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Entercom Announces Launch of Content Innovation Group. This new division is part of the company’s “commitment to delivering the best curated music, news, talk and sports content in the markets it serves. This new group will focus on providing listeners with a deeper, richer experience both on and off air via exclusively developed digital and social content and national syndication of locally curated content.” Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton adds, “The launch of this new team underscores our continued commitment to investing in best-in-class content and syndication tools and delivering the top-notch listener experience that our fans across the country have come to expect.” The Content Innovation Group will be led by managing editor Kyle McCann. He’ll report to Liana Huth, vice president of programming innovation. McCann was most recently with Townsquare Media in New Jersey leading content development. McCann’s team will consist of three content managers: Lauren Hoffman, previously a country music blogger and an entertainment reporter for The Journal magazine in New Jersey; Joe Hyer, formerly a member of Townsquare Media’s digital content team responsible for development of format-specific content for Townsquare markets across the country; and Maura O’Malley, former senior content editor and social media community manager for Main Street Hub in Austin, Texas. The group will be spearheaded by Paxton. Liana Huth says, “With the creation of this new team, we will be focused on pushing out exclusive and original new content, as well as pulling compelling and engaging local content to enhance the local listener experience. This is a strategic effort to leverage the great content that is created at the local level in each of our 28 markets across the country and maximize our broadcast, digital and social media platforms to provide a comprehensive and engaging experience for our listeners.”
Progressive Talk Personality to Buy Milwaukee Signal WRRD. Striking a deal with Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands, progressive talk host Michael Crute – one half of the Madison-based show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” with partner Dominic Salvia – is buying WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin. The details of the deal are not being disclosed yet. The progressive talk radio show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” aired on iHeartMedia’s WXXM-FM, Madison for years before leaving the station last fall. Now, the show is being syndicated by WYM Media Management and airs on 16 affiliate stations. Crute says in a statement, “This is not simply a business deal. My mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue. Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations, more speaking truth to power, more inclusive voices, and less partisan rhetoric. Wisconsin needs a dynamic, commercial alternative to the right and far-right voices that peddle propaganda and alternative facts.” WRRD-AM is airing Spanish sports talk. Crute will begin operating the station on Wednesday (2/1). The programming will include “Devil’s Advocate Radio” starting at 2:00 pm. The 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm hours will be the nationally syndicated portion of the show with a replay of the Wisconsin show from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Other shows to air on the station will be the WYM Media-syndicated Stephanie Miller, WYD Media-syndicated Thom Hartmann, the Bill Press show, and “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge. Milwaukee talk host Earl Ingram will host a Saturday afternoon program.
KABC, Los Angeles Celebrates Golden Mike Awards. The news team at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles poses for a pic at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, California on Saturday at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 67th Annual Golden Mike Awards Dinner. KABC was honored with three Golden Mike Awards – one for “Best Newscast Writing” for “The 8 AM News on KABC”; Westwood One reporter Jim Roope won for excellence in reporting in the “Best News Reporting by a Radio Network or Content Syndicator” category (Roope provides news reports for KABC); and sportscaster Randy Wang was honored with a Golden Mike for “Best Sports Segment” that airs on the “McIntyre in the Morning” program. Pictured above (from l-r) are: Bill Thomas, John Wolf, Dave Alpert, Doug McIntrye, Jeff Whittle (kneeling), Randy Wang, Sandy Wells (kneeling), news director Nathan Baker, and operations director Drew Hayes.
51 YEAR OLD CASE: Manhattan DA Launching Probe into the Mysterious Death of Legendary WOR Radio Host. According to a story by Susan Edelman reported in yesterday’s (1/29) edition of the New York Post, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is looking into the mysterious death 51 years ago of newspaper writer, WOR radio talk show host and “What’s My Line?” star Dorothy Kilgallen, who was investigating the John F. Kennedy assassination. The stunning development comes after a new book, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016) written by attorney, former radio talk show host and investigative reporter Mark Shaw, provides evidence that Kilgallen was murdered to shut down her relentless pursuit of a Mafia don, Carlos Marcello, linked to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald. The newspaper reports Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for DA Cyrus Vance Jr, confirmed that a staffer has read the book and reviewed a letter from author Mark Shaw citing new leads, medical evidence, and witnesses overlooked when Kilgallen, 52, died suddenly on Nov. 8, 1965 at the peak of her career. “I’m hopeful DA investigators will probe any records available and interview witnesses still alive today who can shed light on what happened to this remarkable woman,” Shaw told The Post. “Victims have rights whether their name is Dorothy Kilgallen or Dorothy Doe, and Kilgallen was denied justice in 1965. That’s why I’m fighting for her.” Obviously, if Shaw’s findings are true, this information holds what could be the key to important new insights and understanding of who was really behind the murder of the president – a nagging question that has lingered for a half-century in the minds of a growing number of Americans. Kilgallen – one of the most influential media figures of the mid-20th century – is famous for her powerful syndicated newspaper column and long-running stint as a regular panelist on the popular TV game show, was also a significant force in radio, hosting a live morning talk show with her husband, actor/producer Richard Kollmer from 1945 to 1963. The show, titled, “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick,” emanated live each day from the couple’s posh NYC apartment. Mark Shaw’s first major interview upon the release of this book was on the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted back on 11/15/16. To hear it in its entirety please click here. His first major terrestrial radio interview, also conducted by Harrison, took place on WRKO, Boston a few days before the anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Harrison says, “It is amazing how few people in today’s media know just how important Dorothy Kilgallen was to our understanding of the First Amendment – let alone her role as a broadcasting and print pioneer for women in the business. This is especially true today as First Amendment issues are the dominant thread running through so many of the current news stories with which we are regularly bombarded. If Kilgallen was snuffed out for ‘knowing and telling too much’ that is something we should all know as if it happened last week.” To read the New York Post story, please click here.
WOR, New York’s Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Celebrate Second Anniversary. Pictured here is the staff of WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” program on the occasion of the program’s second anniversary. Pictured are (from l-r): Natalie Vacca, executive producer; Scott Lakefield, WOR assistant program director; Ray Martel, associate producer; Joe Bartlett, morning drive news anchor; Len Berman; Todd Schnitt; Terry Trahim, news editor; Alice Stockton-Rossini, street reporter; Tom Cuddy, WOR program director; and Skipper Presson, morning drive board operator.
Trump Travel Ban/Airport Protests, U.S. Raid on al Qaeda in Yemen, Deadly Quebec City Mosque Attack, Sunday Night’s SAG Awards, and Actor John Hurt Dead at 77 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the ensuing protests at major U.S. airports; the raid on al Qaeda operations in Yemen that claimed the life of one U.S. SEAL member; the deaths of six people after an attack at a mosque in Quebec City; Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild awards and the politically charged speeches; and the death of legendary actor John Hurt at age 77 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. It’s a change for University of Texas radio play-by-play personality Craig Way as he leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk KVET-AM, Austin where he was afternoon drive host to join crosstown Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX-FM “104.9 The Horn” for sports director duties…..Brent Musberger is leaving his role with ESPN but he’s not retiring. One project he’s involved with is a new channel on SiriusXM in conjunction with Vegas Stats & Information Network or VSiN. The channel will be headlined by Brent Musburger and Al Bernstein, who will each host shows dedicated to providing exclusive and proprietary news, analysis and data to fans…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s “Giant Eagle Kid-a-palooza” returns this Saturday (2/4) at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The promotion features exciting entertainment and adventures for the whole family. It will also include the KDKA Health Fair, presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Innovative Talk Content Creator Lee Habeeb Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. In an era when radio programmers and content providers are often accused of doing the “same old same old,” Lee Habeeb is doing something quite innovative. He produces and hosts an ambitiously written, researched and designed, nightly two-hour syndicated show that draws upon one of the most basic processes found in successful communications – story telling! The program titled, “Our American Stories,” is reaching its one-year anniversary and is now heard on 25 terrestrial stations across the nation with more about to be cleared on its independent Our American Network (www.ouramericannetwork.org). Habeeb describes the project as “an innovation in the audio sphere. No politics, no opinions, just stories. We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — LIVE, with raw emotional power.” The stories run the gamut of American history and present-day popular culture focusing on the most fascinating people from politics, the military, industry, science and the arts. Habeeb himself is an extremely interesting individual. An Arab-American of Lebanese descent and a 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he was the executive producer of his law school buddy Laura Ingraham’s original Westwood One syndicated show back in 2001. Since 2007, he has maintained an executive position at Salem Radio Network as director of strategic content. He has written columns for USA Today, The Washington Examiner and the National Review, and is a columnist for Townhall.com. Habeeb joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out.” Harrison and Habeeb talk about a variety of topics ranging from his perspective on being a Christian American with Middle Eastern roots to his insights on Laura Ingraham’s brief flirtation with becoming Donald Trump’s presidential press secretary… and of, course, the state of talk radio. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show is now airing on iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach “Real Radio 94.3, Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” and WCZR, Vero Beach “Real Radio 101.7.” Shane “Rover” French says, “The Palm Beaches are home to Rush Limbaugh and Mar-a-Lago, high-end shopping on Worth Avenue and now ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ – we can’t wait to get involved with the community and its listeners. We’re thrilled and humbled to be on Real Radio, a radio station brand with a long history of great, entertaining talk shows.”…..Westwood One partnered with Big Machine Label Group and sponsor Advance Auto Parts for a multi-pronged promotional campaign for Brantley Gilbert’s new album, The Devil Don’t Sleep. The album was released on Friday (1/27) and Gilbert appeared across all 82 of Cumulus Media’s country stations for the “Advance Auto Party!” album launch that aired from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in all U.S. time zones. At left is the ad that appeared on Facebook on Friday…..R Dub!, creator, host and producer of the syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” is partnering with non-profit Water 4 Kids International to launch a global charitable initiative called “Slow Jams 4 Kids,” with the goal of raising $10,500 to provide a village in Africa with a water well and clean water. R Dub! was inspired to take action after his first trip to Africa in December.
iHeart80s Party Rocks SAP Center in San Jose. Pictured above are the members of the New Kids on the Block with original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, emcee of Saturday’s second annual iHeart80s Party at the SAP Center in San Jose. In addition to NKOTB, other performers from Saturday’s event included: UB40, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Rick Astley, Starship, Eddie Money, and Night Ranger. The iHeart80s Party broadcasted live on iHeartMedia AC, hot AC and adult hits radio stations nationwide. Pictured here are (from l-r): Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Quinn, Joey McIntyre and Jonathan Knight.
Legendary New York DJ Herb Oscar Anderson Dies. New York media pro David Hinckley writes in The Huffington Post about the passing of Big Apple radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday in Bennington, Vermont. As Hinckley writes, Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio. He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968. He was known for singing “Hello Again” to his audience as his show intro. He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida. Read Hinckley’s piece here.
San Diego Radio Legend Jack Vincent Dies at 99. Radio’s Best Friend – Art Vuolo – informs TALKERS that Jack Vincent – a personality on KCBQ, San Diego during the 1950s and 1960s. Vincent had reportedly been in hospice care since last summer. He was 99 when he died on Sunday morning (1/29).
Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The final round of Holiday 2016 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017. View all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.
1) Austin – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ nearly tripled its 6+-share over the course of five straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+), “Majic 95.5” progresses from third to first. Moreover, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ shatters its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat – previously 11.4. Ousted from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” (9.6 – 7.7, -.9, 6+) drops to second-place. KBPA had been #1 each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. Picking up six-tenths each are Capitol Broadcast Association classical KMFA “89.5 Classically Austin” (.8 – 1.4, #21, 6+) and University of Texas at Austin triple A KUTX “The Austin Music Experience” Conversely, “Austin Music Experience” sibling KUT plummets by a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+). It falls from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods before advancing from third in October to first. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. The market’s country share drops by a cumulative two shares, with iHeartMedia siblings KASE “101 FM – Austin’s #1 For New Country” (4.9 – 3.9, -1.0, sixth to ninth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.4, -.8, unchanged at #4, 6+) absorbing the majority of the decrease. Flat at #18, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” drops two-tenths (2.1 – 1.9, 6+).
2) Milwaukee – Approximately 11 months ago, Milwaukee Radio Alliance hot AC WLDB began transitioning back to its previous adult contemporary format; this holiday season, “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” began playing all-Christmas music earlier than in the past. In its fourth straight progressive trend (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), WLDB chalks up a +3.8 and rockets from tenth to second. Ahead of “B-93.3” by nearly three full-shares and on top for the 21st successive time is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” Recent fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 11.2, 6+). WRIT posts its strongest 6+-share in exactly one year (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Entering the December sweep, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” was without a loss the previous four ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). It then sputtered by eight-tenths but now bounces back with a +.5 (6.0 – 5.2- 5.7, 6+), climbing from eighth to fifth. Following back-to-back showings of +.7 in November and December (2.3 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Scripps Broadcasting‘s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” falters by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+), but remains at #13. The five latest trends for “94.5 KTI Country” have been -.6 (September); -.5 (October); +.7 (November); +.7 (December) and “Holiday” 2016’s -.8. Prior to September’s -.6, “KTI Country” had been positive or flat the previous four sweeps (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+); 3.7 in December 2016 was the strongest 6+-showing for WKTI since 4.0 in December 2014. Down one-half share in December, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” – regresses by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 as well and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). As was the case in December, this is the closest WKTI has been to WMIL since WKTI transitioned to country from adult hits WLWK “The Lake” in late-May 2014. In four straight down or flat trends, “FM 106.1” is a combined -1.6 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October and November, WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December but the Entercom hot AC stumbles by -1.2 (6.1 – 4.9, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh. In addition to declining by -1.1 to halt three straight sweeps without a decrease (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” leaves the top ten (#6 to #11). A combined -1.2 between September and November (3.9 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW improved by one-half share in December but surrenders that entire margin (2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+); “97.3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” carries on at #14. Also in that iHM cluster, talk WISN (5.5 – 4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+) and urban contemporary WKKX “V-100.7 Jams” (second to fifth, 6+) slip by nine-tenths and six-tenths, respectively. “V-100.7” is down one full share in three straight downward trends (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7, 6+). After advancing by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since 6.5 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” returns all of it and is back at 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – While Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the highest “Holiday” 2016 6+-share of any station in the 48-PPM markets (20.6), Emmis’ similarly-programmed WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” claims top honors for greatest December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 (6+) increase (8.3 – 17.7, +9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. It improved in three straight sweeps (August-September-October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+) before declining by one-half share in November – “B-105.7” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (15.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). Within three-share range the past seven survey periods, Radio One CHR WNOW “Now 100.9” busts out a +1.6 to 5.0 to leap into the top ten (#12 to #6). After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off by -1.1 to 5.9 (6+, fourth to fifth, 6+). December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). Posting a +1.3 in November, WNOW gospel cluster-mate WTLC-AM “1310 The Light” follows with a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” (2.6 – 1.8 – .7, 6+), slipping from #14 (December) to #19 (“Holiday”). December’s -.8 ended its string of five straight sweeps without a loss that netted two full-shares (6.- .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.3 – 2.6, 6+). The previous sweep, “The Light” doubled October’s 1.3 and nearly tripled September’s .9. In addition to WFMS and WTLC-AM, also deflating by -1.1 are WNOW’s CHR rival – Entercom’s WZPL (7.3 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+). The string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted Cumulus Media’s WJJK a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) ends at four as “Classic Hits 104.5” collapses by twice that increase (7.8 – 6.4, -1.4, 6+), moving from second to third. A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). Off by one full-share (5.1 – 4.1, 6+), “Hank” dips from seventh back to eighth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Within 5.4 – 5.7 range (6+) the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputters by nine-tenths to 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Owing to three straight June through September increases, co-owned WOLT was a combined +1.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative,” however, relinquished three-quarters of that gain in October (-.9); answered with a +.8 in November; -1.1 in December; and is -.8 in “Holiday” (5.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). This is the tenth straight time that Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI (2.8 – 2.1, -.7, #13 to #14, 6+) is in 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+). Down one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and slipping from ninth to tenth, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” – Better Variety for a Better Workday” concludes its consecutive string of registering a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 at 20.
4) Providence – A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fifteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). At this time last year, WWLI was #1 as well with an 18.6 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). Trending 4.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 (September-October-November-December, 6+) talk sibling WPRO-AM spirals by -1.6 to 3.4, moving from sixth to seventh. CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” flounders by one full-share (8.7 – 7.7, 6+) and is caught in the runner-up position by iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94-HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.3 – 7.7, -.6, 6+). In December, “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” returned more than half of the eight-tenths it gained in November (8.8 – 8.3, -.5, 6+). Off by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s hot AC and classic hits-oldies siblings WSNE “Coast 93.3” (5.4 – 4.6, flat at #5, 6+) and WWBB “B-101,” which has its fourth straight decline for a net loss of -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) yet bumps up from seventh to sixth. Unchanged at #4, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” falters by seven-tenths (7.3 – 6.6, 6+), while Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” registers its third consecutive sweep without an increase (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+) but remains at #9.
5) Raleigh – Fourteen (14) recent (6+) fluctuations for WRAL “Mix 101.5” include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; and now a +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. The Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary repeats at #1 (8.0 – 13.2, 6+) and enjoys its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2015’s 14.3. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” has been in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL climb from sixth to fourth, “103.9 The Light” extends its successive string of up or flat trends to seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) for a cumulative +2.8. Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK sinks by -1.3 to 4.4, dipping from seventh to eighth. Falling from fourth to sixth (6.0, -1.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” sees its streak of consecutive progressive trends – which netted a +1.5 – end at five (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). Registering a 7.7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps and in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (#2 to #3) deflates by nine-tenths (7.7 – 6.8, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” (4.9 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” (1.1 – .6, flat at #19, 6+).
6) Norfolk – There is genuinely major news in this Virginia market and it happens within the Entercom cluster as adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” logs a massive +7.1 (6.3 – 14.4, 6+) to storm from third to first. That means “2WD” unseats urban AC sibling WVKL (12.3 – 11.0, -1.3, first to second, 6), which had been in the driver’s seat the past 55 ratings periods. Even so, “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range for the eighth time in the last nine sweeps. The last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 in January 2014. As for “2WD,” it gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. By way of comparison, WWDE was in second-place in “Holiday” 2015 with an 11.8 (6+). Having notched three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7” rebounds with a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+), jumping from seventh (in December) to third. Regressing by one full-share each are urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz” (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All The Hits” (3.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). Segueing to fourth, “Jamz” had occupied the runner-up slot the past twelve sweeps; it was -.9 in December. Following a +.6 in August and a -.7 in September, “Jamz 103” answered with a 1.1 in October (6.7 – 7.3 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+). In four-share range (6+) for the 13th straight time, “Z-104” has May through December (6+) trends of 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2. This marks the sixth consecutive sweep that Max Broadcast Group Norfolk stations are no longer Nielsen Audio subscribers. With data cited from the June 2016 ratings period, they are classic hits-oldies WVBW (#3, 6.0); country WGH-FM (5.0, #7); CHR WVHT (#9, 3.8); sports WVSP (#12, 2.3); and gospel WGH-AM (#15, 1.9).
7) Nashville – Powered by an improvement of four full-shares (9.1 – 13.1, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” returns to double-digits for the first time since February 2016’s 10.2 (6+) and is #1 for the 59th consecutive ratings period. This is the best (6+) performance for “Mix” since its 15.6 in “Holiday” 2015. A +.2 back in August stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). When WUBT “101.1 The Beat” lost one full-share in December to 4.9 (6+), it not only broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+), it sent the iHeartMedia urban contemporary to below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). By bouncing back and recapturing that one-share in its entirety though, “The Beat” jumps from tenth to third (4.9 – 5.9, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps and on .9 (6+) in the other two, Cromwell Group’s WPRT “ESPN Nashville 102.5 The Game” adds one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+) to inch up from #19 to #17. When Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WGFX “104.5 The Zone” lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Now in back-to-back monthlies, the Tennessee Titans flagship is a combined -1.7 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Albeit off by one full share, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (7.2 – 6.2, 6+) repeats in the runner-up slot. It trailed “Mix” by 1.9 shares (6+) in December but “Mix” has widened the gap to 6.9 shares. After a string of three consecutive progressive trends that produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), sibling WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” surrenders that eight-tenths completely and is back at 5.2 (6+, fifth to seventh). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are country cluster-mate WSM-FM “Nash Icon” (5.5 – 5.0, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” (2.6 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Without a decrease in the past five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (fourth to fifth) is down by one-half share to 5.6 (6+). Two talkers – Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (flat at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WLAC (1.2, #17 to #19, 6+) – decrease by one-half share as well, with WPLN returning December’s +.5 (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). WLAC had been up the past three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9.
8) Greensboro – On the strength of its third straight gain, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG marches from second to first and matches the 15.2 (6+) it logged exactly one year ago (“Holiday” 2015). Its last 11 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December) and now this robust +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016. A gain of one-half share (2.2 – 2.7, 6+) propels Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” into the top ten (#11 to #10, 6+). It is the 17th straight time that “La Ley” is in two-share range. Following four successive sweeps in the lead, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station,” a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (12.4 – 11.7 10.5, 6+), shifts to #2. The -.7 by WJMH in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 (November 2016) is the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. Unchanged at #4, adult hits sibling WSMW “Simon” spikes by -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, 6+). A combined +1.1 in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia talker WPTI (flat at #8) forfeits all of it in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, -1.1, 6+), while co-owned WVBZ is down seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #9. The market’s country rivals are each down by four-tenths and remain separated by one-tenth: Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is 5.2 – 4.8, (steady at #6, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is 5.1 – 4.7 (flat at #7, 6+). The +.3 “Q-104.1” posted in November stopped three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two full-shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). In September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps.
9) West Palm Beach – Taking advantage of a +2.7 (6.4 – 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (ranked third in December) leapfrogs hot AC sibling WRMF to cruise into the top spot. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016 is two-tenths ahead of what “Sunny” posted one year ago (8.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). On top the past five ratings periods, WRMF takes over at #2, fully relinquishing the one-half share it picked up in December (7.7 – 8.2 – 7.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a loss of another six-tenths in November. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. The previous sweep, WRMF gained three-tenths to end four successive decreases yielding a cumulative -2.2 (9.5 – 9.3 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). September’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 9.3. Consecutive increases in October and November (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) gave co-owned WMBX a collective +.9, but “X-102.3” returned seven-tenths of it in December. The urban AC recaptures that seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) as it carries on at #8. As WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF gains one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+), public WLRN slips by that margin (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) but stays at #9. The fact that WLRN records a decrease is rather significant as it had avoided one in the last ten sweeps (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), yielding one full-share.
10) Jacksonville – Energized by a +.5.8 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” returns to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July’s 10.2 as it surges from second to first. One year ago at this time (“Holiday” 2015), “Lite 96.1” was #1 with a 19.7 (6+). Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), iHeartMedia WQIK jumped from fifth to first. With a loss of six-tenths, however, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” takes over in the runner-up slot vacated by “Lite 96.1” Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, “Jacksonville’s Country” was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Not only was 11.3 the best-ever 6+-stat for WQIK, it is the eighth-highest 6+-share of any Jacksonville station in the PPM-era. “Lite 96.1” has the top seven 6+-showings, including 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Among other Jacksonville outlets impacted by WEJZ’s +5.8 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” which deflates by -1.3 (3.4 – 2.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Returning to third from fifth with a gain of three-tenths to 7.4 (6+), co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” pulls the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+) that produced a -2.2; 7.1 was its lowest 6+-share since 5.8 in the “Holiday” 2014 report. A combined +2.4 in October and November (6.5 – 7.2 – 8.9, 6+), talk sibling WOKV is a collective -2.3 though in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+), tumbling from third to fifth; November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jack FM” regresses by one full-share to 2.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 – #12). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, CHR sibling WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) to slip from eighth to ninth.
11) Memphis – On the strength of a hefty gain of five full-shares (7.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” busts out of a fourth-place tie and sails to #1. When “The River” added one full-share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-showing since 14.0 in Holiday 2015 for “The River,” which dislodges iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” from the lead. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3, 6+), “V-101” is -3.2 in that stretch. It had been #1 the past ten monthlies but slides to #2. Down a combined eight-tenths in consecutive sweeps (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.0, October-November-December, 6+), gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Halleluiah” answers with a +1.3 (6+, seventh to fifth) and has its best 6+-stat (6.3) since March (6.6). Despite posting a gain of one-half share (8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which had been in the runner-up spot the past seven survey periods, moves to #3. WRBO regains the one-half share it lost in December, following November’s +.8 (8.3 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+). Back-to-back modest declines by “Soul Classics” in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped out most of it with a one-half share gain in October. Deflating by -1.1 each are iHeartMedia talker WREC (4.3 – 3.2, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (6.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Flat at #10, WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. Immediately prior to the -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “FM 100” put together six successive improvements netting over two full-shares (5.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+). Co-owned country WLFP was up by one-half share in December as well (2.9 – 3.4, 6+), having its finest 6+-performance since August 2014 (3.5); however, “94.1 The Wolf” sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+, flat at #11. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WGKX, relinquished all but one-tenth of November’s eight-tenths’ gain in December (5.1 – 4.4, -.7, 6+) and now “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” further erodes by one-half share to 3.9 moving from an eighth-place tie to ninth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+).
12) Hartford – Over and above being #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a whopping +7.6 for its fourth straight increase (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). Lite” eclipses the 17.8 (6+) it logged in “Holiday” 2015. In November, Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it declined by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Up three-tenths to 5.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (eighth to sixth) pulls the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three full-shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+). After posting a gain of one-half share in December, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (fourth to fifth, 6+) spirals by -1.5 to 6.6 (6+). This decrease completely erases the cumulative +1.5 “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). Floundering by -1.4 each are co-owned WWYZ “Country 92-5” (8.2 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and public WNPR (4.4, seventh to eighth). After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. It took over the top spot from WRCH in September with a decrease of four-tenths, which halted five straight positive or flat monthlies (7.2 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+). This constitutes the first decrease for Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR in the last six ratings periods where it accumulated a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are Connoisseur Media talker WDRC-AM (#12 to #13) and the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ (2.5 – 1.9, flat at #11). WDRC-AM had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps (.4 – .4 -.5 – .7 – .8 – 1.3, 6+) and in December, it crossed the one-share threshold (6+) for the first time since a 1.4 in the “Holiday” 2015 report. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is without an increase for the seventh straight sweep accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WDRC-FM, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” drops one-half share as well (5.2 – 4.7, 6+). As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).
FOX Sports and Jay Mohr Part Ways. Today’s sudden – and unexpected – announcement from FOX Sports Radio/Premiere Networks and Jay Mohr calls it a mutual decision to “conclude production and syndication of ‘Jay Mohr Sports,’ effective immediately.” Mohr’s show occupied the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET slot on the network. The companies say a new show will be unveiled soon and that until then, FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Beyer and Jonas Knox will sit in. Mohr’s statement is: “I’ve always loved radio, and having a national platform to share my brand of sports talk and comedy was an incredible experience. I loved interacting with the fans, athletes and sports figures over the past three years, but it’s become difficult to juggle the commitment of a three-hour weekday radio show with a film and TV career, stand-up comedy shows, as well as time with my family. It was a tough decision to leave radio, but I appreciate all the support from the team at FOX Sports Radio and Premiere Networks, as well as the listeners and fans.” Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “When we partnered to launch ‘Jay Mohr Sports,’ we aimed to create something truly different – a fusion of comedy, sports and entertainment – and it was very successful. We’re proud of what we accomplished together and wish Jay the best of luck as he focuses on the next chapter of his entertainment career.”
TALKERS News Notes. The unofficial “mayor” of Atlantic City – WPGG morning show host Harry Hurley – is out front covering the Atlantic City and New Jersey scene. He tells us he’s scored the first radio interview with New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno since she declared her candidacy for governor. Hurley says he quizzed Guadagno on her preparedness to be the Garden State’s next chief executive, her plan to limit state spending and lower taxes, and her thoughts on the unpopular state takeover of Atlantic City…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall tells TALKERS magazine that, with the election of President Donald Trump, the Philadelphia media has a “newfound interest” in what he’s saying on his show. Stigall was featured on the cover of Wednesday’s daily Metro Philadelphia publication and did a hit with CBS Television’s KYW-TV (pictured at left) during yesterday afternoon’s 5:30 newscast from outside the Loews Hotel where the Republican Congressional retreat is taking place…..Comedian, talk host, and “Celebrity Name Game” host Craig Ferguson is launching a daily talk show on SiriusXM. The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm program will air on the Comedy Greats channel starting February 27. SiriusXM says Ferguson will showcase his unique talents on his new two-hour SiriusXM show, which will feature his perspective on the news of the day and have celebrity interviews, sketches, and correspondent stories. SiriusXM subscribers will also be able to call into the show…..CBS Sports Radio is broadcasting a new, live edition of “The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond” – following wrestling’s annual major winter pay-per-view event – on Sunday, January 29 from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am. Sports broadcaster and former wrestler Taz will host the three-hour show, joined by special guests Evan Roberts of WFAN, New York and Mike Johnson of PW Insider, to discuss the night’s biggest winners, biggest losers, and best wrestling moves. In addition to airing on over 200 CBS Sports Radio affiliated stations and 13 CBS RADIO owned sports stations, a live audio and video stream will be available online at TazShow.com, and later as on-demand content…..The Washington cluster of CBS RADIO stations enters into a strategic partnership with Wrapify – a company that wraps personal vehicles with local advertising messages, for which the drivers are paid a monthly fee. An app tracks the vehicle’s mileage and route and combines the data with local traffic patterns to determine the number of impressions made on consumers on a particular day and time. Wrapify CEO James Heller states, “Partnering with CBS RADIO Washington brings Wrapify the ability to roll out large-scale sales efforts in the DC market while providing our partners with a way to integrate visual impressions into their advertising campaigns.”
Trump Orders Border Wall Built, Trump Voter Fraud Investigation, Effects of TPP and NAFTA Exits, Trump Targets Sanctuary Cities Polices, Mary Tyler Moore Dies at 80, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/25). President Donald Trump signs order to begin process of building Mexican border wall; Trump’s intent to investigate voter fraud from the 2016 presidential race; questions about the effects of America’s exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA; the looming battle between sanctuary cities and the Trump Administration; television legend Mary Tyler Moore dies at age 80; and the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Guy Phillips Re-Ups with ‘Y98’ in St. Louis. Thirty-eight-year station morning personality Guy Phillips signs a new, multi-year contract with CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” to continue leading the “Phillips & Company Morning Show.” Program director Marty Linck comments, “Guy is an institution in the St. Louis area. He continuously reinvents his show, and makes me laugh every morning on the way to the office. Hundreds of thousands of listeners have the same experience every morning. I’m thrilled he will continue to call ‘Y98’ home.” Phillips states, “I’ve been one of the luckiest guys to ever work in this business. I have had steady employment over five decades in St. Louis and I haven’t once failed to laugh, on the air and off, on any of those days. I work with a crew that is not only passionate about their jobs but have compassion for one another. I thank a great radio company in CBS RADIO for their enduring trust and support.” The “Phillips & Company Morning Show” Phillips, Courtney Landrum, Jen Myers, Kevin “the Intern,” and Lance Hildebrand.
Cumulus Drops Classic Hip Hop for CHR on KENZ in Salt Lake City. Gone from the 94.9 frequency in Salt Lake City is the classic hip hop and the “94-9 The Vibe” brand, here now is “Power 94.9” – Cumulus Media’s newest CHR outlet. Cumulus Salt Lake City vice president and market manager Patrick Reedy says, “We’re excited to offer a fresh CHR approach to the Salt Lake City market. Although there are some very well-programmed CHRs in SLC currently, we believe Rick Vaughn’s prior multi-city success in exploiting listeners’ unmet needs within the CHR format speaks for itself. In addition, we also believe that advertisers will find ‘Power 94.9’ to be the perfect complement to our sister station [hot AC KBEE] B98.7.”
Sam Hunt Visits NASH Campus. Pictured above is Universal Music Group Nashville recording artist Sam Hunt with the personalities from Cumulus Media’s “Mornings with Ty, Kelly & Chuck.” Hunt appeared on the show to talk about his new single, “Body Like a Back Road,” set for release next Wednesday (2/1) and his “15 in a 30 Tour” that kicks off this summer with fellow artists Chris Janson, Maren Morris and Ryan Follese. Pictured are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Hunt, and Chuck Wicks.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Riley Couture is named to co-host iHeartMedia’s WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show.” Kane says, “As a fellow WFLZ alumni, I’ve watched her learn and grow into an outstanding, brave, incredibly relatable, dominant female talent throughout the years — she’s the perfect addition to our team.”…..Chris Jackson is appointed to the operations manager post at KZIA Inc’s CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids and sister sports talker KGYM.
Round Two of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of Holiday 2016 PPM ratings from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.
1) Washington, D.C. – Locked on 4.5 (6+) in September and October, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH picked up four-tenths in November; added one full-share in December; and now piles on a +4.5 (4.9 – 5.9 – 10.4, 6+), marching from third to first. This time last year, WASH was at #1 as well with a 12.0 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). Displaced from the penthouse following five successive months there is American University‘s WAMU (11.5 – 9.2, -2.3, 6+), which slips to the runner-up slot. “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +1.5 in December to 11.5, the most potent 6+-share in its PPM-history. The public station recorded its previous best the previous month (10.0, 6+, November 2016). Down the past five sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic 102.3” regains roughly one-quarter of that total with a +.6 to 4.4, elevating from tenth to seventh. Steady at #4, its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR – is trending 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 (October 2016 – “Holiday” 2016, 6+). In the spoken-word arena, after notching five straight sweeps without a decrease for a net +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media talker WMAL is off by nine-tenths to 3.3 (#7 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile Hubbard Broadcasting-owned all-news WTOP drops seven-tenths to 8.7 (second to third, 6+), thus halting three straight up or flat trends and relinquishing the combined +.7 (8.7 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+). Dropping by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Columbia Union College contemporary Christian WGTS (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM (4.0 – 3.5, ninth to tenth, 6+). Steady at #5, Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” dips by one-tenth to 5.0 (6+), thus curtailing five successive improvements that produced a cumulative +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After 13 consecutive ratings periods within 3.5 – 3.9 territory (6+), CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh” slips from 3.7 to 3.4 (6+), but remains at #11.
2) Boston – Nearly quadrupling the +1.5 it dialed up in December, Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7” repeats at #1 (6.3 – 7.8 – 13.4, +5.6, 6+). The former Greater Media property is -1.4 from its 14.8 (#1, 6+) from “Holiday” 2015. Prior to advancing to #1 in December, “Magic” was in the runner-up slot April through November. When it registered a 6.6 in September, “Magic” halted three successive down or flat trends for a combined -1.2 (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). A -.6 in July, meanwhile, stopped a successive string of five increases for a cumulative +1.2 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). Co-owned WROR forfeits all of December’s +1.1 plus three-tenths (6.6 – 7.7 – 6.3, -1.4, 6+) but stays at #2. “Boston’s Classic Hits” was the market leader for 11 monthlies in succession before being dislodged in December by “Magic.” In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the last four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). Sibling WKLB “New Hit Country 102.5” (unchanged at #9) has its fourth straight negative trend (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and is a combined -1.4 since September. The market’s FM sports share swells by one-half share with CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots) picking up two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+) and Entercom’s WEEI-FM (Boston Red Sox flagship) adding three-tenths (4.5 – 4.8, 6+); they carry on at fourth and sixth, respectively. Both had been down the past two sweeps, with WBZ-FM a cumulative -.9 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+) and WEEI-FM a combined -1.7 (6.2 – 5.4 – 4.5, 6+). Up by +1.1 in back-to-back monthlies (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, October-November-December, 6+), Boston University-owned WBUR surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) to fall from sixth to eighth (6+). Albeit they remain at #11, CBS Radio hot AC and classic rock cluster-mates WBMX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” and WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” register identical moves (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, 6+). WZLX is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).
3) Detroit – The fourth straight improvement by WNIC is by nearly seven full-shares (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 13.7, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property is +8.8 since September. Moreover, WNIC progresses from second to first. In “Holiday” 2015, WNIC was #1 with a 14.6 (6+). Departing the #1 spot it held in November and December and trading places with WNIC at #2, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” regresses by nine-tenths, thus stymying four straight gains for a combined +1.7 (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). December 2016’s 7.1 is the highest 6+-share for WOMC since 7.2 in December 2015. Having gained +1.8 in three straight up or flat trends (4.9 – 5.9 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+), Cumulus Media talker/Detroit Lions flagship WJR returns two-thirds of that increase (5.5, -1.2, 6+) and slides from third to fourth. Eroding by eight-tenths each are hot AC sibling WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Hits” (#12 to #15, 6+) and University of Michigan-owned WUOM (1.8, #17 to #20, 6+). “Today’s Best Hits” is a combined -1.3 in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+). WUOM registered a 2.6 (6+) in three of the last four ratings periods. Following three consecutive up-trends yielding a +.6 (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB surrenders all of it and is back at 3.6 (6+), but “FM 98 Detroit’s Hip-Hop & R&B” carries on at #11. Off by a collective nine-tenths since October (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” slides from ninth to tenth. In five straight declines (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.0 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), sports cluster-mate WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is -3.3 (6+), dipping from sixth to seventh. After a one-month hiatus from the top spot, WXYT-FM returned to #1 in September and repeated there in October; “The Ticket” was #1 in April, May, June, and July. With each station’s September 2016 6+-stat in parentheses, these Bell Media (Canada) properties are unlisted for the fourth straight month: alternative CIMX (1.6); triple A CIDR (1.3); classic hits-oldies CKWW (.2); and talk CKLW (.1).
4) Miami – Owing to a December decline of one-half share, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR had its string of consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.7 end at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “99 Jamz” rolls out a +1.1 (4.7 – 5.8, 6+) and remains at #5. Notching one-half share gains are urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105” (6.8, fourth to second, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (5.1, flat at #6, 6+); and iHeartMedia classic rocker WBGG “Big 105.9” (3.3 – 3.8, #13 to #10, 6+). Finishing first in June and then second the next three sweeps, “Hot 105” was without an increase the past six sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). The cumulative seven-tenths that “Zeta 92.3” gained in October and November was more than wiped out with December’s -.9 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). “Big” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in June, July, August, and September. Off by one-tenth in both the December and “Holiday” sweeps (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is nonetheless on top for the third consecutive time. “Easy 93.1” was a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth straight ratings period resulting in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom-owned, similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM” slides from third to fourth and has its lowest 6+-share since September 2015 (6.2 as well). “Lite FM” was #1 from July through October. Off by a combined -1.2 (4.9 – 4.0 – 3.7, September-October-November, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC made up half of it in December with a +.6, but “Hits 97.3” now sputters by seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Despite being down one-tenth, iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.7 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+) catches “Hits 97.3.” Registering a 2.1 (6+) in each of the last five ratings periods, talk sibling WIOD (#17 to #21) falters by one-half share to 1.6, the same 6+-stat it had in April, May, and June.
5) Seattle – Exchanging places at the top are Hubbard Radio adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” (second to first) and CHR cluster-mate KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” (7.1 – 6.8, -.3, first to second, 6+). In three successive gains, “Warm” – which was #1 this time last year with a 13.4 (“Holiday” 2015, 6+) – is a cumulative +6.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 6.7 – 10.9, 6+). KQMV had been on top the past 12 sweeps. Its -.9 in December halted a string of three straight gains that netted a +2.3 (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). After 13 successive times in three-share range (6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” busts out a +2.1 to 5.5 (6+), rocketing from #12 all the way to #3. Without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep yielding a +1.3 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). The market’s FM country share dwindles by -1.5 as CBS Radio’s KMPS sputters by -1.0 (4.0 – 3.0, #7 to #13) and Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” is off by -.5 (#18 to 20). As a result of four consecutive slumps, “The Wolf” is a combined -1.8 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Sputtering by nine-tenths each are University of Washington-owned KUOW (5.3 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Pacific Public Media’s KNKX (3.5 – 2.6, #11 to #18, 6+). Down six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM More Music, More Variety” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). In the spoken-word arena, Bonneville talker KTTH is -.7 (2.4 – 1.7, #20 to #22, 6+); co-owned talker KIRO-FM is -.6 (third to fourth, 6+); Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO regresses by -.5 (3.7 – 3.2, #8 to #11, 6+); and iHeartMedia sports outlet KJR-AM is also -.5 (2.2 – 1.7, flat at #22, 6+). KIRO-FM is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+) for a cumulative -.9. Without an increase for the fifth successive time for a cumulative full-share loss (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic rock KZOK dips from sixth to seventh. A combined -1.6 in five successive ratings periods without a gain (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7 100% Throwbacks” actually improves from #18 to #16.
6) Phoenix – Not quite doubling December’s impressive +3.5, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ hangs out a +6.7 (6.3 – 9.8 – 16.5, 6+) and is #1 for the 28th successive ratings period. In addition, its whopping 16.5 (6+) actually matches what KESZ recorded in “Holiday” 2015. Posting a gain of one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), co-owned KNIX not only returns to the top ten (#11 to #8), “102.5 #1 for New Country” applies the brakes to four consecutive down or flat sweeps that produced a cumulative -.9 (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Three straight negative trends (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.4, 6+) produce a collective -1.4 for CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KOOL, which drops from fourth to ninth. Seven-tenths is unlucky for the following as all four are down by that margin: Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (third to fifth, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9 Today’s Best Music” (4.3 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); adult hits sibling KYOT “95.5 The Mountain” (#7 to #11, 6+); and The Yucaipa Companies’ adult contemporary KOAI “The Oasis” (2.1 – 1.4, #25, 6+). “The Mountain” is down or flat for the sixth consecutive time (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+), while “Arizona’s Real Rock” is without a gain for the fourth straight month (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.0, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are Bonneville talker KTAR-FM (3.4, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR (#19 to #22, 6+); Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” surrenders one-half share (#16 to #19, 6+). While KTAR-FM had been up or flat the past four monthlies (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), this is the fourth straight down or flat trend for “La Tricolor 103.5” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+).
7) Minneapolis – Honors for loftiest (6+) December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 increase for the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far goes to iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL. Faltering in five straight ratings periods for a combined -1.7 (8.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” rebounded with a +1.3 in December, but dwarfs that with a resounding +8.3 (7.6 – 15.9, 6+) to repeat at #1. The majority of the other Twin Cities outlets feel the pinch of that +8.3, including co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio FM 100.3 K-FAN,” which “Kool” evicted from the top spot in December when Minnesota Vikings flagship “K-FAN” tumbled by -1.1. Now, KFXN erodes by an additional -1.4 (8.5 – 7.4 – 6.0, 6+) and slides from second to fourth. With an 8.9 in October, “Sports Radio FM 100.3 K-FAN” boasted the best 6+-share in its PPM-history. Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW (sixth to eighth, 6+) returns nearly twice of December’s +.7 with a -1.3 to 4.6 (6+), ending three straight positive trends (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). Declining by nine-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station,” down for the fourth straight time (8.1 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock,” off for the third successive sweep (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+). Ironically, KDWB actually improves from fourth to third and KQRS inches up from fifth to fourth. Similarly, while Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” falters by another seven-tenths and has not had an increase since February (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), it advances from third to second. In these 11 straight sweeps without an increase, “KS-95” is a combined -3.8. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KTCZ “The Cities” duplicates December’s -.6 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, #11 to #12, 6+). Talk sibling KTLK-AM – which was without a loss the past six sweeps for a combined +1.2 (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+) – drops six-tenths as well and moves from #14 to #16. After adding one-tenth in December to halt five straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is also down by six-tenths (to 4.6, 6+) but is steady at #8. Having registered four successive declines that totaled a -1.4 (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” (flat at #13, 6+) picked up three-tenths in November; returned it in December; and now forfeits another one-half share (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). In addition to KMNB, adult hits cluster-mate KZJK “104.1 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (5.7 – 5.2, seven to sixth, 6+) and Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” (5.0 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+) decline by one-half share as well; “Jack” and “93-X” were -.5 and -.6, respectively, in December.
8) San Diego – Over and above posting a +4.6 to extend its string of up or flat trends to five and a 146% increase (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 9.1, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary-turned hot AC KYXY vaults from ninth to first. With a 7.5 (6+), KYXY finished first in the “Holiday” 2015 report as well. It succeeds Entercom-owned KXSN “Sunny 98.1” (5.5 – 5.2, -.3, first to second, 6+), which was on top in November and December. Regressing by six-tenths each are “Sunny” cluster-mate KSON “New Country” (4.6 – 4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad,” which registers its third consecutive decrease for a collective -1.7 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+); “Mas Variedad” falls from #10 to #11. Following November’s gain of seven-tenths that put it in a three-way tie at #7, KOGO duplicated the feat in December but the iHeartMedia talker – which prior to November had been in three-share range the previous 16 sweeps – falters by one-half share (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+), slipping from the runner-up slot to fourth. In three-share range for the fourteenth straight time, sibling KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” is off by two-tenths (3.8 – 3.6, 6+) but improves from #12 to #11. Following eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Midwest Television talker KFMB-AM drops three-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and segues from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Just ahead of it at #19 is Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative,” which is in 2.1 – 2.6 range (6+) for the fourteenth straight monthly (2.3 – 2.1, -.2, 6+).
9) Tampa – After slipping by one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (9.5 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV answers with an emphatic +3.4 to 12.7 (6+) as “Lite Favorites” is #1 for the 51st successive ratings period. At this time last year, “Lite Favorites” registered a 14.9 (“Holiday” 2015, 6+). Up for the third straight month netting a +1.3 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.1), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The JOY FM” leaps from tenth to fourth. Following four straight gains for a cumulative +1.3 (4.0 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Leader” surrenders virtually all of it (4.1 -1.2, 6+), spiraling from fourth to eighth. It is one-tenth ahead of its format rival, Beasley Media Group’s WQYK (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, seventh to ninth, 6+); “99.5 QYK” was -1.1 in December. This marks the third straight fluctuation of one-half share for co-owned Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” (#11 to #14, 6+), which is trending 3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 (6+). “Maxima” had been in 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) the previous ten survey periods. Off by one-half share as well is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” (4.4 – 3.9, 6+), drifting from seventh to tenth. After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle” is down by one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), but carries on in the runner-up position. One-tenth of a share separates the market’s two CHR outlets, with co-owned WPOI “Hot 101.5 – All The Hits” losing four-tenths (5.0 – 4.6, flat at #6, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WFLZ “Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” picks up one-tenth (4.3 – 4.4, unchanged at #7, 6+).
10) Denver – Repeating at #1, Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101 Real-Music-Variety” dials up its third straight gain and has more than doubled its 6+-share since October (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 11.6, 6+). KOSI is basically at the same spot it was this time last year when it was first with an 11.7 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). As a result of eroding by -1.3 in December, KTCL not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), “Modern Rock Channel 93-3” concluded four consecutive months at #1. The iHeartMedia property, however, rebounds with a +.9 (5.3 – 6.2, 6+) and carries on as runner-up to KOSI. Jumping from #13 to #9, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” improves by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+), pulling the plug on three straight negative trends that resulted in a combined -1.6 since September (5.2 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Trending 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 (October-November-December, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” sputters by nine-tenths to 4.8, slipping from fourth to fifth. In 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) six straight times entering the December sweep, KALC “Alice 105.9” registered a +.7 to 4.3 (6+), but the Entercom hot AC forfeits all of it plus one-tenth (4.3 – 3.5, -.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #13). Notching a -.8 as well is Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (4.6 – 3.8, #7 to #11, 6+), whose (6+) fluctuations in calendar year 2016 included +.7 (January); -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.7 (April); -.7 (June); +.7 (July); -.8 (October); and +.6 (November). Dipping from sixth to seventh, iHeartMedia classic rocker KRFX “The Fox” is off by six-tenths (4.7 – 4.1, 6+), while sibling KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (3.8 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+), Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” (#14 to #16, 6+), and public KUNC (1.0 – .5, #27, 6+) are all down by one-half share. KBPI is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the fourteenth successive sweep. A loss of six-tenths in November by “The Fan” halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). October’s 4.9 represents its most potent 6+ showing under PPM methodology, but it has now lost two full-shares in three straight downward sweeps (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).
11) Baltimore – The four most recent fluctuations for WLIF “Today’s 101.9” are +.5 (October 2016); -1.1 (November 2016); +1.1 (December 2016); and a walloping +7.0 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.8 – 8.3 – 7.2 – 8.3 – 15.3, 6+). The CBS Radio adult contemporary facility – which was first in “Holiday” 2015 with a 15.0 (6+) – proceeds from second to first. A -.4 in September 2016 by “Today’s 101.9” ended its string of successive increases – which netted a +1.1 – at three (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Exiting the #1 position after just one month is Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” (8.5 – 8.3, -.2, first to second, 6+). Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), co-owned WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” adds one-tenth to 8.2 (6+) and remains at #3. As a result of a -1.2 in July, “Magic 95.9” exited the top spot. Before that, “Magic 95.9” put together four straight increases for a combined +3.7 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 8.2 – 9.8, 6+). In fourth-place the past seven ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” falls to fifth and has surrendered a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+). While Hearst Television’s WIYY falters by -1.1 (6.0 – 4.9, 6+), “98 Rock” actually climbs from fifth to fourth. Stuck on 4.3 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by seven-tenths to 3.6 (6+), sliding from seventh to eighth. Albeit off by six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+), Shamrock’s WZBA “100.7 The Bay Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is steady at #13.
12) St. Louis – Having trotted out a +.9 in December, KEZK tacks on a +5.3 to cruise from sixth to first with its fourth successive progressive trend (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). The CBS Radio adult contemporary outlet was #1 in “Holiday” 2015 as well with a 14.8 (6+). After improving in three straight ratings periods for a combined +2.2 (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6, 6+), Hubbard Radio adult hits WARH “The Arch” spirals by -1.7 to 5.9, drifting from first to fifth. Up a combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU relinquished a -1.6 in December, but bounces back in grand style with a +3.8 (6.1 – 9.9, 6+), bumping up to second from fifth. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. Stymied on 6.1 (6+) in October and November, CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” notched a +.5 in December but erodes by three times that margin in “Holiday” (6.6 – 5.1, -1.5, 6+) slipping from third to sixth. After five straight increases for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis talker KFTK tumbles by -1.2 (3.0, #14 to #16, 6+). Forfeiting December’s +.6 and an additional three-tenths as well (4.5, -.9, seventh to ninth, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KWMU has its string of consecutive upward trends which produced a +1.2 snapped at three (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+). Registering decreases of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep (5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, #12 to #13, 6+) and co-owned KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull #1 For New Country” (3.9 – 3.3, flat at #15, 6+). Not only is KMOX without an increase for the sixth straight ratings period and a cumulative -3.1 in that stretch (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+), the CBS Radio talker departs the top ten (#10 to #12).
Breitbart News Network Adds Three Journalists to DC Bureau. The news organization announces the addition of three Washington, DC journalists to its staff. Sam Chi, formerly with RealClear Politics; Kristina Wong, formerly with The Hill; and DC policy analyst Sean Moran are now staffers with Breitbart News Network in Washington. Sam Chi is named editor. During his time as a senior editor at RealClear Politics, he oversaw the launch of sites, including World, Science, Religion and History, as well as revamping Sports and Books. Kristina Wong is named Pentagon and Department of Defense reporter. In addition to her time at The Hill, she also served with the Washington Times as a national security correspondent. New policy reporter Sean Moran previously was a policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Breitbart News Network president and CEO Larry Solov says, “2016 proved to be an exciting and unprecedented year of growth for Breitbart News. 2017 promises to be another where we are front and center, bringing our hard-hitting brand of journalism to our 45 million – and growing – monthly visitors.” Breitbart also presents the daily radio show “Breitbart News Daily,” broadcast on SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel Monday through Friday 6:00 am to 9:00 am, Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.
WGN, Chicago Unveils New Traffic App. It’s called Traffix Chicago, and it comes from Madison, Wisconsin-based TrafficCast Inc. WGN says that the app is designed for Chicago commuters and “is personalized and easy to use as it calculates the fastest three routes for any inputted destination. Users get accurate, real-time data and tips coupled with audio traffic reports pertaining to the roads within a given journey.” In the press release, there’s no mention of how WGN will monetize the app, but it’s assumed that ads will be incorporated into the mix. WGN Radio VP of programming Todd Manley says, “On-demand is everything and Traffix Chicago gives Chicagoans the data they want at the exact moment they need it.”
TagStation to Launch The Dial Report. The Dial Report is being called a “digital measurement report of analogue radio usage.” The service comes from TagStation, the power behind NextRadio. The firm says it is “the most advanced radio campaign measurement tool to date.” The Dial Report provides “robust analytics and insights about radio ROI, by measuring campaign results and listener behavior for advertisers that enhance their on-air radio campaign with the NextRadio app.” Saying that since brands and agencies expect radio performance measurement data on par with that of digital, the new Dial Report provides location-based data, demographics and radio listening data within 48 hours of airing spots. Dial Report users can drill down into MSAs and/or device activity to uncover campaign listens, views, interactions, listener proximity and in-store traffic. NextRadio president Paul Brenner adds, “NextRadio is a game-changer for the radio industry because it provides meaningful radio data that agencies and brands can use to prove the value radio spots bring to their marketing efforts. Being able to see the proximity of a listener is unprecedented in the radio industry. Brands are taking notice and asking how they can get these insights.”
PodcastOne Launches Larry McReynolds Show. This new NASCAR podcast is titled, “Larry Mac: America’s Crew Chief,” and stars Hall of Fame crew chief and NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the new show, with fresh episodes each Wednesday, will take NASCAR fans inside the pits to experience, first-hand, how the most successful NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, team owners and sponsors compete for the NASCAR Cup Championship. Each week, fans will look back at Larry’s career, hear interviews with the top players in racing, receive up-to-date breaking news from all the current NASCAR stars, and have the opportunity to ask Larry their own questions via social media.
Trump to Order Mexico Wall Built, ‘Alternative Facts’ Flap, Trump Restarts Keystone Pipeline Process, GOP’s ObamaCare Plans, California Secession Poll, Oscar Nominees, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24). President Donald Trump announces order to begin process of building wall between U.S. and Mexico; the ongoing flap over disagreements between the Trump press office and the media concerning “facts” versus “alternative facts”; Trump okays the Keystone Pipeline project that the Obama Administration shut down; the Republicans’ plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; a poll reports that one-third of Californians favor seceding from the United States; the list of nominees for Academy Awards is revealed; and the matchup between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHM Partners with ART19 for Podcast Distribution and Data Expansion. This new relationship between iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio and podcast tech firm ART19 puts ART19 podcasts on the iHeartRadio platform while providing podcast publishers with detailed analytics. iHeartRadio SVP of podcasting Chris Peterson says, “A big issue facing the podcast industry today is limited measurement. With iHeartRadio’s extensive pool of listener data and ART19’s distribution technology, we will be the first platform to provide podcasters with detailed analytics. Together, we’re excited to implement a new, robust ad-tech solution that is sure to drive the growth of the podcast industry.” Using ART19’s application program interface, podcasters will receive more detailed listener information about when users start, stop, and skip during an episode, as well as listener demographics.
iHeartMedia Taps John Peake to Program KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles. Most recently serving iHeartMedia as regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets, John Peake is named program director for the company’s adult contemporary KOST and hot AC KBIG “104.3 MYfm in Los Angeles. iHeartMedia EVP of programming, West Division Andrew Jeffries comments, “John is an amazing talent coach, incredible music head and strong leader who has helped develop some enduring radio brands. We’re thrilled to now have his talent and experience in Los Angeles and we know that KOST and ‘104.3 MYfm’ will continue their immense success under his leadership.” The company says Peake takes over for Michael La Crosse, who will transition into an advisory role that will include working on key projects in the company’s West Division. The company will release more details on his new role at a later date. Also, iHeartMedia San Diego/Riverside will announce its new regional senior vice president of programming soon.
New Additions to Air Staff at ‘101WKQX’ Chicago. There are three additions to the air staff at Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. First, the station brings Christine “Nicci” Nunez aboard to serve as executive producer for the “Brian & Lou in the Morning” show. She was most recently serving as producer of “Drew Garabo Live” at Cox Media’s WHPT, Tampa. Second, the station names Mishell Livio a member of the air staff for part-time, weekend duties. Finally, the station is working with comic, writer and weekend personality Greg Beharrell on a “unique Saturday night specialty show to be launched on WKQX in the coming weeks.” Beharrell also hosts weekend shows on the company’s Los Angeles classic rocker KLOS. WKQX program director (and company VP of programming, rock) Troy Hanson comments, “All three of these appointments signify our ongoing commitment at Cumulus to put talented people in positions to grow both personally and professionally. Both our audience and advertisers will benefit from bringing Nicci, Greg and Mishell into the creative fold of WKQX.”
Round One of Holiday PPM Data Released. Information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2016 PPM ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017. View all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.
1) New York – On top for the sixth straight time, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” adds five full-shares to December’s +1.9 (6.4 – 8.3 – 13.3, 6+), propelling it to one-half share ahead of where it was this time last year (12.8, “Holiday” 2015, 6+). Off three-tenths to 6.4 (6+) in November, WLTW ended three successive up-trends (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Gaining nine-ninths and rocketing from sixth to second is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (4.6 – 5.5, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since July’s 5.6. Slipping from fourth to fifth, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+). In addition to “Z-100,” Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ (3.0 – 2.3, #11 to #17, 6+) is also off by seven-tenths in the “Holiday” report. After three straight up or flat monthlies that netted a +.7 (4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ “Q-104.3” drops six-tenths to 4.4 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU falters by one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, eighth to ninth 6+).
2) Los Angeles – Sporting an impressive +4.3 (6.4 – 10.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream AC KOST is the City of Angels’ trendsetter for the fifteenth successive ratings period, although “Coast 103.5” is -1.6 from a year ago (12.3, “Holiday” 2015, 6+). Down by two-tenths each in back-to-back sweeps (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), “Coast 103.5” gained one-tenth in November and was +.9 in December. An increase of seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) not only elevates Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO from #18 to #13, “Go Country 105 FM” has its finest 6+-performance since July 2015’s 2.9. Advancing by one-half share (.5 – 1.0, 6+) is Entravision Spanish contemporary KSSE “La Suavecita 107.1,” which checks in at #30. Despite forfeiting December’s +.9 in its entirety (4.7 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to the December 2016 sweep, the 6+ trend for “My-FM” was 4.7 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7. Declining by seven-tenths each are co-owned talker KFI (3.1, seventh to tenth, 6+) and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (4.8 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). In the previous six ratings periods, “K-Earth 101” trended 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 (6+). Prior to the “Holiday” sweep, KFI had three straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+); 3.8 in December 2016 was its best 6+-performance since May 2013 (also 3.8). Up four-tenths between September and November (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), co-owned alternative KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7” dropped one-tenth in December and now falters by six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, 6+) as it departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Without an increase for the ninth successive sweep (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) producing a combined -1.3, CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted KROQ moves from #23 to #22. Locked on 3.7 (6+) in November and December, adult hits sibling KCBS-FM “Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips by one-half share to 3.2, yet actually improves from #8 to a three-way tie at #7. In a somewhat similar vein, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” drops two-tenths (to 4.7, 6+), snapping its string of up-trends at four (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), yet inches up from third to a second-place tie with “My-FM.” Climbing from #10 to that three-way logjam at #7, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has been extremely consistent the last seven sweeps (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+).
3) Chicago – Entering the December sweep down or flat the previous 11 ratings periods for a collective loss of 11 full-shares (13.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), WLIT “93.9 My-FM” dialed up a +3.4 to 6.3 (6+), zooming from tenth to second. Now, the iHeartMedia hot AC more than doubles December’s 6.3 (13.7, +7.4, 6+) and progresses to #1, displacing CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+), which had been in first-place the past three months. Chicago Bears flagship WBBM-AM was tied for the lead in September and had been on top from January through May. WLIT notched a 13.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2015. The station most impacted by the +7.4 of “My-FM” is Hubbard Radio’s similarly-formatted WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which regresses by one full-share (5.4 – 4.4, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. “Mix” had been up in consecutive monthlies (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, October-November-December, 6+); prior to November 2016, “Mix” had been at #3 the previous seven sweeps. Trending 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 (6+) since August, adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” is not only down by eight-tenths to 1.6 (6+), it falls off the top 20 (#15 to #24). The market’s country share shrinks by six-tenths as iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, 6+) catches CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” (2.3 – 1.9, -.4, 6+) at #19. Owing to a one-half share gain (.7 – 1.2, 6+), Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WMBI “From the Word to Life” finishes at #27. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 33rd straight monthly (2.7 – 2.4, -.3, 6+) Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE inches into the top ten (#11 to a three-way tie at #10). In the talk arena, Tribune Media Company’s WGN (4.2 – 3.7, unchanged at #5, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM (#24, 6+) are each off by one-half share. It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WLS-AM (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). Just one-share is the “Holiday” 2016 difference between ranker #9 and ranker #22 (6+).
4) San Francisco – The combination of a +4.4 by KOIT-FM (4.8 – 9.2, 6+) and a loss of seven-tenths by Northern California Public Broadcasting outlet KQED (7.1 – 6.4, 6+) results in KOIT-FM shifting from third to first and KQED moving from first to second. Back-to-back declines by KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” in October and November produced a combined -.5 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary answered with a strong +1.4 in December. This is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2015 (10.4). Meanwhile, the -.7 for KQED halts seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. After gaining one-half share in December, Alpha Media-owned San Jose adult contemporary KBAY tacks on eight-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and elevates from a three-way tie at #18 to a tie at #11. Conversely, faltering by eight-tenths is KCBS-AM (5.9, 6+), which segues from second to third and has its string of successive gains ended at four (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+); the CBS Radio all-news operation was +1.4 since August.
5) Dallas – Abandoning its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format), iHeartMedia’s KDGE “Star 102.1” more than doubles December’s 3.3 to 7.7 (+4.4, 6+). Over and above that, “Star” hurtles from tenth all the way to first. It is quite the meteoric rise for KDGE, which was at #21 in November. “Star” has a nine-tenths advantage over CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV (steady at #2), which posts a +1.4 (5.4 – 6.8, 6+). Departing the #1 slot and falling to third in light of a -.9 is KDGE’s CHR cluster-mate KHKS “Kiss-FM” (5.7 – 4.8, 6+). “Kiss” succeeded Cumulus Media’s country formatted KPLX “The Wolf” at #1 in December; “The Wolf” is off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+). Mirroring “Kiss,” KPLX talk sibling WBAP is also off by nine-tenths (3.3, 6+) and falls from #6 out of the top ten (#11). WBAP had been up the past three sweeps for a net gain of one full-share (3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths each are CBS Radio adult hits and regional Mexican cluster-mates KJKK “Jack-FM” (3.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) and KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (#16 to #22, 6+). “Jack” had been up the past three ratings periods for a combined +.9 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), while the most recent (6+) trends for “La Grande” are 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7. Stuck on 2.7 (6+) in November and December, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA drops six-tenths to 2.1 (6+), slipping from #16 to #20. Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media sports outlet KTCK “The Ticket” (3.2 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and its format rival, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “The Fan” (#14 to #18, 6+), as well as iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (4.0 – 3.5, steady at #8, 6+). In December, “The Ticket” had its string of three straight gains come to an end (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+) – it was a combined +.9 in that stretch. This represents the third straight dip for “The Fan” for a cumulative -1.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By dropping four-tenths this time last month, “Now” curtailed seven straight up or flat ratings periods that netted a +.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+). While unchanged at #4, cluster-mate KZPS “Classic Rock Lone Star 92.5” has a loss of two-tenths to 4.7 (6+), ending three successive increases for a combined +1.1 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+).
6) Houston – Not only does KODA “Sunny 99.1” register its fourth straight up-trend for a cumulative +3.8 (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 10.3, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility repeats at #1. “Sunny 99.1,” which reached 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2015, ranked first in 23 consecutive ratings periods before dipping to second in August. Applying the brakes to four consecutive ratings periods without an increase for a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” posts a +.6 to 4.9 (6+) and rises from seventh to fifth. Dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101 FM” slides from sixth to seventh. Off by a collective -1.7 since July (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” regained seven-tenths in November; lost six-tenths in December; and now forfeits another one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+) as it segues from seventh to ninth. Before slipping to #7 in October, “The New Q” had been in fifth-place the previous four sweeps. In a three-way tie at #10 (down from #9 in December) is its format challenger – CBS Radio’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” (3.7, -.3, 6+), which snaps a string of three straight gains for a combined +.9 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). Returning the one-half share it gained in December, iHeartMedia talker KTRH exits the top ten (3.5, #9 to #14) and has its streak of successive up or flat trends (which netted a +.7) end at three (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+); co-owned KODA-HD3 is down by one-half share as well (.6 – .1, #34, 6+).
7) Philadelphia – Flaunting the loftiest 6+-share of any PPM-market station whose data was released Tuesday, Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 FM” explodes by +6.8 to 17.9 (6+), bettering its (16.3, 6+) mark of a year ago (“Holiday” 2015) by +1.6. Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), “Today’s 101.1 FM” dropped one-tenth in November, only to come roaring back in December with a +3.6. It is #1 for the fifth consecutive monthly. A number of Philly stations are impacted by that +6.8, most notably iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (#11 to #13), which in fourth straight losses (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+) has lost nearly half its 6+-share. Absorbing losses of six-tenths each are CBS Radio all-news KYW (4.7, steady at #5, 6+); Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Rocks” (unchanged at #6, 6+); and WHYY (2.3, #16 to #18, 6+). KYW had been up or flat the past four times (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) for a net +.9. Formerly owned by Greater Media, WMMR was -.8 in December and is off for the third successive sweep (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+) for a collective -1.7. In three straight increases, public WHYY accumulated a combined eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (5.4 – 4.9, steady at #4, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+); CBS Radio talker WPHT (3.4 – 2.9, unchanged at #12, 6+); and co-owned WZMP (2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). In December, “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” was -.6, thus curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CHR WZMP “Amp” – which was trending 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+) – transitioned to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” Without a gain for the sixth successive time (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” nonetheless improves from eighth to seventh.
8) Atlanta – Down or flat the past six sweeps for a collective loss of -1.5 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” roars back with a +2.5 to 7.1, leaping from seventh to second. This is the strongest 6+-performance for “The Fish” in exactly two years (7.6, “Holiday” 2014). It trails Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM (10.2 – 7.9, -2.3, 6+) – #1 for the twelfth straight month – by eight-tenths. While WSB-AM’s -2.3 is the largest (6+) decline by any PPM-market station whose data was released Tuesday, its 10.2 in December was the station’s best-ever (6+) performance. Its previous record was achieved in October 2016 with a +1.2 to 10.1. Enjoying its sixth straight monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.4 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” climbs from tenth to ninth. A gain of six-tenths (3.0 – 3.6, 6+) lifts CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” from #16 to #13. On the other hand, iHeartMedia country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.2 – 2.6, 6+, #14 to #16, 6+) and regional Mexican cluster-mate WBZY “El Patron 105.3” (1.6 – 1.0, #20 to #24, 6+) are off by six-tenths. After posting a +.7 in November, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” replicates December’s -.5 (5.2 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), dropping from fourth to fifth. Unchanged at #27, iHeartMedia’s WGST “640 Talk Radio” is locked on .4 for the fifth consecutive ratings period.
9) Long Island – Two outlets appearing in this market notch December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 increases of at least three full-shares: Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (5.8 – 9.0, +3.2, second to first, 6+) and iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM (4.2 – 7.8, +3.6, sixth to second, 6+); WALK-FM gained seven-tenths in December. Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), “Lite FM” rebounded with a +.9 in December; 7.8 is its best 6+- showing in Long Island since 7.9 in the “Holiday” 2015 report. Having registered eleven successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, New York City CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” spirals by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+) and slides to third. Following three straight declines that totaled a combined -.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Z-100” posted a +.6 in November to 6.6. A -.3 in August erased four straight monthlies where “Z-100” was up or flat (5.8 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Without a decrease in the past seven sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio all-news WINS falters by one full-share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#5 to #11). This is the 25th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media talker WABC (2.5, #13 to #16, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.6 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+). WABC had posted three successive increases for a collective +.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Following 17 straight monthlies in two-share range (6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drops one-half share to 1.7 and falls out of the top 20 (#19 to #22, 6+). The stream of Fordham University’s WFUV disappears from print after logging a 1.0 (6+) in November and a .7 in December (6+).
10) Riverside – Without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective -1.2 (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” breaks out a +.7 to 5.7 and jumps from fourth to second. Progressing by six-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “Family Friendly 89.7” halts three consecutive mini-slides (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Not only is KLYY “Jose” up or flat for the fourth straight time for a collective +1.5 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+), the Entravision Spanish adult hits outlet is #1 for the fourteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. After seven straight positive or flat trends for a cumulative gain of nearly three full-shares (3.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-LOVE 107.5” (third to fourth) surrenders a -1.2 to 4.8 (6+). Dating back to May, “K-LOVE” nearly doubled its 6+-share. Trending 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 (6+) since July, Spanish adult hits sibling KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” rang up a +.7 in December but relinquishes all of it (1.4 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). This represents the third successive one-half share loss by Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+), which drops from second to third. It had been in the runner-up slot the past six ratings periods. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). For the eleventh consecutive time, CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#23 to #22) has a .1; four other stations have a .1 as well.
11) San Jose – Adult contemporary boasts a #1/#2 finish and piles up 6.5 (6+) shares between Entercom’s KOIT-FM (4.4 – 8.4, +4.0, #5 to #1, 6+) and Alpha Media-owned KBAY (+2.5, steady at #2, 6+). With a 9.2 (6+), KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 in San Francisco as well. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, KBAY is a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+) – yet – on Christmas Day (12/25) at 5:00 pm, it ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies (“94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits”). Ousted at #1 after three straight months there and dropping to third is KCBS-AM, which spirals by -1.5 after December’s +1.0 (6.9 – 7.9 – 6.4, 6+). The CBS Radio all-news operation had been up the past five sweeps netting a +3.5 (4.4 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.9, 6+). Frozen on 1.7 (6+) in September, October, and November, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” sputtered by seven-tenths in December but regains one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (1.7 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), climbing from #24 to #21. Off by one full-share (3.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” skids from seventh to tenth. Sputtering by seven-tenths (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” dips from sixth to seventh. Cumulus Media talk siblings KGO (3.0 – 2.4, #11 to #14, 6+) and KSFO (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #20, 6+) each erode by six-tenths. For the seventeenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 3.0, -.6, eighth to ninth, 6+) is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+).
12) Middlesex – Having logged a combined +3.5 in New York City; Long Island; and Middlesex (November 2016 – December 2016, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” more than triples that accomplishment with a collective +12.1 (December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016). “Lite FM” ranks first in both New York City and Middlesex and is second in Long Island. Advancing from third in December, “Lite FM” enjoys its fourth straight Middlesex up or flat trend, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). Following twelve consecutive ratings period at #1, Townsquare Media talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (7.5 – 6.8, – -.7, 6+) assumes the runner-up slot. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths the following month. In September, “New Jersey 101.5” wiped out an August -.6 with an increase of seven-tenths. Owing to a four-tenths gain in July, it halted four straight negative trends that had resulted in a combined -1.4 (9.1 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.1 – 7.7, 6+). On the heels of December’s +.6, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “93.1 Amor” adds a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.8, 6+) and zooms from tenth to fifth. Checking in at #25 is Emmis’ WLIB “Your Home for Gospel, Inspiration, and Information,” which in November 2016, December 2016, and “Holiday” 2016 is trending .1 – .4 – .9 (6+). After three consecutive gains totaling a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” relinquishes nine-tenths to 2.6 (#11 to #15, 6+). Having improved in December by one-half share, iHeartMedia talker WOR (3.0 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+) and Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (3.5 – 2.9, a three-way tie at #11 to #13, 6+) regress by eight-tenths and six-tenths, respectively. The +.5 by “Nash FM” in December ended three successive negative trends for a combined -.9 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths by WOR in November curtailed three straight gains in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 3.2, 6+) that nearly doubled its 6+-share. Faltering by one-half share each in “Holiday” 2016 are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source For R&B” (5.9 – 5.4, second to third, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.6 – 2.1, #18 to #20, 6+).
Herman Cain to End Radio Syndication in 2017; Remains on WSB-AM, Atlanta and Four CMG News/Talkers. WSB-AM, Atlanta-based talk show host Herman Cain – currently heard on some 100 additional affiliate stations – will end his national syndication in the New Year and will focus on his work at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM and four other O&O news/talk outlets (WDBO, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville). WSB-AM program director Pete Spriggs tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, “Syndication isn’t as lucrative as it used to be…Herman is one of the most amazing talents I have ever worked with. It’s not easy to let go of national syndication. Everyone has an ego. But, he understands the business reasons. He immediately started thinking about how this can help his digital assets including hermancain.com.” TALKERS magazine publisher and editor Michael Harrison comments, “In this day and age of podcasts and radio apps, you don’t need to be on 100-some-odd stations to have a national footprint in media. You can be nationally famous on one station because of the way online broadcasting works. People are way more sophisticated in their listening habits than they used to be.” Read the AJC story here.
KCMO, Kansas City Drops Local Rob Carson Morning Show. Talk show host Rob Carson notified his listeners via a Facebook post that his gig with Cumulus Media at Kansas City news/talker KCMO-AM is over as the result of budget cuts at the station. Carson joined the station in January of 2015. Carson says his ratings were excellent and that he’s thankful to management at KCMO for the opportunity. “I’m quite proud of what I did at KCMO. I know this was purely budgetary. I feel bad that I won’t be able to share the message of my local charities including friendsinserviceofheroes.com, CMN, Tamale Kitchen, City Union Mission and others. My mantra: Entertain, inform and motivate people to do good. I won’t be out long.” In April of this year, the station laid off talk host Greg Knapp, also for budgetary reasons. Both Knapp and Carson climbed aboard KCMO in 2015.
Former New York Giant Chris Canty Joins WEPN, New York’s ‘Hahn & Humpty’ Show. The early afternoon “Hahn & Humpty” program – featuring Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro – is adding former New York Giants star Chris Canty as a personality. The ESPN O&O says that Canty will continue to serve as a host for the Sunday morning “NY’s Game Day” program. Canty says “I couldn’t be more excited to join the ‘98.7 ESPN’ team. After spending my ‘first career’ on the field, I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and perspectives with New York sports fans.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Round Three of November 2016 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
The Death of Fidel Castro, Stein Recount/Trump Voter Fraud Claim, Trump Transition, the Thanksgiving Holiday, Standing Rock Protests, College Football Playoff Scenarios, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at age 90; the move by Green Party candidate Jill Stein to challenge the presidential election results in several states with the goal to turn the election victory over to Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump’s claims that voter fraud cost him the popular vote; the transition of the Trump Administration; the Thanksgiving holiday; the protests over the gas pipeline at Standing Rock; the weekend’s college football games and the possible playoff scenarios; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
PodcastOne and Southern Cross Austereo to Form PodcastOne Australia. This venture between Southern Cross Austereo and PodcastOne will create new platform called PodcastOne Australia. Under the terms of the deal, SCA will operate PodcastOne Australia as the exclusive partner in Australia and New Zealand with select SCA podcasts made available in the U.S. on the PodcastOne platform. In a press release, it’s noted that SCA “reaches 95% of the country with assets in television, radio and digital. PodcastOne is the largest advertiser-supported podcast network in the United States, delivering more than 200 programs, with over 350 hours of original weekly episodes, which were downloaded 1.5 billion times last year.” It’s expected that PodcastOne Australia will be up and running early in 2017. SCA CEO Grant Blackley says, “I am thrilled that SCA has this opportunity to be partnering with PodcastOne. This partnership gives us the ability to tap into the expertise, experience and success of the leading commercial podcast company in the U.S. market, where the podcasting industry is a number of years ahead of audio, on-demand in Australia. We recognize the enormous growth potential of podcasting, both internationally and domestically, and look forward to further building this vast platform with the best international and unique Australian content. SCA is striving to be at the forefront of developing the Australian podcasting industry and its talent.” The companies say “a dedicated, stand-alone PodcastOne Australia team of executives is being structured within the company to nurture new talent, commission new content, adapt existing content, develop existing talent, undertake technical production and monetize the podcasts.” Grant Tothill, currently head of strategic partnerships at SCA, is being appointed to the newly created position of SCA head of podcasting to run the new business. Pictured above are (from l-r): John Kelly, COO, SCA; Jim Berk, CEO, PodcastOne; Grant Blackley; Norm Pattiz, founder and executive chairman, PodcastOne; and Grant Tothill.
Odds & Sods. WIP-FM, Philadelphia will continue to serve as the flagship radio station for Philadelphia Phillies baseball after the club and CBS RADIO agreed to an extension of their broadcast partnership deal. The Phillies and CBS have been partners since 2004. CBS RADIO SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We’re thrilled that SportsRadio 94WIP is continuing the partnership as the radio home of Phillies baseball. The Phillies have become part of the fabric of WIP and we’re excited for the 2017 season to begin.”…..KFI, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the charitable organization Caterina’s Club, is holding the sixth annual KFI PastaThon. The event is an on-air fundraiser to help feed local children in need. It’ll take place Thursday (12/1) at Bruno Serato’s White House Restaurant in Anaheim with monies raised helping to provide a nightly, balanced meal to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. KFI personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. will be on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen to cook healthy meals.
WOWO, Fort Wayne Legend Bob Chase Dead at 90. Fort Wayne market radio legend Bob Chase died on Thanksgiving (11/24) at the age of 90 – one year after retiring from WOWO. According to the obit on WOWO’s website, Chase joined the station in 1953 and worked there until he retired from his role calling Fort Wayne Komets hockey last season. He served the station as sports director until 2009. The station notes that, during his career at WOWO, Chase “would also interview many artists as part of the original ‘Fabulous Four,’ including a young Elvis Presley. With Westinghouse using WOWO as a test market, Bob became one of the earliest ‘disc jockeys’ in the country as the station broke away from satellite programming in favor of playing their own music.”
Longtime WGNU, St. Louis Personality Richard ‘Onion’ Horton Dead at 80. Former St. Louis radio personality Richard “Onion” Horton died on November 24 at age 80 after a battle with Alzheimer ’s disease. According to an obituary from St. Louis Public Radio, Horton was a polarizing figure in the community who was very popular with his mostly black audience. In the obit, Gloria Ross writes that Horton was not afraid to talk about race. In fact, the battle against racial disparity was one of his most ardent causes. “Mr. Horton railed against ‘the white man’ and ‘the system,’ but he reserved his most scathing critiques for fellow blacks. When low black voter turnout sank a public school bond issue in 1987, he told the Post-Dispatch it was ‘the most sickening thing I have ever seen from the black community.’” Read the story here.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Staff of TALKERS magazine. The staff of TALKERS magazine wishes you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend. The offices of TALKERS will be closed from 3:00 pm ET Wednesday (11/23) until Monday morning (11/28). During this time, TALKERS will report any urgent news bulletins, should they be necessary. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
Derrick Cole Named SVP of Programming for iHM Wilmington. Promoted from iHeartMedia’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania station group to the SVP of programming role for its Wilmington, Delaware cluster is Derrick “DC” Cole. He will oversee programming at country WDSD, Dover; adult hits WRDX, Smyrna “92.9 TOM-FM”; news/talk WILM, Wilmington; news/talk WDOV, Dover; and sports talk WWTX “Fox Sports 1290.” Cole will continue to program CHR WLAN, Lancaster and Spanish WLAN-AM “Rumba 1390.” iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the Allentown-Harrisburg region, Jeff Hurley, states, “Derrick’s one of our best up-and-coming programmers. We’ve seen record-setting numbers since he began programming WLAN four years ago. We’re excited for this opportunity to expand his role within our region.”
The Trump Phenomenon and Sports Talk Radio. A piece by The Ringer editor-at-large Bryan Curtis examines the similarities between President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the tactics used by sports talk radio hosts. Curtis suggests that Trump is like a sports talk host for three reasons: First, he reduces “complex issues to simple sound bites”; second, he’s an elite who “remembers to talk like a plebe”; and third, he overwhelms “the audience with opinions.” In this piece, Curtis compares Trump to Colin Cowherd and others. Read it all here.
Nielsen Audio Releases Round Two of November 2016 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome has his Irvine, California home on the market. The Los Angeles Times reports that the nine-year-old Spanish-style mansion is listed for $13.995 million. Rome’s radio program is syndicated by CBS Sports Radio Network…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show adds new affiliate KZWY-FM, Sheridan, Wyoming.
Hurley in the Morning Charity Makes Educational Exhibit Possible. WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley’s charitable organization – the Harry Hurley in the Morning Charity – recently donated $5,000 to the Atlantic City Aquarium in Historic Gardner’s Basin. The funds helped 5th grade gifted and talented students at the Dr. Joyanne D. Miller School in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey create the new Mysteries of the Ocean educational exhibit. The exhibit was conceived and designed by teacher Kelly Hunt’s students. The adults pictured here with the class are (from l-r): Hurley, Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation president Chris Seher, Hunt, Atlantic City Mayor Donald A. Guardian, and Lisa Schall, assistant executive director/CFO and interim director of operations at the Atlantic City Aquarium.
Trump Transition/Haley to Be UN Ambassador, Trump News Meetings/Pence-‘Hamilton’ Incident, U.S.-Russia Relations, Future of ObamaCare, Thanksgiving Holiday, the State of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Attacks on Police Officers, U.S. Immigration Policy, Facebook’s Chinese Censorship Tool, Kanye West Hospitalized, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The Trump Administration transition and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley chosen as Ambassador to the UN; President-Elect Donald Trump’s meeting with the editors of The New York Times and TV news execs; VP-Elect Mike Pence’s encounter with the cast of “Hamilton”; questions about the relations between the U.S. and Russia; how Trump will deal with the Affordable Care Act; this week’s Thanksgiving holiday; concerns over the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; the spate of attacks on police officers; the future of immigration policy in America; Facebook creates censorship tool for Chinese use of the social app; hip hop star Kanye West is hospitalized after bizarre political rants at concerts and cancellation of tour; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cooke on Talkers TV: Make Money with Endorsement Spots. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this brief-yet-insightful video underlining some of the key aspects of – and reasons for – well-done endorsement spots for local advertisers. Cooke notes that especially “if your competition is robotic and you’re doing solid, local radio, you have the advantage.” He adds, “YES YOU CAN become ‘indispensable’ to your station, even with all the changes radio has gone through, and with more coming.” He reiterates advice from Katz Media Group EVP of strategy Stacy Lynn Schulman, who says, “Broadcast advertising that is ‘localized’ stands out because the velocity and variety of digital interactions today have multiplied our level of distraction and numbed us to the constant barrage of retargeted, ‘personalized’ digital ads.” Watch the video on Talkers TV in the upper right-hand of this page.
Keith Larson Exits WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Ahead of Entercom’s taking over the Greater Media news/talk duo (along with hot AC WLNK and sports WFNZ in a spin-off deal from Beasley Broadcast Group‘s acquisition of Greater Media’s radio stations), 14-year WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host Keith Larson is let go from the station. The Charlotte Observer reports that Larson and news director Jim Barroll – with the station for 31 years – left after their shifts yesterday (10/31). Larson, who hosted the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show, told the Observer, “There have been ups and downs but it’s been absolutely fabulous at WBT. I would have done another 14. I’m very blessed that I’ve always had other interests and other investments. It’s a drag but life goes on.” Larson tells the paper he will expand his Larson Advertising and Media Associates business, is a minority partner in a Zen Massage franchise and also hopes to continue writing his Charlotte Observer column. Read the Observer piece here.
Matt Hanlon to Head New Charlotte Cluster for Entercom. Former Citadel Midwest regional manager Matt Hanlon is named the new vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Charlotte stations. The company notes that while at Citadel, Hanlon “launched a sports network and a news network creating new revenue in Michigan and maximized both ratings and sales across local, regional, national and non-spot. Hanlon began his career in broadcasting as a media buyer for Backer & Spielvogel, vice president of stations at Katz Media Group and vice president, director of sales at AM/FM.” Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “We are super excited to welcome Matt to Entercom and to the Charlotte team. Matt has terrific experience in news, talk, sports, syndication, working with big personalities and making a difference in the community – all of which make him a great fit for Charlotte and these iconic brands.” As noted above, the new Entercom Charlotte cluster includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ and hot AC WLNK.
Beasley Names New Market Managers for Detroit and Fayetteville. Replacing Steve Chessare as vice president and market manager for its newly acquired Detroit station group is Mac “Edwards” (McTindal), and moving up to fill Edwards’ role at the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster is Erika Beasley. Edwards takes over the cluster just acquired from the Greater Media deal. It includes rock WRIF, rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce,” and classic rock WCSX. Beasley EVP/COO Brian Beasley comments, “After 25 years of dedicated service to Beasley’s Fayetteville market, Mac will bring his wealth of experience to our new Detroit cluster. Mac has worked with Beasley in positions from program director to air personality to operations manager and he has served as Fayetteville’s award-winning market manager since 2007. We’re moving forward on our path to success in Detroit as Mac takes the helm of these iconic stations.” Erika Beasley has been serving the company as general sales manager of WQYK, Tampa since January 2015. She states, “With Fayetteville’s established, veteran market manager Mac Edwards as my predecessor, I know I will have huge shoes to fill! I am absolutely prepared for this new challenge and welcome this new level of responsibility. My sincere appreciation goes to the entire executive management team for showing abiding faith in my leadership abilities. I am excited about my opportunity in Fayetteville and am anxious to get to work with my new team!”
WPHT, Philadelphia Host Dom Giordano Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the longest-running and most highly respected major market local news/talkers in America, Dom Giordano of CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Giordano, a moderate conservative with libertarian leanings, objectively discusses the impact that the election of 2016 (with its disruptive Donald Trump factor) has had on most of the industry’s news/talkers. Harrison says, “This conversation is a fitting way for this media-based series to wrap up the 2016 pre-election era. Dom Giordano is one of those rare players in today’s talk media who seeks truth (at least as he earnestly sees it) – even if it comes at the expense of victory. We need more of that kind of thinking on all ends of the political spectrum in America. It’ll make better radio, not to mention a better country.” To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Nielsen: News/Talk Benefitting from Election Cycle. The news/talk format is seeing the expected spike in PPM ratings that happens every four years as the result of the presidential election, according to Nielsen Audio. The company’s PPM surveys over the past year indicate that, as a format, news/talk has risen from a 9.1 share in October of 2015 to a 9.9 share this October (persons 6+). In terms of the 25-54 demo, the format is up a full share from a 6.3 in October of 2015 to this October’s 7.3 share. Interestingly, comparing the last presidential election cycle – October 2012 – to this October, the numbers are lower for 6+ and 25-54 (10.4 share to 9.9, and 7.8 share to 7.3, respectively) the 18-34 share is up from a 4.1 to a 4.3. See the Nielsen report here.
The Presidential Contest, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI’s Hillary Emails Investigation, CNN Drops Donna Brazile, Peter Thiel National Press Club Speech, Battle for Mosul, Russian Military in Syria, the World Series, and the Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31). The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement the FBI is again investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server emails; CNN cuts ties with Donna Brazile after a Wikileaks-hacked email indicates she tipped the Clinton campaign off about a debate question; tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s National Press Club speech and support of Donald Trump; the battle against Islamic State for Mosul; Russian’s military ramp-up and involvement in Syria’s civil war; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nielsen: News/Talk and Sports Experiencing Seasonal Ratings Spikes. The ratings giant’s own analysis of PPM trends based on the January 2016 survey indicates the news/talk and sports talk formats enjoyed increases in listening during the period. Nielsen Audio reports, “Sports radio, lifted by higher-than-ever levels of interest in the NFL, matched last January’s 5.1% share among all listeners 6 and older. The annual rise in sports listening typically begins in the fall with the kick-off of college and professional football, the MLB postseason, and culminates in early February with the NFL playoffs. But January’s headline is that news/talk registered its highest marks for listener share in several years, no doubt driven by the ongoing drama of the presidential campaigns and primary season now in full swing. News/talk jumped more than a full share-point from the holidays to January among all listeners (6+) (8.6% to 9.7%). And listener share among listeners 18-34 and 25-54, two key groups for marketers, increased by 14%. The listener share among persons 18-34 increased to 4.1% from 3.6%, while the share among listeners 25-54 jumped to 6.7% from 5.9%. In fact, January’s 4.1% share rating among Millennials is the format’s best showing since November 2012, the last U.S. presidential election.” See more from Nielsen here.
Salem Radio Network Names Larry Elder Evening Host. With Hugh Hewitt’s move to morning drive (Eastern Time) taking over for Bill Bennett, Salem Radio Networks says it’s bringing Larry Elder aboard to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program. Hewitt’s move and Elder’s new show take effect on April 4. Southern California-based Elder began his radio career on KABC, Los Angeles. He was syndicated from 2002 through 2007 by the ABC Radio Network and has most recently been heard on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” in the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot. SRN SVP Phil Boyce states, “Larry is truly a unique and needed voice in this country, and I can’t think of a better choice to fill the valuable Hugh Hewitt slot. Listeners will be riveted to his take on the day’s news, and his insights into the most important issues of our day he will bring them back for appointment listening.”
Presidential Primary Races, Scalia Replacement Debate, Apple vs FBI, Obama Gitmo Closure Plan, Immigration and Refugee Policies, and Sunday’s Academy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23). The primary elections and caucuses in the 2016 presidential race; the debate over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Apple’s refusal to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detainment center; the policies for deterring illegal immigration and for dealing with refugees; and Sunday’s Oscars awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. At digital audio aggregator TuneIn, Kevin Straley is promoted from his VP of programming position to chief content officer. Straley – a longtime radio programmer with SiriusXM and WRKO, Boston – has been with TuneIn since 2011. The company says Straley will lead the content department and be responsible for content acquisition and strategy, and programming management. It credits him for securing deals with the NFL, MLB, NHL, NPR, CNN and more…..With Sunday’s Academy Awards show as the backdrop, CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles is airing a special program titled, “From Watts to Oscar: Race in L.A.,” tomorrow (2/25) at 10:00 am PT. The station says, “It is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world – but it’s also one of the most segregated. And, many think Hollywood’s lack of diversity reflects this…hosts Charles Feldman and Chris Sedens examine the entertainment industry and the community, with more than a dozen interviews on diversity, racism and how to change the status quo. Variety senior vice president and awards editor Tim Gray and noted civil rights attorney Constance Rice will be special in-studio guests.
Washington Examiner Unveils Flint Water Crisis Podcast Series. The Washington Examiner is taking an in-depth look at the lead-contaminated water case in Flint, Michigan in a podcast series titled, “Poison in the Pipes.” The paper calls this an eight-part listening experience that chronicles “the why’s and how’s of the Flint water crisis, its history, and the necessary path to recovery.” The podcast features energy and environment reporter Kyle Feldscher investigating the story “with on-the-ground reporting and in-depth analysis of the government failures contributing to the current situation.” You can hear the first episode here.
Covering the Nevada Caucuses. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity (left) poses for a photo with KDWN, Las Vegas program director John Shaffer (right). Hannity was broadcasting his Premiere Networks-syndicated program from the Beasley Media Group news/talk station on Monday and Tuesday (2/22-23) while covering the Nevada caucuses. Hannity also held a town hall meeting with GOP candidate Donald Trump during his time broadcasting from Las Vegas.
Nine Years Later: Don Imus Discusses His Regrets About and Lessons Learned from the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Incident in Wide-Ranging Interview with Michael Harrison. The recipient of the TALKERS 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, WABC, New York iconic morning personality Don Imus, is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Imus looks back at the Rutgers University women’s basketball incident that sparked a national controversy in 2007 resulting in his relatively rapid termination from his syndicated morning show on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York and its TV simulcast on MSNBC. The radio legend expresses regrets about the incident telling Harrison he was wrong to make fun of innocent people who did not deserve to be ridiculed and that he came to understand you must pick your targets in a more appropriate manner. The conversation enters a fascinating realm exploring the thinking behind the inconsistent process of major corporations (in this case CBS and NBC) either standing behind or firing high-profile talents when they become embroiled in politically incorrect controversies due to something they said on the air. The discussion also covers the radio legend’s successful battle against drug and alcohol addiction, holistic approach to prostate cancer, deep love and respect for his wife Deirdre Imus and their philanthropic work in support of children with cancer, opinion of Al Sharpton and several radio key executives, most interesting guests, as well as his friendship with and view of Donald Trump. Pictured is the cover of the April 2007 print edition of TALKERS magazine that expressed this publication’s support of Imus keeping his jobs at CBS RADIO and MSNBC during the heat of the Rutgers incident. The depiction of an Imus-like cowboy figure being hanged from a tree in a figurative lynching was painted by Michael Harrison. To hear the entirety of this fascinating interview please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand columns on every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Jim Bohannon Guests with Michael Harrison on This Week’s ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ One of the longest-running major league stars in talk radio, Jim Bohannon of Westwood One, is the special Christmas-week guest on the new installment of the Podcast One international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (12/22). Bohannon – who has been a radio broadcaster since 1960 — recently announced that he is retiring from his 31-year morning job as host of the syndicated “America in the Morning” news magazine, but will continue at the helm of his 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET iconic talk program, “The Jim Bohannon Show” which has roots dating back to when he took over the seat previously occupied by Larry King on the old Mutual Broadcasting network. Bohannon is also moving his home and base of operations from Washington, DC to a small town in South Carolina. Michael Harrison catches up with the Vietnam War veteran at this important juncture in his life and the two discuss a wide variety of issues from the secret to his remarkable longevity in broadcasting to the frenetic nature of contemporary politics and how it is covered by today’s media. To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Round One of December PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of December 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The survey period was November 5 – December 2. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.
Salem’s Twin Cities Business Talker Changes Frequencies. The recent purchase of the Radio Disney signal KDIZ, Minneapolis by Salem Media Group gives the latter another AM signal in the market and Salem is using the station to improve the coverage of the market by its business talker. The company is moving the format from KYCR at 1570 to KDIZ at 1440 and is re-branding the station “Business 1440.” KYCR’s daytime power is 3,800 Watts and KDIZ’ is 5,000 Watts. (We’re assuming Salem will also ditch the KDIZ calls soon.) Salem Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson states, “By moving to AM 1440, we’ll service a larger portion of the Twin Cities with our exclusive business news and financial format. This allows us to reach more listeners with our on-air partners including Dave Ramsey, Bloomberg, Lou Dobbs, and ‘Bring Me The News Business Updates.’” As for KYCR, Salem is teasing a new format. “Salem Media Group Twin Cities has more exciting and groundbreaking news to come in early 2016 for its now-open AM 1570 frequency. Salem Media Group Twin Cities will launch the first-of-its-kind format in January of 2016. More details will be made available in the coming days and weeks.”
Brothers in Arms. Las Vegas talk radio host Alan Stock (left) enjoys a bro hug with singer Tony Orlando (right) in the studios of CBS RADIO Las Vegas. Stock hosts the afternoon drive program on news/talk KXNT and he reports he had a great on-air conversation with the Las Vegas performer.
Democratic Debate Analysis/2016 Presidential Race, Las Vegas Hit-and-Run Case, Miss Universe SNAFU, U.S. Refugee and Immigration Policies, Christmas Holiday, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/21). Saturday night’s Democratic primary debate and the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the case of the woman who killed one and injured more than 37 in a Las Vegas assault with her car; the mix-up by host Steve Harvey that accidently crowned the wrong person in the Miss Universe pageant; the matter of U.S. policy regarding the acceptance of refugees from Syria and the related issue of immigration regulations; this week’s Christmas holiday; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
‘Newsradio 106.7’ Atlanta Dismisses Steve McCoy Over ‘Trump Interview.’ WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” morning co-host Steve McCoy has exited the Cumulus Media news/talkers after he pieced together an old interview with Donald Trump and presented it on the station’s morning drive show as an interview with the GOP presidential candidate done while he was in Atlanta last weekend. The story first broke on Buzzfeed after the Trump campaign publicly stated that McCoy did not interview Trump and actually aired what was a years-old interview, edited and presented as recent. McCoy admitted the facts to Buzzfeed. Cumulus Atlanta general manager Sean Shannon issued a statement saying McCoy no longer works for the station and the morning show will continue with the rest of the current staff – co-host Cheryl White with Drew Nelson and Randy Wyles. At the same time, it’s being reported that McCoy was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and had planned to share the news with his listeners earlier this week. That comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution which spoke with McCoy’s former WSTR, Atlanta co-host Vikki Lock.
Nielsen Sues Bubba the Love Sponge in Ratings Fraud Case. The ratings company has filed suit against Bubba the Love Sponge in United States District Court in Florida after the morning drive radio personality admitted to tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market. Alleging fraud and violation of the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Nielsen is asking for damages of not less than $1 million in a suit against both Bubba and his company Bubba Radio Network, Inc. Nielsen says in the suit that Bubba paid people to distort the ratings. Nielsen delayed the September Tampa PPM survey by a week. If the case goes to trial the company would have to prove it suffered damages.
LA’s ‘Beast’ Shifts Roggin to PM Drive. As of next Monday (10/19), current KFWB “The Beast,” Los Angeles mid-day talent Fred Roggin will take over afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the sports outlet. According to program director Tom Lee, “The new timeslot allows Fred to reach a wider local sports audience with more people in their cars for the afternoon commute.” Roggin quips, “After eating lunch and spending the day at work with our listeners, we thought it would be fun to drive home with them. For the record, we fit into all cars.” In addition to his radio duties at “The Beast,” Roggin continues as sports anchor for KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (channel 4), where he has worked the past 30 years. In that time, he has won 30 local Emmy awards; two years ago, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Los Angeles Press Club. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s PPM report for Los Angeles, “The Beast” ranks #40 (.2). The market’s other all-sports stations are KLAC (1.1, #27); KSPN (1.0, #30); and KLAA (.4, #37); iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” are tied for first (both with 5.1, 6+).
Odds & Sods. WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pictured here with two puppies who are being trained as service dogs for American military personnel wounded in action. Two weeks ago, Conway hosted a BBQ and raised $6,000 in two hours for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires and trains the dogs. Conway says, “This incredible organization now has 34 dogs in training and it was so nice of them to bring two of the latest around for a visit – although I had to be careful because there were lots of people in the building that wanted to steal these cute and cuddly bundles of fur.”…..The national Edward R. Murrow Awards were presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association at a ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York City on Monday (10/12). Pictured here at left are staffers (led by VP/GM Steve Jones seen here holding the award) of ABC News Radio accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Overall Excellence.’…..Talk radio personality Rusty Humphries joins Liftable – the company that recently acquired the USA Radio Networks from Cross Platform Media. Liftable CEO Patrick Brown says Humphries will serve as SVP of programming.
Harrison Finds Joy on Broadway. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) wraps up his tour of Big Apple media happenings this week by joining GCN nationally syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne (left) last night (10/15) at a showing of “The Gin Game” starring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson. In addition to her regular fare of relationships and psychology, Browne includes discussion and reviews of Broadway theatre and the latest movie releases on her program, podcast and website. Harrison comments, “It is amazing how well known Dr. Browne is on Broadway. Half the people in the theater knew her and came over to say hello, as well as on the street in front of the theater where she held court prior to show time. She is truly Big Apple media royalty.” Both Harrison and Browne gave thumbs up to the play starring the 84-year-old Jones and 91-year-old Tyson.
Democratic Primary Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 12-16. The Democratic primary debate on Tuesday evening was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week. At #2 was talk about the issues and the GOP candidates for president in 2016. Coming in at #3 was the military campaigns by Russia and the U.S. in Syria and against ISIS targets followed by the Iran nuclear deal and that country’s reported military build-up 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. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Sean Hannity Moderates Blockbuster Panel on Audience Measurement at Talkers New York 2015 – See Video Today! One of the highlights of the recently held (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference is now posted on Talkers TV – “The State of Radio Ratings.” Moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, the panel includes (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, RAB; Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Richard Harker, founder, Harker Research; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, E.W. Scripps; Jon Miller, VP Audience Insights, Nielsen Audio; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. The session is introduced by Brian Kilmeade, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel. The hard-hitting, no-holds-barred conversation addresses the ongoing problem of achieving accurate radio ratings – particularly in the spoken-word formats – during audio media’s transition into the digital era. Issues such as the PPM, the new Voltair device, achieving adequate sample size, and the challenge of rating elusive online listenership are analyzed. Each panelist brings their own insights, problems and solutions to the discussion with Nielsen’s Jon Miller formidably bearing much of the brunt of probing questions and stinging criticism. This video is a must-view for all professional radio broadcasters today. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have been organizing and attending industry conferences since 1976. This particular session provides more valuable take-aways than any I have ever witnessed in my entire career, as well as moving the interests of a fairer and more productive radio industry forward. My congratulations to all the participants – especially Jon Miller – for bring their A-games to the table. And Sean Hannity shows what a major league host and moderator he is – above and beyond his skills as a ‘political’ talk show host. Sean’s constituency in this case is everyone who makes, or is trying to make, their living in radio. He delivers a real clinic on how to run a discussion. I give him a 10.” To view the entire session, please click here. Coming tomorrow: An intimate “fireside chat” between Cumulus Media EVP, John Dickey and Michael Harrison.
Telos Alliance’s Dr. Barry Blesser Explains Voltair’s Success. The conclusion drawn by Telos Alliance director of research Dr. Barry Blesser regarding his company’s controversial Voltair products is, “The way that the radio industry handles the current Voltair controversy will influence its likelihood of surviving.” Most industry pros are aware of Voltair and the controversy over the reliability of Nielsen Audio’s PPM measurement system. Those who are not should be getting up to speed quickly and Blesser’s paper illustrates – from Telos Alliance’s perspective at least – what Voltair does, what it doesn’t do, and how it is affecting what radio listeners hear and don’t hear in PPM-rated markets. The selling point for the $15,000 signal processing unit is that it helps stations make up for alleged inadequacies in the PPM technology and Blesser’s paper explains how those inadequacies manifest themselves for radio programmers. One of the issues is Blesser’s assertion that different types of audio are “friendlier” to PPM code tones than others. He says, “Voltair is basically an AGC (automatic gain control) compressor that keeps the tones higher in amplitude when they are on their way to becoming too small. Voltair produces tone energy similar to that of a well-encoded audio signal. The tones are perceived as being louder in part because they are of longer duration. Why does increased duration make a difference? Because the detector cannot identify the frequency of a tone if it is too short. When a tone is relatively constant for the full half second, all is well; but if the tone lasts for less than a tenth of a second, the meter has no idea about its frequency. And the exact frequency is required to determine the meaning of the codes. Tones are truncated when the spectral content of the program is in short bursts. Interestingly, speech is comprised of short spectral bursts.” That last part may not bode well for spoken-word programming. Nielsen says it is testing the Voltair unit, but so far the industry has heard nothing. Blesser writes, “In the decade since PPM was rolled out, radio has changed dramatically as programmers, who, ‘teach to the test’ of PPM’s technical properties, have shortened or eliminated spoken word segments, moved clocks around, and even dumped whole formats. Now, with Voltair providing tremendous insight as a monitoring/measurement tool, this dynamic has accelerated as programmers have proven to themselves the correlation between PPM’s technical underpinnings and raw meter count. Assuming Nielsen refuses to address technical issues raised by Voltair, we can expect this trend to accelerate. Call it the law of unintended consequences where a measurement methodology drives programming decisions, determines careers and discards content, all in service to watermarking success.” Read the entire paper here.
Fly Me to the Moon – Actually the Moons (of Pluto)! TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been expanding his probes beyond radio deep into the media universe via his international hit Podcast One program “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” This week, he takes his audience of “media freaks” billions of miles across the solar system in advance of NASA’s “New Horizons” mission’s unprecedented fly-by of the Pluto system on July 14. Harrison interviews Dr. Alan Stern, a leading planetary scientist who is the “principle investigator” of this exciting and historic project and the two get into illuminating detail of the solar system’s unfolding new paradigm. There is a lot more to the debate about whether or not Pluto is a “planet” than the mainstream media is indicating… and there is hardly consensus among scientists about the topic. Harrison states, “All these technologically wondrous probes and space satellites are connecting the human nervous system to places that were once considered one-dimensional abstractions, completely out of reach. After all, ‘media’ is the extension of human consciousness by technological means – plain and simple. We used to use drums and smoke signals. Then we accomplished such major feats as laying a trans-Atlantic cable across an ocean. Now we are ‘wiring’ the solar system! Anyone see an amazing pattern here? To listen to Michael Harrison’s exclusive conversation with Dr. Alan Stern, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.
New York Festivals Names Winners in 2015 International Radio Program Awards. The winners in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards were presented last night (6/22) at the annual gala at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. The Grand Jury honored RTÉ Ireland with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year and TBI Media UK with Production Company of the Year. In addition, three prominent companies earned the coveted Grand Award: New York Philharmonic USA, TBI Media UK, and WNYC-Radiolab USA. Commercial broadcasters from the U.S. that won awards included ESPN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Gold Coast Broadcasting’s news/talk KVTA, Ventura, California. The 2015 Grand Jury awarded 3 Grand Awards, 53 Gold trophies, 62 Silver, 58 Bronze, and 117 Finalist Certificates submitted from 32 countries. All entries were judged online by the NYF Radio Awards Grand Jury of radio experts from stations and companies around the globe.
Odds & Sods. Former Cumulus Media executive Marko Radlovic – market manager for Los Angeles stations KABC and KLOS – returns to Spanish Broadcasting System to serve as SVP and West Coast regional manager…..iHeartMedia has a new senior vice president of programming for its New Hampshire stations. Tim Moore is in charge of programming for the station including news/talk WGIR-AM, Manchester; WQSO-FM, Portsmouth; and sports talk WPKX, Portsmouth. He takes over for Jeff Pierce who recently joined Saga Communications’ Portland, Maine station group.
Boston Legends Go to Bat for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr (right) chats with WXKS, Boston “Kiss 108” morning personality Matty Siegel (left). The two were at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts for the Ted Rubin Memorial Golf Tournament – a six-year old charity event that has raised more than $1 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Richard Stone’s Leukemia Research. It was Howie Carr’s first live remote since he took ownership of the Howie Carr Radio Network in 2014. Carr jokes, “It’s great to be working with the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber, especially with an elder radio statesman I’ve always looked up to since my youth – Matty Siegel.”
2015 Gracie Awards. The 2015 Gracie Awards were presented at the New York Hilton on June 22 by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. This photo shows just a few of the high-profile attendees and winners. (From l-r): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Lori Lundin, anchor/reporter WTOP and Gracie winner (also host of the new experimental animal rights show “Vox Animali” on TalkersRadio); Kristen Welch, chair, AWM/F and SVP, global content operations, Discovery Communications, Inc.; Chad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus New York; Kelly Ford, WNSH, New York host and Gracie Winner; Maire Mason, VP/GM WNSH, New York; Valerie Blackburn, VKB Media Consulting and past chair of AWM/F; Pavlina Osta, Gracie Winner; Loren Raye, Gracie Winner and co-host of “The TJ Show,” WODS-FM, Boston; Matt Bosso, WASH-FM, Washington; Emme, supermodel; and Kay Olin, Olin and Associates and past chair of AWM/F.
Madison Rising Releases New Album American Hero RED. That band that bills itself as “America’s most patriotic rock band,” is releasing its American Hero RED album. Madison Rising says the new record is completely remixed and remastered to deliver the cleanest and strongest sound possible. It includes four additional tracks: “Amazing America,” the band’s powerful rendition of the classic Marines’ Hymn, the hauntingly beautiful “Soldier’s Christmas” and its brand-new rendition of the Irving Berlin classic, “God Bless America.” As with the original American Hero album, American Hero RED is anchored by Madison Rising’s best-selling rock rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Originally released in the summer of 2012, both the song and video have become huge hits, catapulting the band into the national spotlight and creating one of the most loyal fan bases in rock music history. The band has recently partnered up with Concerned Veterans for America as well as the Young Marines National Youth Organization and is currently embarking on an ambitious 70-city tour. Madison Rising is on a mission to make great rock music and send a message that American culture is alive and well. Led by navy veteran and former 8404 FMF Corpsman Dave Bray, the band promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility. For review copies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charleston Church Massacre/SC Confederate Flag Issue, Obama Uses ‘N-word,’ Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Taylor Swift-Apple Music Case, and Massive U.S. Govt. Cyber-Breach Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22). The aftermath of the church massacre in Charleston and South Carolina’s debate over the Confederate flag; President Obama’s use of the “n-word” during an interview; the flap over Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical; the potential candidates for president in 2016; Taylor Swift calls out Apple Music over payments to songwriters and musicians; and concern over the massive security breach at the government’s Office of Personnel Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talkers New York 2015 Is Sold Out. The 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — Talkers New York 2015 – was declared sold out at the end of business Thursday (5/14). According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong registration response this event has received and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees. Plus, intimacy is one of this conference’s historic selling points.” All sessions will be video recorded and posted on Talkers TV shortly after the event for those who could not attend. The convention will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm. For remaining available sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413. To see the latest agenda, please click here.
Programmer Moves at iHeartMedia Denver. A change in title – and a promotion – for iHeartMedia’s Greg Foster as he moves from SVP of programming to vice president of news, talk and sports for the Denver station group that includes news/talk outlets KOA “Newsradio,” KHOW “TalkRadio 630,” and KKZN “Real Talk 760.” Foster is and will continue to be a brand coordinator for the company’s news/talk and sports stations. With Foster’s new position comes the arrival of Josh Everett to serve as program director for KHOW and KKZN. Everett moves west from the company’s Albany cluster where he’s been serving as program and news director for news talk WGY-AM/FM and sports talk WOFX. Foster says of Everett, “Josh is a rising star in our industry. We’re fortunate to have a programmer of his caliber at the helm of these unique spoken word stations.”
WMEL, Cocoa Beach Names Vince Young Program Director. The AM news/talker serves Florida’s Space Coast and owner John Harper says promoting midday talk personality Vince Young to PD is a “great fit.” Harper states, “I am proud to have Vince Young in the position of program director for WMEL Radio. His abilities, knowledge and personality make him a great fit for the WMEL talk radio family. I know Vince has the trust and confidence of everyone here at WMEL Radio to continue the tradition of great talk radio.” Young’s been with WMEL since 2000 in a variety of capacities – working behind the scenes in the production department, while also broadcasting his eponymous political talk show, currently heard from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Young comments, “I love the WMEL focus on local people, news and community, and I’ve been impressed by the diversity of our team. I’m very proud of the exceptional lineup that WMEL has put together, which includes Dave Ramsey, Doug Stephan, Jim Bohannon and Dana Loesch, among other talk show hosts broadcasting nationally right alongside is our powerful local broadcast team with terrific shows that serve our community’s needs.”
WEEI’s John Dennis to Return to AM Show on Monday. About a month after entering rehab for alcohol addiction, WEEI, Boston morning drive co-host John Dennis tells the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley that he’s going to return to work on Monday, May 18. Dennis tells the paper he’s already met with co-hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane. Station general manager Phil Zachary is quoted saying, “After speaking with his doctor and seeing that glint in his eye, it will be good to have him back in his old routine.” Dennis says he did two weeks of inpatient treatment and has been attending an outpatient program that will continue for another month or so. He tells the Herald, “The smartest thing I did was to come out of the alcoholic’s closet, to steal a phrase. The thing that held me back, the thing I was most afraid of, was going public with this and hearing the response and the reaction, or the criticism, whatever. I didn’t know what to expect.” Read the Herald story here.
Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Summit Takes Place in San Diego. Earlier this week nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted the EntreLeadership Summit in San Diego at the Omni La Costa Resort. Pictured here at the conference are (from l-r): John Maxwell, Pat Lencioni, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Ramsey, Christy Wright and Chris Hogan. The speakers provided attendees with knowledge on building company culture, communication, work/life balance and organizational health. Ramsey’s EntreLeadership “is the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper, combining the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader. This philosophy is how Ramsey has grown his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of April 2015 PPM Data. The fourth of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Odds & Sods. Sports radio pro Anita Marks is taking on a weekend talk show at ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York and will serve as a daily contributor, including anchoring SportsCenter updates. Her weekend program will air Sundays at 11:00 am. Marks was most recently with NBC Sports Radio. She’s also done work for CBS Sports Radio, the MSG Network as well as CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York…..At pubcaster WFPL, Louisville, James Bickers comes aboard full time as the local host and producer of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and Jonathan Bastian is named the new midday host and producer of the Diane Rehm show, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “Here and Now” and Kentucky’s statewide newscast…..CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster – including news/talk WPHT, all-news KYW, and sports talk WIP – are continuing their relationship with the largest high school rowing event in the world: Stotesbury Cup Regatta presented by Toyota. CBS Radio Sponsorship Group serves as the marketing, media and sponsorship arm for the Stotesbury Cup which has been held continuously on the Schuylkill River since 1927, attracting almost 6,000 high school athletes from some 200 high schools and brings in more than 30,000 spectators over two days.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard on new affiliate WOMI-AM/FM, Owensboro, Kentucky…..“Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters adds 13 new affiliates including: KNTH, Houston; WWTC, Minneapolis; WGKA, Atlanta; and KYKN, Salem, Oregon…..“Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is now heard on three new Virginia signals: WMNA, Gretna; WIQO, Lynchburg; and WBZS, Roanoke…..“Extreme Genes Family History Radio” adds affiliates KELY, Ely, Nevada and WMXI, Laurel, Mississippi.
Obama Georgetown Speech and Michelle Obama Racism Commencement Tied Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of May 11-15. The content of a speech delivered this week by President Obama at Georgetown University and First Lady Michelle Obama at Tuskegee University last weekend tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week. At #2 was discussion about the political aspects of President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill. Coming in at #3 was the case of the deadly Amtrak derailment followed by the Baltimore riots/protests aftermath at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Price: Covering Breaking News at the Worst Time. Last night’s deadly Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia caught many news outlets by surprise and, according to ABC TV director, business continuity Howard B. Price, even the big networks that were on the scene late into the evening made plenty of mistakes. But, he says, local stations need to prepare for the unexpected. “Regardless of the size of your station, or its resources, you simply have to be ready to cover it in a timely, comprehensive and authoritative way. It’s why you have a license. If you were watching cable news last night, you saw waaaay too much speculation as to cause…and more than anything else, you saw talent talking more than they were listening. You also saw stunning displays of what happens when you thrust ill-prepared anchors into continuous coverage and not give them much substance to work with.” Preparing to cover such a news event, especially for a smaller station, takes plenty of foresight and hard work. Price provides some detailed advice for strategizing this preparation. Read his entire story here.
Chris Brown to Be Syndicated in Ramsey-Salem Partnership. The new Christian financial radio program starring pastor and speaker Chris Brown is called “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship” and will launch in June. The joint effort by Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions and Salem Media Group will debut the show on Salem-owned Christian teaching outlets in 20 markets including Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Dave Ramsey says, “Creating a Christian radio show, hosted by Chris Brown, allows Ramsey Solutions to help even more Americans take control of their money. Chris has been speaking to crowds in excess of 10,000 attendees with an incredibly positive response. He is the perfect person to host this new half-hour show!”
Jodi Becker to Leave WTMJ, Milwaukee for Family Reasons. In a memo to staff at Scripps Milwaukee, VP/GM Tom Langmyer praises news anchor Jodi Becker for her work with news/talk WTMJ as he announces she’ll be resigning from the station on May 29 in order to spend more time with her young children. Langmyer writes, “Jodi Becker has been a part of the WTMJ family since 2009. She’s been a leader in our newsroom and a strong voice at WTMJ. During the past few years, Jodi continued to grow greatly as she moved into Wisconsin’s ‘Morning News with Gene Mueller.’ When the structure of the program changed to have more of Gene and Jodi, the news content was broadened and a more conversational approach was added – Jodi excelled even further. Jodi and the ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News Team’ are a big reason for the incredible growth in WTMJ’s overall ratings in the past year or so.
Scott Van Pelt to Leave ESPN Radio Show for SportsCenter Gig. Announced at the ESPN Upfront presentation in New York City on Tuesday was the news that ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will exit the SVP & Russillo show (co-hosted by Ryen Russillo) later this summer as he transitions to his new role with the sports giant hosting the midnight edition of the cable network’s iconic “SportsCenter” show. ESPN signed him to a new, multi-year extension in the process and says “Van Pelt will put his own, unique spin on the day’s news and highlights while offering the commentary, guests, interviews and insight fans have come to expect from the host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo.” Van Pelt comments, “It was going to take something remarkable for me to consider a day that didn’t include radio, and this would qualify. To be allowed and empowered to bring some of the sensibility of radio to this space is fantastic.” ESPN Radio has made no comment about what will appear in place of SVP & Russillo on the network.
Nielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2015 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
New Sleeping with Sirens Podcast to Launch on Podcast One. The Norm Pattiz-founded audio-on-demand platform Podcast One is bringing a new music-oriented program to its stable with the new “We Like It Loud” podcast from Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn. Quinn is also co-founder of the clothing line Anthem Made. Podcast One notes that the band has “102 million streams, 83 million music video views and a debut at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200,” and now the band will being this podcast from the road on its “We Like It Loud” summer tour. Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Kellin and Sleeping with Sirens are in the center of the rock scene and continue churning out hits, while focusing heavily on their fans through social media. It will be very exciting to give music fans an insider look at their favorite bands, while incorporating the unique dynamic of taking fans on the road with Quinn and SWS’ upcoming summer tour.”
Odds & Sods. The new vice president of programming for Genesis Communications is Tom Paleveda. He comes to Genesis’ Florida operations from his most recent post with Galaxy Communications of New York and assumes the role vacated by Len Weiner who became PD at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WAXY, Miami in March…..Chicago news pro Robin Robinson adds a new three-hour Monday evening show titled “Robin’s Nest” on urban talker WVON, Chicago to her radio duties. The longtime WFLD-TV, Chicago news anchor recently signed on with CBS RADIO to serve as fill-in anchor on all-news WBBM-AM…..Singer Josh Groban addressed his concerns over alleged ticket price gouging by a Philadelphia venue on Chris Stigall’s WPHT morning show. Groban is appearing in Philly in September and claims he switched venues after learning the first theater was adding $20 to each ticket…..SiriusXM announces that two of the head writers for the David Letterman show will join the satcaster to serve as creative contributors to the “Opie and Jim Norton” show as well as other programming. Brothers Eric and Justin Stangel are Emmy Award-winning writers who’ve been with the Letterman show since 1997…..The Detroit News reports that Cumulus-owned WJR is getting into the bidding process for the play-by-play rights to Detroit Tigers baseball. Currently, CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “The Ticket FM 97.1” and WXYT-AM have the rights that end in 2015. The paper also reports that Greater Media sports outlet WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” is interested in bidding for the rights. CBS has owned the broadcast rights since 2001.
Tucson Talker to Attempt Guinness Record. The record talk host Jim Parisi of KEVT, Tucson “PowerTalk1210” is shooting for is the Most Interviews in a 24-Hour Period, and he hopes to crack the 350 mark between 10:00 am on May 24 through 10:00 am on May 25. Because it’s Memorial Day Weekend, the One Mart Corporation-owned talk station is attempting the record in honor of America’s veterans who sacrificed for their country. Money will be raised for local veterans’ groups during the attempt. The first 50 or more interviews will be with local veterans, face-to-face in the PowerTalk studios. Parisi says, “Our veterans lay down their lives for us. They sacrificed so that we may enjoy freedoms, one of which is freedom of speech, and broadcasters should never forget that. So a handful of dedicated people at our station will be slightly uncomfortable trying to function for 24-hours without sleep, honoring our servicemen and women, past and present. It’s a simple gesture and the least we can do.”
Michelle Obama Racism Speech, Baltimore Aftermath, Patriots and Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ Sanctions, Bush-Christie Iraq War Flap, North Korea Executions, Nepal Aftershock, Kerry Visits Putin in Russia, Obama Trade Bill, and South China Sea Military Operations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12). First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University in which she discussed her racism experiences; the political and legal aspects of the aftermath of the Baltimore riots and protests; the controversy over the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady after the “deflategate” issue; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s criticism of Jeb Bush’s statement he would have approved Iraq War; the recent spate of executions of government officials in North Korea by Kim Jong Un; Nepal’s suffering a large aftershock to the quake that hit two weeks ago; Secretary of State John Kerry visits Russia and Vladimir Putin; the rancor over President Obama’s trade bill; and the U.S. military’s pondering action in the South China Sea to counter China’s military activities there were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Rich Zeoli Named PM Drive Host at WPHT, Philadelphia. Evening personality Rich Zeoli will move from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia to the afternoon drive slot being vacated by Dick Morris beginning November 5. Morris has been partnered with Gary R’nel in afternoons since January of 2013. He’s exiting the radio business to return to political consulting full time. CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “We are thrilled that Rich is moving to afternoons at WPHT. He’s a smart, energetic, entertaining talk show host who can tackle a variety of issues that relate to his audience.” Zeoli comments, “This is a passionate town and we have opinions on everything. I love nothing more than challenging the audience and they challenge me right back. There are many local issues that impact our lives and we need a place to talk about them. That’s what the show is all about and what I plan to bring to afternoon drive on WPHT – a place for the Delaware Valley to talk. I’m just as interested in talking about pop-up beer gardens as I am about NSA spying. What makes this town like nowhere else in America is its passion, and we’ll share a lot of passion on the drive home together.” There’s no comment at this time from WPHT on the status of R’nel after Morris exits.
Round Two of October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The survey period was August 14 through September 10. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.
Cooke: DEVOUR iPhoneReporting.com. Radio consultant Holland Cooke is urging news and news/talk professionals to follow the advice he offers in this column to help give your station a chance to compete in the evolving media world. The first tip: DEVOUR WTOP, Washington reporter Neal Augenstein’s iPhoneReporting.com site to learn all the tips and tricks for using the Apple product for news purposes. And pay special attention to that built-in camera. Cooke says, “Beyond improving/refining/optimizing audio gathering, a smartphone camera can capture the photos and video that stations need to compete for ad dollars that are shifting from legacy media to digital.” He goes on to say that it’s the perfect tool for making your station indispensable again. “There’s mounting evidence of the value of radio reverting to local content, which got clobbered during draconian post-consolidation bloodlettings, and as sound-alike syndicated programming seems to have run its course.” For more about the intersection of digital tools and radio, read Cooke’s column here.
Odds & Sods. The Associated Press is reporting that WMAY, Springfield, Illinois talk show host and news pro Greg Bishop is joining the Illinois News Network to be the voice of the INN’s radio efforts. The organization – a reporting service focusing on economic policy and government started by the Illinois Policy Institute in 2012 – is developing a radio division and is bringing Bishop aboard to lead that project. Bishop will continue to host his “Bishop On Air” program on WMAY…..The NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Bonneville’s sports talk simulcast “Arizona Sports” heard on KTAR-AM and KMVP-FM ink a deal to continue broadcasting Suns play-by-play on the stations. This is the 39th season for Suns hoops on KTAR-AM – dating back to when the station was a news/talk outlet. In addition to the games and ancillary programming, a “Suns Spotlight” feature will air on sister news/talker KTAR-FM…..Total Traffic Network Milwaukee staffer Andi Miller is leaving the company to relocate to Wausau, Wisconsin where her husband has accepted a position. Miller has been a regular voice on Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “The Lake.”
Bressler: Ad World Moving to Buy ROI. During yesterday’s investor conference call, iHeartMedia president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke at length about the company’s plans to become the number one multi-platform media company – the underlying company goal that was the force behind the name change from Clear Channel to iHeartMedia. But from a sales standpoint, Bressler told analysts that, “The advertising world is moving to buy ROI – return on investment – not ratings or impressions as it does today, and we stand to greatly benefit from this trend since we provide huge ROI reflecting our audience size, our scale and the impact we have, none of which have been fully monetized.” The goal of reaching Millennials is important to Madison Avenue and Bressler noted the 4th annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, held last month in Las Vegas, saw social media impressions double from the previous year “reaching over five billion which is on par with the Academy Awards and more than twice the size of the Halftime Show of the Super Bowl.” He says 80% of social media posts related to the festival came from the 18-35 demographic. Bressler delivered the latest data about the iHeartRadio platform saying it now has 56 million registered users and total listening hours are up 10% compared to the same quarter a year ago. Looking at the financials, iHeartMedia reported a net revenue increase of 1% and Bressler said that although the radio industry experienced a soft Q3, the company outperformed the markets based on Miller Kaplan data.
Melissa Etheridge and Ingrid Michaelson to Perform at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction. This is the first Los Angeles induction ceremony after 24 years of the National Radio Hall of Fame event taking place in Chicago. On November 9 at the Cicada in downtown Los Angeles, Charlie & Harrigan, Barry Farber, Ira Glass, Stanley E. Hubbard, Jon Miller, Agnes Moorehead and Dick Orkin will be inducted. Performing at the event will be Melissa Etheridge and Ingrid Michaelson. In addition, a special tribute to Casey Kasem will take place. National radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “This is an event that brings us all together to honor and celebrate the best in our business. We have an opportunity to show our support and ensure the vitality of this institution by attending. And if that’s not possible, please consider making a donation to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which provides a showcase for the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago year round.” Noted broadcasters participating in the ceremony will include Ryan Seacrest, Larry King, Rick Dees, Delilah, Michael Jackson, Kerri Kasem and more.
iHeartMedia’s Hartley Adkins Elected RAB Board of Directors Chairman. At its annual board of directors meeting the Radio Advertising Bureau announced new officers and iHeartMedia EVP major markets Hartley Adkins was elected chairman. Also on the board are (RAB duties noted in parentheses): Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris (vice chair); Cox Media Group EVP radio Kim Guthrie (finance chair); Commonwealth Broadcasting president and CEO Steve Newberry (secretary); Cromwell Group president and founder Bud Walters (immediate past chair). Newly elected board members are: Hubbard Radio president and COO Drew Horowitz; Alpha Media EVP southern region Bill McElveen; Emmis COO and CFO Pat Walsh; and Journal Broadcast Group EVP Steve Wexler.
Ebola Pandemic Concerns, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Jobs Creation Statement Flap, Battle Against ISIS/Domestic Terror Threats, Weather Channel Founder on Climate Change, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/28). The continuing concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus and the U.S.’s policy regarding international travel and quarantines; next week’s mid-term elections and chatter about the presidential prospects for 2016; controversy over Hillary Clinton’s comment that businesses don’t create jobs and her attempts to clarify the statement; the progress of ISIS in Iraq and the increase of “lone wolf” domestic terror attacks; Weather Channel founder John Coleman’s challenging the climate change theory; and the Royals-Giants World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Will Nielsen’s Dominance in Online Measurement Hurt Radio Buys? According to some analysts – most notably J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth – the answer is yes. In a piece published at MediaPost News by Joe Mandese, Anmuth asserts that Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings is growing in acceptance and may become the dominant “currency” for digital ratings and that it will drive ad budgets from TV and radio to digital. Mandese writes that though some marketers and agencies prefer comScore’s vCE ratings system used to plan, buy and validate online ad buys, Nielsen’s dominance in the ratings in other media will give it the ability to leverage that into cross-platform ratings. With YouTube’s recent adoption of Nielsen’s ORC system, it’s being predicted by Anmuth the move could “drive material change in TV buyer behavior.” Similarly, Nielsen’s imminent rollout of its streaming audio measurement will affect radio buys. Anmuth writes, “Just as we are seeing a shift in digital video measurement with YouTube, we expect streaming music providers including Pandora to gravitate towards partnerships with traditional measurement providers. Nielsen is deeply engaged in developing the technology to measure streaming radio and it is working to fully integrate Nielsen Audio.” Check out the story here.
Emmis Net Revenue Up 3.4% — on Strength of Publishing. The loss of political advertising that all broadcasting companies are dealing with – the fall of 2012 was a good year for that sector and Emmis’ fiscal Q3 measures September, October and November – affected the company’s 2013 Q3 to 2012 Q3 comparison and the result was a 0.4% increase in revenue for Emmis’ radio division. The publishing segment of the business carried the day with a 9.8% increase in net revenue. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says in a statement, “The government shutdown in October, coupled with non-recurring political revenues from the prior year, caused significant headwinds for us and the radio industry. However, Emmis’ ability to grow revenues despite these challenges is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and hustle of the Emmis team. Our radio revenues are rebounding in our fourth fiscal quarter as these challenges have abated and our publishing division continues to post impressive revenue gains. NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded app, continues to gain momentum and recently exceeded 100,000 activations. I’m excited about the progress we are making and the momentum we have heading into calendar 2014.”
TalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions. TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month. Set for launch this weekend (1/12) is “Radio Lifeboat with DG & Mickey Gooch,” described by Bernstein as “a raw, emotion-packed ‘reality’ show that sure ain’t no cruise.” The one-hour-per-week program, emanating live on Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm ET from Malibu, California, is hosted by the mother/son team of Diane “DG” Gooch and her son Mickey Gooch. The show is basically a weekly therapy and educational support session helping people and families overcome the challenges of addiction. Also debuting this month (1/25) is a new program from Lionel – one of the most iconoclastic, impossible-to-peg, and intellectually stimulating talk show hosts of the modern era. A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 for the past four years in New York City where the ex-prosecutor’s also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst. However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before. This will truly be Lionel unchained!” Another program getting readied for launch on TalkersRadio in either late-January or early-February is “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum.” Hosted by veteran talk show host, Washington-insider, and former member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, Blanquita Cullum, the one-hour-per-week show will cover the hottest and most-pressing economic, environmental and political issues facing the country from a non-partisan, non-ideological perspective. Cullum tells TALKERS, “I’ve been in this business too long to mess around playing the old right versus left game that is quickly getting us nowhere. It is time to get serious – especially having this marvelous platform upon which to perform – and dust off the old journalism skills. Just as the name implies, I will be asking big shots and policy makers from the worlds of energy, finance and government the hard questions. None of that easy, puff-piece stuff. This show is going to get down, dirty and real!” These new shows will join the already-developing programs on TalkersRadio that include “The Brent & Meg Radio Show” hosted by the dynamic husband/wife duo Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, “Green Connections” hosted by Washington, DC-based energy and sustainability expert, journalist Joan Michelson, “Healed Planet” hosted by well-known talk media star Alan Colmes, “The Robbie Student Show” hosted by record producer and urban philosopher Robbie Student, and “The Talkers Show” hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. To read more about TalkersRadio, check out a full feature story posted today by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey by clicking here.
Regan Communications Group Names Kahn EVP/Sports Media. Former Entercom vice president and New England market manager Julie Kahn joins public relations firm Regan Communications Group as executive vice president of sports/media. Over and above that, she will be a special advisor to company president/founder George Regan, who comments, “Julie Kahn’s talents, skills, mind, and passion for this business are a grand slam for our company. This is a great start to our new year.” Kahn “had the pleasure” to work with Regan Communications for the nearly 14 years that she was with Entercom. “I am excited to become part of the management team and help Regan continue its growth and success,” she remarks. Among Kahn’s new duties will be working with her former employer – Entercom, Boston – which is one of Regan’s clients. In addition to being a board member of the Boston Sports Museum, Kahn is on the Boston board of directors for the National Sports Management Network. The holder of a JD/MBA from Northwestern University, Kahn began her radio career in WGN, Chicago’s sales department; was general manager of KSAN, San Francisco; and vice president/director of sales for Susquehanna, San Francisco.
Baldwin/McCullough Show Auditions on WNYM, New York. With the move of talk personality Curtis Sliwa to crosstown WABC, Salem Communications news/talk WNYM “Am 970 The Answer” is putting the XtreMedia-produced Baldwin/McCullough program on this afternoon and next Friday as an audition. Actor Stephen Baldwin and media entrepreneur and talk host Kevin McCullough have been hosting the Baldwin/McCullough program as a weekend show for the past several years. Also, Iowa-based talk personality Steve Deace is set to audition in the afternoon drive slot on WNYM next Monday through Thursday.
Midday Changes at Entercom’s ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco. The late morning show featuring Sean O’Connell, Matt Steinmetz and producer Justin Kleisley is out and program director Jason Barrett announces “friends since high school” Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are partnering up for the new 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program. Haberman serves as host of the station’s pre- and post-game shows for Oakland As broadcasts and was host of the evening show at KGMZ during 2013. Middlekauff was West Coast scout for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past two years and served as an NFL analyst for the station since the beginning of the 2013 NFL season. The new pair begin hosting the “Mid-Morning Show” on January 20. Matt Steinmetz had been working at KGMZ in the late morning daypart for the past 18 months. He was joined by O’Connell last February.
Julie Buehler and Geoff Bloom Re-Up with KXPS, Palm Springs. The “Buehler’s Day Off” afternoon drive show at CRC Media West-owned sports talker KXPS, Palm Springs “Team 1010 KXPS” will continue with the station through this year. Sports media pro Julie Buehler and co-host Geoff Bloom joined the station in June of 2012. Buehler comments, “I love the Coachella Valley! Love the vibrancy, the spectrum of sports fans and the rich culture and I’m honored to be a voice for such a passionate community. I know with the vision from CRC Media West and our team’s ability to execute such a thorough game plan, 2014 will be even more groundbreaking, history-making fun than the past 18 months.”
Dan Le Batard Has Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Taken Away. In November, WAXY, Miami and ESPN Radio personality Dan Le Batard – also a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (which votes for Hall of Fame players) – gave his vote to Deadspin.com in a protest saying his vote has become pretty worthless in the “sanctimonious” atmosphere of the process. There’s a rule against that and the BBWAA board of directors voted to strip Le Batard of his vote this season and beyond. He also will not be able to cover any baseball event this season as a sanctioned BBWAA member.
New Morning Show at WRSO, Orlando. At sports talker WRSO, Orlando “810 CBS Sports Radio,” there’s a new morning team in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot. Former TV anchor Dave Baumann and local radio personality Big Joe are taking over the slot. The station is owned by Star Over Orlando and it says the program will soon also be heard on the 93.1 frequency as well.
Odds & Sods. All-newser KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX on Your Corner” series on January 31 when it takes an in-depth look at the unique aspects of the Crescenta Valley communities lying between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Verdugo Mountains: La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Sunland and Tujunga. The CBS RADIO station will broadcast live from the Black Cow Cafe in the heart of Old Town Montrose. News anchors Tom Haule and Vicky Moore will kick off the day from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson will be on hand from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..KSCO, Santa Cruz talk host Ethan Bearman will host the KSFO Talk Show from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Cumulus Media’s KSFO on Monday and Tuesday January 13 and 14. The slot currently has no permanent host…..Talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs – syndicated nationally via Genesis Communications Network – celebrated her 5th anniversary on the radio yesterday (1/9). She tells TALKERS magazine that she began her radio career five years ago on KLAV…..MSNBC shuffles its daily lineup after the departure of Martin Bashir. Alex Wagner moves into the 4:00 pm ET slot previously held by Bashir and the network will feature a rotating cast of hosts for Wagner’s 12:00 noon slot – including Joy Reid who’s been sitting in the 4:00 pm slot lately…..For the 3rd consecutive year, Entercom’s WEEI, Boston will serve as the official radio partner for the 2014 Pan-Mass Challenge August 2 and 3. The PMC – a 190-mile bike event starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod – is the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country and, since 1980, has raised more than $414 million for the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The “Savage Nation” show hosted by Michael Savage is added to the programming at the following stations: WCFO, Atlanta; WVGG, Lucedale, Mississippi; WLBY, Saline, Michigan; KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KVPI-AM, Ville Platte, Louisiana…..Business talk host Phil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” show is added to the lineup at KDWN, Las Vegas…..Cumulus Media Networks’ Mark Levin is now heard on WFNC, Fayetteville, North Carolina; WVLK-FM, Lexington; WFNR, Blacksburg, Virginia; KFAY, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and WALG, Albany, Georgia…..Conservative/libertarian Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KZRG, Joplin, Missouri…..From WYM Media, the Leslie Marshall show joins the programming at KABQ, Albuquerque and Phil Hendrie’s program is now heard on KNEW, San Francisco and KTNF, Chico/Redding, California…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the programming at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City, Florida; and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico.
Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10. The Fort Lee lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week making it the #1 story on the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (Random House 2013), which criticizes President Obama and his administration. Following at #3 was the “polar vortex” chilling much of the nation tied with the companion topic of global warming and at #4 was Janet Yellen being confirmed chief of the Federal Reserve. The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Mike Francesa’s A-Rod Interview Creates Media Blitzkrieg in NYC. When embattled New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (lower right) stormed out of his grievance hearing with MLB officials and went straight to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa to kvetch to him, the New York City media reacted with such intense criticism of the broadcast that it only goes to cement Francesa’s standing as the most important sports broadcaster in town. Rodriguez left his MLB meeting regarding allegations of PED use and lashed out at the process and expressed his disdain for Commissioner Bud Selig. Local media outlets accused Francesa of being too easy on — or actually downright chummy with – A-Rod. But, Francesa maintains that he asked all the pertinent questions. He told Newsday, “I felt like I asked him every hard question you could possibly ask him. I don’t think there’s anything I could ask him about that wasn’t asked.” Regardless, it was the interview that every media outlet in town has been aching to get and WFAN’s Mike Francesa got it. As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it, “It seems that the rest of the Big Apple media don’t ‘get it’ regarding the influence and success of Mike Francesa as a talk show host, as indicated by the extent to which they constantly bash, parody and even mock him. They judge him by their own often-hypocritical journalistic standards and don’t understand that by giving him so much attention – even as severe critics – they feed into the very process that makes Francesa so remarkably successful. It is downright comical how they accuse Francesa of being ‘used’ by A-Rod as some kind of media patsy or suck up when in fact it is they — in their fits of transparent jealousy — who are being used by both Francesa and A-Rod. Regardless of whether he does it consciously or inadvertently, Mike Francesa is a master talk show host of sports or any genre from which most others can learn a thing or two about taking ownership of your targeted turf.”
Eastlan Employs E-Surveys to Enhance Methodology. The 1999-formed Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm will be augmenting current telephone-based methodology with “e-surveys,” which have been tested the past six months. E-surveys will be integrated into Eastlan’s standard methodology in all markets beginning next spring. “E-surveys will not replace our current methodology but rather enhance it,” stresses chief technology officer Bert Hambleton. “The portion of survey respondents recruited electronically will have the choice to participate via e-survey or through a callback on their cell phone.” Eastlan’s main reason to incorporate e-surveys was to increase participation among young radio listeners, and Hambleton states, “The process has worked very well.” During this year’s pilot e-survey project, Eastlan noticed wider participation among 12 – 49s; the most dramatic increase was in participation among 25 – 44s. Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “It is incumbent upon ratings providers to reach a sample that is as representative of the local market composition as possible. Being able to recruit and survey electronically, in addition to our telephone based methodology, will absolutely improve the long-term viability of our affordable radio ratings service. Best of all, we can do so without raising our rates.” E-survey completion rates were slightly higher among women versus men.
The FCC’s Media Bureau Announces Comment Period Opens for AM Revitalization Proposal. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service was published in the Federal Register yesterday and therefore the comment period is open through January 21 and reply comments must be filed by February 18. The Commission is seeking comment on a number of proposals designed to afford relief to AM broadcasters and to revitalize the AM radio band, and also is soliciting further proposals for revitalization of the AM radio service.
Odds & Sods. Salem Communications announces it will increase its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 5% making the payment $0.0550 per share to be disbursed on December 27…..There’s a whole lot of Matt Patrick hitting the airwaves next week. The KTRH and KPRC, Houston talk personality will be heard three times per day on Monday and Tuesday November 25 and 26. He’ll do his morning show on KTRH from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and his afternoon show on KPRC from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Then he sits in for KTRH-based syndicated host Michael Berry from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Marketing Firm CRN International Names Jim Alkon Marketing Director; Promotes Robert O’Mara. Radio marketing firm CRN International announces it names Jim Alkon marketing director, describing his mission “to extend the profile of the company among consumer brands and advertising agencies.” Most recently, Alkon was managing director of his own consulting firm Meetings and Media. At the same time, CRN ups Robert O’Mara to managing director, strategy and business development, and adds two new sales managers: Amanda Alvarez and Maureen Conlin who take the title associate director of strategy and business development. CRN International describes itself as a company, using the slogan, “We Use Radio Differently,” that extends “the boundaries of radio marketing beyond simple spot advertisements and has customized programs to meet specific business objectives. This has kept the award-winning company on marketing’s cutting edge for close to 40 years, serving prominent clients such as Microsoft, Chrysler, Sears, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Major League Baseball, HBO and Unilever.” President and founder Barry Berman states, “We will continue to be part of the conversation in social media, on our recently relaunched website and in tutorial and perspective pieces on how understanding a client’s very specific business objectives is the first step to developing the right customized marketing campaign. We have been able to employ radio in non-traditional ways to achieve results typically way beyond expectations.”
Buffalo Food Pantries Aided by Entercom Thanksgiving Promotion. Entercom Buffalo and the NHL‘s Buffalo Sabres teamed up earlier today (11/21, 7:00 am to 9:00 am) for a Thanksgiving turkey drive to benefit local food pantries. Any donor dropping off a turkey was given two tickets to an upcoming Sabres game, leading Entercom Buffalo operations manager Tim Wenger to comment, “The Sabres stepped up in a big way to help the community by donating the tickets to this cause; Entercom is honored to join the effort.” The event took place in the parking lot at the Entercom Buffalo offices. Tickets distributed there were for games against the Montreal Canadiens (11/27); New York Rangers (12/5); Ottawa Senators (12/10), and Winnipeg Jets (12/17). Entercom-owned sports outlet WGR is the Sabres’ flagship. The New York State cluster also includes news/talk WBEN; CHR WKSE “Kiss”; alternative WLKK; classic rock WLKK HD2 “The Lake”; adult contemporary WTSS “My Star”; sports WWKB; and rhythmic oldies WWWS “Solid Gold Soul.” All proceeds directly benefitted the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.
‘SuperTalk 99.7’ Goes Commercial Free for Rescue Mission Radiothon. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” will drop the spots on Monday, November 25 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm during its annual Cumulus Nashville Radiothon to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission. WTN personality Michael Delgiorno will broadcast live on-site at the Nashville Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. Cumulus VP and market manager Mike Carpenter states, “This radiothon gives the community an opportunity to give back into the community and really help change people’s lives. There are many ways to get involved with charities, but this one is unique because it’s not just about immediate needs. It helps restore their lives and overcome huge hardships. WTN’s listeners are very giving people who always go above and beyond our expectations in supporting the Mission. We look forward to exceeding our goal again this year.”
Miller’s Mission Kicks into Gear for the Holidays. KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (center, holding the Chex) is surrounded by staffers at the Boise Rescue Mission and KTVB-TV weather anchor Larry Gebert (second from right) as Miller begins another year of “Miller’s Mission.” Miller is broadcasting from a local Walmart (and living there for an entire week) while collecting items to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.
Tribune to Cut Roughly 700 Newspaper-Related Jobs. The tightening comes as Tribune plans to sell or spin off its publishing operations – which includes The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Hartford Courant – in order to concentrate more on television stations. In a memo yesterday (11/20), chief executive officer Peter Liguori informed staffers that the publishing operation’s business units will be organized “by function, rather than by geography.” Specifically, according to Liguori’s memo, “We must take better advantage of Tribune’s unique size and reach.” The goal, he wrote, is to “continue investing in the lifeblood of our business: best-in-class reporting, effective sales, and digital growth. Ensuring the long-term strength of our mastheads will, unfortunately, result in the selective reduction of our publishing staff.” Iconic Chicago talk outlet WGN is Tribune’s lone radio property.
ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Obama Approval Ratings, UN Climate Talks, U.S.-Afghanistan Security Deal, and ‘Knockout’ Attacks Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21). The scrutiny over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s website; President Obama’s sinking approval ratings; the walkout of member nations at the United Nations climate talks; the shaky state of the proposal for Afghanistan’s security beyond 2014; and the rise in incidents of “knockout” game attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — “What’s the return on investment?” That’s one of the questions that’s regularly asked by businesses of all types, while trying to make sense of their place in social media. The more honest statement I hear is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.”
I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.
The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan. So, here are four steps to your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations.
By Michael Harrison
Survival is already happening and it isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be as a spectator sport on the Discovery Channel. In the reality show called terrestrial radio, sooner than later, survival will run out of gas. For terrestrial radio, “survival” is simply a slower form of imminent death.
It should be the goal of terrestrial radio to thrive in the digital era.
Thrive? Is that even possible?
SiriusXM Reports Revenue Up 13% in Q2; Net Subscribers Up 38%. The satellite radio company announced second quarter numbers yesterday and reports revenue for that period was $838 million – up 13% over the same period in 2011. Subscriber growth continues this year as the satcaster saw 463,000 self-pay net adds with the total adds for the year at around 1 million. As for the status between Liberty Media and Sirius – or more specifically, Mel Karmazin whose contract expires in December? Karmazin says his duty is clear, “I can assure you that our board and I are interested in trying to accomplish whatever Liberty wants to do as long as it’s in all of our shareholders’ best interests and that there is no issue involving Mel that has anything to do with the current conversations with Liberty at all. Regarding my contract, it doesn’t expire until the end of the year, and prior to the Q3 earnings call, prior to our next call I think the board and I will deal with it.” Liberty Media has been acquiring SiriusXM stock and holds about 46% of the shares. It has twice asked the FCC to declare it in “de facto control” of the company but the FCC has balked.
Saga Communications Has Stable Q2. Net operating revenue was up 0.7% for Saga Communications and station operating expense decreased 4.6% compared to the same period last year to $22 million. On the radio side, operating income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2012 was $9.56 million – up from the $8.60 million reported for the same period in 2011.
Big Talent Shuffle in Boston; Local Hosts Out at Clear Channel News/Talker. There’s been a major re-alignment of syndicated talent in Boston and two local talk hosts – Jeff Katz and Jay Severin – are dropped from the program schedule at Clear Channel’s Talk 1200 (WXKS-AM). Almost 2 and ½ years ago, Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh left Entercom’s WRKO, Boston – one of his first major market affiliates after going into syndication from home base WABC, New York – to become the anchor of Clear Channel’s crosstown WXKS-AM – Talk 1200. Now, on August 21, Limbaugh returns to WRKO where management has remade the program schedule with tweaks that include current midday talk host Michele McPhee moving to AM drive alongside Todd Feinburg; current mid-morning host Barry Armstrong hosting “The Financial Exchange” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and fill-in host and morning show contributor Jeff Kuhner now host of the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “The Kuhner Report.” Additionally, Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory returns to WRKO in the 1:00 am to 5:00 am slot from CC’s crosstown WXKS-AM. At Talk 1200, Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity now airs live in PM drive where Jay Severin was and Premiere’s “America Now with Andy Dean” is heard in AM drive in place of Jeff Katz. Regarding the elimination of the Katz and Severin shows, Clear Channel Boston’s Joe Mazzei tells TALKERS, “Unfortunately, these are never easy decisions to make. We appreciate their commitment and service to the station/company over the years, and we wish them all the best.” Mazzei would not comment specifically on the status of Talk 1200 program director Paula O’Connor citing privacy issues but it appears her job has also been eliminated. Katz tells TALKERS he can be reached at email@example.com.
Prime Time Continues to Be Trouble for CNN. Though CNN remains a top-of-mind brand for Americans seeking breaking news coverage, its prime time talk-oriented programming is suffering persistent ratings problems. Deadline Hollywood’s Dominic Patten writes that the cable news/talk network hit a 20-year low in the Nielsen ratings during the week of July 30 – August 5. “‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ at 9:00 pm averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King’s spot on January 17, 2011. During the same time slot over on Fox News, Sean Hannity averaged 1,749,000 total viewers and 324,000 in the 25-54 demo. On MSNBC, the Rachel Maddow show averaged 933,000 total viewers that week, with 271,000 in the key demo.” Patten goes on to note, “‘Anderson Cooper 360’ at 8:00 pm averaged 349,000 viewers for the week, also with 81,000 in the demo. Cooper’s 10:00 pm repeat had 97,000 among the 25-54 demo, the sixth lowest the network has had in two decades, but a slight 259,000 average total viewers for the week. That averaged total viewership was the lowest 10:00 pm weekday hour CNN has had in 20 years.”
ESPN New York 98.7 Adds Bill Parcells Appearance to Michael Kay Show. Legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells will make a weekly appearance on WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 4:00 pm beginning September 6. The station is also expanding the role of Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath whose “Joe Namath Report” fills a whole hour of the Michael Kay show on Mondays at 6:00 pm during the season. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan will appear every Monday at 5:15 exclusively on Kay’s program as well. WEPN VP/GM Dave Roberts says, “We’re focused on serving New York sports fans with the best in news and analysis. The opportunity to work with someone like Bill Parcells allows us to deliver unique insight to our listeners. We’re also thrilled to bring football to fans on the FM dial. We anticipate a very exciting fall between our extensive list of weekly contributors and our complete coverage of both the Jets and Giants.”
Fox Sports Daybreak at Dolphins Camp. “Fox Sports Daybreak” co-hosts Andy Furman and Artrell Hawkins are pictured here interviewing Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long at Dolphins Training camp in Davie, Florida. HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series is following the Dolphins this season and invited the Fox Sports Radio morning program to take part in the camp. During the two-day broadcast, Furman and Hawkins brought listeners an up-close look at NFL training camps, and talked to Long, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and NFL super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
WRKO Tea Party. Some of the air staff of the new lineup at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston pose for a photo during a remote broadcast of the Howie Carr show from the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. It was at Monday’s remote broadcast that the station announced its new program schedule, including the return of Rush Limbaugh to the station. Pictured here are (from l-r): PM drive host Howie Carr; AM drive co-hosts Michele McPhee and Todd Feinburg; morning show producer Bill Cooksey; and Howie Carr show producer Nancy Shack.
Magic Matt Alan’s and Shadoe Stevens’ OutLaw Radio Enters Partnership with RadioLoyalty. Radio legends Magic Matt Alan and Shadoe Stevens are partnering with internet radio firm RadioLoyalty to distribute their “OutLaw Radio” 24–hour radio channel. The programming is billed as “a non-stop, high-energy party featuring celebrity and would-be celebrity guests gathered together by radio legends Magic Matt Alan and Shadoe Stevens. It’s talk radio and irreverent humor broadcast from an 1876 Virginia City, Nevada-style Bar in the Hills of Encino, California.” The RadioLoyalty website says, “The network is a spin-off of the original Outlaw Radio ‘show’ — on the air non-stop for more than a decade – and is the brainchild of Magic Matt Alan. Alan was joined three years ago by radio legend Shadoe Stevens, who loved the show and helped expand the brand. He built the programming into a seven day a week, 24 hour radio channel…For more than 10 years, Matt and a roving cast of characters – The Demons of Decadence – have laughed their way through and around some of the most interesting celebrities on the planet with the slogan: ‘We smoke, we drink, we interrupt.’” The programming can be found at RadioLoyalty.com beginning August 11.
Fleetwood Mac Co-Producer Ken Caillat Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Iconic Album with Book and Press Tour. The co-producer of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album is available for radio interviews. Ken Caillat was co-producer for the record that went on to become the third best-selling album of all time and tells all the stories of the making of the record in his new book, Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album (Wiley 2012). The publisher states, “Ken recalls experiences from an era of excess, that include the endless partying, relationship dramas and creative struggles that ensued, while writing and recording these classic tracks, “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain,” among others.” Caillat is available for interviews. Contact Samantha Schipman at Howard Rosen Promotion at 704-249-3951.
Presidential Election, Wisconsin Sikh Shooting Aftermath, London Olympics, and Mars Landing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/7). The campaign for president in the 2012 elections; the aftermath of the deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; the 2012 London Olympics; and the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Judge to Approve Tribune’s Exit from Bankruptcy; Oaktree Capital Plays Major Role. The private equity firm that also backs Townsquare Media and Dial Global will be part of a group of creditors that will bring Tribune Company out of bankruptcy pending the revision of some of the reorganization plans. Judge Kevin Carey overruled the objections of some of Tribune’s creditors in approving the deal to end the bankruptcy protection that began three-and-a-half years ago and the emergence from which is expected to take several months. Also involved are JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Angelo Gordon & Co. There had been speculation that the company may be broken apart, with the publishing arm separated from the broadcasting division that owns 23 television stations and its lone radio property – WGN, Chicago – but that remains speculation as there does not appear to be a plan to sell anything just yet. The FCC must still approve the transfer of the TV and radio licenses.
Public Radio’s “The Takeaway” Ends Morning Drive Run in September. The show that was designed to be a younger-skewing alternative to NPR’s “Morning Edition” will move out of the AM drive daypart, trim down to one hour and be heard in the mid-mornings beginning in September. The show is a collaboration between WNYC, New York and Public Radio International. According to The Current, the show – hosted by John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee – has 55 affiliate stations with another 15 carrying it on digital multi-cast channels. Due to the fact that it’s live and produced in New York, the show has had a tough time getting West Coast affiliates because it doesn’t seem as fresh several hours later. Beginning September 3, the one-hour version of the show will feed live at 9:00 am ET.
ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Debut Weekly NFL Show on ESPN. The morning drive duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (whose radio network show is also simulcast on ESPN2) will host a weekly football show for ESPN beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 3:00 pm ET called, “Mike & Mike’s Best of the NFL.” It’s a 30-minute program that features highlights from the previous week’s NFL games. ESPN says the duo will “count down the top passes, runs, catches, blocks, defensive plays and other categories from around the league. The show will offer footage that NFL fans have not seen in other highlight packages throughout the weekend.”
Odds ‘n’ Sods. Talk show host Joe Crummey (WABC, KFI, KABC, KFYI) sits in for Cumulus Media’s Geraldo Rivera on KABC, Los Angeles both this week and next. He’ll do it from New York next week as he’s also filling in for the WABC, New York show (Geraldo’s heard on both stations) July 23-25…..Shawn Wheat takes an anchor/reporter post with Morris Communications’ KIBW, Topeka and the Kansas Information Network.
Former Opie & Anthony Show Executuve Producer Steve Carlisi Dies. There are not a lot of details about the passing of Steve Carlisi, but the former executive producer of SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony show is dead, leaving behind a wife and son. Carlisi was let go by SiriusXM from his producer role in 2010 in a round of budget cuts. Most recently he had worked at Shamrock Communications’ WEZX, Wilkes Barre/Scranton. He also served as a producer for the Danny Bonaduce show when it aired at WYSP, Philadelphia.
Programmer Paul Duckworth Returns to Seattle to Lead Fisher’s KOMO. News/talk programming pro Paul Duckworth returns to the Emerald City, where he formerly led the programming department at Fisher Communications’ KOMO and KVI, to once again head up news radio KOMO. He left Seattle in 2002 and programmed several other stations including KLIF, Dallas and WMAL, Washington, DC. He begins his duties at KOMO on April 16 at the station that features morning and afternoon news blocks surrounding local talk hosts John Carlson in late mornings and Ken Schram in early afternoons. Duckworth spent the last year in retirement in Florida.
Keith Olbermann Promises Legal Action as Tumultuous Term with Current TV Comes to an End. Reports of mercurial news/talk TV personality Keith Olbermann’s contentious relationship with management at Al Gore-founded Current TV have been coming out for some time and, despite recent assurances via press releases that everything between the two sides is fine, Current TV has cut the cord and let Olbermann go, replacing him with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his new show “Viewpoints.” Current TV had hoped that Olbermann’s “Countdown” show – brought over after his departure from MSNBC – would be the anchor program around which the network could build, but after just nine months the relationship was too strained to continue. Current TV released the following statement on Friday, March 30: “We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet. We are more committed to those goals today than ever before. Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.” Olbermann has fired back via Twitter and is promising legal action. He states, in part: “I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract…In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.”
Rush Limbaugh Reports Audience Hikes. During his nationally syndicated Premiere Networks show last week, Rush Limbaugh broke format briefly to talk about his ratings in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy. He stated that he usually doesn’t talk about ratings but because of the high-profile assault on his program’s advertisers (and others’) he felt compelled to report ratings were up at all 600 of his affiliates. The Daily Caller reports Limbaugh stated, “The simple answer is that on the range of all 600 radio stations, our ratings are up anywhere from 10% to 60%, depending on the station…And that’s as detailed as I’m going to get…What I mean by that is we could be up 33% on one station, 12% on another – 60% is the top that we’re up on another. We’re up 50% in a number of places.” The increased interest in Limbaugh’s program was predicted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as numerous consumer media outlets quoted TALKERS in covering the unfolding story. Addressing the advertiser issue, Limbaugh also stated, “The advertisers who hung in here are going gangbusters, yes. I mean, that’s the simple truth. The only ones who got hurt are the ones who left. And that’s its own tragedy because they left under false, trumped up, unreal pretenses.”
Another Casualty of the Clear Channel Cuts: Cincinnati Programmer Tony Bender. Program director Tony Bender had been with the Cincinnati cluster of stations since it was owned by Great American Broadcasting in the late 1980s. Until Friday he was serving as program director of talk WKRC and sports WCKY. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter reports other staffers let go in the latest round of cuts included promotions director Sherry Rowland, traffic reporter Brian Pitts and two other off-air employees.
Coming Tomorrow: The FCC and You – Part 2 – An Explanation of Obscenity. Don’t miss the second in a series of exclusive TALKERS articles by legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman covering the crucial FCC regulatory information of which every license holder and radio station management employee must be aware. Informal surveys of radio station managers indicate that an alarming number of them are dangerously under-informed about the FCC regulations that pertain to them and their stations. TALKERS editors urge managers to take the time to read this free abridgement (of a forthcoming expanded e-book) and share it with their management teams. Information on the purchase availability of the expanded e-book will be announced via TALKERS soon. In tomorrow’s installment, Attorney Weisman covers the FCC’s position on obscenity.
Battle for Control of SiriusXM Is Brewing. Liberty Media Corp has filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission to take “de facto” control of SiriusXM, setting the stage for a battle between Liberty’s John Malone and SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin. Malone’s Liberty Media came to the rescue of SiriusXM three years ago with a cash investment of $530 million when the satcaster needed it most. Now, Liberty’s filing is being contested by SiriusXM as it asks the FCC to “dismiss or deny” the petition. Liberty Media only owns 40% of the company and, though there is precedent for a minority shareholder taking control, it’s not common and many deal watchers are quick to doubt that the FCC will grant even “de facto” control to a minority shareholder. Liberty is arguing that certain provisions of the Investment Agreement inked in 2009 have expired and should result in a takeover. But again, numerous experts in the field of corporate takeovers are saying the Liberty FCC filing is unlikely to result in a control change. Most say if Liberty wants control over SiriusXM it is going to have to acquire more shares the old-fashioned way: Buy them.
Cumulus Media Splits Simulcast of Sports WWLS, Oklahoma City; ESPN Radio Takes Over AM Side. The “Sports Animal” radio network continues to be led by flagship WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City with programming sent to six affiliate stations in five Oklahoma markets, but the AM side of WWLS has split off to broadcast ESPN Radio’s programming lineup. The Oklahoman reports the AM station will continue to air Oklahoma City Thunder play-by-play as well as Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State pre- and post-game programming.
Dan McNeil Set to Return to WSCR, Chicago After Month-long Absence. It’s been a bit over a month since midday co-host Dan McNeil took time off from his program at CBS Radio’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago (co-hosted with Matt Spiegel) for unspecified health issues. He recently announced on his Facebook page that he’s ready to return on April 9 and thanked family and friends for their support, assuring them he’s feeling better. Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that McNeil’s health issues were not disclosed but that colleagues have alluded to McNeil’s struggles with sobriety.
KFI, Los Angeles Management Meets with Black Activists; Promises Plan to Address Staff Diversity. KFI, Los Angeles afternoon drive duo John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou returned to the air this week after a seven-day suspension for insensitive language about Whitney Houston. Clear Channel Los Angeles management – as well as John and Ken themselves – met with a group of black activists to discuss the situation and, according to the Los Angeles Times, KFI is promising to devise a plan to address the station’s lack of diversity. Activist Jasmyne Cannick tells the paper, “KFI has 14 shows, and 13 of them are hosted by white men. There are no blacks in their newsroom. This fosters an environment where insensitive comments like this can happen. And they are not living up to Clear Channel’s statement of a commitment to diversity.” Management didn’t speak to the Times but local activist Najee Ali seems convinced the station is sincere about addressing their concerns. The Times quotes him saying, “The station pledged to make substantive changes in diversity. They are trying to build a bridge. John and Ken really want to put this behind them and move forward. Their voices are needed in Southern California and they have done some good things. We can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.”
Entercom Reports 7% Drop in Revenue in 2011 Q4; FM Flips a Factor. During a conference call yesterday announcing Entercom Communications’ financial numbers for the fourth quarter of 2011, CEO David Field referred to his company’s station portfolio as having gone through some pretty big changes in the last 12 months with seven format changes – three in two of the company’s biggest markets. Of course he’s talking about blowing up San Francisco’s country KBWF-FM to create that market’s FM sports talk outlet as well as the changes in Boston to give sports WEEI an FM signal. Also, news/talker KMBZ, Kansas City and WBEN, Buffalo were given FM signals at the expense of music FMs. All this means an immediate loss of revenue that the company hopes will be paid back in time. In a statement, Field said, “These moves significantly enhance our future growth potential and are expected to contribute positively to revenue growth commencing in the second quarter. However, they diluted our fourth quarter revenues by 4%. Excluding political and stations reformatted in 2011, fourth quarter revenues were flat. We are optimistic on 2012 growth, bolstered by improving economic conditions, accelerating performance from newly reformatted stations and political advertising. And we are highly encouraged by strong industry fundamentals as innovation accelerates, audience usage trends remain outstanding and radio remains the most cost-effective major advertising medium.”
MSNBC Beats CNN in February Prime Time Ratings. CNN has been working to re-tool its programming to gain back some of the viewers it has been losing but the cable news/talk channel was not able to pull out a victory over competitor MSNBC in February despite the intense GOP primary election season – including a Republican debate – and the death of Whitney Houston. According to TVWeek, MSNBC averaged 988,000 total viewers during prime time in February to CNN’s 804,000.
Schnitt Happens in Detroit. Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is pictured here in the studios at affiliate station WXYT, Detroit broadcasting live on Tuesday (2/28) as Michigan Republicans went to the polls to vote in the primary election. Detroit was one of Schnitt’s key stops on the road to the Republican National Convention which will take place in Tampa the week of August 27. Schnitt’s program is based at WFLA, Tampa from which he will bring his listeners a full-access pass.
Cumulus Media Networks Touts Affiliation Surge for “Red Eye Radio.” Since changing the tone of the program through the merger of “Red Eye Radio” with the “Midnight Radio Network” hosted by Eric Harley and Gary McNamara, Cumulus Media Networks reports it has added 22 new affiliates to the station’s roster. With major market O&Os WLS, Chicago and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington leading the pack, the network also reports stations including KCMO, Kansas City; WPRO/WEAN-FM, Providence; WGOW-FM, Chattanooga; and KKOB, Albuquerque have picked up the overnight talk show.
WDBO, Orlando Brings Mel Robbins Aboard for Live Midday Show. Cox Media Group’s WDBO, Orlando notes it will be the first time in 11 years the station will have a local weekday talk host when Mel Robbins takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot, bumping Dial Global’s Clark Howard to the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am shift. Robbins hosts the A&E cable show “Monster in Law” and worked for five years as a public defender in Manhattan. The station says when Robbins isn’t doing her radio show or filming for TV she “travels around the country on speaking engagements for Fortune 500 companies. Robbins has appeared with Dr. Phil discussing her life coaching skills and is a regular on Anderson Cooper’s daytime program, ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ a bestselling author, and more.” Robbins’ program will originate from her rural Massachusetts farm but will make frequent trips to Orlando.
Cumulus Gives Myrtle Beach Sports FM Better Signal; Splits AM Simulcast Off. Cumulus Media Group is moving 93.9 The Team (WJXY-FM) to the 100.3 dial position currently occupied by CHR i100.3 (WSEA-FM) beginning March 5. There are programming changes as well. The station becomes ESPN Radio 100.3 and takes the ESPN programming with it as well as the local PM drive show hosted by Aaron Marks. He’s the sports director and will be charged with programming the station. The other change is the AM simulcast on WHSC splits off and becomes Fox Sports Radio 1050. That station will air DirecTV/Premiere Networks’ Dan Patrick live, Premiere’s Jim Rome, Fox Sports Radio programming and play-by-play sports including minor league baseball. WJXY-FM is in a trust to be sold. It’s still unclear if Cumulus will simply move the CHR format over to 93.9 while that signal is on the market. Aaron Marks says of the moves, “We are thrilled with the addition of Fox Sports Radio to our cluster of stations. If there has been one complaint about our station I have heard since I started here last July, it is that Dan Patrick is a great show but doesn’t sound good unless it runs live. The additional station will also allow us to provide the proper coverage to all of our local and regional colleges and professional teams. Every team can have a place to call home for all of their games and we’ll be able to add even more play-by-play than ever before at the high school, college, and pro level.”
Salem Radio Network Talk Star Mike Gallagher Broadcasts Live from WHK, Cleveland. In the wake of the tragic deaths of three high school students in the Cleveland suburb of Chardon, Mike Gallagher traveled to Salem Communications’ O&O WHK, Cleveland to broadcast his program live from the area on Tuesday. Gallagher railed against the news that the suspected shooter was bullied. “That’s ridiculous, in my view, to go down this path, of suggesting that bullying is somehow to blame. It might be part of the story, it might be part of the narrative. It might be factual. This kid’s some freak, who’s a goth who acts weird and is anti-social and he’s gonna get picked on. Well, welcome to the real world…please don’t pretend that the kids who can’t handle it, who say they’re bullied, and therefore have to go get a gun and blow kids brains out somehow aren’t evil. That IS evil. E-v-i-l. They are evil monsters who frankly ought to be executed for what they’ve done. This kid ought to face the death penalty for his cold-blooded acts of violence.”
Business TalkRadio Network Announces New Daily Schedule. Beginning March 5, Business TalkRadio Network adjusts its afternoon schedule with the addition of “The Big Biz Show” with Bob “Sully” Sullivan airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET; “Catalyst Radio Show” from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm; and the Tom O’Brien show from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. President and CEO Michael Metter states, “Sometimes in life things work out for a reason and this is truly one of those reasons. We are proud about Bob ‘Sully’ Sullivan coming back to BTRN and even more so that he is anchoring our midday block. With ‘Catalyst Radio’ our partners will truly embrace this Superman of the business world along with Tom O’Brien, a seasoned pro in the financial world. You’ve seen them on many of the national television news outlets now experience them on your radio stations through Business TalkRadio Network.”
Virginia Tech and WJFK-FM, Washington Renew Multi-Year Deal. CBS Radio’s Washington, DC sports talk outlet WJFK-FM and Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network strike a deal that will see Hokies football and men’s basketball play-by-play on the station’s schedule through the 2014-15 season. The deal also includes airing of the weekly “Tech Talk Live” show featuring the school’s football and basketball coaches.
Ohio School Shooting Fatalities Grow, GOP Primary Race/2012 Presidential Campaign, Rising Gas Prices, and Government Waste Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). The fatal Ohio high school shooting; the Michigan and Arizona primaries and the larger 2012 presidential race; rising gas prices and Iran’s role; and the new report of redundant government programs and the money they are wasting were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Dave Ramsey Helps Celebrate 90 Years for WOR, New York. Nationally syndicated financial talk sensation Dave Ramsey broadcast his program live from the Big Apple on February 27 – the first day his show aired live on WOR, New York’s program lineup. WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley says, “Rarely in life, even as broadcasters, do we get the opportunity to affect the lives of many in one fell swoop. Well, WOR is doing just that by airing the advice and wisdom of the great Dave Ramsey daily, in our coveted 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot on 710am. At a time when the entire Tri-State area is stressed and in need of help with their finances, WOR comes to the rescue with Dave’s sage knowledge and direction which can, and has, changed the lives of many for the positive. We are blessed to have him.” While there, Ramsey helped WOR celebrate its 90th anniversary on the air. Pictured here (from l-r) are WOR personalities Joe Bartlett, Dr. Joy Browne, Ramsey, Joan Hamburg and Dave Spencer.