Tag: "Premiere Networks"

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

Cumulus Media Q1 Report: Net Revenue Rises 1.4%. Reporting on the first quarter of 2019, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was $267.5 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Net income was $451,000 in the first quarter, compared to 2019 in which Cumulus posted a loss of $5 million.  Cumulus reports in two segments – Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  In this first quarter of 2019, the Radio Station Group was down 1% on net revenue of $166.5 million, while Westwood One was up 5.9% on net revenue of $100.4 million.  Chief financial officer John Abbot says on the radio station side that the company continues “to experience a tough, local spot market environment.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Driven by a steady focus on our key strategic priorities including accelerating digital growth, our strong performance continued in Q1 2019 with year-over-year increases in both revenue and EBITDA.  Additionally, we now have four pending M&A transactions that collectively are expected to generate more than $120 million of net proceeds and bolster our competitive positions in Indianapolis and Allentown. Combined with the $25 million voluntary prepayment made in February, these proceeds will reduce our net leverage to 4.8x on a pro forma basis.  We look forward to continuing our disciplined execution against all our strategic priorities and financial goals in the quarters ahead.”

Podcasting and Digital Efforts Bearing Fruit for Cumulus.  On yesterday’s Q1 earnings call with investors, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner lauded the company’s podcasting and digital segments.  She said, “So far in 2019, we continue to see the same strong growth in podcasting that we have enjoyed since we started the business.  As the exclusive partner for over 40 podcasts we’ve generated nearly 52 million downloads in March 2019, more than doubled the 23 million generated in March 2018.  And that doesn’t include our growing local podcast businesses.  By our estimation, this will put us in the top five largest podcast companies measured by PodTrack in March.  What is particularly notable about this growth, is that, that we have been able to achieve it while maintaining profitability.”  Berner is also pleased with the company’s efforts to grow digital revenue.  She adds, “We are continuing to generate exceptional growth across all of our platforms, with total digital revenue for the quarter growing 79% from the first quarter of last year.  Our streaming audience is growing steadily, driven by both organic listenership and increased distribution on the Tune In platform.  And we’re monetizing this high-margin digital inventory better and more broadly, through all of our channels, local, national network, programmatic exchanges, and remnant networks as well.”

Saga Communications Down 0.7% in Q1. The 2019 first quarter financial report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue during the period was $27.8 million, a dip of 0.7% over the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow increased $324 thousand to $2.6 million and station operating expense decreased 1% to $23.2 million.  Same station operating income was down 22% to $1.86 million and net income dipped 11% to $1.4 million.   The company notes that the results for the quarter were affected by its October 2018 acquisition of WOGK-FM, WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM, in the Gainesville-Ocala market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC for $9.3 million.  Saga reports having $39.2 million in cash on hand (as of 3/31/19) and $40.7 million in cash on hand (as of 5/6/19).

Hannity to Afternoons on WPHT, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Entercom will fill its afternoon drive daypart with Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program starting next week.  Earlier this week, the station announced that current afternoon talk host Rich Zeoli becomes the new morning drive host on Monday (5/13), assuming the role left open when Chris Stigall exited WPHT earlier this year. It appears Entercom will air the Sean Hannity show during its live air time – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – on WPHT beginning on Monday as opposed to searching for a local host for the daypart. Hannity’s show has been airing on the station in a delay broadcast in the evening.

PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio Produce True Crime Program ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ The true-crime genre is a popular one among podcast consumers and now, PodcastOne and partner Hubbard Radio (remember that Hubbard owns 30% of PodcastOne) are producing a new podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”  The 10-part series investigates the Washington, DC mansion murders using the talents of WTOP, Washington reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, and produced by WTOP and its digital news director, Julia Ziegler.  Hubbard podcast strategy manager Wheeler Morris says, “We at Hubbard are excited to bring listeners around the country this story from a team of experienced investigative reporters at WTOP.  Listeners in the Washington, DC region are familiar with WTOP’s high-quality journalism and, with the help of PodcastOne, we are excited to now share that with the nation.”  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz adds, “I’ve noticed recently that other major radio companies are promoting their new relationships with podcasters.  The Hubbard Radio/PodcastOne relationship recognized the synergies present over four years ago, and it continues to expand today.  We have a very definite game plan that seeks to take advantage of podcasting’s obvious on-demand advantages to stations, while mining the creativity that radio companies can bring to the table.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Rahul Sabnis to Lead New In-House Creative Group. This promotion comes with a realignment of the company’s in-house creative efforts.  Rahul Sabnis rises from EVP and executive creative director for iHeartMedia to chief creative officer & EVP for the newly branded, in-house creative group “TheStudio at iHeartMedia” operating under the aegis of Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group.  The company says that under Rahul’s leadership it will combine its Creative Studio and “CSG” in Atlanta into “TheStudio at iHeartMedia.”  A press release says TheStudio in-house agency will “provide a range of high-level strategy and creative services, helping iHeart’s own brands and the brands of its advertising and marketing partners use the efficiency and efficacy of audio seamlessly across all its company assets at the scale that only iHeart can deliver.”

Marie Harf to Exit FOX News to Join Seth Moulton Campaign.The Daily Beast reports that FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Marie Harf is leaving her positions as political commentator and radio host, respectively, to join the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as deputy campaign manager for policy and communications.  Harf co-hosts the “Benson and Harf” radio show with Guy Benson.  Harf served on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was a senior communications adviser to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

The Mueller Report and Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  Democrats’ request for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s claim his executive privilege gives him control of the report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential races, followed by the China trade war, the effect on the stock market, and North Korea’s missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019. Being a talent in 2019 is not as unique as it was years ago.  Thanks to the Internet, so-called talent is everywhere.  But the digital age has also brought new opportunities for talent that didn’t exist years ago and it’s incumbent upon talk media talent to seize them in order take control of one’s career.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, ABC News Radio executive director of programming Andrew Kalb will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; and Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  With Facebook moving to officially ban Alex Jones and other controversial media figures from its platform and President Trump weighing in on the situation on the side of Jones and his InfoWars organization, there has been a lot of talk this week about conspiracy theorists, fake news, and freedom of speech.  One of the world’s most famous and controversial conspiracy theorists, David Icke, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Icke, who hails from Great Britain, has a worldwide following on YouTube and other digital platforms in addition to being the author of more than 20 books whereby he talks and writes about a wide variety of political and metaphysical issues that run the gamut from a scientifically plausible analysis of the vibrational aspects of reality per quantum physics to completely outrageous ideas about the human race being under the hidden control of a lizard-like, reptilian species of interdimensional humanoids that borders on science fiction.  He routinely sells out large meeting spaces on his lecture tours and is banned in a number of venues and countries for what many consider to be his dangerous ideas.  He has been accused on a number of occasions of anti-Semitism for his views on international banking and the turbulent politics of Israel, the Palestinians, and the Middle East – charges he vehemently denies.  There’s a new documentary film about this former English soccer star turned conspiracy theorist titled, “Renegade:  The Life Story of David Icke,” which takes a fly-on-the-wall view of his life as a family man, lecturer, and social/political disrupter.  It was banned by a theater in Los Angeles last week just hours before its premiere there when the theater owners learned about the level of controversy surrounding Icke.  Harrison caught up with Icke this past Thursday (5/2) when he was in New York City to attend the premiere of the film there that evening.  They talk about the media, the First Amendment, and the state of the conspiracy theory business in 2019.  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. Atlanta radio pro Jeff Dauler is out at WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” where he was co-host of the “Jeff & Jenn” show with Jenn Hobby.  She addressed Dauler’s departure on the program but didn’t offer any specifics on his departure.  Hobby will continue to lead the morning show.  At the same time as Dauler departed, afternoon personality Mike Marino also left the air and his info on the station’s website has been scrubbed.  Aside from Hobby addressing it on the air, WSTR has not commented specifically on the changes…..Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cale Dodds (right) took time out of his busy tour schedule with Chase Rice to fill in as a special guest co-host with Jackson (left) on Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” morning show.  Dodds helped finn in for morning show co-host Ayla Brown.  He took the opportunity to premier his new single, “I Like Where This Is Going.”  On Monday and Tuesday (5/13-14), Sony Nashville recording artist Rachel Wammack will co-host with Jackson.  WKLB program director David Corey says, “There’s no better way for the country audience to get to know an artist than to bring them into our world and put them on a morning show.  It allows us to go way beyond the typical interview questions that might be asked.  This is real life conversation…and fun!  We are thankful to Cale and Rachel for getting that and jumping all in with us!”

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; 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. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Friday, April 12, 2019

| April 12, 2019

Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list.  The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show.  It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’”  The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith.  See the list here.

KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich.  Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’  He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts.  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.”  The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers.  Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!”  The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials.  Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.

Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations.  Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media.  Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations.  He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS.  Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country.  The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.  Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist.  Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format.  Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans.  The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months.  Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station.  Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.”  After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield.  A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.

Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps CompanyRalph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM.  Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back.  When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none.  He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels.  I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!  I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country.  This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.  The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.  Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince GillRandy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve WarinerMark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

| April 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 22, 2019

| March 22, 2019

Michael Savage Celebrates 25 Years in Talk Radio on Sunday. This Sunday (3/24) Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage celebrates his 25th anniversary in talk radio.  Savage hosts “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast.  He’s a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and is also a best-selling author.  Westwood One is recognizing Savage’s silver anniversary with a special program airing on Monday, March 25 that will feature clips of highlights from over the years, special call-ins, and other surprises.  In January, Savage repurposed his daily three-hour radio show into a new hybrid radio show and podcast that’s been named to Apple’s New and Noteworthy podcasts.  Commenting on his achievement, Savage says, “This has been my 5th career.  Social worker, teacher, medicinal plant explorer, author, talk show host.  Where have all the years gone?  I only hope I have made the world a better place.”  In June, HarperCollins will release Savage’s latest book, A Savage Life, featuring favorite stories and all-new, never published material.

Wheeler Morris to Lead Hubbard’s Corporate Podcast Strategy. This is a move from a focus on the Twin Cities market to a corporate focus for Wheeler Morris, who takes on the title, manager of corporate podcasting for Hubbard Radio.  Morris has been serving with the Minneapolis cluster developing and executing successful podcasts.  In this new position, Morris will lead the company’s expansion into the podcast space, overseeing content creation, distribution and sales, and marketing.  Hubbard Radio currently produces more than 150 unique podcasts that reach more than 500,000 listeners every month.  Hubbard Radio SVP programming Greg Strassell comments, “Wheeler has been very involved in original podcast launches over the past few years in the Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul studios, and recruitment of new outside opportunities for Hubbard Radio.  It is time to recognize his leadership to focus on the growing on-demand focus at a corporate level.”  Morris says, “Since Hubbard’s 2015 investment in PodcastOne the personnel within Hubbard’s markets have put a lot of great work into growing within this space.  I am very excited to help this initiative continue to grow from both an audience and monetization standpoint, working with all of our markets, PodcastOne, and podcasters outside of Hubbard.”  Morris will also work closely with Hubbard Radio VP/corporate digital strategy Jeremy Sinon in exploring and developing emerging technology to maximize distribution and discovery of Hubbard Radio podcast content.

Lineup Shift Takes Place at ‘SportsTalk 790’ in Houston; Adam Clanton Returns. With the recent departure of sports talk personality Josh Innes from the morning drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790,” the station announces a lineup shuffle that takes effect on Monday (3/25).  The station moves Sean Salisbury from afternoons to the morning drive daypart.  The new morning show features Michael Connor, Rachel Van Oranje, and Adam SagerMatt Thomas and “In the Trenches” hosts Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu remain in middays and the station brings Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton back to the station to host the afternoon drive program “The A-Team.” iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says that the station will announce Clanton’s co-host in the days to come.

FSR’s Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated late-night sports talk program “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” hits the 400-affiliate mark.  Syndicator FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks), announces the achievement adding that some of the newest affiliates include: WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte; WRNW-FM, Milwaukee; WHBQ-AM, Memphis; and WLVL-AM, Buffalo.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We are extremely pleased to welcome 400 affiliates to the club!  ‘The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon’ has proven time and time again to be the place to go for instant reaction to all of the big games in sports. When major moments happen on the field or court, Jason and Mike have every angle covered.”  Smith (left) joined FOX Sports Radio in 2014.  Prior to that, he hosted “NFL Fantasy Live” on the NFL Network.  Harmon (right) has been partnered with Smith since 2014 and he also hosts Sunday mornings on FOX Sports Radio.

WFAN Denies Adam Schein for Mike Francesa Scenario. Whenever WFAN’s Mike Francesa is the focal point of a story in the New York media, it’s a big deal – at least among sports fans and sports talk radio watchers.  Thursday (3/21) was no different when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Entercom had been in talks with SiriusXM and CBS Sports personality Adam Schein to join WFAN and take over for afternoon host Mike Francesa.  Marchand includes a statement in the piece from WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff that reads: “We are 100% committed to Mike Francesa, who is the #1 Sports Radio talk show host in afternoon drive.  There is absolutely no truth to any reports about Adam Schein joining WFAN.”  But Marchand explains that he never said Schein was joining WFAN, but that discussions were held about bringing Schein aboard to replace Francesa should he leave the station again. Read the Post piece here.

Envision Networks Appoints Peter Welpton Director of New Business Development. Longtime broadcaster Peter Welpton joins Envision Networks as director – new business development. The company says he’ll manage its newest office in Dallas.  Envision says that Welpton has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business and moved into the digital product ownership, development, and sales field in 2010.  He’s worked with major media brands such as Oprah, the Dallas Cowboys, NBC, Scripps, the NFL, and the Game Show Network.  Welpton says, “I can’t tell you how elated I am to be working with [CEO] Danno [Wolkoff] again.  I’ve admired his and [COO] Laura [Orkin]’s success as business owners and the growth they’ve achieved with Envision.  I look forward to bringing my background in digital products, sales, and experiences to their company and opening new lines of business.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new member of the Salem Media Group board of directors as Causeway Strategies founding partner Heather Grizzle is appointed to the unexpired term of Roland Hinz, whom she replaces.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “I am delighted that Heather Grizzle has agreed to serve on Salem’s board of directors.  Any shareholder who will take the time to review Ms. Grizzle’s background further, much of which is readily available online, will quickly come to appreciate what a tremendous resource she will be to Salem Media Group as a member of its board of directors.”…..Pollack Broadcasting will fire up FM translator W240EH, Evanston, Illinois and begin simulcasting news/talk WCGO-AM, Evanston on the 95.9 FM signal.  William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly” program that airs nightly from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, reveals the news to TALKERS magazine.  He tells us the station’s engineer says the primary coverage area will be similar to WCGO’s nighttime pattern – “about 15 miles west, southwest, south in a teardrop shape, along with North Shore up to about the Lake Bluff area.”

Robert Mueller’s Trump Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 18-22. The status and scope of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New Zealand gun ban and the aftermath of the mosques shootings. Coming in at #3 was the growing number of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, followed by the electoral college and reparations debates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia. Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018. The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media. Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications. “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world. Now, I have an opportunity to give back.” 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 daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com. Don’t miss this!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston hip hop outlet WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” announces the launch of the “Ashlee & The New JAM’N Morning Show” on Monday (3/25). The cast is pictured here (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Santi DeoleoAshlee Feldman, and DJ4eign.  Feldman was most recently the station’s afternoon drive host.  Back in 2013, she was a co-host on the iHeartMedia station’s morning program.  She was also a cast member of the 24th season of MTV’s “The Real World.”  She’s served with radio stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.  Feldman says, “‘JAM’N’ has always been my family.  I remember playing basketball at Northeastern and worrying about how I could get my hands on some cash because I just had to buy a ticket to Summer Jam.  I’ve had many different roles at ‘JAM’N 94.5’ but I always knew where my home was and that is back in the mornings.”.….Entercom adds an FM translator to the hip hop station “96.3 The Block” – currently emanating from WFBC-HD2 – that allows listeners to hear it on W299BO at 107.7 FM.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “‘96.3 The Block’ has become the top choice for hip hop and R&B fans in Greenville and Spartanburg over the past four years.  We’re excited to answer the call-for-service in Anderson County by adding 107.7 FM.”…..Midwest Communications agrees to acquire WNFZ-FM, Knoxville from owner John Pirkle and is flipping it from alternative to adult hits as “94.3 JACK FM.” The station had been operated under a local marketing agreement by Oak Ridge FM.  Midwest assumed the LMA yesterday afternoon (3/21).  Station brand manager Randy Chambers says, “We’re excited to introduce a totally different radio station to East Tennessee.  The radio market and advertiser needs continue to evolve and we’re evolving with those needs.  ‘JACK-FM’ is a music-driven, innovative, and energetic format that is designed for an adult audience and built around the promises of variety, low repetition, fewer commercials. and less clutter.”  This acquisition adds to Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster that includes classic rock WIMZ, adult contemporary WJXB, and country WDKW.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. brokered the transaction.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) following December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from #11 to #12.

In four straight decreases, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is off a collective nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth consecutive time as well, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) and continues at #24.

On the heels of posting a January +1.6 (7.8 – 9.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT falters by six-tenths to 8.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.4 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK dials up a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Furthermore, “Spirit 105.9” reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.0. Piling on a +1.1 to January’s gain of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” cruises from ninth to sixth. “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The seven most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (4.6 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Even though hot AC cluster-mate KAMX logs a +.6 to interrupt three straight downturns that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), “Mix 94.7” slips from a sixth-place tie to seventh. After improving by +1.2 in January (3.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” surrenders half that increase (4.3, -.6, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. In “Holiday” 2018, KASE spiraled by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country contest, co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original,” which also posted a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), drops three-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but remains at #3. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). By picking up four-tenths (2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM  progresses from #16 to #13. When “Austin’s Country Alternative” dropped one-tenth in January, it suspended three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.5 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+), WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” pushes from sixth to fifth. Immediately prior to January, the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet had been -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). While it remains at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by three-tenths (1.6 – 1.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Returning half of January’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC continues at #17. Entering the January sweep, “99.9 The Fan” was an overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+).

After having notched a +1.0 in January (7.1 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” forfeits 60% of the increase (7.5, -.6, #2 to #4, 6+). January’s boost curtailed five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); and second to fourth (February, -.6).

Raleigh Music Formats – Having surrendered a -2.6 in January, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL roars back with a +1.6 (7.0 – 8.6, fourth to second, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix 101.5” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. With an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). In addition to snapping at five its successive streak of down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (3.9, +.2, 6+) returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). The five most recent fluctuations for urban AC cluster-mate WFXC are +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February (11.0 – 9.9, on top for the seventh time in succession, 6+). January’s 11.0 is the highest 6+-stat for “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” in the PPM-era. While it more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” repeats at #20. Without a loss in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps in which it more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is now -1.1 in January/February (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #16, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Rather amazingly, Emmis news/talk WIBC posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths for the fourth sweep in succession: -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (6.3 – 7.2, fifth to third, 6+). Previously, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (#14 to #16, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which drops one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) but advances from #18 to #17.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include +.8 (November/December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.5 in February (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom CHR WZPL  is +1.7 in January/February (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Furthermore, “99.5 ZPL” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6. In January, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” enjoyed a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” That lead, however, shrinks to just three-tenths in February as “Hank” gains seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, eighth to seventh, 6+), while WFMS erodes by -1.0 (7.2 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.0 (February 2019). Without an increase seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” rebounds with a January/February +.9 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+). As highlighted above, both of Indy’s country stations are accustomed to wild sweep-to-sweep fluctuations. The same applies to Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which slumps by -.7 (9.8 – 9.1, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its January +2.9 (to 9.8) virtually eliminated December and “Holiday” 2018’s -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Sputtering by six-tenths are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (7.6 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), “B-105.7” eroded by -8.8 in January. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since WYXB notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. “Alt 103.3” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 (6+).

An overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two major (commercial) news/talkers are separated by just one-tenth as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” dips one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” falters by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fourth to sixth). By picking up one-tenth in January, WTMJ halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+) for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Bucks, and Brewers. Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+). January 2019 marked the first time since May 2018 that WISN prevailed over WTMJ (6+). In that sweep, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 1.4 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” picks up one-tenth to .8 yet slides from #17 to #20. Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” doubled “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) but loses two-tenths in February (.4, #21 to #22, 6+); WRNW was formerly CHR “97.7 Now.” Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is unchanged from January in market share and market rank (.2, #24, 6+).

Even though University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM adds three-tenths to January’s +.9 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), it backslides from ninth to tenth. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD nearly doubles January’s .7 (1.3 +.6, #19 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) elevates Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to the five-share level (5.4) for the first time since September 2018’s 5.1. Down four-tenths in a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 mini-slide (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.4, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH “96.5 Hometown Rock” answers with a +.7 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). The four latest fluctuations for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); and +.6 in February (9.6- 10.2, 6+) as “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third straight time. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to #2 in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Gaining six-tenths as well in February is Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB (5.8 – 6.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), “B-93.3” sputtered in January by -4.5. In “Holiday” 2018, WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Co-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” nearly erases January’s -.6 with a half-share gain (2.5 – 3.0, steady at #13, 6+); January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ (PPM) stat. An overall +2.0 via three successive upticks (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” forfeits 55% of that increase with a -1.1 to 5.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without a direct country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018; +1.3 (January); and -.9 in February (7.5 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Slipping by one-half share are Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (4.2 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.8 – 1.3, #14 to #15, 6+). WJMR gained seven-tenths in January, completely erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). When “Energy” lost three-tenths in January, it halted five straight reports without a loss that netted +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” gains four-tenths to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s one-half share increase (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” carries on at #19.

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk/Tennessee Titans’ flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); and -.7 in February (5.1 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” notches a +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #18 to #17, 6+). A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

While it remains in sixth-place, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Without an increase five straight reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). Posting gains of seven-tenths are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (6.0 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (4.9 – 5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Jack” followed “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, which applied the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), with a January -1.3. “The River” had been -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). On the heels of a January +1.2 (4.2 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” tacks on another half-share to 5.9 (6+) as the country outlet repeats at #5. Prior to January, “Nash FM” last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0). Finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.0, -.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which is flat at 4.7 (6+), following a January gain of +1.2. Prior to that increase, “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+). In January, “Nash Icon” returned the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+). It was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Notwithstanding a January/February -4.8 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 14th successive ratings period. January’s  -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that netted a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); and -1.3 (February).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -1.0 via three successive down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds one-tenth (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Having erased December and “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) with a January gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is up two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” is now off four-tenths in January/February (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #18, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, steady at #21, 6+).

Unchanged in sixth-place, WVEI follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a dip of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+). The Entercom sports talker was a combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+).

Tied at #12 are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #11 to #12, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #14 to #12, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WHJY logs a 9.8 – matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018. Prior to taking over at #1 in January, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018; WHJY was +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Steady in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in January/February (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4, 6+), immediately following a collective -3.1 as a result of three straight declines (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has that streak halted with a one-half share decrease to 3.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI shakes off January’s -7.1 with a gain of two-tenths (9.1 – 9.3, 6+) and repeats at #2. “Lite Rock 105” posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finished at #1 six sweeps in a row before segueing to second in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Remaining in eighth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” is in a (6+) September 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8. Likewise, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February, (6.9 – 6.5, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Norfolk – In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” posts a +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). It has been quite a rollercoaster ride lately for iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV. Through seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+); and +.8 in February (1.6 – 2.4, steady at #8, 6+). When WPTE “94.9 The Point” recorded a January increase of two-tenths, it suspended four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Entercom hot AC tacks on seven-tenths in February to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #7. Up two-tenths (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL repeats at #1. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 36th time in the last 37 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After a “Holiday” 2018-only stay at #1, adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, flat at #4). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. On the heels of recording a +.8 to 6.7 (6+), which curtailed three straight downturns that accounted for a -1.0 (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” falters by one-half share (6.2, 6+) and carries on in fifth-place. After racking up consecutive gains of one-half share (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (unchanged at #2, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down seven-tenths (10.4 – 9.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that timeframe (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, flat at #20, 6+).

Although it remains at #12, public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.3 in four straight increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats

An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” bounces back with a January/February +1.3 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6, third to second, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” erodes by -1.8 in five successive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” is off one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). On the heels of January’s +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” surrenders nearly half that gain (5.6, -.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), recaptures that deficit in January/February with a +1.4 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and remains at #10. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” has lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is +1.1 in the same two sweeps (4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1, steady at #8). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. WEZI’s January +.7 halted a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being down three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. It is four-tenths ahead of co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, flat at #12, 6+). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In three consecutive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4, #13 to #15, 6+). Unchanged at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD gains two-tenths to .7, immediately after having its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The six most recent (up/down) fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); +.7 (January 2019); and -.3 in February (3.7 – 3.4, flat at #6).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to three upticks in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and is steady at #3. Off eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” erases three-quarters of that deficit with a +.6 to 5.5 (unchanged at #4, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” notches a one-half share increase to 2.8 (#11 to #9, 6+), which wipes away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). Repeating January’s 9.2 (6+), Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” sets the pace – just as it did this time last month. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A combined +1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WRMF sputtered by -1.0 in January. Immediately after posting a January increase of eight-tenths, erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), cluster-mate WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective +.8 owing to four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths (1.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Through four consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.3 (3.0 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” adds one-tenth (4.4, steady at #9, 6+). WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

While up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” falls from #16 to #17.

Locked at #13 for the tenth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up one-half share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat four straight times for roughly a 50% loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (6+) but backslides from #15 to #16.

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” progresses from #12 to #11. Its recent fluctuations include +.5 (August 2018); +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); a combined -.9 (December/“Holiday” 2018); and +.6 (February 2019). Also notching a February improvement of six-tenths is Winston-Salem State University-owned WSNC “90.5 Jazz In All Its Colors” which is trending .1 – .5 – 1.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January – February, #16 to #14, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” is an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Despite being -1.8 as the result of four straight setbacks (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. A +1.0 in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. For the third sweep in succession, country cluster-mate WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” has a shift of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019): and +.5 in February (5.2 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+ ). Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” substitutes January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+) as the two country rivals swap places. “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December. After each station posted January gains of nine-tenths, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.9, flat at #2, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) now register declines of six-tenths. “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to January’s increase to 6.3, its highest 6+-stat since resurfacing in print in February 2018, WKZL was off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only has iHeartMedia news/talk WREC improved in back-to-back sweeps by a combined +1.8 (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8).

In doing so, it leapfrogs Entercom sports talk WMFS (flat at 4.0, #10 to #11, 6+); “ESPN Sports Radio” was up six-tenths in January. Flat at #18, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase for the eighth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Replicating January’s increase of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). The six most recent moves for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); and +.7 in February (8.2 – 8.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Regaining 20% of January’s -1.5 (11.3 – 11.6, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is #1 for the fourth time in a row and in double-digits (11.6, 6+) for the 11th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +2.3 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). After being an overall +1.1 through four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7” plummets by -1.3 (4.3, sixth to tenth, 6+). Falling seven-tenths are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (5.6 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (5.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. “Kix 106” most recently has been -.5 (October 2018); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.7 (February).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a cumulative -1.8 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “News Talk 1080” is +.7 in January/February (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is unchanged from January in share and market rank (1.3, #14, 6+); January’s +.4 curtailed three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

The November 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 (#12 to #13, 6+).

After seven straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+). It was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 in February (6.1 – 5.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is up three-tenths in January/February (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Over and above answering January’s -6.9 with a February +1.0 (11.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 32nd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (12.1, 6+) for the 29th time in the last 31 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. A February gain of nine-tenths to 5.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+) by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM erases its “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -.8 (5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and gives “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” its best 6+-stat (5.3) since September 2018’s 5.4. Trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” improves by one-half share (5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). After being -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and +1.0 in January 2019, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is -.7 in February (7.7 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+). There is a similar significant shift pattern for Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM”: -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.4 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (7.7 – 7.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. Back-to-back at #10 and #11, respectively, are Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” (4.5, -.1, ninth to tenth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight improvements immediately prior to the February report, “Radio 104.1” was an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+).

Friday, March 15, 2019

| March 15, 2019

Bubba the Love Sponge Lashes Out at ‘Speech Police’ in WSJ Op-Ed Piece. There’s been a lot of chatter on news/talk radio this week about Media Matters’ attack on Tucker Carlson for stuff he said on the Bubba the Love Sponge show during the period of 2006-2011 when he was a regular guest.  Carlson took an unusual tack and not only didn’t apologize but used the Media Matters attack on him to call out the “speech police.”  Now, Bubba the Love Sponge also rips Media Matters and others in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal that compares Carlson’s battle with that of comic Lenny Bruce some 50 years ago.  The crux of Bubba’s piece is that entertainers in the U.S. have the right to be edgy and to push boundaries even if that includes being rude or profane.  He says that in our culture we accept that kind of language within the context of comedy where we wouldn’t accept it in other facets of life – or at least we used to.   Read Bubba’s piece here.

Mitchinson Exits KFBK, Sacramento Mornings. Sacramento news/talk KFBK parts ways with morning drive co-anchor Dan Mitchinson after almost four years.  Mitchinson worked alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendosa on the “KFBK Morning News” program.  The iHeartMedia station will announce a new co-anchor soon.  Mitchinson posted news of his exit on Facebook.  He wrote, in part, “‘Everything’s got to end sometime.  Otherwise nothing would ever get started.’ And with that (semi) favorite quote of mine, my time here at KFBK has come to an end.  I can’t say it was easy getting up most mornings around 1, but once I was in the car, heading to work, I looked forward to connecting with all of you on air and through social media and sharing stories.”

McCredden Named OM at Townsquare Media Quad Cities. Programming pro Ryan McCredden joins Townsquare Media as operations manager for the company’s five-station cluster in the Quad Cities that includes sports talk KJOC-FM “ESPN 93.5” and four music-formatted stations.  McCredden was most recently programming Houston sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  He’s also programmed news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be able to work with the entire team at Townsquare Quad Cities and their great local brands.  We will have a lot of fun and I look forward to growing upon the success they’ve already achieved.”

Jacksonville Sports Talker Gets FM Translator. “930 The Game” gets an FM translator added to its signal.  iHeartMedia announces that sports talk WFXJ-AM, Jacksonville is now also heard on W247CF (licensed to Orange Park, Florida) at 97.3 FM.  The 99-watt signal covers the southeast portion of the Jacksonville metro. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Geewiz says, “Jacksonville was in need of a strong FM sports station.  We are very fortunate to have the legendary morning show with Mike Bianchi and ‘Harp on Sports with Seth Harp’ leading the sports world in Jacksonville.  The strong FM signal will allow ‘930 The Game’ to have an even wider reach.”

Manafort Sentencing and Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Stories for Week of March 11-15. The second sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the related Trump-Russia investigation tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the college entrance cheating scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the looming national emergency vote in the senate and the related border wall project, followed by the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s been just over a year since ESPN returned Stephen A. Smith to a full-time, national radio show with ESPN Radio.  Now, the sports media giant is happy to report the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Stephen A. Smith Show (simulcast on cable’s ESPNEWS) is enjoying a positive uptick in Nielsen’s PPM ratings.  ESPN says since August 2018 the show was up 23% in AQH share (men 25-54)…..The NFL’s Carolina Panthers are moving forward without longtime analyst Eugene Robinson in the radio booth alongside Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke.  Robinson – who was part of the Panthers Radio Network for 17 years – also co-hosts “Charlotte Today” on WCNC-TV, Charlotte.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM serves as the flagship station for Panthers radio play-by-play…..Westwood One is the official network radio partner of the NCAA and will present exclusive live coverage of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, starting with First Four action on Tuesday, March 19.  WWO is producing radio play-by-play for all 67 games – including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One is broadcasting live coverage of NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 6 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8, in both English and Spanish…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” is the newest affiliate station of the Minnesota Twins’ Treasure Island Radio Network via Learfield.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Francisco morning personality Vinnie Hasson re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” to continue co-hosting the station “Sarah and Vinnie” program with Sarah Clark.   Hasson says, “A thousand thanks to [Entercom SVP of programming] Michael Martin and [market manager] Greg Nemitz for their support and leadership, and to my wonderful partner Sarah – you are the best and I look forward to chopping it up with you every day.  I’m stoked to keep rolling with our great team and continue waking up the Bay Area every day.”…..On-air personality and programmer Cameron Moore is adding another set of music director duties to her responsibilities with Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster.  Moore is now MD for WSOC “Country 1037” in addition to her role as midday personality and music director for sister CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1.”  WSOC program director Jack Daniel comments, “Cameron is experienced in the country music format.  She has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have her on the ‘Country 1037’ team and cannot wait to utilize all of her creative input and perspective.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that the “Déjà vu Show” takes over the midday daypart on rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 1077,” effective March 25.  As a result, Teddy Bear moves to the evening show (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm).  WUKS brand manager Kenny J says, “We are extremely excited to have the ‘Déjà vu Show’ here in Fayetteville.  Deja will bring lots of experience, high energy girlfriend talk and lots of fun!  She will take middays to a whole new level.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Elvis Duran is publishing his new memoir, Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud, (October 2019, Atria) In promoting the book, Duran chatted with People magazine about his rise to fame, how he took control of his health, losing more than 100 pounds with the help of celebrity medico Dr. Oz, coming out as gay man on the radio, and how he manages to get major pop stars to talk so candidly about their personal lives.

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

| February 27, 2019

Sean Hannity Broadcasts from Hanoi. Hitching a ride with a motorcyclist in the photo above is Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity as he broadcasts both his radio and TV shows from Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Hannity, who will work from Southeast Asia through Friday (3/1), said via Twitter, “Getting to work in Vietnam traffic was crazy so I hopped out & this guy gave me a lift. #VietNamSummit.”

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 January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Coming off the previous Holiday 2018 survey all of the all-news stations on the panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH share improve.  More than 60% of the stations were up – based on the same metric – from last January’s survey to this year’s.  Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+1.5) and WWJ, Detroit (+1.0) led the gainers.  Both stations also ranked #1 in their respective markets in January, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (10.4 share) and Entercom’s KCBS-AM (7.1 share in the San Jose market).  See the whole report here.

Westwood One: Midday Listening Tops Drive Time. In the latest Westwood One blog post, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard writes that, based on data from Nielsen, the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart represents 26% of radio listening by adults 25-54, compared to 21% each for morning and afternoon drive.  The extra hour (drive times have just four hours each) accounts for the difference but Bouvard points out that advertisers buying only drive times are missing out. “Countless sales lift and ROI studies conclude that the number one media factor that drives sales is reach.  The more people a campaign reaches, the greater the sales lift.  Increasing reach insures a campaign can impact sales.  Restricting AM/FM radio buys to drives times misses 60% of the radio audience. It reduces reach and harms advertiser sales lift.” See the difference between advertisers’ perceptions about when heavy radio listening occurs and when it actually does based on Nielsen data in the blog post here.

SAG-AFTRA Goes Public in Entercom Negotiations Matter. The union representing some radio staffers with Entercom stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco is calling out Entercom, asking it to “engage in fair contract negotiations.”  SAG-AFTRA says its members at those stations have been in active negotiations for new union contracts since late last year.  While, negotiations are ongoing, SAG-AFTRA says “members are going public for the first time with their disappointment with the company’s proposals.”  President Gabrielle Carteris adds, “The company’s suggested proposals would erode significant benefits in our members’ contracts and lack recognition of the major contributions our members make to Entercom stations across the country.  We encourage a real partnership with Entercom as we look to achieve a meaningful and fair resolution of these negotiations.”  What are the hang-ups?  SAG-AFTRA says its members “are seeking fair increases to compensation, benefits, and limited benefits for part-time employees as well as a willingness to participate in the shift to the digitally focused radio business.  Entercom is seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”

TALKERS News Notes. The seasonal, 20-part series “Tax Tips” is being made available to affiliates of Westwood One News.  Correspondent Ann Cates hosts the one-minute feature.  Topics cover the withholding calculator, smartphone filing, phone scams, earned income tax credit, how to find online help, the taxpayer bill of rights, ghost tax preparers, IRS audits, and more…..“CHANNEL Q” is now available in six more markets as Entercom expands the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network.  The company says the format brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in 14 markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide.  It’s now available in New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Hartford, and Portland.  Entercom Southern California SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We’re extremely proud and excited by the tremendous growth of ‘CHANNEL Q,’ its success is a testament to the desire to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  ‘CHANNEL Q’ began as a passion project for our team in Los Angeles and we are thrilled to see the great reception it has received from coast to coast. We look forward to informing and engaging with new listeners in these new cities we are now a part of.”…..The Bob & Tom Show launches its new comedy app.  The Bob & Tom Show app offers fans the ease of listening to the show on their local station, as well as one-touch access to the Bob & Tom comedy channel, called “Bob & Tom 24/7.”  “Bob & Tom 24/7” features The Bob & Tom Show live every weekday morning, plus classic highlights, bits, songs and segments from the show’s rich archive of digital audio content…..SiriusXM NFL Radio is covering this week’s annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis today through Sunday, March 3.  SiriusXM NFL Radio’s expert hosts in Indianapolis will include Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 member Gil Brandt, former NFL front office executives Mark Dominik and Pat Kirwan, former NFL players Charles Davis, Jim Miller and Brady Quinn, plus Alex Marvez, Bruce Murray, John Hansen and Adam Caplan.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC-Ivanka Wages Spat, Venezuela Unrest, India-Pakistan Tensions, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). The meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the congressional testimony expected from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the House’s vote to nullify President Trump’s emergency declaration; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the media argument over wages and entitlements between Ivanka Trump and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Madura clings to power; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tomorrow Marks 10thAnniversary of Paul Harvey’s Passing.  Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo alerts TALKERS magazine that tomorrow (2/28) will be the 10th anniversary of the death of radio news legend Paul Harvey.  He provides a video of what he believes is Harvey’s last address to the industry (delivered at the 2003 R&R TRS event) – a 17-minute keynote speech that you can see here. Art also relates a funny, personal story.  “My late mother, Amy Vuolo, actually made Paul Harvey’s famous ‘For What It’s Worth’ department (his end-kicker story.)  In 1974, she lectured for Weight Watchers which had bumper stickers that said, ‘My Spare Tire is in the trunk.’  A member of her class put the sticker on her car and someone broke into the trunk and stole the spare tire!  True story.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will feature performances by Alicia KeysAriana Grande, Halsey, Garth Brooks, John Legend, and Kacey Musgraves, with more to be announced.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards is being aired (delayed) at 8:00 pm ET on FOX television.  It’s also airing live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio platform…..JVC Media announces that radio pro Steve Harper is joining the company as a member of the Long Island events team and member of the afternoon show on WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1.”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Steve is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves at JVC, he’ll also work with the team of Long Island Events – the JVC NTR company – to develop new and exciting live events and festivals.  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country radio pro Andy Roberts exits the Champaign, Illinois operations of Saga Communications where he was most recently program director for country WIXY and classic country WYXY.  He’d also served as morning host at WIXY for more than 20 years.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

| February 6, 2019

Forever Broadcasting Buys Delmarva’s Radio Assets for $18.5 Million. The acquisition of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10 radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic by Forever Broadcasting will, when consummated, mean the end of Delmarva’s radio business. Delmarva is a subsidiary of Steinman Communications and that company continues in the media business as publisher of LPN/Lancaster Online.  Forever Media will be getting news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, hot AC WSTW-FM and Gospel WFAI-AM in the Wilmington, Delaware market; country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland; classic hits WAVD-FM, Ocean Pines, Maryland; classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL-FM, and sports talk WYUS-AM in Milford, Delaware; and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Forever Media owns radio stations in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Talk Host Doc Thompson Killed in Jogging Accident. Talk radio host Doc Thompson, a.k.a., Michael Thompson, was killed on Tuesday (2/5) while jogging near railroad tracks in Haltom City, Texas.  The 50-year-old radio personality was hit by an Amtrak train.  Thompson was hosting his own digital “Daily MoJo 5.0” program. Previously, he’d worked for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as iHeartMedia’s WRVA, Richmond.  Thompson leaves behind his wife, Yuna, and three young children.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his family here.

Spotify to Acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor. As reported this morning by Variety and numerous other sources, music streaming giant Spotify is acquiring New York-based podcasting platform Gimlet Media for $230 million as it positions itself to become a major player in the podcasting industry.  The report indicates that Spotify also is acquiring Anchor FM Inc., a platform that assists in podcast creating, publishing, and monetization.  Spotify chief Daniel Ek says his company is in a merger and acquisition mode, seeking to spend up to $500 million on deals this year.  He’s quoted saying, “These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand.”  At the same time as it announced these deals, Spotify released fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data.  Although Spotify produced its first-ever quarterly operating profit of $107 million in Q4 of 2018, it expects to return to losses due to its M&A mode.  However, Spotify is reporting 96 million premium subscribers globally – an increase of 36% compared to 2017 figures.  It also saw its total monthly active users rise to 207 million during Q4, an increase of 29% over the same period in 2017.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch is delving into possible mysteries surrounding the arrest of former Trump campaign official Roger Stone.  Loesch interviewed Stone on her Radio America-syndicated talk show, discussing his indictment and the special counsel’s investigation, and he suggests the special counsel’s office may have tipped off CNN to his arrest.  Hear it here…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, sports media personality Barry Rozner is leaving the fill-in and weekend host position he’s held with sports talk WSCR “The Score” for the past 10 years.  Rozner was co-host of the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” with Joe Ostrowski.  In addition to fill-in work, Rozner continues to serve as a sports columnist for the suburban Daily Herald…..Public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco names Vinnee Tong managing editor, news.  In her new role, Tong will “help deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news on broadcast and digital platforms and work to increase representation of underrepresented voices and perspectives in KQED’s coverage.”  Tong has worked at KQED since 2011 in editor and producer roles.  Before working in public radio, she was a reporter at the Associated Press…..SAG-AFTRA is launching a new podcast hosted by president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White featuring in-depth interviews, industry insights, and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry.  New shows are released every other Tuesday…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend radio show with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate WLBR-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to its roster of stations…..SiriusXM is presenting a new audio documentary celebrating the Comedy Grammy Award category.  The show is timed to air in conjunction with this Sunday’s Grammy award show.  Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award,” that premieres Thursday (2/7) at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats…..The staff of iHeartMedia news/talk WOR, New York celebrated this week’s debut of the new evening program “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” with a lunch at the legendary Patsy’s Restaurant in Times Square.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, talk host Mark Simone, Concha, Wiehl, morning hosts Michael Riedel and Len Berman, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, and news director Joe Bartlett.

Report: Radio Digital Revenue Climbing Towards $1 Billion Mark. A report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates indicates that local radio stations brought in $804 million in digital ad revenue during 2018 and projections for 2019 are for an increase as high as $949 million.  The report – to be released to RAB members today – analyzes online ad revenue from 3,121 radio stations in addition to survey responses from 1,715 local radio buyers and a survey of 132 radio managers.  The data indicates that the average radio station earned more than $250,000 in digital revenue in 2018, an increase of 15% over 2017.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off. As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers, we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge-building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

Celebrating Super Bowl LIII.  In Boston, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” serves as the official flagship radio station of New England Patriots football.  So, at yesterday’s parade in downtown Boston, Beasley staff was on hand giving out “Never Gets Old” signs all along the parade route. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and WBZ-FM and national spoken word/esports format brand manager Mike Thomas.

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Warren ‘American Indian’ Controversy, Ralph Northam Controversy, North Korea Weapons Report, and Super Bowl LIII Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The State of the Union Address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the potential candidates for president in 2020; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Texas Bar registration card in which she identifies as American Indian; the racist photos in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook; the report indicating North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and selling weapons to other nations; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charley Connolly exits iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group where he programmed country WGAR and adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.”  Connolly had been with the cluster since 2010…..Condolences to the family and friends of Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport production director Chuck Edwards, who died on January 30 at age 49. Alpha notes Edwards started his career at “Surf 107-1” – currently WXYK, Gulfport.  He later moved on to rock WCPR where he was part of the morning show that became “The Cruise, Chuck and Rebecca Show” with Kevin Cruise and Rebecca Allen.  Edwards also served as the PA announcer of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Alpha Biloxi-Gulfport operations manager Kenny Vest says, “Chuck was one of the most talented production guys in the industry who could literally do it all.  He had such a wide variety of deliveries and was great at writing copy.  He also had the ability to turn on that booming voice that could get any crowd excited as he did at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans games for so many years.  Chuck was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him.”

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

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

Washington, DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miami

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

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

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

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

Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit

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

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

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

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

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

Phoenix

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis

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

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

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

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

San Diego

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

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

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

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

Tampa

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

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

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

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

Denver

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

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

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

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

Baltimore

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

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

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

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

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

St. Louis

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 18, 2019

| January 18, 2019

News/Talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska Honored with NAB Crystal Heritage Award.  The Lincoln, Nebraska news/talk station will be honored at this spring’s 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas at the “We Are Broadcasters Celebration” on Tuesday, April 9.  The NAB Crystal Heritage Award recognizes stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Seven other stations have received this honor in the 32-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.  Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Julie Gade says, “KFOR AM/FM has proudly served the Lincoln, Nebraska region for over 94 years, and our commitment to the community has never wavered.  We are so proud of our team’s accomplishments both on and off the air and are honored that this dedication is being rewarded with a coveted NAB Crystal Heritage Award.”

FSR’s Clay Travis Hits 300-Affiliate Mark with ‘Outkick the Coverage’ Program. The Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio-syndicated “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” program hits the 300-affiliate mark with the recent additions of stations including: KKSE-AM/FM, Denver; WGFX-FM, Nashville; WEEX-AM/WTKZ-AM, Allentown; and WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte.  Travis is entering his third year with the network. He also recently joined FS1’s first-ever, daily gambling TV show “Lock It In” as a co-host alongside Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and Todd Fuhrman.  In a joint statement, Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the growth of ‘Outkick the Coverage.’  Clay and his team have consistently set new listening records, which promises for continued momentum and a lot more success in the future.  We are excited to share many more achievements with our affiliate partners around the country.”

Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Tonight. The first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards show will take place tonight in Los Angeles and the evening’s ceremonies will be streamed live via Twitter.  Hosts for the 90-minute event will include Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Bobby Bones, Charlamagne Tha God, and Mario Lopez, as well as podcaster Holly Frey.  There are 22 categories with 17 having been voted on by listeners while the remaining five will be decided by a panel of judges.

Blass to Leave Pirates Broadcast Booth After 2019 Season. At the end this year’s baseball season, former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and longtime play-by-play crew personality Steve Blass will retire from his role with the team.  Blass has been working with the team’s radio and television crews since 1983.  The 76-year-old Blass has been calling only home games on radio and TV since 2005.

WTOP, Washington Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine Saves Woman from Drowning.  Washington, DC traffic reporter Dave Dildine was out in last Sunday’s snowstorm taking photos in Rock Creek Park when he heard a woman struggling in the creek under one of the park’s bridges. He called out to her and told her to swim to shore.  But as he prepared to call for help on his cell phone, he saw her go under and made the decision to walk out onto the ice to try to pull her in.  The ice broke and he fell into the creek but was able to drag 27-year-old Sarah Kirkpatrick out of the water and stay with her until emergency crews arrived.  Read the whole story at WTOP’s website here.

The Battle Over the Border Wall Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18. The battle between President Trump and House Democrats over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the related federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation tied with the allegations of campaign finance violations against the Trump campaign, followed by the House Democrats’ legislative agenda and the potential 2020 presidential candidates tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SPOTLIGHT CHINA: Award-Winning Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Is the world’s most populous country, with a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, a friend or foe to the United States?  Joshua Philipp is one of America’s most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of China and the existential threats it poses to US interests in the arenas of politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense.  He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare and subversion.  Philipp is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  His on-the-ground investigations in 2008 onward into connections between Chinese consulates, spy networks, and organized crime circles in New York City – and more than a decade of research and investigations on this and related topics – give him unique insight into the global threat presented by today’s repressive Communist Chinese government.  Harrison and Philipp take a deep dive into the subversive ways in which China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operate both domestically and behind the scenes on the world stage giving clear insight into such lightly covered news topics as the nefarious activities of its telecommunications giant Huawei and its recently arrested CFO, Meng Wanzou, in Canada.  Harrison states, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization founded by Chinese-Americans as an objective counterpoint to Communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media host interested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”  To listen to this extremely important podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Lansing, Michigan jock Deb Hart is retiring from the radio business and her morning drive gig with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WMMQ to pursue a career as a full-time yoga teacher.  Hart has worked in the market for decades.  She’s currently co-host of the WMMQ morning show with Joey Pants – who will continue with the station hosting mornings – and previously served with Midwest Communications’ crosstown rock WJXQ.  Her last show will be January 24…..iHeartMedia Atlanta is working with the Super Bowl Host Committee to open its iHeartRadio BoomBox Stage to activities from January 26 through February 2 during the 2019 Super Bowl LIVE week taking place at Centennial Olympic Park. The week-long stage of events will feature sets from iHeartRadio DJ’s and on-air personalities from the Atlanta cluster…..SiriusXM and legendary rock band KISS are presenting an invitation-only show for SiriusXM subscribers and VIPs on Monday, February 11 at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  The exclusive performance will air on KISS’ exclusive SiriusXM channel, KISS Army Radio.  KISS’ performance at Whisky a Go Go will launch SiriusXM’s “The Party Continues,” a new, live series that will feature music’s top artists performing in an intimate venue for SiriusXM subscribers following music’s biggest night at the Grammy Awards…..Pictured below is Columbia Nashville star Maren Morris (center) appearing on the syndicated Ty Bentli morning show in which she discussed her newest song “GIRL” and the coming GIRL: The World Tour.  With her is Ty Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).

#250 Working on Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Maximizing Direct Response Spot Success. 

| January 11, 2019

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

WLS-AM, Chicago Moves Big John Howell to PM Drive. Friday’s announcement by Cumulus Media solidifies the afternoon program schedule, but the question still remains who will end up hosting mornings on news/talk WLS-AM in the New Year.  Current morning drive personality Big John Howell is moving to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot – he’s following Westwood One syndicated talk host Ben Shapiro who’s on from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Howell’s co-host Ramblin’ Ray Stevens appears headed out the door.  Rumors in the Windy City are that Erich Mancow Muller is negotiating to be the station’s next morning show host. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day.  John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home.”  Before joining WLS-AM four years ago, Howell served with Salem Media Group on news/talk WIND-AM.  Prior to that he spent 17 years as a jock on country WUSN-FM. He says, “I’m very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890.  I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest, and intelligent summary of the day’s biggest stories – an afternoon wrap of the day’s biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts, and stars.  Of course, our town’s most colorful characters will also be welcome.  In addition, I’m looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun’s in the east.”

Media Action Center Targets Alex Jones Saying Radio Show Violates FCC’s Hoax Rules. The Media Action Center was founded by journalist and activist Sue Wilson.  She was instrumental in forcing Entercom to give up the license for KDND-FM, Sacramento in the wake of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest.  Now, Wilson’s MAC is encouraging people who live in markets that carry the Alex Jones radio show to file a complaint with the local station and the FCC that accuses Jones of violating the FCC’s hoax rules by insisting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  You can see the form letter here that outlines the FCC’s language: “Section 73.1217 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217, prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.”  Wilson cites the parents of some of the victims whose pain has been worsened by harassment they’ve suffered from Jones’ listeners, thus the public harm.  MAC notes the FCC rules would permit Jones’ comments if the stations airing the program aired a disclaimer before the program clearly characterizing it as fiction. See the MAC site here.

WQAM, Miami Names New Midday Show. Replacing Orlando “The Big O” Alzugaray (who exited early last month) in the midday slot at Entercom’s WQAM, Miami is the duo of Alex Donno (left) and Josh Friedman (right).  The “Donno & Friedo” show airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Friedman moves over to WQAM from sister sports talker WAXY-AM where he was evening host.  Alex Donno has been hosting the evening program on WQAM.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond.  Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Spector Upped to Program Director at Sports Talk KCSP, Kansas City. Rising from assistant program director and afternoon show producer to program director at Entercom’s KCSP-AM “610 Sports Radio” is Steven Spector.  Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next program director of ‘610 Sports Radio.’  This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate ‘610 Sports Radio’ in the Kansas City market.”  Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.”  He began his radio career with WTEM, Washington in 2008.

Chuck Peterson Rises to Area President for iHeartMedia. Executive Chuck Peterson is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia markets, effective immediately. The markets contain 16 news/talk, sports and music-formatted stations.  Peterson is promoted to area president after serving as market president for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets.  He began his career at WFTR, Front Royal, Virginia and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.  He says, “iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina region. I am proud of our company’s commitment to growing our advertiser’s businesses and serving our communities.”

PPM Analysis: November’s Top-Ranked Stations. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a tip of the hat to the stations that finished first and second (6+) in their respective markets in Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey.  In this report, you’ll find charts detailing the performances of the top two stations in each market, as well as a look at the top performers arranged by format.  Spoiler alert – adult contemporary stations comprised 22% of the #1 stations in the PPM markets while classic hits accounted for 22.9% of the #2-ranked stations. See the full report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally-syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KLIF-AM, Dallas, beginning in the New Year.  KLIF-AM and WBAP program director Kevin Graham says, “We’re thrilled to bring Dana to 570 KLIF.  Dallas-Fort Worth listeners are really going to connect with her honest opinions and authenticity.  And the fact she lives here in the Metroplex will also allow our listeners to easily relate to her.”  “The Dana Show” is syndicated nationally via Radio America…..Premiere Networkssyndicated Buck Sexton show begins airing on WCBM, Baltimore in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart, effective January 1.  The show will be followed by the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin program in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The station currently airs Michael Savage in evenings and he departs the station after 16 years as his three-hour show is re-configured into a one-hour live show and a one-hour podcast. WCBM program director Sean Casey adds, “This is the next chapter in our endless pursuit to bring the most powerful names in talk to Baltimore.  We’re really pumped to add Buck, an up-and-coming star and to have Levin, a Hall of Famer anchor our evenings!  I’d like to thank Michael Savage for a great run and continued success in his new venture.”…..The unique town of Tangier Island, Virginia – population 460 and shrinking – is the subject of a five-part podcast series from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington titled, “Going Under: The Story of Tangier Island.”  The series, hosted by WTOP’s Michelle Basch, takes an in-depth look at the “quirky, isolated place located smack dab in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay” that is gradually vanishing and could be uninhabitable in 25 years…..First Media Services closes on its purchase of two AMs and four FMs in the Bluefield, West Virginia market from Alpha Media for $1.8 million.  The stations are: news/talk WHIS-AM, hip hop WKEZ-AM, hot AC WHAJ-FM, country WHQX-FM, country WHKX-FM, and classic rock WKOY-FM.  First Media managing partner Bob Spencer says, “We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, and David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company.  In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region.  Many, of whom, have worked there for over two and even three decades.  It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias.” Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..WNIC, Detroit morning personality Jay Towers and Capedwonder.com founder Jim Bowers are co-hosting a podcast series dedicated to all things Superman in “The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.”  In the third podcast of the series, the hosts released never-before-heard audio of iconic Superman actor Christopher Reeve.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall-Government Shutdown, the Trumps vs the Media, ObamaCare Ruling, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Concerns, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s threat to allow the federal government to shut down if congress doesn’t fund the Mexico border wall; President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s complaints about the media’s treatment of them; a federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional; Friday’s Dow drops 400 points and talk about a recession in 2019; the new Aquaman film; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Jay Cruze joins the morning show at Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver alongside current morning host Jenny D.  Program director Jim Lawson says, “Jay’s experience, energy, and authentic personality is exactly what we were looking for to create compelling content in the morning.  Jay has been on our part-time staff and has been a tremendous asset.  He’s a natural fit.”…..An apparent abundance of programmers in the Entercom Philadelphia cluster has forced the company’s hand and longtime hot AC WBEB “B101” PD Chuck Knight exits the station.  Entercom acquired the station from Jerry Lee Radio back in September…..KDGS-FM, Wichita APD, music director, and afternoon host “Rolls” Royce Stevenson re-ups with Entercom to continue his work at the rhythmic CHR outlet.

Friday, December 7, 2018

| December 7, 2018

Sean Hannity Tops Mediaite ‘Influential’ List. Consumer publication Mediaite unveils its 2018 list of the most influential figures in news media, and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity is #1 this year.  Mediate says of Hannity: “There are many figures in media and on the air at FOX News that form what certain critics refer to as President Donald Trump’s ‘shadow cabinet.’  Only one of them has phone calls with the president on a truly regular basis.  When Sean Hannity isn’t chatting with the leader of the free world over the phone – they talk policy, media, ratings, and gossip – he’s speaking to him through his FOX News primetime show.  Did we mention Hannity is the highest-rated cable news show in the United States?  It has been for two years running.  And not by any small measure.  Hannity regularly notches a whopping three million viewers a night and sometimes breaks four.  His three-hour radio show garners millions of listeners too, making Hannity a veritable media empire in and of himself.  He has no shortage of critics who argue that his sort of advocacy doesn’t belong on a news network, but despite that Hannity has emerged as the king of cable news — after playing the long game over two decades at FOX.  Pair that with a direct line to the White House, and there’s simply no one more influential.”  The list – composed of 75 media figures including talk hosts, news anchors, comedians, executives, reporters and more – includes two other personalities doing radio work.  Laura Ingraham, who is transitioning her talk radio show to a podcast in the New Year, is ranked #36, and Westwood One-syndicated radio talk host Mark Levin is #67.

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Confirmation Hearing Postponed. That December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization is postponed to “a future date.”  We don’t know what date that is as it’s not been set.  According to a filing with Bankruptcy Court in Houston, iHeartMedia and Wilmington Savings Fund Society are agreeing to the extension. WSFS represents holders of two issues of senior notes and it appears they and iHM have more to hammer out before proceeding with the Confirmation Hearing.  In the meantime, as iHeart moves toward exiting Chapter 11 reorganization (sometime in early 2019, the company hopes) CEO Bob Pittman issues a company-wide pep talk memo reminding staffers they work for a company with a “unique position” in the media business.  Regarding the press the company’s bankruptcy proceeding is getting and the reports of companies like Liberty Media wanting a piece of iHM, Pittman says, consider it a “compliment” that there are those out there who want a piece of iHM’s equity.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk Radio. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  A comparison with the October survey indicates about half the sports talkers in PPM markets saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go up and the other half declined.  Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago saw the biggest decline as it was down 1.4 shares. The company’s WBZ-FM, Boston realized the highest gain of 0.8 shares.  Comparing November 2017 to this year, Entercom’s WVEI-FM, Providence was the big winner, up 2.2 shares to a 5.4 share, while Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh dropped 2.8 shares year-over-year.  WFAN is tops in Long Island as the Entercom sports talker ranked #1 in November.  A big month in sports talk in Boston saw WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” rank #2 with a 6.1 share and crosstown competitor WEEI rank #3 with a 5.7 share.  See the entire report here.

Michael Berry Show Adds Digital Director. The nationally syndicated Michael Berry show announces it adds Josh Benoit to the staff as digital director.  Berry’s KTRH, Houston-based talk show is currently heard in almost 20 markets. Berry states, “I’m adding critical skills to my team so that the Michael Berry show is equipped for the next few years of exciting growth and expansion. I want our on-air content to continue to engage and entertain and I want to use the tools of technology to take that content and share it in more places.  Josh is the perfect talent to do that.  His relationships within the industry, as well as his focus on quality daily content, will prepare for us for an exciting future.” Benoit, who works on air as Josh Reno, will continue his weekend roles with alternative KTBZ, Houston and classic rock KYRV, Sacramento.  The Michael Berry show features executive producer Chad Nakanishi, the “King of Ding” Ramon Robles, “Producer KennyWebster, research director Sandra Peterson, “and a cast of characters and frequent callers.”

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One Charity Assists Lincoln Presidential Library. Upon learning that one-of-a-kind Abraham Lincoln artifacts were in danger of being sold to pay off debt, Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charity launched the “5 4 Lincoln” campaign that raised $50,869. A collection of documents and artifacts, owned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and housed at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is not paid off and the foundation still owes $9.2 million.  If the foundation can’t make the payments, artifacts will have to be sold to raise the money.  Beck says, “When I heard about the museum and the help they needed last summer, we started a ‘5 4 Lincoln’ fundraiser.  Thousands of my listeners have signed up to donate $5 a month to help grow the library and preserve these treasures.  I wish we could do it all, but we are excited to play any role in helping.  Join us at 54Lincoln.com. We are committed through the long haul.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles news/talk KFI is presenting the eighth annual “KFI PastaThon,” an on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need all day today (12/7) at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Proceeds will benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that helps feed, house and educate children in need in the Orange County.  During the 17-hour live broadcast, all of KFI’s on-air personalities – Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. – are on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed local children in need.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “This is an entire station and community effort.  Not only does ‘KFI PastaThon’ help feed children in need but it also aims to end the cycle of poverty.  We are grateful for our incredibly giving listeners.”  Since 2010, KFI has raised more than $1.8 million and 340,000 pounds of pasta and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club…..CBS-TV’s “The Talk” is replacing Julie Chen – wife of embattled, former CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves – with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba.  Chen left the show as the allegations of sexual impropriety against Moonves began to heat up…..Westwood One News is producing a series of 20 year-in-review reports – one-minute vignettes showcasing the year’s biggest stories.  Westwood One News is also providing to affiliate stations two long-form, year-in-review programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano, and “The Year in Review – People and Entertainment,” hosted by correspondent John Trout.  These programs will replace “The Week in Review” and “America This Week,” respectively, the weekends of December 22 and 23 and December 29 and 30, 2018.

Death of George H.W. Bush Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 3-7. The passing of former President George H. W. Bush was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Jim Bohannon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the longest-running and most highly regarded talk show hosts in radio, Jim Bohannon, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bohannon broadcasts via Westwood One to hundreds of stations every weekday evening between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am ET. He has been a professional radio personality for 58 years and is still going strong. Along the way, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a nomination for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Radio Award for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year. He was named by TALKERS as the 2013 recipient of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being a perennial member of the publication’s “Heavy Hundred” – the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. He is also an inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Known for his even-handed approach to the issues and big, friendly personality, Bohannon is an extremely likeable figure, popular with his radio colleagues and listeners alike. He and Harrison engage in an informal discussion about the major issues and interests facing America during the Age of Trump from divisive political polarity and political correctness to the state of the First Amendment and celebrity gossip. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Philadelphia CHR WTDY welcomes new morning drive show “Coop and Casey” to the air.  Sean “Coop” Tabler (left) and Casey Reed (right) take on morning show duties as the station recently transitioned from country to CHR.  Reed comes to WTDY from crosstown CHR WIOQ.  Tabler was most recently morning host at country WGH, Norfolk, Virginia. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We are so excited to bring Coop to Philly and to welcome Casey back to the 96.5 TDY family.  Together, their focus on all things Philadelphia, along with their infectious energy is just what WTDY’s listeners are looking for in the morning.”…..At iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa “Mix 100.7,” Laura Diaz is leading the new “Mix Morning Show with Laura Diaz,” starting January 3.  She joins “Mix 100.7” from iHeartMedia Orlando’s CHR WXXL “XL106.7,” where she co-hosted “Johnny’s House” with Johnny Magic for the past seven years.  She says, “My great-grandparents emigrated from Spain to Tampa in search of the American Dream.  To think that 103 years later I have the opportunity to be the female lead on a morning show and continue the dream is overwhelming!  I’m grateful and humbled to be able to join a community-focused station like ‘Mix 100.7’ and to continue doing what I love with iHeartMedia.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WYGY, Cincinnati “97.3 The Wolf,” air staffers Ernie Brown, Pete Miller, and Jimmy Salzurulo exit as the station appears to be going jockless.  That report comes from WVXU’s John Kiesewetter who also talks with Brown about his career in Cincinnati radio…..Beasley Media Group parts ways with adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa “B98.7” morning team Chadd & Kristi after almost two years.  The station is in Christmas mode and rumors in the market are that a format change may be in store for WPBB…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend rock show “Chop Shop Guitar Show” is celebrating the production of the 800th consecutive program.  On this weekend’s program, host Steve Black is joined by Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitar maestro Al Pitrelli…..Superadio Networks and CTC Productions announce an affiliation and sales partnership agreement to syndicate “Explicitly Old School with T-Boz,” a daily radio show hosted by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from the legendary super group TLC.  The one-hour, daily show is designed to air on rhythmic, urban, urban AC and throwback stations and features hip hop and R&B artists such as Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, and more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

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