Tag: "reorganization"

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

| January 23, 2019

iHeartMedia’s Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court.  The United States Bankruptcy Court in Houston has confirmed the Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia.  The company says the restructuring process will be completed within the first half of 2019.  Under the terms of the Plan, iHeartMedia will complete a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and will separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. from iHeartMedia, creating two independent public companies. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”

Bruce Gilbert Re-Ups with Cumulus-Westwood One Sports. Sports radio programmer Bruce Gilbert signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media and Westwood One to continue serving as SVP of sports.  Gilbert’s position entails leading “the curation, development, and execution of all sports content initiatives” and his overseeing the strategic direction of the company’s O&O sports talk outlets.  Gilbert says, “I am so fortunate to be a part of the incredible Westwood One sports portfolio and to get to interact with the many outstanding Cumulus sports brands.  Our partners, talent, producers, podcasters, anchors, and analysts are all dedicated to capturing, celebrating, debating, and discussing sports across our great radio stations and our Westwood One affiliate stations.  I want to thank Mike McVay, Suzanne Grimes, and Charles Steinhauer for supporting our efforts to serve sports fans and giving us the platform to elevate the brands of our many valuable advertising partners.”

WPOP, Hartford Adds FM Signal. New translator W265EB at 100.9 FM is carrying the programming of iHeartMedia Hartford news/talk WPOP-AM.  The translator is licensed to Hartford, is directional to the south-southwest and has an ERP of 220 watts.   WPOP airs the local “Vinnie Penn Project” morning show, the Boston-based “Financial Exchange” program, content from Bloomberg Radio and the regionally syndicated Howie Carr show during daylight hours.

Cory Smith Joins Westwood One in New Digital Role. Former ESPN director of sports marketing Cory Smith joins Westwood One in the newly created role of vice president, digital sales marketing & operations.  In this post, Smith “is responsible for digital sales planning, ad sales marketing, audience development, and ad operations, focusing on the rapidly growing podcast space.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One is dominating the podcast landscape with top shows, massive promotional power, and national and local sales teams, making it the fastest growing podcast network today.  Cory joins the team at a perfect time as our podcast business is exploding. He brings extensive digital audio experience, marketing expertise, and proven ability to build best-in-class operations.”

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root: ‘I’m an Ad Exec and Pitch Man First and Foremost.’  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s been beseeched by fellow talkers to share the revenue secrets for his USA Radio program and its Newsmax TV simulcast.  Calling his philosophy/strategy “the future of conservative talk radio,” Root says he’s an “advertising executive and a pitch man first and foremost who also happens to have a three-hour, daily show.”  Root says previous experiences from the other side of the fence – as a big-spending radio advertiser – left him disappointed because the hosts on whose shows he advertised treated him poorly and did “nothing nice or special for me.”  He vowed to treat his advertisers differently when he became a host.  He says he calls the CEO of every company that advertises with him once a month to ask how he’s doing and if he can do more.  He gives “personal testimony for every product sold on my show, to make their products ‘the greatest’ and to make the CEO of each advertiser into a celebrity.”  Most important, Root says he does this without the ratings that agencies demand because his platforms don’t pay for ratings services.  “It’s not about ratings, it’s about personal service.” Root says the “age of Trump” makes finding new advertisers very difficult so it’s important to take care of loyal clients.  He concludes, “Talk radio will not survive this ‘sea change’ unless the hosts learn to sell, sell, sell.”

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Covington Catholic Incident, Trump-Russia Investigation, Military Transgender Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Ocasio-Cortez’s Climate Change Prediction, and NFL Ref Woes/Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22). The battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the ongoing federal government shutdown; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s military transgender ban; the Democrats considering a run for president in 2020; the flap over Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that climate change will destroy the world in 12 years; and the NFL’s referee problems and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Catches Up with Russian Sensation, ‘Leonid & Friends.’  A group of 11 superb, multi-generational musicians from Russia, Ukraine, and several other former Soviet bloc countries has become an international sensation over the past three years as a “tribute” band to the legendary American ensemble, Chicago.  They are reportedly so good that even members of the original Chicago have joined their growing legion of fans.  Fueled largely by their outstanding video performances on YouTube, Leonid & Friends have gathered enough of a fan base in the US to be able to put together a tremendously successful three-week, sold-out tour of mid-sized venues across the nation, culminating with a performance last evening (1/22) at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, Florida.  TALKERS publisher and devoted rocker from the golden era of album radio, Michael Harrison, attended the concert and landed an exclusive interview with the leader and founder of the band, multi-instrumentalist Leonid Vorobyev for a forthcoming podcast.  Harrison (left) is pictured with Vorobyev (right) backstage at the Capitol during the band’s sound check.  Harrison raves, “I have been a longtime fan of Chicago – most notably their early, rockin’ days when Terry Kath was still alive.  This amazing new band captures the spirit and energy of the original Chicago and then takes it to a level that I’ve never seen or heard before.  Last night’s concert was the absolute best live rock performance I’ve seen since being privileged to attend the two historic private shows of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band back at the Roxy in LA during the 1970s.  Harrison continues, “The fact that a cover band can muster up so much excitement among seasoned music fans is a sign of the times and the new era in which we are living… rock ‘n’ roll is now a mature, historic genre like classical music or the Great American Songbook in which it is about the songs and arrangements themselves – not just the original performers – and they can be brought to life by new, energized, major league musicians.  It’s sort of like watching a revival of ‘My Fair Lady’ at Lincoln Center or listening to the New York Philharmonic perform a symphony by Mozart.”  Harrison concludes, “It’s tragic how music radio is so far behind the curve on this type of thing as well as other developments in the culture and dissemination of popular music.”  To learn more about Leonid & Friends click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Kelly Ford is back in the New York groove at Cumulus Media’s country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” hosting the new “Kelly Ford in the Morning” show, effective February 4.  Ford was the original midday host on WNSH when it launched as a country outlet.  She moved to Nashville to be part of the Westwood One-syndicated “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” show (now “The Ty Bentli Show”).  Ford says, “When [Cumulus New York VP and market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] John Foxx first proposed the idea of ‘Kelly Ford in the Morning,’ of course my reaction was ‘What the Ford?!’ And my second was, ‘Truck yeah!’ I can’t thank Chad and John enough for bringing me back and [EVP content and programming] Mike McVay for making it happen.  It’s like a full circle moment for me as I was the first live voice heard on ‘NASH FM 94.7.’  To be able to work again with the New York NASH team, especially Katie Neal and Jesse Addy, it’s like having the (country) band back together again.”

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR has lost a collective nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.4, unchanged at #21, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). It is tied at #21 with Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which drops two-tenths to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+), thus ending eight straight monthly reports without a loss that netted one-half share (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). After being up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall increase of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC drops one-tenth to 1.1 and is flat at #24 (6+).

This is the third loss in succession for Entercom sports talk WFAN, which is -1.2 in that stretch (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October. Part of a three-way tie at #21 (with WOR and WKXW), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off a cumulative four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.8 – 1.5- 1.4, #23 to #21, 6+), directly following an overall gain of four-tenths via four straight up or flat monthlies by the flagship of the New York Jets and New York Knicks (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+).

The market’s (6+) all-news share shrinks by nine-tenths as Entercom’s WINS forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is off four-tenths (3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). WINS was frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September; stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November; then off one-tenth in December. The setback by WCBS-AM halts four consecutive upticks that produced a net gain of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); +.6 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2, #9 to #10, 6+). For the fourth time in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (6+), but slips from #28 to #29. Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three straight times.

New York City Music Formats – Tacking on a +3.4 to December’s +2.4 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 18th successive sweep. A combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+), “Lite FM” posted a 13.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Advancing from #19 to #15, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” nets nine-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Significant ups/down continue for Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was a collective +.5 in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+); -.6 in December; and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), is a collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Flat at #8, Emmis rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97”  is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is off a collective three-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the eighth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to ninth. Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is unchanged from December in (6+) share (.8) and (6+) market rank (#31). By dropping two-tenths (.8 – .6, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” drifts from #31 to #38. In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC gained two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, 6+), but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .7 in “Holiday” 2018 (#35 to #33, 6+).

After practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three straight gains (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” surrenders two-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) as the AM flagship of the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams dips from #26 to #27. Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” spiraled by -1.4 in December. It stabilizes at .7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 yet climbs from #35 to #33. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

Up three-tenths in December (2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

The eleven (11) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#14 to #16) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST on top for the third straight time, “Coast 103.5” is up for the fifth ratings period in succession for an overall +8.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 6+-stat (13.0) exceeds the combined total of the #2 (Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH 4.4, 6+); #3 (iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG, 4.0, 6+); and #4 (Entercom smooth AC KTWV, 3.6, 6+) finishers. KOST logged an 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Its all-Christmas music challenger this year – Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO – picks up three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and progresses from #16 to #12. In four of the last five reports, “Go Country 105 FM” notched a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) boosts Entercom alternative KROQ from #20 to #14 and curtails four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). As a result of five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned KRTH (third to second) has lost a collective seven-tenths. “K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, however, “104.3 My-FM” sputters by nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.0, second to third, 6+). KBIG spent five successive months at #1before being dislodged (by KRTH) in October. Within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, co-owned mainstream CHR KIIS falters by one-half share to 3.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); “102.7 Kiss FM” was off four-tenths in December. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 19th time in a row (flat at 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). As the result of four consecutive gains (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC was a collective +.7, but the University of Southern California classical outlet slips by two-tenths (2.1, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth time in a row (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23 to #24, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is an overall -1.2 in that period. Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fifth straight sweep for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) but continues at #20. The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the fourth sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Immediately prior to the December sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox logged three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+). Dipping from #23 to #26, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 (6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) proceeds from a three-way tie at #12 to a three-way scrum at #9. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP was up one half-share, but “ESPN Chicago 1000” surrenders three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.2, #22 to #24, 6+).

In four consecutive months without a loss, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM was a collective +1.1 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), but the flagship of the NFL’s Chicago Bears falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. It shifted from first to second in December.

By losing three-tenths to 2.6 (#12 to #14), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ends four straight up or flat trends that generated a gain of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), with December’s 2.9 its best 6+-showing since April 2018’s 3.0.

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of December’s +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” piles on a +4.9 to 13.3 (6+) and repeats at #1. WLIT was 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017. One of WLIT’s AC rivals – Venture Technologies Group’s WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” – is down or flat for the fifth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN dropped three-tenths in December. Now, “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” falters by twice that margin (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), tumbling out of the top ten (#9 to #13). WUSN had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the past 17 ratings periods. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country,” which was without a gain the past four sweeps for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), picks up one-tenth (1.5, #23 to #22, 6+). Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams,” a collective +.5 in November and December (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+) forfeits that entire increase (3.0, -.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). While it is unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Repeating at #7, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.8 in four straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is off for the third time in succession for a -1.0 (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO advances from #16 to #15. KSFO was up seven-tenths in October, after being a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has a September 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 (#19 to #20, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

In a down-up pattern (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” moves from #14 to #12. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of four-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (2.2 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” dips from #17 to #18. KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM adds one-tenth to December’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+) and repeats at #3. KCBS-AM had been at #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December.

Following 11 straight months at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (7.6 – 7.5, -.1, 6+) segues to #2. December 2018’s 7.6 is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share (+.5) in seventh straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #30 to #29.

San Francisco Music Formats – Having leaped from sixth to second in December, Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM (6.4 – 10.7, +4.3, 6+) marches to #1. In “Holiday” 2017, KOIT-FM recorded a 9.2 (6+). Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined nine-tenths in three drops in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #4, 6+). In addition to picking up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+), which halts at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1” moves into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Erasing December’s -.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” zooms from tenth to fifth. December’s 3.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 2.6. A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.6 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7,” which was up eight-tenths in November, drifts from the top ten (#10 to #14). After posting one-half share increases in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC drops one-tenth to 3.0 (6+) but remains at #9. In five straight reports without an increase (2.1      – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” is an overall -.7. At #25, co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has lost nine-tenths in five consecutive negative or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), while Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” hasn’t had an increase in five straight reports and has surrendered 50% (.9) of its 6+share in that stretch (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #27, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss five months in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Just prior to the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.4 in four straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, flat at #36, 6+).

With its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” progresses from #18 to #14. It overtakes Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 24, 6+) and slumps from #14 to #18. Meanwhile, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0, #31 to #33, 6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall decline of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is unchanged from December in 6+-share (3.1) and 6+-market rank (#13). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE has almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), as “Star 102.1” marches from third to first. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” logged a 6.4 (6+). On top the past 12 reports, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+) shifts to #3. After a combined -1.4 in June and July, “Kiss” was +1.1 in August and down one-half share in November. Having posted a 4.3 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV erupts with a +1.8 to 6.1 (6+) and leaps from fifth to second with its best 6+-showing (6.1) since 7.2 in Holiday 2017. A combined +1.4 in four successive improvements (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” carries on at #4. At the same time. WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” has been +.7 (September); -.8 (October); +.6 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #30, 6+). Showing December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (3.8, #11 to #6, 6+) and City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” (1.6 – 2.2, #21, 6+). “The Eagle” had been off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Through five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB was a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #16, 6+). Within 5.0 – 5.5 territory (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods, iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 (second to fifth, 6+). Although it remains at #6, Cumulus Media’s KSCS “New Country 96.3” is -1.4 in six straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). July 2018’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating its December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH fades from #11 to #16. “News Radio 740” posted a November gain of six-tenths to 4.3, its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

In six straight up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is a collective +.5 as the AM flagship of the Houston Texans repeats at #22. Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 (6+) for the fourth straight month and continues at #25, while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, 6+) and is flat at #28.

Not only is KUHF without an increase for the sixth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), the University of Houston news/talk station exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Houston Music Formats – An adult contemporary station holds the #1 position in each of the top six PPM-markets. In this Texas metro, iHeartMedia’s KODA “Sunny 99.1” tacks on a +2.4 to December’s +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+) and sets the pace for the ninth straight time. In “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” recorded a 12.5, the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. Advancing from seventh to sixth, KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” is an overall +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Similarly, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” is a collective +1.6 as the result of five upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Another positive streak, however, draws to a close as Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+), erodes by -1.5 to 6.5 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. An improvement of one-tenth to .9 (#26 to #23, 6+) by Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” curtails seven ratings periods in succession without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, 6+). This marks the seventh straight sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” which is an overall -1.8 since June 2018 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). In four straight reports without an increase, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #8, 6+). A cumulative -2.0 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – There’s truly major news here as Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 sweeps – erodes by a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is off two-tenths (1.4 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Recording its seventh sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK jumps from #28 to #25.

Co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” drops one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+) yet improves from ninth to eighth. Prior to November 2018, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four consecutive positive moves (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Flat at #19, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), the Atlanta Braves flagship picked up one-tenth in December.

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, WABE was a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), but the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk outlet surrenders half that increase (3.7, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is unchanged from December in both 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#25).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH follow up December’s +1.0 with a +3.2 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” swims from fourth to first. In advance of the December sweep, WFSH posted three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “The Fish” notched an 8.5 (6+). Registering increases of one-half share each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (6.3, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (5.6, steady at #5, 6+). “V-103” was a combined -1.4 in November and December (7.2 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “B-98.5” snaps at three a consecutive string of (slight) decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Radio One urban AC and gospel siblings WAMJ “Majic” (5.1 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+) and WPZE “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (3.7 – 3.0, #13 to #15, 6+). For the last ten (10) sweeps, “Majic” had been within 5.1 – 5.6 range (6+). In an up/down pattern (3.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #14). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” is a collective +1.0 via three straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). November’s gain of six-tenths followed three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight positive spikes (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 drops three-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” catches Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #10 to #12, 6+). “Power” was -1.2 in December, while “Q-100” was -.6. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Power” had been without a loss the previous seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is an overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), immediately following seven straight ratings periods without a decrease that generated a +1.4 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies – Entercom’s WIP – was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 7.1, fourth to second, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1” was #1 in October. Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” zooms from #15 to #12. Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in August, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” spirals by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.3, flat at #7, 6+).

Public news/talk WHYY is a collective -1.1 via three declines in a row (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #14, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive negative trends for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Registering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB (10.4 – 16.6, +6.2, 6+) repeats at #1. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. It dialed up a 17.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It has a new format challenger: In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but rebounds with a gain of one-half share (2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #11, 6+). On the heels of December’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” further erodes by -1.4 (6.4 – 5.0, third to fifth, 6+). November’s increase of six-tenths applied the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. It’s not exactly the same scenario, but Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” follows December’s -.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (6.5 – 5.9 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). Erasing December’s eight-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (7.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM  shifts from second to third. “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was locked on 6.6 (6+) in October and November. Off seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (6.2 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+); Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.3 – 3.6, eighth to ninth, 6+); and iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.8, #10 to #12, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), WMGK dropped seven-tenths in December. “Philadelphia’s Country Station” was -1.1 in December and +.6 in November. After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. The September 2018 through December 2018 topline for “Q-102” was 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.5 via three decreases in succession (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat for the fourth straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC nonetheless inches up from #26 to #25. Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Despite recording its third drop in a row for a collective -1.4 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN advances from fifth to fourth. In November, the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees was in a three-way tie at #1. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. The key station of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.5 through three decreases in a row (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, #19 to #20, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is off three-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, ninth to tenth, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS loses four-tenths (3.2 – 2.8, #9 to #11, 6+). The two cluster-mates were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November. Prior to December, WCBS-AM was up nine-tenths in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), while WINS was up six-tenths in October;

From February 2018 – September 2018, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM trended 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September. It was unlisted in October and November; resurfaced in December (2.0, 6+); and is off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” adds a +4.0 to December’s +2.1 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). “Real Variety” was off one-half share in November. This (10.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (12.6). More than tripling (+6.4) its 6+-stat in seven Long Island sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” carries on at #2. “Lite FM” recorded an 8.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” more than doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the third straight decrease for Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Making identical 3.1 – 2.4, -.7, #11 to #14 (6+) moves are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” and Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was off eight-tenths in December WBLS is an overall -1.5 in five straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of three-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” falls from #11 to #12. Albeit that it is an overall -1.9 in six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Not only is Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” down or flat for the seventh consecutive time for an overall decline of -1.3 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), “Hot 97” drops out of the top twenty (#19 to #24). Prior to December, WQHT had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive Long Island ratings periods. In six straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 – Nash FM” has lost 50% (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH share (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.2, flat at #26, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight down or flat trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+), which departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). KKDD debuted in July with a .2 (6+); gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; and up one-tenth in October.

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; dropped one-tenth in November; was flat at .2 in December; and is off one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018 to .1 (#20 to #24, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 12th month in a row.

A -.4 in December by KVCR wiped away a +.4 via three straight modest increases (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Now in “Holiday” 2018, the San Bernardino Community College news/talk station forfeits another two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is a collective -.4 in three straight losses (.6 – .4 – .3 – .2, #18 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” advances from sixth to fourth. December’s 3.2 marked the first time KSGN reached the three-share level since January 2018’s 3.1. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now,” which was up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the eighth time in a row, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA erases December’s loss of four-tenths with a gain of one-half share (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). While Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the eighth successive sweep, it has the dubious distinction of suffering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (10.5 – 8.5, -2.0, 6+) and is the only #1 station in these 12 markets to show a dip from December 2018. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a collective -1.7 via four straight negative trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, eighth to ninth, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, steady at #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 17th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.2 (6+) in November and December, after November’s loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO is off one-tenth to 2.1 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which was frozen on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, is a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9,  #28 to #27, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the disappearance of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.6 in five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” which was a collective +.9 in November and December, is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+) and up two-tenths in December, is flat at 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+).

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); it adds four-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and continues at #2. In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+) and adds two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #30, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in September, October, and November, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is a combined +6.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), leaping from fourth to first. KOIT-FM was 7.6 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and is also #1 in San Francisco. In three straight San Jose slips, iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted KISQ is an overall -1.9 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+); after three straight months at #1, it falls to third. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is now an overall +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erodes by -1.5 (5.0, third to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” plummets by eight-tenths (4.6 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+ ). “Mix” had been +2.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 5.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. A December gain of four-tenths by Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a collective -2.4 (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), but “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to the aforementioned negative streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. A collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+). Three increases in a row netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) but it is now -3.1 in four straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Even so, “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to seventh. Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Flat at #26, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.1 as a result of five straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – After holding down the top spot the past six sweeps, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) shifts to the runner-up slot. When it lost three-tenths in December, “New Jersey 101.5” had its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). An overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 2.8, 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR drops from #16 to #17. Entering the December sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #26.

While even at #13, Entercom sports talk WFAN, which was up seven-tenths in October, is now -1.0 via three consecutive slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets relinquishes half that increase (-.6) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

The seven-tenths advantage Entercom all-news WCBS-AM held in December over co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS is down to two-tenths as WCBS-AM falters by four-tenths (2.3 – 1.9, #20 to #22, 6+), while WINS picks up one-tenth (1.6 to 1.7, #24 to #23, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in December, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS, which was up two-tenths in December, recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+) but is down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to being +3.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.9 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +4.9 in Middlesex and storms from second to first. Moreover, in five straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union improvements (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5 – 11.4, 6+), WLTW is an overall +6.5. It is #1 in New York City, as well; “Lite” notched an 11.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The (6+) adult contemporary share in Middlesex swells by an additional +1.7 as Beasley Media Group’s WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” boosts from 4.1 to 5.8 (seventh to third, 6+). This (5.8) is the highest 6+-share for “Magic” since February 2018’s 5.9. As a result of four successive down or flat moves (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is off by a collective -1.1. Trending a very consistent 3.7 – 3.9 (6+) from June 2018 through December 2018 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; +.9 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex showing since 3.3 in September 2016.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

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