewing Trump as part of his show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this development during this morning’s editorial conference call stating, “Regardless of one’s political take on Donald Trump and the positions of conservative talk radio – from a purely industrial perspective and the value of access to the big players on the world stage – Sean Hannity has solidly positioned himself in the eye of the storm on a level that is remarkable from a historical perspective.  He is contributing immeasurably to keeping radio and television talk media at the forefront of the nation’s political conversation – a gift that keeps on giving to his colleagues in the business on all sides of the spectrum.”

Mike Gallagher to Host Salem Radio Network’s Election Night Program. Tomorrow evening’s coverage of the midterm elections on the Salem Radio Network is being anchored by nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher from New York City.  The “TOWNHALL News 2018 MIDTERM ELECTION NIGHT” broadcast will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET and will also be simulcast on a live, nationwide video stream on Townhall.com. Also featured on the program will be White House correspondent Greg Clugston reporting live from Kansas City where he’ll be following key Midwestern contests.  Capitol Hill correspondent Wally Hindes will be posted in Phoenix. Anchor Bob Agnew will report live from SRN’s Washington bureau.  Southwestern correspondent Val DeOre will be filing reports from the Dallas County Republican Party headquarters.  Special guests will include Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of Job Creators Alliance, SRN political contributor and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, and My Pillow inventor and Trump rally fixture Mike Lindell.

New Bern Talk Station Has New Frequency; Adds Limbaugh. In the New Bern, North Carolina market, Inner Banks Media announces the swap of frequencies between country WRHT and news/talk WNBU.  WNBU is now airing on the stronger, Class C1 100,000-watt signal at 96.3 and WRHT slides to the Class C3 11,000-watt signal at 94.1.  At the same time, Inner Banks announces that it is adding Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh to WNBU’s program schedule in place of the Dan Patrick sports talk show.  Limbaugh had been heard on Atlantic Ridge Telecasters’ WTKF-FM.  That station replaces Limbaugh with FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes.

SummitMedia Names Val Nicholas SVP, Creative Director. This is a new position at SummitMedia in which Val Nicholas is tasked with accelerating creative innovation in partnership with SummitMedia sales, marketing, programming and event leadership teams as senior vice president, creative director.  Nicholas comes to SummitMedia from his most recent position with NBC News as vice president creative director. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer comments, “We are very excited for Val to join the SummitMedia team and are confident his enthusiasm and creative talent will bolster our efforts to inspire our audiences and support our client’s needs.”  During his time at NBC News, the organization launched new digital properties for NBCNews.com and 360 initiatives such as “Hiring Our Heroes,” created to remedy the unemployment crisis for post-9/11 veterans.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow night, ABC News Radio is providing live coverage of the midterm elections from 7:00 pm ET through at least 1:00 am ET, anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky from New York with correspondents Karen Travers, Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Pete Combs, and Mark Remillard reporting from various races across the country.  Correspondent Lana Zak will monitor the House and Senate races from Washington, correspondent Scott Goldberg will report from the ABC News Decision Desk, and contributor Steve Roberts will provide political analysis.  ABC News Radio will also provide one-minute updates on ‘Your Vote 2018’ four times an hour, from 5:00 am ET on Tuesday through 12:00 midnight on November 7…..Westwood One News is providing affiliates with continuous election night coverage from 7:00 pm ET until at least 1:00 am ET, plus four special reports per hour and live reports from the headquarters of key candidates.  Jim Bohannon is anchoring the coverage (which will also be simulcast to all Jim Bohannon show affiliates as a special edition of his broadcast).  White House correspondent Bob Costantini will report from the White House on Trump Administration reaction; Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Kenyon will follow the races and congressional control; and correspondent Steve Kastenbaum in New York, Jim Roope in Los Angeles, and Clayton Neville in Houston will report on important regional races, turnout, and ballot referenda…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former hot AC WTMX morning personality Kathy Hart will be appearing on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM a bit more after recently sitting in with weekend host Frank Fontana a few times.  Station manager Todd Manley says she’ll appear on the station “multiple times” over the next couple of months.  Feder says Hart appeared on the station on Sunday for an “in-studio Botox party” with Wendy Snyder, Judy Pielach, and Mary Van De Velde…..Townsquare Media names Suzanne Montoya vice president and station manager for the Princeton, New Jersey cluster that includes sports talk WNJE-AM, CHR WPST-FM, and religion WCHR-AM…..Bustos Media Holdings LLC closes on its purchase of news/talk KVOI-AM, Tucson from Good News Communications.  Most of Bustos Media’s stations are Spanish-language outlets.  This is the company’s first foray into English news/talk.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker for the deal.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, New Iran Sanctions, Financial Markets Activity, Bohemian Rhapsody Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle over control of the House and Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. border; the U.S. places new sanctions on Iran; activity in the world’s financial markets; the Queen bio-pic film, Bohemian Rhapsody; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Richard Neer Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  As the just-concluded 2018 World Series indicated, so many things about sports are changing – the way the games are played, the way we root for our favorite teams and players, the way we bet on them, and the way we cover them in the media.  Thirty-year WFAN, New York veteran sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Neer have been friends and colleagues going all the way back to their days together in the formative years of the album rock format at WLIR, Long Island and WNEW-FM, New York.  Neer wrote the milestone book about that era titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard 2001).  In this podcast, these prolific conversationalists take a thoughtful, deep dive into the X’s and O’s of the changing culture of sports in our rapidly accelerating society.  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. Dallas hot AC KDMX-FM “102.9 Now” moves air personality Carter from evenings to afternoon drive and names him assistant program director.  Station PD Jay Shannon states, “I’m thrilled to have Carter transition to afternoon drive host on ‘102.9 Now.’  Carter has a true connection with our listeners and his upbeat personality really makes him the perfect fit.”  Filling the evening show host role is Brooke Morrison.  She’s served with iHeartMedia’s CHR WHQC, Charlotte and CHR KSLZ, St. Louis…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Brooke & Jubal show hits the 50-affiliate mark after recent additions to its roster that include: KNOU, St. Louis; KKRG, Albuquerque; and KLLY, Bakersfield.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re excited by the fast-paced growth and success of Brooke & Jubal nationwide.  Brooke and Jubal, along with their team, are incredibly hard working and they have an undeniable ability to entertain and engage listeners with topical conversations and a whole lot of laughs.  We look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.”…..Beasley Media Group rock outlet WRAT-FM, Point Pleasant, New Jersey is celebrating 20 years of the Sunday night specialty show, “The Electric Ballroom,” with a commemorative anniversary concert on Sunday, December 30 at the House of Independents in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The event will feature Monster Magnet, along with members of Blue Oyster Cult and the Alice Cooper Band. The lineup will also include a performance by radio show host Keith Roth’s band, Frankenstein 3000…..Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles is presenting the 29th annual “KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018” shows at the Forum on December 8 and 9.  The concerts will feature: Smashing Pumpkins, Florence + The Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Mike Shinoda, and Third Eye Blind, among others. Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are so proud of ‘Acoustic Christmas’ and its unprecedented 29-year history.  This end of the year holiday show is a special time for all of us in Southern California and we’re pleased to support Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center this year.  We are thrilled to deliver an incredible two nights of music where fans, brands, and artists come together.”

An Interview with George Noory

| October 29, 2018

By Ryan McCormick
Goldman McCormick Public Relations

 

ST.LOUIS — George Noory, host of the nationally syndicated program, “Coast to Coast AM,” says if he weren’t a national radio talk show host he’d be in politics.  Heard by millions of listeners, “Coast To Coast AM” airs on nearly 620 stations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Guam.

While hosting “The Nighthawk,” a wildly successful, late-night program on KTRS, St. Louis, Noory was recruited by Premiere Networks to guest host on “Coast to Coast AM” with Art Bell.  He became the permanent host of the phenomenally successful overnight program on January 1, 2003, following Bell’s retirement.  Since then, Noory’s audience has continued to grow.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

| October 23, 2018

Report: WLS-AM, Chicago to Get Lineup Re-Vamp in 2019.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM will get a programming makeover early in the New Year.  Feder writes, “Once among the top-rated stations in Chicago, the 50,000-watt AM giant never recovered after the loss of longtime morning star Don Wade, who died in 2013.”  He reports recent ratings figures reflect more success in middays with Cumulus’ Washington-based Chris Plante and Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, leading one to conclude changes are more likely for drive time where market legend Steve Dahl hosts afternoons and mornings are hosted by Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren wouldn’t comment specifically but said the station will continue with a combination of local and syndicated programming.

NYPost: MSG Goes to War with Entercom and WFAN. A story in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand reveals the bad blood between Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan over WFAN sports talk host Maggie Gray’s rant against him that aired on the station this summer.  Gray didn’t hold back when she called Dolan a “vile piece of trash” while accusing him of hypocrisy after his band – yes, he plays in a band called JD and the Straight Shot – released a song about Harvey Weinstein called, “I Should’ve Known.” Gray alleges Dolan and Weinstein were close and that he did know.  In retribution, MSG banned all Entercom and WFAN staffers from getting special access to players and that players and coaches would not be allowed to appear on any show on WFAN.  Gray did ultimately apologize for her name calling during the rant but not for the thrust of her critique.  At the same time, WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa is being accused of throwing Gray “under the bus” during his comments about the feud.  Although Francesa is probably irked about losing access, he did call out MSG for holding a grudge after Gray apologized.

But Wait!… There’s More Francesa News. Also from the Post’s Andrew Marchand – or more accurately, from Mike Francesa himself – comes the question of whether Francesa’s afternoon drive program on WFAN can co-exist with his “Mike’s On” app. The Post story, based on Francesa’s on-air musings, indicates there are still contractual issues regarding the app between him, Entercom, and CAA that haven’t been settled.  Francesa went so far as to say, “We haven’t really come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and show don’t work together and that’s something we’re going to have to adjust one way or the other.”  He followed that by saying the app is here to stay.  He also reflected on his return to the station after a brief retirement, admitting that it’s been “more uncomfortable” than he thought it would be after bumping Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott from the afternoon drive daypart.

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Help Raise $35,000-plus for Veterans Charity. Pictured above (in scooter) is Korean Conflict veteran Denny Dorman, the oldest recipient of a Puppy Jake Foundation service dog – named Puppy Simon – along with WHO PM drive personality Simon Conway, who adopted the organization as his show’s official charity.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises, and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Conway tells TALKERS that five years ago they held a BBQ fundraiser in the WHO parking lot and raised $4,000.  The next year they brought in $6,000.  Years three and four pulled in $22,000 and $29,000, respectively, and last Friday’s event raised $35,500.  He says, “It is really incredible how my audience, and indeed some of my show’s sponsors, have taken this charity to their hearts.”

Ann Marie Mulholland Named Market Manager for Hubbard Seattle. Emerald City media management pro Ann Marie Mulholland joins Hubbard Radio as vice president and market manager for its Seattle properties, including “Alternative Talk” KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV “Movin 92.5,” country KNUC “The Bull,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9,” and nostalgia KKNW-AM.  Mulholland comes to Hubbard from CRISTA Media.  Prior to that, she served with Entercom and Sandusky in the Seattle market. Hubbard president/COO Drew Horowitz says, “We are looking forward to having Ann Marie, with her exceptional operational credentials, assume the leadership role in Seattle.  She brings strong market experience and will be an excellent fit with our Hubbard Seattle team.”

Midterm Elections, Khashoggi Death Aftermath, Migrant Caravan, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermedia-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air changes take place at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” as the company promotes Tyler Reese from his part-time role with sister classic country WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon” to midday host and assistant program director at WKDF.  Also, Kelley Bradshaw-Brock moves from Entercom’s WUSY, Chattanooga, where she was part of the “Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” morning show to host afternoon drive on WKDF.  Program director John Shomby states, “We are excited for Tyler and Kelley to join ‘NASH FM 103.3.’  These are two very talented stars that are ready to shine in the Music City!…..The vacant program director chair at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise doesn’t last long as Matt Derrick arrives from his most recent gig as director of FM programming at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster to assume the PD role.  Derrick takes over for Rich Summers, who exited the station last week…..Entercom rock WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 Planet Rocks” partners with the local Thomas Creek Brewery to create The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner inspired by the station’s morning show, “The Rise Guys.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We are excited about this partnership and the ability to share the best beer on ‘The Planet’ with our dedicated fans.  The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner is a salute to the P1 army.  This refreshing and crushable beer fits our personalities and those of our listeners.”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

| October 18, 2018

Hannity to Have Limbaugh on FNC Program for Full Hour.  This evening (10/18), FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity will have fellow Premiere Networks syndicated radio superstar Rush Limbaugh on his 9:00 pm ET show for the full hour.  According to the Washington Times, the two “will chat for a full hour about President Trump, the midterm elections and the ever-changing prism of vital information, political and otherwise.”  This is noteworthy because Limbaugh does not make a habit of appearing on other peoples’ programs.  In fact, he is very particular about making television appearances in the first place. Industry watchers remember that it was on Limbaugh’s radio program that an up-and-coming Sean Hannity first reached a national audience as a substitute host.

New Jersey Devils and Skyview Networks Expand Relationship. The National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils are working with Skyview Networks to produce their radio broadcasts.  Skyview will continue to supply its AdView Inventory Management application while adding full production services to the partnership.  Skyview Networks’ Scottsdale, Arizona production studios provide remote production services for professional and collegiate sports properties, news networks and syndicators.  Skyview says that with state-of-the-art studios and a dedicated producer for each client, all responsibilities and quality control of the broadcast are maintained by Skyview Networks to deliver a polished product.  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys adds, “We are pleased to deepen our relationship with the Devils and their broadcast team.  We have exceptional studios and producers out of our corporate office and feel the franchise will benefit by moving these responsibilities to our team. As rights deals and distribution channels change in the sports broadcast industry, I see this as a valuable service we can provide at the highest level.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Apollo Theater and SiriusXM are presenting a live forum on Thursday, November 1 called “Say It Loud…With Your VOTE!” that will be broadcast the following day across a number of SiriusXM channels.  The discussion, obviously centered around political and social issues, is being moderated by Urban View channel hosts Karen Hunter and Reverend Al Sharpton and will feature a panel of SiriusXM hosts and contributors including Urban View host Joe Madison, former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele; Progress channel hosts Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh; SiriusXM chief Washington correspondent Olivier Knox; and Breitbart contributor and Patriot channel host Sonnie Johnson.…..Former WIOD, Miami talk show host Rick Sanchez is joining cable channel RT America to host “The News with Rick Sanchez,” launching at 7:00 pm on Monday (10/22).  Sanchez was a longtime television news personality in Miami before serving with CNNMSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX News Latino, and Mundo FOX…..Northern California public media company KQED announces that president and CEO John Boland is retiring in September 2019 and the board of directors is selecting current EVP and COO Michael Isip as his successor.  He’s been appointed president elect.  KQED notes that during Boland’s tenure, it “prioritized investment in local content and services, increasing the staff by 40% and growing the newsroom to become one of the largest in the Bay Area and among all public media stations.  As a result, KQED audiences, membership and community financial support are at all-time highs. KQED Pubic Radio has become the number one-rated station in Northern California and commands the largest audience among all public radio stations nationally.  KQED is also now home to the largest science unit on the West Coast, an expanded arts and culture team, and an education division that develops digital media tools and media literacy products for youth educators and students.”  Isip joined KQED in June 2001 as executive producer in TV productions and rose through the ranks, attaining SVP and chief content officer status in 2014 and his current EVP/COO post in 2017…..A recent poll conducted by Edison Research and public media platform Marketplace reveals fewer Americans describe themselves as anxious about their financial situation than they have in the past three years.  Decreases in economic anxiety are across demographics and are most significant among Independents and African-Americans.  Since 2015, Marketplace and Edison Research have used responses to the poll to develop the Economic Anxiety Index, a unique measure of the American economy.  The number, on a scale from 0-100, is calculated from answers to a battery of questions. They say the Economic Anxiety Index describes just how stressed out people feel about their personal financial situations. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling. Another finding from the study indicate that nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) are worried about the spread of false information on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. See the study results here.

Taking in to the Streets in Tampa. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt (left) and Mike Gallagher (right) mugging for the camera ahead of this evening’s Midterm Battleground Talkers tour taking place tonight in Tampa, Florida. Also taking part in the live event at the Straz Center will be Sebastian Gorka and Kayleigh McEneny.

Saudi Journalist Case, Trump-Russia Report, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Migrant Caravan, Treasury Leaker Case, Warren Ancestry Video, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17). The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; the caravan of Central American migrants headed toward the U.S.; the case of Treasury official Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards’ alleged theft of sensitive documents about former Trump campaign officials; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia country station WGAR, Cleveland is the “LeeAnn and Wazz Show,” starring incumbent morning talent LeeAnn Sommers (left) and Steve Wazz (right).  The new program will launch on Monday (10/22) and replaces the show hosted by the departed Brian Fowler and Sommers. iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss says, “Bringing Wazz back home to Cleveland is an important step for WGAR as we develop a fresh new morning show for Clevelanders by Clevelanders.  We are thrilled to pair Wazz with LeeAnn Sommers, who is already a fan favorite on WGAR.  Wazz is not only an engaging on-air talent but he also possesses incredible talents off-air and in the social space.”  Wazz was most recently afternoon personality and APD at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG, Raleigh “G105.”…..At Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas Jasmine Sadry exits her role on the “Hawkeye in the Morning” program where she worked with Mark “Hawkeye” Louis and Katelyn “Connected K” Maida…..Pictured below at the NASH campus in Nashville is country artist Jimmie Allen (second from right) with Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks (l-r) after Allen’s appearance on the syndicated “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” morning show.  Allen spoke about his new album, Mercury Lane, advice he’s gotten from Charley Pride, racism in the country music world, and recording his favorite song from Keith Urban’s Ripcord album.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

| October 4, 2018

iHeartMedia Enters into $10 Million Ad Deal with High Times. Via the Form 1-U filing with the SEC by Hightimes Holdings Corp, we learn that iHeartMedia has entered into a deal with the marijuana-centric media firm to provide advertising – initially $5 million worth of ad inventory with the option for another $5 million – in exchange for an 8% convertible note due September 26, 2020.  Hightimes Holdings plans to use the inventory to publicize – via radio, digital and outdoor – its pending maximum $50 million Regulation A+ initial public offering.  The 1-U filing explains that “upon completion of the Hightimes Pubic Offering, provided that a minimum of $15,000,000 of gross proceeds are raised and Hightimes Class A voting common stock trades on an ‘Approved Securities Market’ (as defined in the convertible note), all iHeart Ad Inventory purchased and the entire outstanding amount of the BMH [Broader Media Holdings] Note shall automatically convert into shares of Hightimes Class A common stock at a conversion price equal to the volume weighted average closing prices, as traded on such Approved Securities Market for the 10 trading days immediately following completion of the Hightimes Public Offering.”

FOX Sports Radio Adds New Talent to Weekend Programming. The new fall weekend lineup for FOX Sports Radio is announced by Premiere Networks.  Focusing on college and NFL football, the network adds five-year NFL veteran Bucky Brooks, who teams up with FSR personality Mark Willard to host Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET, and sports radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington partners with FSR’s Steve Hartman on Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Washington will also join FSR weekend host and 13-year NFL veteran Ephraim Salaam on Sundays to host “Red Zone Radio” from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro states, “Coupled with the recent additions of RJ Bell, Chris Broussard, and Rob Parker to our weekday lineup, FOX Sports Radio has the best array of talent to provide thoughtful insight and entertaining commentary for all sports fans both on weekdays and weekends.  When sports news breaks or action on the field develops, we are live 24/7 to provide instantaneous reaction with perspective and opinions from the best minds in the game.”

Kicking off the Upfront Season. Executives and talent representing Skyview Networks, CBS Audio and ABC Radio were present on Tuesday night at The Onyx Room in New York kicking off the upfront season at an event positioned as “Experience Beyond,” drawing the largest spenders in network radio. The event focused on new integrations and experiential opportunities for 2019 across Skyview Networks’ sales portfolio.  The night was capped with an exclusive, live acoustic performance from country music star, Cassadee Pope.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Steve Jones, vice president/GM ABC Radio; David Muir, anchor, “World News Tonight”; Sara Haines, co-host, “GMA Day”; Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief health and medical correspondent; Brad Mielke, host of ABC’s “Start Here” podcast; and Aaron Katersky, ABC News correspondent.

Michael Harrison Guests on Journalist Joe Strupp’s New Podcast Series.  Noted journalist Joe Strupp, whose long list of credits includes serving as senior editor/investigative reporter for Media Matters for America and senior editor for Editor & Publisher has launched a new media-focused podcast series titled “Joe’s Media Corner” (that features extensive interviews with leading figures in the news and communications industries).  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is his guest on episode 3.  In this deep-dive interview, Harrison talks extensively about the challenges facing spoken-word radio in the 21st century, the role of news/talk within the talk radio spectrum, why conservative programming has worked more successfully than progressive on commercial news/talk radio, and how the radio industry has arrived in its present financial predicament.  He also shares a historical overview about his role as a pioneer in FM progressive rock radio and the rise of album oriented rock (AOR) radio which later evolved into present-day classic rock radio.  Don’t miss this fascinating, unvarnished conversation.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Bruce Law Named VP/GM for Cumulus Media’s Grand Rapids Cluster. Michigan native Bruce Law returns home to join Cumulus Media as vice president and general manager of the company’s Grand Rapids stations, including news/talk WJRW and sports talk WBBL-FM. Law previously served as president of Saga Communications’ Asheville, North Carolina cluster.  Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker states, “We are thrilled to welcome Bruce back home to Grand Rapids.  His passion for these brands and for Western Michigan is obvious and we are glad to have him on the team.”

TALKERS News Notes. As part of a new deal with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Entercom announces that all regular-season and postseason games for both teams will stream live from Radio.com, the exclusive digital home for all Entercom content.  The broadcasts will be available free via Radio.com’s app and website as well as the NHL, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders mobile apps and website.  In addition, WFAN, New York will promote all live, digital streams and air select head-to-head matchups between the two teams. Entercom SVP Jeff Sottolano says, “We’re excited to expand our partnership with the New Jersey Devils and add the New York Islanders.  As the fastest growing digital audio app in the United States and unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, Radio.com aims to become a daily habit for the millions of users we reach each month, including tri-state hockey fans.”…..iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic and Weather Network inks a deal to provide public radio news/talk WBEZ, Chicago with real-time traffic data and services, including TrafficNet, a 24-7 dashboard covering live breaking traffic information…..For its 21st consecutive season, ESPN Radio is broadcasting every game of the MLB Postseason.  A rotating team of Marc Kestecher, Kevin Winter, John Brickley, and Jim Basquil will host 30-minute pre-game shows during the Division Series and a one-hour show during the Championship Series and World Series broadcasts.

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.

Kavanaugh Investigation, NYTimes‘ Trump Wealth Story, U.S.-China Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, South Carolina Cop Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; the New York Times story alleging Donald Trump’s family engaged in tax schemes to achieve its wealth; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; November’s midterm elections and speculation about which party will have control of congress; the deadly attack on police attempting to execute a search warrant in South Carolina; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits it is for Entercom’s former hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM.”  The new format and brand – “94.7 The Drive” – launched yesterday afternoon with the station promising “expertly curated classic hits, including rock, pop, and R&B hits from the 1980s, as well as mass appeal titles from the 1970s and 1990s.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Washington D.C. is the only major market without a classic hits radio station.  With Entercom’s track record in the format from New York to L.A., we have the wherewithal to capitalize on this unique opportunity.  It’s no stretch to launch with a high level of confidence when Pat Paxton, Jim Ryan, and Jeff Sottolano are part of the brain trust.”  The station launched with limited commercial inventory and will announce programming updates in the coming months…..On-air pro Amy Reed is appointed morning drive co-host at Entercom’s country WPAW, Greensboro alongside Dale O’Brian on the “Wake Up with the Wolf” program.  She had most recently been with Alpha Media’s CHR WARQ, Columbia, South Carolina as midday host and assistant program director…..Kelly Ford, co-host of the nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” morning drive program is serving as host committee chair of the Play Like a Girl Honors Gala. The black-tie event will benefit the national non-profit organization, Play Like a Girl, and is being held on Monday, November 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Franklin, Tennessee.  Ford joins fellow host committee chair (and WKRN-TV, Nashville chief meteorologist) Danielle Breezy, and honorary chair, Trisha Yearwood for the gala evening that will celebrate the achievements of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire.  The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala will raise funds for programs that inspire leadership through sport and build confidence in girls on and off the field.

September 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – With a May – September topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” carries on in fifth-place for the fourth straight month. KXL was up six-tenths in April and then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. By way of comparison, the January through September trending for iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 1.9 (#18 – #20, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2015). An April improvement of two-tenths interrupted three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Returning two-tenths of August’s +.3 (1.0 – .8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO falls from #24 to #26. “Freedom 970” posted a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row before dropping three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July. After six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” regains 90% of that loss with a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at #22, Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” erases August’s -.2 with September’s +.3 (1.2 – 1.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” recovers from August’s loss of seven-tenths with a +.1 (1.1 – .4 – .5, #29 to #28, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB shifts from first – where it has been each month this calendar year – to second. KOPB was +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May).

Portland Music Formats – Succeeding KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which advances from the runner-up slot. In addition to logging its best 6+-stat (8.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9, “K-103” is an overall +1.6 in three upticks in a row (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8, 6+). KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). By tacking on one-half share to August’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” progresses from fifth to fourth. Prior to August, KINK last reached the five-share level (6+) in February (5.0). In a somewhat similar boat is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish,” which jumps by one-half share in September after posting a +.8 in August (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #16, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a collective -.8 in August and September (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Off by one-half share each are KGON’s adult hits cluster-mate KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything,” which falls out of the top ten (#10 to #11); iHeartMedia-owned KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3, #12 to #13); and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#16 to #17). “Charlie” is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and is below a four-share for the first time since April 2016’s 3.9. “Jam’n” had been a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), while “The Bull” is -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ is without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from #15 to #14.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Backsliding from #14 to #15, Entercom news/talk WBT has a May – September (6+) topline of 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it halted three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Following four straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by a collective one-half share in August and September (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) and is unchanged at #19. “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March. A combined -1.4 in three downward moves in succession (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE drifts from #13 to #17. Up one-half share in June, “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” had a consistent January – May topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). Having tripled its 6+-share as a result of three gains in a row (.2 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is off one-tenth to .5 (6+) but remains at #20.

Charlotte Music Formats – Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March and includes September’s +.8 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#15 to #12) is a combined -.4 in that stretch. Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” is up or flat for the fifth straight month for an overall +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). By posting a gain of six-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #18, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “Classical Public Radio” erases the six-tenths it lost in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight up or flat moves (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and continues in third-place. Before gaining two-tenths in July, “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC – is not only up or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+) – “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” advances from second to first. Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Changing places with WSOC is its urban AC sibling WBAV “V-101.9,” which is -1.0 in August and September (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9, first to second, 6+). WBAV stayed at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods, a highly-unusual occurrence in Charlotte. Prior to the August 2018 sweep, no station in this North Carolina metro had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held by (in chronological order) iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July and August); and WSOC (September). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. After notching five positive spikes in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG slips by one-tenth in September to 4.8 (6+). “Power 98” remains at #8 for the fourth straight month; August 2018’s 4.9 is its best 6+-showing since 5.9 in August 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – An uptick of one-tenth (3.8 – 3.9, 6+) is enough to propel iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” from #11 into the top ten (#9). July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. Repeating at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” returns the three-tenths it gained in August (1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+). KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Unchanged from August in 6+ AQH share (.7), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR moves from #30 to #27. This time last month, “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” wiped away its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3. Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX duplicates August’s +.4 (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), climbing from #14 to #12. A July loss of seven-tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history.

San Antonio Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM the market leader for the ninth successive sweep, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is +2.2 in four straight increases (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+) and reaches the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). Country-formatted stations continue to hold down the #2 and #3 slots, however, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.6 – 6.1, +.5, third to second, 6+) overtakes Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.8 – 6.0, -.8, second to third, 6+). The +2.7 that “KJ-97” racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. September’s -.8 by “Y-100” suspends three straight gains that netted +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, it reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Off one-tenth in May, KCYY curtailed four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). These two country adversaries were locked together in the runner-up slot in June. Three straight decreases by KROM accounted for a -1.7 (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet answers with a +.6 to 5.0 (seventh to fourth, 6+). “Que Buena 92.9” was a combined +.5 in April and May. Improving by six-tenths as well is Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which is an overall +.9 in three consecutive up or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s -.6 with a September increase of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate KTKX  advances from eighth to sixth. Entering the August sweep, “106.7 The Eagle” gained nine-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share as well are Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1,” up a collective six-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+) and Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” (2.7 – 3.2, #17 to #15, 6+). On the heels of August’s +.5, which ended three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT surrenders more than twice that increase with a -1.1 to 3.4 (6+); “98.5 The Beat” plummets from #5 to #12. The wild ride continues for Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG, which was -.9 in three straight March through June downtrends (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); +.7 in July; -.9 in August; and now -.7 in September (4.0 – 3.3, 6+). “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” fades from #9 to #14 with its lowest 6+-share (3.3) in nearly three years (3.1, November 2015). Following four straight gains that accounted for a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -2.1 in five April through September decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” falls from #13 to #16. Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KTFM “Energy 94.1,” which was +.7 via three straight increases (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is off four-tenths in three straight down of flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+). A gain of two-tenths in June halted four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and now -1.1 in September (7.2 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. A model of consistency – iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” (.1 – .2, +.1, flat at #18, 6+) has logged either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 17 ratings periods. Adding six-tenths to August’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA carries on at #13 with its best 6+-showing (3.0) since October 2017’s 3.2. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dials up a +1.1 to 6.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “Kiss” fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.3 – 10.2, +.9, 6+) is #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time this calendar year. WWSW was a combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), but forfeited -1.3 in May. In the runner-up slot for the ninth successive sweep, co-owned rocker WDVE erases nearly half of August’s -.8 with a September gain of three-tenths (8.5 – 7.7 – 8.0, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and -.8 in August. Debuting in August with a .4 (6+), Entercom’s urban contemporary WBZZ-HD3 adds six-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and remains at #17. After recording six straight up or flat trends since February for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB surrenders seven-tenths (3.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). With a 4.2 in August, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” reached the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. A one-half share loss to 3.4 (6+) by Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ suspends three consecutive improvements for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), but “Q-92.9” continues at #12. After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the third straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Once again finishing in third-place, KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is down or flat for the eighth straight report for an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). The iHeartMedia-owned news/talk station was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; first in January 2018; second in February; first in March (tied with KSEG); second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August and September. Meanwhile, the February – September topline trending for co-owned KSTE (moving from a three-way tie at #13 to #14) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+). In January, “Talk 650” notched a 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is up one-tenth (1.1 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+). It is tied with co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which had lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), but adds four-tenths in September to 1.2 (#25 to #21, 6+). Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ tacks on two-tenths to August’s +.6 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). After three straight up or flat trends that produced a net gain of four-tenths (.3 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI drops one-tenth to .5 (#27, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Bragging rights for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here go to Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (3.9 – 5.2, +1.3, ninth to fifth, 6+). The last time “98 Rock” hit the five-share threshold (6+) was in December 2016 (5.1). Not only is co-owned KSEG #1 for the eighth successive sweep, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” adds six-tenths to August’s +.1 (9.0 – 9.1 – 9.7, +.1, 6+). “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; -.9 in July; and now +.6 in September. This marks the eleventh straight monthly report that Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (+.5, #16 to #13) is within 2.2 – 2.9 range: 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 (6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falters by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #18 to #19, 6+). In terms of 6+ AQH share, there is very little movement in the market’s country contest: Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” improves by one-tenth to 2.2 (#17 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (4.4 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (2.3 – 2.1, #13 to #17) are each down by two-tenths. “The Wolf” was off one-half share in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and was flat in August. This time last month, “New Country” forfeited seven-tenths of July’s +.8. KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). An August -1.1 by “The Bull” erased July’s +1.0. Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL drops two-tenths (5.0 – 4.8, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” advances from seventh to sixth. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL, which was #1 in April, was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). Following a May-August (bookend) topline of 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off two-tenths to 3.9 (ninth to tenth, 6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). Broadway Media-owned KALL recaptures half of August’s -.2 with a +.1 to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+). In advance of the August sweep, “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). After four successive sweeps without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER falters by one-half share to 3.0 (#11 to #14, 6+). It previously was an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuts with a .9 (#26, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Simultaneous with independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” busting out a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, #11 to #8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” freefalls by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, third to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), “Z-104” added one-tenth in August. Meanwhile, when “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August, it snapped a string of three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). More than erasing August’s -.6 with a September gain of nine-tenths (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from #15 to #11. “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Carrying on at #13, CHR cluster-mate KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” posts its fifth consecutive increase for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC KJMY progresses from tenth to seventh. A one-tenth decline in August by “MY-99.5” ended at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). A collective +.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” leaps from sixth to fourth. After sharing the #1 slot in August, iHeartMedia’s KODJ regains the three-tenths it squandered in August (6.7, 6+) as “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” takes sole possession of first place. It was #1 this past June and July, as well. Moreover, September’s +.3 brings to a close three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. The station with which it shared August’s penthouse – Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI – loses two-tenths (6.4 – 6.2, 6+) and takes over at #2. “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gained one-half share in August. Immediately prior to August, KSFI was -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” was on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). After trending 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4 (6+), Broadway Media’s KXRK “X-96 – Utah’s Original Alternative” stumbles by eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). By faltering six-tenths to 2.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” (#15 to #19) has its consecutive string of increases that produced a +.7 end at four (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning half of August’s +.2 (1.9 – 1.8, -.1, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT  remains at #20. Before August’s increase, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). The March – September topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#23 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is now +.4 in August and September (.5 – .6 – .9, #27 to #25, 6+). Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is an overall +.9 through four consecutive improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9, #15 to #13, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since March (2.9, as well). A cumulative -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – It’s another game of music chairs atop the leaderboard between Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, first to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” (6.3 – 7.5, +1.2, second to first, 6+). Whereas KKLZ gained eight-tenths in August, “Sunny” spiraled by -1.3. The end result was KKLZ succeeding KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. August marked the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top in May, June, and July, with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. Unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” is a cumulative +1.7 in five consecutive upticks (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Adding one-half share to August’s +.2 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KWNR “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” advances from eighth to sixth. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last six survey periods (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” erodes by nine-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). Forfeiting one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+) and Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #16, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.8 in three straight positive spikes (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW has that bounty slivered exactly in half (9.1, -1.4, 6+). Nonetheless, the Cincinnati Reds flagship is #1 for the fourth month in a row although it shares the honor with Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR (see below). August 2018’s 10.5 is WLW’s highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; -1.2 in May; and now -1.4 in September. Off four-tenths to 3.7 (6+), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” slips from eighth to tenth. It was a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), with July’s increase stopping four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is flat at .9 (6+), but climbs from #20 to #19. Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is unchanged from August in both 6+ AQH share (3.5, its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6) and 6+ market rank (#12).

Cincinnati Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (to 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” all but eliminates its -.9 in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+). Adding six-tenths to August’s one-half share increase (4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” inches up from seventh to sixth. Stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, “Mix” was off eight-tenths in July, with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. Over and above continuing a down/up pattern that surfaced in May (9.6 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” proceeds from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk WLW. After posting a one-half share gain in August to 1.3, its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5, Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and leaves the top twenty (#18 to #22). Between March and July, “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” registered a .8 (6+) four times (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+). Having trended 7.9 – 8.1 – 7.9 (June-July-August, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” slumps by one-half share in September to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+). Off eight-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” shifts from sixth to seventh, while iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in five straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Off one-tenth (4.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” slips from ninth to tenth. Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. Steady at #11, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is +.8 in three consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). As the result of three successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is a collective +.6 (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, #16 to #15, 6+). Unhanged at #18, co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is likewise a collective +.6 via seven successive up or flat trends (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.7 – 1.1, #22 to #20, 6+). Owing to September’s +.5 (to 4.0, steady at #12, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” halts a down/up pattern that began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5.

Orlando Music Formats – Substituting August’s -.5 with September’s +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” jumps from tenth to eighth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.0) in more than two years (5.3, August 2016). Prior to August, “Power” was a collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). As a result of four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX was an overall -1.1, but “Mix 105.1” picks up one-tenth to 5.3 (6+) and climbs from eighth to seventh. An increase of one-half share to 7.7 (steady at #2, 6+) by iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, WXXL was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). While co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is #1 for the ninth month in a row, “Rumba 100” is an overall -3.4 in August and September (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2, 6+), with September’s -1.9 the largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 erosion by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. An overall +2.1 in six straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” surrenders roughly half that increase (5.0, -1.1, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth successive sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, seventh to eighth, 6+), which is -.6 in that stretch. A loss of one-tenth in June interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. Not only is Entercom’s WKRK +1.3 in three upticks in a row (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Cleveland’s “Fan” was a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, steady at #13, 6+) takes Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.6. WCPN was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – In addition to notching four straight improvements for an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Ten recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); and +.6 (September).  When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). Having lost roughly 40% of its 6+ AQH share (-4.1) in five straight down or flat trends since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK notches a +.5 to 6.5 (seventh to fifth, 6+). With a +.9, WZAK reached the top spot in December, but fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. Down two-tenths to 6.6 (yet progressing from fifth to fourth, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” concludes four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +2.4 generated via four successive upticks (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” (6.9, -1.5, 6+) slips from second to third. August’s 8.4 is its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). A collective +1.7 in July and August (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” surrenders nine-tenths to 7.2 (6+), yet actually advances from third to second. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Up seven-tenths in August to curtail five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” drops two-tenths in September to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths as well is co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.4 – 2.2, flat at #19, 6+). “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth in June. Down or flat for the third sweep in a row for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” remains at #23. Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” which was up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 3.1 (#12 to #15, 6+). The Kansas City Royals flagship more than doubled its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+). Three-tenths behind KCSP is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is a collective +.8 in four straight increases (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, #18 to #16, 6+). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in July and August, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR gains three-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Not only is Cumulus Media’s KCFX #1 for the fourth month in a row, “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +1.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). Moreover, this (8.8) is the strongest 6+-performance for KCFX since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Tacking on eight-tenths to August’s +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC repeats in the runner-up slot. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) and then dropped seven-tenths in July. In addition to entering the top ten (#11 to #7) with a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” has its highest 6+-stat (4.6) since 4.7 in March. At the same time that KCKC sibling KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” gains six-tenths to 5.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” regresses by nine-tenths (6.2 – 5.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). “Q-104” was off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). It was up or flat in seven straight December 2017 through June 2018 sweeps for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “Country 94.1” improved by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+). When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a net loss of six-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dipping from eighth to tenth. Flat at #3, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in six successive March through September declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The extremely steady March – September topline of iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN is 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.5 (unchanged at #6, 6+). Earlier this year though, “News Radio 610” was +1.5 in January; -1.0 in February; and -.7 in March. A collective +.6 in August and September (.5 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” progresses from #15 to #14. Following four down or flat sweeps in succession for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is without a loss for the third month in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, flat at #7, 6+). September’s 4.6 is its strongest 6+-stat since 4.7 in August 2017.

Columbus Music Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in succession, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” – which was +1.3 in June and -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+) – gains one-half share to 9.4 (6+). WNCI lost seven-tenths in July, curtailing three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Well ahead of WNCI is co-owned WCOL (15.0, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth consecutive sweep. When “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” eroded by -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). WCOL has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and 1.2 (August). Regressing by six-tenths each are One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (4.1 – 3.5, steady at #8, 6+) and Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” (3.3 – 2.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). Following four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” falters by three-tenths to 6.4 (third to fourth, 6+); 6.7 in August is its highest 6+-share since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017.

Monday, September 17, 2018

| September 17, 2018

Newsmax TV to Be Carried on Comcast’s X1 Platform.  In a major move for the Newsmax TV channel, Newsmax and Comcast have signed an agreement for the latter to carry the 24/7 cable news channel on the Xfinity TV X1 platform.  Newsmax TV will initially launch to subscribers of Xfinity’s Digital Starter package that have an X1 device.   Newsmax Broadcasting CEO Michael Clemente says, “Comcast is the largest cable operator in the nation and we appreciate their decision to recognize Newsmax TV as a valuable, independent programmer for their viewers.”  Newsmax TV says it “consistently offers important viewpoints not covered elsewhere and continues to add talent to an impressive lineup that includes: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, and Jesse Lee Peterson, as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.”  It adds that it is currently available in 50 million U.S. cable/satellite homes and expects to reach as many as 80 million such homes by the end of 2019.  Clemente adds that the network plans to ramp up programming in the coming months as it prepares for 2020 presidential election coverage that will begin in earnest next year.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Sports talk listening heated up during the August survey as 74% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise compared to the July 2018 survey. Looking at changes from August 2017 to August 2018, 67% of stations were up from a year ago.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York – on the back of a three-tenths increase – ranked #1 (6+) in the Long Island market in August.  The company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh ranked #4, and WFAN, New York and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

RJ Bell and Chris Broussard & Rob Parker Host New FOX Sports Radio Programs. On the heels of last week’s end of the JT The Brick program and the “Steve Gorman Sports!” show, Premiere Networks today announces the launch of the shows that are rounding out the FOX Sports Radio network program schedule.  Beginning today (9/17), “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” debuts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET as what Premiere calls “the first-ever national daily radio show focused on sports betting.”  Las Vegas personality and founder/CEO of Pregame.com RJ Bell hosts the program that also features FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox, plus famed betting experts Brad Powers and Steve Fezzik.  Premiere says the weekday launch of the program comes after a successful year-long run as part of FSR’s weekend lineup on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also moving up from its weekend status is “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard (left) & Rob Parker (right),” launching tonight from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  As part of the changes, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” adds an hour, airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Premiere Networks SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say in a joint statement, “This historic new lineup further solidifies FOX Sports Radio’s standing as the preeminent sports network in the nation.  It’s now crystal clear that when you’re looking for the best, live sports-talk, this is the place to tune in.  Listeners who want to be entertained, informed, and emotionally invested with the most compelling personalities and storytellers in the industry will be rewarded with every listening occasion.”

Zak Burns Gone from ‘KIRO Nights.’ Talk show host Zak Burns is no longer co-hosting “KIRO Nights” with Gee Scott at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Burns joined the station two years ago to co-host the evening show with Jason Rantz, who left the program last fall to assume the morning drive show hosting duties at sister conservative news/talk KTTH.  KIRO contributor Drew Barth has been sitting in with Scott since Burns’ departure.

Entercom to Relocate Offices to Philadelphia.  In an interview with David Field in Philly.com, the Entercom president and CEO declined to comment on the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia – that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Bala Cynwyd to a building on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia that it will share with Aramark (according to a recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal).  However, in the piece written by Bob Fernandez, Field acknowledges the intense work that the CBS RADIO merger has brought Entercom but says he’s happy with what the new-look company has accomplished so far.  Regarding the move, it’s being reported that the new facility will not only be home to the corporate HQ but will also house the various radio station offices currently in numerous sites throughout the Philadelphia area.  Read the piece here.

Rumor Confirmed: Mets Games to Air on WCBS-AM, New York in 2019 Season. The recent reports out of the Big Apple that Entercom has been wooing the New York Mets to bring their play-by-play to all-news WCBS-AM turn out to be true as the company announces it has struck a six-year deal with the MLB club.  Mets games have aired on iHeartMedia’s WOR since the 2014 season.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “We’re pleased to be the new radio home of the Mets. We remain committed to bringing our listeners and partners the most exciting sports content from their hometown teams, especially in the New York metropolitan area, where we will be the radio home for both Major League Baseball clubs beginning in 2019.”  As part of the deal, Entercom’s other New York radio stations – alternative WNYL ALT 92.3,” hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7 FM,” classic hits WCBS-FM and fellow all-news WINS-AM – will provide promotional support.

Crossover Media Group Sales to Handle Ad Sales Support for Sports Byline USA and BlueWirePods. Cross-platform content production and advertising sales rep firm Crossover Media Group Sales announces it is handling ad sales support for Sports Byline USA network. Sports Byline is led by founder and host Ron Barr and president Darren Peck and serves some 200 U.S. radio affiliates and some 500 additional stations globally as well as satellite radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes, CRN Digital, airlines’ in-flight channels and the American Forces Network.  The company is also working with newly launched podcast network Blue Wire that is aggregating content from sports talk personalities.  Bay Area-based Blue Wire was founded by former KNBR-AM, San Francisco host Kevin Jones.  CMGS managing member Scott Calka says, “CMGS is rapidly becoming one-stop-shopping for marketers to reach a variety of fans across the panoply of sports talk.”

23 Stations Off the Air as a Result of Hurricane Florence.  According to the FCC, as of yesterday (9/16), some 20 FM stations are off the air and three AM stations are off due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.  Also, four television stations report being out of service and 7.2% of the region’s cell towers were reported off-line, with Brunswick, Cumberland, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina reporting the largest loss of cell service.

Kavanaugh Accusation, Florence Drenches the Carolinas, Border Patrol Serial Killer Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Hurricane Florence’s arrival and the resulting historic flooding in the Carolinas; the case of the U.S. border patrol agent charged in connection with four deaths; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related plea deal of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin (Miss New York) during Franklin’s visit to the station today (9/17). Franklin discussed the year ahead for her as Miss America, saying she will continue her work with the performing arts and several children’s charities that’s she supports.  Hurley presented the Miss America Foundation with a surprise $500 grant that will be designated to two charities of Franklin’s choice.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas, Cumulus Media brings Nathan Fast aboard to co-host the morning show on KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” with current morning personality Lisa Taylor.  He was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown CHR KVIL “AMP 103.7” as morning host.   KPLX program director Mac Daniels says, “Nathan is an amazing, creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of four people.  With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and ‘The Wake Up With The Wolf Show’ on one of America’s leading country music brands.  We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”…..iHeartMedia moves Vladimir “DJ Loui Vee” Scott from its Columbia, South Carolina station group to its Indianapolis offices to serve as program director for hip hop WZRL “REAL 98.3” and hip hop WTFX, Louisville “REAL 93.1.”   iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew comments, “Vladimir possesses the creativity, passion, and leadership we look for in programmers.  His direction and attention to detail will take WZRL and WTFX to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Raleigh names Joe Johnson program director and afternoon drive personality for classic rock WRDU, Raleigh, effective September 24.  Johnson held the same positions at the company’s WROV, Roanoke-Lynchburg…..Classic hits KGOR, Omaha debuts the “Mornings with Montez & Shari” featuring Montez and Shari Stone.  Stone was most recently digital project coordinator and midday host at Salem Media Group’s crosstown Christian contemporary KGBI-FM. Montez was most recently afternoon host and music director at the iHeartMedia Omaha cluster’s CHR KISO “96.1 Kiss FM.”  The duo say, “Being from Omaha, we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve our community in a fun way because we love this town.  We can’t wait to entertain every morning and grow our big, radio family.”…..Envision Networks announces that the “Full Metal Jackie” program – hosted by Jackie Kajzer – is now airing on the American Forces Network, broadcasting to United States military servicemembers and their families at home and abroad. AFN Radio director Scott Stover says, “American Forces Network Radio is proud to bring Full Metal Jackie to our US military serving overseas as they listen to our alternative music channel ‘Freedom Radio.’ We thank ‘Full Metal Jackie’ and Envision Networks for partnering with AFN Radio to ‘serve those that serve.’”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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

Monday, August 20, 2018

| August 20, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.   Almost half of the stations in this panel (47%) saw their 6+ AQH share dip compared to the June 2018 PPM survey with just three all-newsers – Entercom’s WBZ-AM, Boston; WCBS-AM, New York; and KNX, Los Angeles – enjoying increases.  Compared to a year ago, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington (up 1.1%) and WBZ-AM (up 0.8%) lead the pack of five news stations improving over the July 2017 survey.  Although there are only 11 all-news stations in the panel, six rank in the top 5 in their respective markets with WTOP ranking #1 (6+) in Washington, KCBS-AM ranking #2 in San Francisco and KFBK ranking #2 in Sacramento.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Names Four Programmers to Podcast Captain Positions. According to Beasley Media Group vice president of programming Buzz Knight, this team of podcast captains will be responsible for assisting the local markets in evaluating and partnering with local content providers, along with helping the company’s overall mission of building a larger podcast community.  He adds, “We are thrilled to have our new podcast captains help lead our creative process as Beasley Media Group continues to develop and grow the company’s podcast strategy.”  Named to the positions are: Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub”; Chuck Damico, program director, WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and APD for WMMR-FM; Steve Black, air personality, WRIF-FM, Detroit; and Roy Brown, morning personality, WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1.”

Wisconsin Sports Talker Bill Michaels Okay After Lightning Strike. From a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comes news that WSSP, Milwaukee-based, regionally syndicated sports talk personality Bill Michaels was struck by lightning while doing a remote broadcast from a Junior Achievement Golf Outing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin last Thursday (8/16).  Michaels’ wife Sherry posted the story and some pix (including the one seen here) on Facebook.  Michaels was doing his show from a patio at the golf course when the lightning hit.  He later said on his show, “I was sitting at the table … as [producer] Joe [Zenzola] and I were having this conversation.  A lightning strike had taken place.  It wasn’t directly to me, but it had taken place in the area.  There was enough energy – I don’t know how to put it – but it hit me.  It jolted me, I guess, is the best way to put it.  It burned my arms, burned my fingers and found out later it had blown out through my shoe.”  The strike interrupted the remote link back to the station and Michaels immediately sought medical attention.  He was treated at a local hospital where he spent several hours. He was back on the air on Friday to talk about the experience.

Clay Travis Returns to WGFX-FM, Nashville with Premiere Networks Syndicated Show. Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Clay Travis is back on the Nashville radio station where he got his start as a sports talk host.  Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” is adding an hour of Travis’ Premiere Networks-syndicated show to WGFX-FM’s program schedule, airing from 5:00 am to 6:00 am, leading into the station’s “Wake Up Zone” morning show.  Travis launched his sports talk career in 2010 as part of the “3HL” program.  WGFX-FM program director Brad Willis comments, “We’re excited to add Clay Travis back to ‘The Zone’ lineup as his presence in Nashville and his perspective on sports across the nation is one that our listeners have enjoyed for many years.”

‘LI News Radio’ Host Tom Schiliro Drives Vehicle in Presidential Motorcade. Pictured above is WRCN-FM, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” midday talk host Tom Schiliro standing next to the presidential state car nicknamed “The Beast.”  The JVC Media personality was shocked when he received a call from the White House and was asked to drive a dignitary vehicle in the presidential motorcade on a pending visit to Long Island by President Trump.  In speaking with the White House advance team, Schiliro learned that the White House often reaches out to select retired police officers and military personal in the local area to participate in the presidential motorcade by driving cars that shuttle local invited guests and business dignitaries around. Schiliro’s name was put on a list by Congressman Lee Zeldin and Brookhaven political leader Jessie Garcia because of the “great community work Tom does with LI News Radio and his tenure with the Suffolk County Police Department.”  Neither LI News Radio listeners nor station staff were given advance notice about Schiliro’s “remote broadcast” but after Air Force One arrived at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton it was “all clear” for Schiliro to call into the studio and give LI News listeners his once-in-a-lifetime broadcast from the actual POTUS motorcade.

Pete Forester to Lead Sales for Beasley’s WCTC-AM and WMGQ-FM in New Jersey. Radio sales pro Pete Forester is promoted to director of sales at Beasley Media Group’s New Brunswick, New Jersey duo of news/talk WCTC and adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.”  Forester has been serving as national sales manager for the company’s New Jersey-based properties for the past 14 years. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn states, “Pete has demonstrated an incredible work ethic along with creativity.  I’m confident he will thrive being based in Somerset and leading our team.”  The company is conducting a search for a national sales manager and inquiries about that position can be sent to: Jennifer.Alexander-Mettlen@bbgi.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports radio pros Scott Linn, Tim Murray, and Steve Solomon are launching a new podcast via Patreon.com.  The three formerly hosted the morning drive program on the SB Nation Radio network.  They spent several years as Steve Czaban’s co-hosts/sidekicks on his national radio show on FOX Sports Radio and later SB Nation Radio.  Linn currently co-hosts with Czaban.  Murray serves as the studio host for Navy football and as a sports anchor for WTOP, Washington.  The “Linn, Murray, and Solly” podcast is available on three different tiers at www.Patreon.com/LinnMurraySolly starting at $4.99 per month…..Westwood One launches a new podcast series featuring sports radio personality Scott Ferrall titled, “Ferrall on the Bets.”  The podcast will launch next Monday (8/28) with six 30-minute original shows per week, posted Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 am ET. Ferrall says, “I am thrilled to offer bettors a free resource for picks.   I watch as many games as I can, I check out all the lines.  I love being the go-to predictor of the podcast world and I thank Westwood One for the opportunity.”…..Cumulus Media announces that 77 WABC’s OG Podcast Network is launching a new home improvement podcast co-hosted by Dean Marisco (left) and Derek Stearns (right) titled, “Under Your Roof and In Your Backyard with Dean and Derek.” New, 45-minute podcasts are being released every Friday.  Marisco and Stearns host the national television shows “Rock Solid” and “Indoors Out” on Scripps Networks and appear on “Victory Garden” on PBS…..Entercom Houston and the NFL’s Texans agree to extend their partnership for airing play-by-play and related Texans programming through the 2027 season.  As part of the agreement, KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” will continue to carry all Houston Texans games and KLOL-FM “Mega 101 FM” will broadcast all games in Spanish. KILT-AM will air a three-hour pregame and postgame show, plus “Texans All Access,” airing weekdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm during the regular season and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm during the offseason. The Texans Radio Network broadcast team of Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware will continue to provide play-by-play and game analysis as they have done for the past 17 years.  Enrique Vasquez and Gustavo Rangel will provide the play-by-play for Spanish broadcasts on Texans Radio Network…..Legendary Indianapolis Colts voice Bob Lamey is retiring from his position as play-by-play announcer for the team’s games heard on Emmis’ sports talk WFNI and country WLHK in Indianapolis.  Matt Taylor, currently studio host and a sideline reporter, will handle play-by-play on an interim basis.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa Recordings/Book, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Brennan Security Clearance Issue, Midterm Elections, Madonna Turns 60, Crazy Rich Asians Film, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Omarosa Marigault Newman’s Trump recordings and her new, tell-all book; the Pennsylvania scandal involving widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the possibility of charges being filed against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the stripping of John Brennan’s security clearance; the looming midterm elections; pop icon Madonna turns 60; the success of the Crazy Rich Asians film; NFL pre-season action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two Bay Area morning duos extend their contracts with iHeartMedia San Francisco. KIOI “STAR 101.3” morning hosts Marcus & Sandy (right) and KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” AM personalities Jack Kulp and Carolyn McArdle (left) are celebrating new deals with the company to keep them waking up their audiences.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker states, “Both Marcus & Sandy and Jack & Carolyn have established their respective shows as some of the most listened to morning shows in San Francisco and we’re thrilled to sign them to multi-year extensions.”…..KCTZ, Minneapolis implements programming changes, adding adult alternative artists to its current hot AC programming.  Station PD Rich Davis says the new “Cities 97.1” will broadcast an eclectic mix of adult alternative and hot adult contemporary music including songs from artists which the station was instrumental in breaking over the years like Ed SheeranColdplay, and John Mayer. The station will also include music from a variety of top artists such as Imagine DragonsMaroon 5, Adele, and Weezer.  Minneapolis singer-songwriter Keri Noble is hosting the weekday morning show from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and Minneapolis local favorite Paul Fletcher hosts afternoon drive.  Davis adds, “We’re connected to the Twin Cities and we care about our community and the music we play.  ‘Cities 97’ was born in 1984 and now reborn in 2018 and we’re thrilled to grow and continually evolve with our listeners and fans.”…..In Los Angeles, Entercom appoints midday personality Yesi Ortiz music director for CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP Radio.”  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman declares, “We are very proud of Yesi’s on-air work since joining us earlier this year.  She has been a respected leader in the music community for many years and we look forward to her expanding her duties as 97.1 AMP Radio’s music director.”…..Pictured below is Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former Journey frontman Steve Perry in the KQRS, Minneapolis studios talking with station morning personality Tom Barnard about his new solo record, Traces.  This is Perry’s first record in 24 years.  He spoke with Barnard about the album artwork that is comprised of a collection of images tracing Perry’s life and career.  He also discussed why he chose to walk away from the music business.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

| August 2, 2018

Rush Limbaugh Celebrates 30 Years in National Syndication. On Wednesday (8/1), Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh marked the 30thanniversary of the national syndication of his radio program.  Premiere says that “in addition to discussing the latest news and events of the day, Limbaugh spent some time during this three-hour show reflecting on the special milestone and his journey to becoming the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.  The five-time Marconi Award winner featured calls from listeners and fans, as well as highlights from throughout his radio career, including audio of his first radio job as a disc jockey at WIXZ in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1971. Limbaugh was also surprised with a call from President Donald Trump.”  The president told Limbaugh, “You’re a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you.  I’m one of them.  But you’re a very, very special guy.  What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is.  So, I just wanted to personally make this one and I said, ‘I’ll even dial the number myself if I have to’…But I just want to congratulate you.  Thirty years in that tough business is incredible — and you’re stronger now than ever before.”  In 1988, Limbaugh and his partners founded EIB, the Excellence In Broadcasting network, launching his show into national syndication on August 1, 1988, debuting with 56 radio stations.  In just a few months, an additional 100 affiliates were added, paving the way for the expansion of the talk radio format.

Prescription Drug Cocktail Contributed to Art Bell’s Death.  The Clark County, Nevada coroner’s report on the April 13, 2018 death of talk radio pioneer Art Bell indicates that a prescription drug cocktail of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam (Valium), and the muscle relaxant carisoprodol were found in Bell’s system.  The report concludes he died of an accidental overdose, although it also says chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension contributed to his death.  According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, all of the medications were legally prescribed to Bell.

New York State Broadcasters Association Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2018.  The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces its Hall of Fame Class of 2018. This year’s inductees are: New York Yankees radio voice and WEPN talk host Michael Kay, J. David (Dave) Davis of WABC-TV and ABC News, WHAM-TV news team Doug Emblidge and Ginny Ryan, and legendary New York City disc jockey Dan Ingram.  The class of 2018 will be inducted at the New York Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB Show NY at 12:00 noon on Thursday, October 18 at the Jacob Javits Center.  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “The Class of 2018 represents the best in our profession.  We are honored to induct these highly successful broadcasters into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  They represent the best in radio and television.

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Financial Data Released.  Filing its 10Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that iHeartMedia’s revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was basically flat – up 0.7% — at $1.6 billion, compared to $1.59 billion in the same period in 2017.  Operating income was down 7.7%, dipping from $308 million a year ago to $285 million this year.  iHeartMedia is not holding quarterly conference calls while the company is in Chapter 11 reorganization.

Middle Tennessee Radio Pro David Tower Dead.  Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame member David Tower, a.k.a. David Milstead died on July 28 at age 78.  He’d been inducted into the hall this past May.  Tower was born in Orange, Texas in 1940 and came to Nashville in 1970 as a news reader for WMAK-AM.  He rose to news director and began a career that would lead him to other Nashville radio stops including WYHY-FM “Y-107” and WLAC.  In his later years, Tower worked as a real estate agent and lived in East Nashville.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump Calls to End Probe, Paul Manafort Trial, U.S. Immigration Policy, New China Tariffs, Economic Growth/Housing Starts Down, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with President Trump’s demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions shut it down; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the U.S.’s immigration and deportation policies; Trump threatens more tariffs on Chinese goods; the positive second quarter economic growth stats coupled with concerns about the decline in new housing starts; this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; the heatwave affecting Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mel, a.k.a., Melissa Sorrentino is now music director and midday personality at Entercom’s alternative WQMP, Orlando “ALT 101.9.”  She’s most recently been serving the company as programming assistant at alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”…..Premiere Networks is celebrating the 25thanniversary of the rock prep service “Today’s Rock Facts.”  The service was conceived by then-head of programming Bill Wise at MJI Broadcasting in 1993 with current Premiere senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione and West Coast prep producer Dave Schulps.  Premiere says highlights over the last 25 years include hundreds of interviews with every top act from AC/DC to ZZ Top; countless exclusive stories; and on-the-scene coverage of such memorable events as Led Zeppelin’s reunion show in 2007, Woodstock ’94 and ’99, Live Eight, and every Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and major awards show since the early ’90s…..SiriusXM is broadcasting performances and backstage interviews from Lollapalooza in Chicago on its Alt Nation channel.  The broadcast will include interviews and live performances by Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone, Portugal. The Man, CHVRCHES, The National, ODESZA, Walk The Moon, Manchester Orchestra, Khalid, Brockhampton, The WombatsJungle, Parquet Courts, lovelythebandSir Sly, and many more…..There are opportunities for air personalities at Service Broadcasting’s KRNB, Dallas “Smooth R&B 105.7.”  The company says if you are a “multi-dimensional” and “multi-platform” talent ready to elevate your brand, career and creativity; if your passion for people, music, culture and community is unmatched; if you live, love, and breathe the “Smooth R&B” lifestyle, they want to talk to you.  “Smooth Crew” candidates must possess a unique point of view and know how to connect with listeners, clients, partners, and team members to positively impact and enhance ratings, revenues and relationships.  Send your audio, resume, references and social media success stories to: SBG HR manager Debbie Henry at jobs@KRNB.com. No phone calls please.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

| June 13, 2018

Hannity Gets First Post-North Korea Meeting Sit-Down with Trump. On his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program yesterday afternoon, Sean Hannity aired excerpts from his sit-down interview with President Trump after the president’s historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  The full interview was aired on Hannity’s FOX News Channel program later in the evening.  Pictured above is a still shot from the interview.  Hannity traveled to Singapore to cover the meeting and is hosting his programs from Singapore this week.

Rob Sanchez Appointed Regional VP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia Boston.  Spoken-word radio pro Rob Sanchez joins the iHeartMedia Boston as vice president of news, talk and sports programming, effective July 1.  In this position, Sanchez will be responsible for overseeing all programming for all-news WBZ-AM “NewsRadio 1030,” and news/talk outlets WRKO “The Voice of Boston” and WXKS-AM “Talk 1200 Boston’s Conservative Talk.”  He’ll report to iHM Boston VP of programming Dylan Sprague.  After beginning his radio career in Miami, Sanchez joined CBS RADIO’s WINS-AM, New York in 1996 as a news production assistant, writer and producer.  He moved over to the company’s WCBS-AM “NewsRadio 880” in 2000.  For several years, he served as a director of news and programming for news, talk, and sports, as well as Spanish CHR stations, in Washington. Sanchez comments, “I can’t wait to join the extraordinary team of journalists and talk show hosts at iHeartMedia Boston.  The more I learned about iHeartMedia’s bold vision for their iconic Boston brands, the more it became clear that this is where I needed to be.”  In conjunction with Sanchez’s appointment, iHeartMedia Boston names Bill Flaherty director of operations for news, talk and sports and will work closely with WBZ “NewsRadio 1030” and other Boston Region brands.

Entercom Asks Court to Dismiss Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Hosts Jamie Allman’s Breach of Contract Suit. Regular TALKERS readers remember that morning talk show host Jamie Allman was let go from (at the time in question) Emmis-owned and Entercom-operated news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis in the aftermath of his Tweet expressing the desire to “ram a hot poker up (Parkland, Fla. student) David Hogg’s ass.”  Allman is suing both companies – Entercom has since closed on the station and owns it – for breach of contract related to his firing.  Not surprisingly, Entercom just filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Allman’s contract clearly gave the company the right to terminate him, saying it “unambiguously permitted his termination for indecent or immoral conduct, or any other conduct that brought the station into ‘public disrepute, scandal, contempt, or ridicule,’ or which ‘disparage[d] or reflect[ed] adversely upon Station or any of its advertisers.’ The substance of the tweet is not in dispute, nor are the consequences.  The primary question presented is one of contract interpretation, which is particularly well-suited for an early dispositive motion.”  Since his firing, Allman has been streaming a daily morning talk program on his own website.

Tillotson Named OM/PD at Cumulus Pensacola. Radio programming pro Greg Tillotson joins Cumulus Media’s Pensacola station group to serve as operations manager for the five stations and as program director for news/talk WCOA-AM, adult contemporary WMEZ-FM, and classic hits WJTQ.  Tillotson was most recently station manager/OM/PD at Mapleton Communications’ Spokane cluster.  Cumulus Media Pensacola VP and market manager Jackie Rinker says, “We are thrilled to have Greg Tillotson joining the programming team of Cumulus Radio Group Pensacola as our operations manager/program director. Greg’s track record of success and his drive and expertise will perfectly serve the needs of our market.”

Jack Lessenberry Joins WFDF, Detroit. Motor City journalism pro Jack Lessenberry is hosting a two-hour talk show on Kevin Adell’s WFDF “910AM Superstation,” beginning July 9.  Lessenberry recently resigned from his positions with Michigan Public Radio and the Metro Times in May after more than a dozen women publicly alleged that Lessenberry engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.  He also serves as head of the journalism department at Wayne State University and the school says it is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior during his time there.  Adell tells the Detroit Free Press that the allegations against Lessenberry “were from some time ago.  Also, in our city, our state, our country, we give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Regarding his hiring, Adell adds, “I’m excited to have Jack, the father of journalism, who taught many of my staff here at my media companies, join the ‘910AM Superstation’ family.  Jack will bring a wealth of in-depth knowledge and expertise to the station.”  Lessenberry says, “For my part, I am excited to be part of the exciting future that Kevin and his team are building at 910.  We’re going to be doing some things you might never expect, shake people up and make them think, and the goal is never to be boring.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee sports talker WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” re-ups its deal with Learfield’s Marquette Sports Properties to continue to serve as the flagship for Marquette University men’s basketball.  The Good Karma-owned station has aired Golden Eagles play-by-play since 2006…..Hubbard Radio’s WFED-AM and FederalNewsRadio.com are expanding their “Ask the CIO” franchise. Hubbard calls it “the longest running federal IT program in the industry,” and reveals the new website, AskTheCIO.com, features audio of the program as well as an expanded look at federal IT and CIO news, podcasts, plus a new feature – “Ask the CIO Insider” – which allows users to register to receive federal IT-specific news and events.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, G-7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Tuesday Primaries, Trump-Russia Investigation, DeNiro Tony Awards Speech, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; last weekend’s G-7 Summit and Trump’s social media feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech at Sunday’s Tony Awards; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Janda Lane is joining Hubbard Radio’s Windy City classic rock WDRV “97.1 FM The Drive” to work alongside afternoon personality Steve Seaver, beginning July 9.  Lane will also have other duties in the programming department.  She was most recently with Fender Musical Instruments Company serving as content director…..Delmarva’s country WXCY, Havre de Grace “New Country 103.7” ups Jeff Hunt, tasking him with music director duties.  Hunt will continue hosting the evening program he’s been doing for the past year.  Station OM/PD Brad Austin says, “With the ever-increasing demand on my time, it makes great sense to bring someone into the decision-making process who is passionate and experienced.  Jeff has worked with many in the Nashville music community and is a great advocate for new and established artists.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” officially adds Spanish to “The Big Mistake with Ashley O and Spanish” morning program.  The change comes after Toast exited his on-air roles with the station earlier this year.

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 2.4 (6+) in January, February, and March, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” is now +1.0 in April and May (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), as the Washington Nationals flagship repeats at #13. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital for the fifth time in a row, Hubbard all-news WTOP rebounds from April’s -.8 with a +.1 (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). Although down two-tenths (8.5 – 8.3, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU is anchored in the runner-up slot for the fifth successive sweep; “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -1.1 in March. A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Having reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0, March 2018), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is now a combined -1.1 in April and May (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). WMAL was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since surfacing in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – At this time last month, Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” pulled ahead of Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top. In April 2018, however, “Majic” picked up two-tenths to 5.8 (fourth to third, 6+), while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+). The momentum continues for WMMJ in May as it surges by eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+), while WHUR is flat at 5.7 (unchanged at #4). “Majic” was locked on 5.6 (6+) in January, February, and March. As the result of four straight reports without a gain (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR is -1.4. Not only is Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “Mix 107.3” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” – is trending 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+) and continues at #14. Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of more than half (-5.4) of its 6+-share (9.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety of the 80s, 90s, and Today” notches a one-half share increase to 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Following four successive positive spikes that netted a +1.3 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” is off three-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+); April’s 4.2 is its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Having registered a 3.8 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS drops one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). In the nine survey periods that it has appeared in print prior to May 2018 (September 2017 – April 2018), Signal Above Spanish contemporary WDCN-LP has posted either a .4 or .6 (.4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+); however, in May, “La Nueva 87.7” is off one-tenth to .5 (#20 to #21, 6+). Four (modest) gains in succession by iHeartMedia alternative WWDC produced a +.5 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but “DC-101” falters by three-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #17, 6+). New to the top twenty (at #20) is Hubbard regional Mexican WBQH “La Mera Mera 1050,” whose only trending thus far is .3 – .3 – .3 – .6 (+.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Boston University-owned WBUR improves by six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, fourth to third, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by that same margin (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). WBUR was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH had been off by two-tenths in both February and March and (as was the case with WBUR) improved by seven-tenths in January. Finishing back-to-back at #5 and #6, respectively, are Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.5 – 5.7, +.2, #3 in April, 6+), which was -1.5 in February, and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. News/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is trending 2.9 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Faltering by four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM slips from seventh to ninth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.0 in April, as it bounced back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that co-owned/similarly-formatted WEEI-AM is without an increase (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Owing to a one-half share gain (4.7 – 5.2, steady at #7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX notes its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in September 2017. With a +1.2 in January, “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). Dusting itself off from April’s one-half share decline with a May gain of two-tenths (7.6 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+), CHR sibling WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is on top for the fifth straight sweep. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, WXKS-FM was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The “Holiday” 2017 – May 2018 topline trending for its format challenger – Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” – is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). One full-share behind “Kiss” and repeating at #2 is Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is up nine-tenths in four successive upticks (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 6.2 (flat at #3, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” records a move of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, #18 to #16, 6+). An overall +1.1 via four consecutive up or flat trends that nearly doubled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WAAF “107.3 The Only Station That Really Rocks” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.8, -.5, #16 to #20, 6+). April’s 2.3 marked the first time WAAF reached the two-share level (6+) since May 2017’s 2.0.

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight positive or flat trends by iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), but “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” surrenders approximately half that increase in May (1.9, -.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). It trails Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN by two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, -.2, flat at #20, 6+). Prior to a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Notching its fifth consecutive .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is anchored at #25, where it is tied with co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.9, +.2, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a total loss of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a full-share increase (2.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety from the 80s, 90s, and Today” catapults from #20 to #12 with its best 6+-showing (3.3) since September 2015’s 3.5. There is no May 2018 movement in this market’s always-tight CHR battle, with one-tenth again separating the two participants. Specifically, WMIA sibling WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” stays at 3.2 (#12 to #13, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (#13 to #14) is without an increase for the ninth sweep in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). “Y-100” was stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February and eroded by eight-tenths in March. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Adding three-tenths to April’s +.4, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” advances from second to first (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+). Its February +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). “Hot” spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Displaced from the top spot and segueing to second is co-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which is flat at 7.3 (6+). By adding an April +.6 to March’s +.3 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3, 6+), “Easy” (ironically) replaced “Hot” at #1. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. It is nine-tenths ahead of fellow AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, unchanged at #3). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” is flat at #5. An overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” forfeits all but two-tenths of that increase (3.7, -1.1, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to March, the last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-tenth uptick (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) is enough to elevate Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” from fourth to third. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. “News Radio 950” was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #5, sports talk cluster-mate WXYT-FM drops one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was a collective -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Albeit off one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” remains at #10. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). After three successive times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM has posted a 1.8 (unchanged at #19, 6+) for the third straight month. Down two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET remains at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to recording its third straight uptick for a combined +1.1 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” zooms from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.5) since January 2017’s 5.9. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” improves by eight-tenths as well (3.0 – 3.8, April – May, #14 to #12, 6+). “Bounce” was stuck on 3.5 (6+) in four sweeps in succession before regressing by one-half share in April. Within 2.3 – 2.8 range since October 2017 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+) independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” registers a +.5 to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+). This (3.2) is the highest 6+-share for “Hot” since September 2017’s 3.5. After four straight months at #1, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falls to #2. In addition, a loss of eight-tenths (to 7.1, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). Succeeding “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” at #1 (up from the runner-up slot in April) is Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” which is +2.5 in five straight progressive trends (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which was -.5 (February); +.8 (March); -1.0 (April); and is now -.6 in May (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. As a result of a one-half share decrease (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” drifts from fifth to ninth.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – The three upticks in a row by Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM have been by +.7 (March), +.6 (April), and +.5 (May) for a combined +1.8 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+) as “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #7). The last time the Seattle Mariners flagship reached the four-share level (6+) was October 2015 (4.3). The nine most recent (6+) trends for news/talk sibling KIRO-FM (fifth to fourth) are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8. It is just a one-month stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which takes over the runner-up slot (6.5 – 6.0, -.5, first to second, 6+). On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO adds three-tenths to 2.6 and continues at #19. While flat at 2.0 (6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” falls from #21 to #22. As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” drops the one-tenth it gained in April (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” picks up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #31 to #27, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – In five straight sweeps without a loss, Hubbard country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) has nearly tripled (+1.8) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best performance since October 2017 (2.8, as well). Registering an uptick for the sixth time in the last seven sweeps for an overall +2.5 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” progresses from second to first. Consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the last nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), public KNKX falters by seven-tenths to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0. “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” spirals from the top ten (#10 to #17, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.0 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” skids from #10 to #16. At the same time, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star” picks up three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). An overall +2.1 via five straight positive spikes, (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (third to fifth, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2015 (5.7, as well). Albeit steady at #7, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” is -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). In early-December (2017), Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound” (calls and imagery formerly used in Los Angeles). Having posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), “The Sound” surrenders a combined eight-tenths in April and May (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Falling from #11 to #14, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is a combined -1.2 in April and May (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM drops two-tenths after April’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), KTAR-FM was a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Prior to this streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” (2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #19 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Co-owned KGME “Fox Sports 910” is flat at .5 (#32 to #33, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Not only does KESZ boast the second-largest (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been highlighted thus far, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property is #1 for the seventh time in a row (7.3 – 9.0, +1.7, 6+). A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was an overall +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Notching a sizeable month-month increase as well is KOOL “94.5 – The Valley’s Greatest Hits” (4.8, +1.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet was off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Two streaks continue for Hubbard’s KSLX: It is secure in the runner-up slot for the seventh consecutive sweep and “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a +.7 (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+). By duplicating its April +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). In five straight improvements, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” has precisely doubled (+3.0) its 6+-share (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. As a result of an eight-tenths erosion (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since December 2017, Hubbard’s KDKB “Alt 93.3 – Arizona’s Alternative” regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (6+) but continues at #14.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” is an overall +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained in April (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” slips from sixth to eighth. The Minnesota Twins flagship was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. With an identical (to WCCO) 5.5 – 4.7 (-.8, sixth to eighth, 6+) April 2018 – May 2018 profile is iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN; “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. The four most recent fluctuations for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW are -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) and +.7 in May (5.4 – 4.7, flat at #8, 6+). Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Down four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” slips from #15 to #16. Its loss of three-tenths in March stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #22 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB erupts with a +1.3 to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. This (7.3) is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” since last July’s 7.5. Unchanged in the runner-up slot, co-owned KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” registers its third straight improvement for a combined +1.4 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s best 6+-stat since 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Jumping from eighth to fifth, cluster-mate KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +2.3 via five upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). A collective +2.8 in four successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” regresses by seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+), but is on top for the fifth sweep in a row. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). This is the third down or flat move for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “98.8 Twin Cities Christian Radio” for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing April’s -.4 with a May +.6 (4.7 – 5.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” to elevate from sixth to third. KOGO was -3.0 in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and is now +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. The ping-pong game plays on for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which shifted from first to second in April and now returns to #1 (5.9 – 6.4, +.5, 6+). Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. As the result of three straight negative moves (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, flat at #22, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM is a combined -.7. Earlier, “AM 760” netted one half-share in three straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Tied at #24 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #23 in April, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – 1.0, +.2, #25 in April, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in April, the flagship of the San Diego Padres – Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – drops one-tenth (.8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Recapturing in full the six-tenths it squandered in April (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” jumps from seventh to fourth. Despite regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (6.1 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaves the top spot after a one-month stay and segues to #2. Its -.1 in April ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Significant ups/downs continue for classic hits-oldies sibling KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5, but is now -.7 in May (5.6 – 4.9, 6+), falling from third to sixth. Up one full-share via four consecutive positive or flat trends (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” hands over 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #14 to #19, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) takes iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” from #14 to #16. After three upticks in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – A news/talk station again occupies the top spot in the “Mile High City,” but in May, it’s Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, second to first, 6+); KCFR was #1 in January and March, as well. When it lost six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Departing the penthouse after a one-month visit is iHeartMedia news/talk KOA, which shifts from first to fifth (5.8 – 5.0, -.8, 6+). After January’s one-half share loss, the flagship of the Colorado Rockies picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first. Prior to April, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” last reached the five-share level (6+) in October (5.2). January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Regaining half the four-tenths it lost in April (3.3 – 3.5, +.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN inches up from #14 to #13. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was +1.0 in March – its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off four-tenths in that stretch (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, #19 to #20, 6+). Flat at #27, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC records a .7 (6+) for the third month in a row.

Denver Music Formats – Since appearing in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KBWL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” has racked up three straight increases for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, #18 to #15). Holding a nearly two-to-one (6+) advantage though is Bonneville’s KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 For New Country” (5.3 – 5.7, +.4, third to second, 6+). Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD wipes up roughly half the deficit with a +.5 to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat trends (4.6   – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from sixth to third. This (5.6) is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. While May 2018 represents the third time in succession without a loss for Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI for an overall +.7 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” moves from a three-way tie at #3 to #4. Carrying on at #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” loses two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), thus ending three straight time sweeps without a loss for a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. In the market’s hot AC contest, KQKS sibling KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but stays at #10, whereas Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” is right behind continuing at #11 (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, 6+). A combined -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” slips from #14 to #16.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – For the fifth sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); and now +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Although backsliding from #17 to #18, co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Tampa Bay Rays flagship) is up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). Flat at 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” carries on at #16+. Its -.1 in April stopped three straight (modest) increases that netted one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January gain of three-tenths applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of six successive ratings periods without an increase, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, unchanged at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – For the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia’s WFUS is without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.3) is the strongest 6+-stat for “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” since 6.0 in December 2017. Meanwhile, as the result of three straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned WXTB is a combined +.7 as “98 Rock” has its best 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.7. Setting the pace for the 69th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” posts its third straight up or flat trend (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0, 6+) and is +.6 in that timeframe. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After three positive spikes in succession that yielded a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” forfeits approximately half that bounty (3.0 -.7, 6+) but stays at #15. Off one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” slips from #13 to #14.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s a seesaw lately for Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” which was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and is now -.5 in May (5.0 – 4.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Tied at #12 are Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (flat at 2.8, #14 in April, 6+) and independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #11 in April, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, WBAL’s (6+) topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. Flat at #11, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” has its third decrease in a row for a cumulative -1.1 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). This is the third consecutive time that American University-owned news/talk WAMU records a 1.1 in Baltimore (#16 to #15, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February in March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); and disappears again in May.

Baltimore Music Formats – Major ups/downs are nothing new for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; and now +.6 in May (4.9 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other hand, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+) from May 2017 through November. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive ratings period for a collective +1.5 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” climbs from seventh to sixth. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN is an overall -2.2; nonetheless, “Magic 95.9” is #1 for the fifth month in a row. It occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. Entering the November 2017 ratings period, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four monthlies for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). In a bit of an odd topline, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” hasn’t had an increase the past four sweeps yet is down just one-tenth (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, eighth to tenth, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, 6+) propels Entercom news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120 The Voice of St. Louis” from second to first. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April. This (8.3) is the most potent 6+-stat for KMOX since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. An October loss of four-tenths ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Bunched together in the May 2018 report are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, flat at #14, 6+); Entercom-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #16 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, steady at #15, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, KFTK ends three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), “101 Sports” posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth sweep in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” repeats in third-place. By logging a one-half share increase to 6.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+), rock cluster-mate KSHE pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9      – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (3.4 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. After being #1 the past four months, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” sputters by one-half share (8.4 – 7.9, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was down or flat the previous three monthlies for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Directly on the heels of April’s +1.3, Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” coughs up nine-tenths (6.7 – 5.8, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Prior to April, “The Arch” was within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) in each of the previous four survey periods. April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (6.7, as well).

Monday, June 11, 2018

| June 11, 2018

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity to Broadcast Show from Singapore.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity is in Singapore all this week covering President Trump’s Tuesday summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his Premiere Networks program will emanate from Singapore all week. Hannity, whom Premiere Networks notes was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, will also host his prime-time FOX News Channel programfrom Singapore tonight through Wednesday.  In addition to his programs, Hannity will be Tweeting real-time updates during the week-long broadcast special, including breaking news and guest appearances.

iHeartMedia Powers Up Progressive Talk on KKSF, San Francisco. Tomorrow (6/12), Spanish-language sports will disappear from the air on KKSF, San Francisco and iHeartMedia will debut new progressive talk outlet “Real Talk 910” that the company says will feature “forward-thinking political talk and opinions that embrace the values of social, economic, and environmental justice, along with human rights, democracy, and multiculturalism.”  The prime-time lineup includes WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller in AM drive, WYD’s Thom Hartmann in late mornings, Cox Media’s consumer advocate Clark Howard in early afternoon, followed by Norman Goldman in afternoon drive.  iHeartMedia says the station will present podcast-formatted content, beginning with the iHeartRadio “Daily Dive” news podcast that will air weekdays at 5:40 am, “giving listeners a deeper insight to the news of the prior 24 hours.”  Additional podcast originated content will be added to weekend programming in the weeks to come.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “Hosts like Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, and Norman Goldman have a history in the market from a time that was nowhere near as politically charged as today’s environment.  Given their alignment with the liberal-leaning make-up of the Bay Area, we believe they will resonate well with listeners.  In addition, our forward-thinking programming approach will take advantage of being based in the tech capital of the world with an ever-increasing amount of podcast content featured as part of our weekly broadcast schedule.”  The company names Cory Callewaert program director of the station.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds ‘DriveChicago’ Program to Saturday Schedule. A new weekend program dedicated to the automobile has launched on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago titled, “DriveChicago.”  The program is a partnership between the station and the Chicago Automobile Association (CATA) to create Chicago’s newest radio show all about the city’s storied car culture.   It debuted this past Saturday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. WLS says the show – hosted by station news anchor Jennifer Keiper – is designed to “deliver a lively and frank discussion of everything automotive.” Joining Keiper on the program are long-time automotive expert Mark Bilek and car enthusiast Jim OBrill.  WLS-AM OM and program director Pete Bolger says, “Cars are top of mind to our upscale audience.  Combining the connections of CATA and our award-winning automotive industry expert, WLS-AM news anchor Jennifer Keiper, ‘DriveChicago’ will be an informative but fun show; one that creates strong on-air and digital content, relevant to our listeners and advertisers.”

iHeartMedia Launches New Asheville Sports Talker. The trimulcast is called “ESPN Asheville 92.9 FM/880 AM/1400 AM, First for Sports in Western North Carolina” and is based at WPEK-AM. It’s also heard on translator W225CJ at 92.9 FM and WMXF-AM at 1400. iHeartMedia Asheville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “I’m really excited we’re bringing the ESPN format back to sports talk listeners here in Western North Carolina.  The ESPN brand aligns perfectly with our platform of top-rated iHeartMedia radio stations here in Asheville.”  Programming will include “Golic and Wingo” in mornings.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and the SEC-centric Paul Finebaum show airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The station is also airing University of North Carolina football and basketball play-by-play.

Kellar Radio Talent Institute Opens Today at Appalachian State University. Today in Boone, North Carolina, the Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University starts as the Beasley Radio Talent Institute continues at Emerson College in Boston and the TAB Radio Talent Institute poises to start next week at the University of Tennessee.  The mission of the National Radio Talent System is to “discover and coach the talent who can be hired today and be the next generation of leaders in broadcasting.”  This program has the broadcast profession, the universities, and the National Radio Talent System working together in a collaborative effort to accomplish this unified mission. More than 40 veteran broadcasters from Beasley Media Group, EntercomCurtis Media, iHeartMedia, Capitol Broadcasting, and others will be leading sessions.  Twenty-five students from four universities have been accepted into the Institute.  There are no breakout sessions – every student will be in every session, including the RAB Radio Marketing Professional Certification course.  NRTS founder Dan Vallie says, “It’s invigorating to all of us to see so many students with a desire for a career in radio.  The talent is there, and they are as excited as you and I were when we got into the industry.  The collaborative effort from the industry shows the commitment to young talent and the future of the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right are Westwood One EVP news/talk Bart Tessler (right) and VP of news/talk Kevin DeLany after receiving the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Westwood One News’ coverage of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.  The award was bestowed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 8…..Former WILK-AM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton talk show host Sue Henry is throwing her hat in the ring, challenging fellow Republican Eddie Day Pashinski for his Pennsylvania State Representative seat in the 121st District.  Henry was a talk host at Entercom’s WILK for the past 16 years before her exit last month after contract renegotiations stalled.

Trump-Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump Overture to Putin, G7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Anthony Bourdain Suicide, Tony Awards, Ocean’s 8 Film, Warriors Sweep Cavs for NBA Title, and Capitals Top Golden Knights to Claim Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The preparation for the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Trump makes an overture to Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the tense G-7 Summit in Canada and the tiff between President Trump and Justin Trudeau; celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of apparent suicide at 61; Sunday night’s Tony Awards broadcast; the opening weekend of theOcean’s 8 film; the Golden State Warriors sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers to claim the NBA title; and the Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio” names Chris Cruise and Julia Lepidi hosts of “The Morning Show with Cruise and Julia,” starting Monday June 18.  They replace Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, hosts of the “Rat & Puff” show.  Cruise is a Detroit native who comes back to the Motor City after having most recently served at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “WOW 104.3.”  Lepidi has been hosting evenings at WDZH since 2015.  Entercom Detroit president and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “As the leaders in live, local, original audio content, we are excited to bring our community a new show to tune in to while getting their day started.  I’m looking forward to hearing Chris and Julia on air together.  They have a chemistry that will have listeners laughing out loud and are sure to make for a great morning tandem.  I look forward to their success in Detroit.”…..Cort Johnson returns to Alpha Media’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland to serve as afternoon drive host and assistant program director.  Johnson joined KINK and sister news/talk KXL in 2011.  He’s most recently been a member of Alpha’s corporate digital content team.  KINK content director Ronnie Stanton says, “I am so thrilled to work beside a talent like Cort who brings local knowledge, on-air and digital skills to the table and already understands and loves the intricacies of the KINK brand.”…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media rebrands CHR WVBX-FM as “LIVE 99.3” from the “99.3 The Vibe” handle.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “We are very excited to have launched a radio station in Fredericksburg that plays the hit music of today’s hottest artists. Alpha Fredericksburg continues to deliver top quality programming with local and live personalities.”…..In the Land of Lincoln, radio exec Pat Kelley is named market manager for Townsquare Media’s Rockford cluster.  He’s been serving in the same capacity at the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado station group.  Kelley had served as manager of WLFM-FM, Chicago when it aired smooth jazz…..Entercom announces the call letters WNYL-FM replace the WBMP-FM calls for alternative rock “ALT 92.3.”

Monday, June 4, 2018

| June 4, 2018

Former Buckley Broadcasting President and CEO Joseph Bilotta Dead at 69.  Former Buckley Broadcasting president and CEO Joseph Bilotta died on Friday (6/1) at Connecticut Hospice.  Bilotta served as chief of Buckley Broadcasting when it operated venerable New York talk station WOR and the WOR Radio Network.  TALKERS magazine learned of Bilotta’s passing via New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella, who issued the following statement to his organization: “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that Joe Bilotta passed away this afternoon.  As you know, Joe was a great friend and supporter of our association and he, along with Bob McCallan, Andy Santoro, and Elizabeth Christopherson comprised the search committee that ultimately offered me the privilege of representing this wonderful association. Joe was a constant source of support, advice, and guidance.  His wise counsel and friendship meant a lot to all of us on the Board, but most especially me. He was always available to help.”

Premiere Networks to Distribute Nancy Grace Daily Feature. Legal media figure and former HLN personality Nancy Grace and iHeartMedia’s Premiere
Networks 
are partnering to syndicate a new, daily feature focusing on current crime news.  The 60-second program launches July 23.  This show is called “Crime Alert with Nancy Grace.”  She says, “I’m thrilled to join iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks where I will continue my lifelong mission to fight crime and speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves.  This new platform expands my ability to shine a light on heinous crimes, help find missing people — particularly children — arm listeners with need-to-know information and catch the bad guys.”

Mike Morgan Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Raleigh.  At its Raleigh station group, iHeartMedia names Mike Morgan senior vice president of sales.  The Raleigh cluster includes news/talk WTKK-FM “106.1 FM Talk,” plus four music-formatted stations.  Raleigh market president Alan Kirshbom says, “Mike is the total package.  He brings extensive radio experience, subject matter expertise in digital, and a stellar track record of serving and developing business in key categories.  With Mike joining the Raleigh team, we are stronger than ever.”  Morgan joins iHeartMedia Raleigh after previously serving as director of new business development and account manager at Sokal Media Group.  He also previously served as general manager for Capital Broadcasting in Raleigh.

Dan Mason Joins VSiN as Strategic Advisor and Investor. Most industry pros are aware of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network), founded by Brian and Todd Musberger and home to brother Brent Musberger’s daily program “The Brent Musberger Action Update.”  Now, former CBS RADIO chief Dan Mason is joining the media network dedicated to sports gambling information.  The company is announcing a partnership with Mason in which he’ll join the company as strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations.  Brian Musberger says, “With decades of experience in the media industry, Dan brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. We are excited to leverage his expertise to drive continued growth at VSiN, capitalizing on the incredible opportunity presented by the burgeoning sports gambling industry.  His overall enthusiasm for our product brings an energy level to the room that is contagious.”  Mason is currently chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America and serves as a senior advisor to iHeartMedia.  The press release from VSiN says it “broadcasts as many as 13 hours of live programming a day from a showcase studio in the middle of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.”

Beasley Radio Talent Institute Begins Today at Emerson College in Boston. Getting underway today at Emerson College in Boston and running through June 13 is the Beasley Radio Talent Institute. Conducting the opening session are Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley and EVP/COO Brian Beasley.  They follow opening comments from the president of Emerson College, Dr. Lee Pelton.  Sessions taking place over the next 10 days will be taught by working radio pros from Beasley and other radio groups, including EntercomiHeartMedia, Hall Communications, and more, as well as play-by- play announcers for the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox.   National Radio Talent System president and founder Dan Vallie comments, “From the beginning, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley grasped the vision and immediately stepped up.  They are a company that does the right thing in our industry.  We are proud to be working together to continue growing the farm system, discovering, coaching and incubating young talent with a passion for radio.  It’s a privilege to be able to do this with Emerson College and to be working with forward thinking companies like Xperi, Marketron, Benztown, and Vcreative to help make it happen.”  Jack Casey, general manager of WERS-FM and adjunct professor at Emerson College, says, “The Beasley Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity for future broadcasters.”

Witness List for Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge Case Released. The $1 million suit brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen for ratings tampering is expected to go to trial on Monday, June 18. On Friday, the court released the final witness lists from both parties.  Of course, Bubba himself is on both lists, as are a number of broadcasters, including Beasley’s Justin Chase and Brian Beasley.  On Bubba’s list is former Clear Channel and Tribune chief Randy Michaels.  Also, on both lists is PPM panelist Nicholas Tabachuck – with whom Bubba is alleged to have colluded to tamper with the ratings.

TALKERS News Notes.  Atlantic City talk radio personality Harry Hurley announces he’ll be filling in on the FOX News Radio Network, guest hosting the Todd Starnes show on June 12 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  WPGG Talk Radio’s Hurley says, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Todd Starnes, who is literally one of the classiest and most generous broadcasters in our business.”……….San Francisco sports talker KNBR announces that as part of its new multi-year agreement with Major League Baseball’s Giants, the team is the first to offer free, in-market live streaming of its radio broadcasts.  The live stream is being delivered by TuneInCumulus Media San Francisco EVP of operations Dave Milner comments, “KNBR and Cumulus Media are proud to continue our 40-year partnership with the San Francisco Giants.  At the same time, we’re extremely excited to announce that KNBR, in partnership with TuneIn, will be the first radio station in Major League Baseball to offer Giants fans the ability to stream the games, live and free of charge in Northern California. Now every Giants game broadcast over the air on KNBR 680, will also be heard online at knbr.com, or the KNBR channel on TuneIn’s mobile app.”…..Sports radio pro Dan Graca is expanding his role WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” as he joins the New York Jets game day radio team.  Graca will work this season alongside former Jets linebacker Greg Buttle during the pre-game, halftime, and post-game radio shows.  He’ll continue as regular contributor on ESPN Radio and SNY-TV, including “Loudmouths,” “Daily News Live,” and “Baseball Night in New York.”  Graca says, “You could say this is a job I’ve spent my whole life preparing for.  Growing up a New York Jets season ticket holder for 23 years, going from Section 302, Row 26 to now becoming a part of the game-day broadcast is nothing short of surreal.  It is impossible to fully express the gratitude and excitement that comes along with this opportunity.”…..At last weekend’s Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards, WTOP-FM, Washington was presented with 12 honors, including for Outstanding News Operation and for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “These awards are a testament to what an incredibly talented team we have here at WTOP.  Across a wide range of specialties from digital to sports, documentaries to feature stories our people are what set us apart.  We feel honored to be able to share in their success.”…..WDEL-FM/AM, Wilmington received seven awards from the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association on Saturday (6/2) in Ocean City, Maryland.  The awards in the Div. II classification (markets 51+) included the top award of News Operation of the Year, as well as Best Newscast, Best Website and Best Talk Show for Rick Jensen.  Pictured below at the ceremony are (from l-r): WDEL breaking news reporter Mike Phillips, director of news and programming Chris Carl, assistant news director Amy Cherry, talk show host Rick Jensen, and contributing correspondent Rob Petree.

Geoffrey Starks Nominated for FCC Seat.  We have a nomination for the Federal Communications Commission seat begin vacated by Mignon Clyburn.  Current FCC Enforcement Bureau assistant chief Geoffrey Starks gets the nod.  Democrat Starks had been supported for the seat by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  Starks’ confirmation will take place in the next few months and will coincide with the vote on the reconfirmation of Republican commissioner Brendan Carr.

Trump Self Pardon/Russia Investigation, North Korea Summit, Iran Nuclear Deal, Portland Antifa Violence, Parkland H.S. Graduation, Facebook Data Deals, Italian Populist Government, NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump could pardon himself; the status of the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the repercussions of the U.S.’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal; the violence in Portland as Antifa forces clash with those at a Patriot Prayer rally; the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduation and Jimmy Fallon’s surprise appearance there; story reveals Facebook shared user data with many partners; unease in Europe as Italy swears in new, populist government; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cumulus Media’s country WKKO-FM, Toledo “K100,” 33-year program director Gary Shores hands the PD baton to Jerry Mac.  Shores, who has been with the station for total of 43 years, will continue his role as morning show host.  Mac comes to Toledo from Community Broadcasters’ operations in Elmira, New York where he was operations manager.  Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart says, “We celebrate and honor Gary Shore’s unprecedented and highly successful run as ‘K100’ program director.  Gary has been an essential part of the station’s continued growth and popularity and we are deeply grateful for his dedication and contributions over the past 43 years and counting.  We are thrilled Gary will stay on as host of ‘K100 Mornings!’”…..CMT and iHeartMedia are collaborating so that iHeartCountry will once again serve as the official radio partner of the 2018 CMT Music Awards and will simulcast the live show from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (6/8) at 8:00 pm ET/PT.  The live radio broadcast will air across more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations. In addition, Premiere Networks will engage those stations and Premiere-syndicated affiliates at the exclusive radio remote broadcast in Nashville today and tomorrow to help kick off the “hottest night in country music.”  “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” and “The Crook & Chase Countdown” are on-location to provide listeners with interviews with award nominees, performers and celebrity guests…..Pictured below is country artist Kane Brown with Beasley Media Group staffers at WKLB, Boston’s “Street Party” where more than 8,000 listeners showed up to party on Lansdowne Street adjacent to Fenway Park.  Performers included Brown, Cam, Lanco, Brown & GrayStephanie Quayle, and local performer Timmy Brown.  From left to right are: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Ilana Goldstein, Kane Brown, Brian Beasley, Beasley Media Group VP/market manager Mary Menna, and Joel Banos Carranza.

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

Remembering Art Bell. The somewhat eerie fact that 72-year-old Art Bell died on Friday the 13th (4/13 in Pahrump, Nevada) certainly could not go unnoticed or overlooked. Bell was the founder and original host of the paranormal-themed “Coast to Coast AM,” which Premiere Networks syndicated on hundreds of North American radio outlets. Part of a Bell retrospective on that program’s website details that, “His love of radio led him to working for an English-language station in Japan, where he set a Guinness world record for broadcasting 116 hours straight. This was no mere radio stunt, however, as it served to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.  Upon returning to the United States, he entered the world of talk radio with an overnight program on KDWN, Las Vegas.  After noticing that episodes covering conspiracy theories and paranormal topics generated considerable interest from listeners, Bell transformed the show from political talk to discussion of these often-verboten realms. Syndicated nationally in 1993 [by Talk Radio Network], ‘Coast to Coast AM’ soon became a radio phenomenon.  During the 1990s, when ‘The X-Files’ had people wondering about the world of high strangeness, Art Bell was the voice of that world, introducing millions of radio listeners to a vast array of paranormal topics and the researchers that studied them. As he begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”  The Jacksonville, North Carolina born former Air Force medic “semi-retired” from “Coast to Coast AM” 15 years ago but could be heard hosting the program on weekends from 2003 – 2007 and was an occasional guest host through 2010.  Bell called his show “absolute entertainment” and did not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but offered a forum where they would not be openly ridiculed. SiriusXM debuted “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” in September 2013 on its “Indie Talk” channel, but that four-hour (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, PT) Monday through Thursday venture ended after just six weeks. Approximately four-dozen stations carried his 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight PT “Midnight in the Desert” show, which launched on the Internet in July 2015 on Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network. Three months later in October of 2015, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviewed him for his weekly podcast. The following is a brief excerpt from that long-form conversation in which Bell assesses the state of the radio industry and its future.  To listen to the clip, please click 

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

| January 24, 2018

‘Rip City Radio’ Portland Begins Partnership with NBC Sports Northwest.  The content simulcast of KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” and NBC Sports Northwest began today (1/24).  This collaboration means the iHeartMedia sports talk station is re-branding to “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  The deal provides for nine hours of combined content with NBC Sports Northwest producing its own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  The rest of the lineup is: “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel”; “Dwight & Aaron” (with sports journalists Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress,); and “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad.”  KPOJ is also simulcasting NBC Sports Northwest’s “Outdoors GPS” program.  All shows will originate from a new, state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.   iHeartMedia president, Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all-in-one destination.”

FAIR Names Joe Gomez Press Secretary.  News/talk radio pro Joe Gomez joins the Federation for American Immigration Reform as the organization’s press secretary.  He was most recently serving with NBC News Radio as a Washington, DC-based correspondent.  During his career, he’s served with KTRH, Houston (covering the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexico border); KOA-Denver; KIRO-AM/FM, Seattle; and CBS Radio News based in Texas.  He says, “I’m very passionate about immigration reform.  I look forward to using my experience in radio to expand FAIR’s presence on news/talk stations across the country.”  His duties with FAIR include working directly with news/talk radio stations to provide FAIR’s expert voices on immigration issues and serving as an additional spokesperson.  He can be reached at: jgomez@fairus.org or phoned at 202-742-1843.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley as one of the two morning keynote speakers at Talkers 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  Beasley will be the other half of a one-on-one “fireside chat” double-header that will be conducted by Michael Harrison.  The other is Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star in the radio industry and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading going forward.  She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise.  Radio is in her DNA.  I am thrilled to personally have the opportunity to conduct one-on-ones with these two individuals – Hannity and Beasley – who are situated at the tip of the spear – as we kick off an amazing day.”   The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry, with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes.  For the 18th straight year, FOX Sports Radio is broadcasting from the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game.  As part of the network’s coverage, several programs will broadcast live from Minneapolis next week, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” and “J.T. The Brick,” who will broadcast live from the NFL Media Center at the Mall of America.  DIRECTV’s Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen will broadcast live from downtown Minneapolis, overlooking U.S. Bank Stadium…..Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) announces that the featured keynote speaker at his 10th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner Event – being held on Friday, April 6 at the Resorts Casino – Hotel – is FOX News Channel television and radio superstar Brian Kilmeade (right).  As part of the evening’s program, Kilmeade will be doing a book signing for his latest historical work, Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (2017, Sentinel).  Hurley tells TALKERS that his Harry Hurley Charity has raised more than $750,000 and written grants to hundreds of worthy not-for-profit organizations, including an annual grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America…..ABC News announces plans for coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the Democratic response on Tuesday, January 30.  For the radio side, ABC News Radio will provide a special, one-hour program titled, “Preview to the State of the Union,” at 8:06 pm, ET and live coverage of the president’s address with anchor Aaron Katersky and correspondents Karen Travers from the White House and Stephanie Ramos from the Capitol, as well as analysis by Rick Klein and contributors Steve Roberts and Alex Castellanos…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and the New England Patriots announce a multi-year extension of their agreement that includes broadcasting rights for “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that features Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Entercom is enthusiastic of and committed to its role as the nation’s premiere sports audio producer.  Continuing this winning combination of WEEI and the Patriots, one of Entercom’s over 40 professional team partnerships, is a strong sign of that commitment and passion to our listeners.”

Westwood One Is Exclusive Radio Partner for Super Bowl LII.  Syndicator and sales unit Westwood One is the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League and this year’s Super Bowl LII.  Parent company Cumulus Media reminds us that this is the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.  Calling the game are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason.  Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren will also contribute throughout the game broadcast.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for second straight year as sideline reporter, and this year will be joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder.  Jim Gray anchors the pre-game and halftime coverage.  Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will also contribute to the pregame show coverage.

Trump-Russia Probe, FBI Missing Texts, DACA Status/Border Wall, Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Torture House Case, Oscar Nominations, and Super Bowl LII Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; five months of missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; the battle between Democrats and President Trump over the Dreamer Act and a funding mechanism to build the Mexican border wall; a school shooting in Kentucky claims the lives of two students; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; the North Korean nuclear weapons threats; the case of the California couple charged with child abuse of their 13 children; the Academy Award nominations are revealed; and the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Patriots and the Eagles 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 Sacramento, Amanda Burd is the new midday personality and assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s contry KBEB.  She takes over for Michelle Buckles…..Sarah Lanieu is named director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay cluster that includes news/talk WFLA-AM, news/talk WHNZ “Impact Radio,” and sports talker WDAE, as well as CHR WFLA-FM and country WFUS “U.S. 103.5.”…..Programming and on-air pro Chris Ryan moves to Memphis to take on the morning show co-host role using the air name Ryan Anderson at Entercom’s hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100.”  He’s partnering up with current morning host Michelle Lewis.  He’s most recently been serving with Neuhoff Media’s hot AC WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois as PD and morning host.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. Information from the “Holiday” 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). More often than not, sharp December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Over and above being on top for the fifth straight time and boasting a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” posts the largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (+4.3, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” however, drops seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM picked up two-tenths in December to 5.7 (6+), but “New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits eight-tenths in “Holiday 2017” (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. On November 9, Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through “Holiday” 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1; WBMP remains at #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in the last three sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from seventh to sixth. Down or flat for the seventh straight time for a combined loss of -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” (8.7 – 11.9, +3.2, 6+) is in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Off the past three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” hauls out a +.8 to 2.9, rocketing into the top ten (#20 to #8, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH “Radio Free 102.3” improves by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, #21, 6+) and reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1. Down or flat for the third month in a row, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+) is a collective -1.3 in that stretch and plummets from #10 all the way to #22; this is the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Cross-town competitor, 93.9 License KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” falters by six-tenths (2.0 – 1.4 #22 to #26, 6+). One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuted in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+) and now erodes by another seven-tenths to .5 (6+), freefalling from #28 to #36. Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (6+) since September, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” drops one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11).While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In the alternative tussle, Entercom’s KROQ drops two-tenths (2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and remains at #1, while iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is off four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, 6+), drifting from a #13 tie with KROQ to #19. With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.8 in five successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September.

3) Chicago – Not only is WLIT “93.9 My-FM” the first station in the market to reach double-figures since it did so exactly one year ago with a 13.7 (“Holiday” 2016, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned hot AC stays at #1 and is a remarkable +10.2 in three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Its format competitor, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” sputters by an overall two full-shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to fifth. “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). Following an increase of +2.0 in December, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” tacks on an additional +1.0 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from fifth to third. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling). Dropping by one-half share is co-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” down or flat for the third straight time for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off by -.5 as well is Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” which is -1.4 in three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, #10 to #15, 6+), and adult contemporary cluster-mate WSHE “100.3 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2K, and Today” (2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #18, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.5 (#20 to #15, 6+), Merlin Media alternative WKQX applies the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Similarly, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 3.2 (ninth to seventh 6+), ending four straight sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entercom-owned WSCR is a combined -2.8 in the last three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “670 The Score” is steady at #21; the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+).

4) San Francisco – By adding a +2.4 to December’s +2.3, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” occupies the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016. Ironically, it accomplishes the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016. With KOIT-FM advancing from second to first, it ends 12 successive times that KQED-FM (7.6, -.1, first to second, 6+) set the pace in San Francisco; the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet was off by nine-tenths in December to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Having picked up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR regressed by seven-tenths in December, but “The Sports Leader” bounces back with a one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2017 and returns to the top ten (2.4 – 2.9, #14 to #10, 6+). When KOIT-FM finished second in December 2017, it curtailed 11 straight months of Entercom all-news KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), but carries on at #3. October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined full-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), falling out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips by one-half share in consecutive sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #14 to #18, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is its Spanish adult hits sibling KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.0 – 2.5, #9 to #12, 6+).

5) Dallas – Doubling December 2017’s +1.0 with a +2.0 (4.2 – 5.2 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” takes sole possession of first place. Whereas 7.2 is KLUV’s highest 6+-share in two years (10.6 in “Holiday 2015”), November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). It shared the lead in December 2017 with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which dips to fourth (4.8, -.4, 6+), and ends at three a string of consecutive increases that netted seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that accounted for a +.9 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling, KDGE, is a combined +3.8 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 as “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” progresses from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Leaping back into the top twenty (#21 to #14), Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up eight-tenths (2.2 – 3.0, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since September’s 3.3. Tied in tenth-place are “Smooth R&B” urban contemporary cluster-mate KKDA-FM “K-104” (3.2 – 3.7, +.5, up from #11 in December, 6+) and Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (3.1 – 3.7, +.6, up from #12 in December, 6+). In addition to “K-104,” Entercom’s KVIL adds one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, #20 to #16, 6+). In recent years, once heritage adult contemporary KVIL has repositioned itself to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.5, as Cumulus Media’s KPLX “The Wolf” (fifth to sixth) suffers its fifth straight negative trend for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to a three-way tie at sixth, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “LA Grande 107.5” surrenders nine-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly, a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (unchanged at #5) curtails at three a streak of positive spikes that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). After six months in succession of being either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ drops four-tenths to 3.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, steady at #3, CHR sibling KHKS “Kiss” is up or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In 14 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#19 to #17) has been within a high of 2.5 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Houston – After back-to-back stays at #2 in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is now #1 in consecutive reports. An up/down pattern which saw “Sunny 99.1” gain eight-tenths in August; lose it all in September; pick up one-half share in October; surrender eight-tenths in November; and then log a +2.8 in December ends in “Holiday” 2017 as it racks up a +3.6 (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9 – 12.5, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station has reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Gaining one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” (4.6 – 5.1, fifth to third, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KEYH “La Ranchera” (.3 – .8, #25, 6+). Conversely, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KGLK “The Eagle” (5.3 – 4.3, third to sixth, 6+) and Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (3.1, #11 to #16, 6+) are each off by one full-share. “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” (7.5 – 6.9, steady in second-place, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Positive Hits” (1.6 – 1.0, #23, 6+). When “Majic” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. A collective -1.4 in four straight negative trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slides from #17 to #19.        Following three upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+) Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” slips by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), moving from sixth to ninth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December.

7) Atlanta – On the heels of a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” adds another +1.3 to 8.5 (6+) and carries on in second-place. A November decrease of one-tenth curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fish” trails Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM (-.5, 6+) by just one-tenth. Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WSB-AM is now a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the 25th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. On the flipside, co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” garners a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to sixth, 6+), thus erasing its -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Owing to a +.5 (1.5 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDA “Alt 105.7 – Atlanta’s Rock Alternative” reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.0 and cracks the top twenty at #19. The market’s urban AC takes a -2.1 hit as Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is -1.6 to 4.9 (third to fifth, 6+), while Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” is off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to the -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Following a November improvement of six-tenths, “Majic” is -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017; it was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Having returned November’s +.3 in December (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” coughs up another half-share to 2.9 (6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Steady at #9, CHR cluster-mate WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.1, -.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), which had posted three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Even though it lost the honor of largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets summarized here by one-tenth to iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW (see above), Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” claims bragging rights for highest 6+-share in these 12 metros (12.8 – 17.0, +4.2, 6+). Displaced from #1 in November, WBEB hung out a +5.0 in December to return to the top spot. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and has its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #15. Advancing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL picks up four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight declines for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+). A loss of one full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) drops Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” from third to fifth and below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. Included among those eroding by six-tenths from December 2017 are public news/talk WHYY (3.8 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+); Entercom news/talk WPHT (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), WISX returned one-third of that increase in December (-.5, 6+). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. The last time WPHT fell below a two-share (6+) was nearly two years ago (1.7, January 2016). It is déjà vu for Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.8 – 3.3, -.5, #eighth to #tenth, 6+), which registers its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (3.3, as well).

9) Long Island – As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has easily more than tripled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+) as New York City’s “106.7 Lite FM” progresses from fourth to second; “Lite” had a 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. More than four full-shares ahead of WLTW in Long Island though is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM, which is an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well as for the last three sweeps. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In ten (10) straight Long Island ratings periods without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), WWPR “Power 105.1” was off by a collective one-half share, but the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet recaptures the entire loss with a gain of six-tenths to 2.2 (#21 to #17, 6+). In the CHR arena, WWPR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” surrenders six-tenths and is down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (seventh to eighth) erodes for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WBLI, Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” (4.4 – 3.7, flat at #6, 6+); Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); and public news/talk WNYC-FM (1.8, #15 to #20, 6+) all slip by seven-tenths. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), “The Fan” relinquished all but four-tenths of that increase in December (4.4, -1.5, 6+). Prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, WNYC-FM had been up or flat the past four months, more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+). Forfeiting six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.3 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+), which had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 15 sweeps. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” has since faltered by three times as much as that (-1.5) in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 38th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) to progress from #18 to #14. Even though Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), it advances from #13 to #12.

10) Riverside – Applying the brakes to four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-2.3) of its 6+-share (4.2 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” improves by six-tenths to 2.5 (tenth to eighth, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gains one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+).  Logging a 1.5 in four of its last five survey periods (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” breaks out a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+) and carries on at #11. Notwithstanding that it remains at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +1.2 in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Setting the pace for the 27th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” slides by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After four straight monthlies without a decrease netting nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” returns one-half share (3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); December’s 4.1 was its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9.

11) San Jose – Six-tenths of a share separates the top three stations in San Jose’s “Holiday” 2017 report and there’s a new #1 in this Bay Area market. Registering an increase of two full-shares after December’s +1.6, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” advances from third to first (5.6 – 7.6, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (8.4 in “Holiday” 2016). Following five straight sweeps on top, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by six-tenths (8.1 – 7.5, 6+) and takes over at #2. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. It has a one-half share advantage over Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0 (6+); 7.0 represents its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. An improvement of six-tenths (1.2 – 1.8, #23, 6+) takes Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” to its best 6+-showing in San Jose since February’s 1.9. Freefalling by one full-share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.4 – 3.4, eighth to tenth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), but eroded by eight-tenths in December. Not only does iHeartMedia-owned KOSF slip by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, 6+), “iHeart80s @103.7” exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).

12) Middlesex – In three separate metros – New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” is a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Regarding its performance in this New Jersey market, “Lite-FM” spikes by +3.0 (8.5 – 11.5, 6+) and repeats at #1; WLTW logged an 8.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. Furthermore, this is its sixth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). Spiking by 20% of WLTW’s +3.0 is Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is an overall +1.5 in three consecutive progressive trends (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+). Posting gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing here since May’s 4.0. After dropping two-tenths in December to conclude three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM flounders by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” segues from fifth to seventh. In three declines in a row, Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” has lost more than 50% (-1.8) of 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, #22, 6+), which had recorded a 2.0 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods. This is the third downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.0 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

| November 29, 2017

Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President.  Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations.  We are thrilled to promote him into this new role.  As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.”  Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group.  Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear.  The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions.  In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions.  This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April.  The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe.  It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.

Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer.  The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows.  But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced.  Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal.  After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off.  He’s made it to the top in both radio and television.  He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.”  Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half.  Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”

Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists.  Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.

North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; 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. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year.  Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates.  Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.

WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.

WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow.  Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man.  For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator.  His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King.  Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category.  For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.