Tag: "Salem Media Group"

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

| September 18, 2019

‘Brock & Salk’ to Leave KIRO-AM, Seattle Airwaves for Podcast. Due to expanding duties in their other roles, KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” personalities Brock Huard and Mike Salk are ending their daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am talk show and will instead do a podcast.  The two have been together on the air for more than a decade.  Salk was recently promoted to director of programming, increasing his programming responsibilities at Bonneville Seattle, and Huard – a college football analyst – joined FOX Sports earlier this year.  The “Brock & Salk” show will wrap on September 27 and the podcast will launch on October 2.  The station has not said how it plans to fill the programming vacancy.

KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Officially Debuts ‘Damon, Ratto & Kolsky’ Show. Although former San Francisco Chronicle and NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto and San Francisco Examiner columnist Matt Kolsky have been on the KGMZ-FM, San Francisco air with Damon Bruce for a couple of months now, the Entercom station announces that the two have officially joined the show and it’s now the “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” program.  “95.7 The Game” says that Ratto recently agreed to a multi-year deal with the station.  The program airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Salem Reduces Board Members to Cut Expenses. Four of the Salem Media Group, Inc. board members – James Keet Lewis, Jonathan Venverloh, Stuart W. Epperson Jr., and Edward C. Atsinger – have resigned from the company’s board of directors.  Salem CEO Edward G. Atsinger III says in a statement, “The board members’ decisions to resign were not the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies, or practices.  During the last few years, Salem has faced several unique financial headwinds and we are looking for ways to cut costs while not impacting revenue.  These resigning board members agreed that a reduction in board fees and travel costs would help improve the bottom line.  I am grateful for the service of Messrs. Lewis, Venverloh, Epperson Jr. and Atsinger.  Their years of service on the board contributed significantly to the impact Salem is making.”  The Salem board now consists of: Edward G. Atsinger III, Stuart EppersonEric HalvorsonRich Riddle, and Heather Grizzle.

TALKERS News Notes. Central New Jersey news/talk WCTC-AM “News Talk Radio 1450” is adding Compass Media Networks  syndicated “This Morning – America’s First News with Gordon Deal” in the 5:00 am to 9:00 am daypart, effective September 23.  The Beasley Media Group station makes the move two months after former morning personality Bert Baron left the station to take the public information officer position with New Brunswick’s mayor’s office.  Alan David Stein has been hosting the program in the interim. The station says Jennifer Kushinka, the current morning drive news anchor, will provide the latest breaking national headlines during the show and WCTC news anchor Racquel Williams will provide local updates at the top and bottom of the hour “for a seamless blend of local and national news, along with sports traffic and weather.”…..Bay Area radio personality Victor Zaragoza – most recently afternoon host at Entercom’s rhythmic oldies KRBQ “Q102.1” – is now serving with the company as a sports anchor and traffic reporter for all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco…..Pictured here is FOX News contributor Tomi Lahren (left) with relationship expert Jennifer Styers (right) after recording Styers’ “LoveAbility” podcast.  The two talked not politics, but “boundaries, putting up walls, confidence, and looking for love.” Lahren also gives her own raw and real relationship advice for women.  Styers says, “The ‘LoveAbility’ podcast is all about having the conversations around dating, relationships and love.  Tomi’s love story is a sweet one AND it is also full of the same challenges that each one of us face every day in our own personal relationships.”…..Public media company KQED held a groundbreaking for the renovation of its San Francisco headquarters.  KQED says the $91 million project “will transform KQED’s headquarters to accommodate the station’s significant staff growth over the past decade and the expansive nature of the services it provides audiences today.  It will also create brand new onsite spaces for in-person events, programs. and convening.”  Over the past 25 years, KQED has grown from 200 to nearly 500 employees.

Westwood One Uses LeadsRx for Attribution Measurement. Syndication and sales company Westwood One is using LeadsRx for its attribution measurement.  LeadsRx’s attribution software provides a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of how audio advertising drives advertiser search and site traffic.  LeadsRx’s platform also depicts business outcomes such as sales of products, form completions, in-bound phone calls, and more.  Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “The LeadsRx platform gives Westwood One industry-leading marketing measurement capabilities that greatly benefit advertisers with comprehensive, digital-like attribution analytics.”

2020 Presidential Race, Lewandowski Testimony, Saudi Oil Attack, NYTimes Kavanaugh Story, Israeli Elections, GM Strike, Cokie Roberts Passes, and Imelda Threatens Houston Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee; the attack on a Saudi oil installation and allegations Iran is responsible; the controversy over the New York Times Brett Kavanaugh story; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the UAW’s strike against General Motors; journalist Cokie Roberts dies after a battle with breast cancer; and Tropical Storm Imelda threatens Houston with severe flooding were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Air personality and programming pro Alex Mac moves from iHeartMedia’s “ALT 106.3” in Des Moines where he was afternoon jock and APD to Raleigh to serve as APD and afternoon drive host at CHR WDCG, Raleigh “G105,” effective October 1.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP of programming AJ says, “Alex’s passion for music and entertainment is like no other.  I look forward to him joining the team and I am thrilled about what he will bring to the Raleigh community as we build the next chapter of ‘G105.’”…..Public radio triple A WXPN, Philadelphia announces that it has named Raina Douris host of the nationally syndicated “World Café” program.  Douris was most recently host and writer for the daily, national morning program “Mornings” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Douris has also served as guest host and interviewer for various CBC Music and CBC Radio programs.  She succeeds Talia Schlanger who announced earlier this year she is leaving the program to pursue new creative endeavors…..iHeartMedia names Brent Johnson general sales manager for four of its music-formatted stations in the Louisville cluster: country WAMZ, hot AC WLGX “100.5 KISS FM,” hip hop WTFX “Real 93.1,” and CHR WNRW “98.9 Radio Now.”   iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana SVP of sales Kristy Beebe says, “We are proud to have Brent on our iHeartMedia Louisville team.  Our team is highly impressed by Brent’s previous digital experience.  His familiarity of the Louisville market will contribute greatly to the success of this team.”…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (left) is pictured below with Big Machine Label Group founder, president and CEO Scott Borchetta (right).  Borchetta joined Beasley for her podcast, “Beyond the Business.”  On it, the two discussed the transformation taking place at BMLG, as well as Borchetta’s thoughts on how the music industry is evolving to meet the needs of today’s consumers.

Friday, September 13, 2019

| September 13, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format.  More than half of the sports talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up from the July survey to the August survey, led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” (+1.0).  Comparing August 2018 to August 2019, about half the stations were up and the other half were down.  Gainers included KFXN (+1.5) and Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” (+1.4).  Entercom’s WFAN, New York was the only sports talker to rank #1 in its market with a 5.6 share.  Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia ranked #2 with a 6.7 share.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

New iHeartRadio Sports Digital Platform Launches. The new iHeartRadio Sports website allows listeners to find broadcast sports radio stations, sports podcasts, and latest sports news in one place.  iHeartMedia says that listeners can access more than 195 live broadcast and digital stations and episodes from more than 25,000 sports podcasts, including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “3 and Out with John MiddleKauff,” “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” “Sports Wars,” and more. iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis says, “iHeartRadio has long been a destination for the biggest sports fans and now provides the premier destination where they can find all their favorite teams, podcasts, personalities and stations all in one place.  Sports listeners are incredibly passionate and this new destination utilizes the power and reach of iHeartMedia and its programming to create an encompassing all-things-sports experience like no other, for those enthusiastic fanatics everywhere whether it’s getting outstanding play-by-play of the latest Dodgers game to sports betting podcasts for expert picks and analysis.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/13).  The new episode titled, “And the Buzz Just keeps on Coming!” looks back at this past week of September 9-13, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Charles Freedman, host, KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  Nan Su, San Francisco editor, The Epoch TimesAlexi Cohan, reporter, Boston Herald; Graham Mack, program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; and Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT.  This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

‘America in the Morning’ Celebrates 35 Years on Air. Next Tuesday (9/17), Cumulus Media’s Westwood One will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the award-winning, weekday news magazine, “America in the Morning,” which launched September 17, 1984.  The program – currently heard on more than 330 affiliate stations – grew out of what was originally the last half hour of the five-and-a-half hour overnight “Larry King Show.”  When King was cut back to five hours, Westwood One used the last half hour to launch a morning news magazine.  It later expanded to one hour.  After Larry King left the radio show, his replacement – Jim Bohannon – hosted the program.  Current host John Trout took over hosting duties from Bohannon in 2016 (although Bohannon continues to contribute reports to the program).  Westwood One EVP news and talk Bart Tessler says, “Our 332 affiliates know that ‘America in the Morning’ is the show to turn to for the best and most comprehensive coverage of breaking news overnight.  Jim Bohannon created a legacy and John Trout continues the tradition of ensuring Americans are informed and entertained at daybreak.”  The program has won many industry awards, including the top prize for “Best News Magazine” the last two years at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Broadcast from Mobile. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher will host his Salem Radio Network program from the offices of Mobile, Alabama’s FairHope Direct on Wednesday (9/18).  FairHope Direct is run by president & CEO Doug Meduna and his company recently made a $15,000 contribution to the Christian non-profit relief agency Food For The Poor.  Last month, SRN raised funds for the charity that delivered emergency food to displaced children and families along Colombia’s border with Venezuela.  Gallagher will interview Doug Meduna on his show. Gallagher says, “Thanks to awesome people like Doug Meduna and his team at FairHope Direct, our generous listeners network-wide donated a total of $730,000 in August.

Coleman Exits WACV-FM, Montgomery. Attorney, political operative and talk show host Baron Coleman leaves his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk show on Bluewater Broadcasting’s WACV, Montgomery, Alabama “News Talk 93.1FM” and hints that he’ll be back on the radio in the market on Monday, on a different station.  Coleman tells Yellowhammer News, “I’m thankful for my time at Bluewater.  The last five years have been an incredible learning experience.  But, ultimately, the time was right to move on.  I’ll be announcing a fantastic opportunity in the next day or two, and I look forward to getting back on the air on Monday.” WACV says Jack Campbell and Joey Clark will co-host the late morning show.  It’s rumored that Little Engine Broadcasting’s crosstown WRBZ-AM/W238CE is flipping from classic hits to talk on Monday and that Coleman will surface there.

Dan Sileo to Join Twitch for Sports Talk Show. Thwarted in his effort to get back on terrestrial sports talk radio, Dan Sileo is joining Twitch.tv with the assistance of consultant Don Kollins.  Sports media personality Tony Bruno also hosts a show on Twitch and Sileo says he’ll be on with Bruno next week to make the announcement.  His program will follow Bruno’s.  Sileo was just hired to host afternoons on iHeartMedia’s KGME-AM, Phoenix, but four days into his new gig, pressure from the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes got him yanked.  The Coyotes just inked a deal to broadcast their games on the station and the club was nervous about Sileo’s past missteps on social media.

Ken Newman Named DOS for Cox Media Group San Antonio. At the San Antonio operations of Cox Media Group, Ken Newman is the new director of sales for the cluster that includes: classic hits KONO, rock KISS, and country KCYY.  CMG San Antonio VP and general manager David Abel says, “Ken brings a wealth of industry knowledge and sales expertise to his new role, making him the ideal sales leader for our market.  Our clients expect the very best from CMG and I am confident our teams will continue to deliver exceptional service under Ken’s leadership.”

Rob Sussman Exits ‘Delaware 105.9 FM.’Talk radio host Rob Sussman exits Forever Media’s news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” where he’d been hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  The station adds Radio America’s nationally syndicated “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch.  Sussman arrived at WXDE almost two years ago from his previous position as news director at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa.  He’s ready for his next opportunity and can be reached at Sussman.ra@gmail.com.  In July, the station parted ways with local host Susan Monday and fellow local host Ed Tyll resigned his position.  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher was added to the late morning daypart and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” program began airing in the early afternoon slot.  Forever Media acquired the station and nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting earlier this year.

WGTK-FM, Greenville Demonstrates PEP Station Responsibilities. Pictured above is WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94-5 The Answer” air personality Joey Hudson (left) on air with South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette (right) broadcasting from the Salem Media Group station’s transmitter tower.  WGTK-FM is a FEMA designated Primary Entry Point (PEP) station that cooperatively participates with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during, and after a national or local emergency.  Hudson broadcast from the WGTK PEP module using only backup generators and the equipment installed in the FEMA facility the agency maintains at the station’s broadcast tower.  As the PEP station serving Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, it is equipped with back-up communications equipment and emergency power generators designed to enable continuous broadcasting independent of public utilities and without refueling for approximately 30-45 days.  Hudson says that although this exercise had been planned for weeks, with Hurricane Dorian passing through the Carolinas last week, the “practice scenario” provided by FEMA was timely as he simulated how he would provide essential information to the public immediately following devastating damage by a hurricane in the Carolinas.

John Bolton’s Exit and Cancelled Taliban Talks Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 9-13.  The exit of John Bolton from his national security advisor position in the Trump Administration and the related cancellation of secret talks with the Taliban in Washington tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was “sharpie-gate” and the NOAA controversy.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China relations and North Korea’s missile test, followed by stock market activity and the economy at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

McGorry Elected to BFoA Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that William McGorry, chairman of Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, has been elected to the board of directors of the BFoA.  McGorry oversees Broadcasting &Cable’s Hall of Fame nominating process and manages the annual awards event.  Proceeds from the black-tie gala benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America and The Paley Center for Media.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Bill has been a long-time supporter of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, and we are delighted that he is joining the Board.  Every year, Bill ensures that the Broadcasters Foundation is a recipient of some of the proceeds from Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame Awards dinner. Those much-needed funds go to helping broadcasters in need across our industry, either in monthly or one-time emergency grants. We are grateful for his contributions.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Nikki Imbrascio is officially introduced by Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach as the new midday host on hot AC WRMF.  She was previously with CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” as midday host. WRMF brand/content director Leo Baldwin says, “After an extensive search we are so happy to bring Nikki and her major market experience to Hubbard West Palm Beach.  WRMF has been looking for its mid-day voice for quite some time and I am excited for Nikki to get started!”…..In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Robbie Bridges resigns his position as operations and brand manager for Townsquare Media’s operations there, including programming country WOKQ. Taking his place is Sammy Cruise, who leaves his gig at Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK, West Palm Beach to return to the station he served with in the past…..Buffalo radio icon Roger Christian is ousted from Entercom’s hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5.”  Christian was on air on the 102.5 frequency for 43 years, going back to its time as a rock outlet.  Christian says he was told the position is being eliminated and the daypart will be voice-tracked.  However, Christian was scooped up quickly by Radio One Buffalo LLC’s Buddy Shula who’s bringing him aboard his oldies WECK-AM to handle weekends and fill-ins.

Monday, August 26, 2019

| August 26, 2019

Joe Walsh Says He’ll Challenge Trump for GOP Nomination. As teased on Friday (8/23), former Illinois GOP congressman and talk radio host Joe Walsh officially announced on Sunday that he will begin a GOP primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination.  Walsh hosts the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight program on the Salem Radio Network. It’s not clear right now when he’ll leave his radio show, but it’s a safe bet it will be very soon.  As a politically conservative broadcasting company, the SRN and Salem Media Group brass can’t be thrilled about Walsh’s decision. However, conventional wisdom says Walsh has no chance to take the nomination from Trump since the president enjoys overwhelming support from Republicans. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, weighing in on the syndicated host’s announcement states, “The extraordinary amount of press surrounding this development illustrates just how powerful talk media has become during the age of Trump.  We all know that talk radio and cable news/talk TV have been consistently influential platforms in the post-Fairness Doctrine decades.  However, the sheer measurable power this bubbling influence has amassed in the age of Trump is jaw dropping to say the least.  Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, the fact that the president of the United States is a huge talk media fan and constantly demonstrates it through his use of social media, shout-outs, and political appointments has been the most significant booster rocket imaginable in elevating talk media beyond junior status to equal-if-not-greater influence and prestige as the so-called mainstream media.  Look at the amount of attention his tweets garnered for Wayne Allyn Root last week.  The fact that Joe Walsh – a radio talk show host with a microscopically short resume of elective service – could get so much more coverage than former governors William Weld and Mark Sanford sends an important message.  Radio and TV talk personalities are, in a growing number of cases, on the same level as major elected officials.  In an industry where anecdotal qualitative influence is every bit as important as murky quantitative metrics, everyone in the talk business owes a debt of gratitude to President Trump.  All I can say is, Mr. President, ‘Keep listening and watching!’” Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated FOX News had ignored the story.  Actually, FOX News published this story on Sunday and devoted reports on FOX News Channel to the story.

Neal Boortz Ends WSB-AM, Atlanta Commentary.  Six years after retiring from his daily radio talk show, radio legend Neal Boortz does his last commentary feature for his old flagship station WSB-AM/WSBB-FM. In his final piece for the station, Boortz says he looks forward to paying less attention to the news because he believes the country is headed for disaster due to young people knowing more about LGBTQ history than American history.  He says, “I’m going to just enjoy my friends, family and my travels while the rest of you see if you can pull this country back from the brink.” Hear his commentary here.

LaDona Harvey Re-Ups with KOGO, San Diego. Longtime station personality LaDona Harvey signs a new contract with iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego to continue as morning personality through 2022.  Harvey served as news anchor and then midday talk host before being partnered with Ted Garcia in morning drive in 2014.  Station program director Brian Long says, “When we re-launched Newsradio 600 KOGO, it was clear that LaDona had the versatility needed to shift from a popular local news/talk host to become a strong morning news personality without missing a beat.  LaDona and Ted Garcia together every morning share a chemistry that connects with San Diegans and serves to entertain and inform KOGO listeners every weekday morning.”

New Affiliate Stations for ‘Our American Stories.’ The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” radio program announces the program is being added to the program schedules at stations including: iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver; Bustos Media’s KVOI, Tucson; American General Media’s KVEC, San Luis Obispo; Entercom’s KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita; and Kensington Digital Media’s WRSW-AM, Warsaw, Indiana.  Lee Habeeb is host of the program and CEO of American Private Radio, producer and syndicator of the show.  Habeeb comments that he’s “grateful for the new markets and the opportunity to bring more listeners together in a positive listening environment.  These stations, along with our 210 other affiliate partners are a testament that listeners want more than just political talk.  They want a positive experience that radio does really well, which is just what ‘Our American Stories’ delivers.

Ken Lagana Named EVP of Digital Sales for Entercom. Digital sales executive Ken Lagana is appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president of digital sales for Entercom, effective September 10.   Lagana was most recently head of sales and marketing for podcast technology firm Megaphone.  In this new role, Lagana will lead sales strategy for the company’s digital business, including RADIO.COM, and its newest podcast acquisitions – Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “I have known Ken a long time and have immense respect for the large digital businesses he’s helped build.  Ken has an incredible reputation in the industry for creating innovative programs at scale that solve challenges for marketers.  We’re excited to welcome him to the team as we continue to help shape the rapidly growing digital audio marketplace.”

Envision and Radio PA State Network Partner for Sports Report. This partnership between Envision Networks and Radio PA State Network will result in EnvisionVirtualServices Sports Reports being distributed to more than 50 radio stations throughout the Keystone State.  The feature his presented by sports reporter Andrew Scaglione who delivers twice-daily reports (and one report on Saturday).   Scaglione says, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has such a rich sports history spanning from the high school level all the way up to the pros.  It’s a privilege to provide daily sports reports to stations around the state and keep folks up to date on Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College, Williamsport, and everywhere in between.”

Monday Memo: YouTube Tweaks.  YouTube is a powerful platform and it’s real crowded.  Every second, one hour of video is uploaded.  If you just “throw something up there,” you’re probably not capitalizing on the benefits of YouTube.  Consultant Holland Cooke suggests that before your video joins that torrent, take a look at some valuable tips here.

U.S.-China Trade War/G7 Summit, Hong Kong Protests, Joe Walsh to Challenge Trump in Primary/2020 Presidential Race, Israel Strikes Iranian Targets, and Andrew Luck Retires from NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tariff battle between the U.S. and China, the world’s financial markets’ reactions to them, and the meetings that took place at the G7 in France over the weekend; the protests against Chinese aggression in Hong Kong; talk host and former congressman Joe Walsh announces his Republican presidential bid and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets near Damascus, Syria; and the shocking retirement from pro football by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Forever Media to Buy Lebanon, Pennsylvania Duo. The stations – news/talk WLBR-AM and adult contemporary WQIC-FM “Soft Rock 100.1” – are being sold by family-owned Lebanon Broadcasting Company to Forever Media.  The deal gives Forever 64 stations in 11 markets.  Lebanon president Lynn Deppen says, “WLBR/WQIC has been in the Etter family for over 70 years.  Since my sons have independent careers, I made the decision to sell to Forever Media. Forever Media is an excellent company consisting of community-oriented radio stations.  They empower local managers with key decision-making authority and encourage local community interests to be a factor in any decision.”  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications represented the seller in this deal.

Barr Bids Buck Bon Voyage. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) with U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right) at Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. last Thursday night (8/22).  Sexton, host of “The Buck Sexton Show,” had an impromptu going away celebration at the hotel as he leaves Washington to move to New York City.  Barr made an appearance to wish Sexton well as he returns to his home state.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Josh Innes is launching a podcast.  The former KBME, Houston and WIP, Philadelphia sports talk host tells ForbesJonathan Berr that he intends to target sports fans in Philly and Houston with separate shows for each market.  He says he understands that there are a ton of podcasts out there and that compared to big stations, he’s a small business.  He says he plans to target local advertisers who can’t afford to advertise on major market radio stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Vivianne Linou  is promoted to executive producer of WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran morning show. The Tribune Broadcasting station promoted Mary Sandberg Boyle from that position to director of news and operations back in May.  Linou joined WGN as a producer back in March after having previously served with Entercom’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM…..Alpha Media’s Portland sports talk KXTG-AM drops the FM translator simulcast of its programming.  The station signaled the end of the broadcast on K275CH with the re-branding of its social media accounts that eliminate the 102.9 FM frequency…..Saga Communications swaps FM translators as a simulcast of news/talk WGAN-AM, Portland.  It goes from W288CU, PORTLAND at 105.5 FM to W253DA at 98.5 FM…..ESPN launches a new college football podcast featuring lead analysts Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack plus SportsCenter’s Kevin Negandhi.  The “ESPN College Football Podcast- Herbie & Pollack” publish three times per week through the season with Negandhi hosting all episodes. Herbstreit will co-host on Mondays and Pollack will do so on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. West Palm Beach country outlet WIRK names Moriah Daniels midday personality.  Daniels began her radio career eight years ago as an intern for the then-CBS Radio station, now owned and operated by Hubbard Radio.  WIRK operations manager and brand/content director Bruce Logan states, “As a program director, there is nothing better than inheriting great talent!  When I started the search to transition ‘New Country 103.1’ from a voice-tracked show to a live and local show in West Palm Beach, I was thrilled to find Moriah sitting mere feet from my office dutifully serving our sales team.  She expressed interest, I went through the entire search process and in the end, there was no one I’d rather have as WIRK’s At-Work host.”…..Air personality Pat Gallagher returns to the Madison market to assume the morning show duties on Mid-West Family’s alternative WRIS “The Resistance.”  Company VP of programming Randy Hawke says, “Pat helped define alternative music in Madison.  It’s so important to have him here and be a part of it.”  Gallagher worked in alternative radio in Madison for 27 years before joining Mid-West Family Madison for a brief time then heading to WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia to do mornings…..Radio personality and doo wop enthusiast Ron Farber appeared on WMTR-AM, Morristown, New Jersey over the weekend as guest and co-host on the station’s “Doo Wop Drive” program from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on August 23.   It was a homecoming of sorts as Faber hosted the Friday night doo wop show from 2005 through 2008…..Air talent Scotty Kay joins the new morning program at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago.  Kay was most recently on air at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”  He joins morning show hosts Katie BrightJason Pullman, and Erin Creedon on the program…..In Los Angeles, Doug “Sluggo” Roberts is named assistant program director and music director for classic rock KLOS.  Roberts currently hosts weekend programs on SiriusXM’s “1St Wave” and “Lithium” channels.  He’s also worked at alternative KROQ and adult hits KABC-FM in Los Angeles.

Monday, August 12, 2019

| August 12, 2019

Q2 Results: Saga, Salem, SBS. Second-quarter net revenue for Saga Communications ($32.2 million) was relatively flat versus 2018. Station operating expense decreased $226,000 to $22.9 million and operating income grew from $6 million to $6.6 million. Free cash flow fell $437,000 to $5.6 million, primarily as a result of a $542,000 increase in capital expenditures associated with recent acquisitions. Saga posted a net income of $4.7 million, compared to $4.2 million in the same period last year. On a same-station Q2 basis, operating income increased $383,000 to $6.4 million. Net revenue decreased $1.2 million to $31.1 million and operating expense decreased $1.2 million to $22 million. The second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group fell 2.4% year-to-year to $64.7 million. Operating income was up from $1.3 million to $5.7 million. Net loss expanded from $2.2 million to $3.6 million. EBITDA gained 59.9% to $9.6 million, however, Adjusted EBITDA decreased 9.4% to $10.2 million. On the broadcast side, net revenue slipped 2.9% to $49.1 million. Digital media division revenue fell 2.9% to $10 million, while publishing revenue rose 3.5% to $5.6 million. Meanwhile, Spanish Broadcasting System reports that second-quarter consolidated net revenue grew 6% from $34.8 million in 2018 to $36.9 million. Radio segment net revenue increased 5% from $31.2 million to $32.9 million, mainly due to increases in local, barter, network and digital sales. Chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon remarks, “Our second-quarter results once again validate the company’s strategic and operational strengths and give further evidence as to our standing as the undisputed leader in Hispanic radio, as well as one of the premier radio owner/operators in the nation’s largest markets. During the quarter, management’s focus on operations yielded superior metric results in all major facets of our company’s operations: Top rankings in all core markets, including the #1 and #2 Spanish-language stations in the two largest radio markets of New York and Los Angeles, as well as three of the four most-listened-to Hispanic stations in America, while maintaining industry-leading radio margins of 44%.” SBS’ radio operating income advanced from $13.6 million to $14.2 million.

Monday Memo: Advertisers Believe Each Other: The local retailers who are your best prospects are curious: What’s driving new customers to other businesses?  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke invites you to rip-off a proven testimonial spot template. Read his column here.

TED’s Ahead In Podcast Awareness Study. On one hand, “TED Talks Daily” has the highest aided awareness of the 20 most-listened-to podcasts as ranked by Podtrac. The downside is that only 43% of monthly podcast listeners are familiar with that particular podcast. That’s among the nuggets of a Coleman Insights study of 1,000 monthly podcast listeners (18 – 64) conducted three months ago (May 2019). Respondents were asked to review Podtrac’s list of top 20 podcast rankings and indicate their familiarity with each. The TED brand claimed two of the top three spots; The New York Times’The Daily” (35%) came in second and “The TED Radio Hour” (32%) placed third. Coleman Insights president Warren Kurtzman notes, “Our findings reaffirm the idea that – despite podcasting’s growth – the medium still has a long way to go with brand development. Even with the most-listened-to shows, most active podcast users aren’t familiar with them. The ones they are familiar with are big, cross-platform brands with strong marketing behind them.” Only 8% were familiar with top 20 entry “Invisibilia.” As far as demo comparisons are concerned, 25-44s are more likely to be familiar with the top 20 podcasts than are those between the ages of 18 – 24 or 45 – 64. Male podcast listeners, per the Coleman Insights finding, are more likely than females to be familiar with the Podtrac’s top 20. Implications of Coleman’s podcast research findings will be shared this Wednesday (8/14) at 9:00 am at an “Outside Thinking for Podcasts” session in Orlando.

Upstate Radiothon Raises $200,945. In the 12th annual radiothon for Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System (GHS), seven Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg stations (“Greenville Upstate”) raised $200,945. The radiothon aired last Thursday (8/8) and Friday (8/9) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. Donations help sustain programs/services that support children and families during a hospital stay. Entercom Upstate director of sales Devon van der Merwe comments, “This radiothon is a signature event for giving back by the Upstate community. It is such a labor of love for the entire Entercom family. For two days, the airwaves were filled with stories of hope and support. Entercom Upstate always looks forward to going the extra mile when it comes to supporting and aiding Prisma Health–Upstate. We have a passion for our loyal listeners and community and none are more special than the families at Children’s Hospital. Being able to give back is what makes our radio brands, our sponsors, and personalities so powerful.” GHS Children’s Hospital serves all of upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina, and eastern Georgia. Money raised during the radiothon impacts more than 400,000 patients and families each year. Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Upstate medical director Robin LaCroix, MD notes that, “Hospital stays can be intimidating emotional experiences for children and parents. Funds we receive from this radiothon are critical to ensuring that we can provide families with support and resources they need while they are in our care. Prisma Health and Entercom come together each year to make a difference in the lives of so many families in our region. We are so thankful to the community and especially to Entercom Upstate listeners for their continued support.” In addition to news/talk WYRD “106.3 WORD – The Upstate’s Talk Station,” and sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate,” the Entercom Greenville cluster consists of adult contemporary WSPA-FM “Magic 98.9,” CHR WFBC-FM “B-93.7 – #1 For Hit Music,” WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1,” WTPT “93.3 Planet Rocks,” and WFBC-HD2 “96.3 The Block.”

Advertisers Agreeable To Podcast Spending. As part of this week’s Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One blog, Audience Insights president Jeff Vidler outlines reasons why advertisers are open to the idea of including budgets for podcasts. Here are several highlights from the blog. “Podcast listeners are deeply engaged. A compelling podcast is reminiscent of the immersive experience of snorkeling. It can bring you into another world and make otherwise dead time fly by.” Listeners develop close relationships with their favorite podcast hosts and shows. “The top three reasons why podcast listeners pay attention to podcast ads revolve around the host and the listeners’ personal connection to the podcast.” Podcast listeners tend to skip or avoid ads in podcasts, “especially compared to ads in other digital media. Podcasting’s on-demand nature and unique content draws listeners to the platform. Along with video and music streaming platforms, podcasts fall in the upward trend of on-demand content; however, podcasts are one of the few on-demand providers that are open to advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. The annual epic rivalry ArmyNavy football game (12/14), as well as the entire 2019 Army schedule, will be broadcast on Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” Cumulus Media vice president/market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are thrilled to be the broadcast home for Army football in our Nation’s Capital. Our listening area is one of the highest in the country for active and reserve military personnel. We know some very important ears will be listening to our station. We are excited and proud to be a partner and look forward to some great football this season.” Play-by-play voice of the “Black Knights” Rich DeMarco states, “Army football is truly ‘America’s Team,’ and we are very fortunate to have a national network of radio stations that carry Black Knights games. With the high concentration of West Point graduates and fans in and around the Nation’s Capital, it’s only fitting to have WSBN as the newest member of the Army Sports Network.” Formerly WMAL-AM, WSBN broke away from its simulcast of news/talk WMAL-FM last month (July 2019) ….. Journalist/filmmaker Carrie Lozano will moderate a conversation about public media in the digital age and the state of local and national journalism. The event takes place tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 8/13) at 6:30 pm at San Francisco’s Taube Auditorium and will feature PBS president/chief executive officer Paula Kerger; KQED, San Francisco president/chief executive officer Michael Isip; and KQED president emeritus John Boland. They are expected to discuss how public media affiliates are adapting to serve communities, how stations and audiences respond to attacks on the free press, and how organizations are changing with their audiences and ways they consume media ….. To say the least, Ron Verb‘s run to be Austintown, Ohio’s trustee is short-lived. The afternoon host of iHeartMedia Youngstown news/talk WKBN-AM “News Radio 570” submitted his entry for the position to the town last Wednesday (8/7) only to bow out of the race a few days later. While originally declaring he had no intention to quit his radio show while running for office, Verb halted his political ambitions after discovering FCC rules required he would need to abandon his on-air job ….. For the seventh consecutive month, ESPN Podcasts experience year-to-year growth, as tracked by Podtrac. In July 2019, they drew 5.8 million in unique audience, up 17% from July 2018. Content created specifically for podcasts grew their downloads 25%, versus July 2018. July increases were led by listenership of “FiveThirtyEight: Politics,” “The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe,” the “Le Batard & Friends” network, which launched earlier this year, and the debut of “The Woj Pod” from NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski …..  According to rankings appearing in The Princeton Review, Emerson College Boston’s noncommercial WERS and its campus station, WECB, are the country’s “best” college radio stations. WERS general manager Jack  Casey explains that, “WERS and WECB train students in a real-world environment, with many of the same creative pressures and deadlines that face professionals in radio broadcasting. All of this is part of the college’s mission to train future leaders of the media industry. It is immensely gratifying to see that students recognize the value that we provide. We are grateful for their ongoing support in making our combined radio stations #1 in The Princeton Review this year.” The Emerson stations were rated #1 six years ago (2013), as well …..In order to devote full attention to their podcast sales representation firm, Podcast Ad Reps (PAR), Rick Selah and Anthony Savelli have left their sales roles at Himalaya. PAR was launched eight months ago (12/2018) to “hyper-service” independent podcast creators with sales/marketing solutions.

Jeffrey Epstein Death Dominates News/Talk Conversation Over Weekend.  The “apparent” suicide death of Jeffrey Epstein and speculation/conspiracy theories surrounding it dominated conversation on news/talk radio across America (8/10-11) all the way through to this morning (8/12) according to TALKERS magazine research.  The El Paso and Dayton Shooting along with conversations about Gun Control Legislation and Violence in American Culture was a strong second place topic followed closely by the US-China Trade War.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Some major personnel shuffling involving Cox Media Group stations in Tampa, Orlando, and Tulsa come in the wake of Rick Thomas exiting as operations manager of the company’s Tampa Bay cluster. In addition to being CMG Tampa’s OM, Thomas programmed perennial market pacesetter (adult contemporary) WDUV “Lite Favorites 105.5,” adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” and CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5.” Thomas joined Cox Media Group Tampa 2.5 years ago. His previous programming resume includes stops in New York City (CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp Radio”); Los Angeles (classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” and smooth AC KTWV “94.7 The Wave”); and San Diego (rhythmic CHR XHTZ “Z-90” and urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5”). In addition to his current duties as director of branding & programming for Cox Media Group Orlando CHR WPYO “Power 95.3,” Will Calder adds similar responsibilities at Tampa’s “Hot 101.5.” Calder has previously worked in New York (WNOW, WBMP); Miami (WPOW); and Milwaukee (WXSS). At the same time, Cox Media Group Tulsa director of marketing & radio operations Nathan Reed is transferring to program aforementioned Tampa AC outlets WDUV and WWRM. Prior to joining Cox Media Group Tulsa in 2016, Reed worked for iHeartMedia Toledo, where he became senior vice president of programming, and he has programmed Flint (Michigan) rhythmic CHR WRCL ….. Promotions inside Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s cluster find WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” music director Sara Parker adding digital program director duties for WMMR and WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK.” Parker will be responsible for managing digital content to optimize reach for the stations’ on-line presence and social platforms. Elsewhere, morning show producer Marisa Magnata will support Parker as assistant digital program director/producer and digital content manager of WMMR’s “Preston & Steve Show.” Her focus will be on the station’s digital content efforts, as well as managing all of the morning show’s digital aspects. In addition, WMGK and WXTU “Philly’s Country Station 92.5 XTU” digital program director Nicole Siberry shifts her responsibilities to manage digital assets for WXTU and sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic.” ….. Today’s 6:00 am – 10:00 am “Johnny’s House” on iHeartMedia Orlando CHR WXXL “XL 106.7” is originating from Meadow Woods Elementary School. Students there – as well as from 16 other community schools – are receiving backpacks filled with supplies for their first day of school. Approximately 12,000 backpacks and supplies were provided in a program committed to aiding economically disadvantaged families in central Florida. Along with 170 volunteers, “XL-106.7” staffers stuffed backpacks with necessary school supplies and donated them to 17 schools in seven Florida counties …. As of this Friday (8/16), Steve Jones’ weekday 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm “Jonesy’s Jukebox” on Meruelo Media-owned Los Angeles rocker KLOS will become a Friday-only program. Jones made the announcement on last Friday’s (8/9) show, noting, “I’ve been doing this five days a week and I want a break. We’ll see what happens in the future. Maybe I can do a solo album that everyone is asking me to do.” The 63-year-old London-born guitarist has been hosting “Jonesy’s Jukebox” on KLOS for nearly four years; the show was previously heard in the market on KDLD & KDLE “Indie 103.1” for five years ….. Set to be broadcast one time only, this Thursday (8/15) at 5:07 pm (ET) – and not archived – University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN, Philadelphia will present a minute-by-minute replay of the Woodstock music festival. Airtime for “Woodstock – As It Happened – 50 Years On” is exactly 50 years to the day from the 1969 event, which was originally billed as the “Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.” It kicked off (Friday) at 5:07 pm August 15 and ended (Monday), August 18. WXPN associate general manager for programming Bruce Warren notes, “From the movie that came out in March 1970 to the numerous collections of recordings released over the years, there has yet to be a full authentic musical account of the concert until now. WXPN is going to pay the most effective tribute to the music the way it was originally performed at exactly the same times the sets were performed to give our listeners a feel for how it all really went down.” In order to remain in sync with the timing and length of the original event, WXPN’s broadcast will include stage announcements and breaks between artist sets ….. Available to stations through Envision Networks is a Kroeger Media-produced classic hits version of “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” Among others, the classic hits format includes music from artists such as AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, Matchbox 20, Van Halen, and U2. Stations can broadcast the original shows; the new classic hits version; or incorporate Wolfman Jack’s breaks with their own playlist and use the show’s actualities to run as a shorter weekly (or daily) program ….. As part of its annual ice cream tour, Atlantic Gateway Communications noncommercial (Takoma Park, Maryland-licensed) contemporary Christian WGTS returned to North Beach for the second year in a row. This time, WGTS brought Black River Entertainment artist, Hannah Kerr. The station’s morning show host/promotion director Jerry Woods remarks, “We had such a great reception in North Beach last year from all the people across the D.C. area that we wanted to come back to do something bigger. Thousands of people flocked to the town for free ice cream and the farmer’s market, but many came specifically to hear Hannah Kerr’s concert.” WGTS morning co-host Blanca Vega adds, “I can’t wait to go back and do it again.” WGTS has seen over 15,000 people between its ice cream tour and summer concert series this summer.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Long Island, Baltimore, and Portland. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these nine markets.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – From the first of the year forward, Cumulus Media’s WJR is -1.7 through six straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) as “News Talk 760” drifts from #12 (January 2019) to #19 (July 2019).

Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in February and March and then on 5.4 (6+) April and May, Entercom sports talk/Tigers flagship WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” is a combined -.9 in June/July (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5, flat at #9, 6+).

Down eight-tenths in June (6.2 – 5.4, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” falters by another six-tenths in July to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+); WWJ had a March-only stay at #1.

The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is: 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 (flat at #20, 6+). After recording a shift of one-tenth in three of the last four ratings periods (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET drops two-tenths in July to 1.0 (unchanged at #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” is up eight-tenths in three straight positive or neutral moves (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Down or flat three successive months for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX erases just over half that deficit with a June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+). Moreover, “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” advances from second to first. In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Its March/April decline of -1.5 followed back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). “Detroit’s Classic Rock” spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September 2018. Ousted from the top spot after residing there in May in June, iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD plummets by -1.2 to 5.7 (6+) and segues to fourth. “Mix 92.3” had been without a loss the past four sweeps for an overall +1.4 (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). An increase of one-half share to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+) by urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” pulls the plug on four successive setbacks that led to a loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). In early-November (2018), Entercom CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” transitioned to adult contemporary. In eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), “98.7 The Breeze” more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share. The streak, however, comes to an end in July as WDZH returns 20% of the increase (4.3, -.5, 6+), dropping from eighth to tenth. Its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” – erases 50% of June’s loss of six-tenths (5.9 – 6.3, +.3, 6+) and climbs from third to second. After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). As is the case with WDZH, its sibling, WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music,” forfeits one-half share (4.8, 6+) but actually advances from seventh to sixth. WYCD was a combined +.4 in May/June (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is +1.2 through five consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #16. This is the best 6+-showing for “Nash FM” since June 2018 (2.8, as well). Anchored at #15, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is off a full-share through four straight survey periods without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). As a result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase, Radio One gospel WDMK-HD2 has lost nearly two-thirds (-1.1) of its 6+-stat (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .6, #21, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Following June’s decrease of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM gains one-tenth (3.3, 6+) and moves up one ranker (#12 to #11). Replicating June’s loss of three-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” drops from #13 to #16.

Three straight gains by Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” netted an overall +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), but the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship is now a combined -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, #20 to #19,  6+); May’s 3.1 was its strongest 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.1, as well).

In the past four sweeps, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ logged a fluctuation of one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+). That streak ends as KJZZ is off two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) yet progresses from  #11 to #10.

Phoenix Music Formats – In four straight drops, KJZZ classical sibling KBAQ lost more than half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+); however, “89.5 K-Bach” responds with a July improvement of six-tenths to 1.7 (#26 to #24, 6+). Inching up from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” is an overall +1.8 in four upticks in succession (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+). While KOOL’s positive streak continues as a result of its July 2019 +.5, a negative streak concludes owing to a one-half share gain this sweep. Specifically, with its +.5 to 4.4 (steady at #8, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” applies the brakes to seven successive negative or neutral reports that accounted for a -2.0 (5.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Even though adult hits cluster-mate KYOT gains one-tenth (6.6 – 6.7, 6+), “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drops from first to second. Entering the July 2019 sweep, its six most recent shifts were -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April) -1.2 (May); and +1.2 in June (5.4 – 6.6, 6+). “The Mountain” had been at #1 three ratings periods in succession before being ousted in May. KYOT is nudged from the top spot by adult contemporary sibling KESZ, which is a collective +1.5 via four consecutive bumps (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8, second to first, 6+). Cracking the top twenty at #20 is Hubbard Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KZAG “Oldies 92.7 & 1440,” which is up three-tenths in three straight positive or flat moves (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths by Farmworker Educational Radio Network regional Mexican KNAI takes “La Campesina” below a two-share (2.6 – 1.9, 6+) and out of the top twenty (#15 to #21). It is tied at #21 with Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KHOT “Que Buena 105.9,” which is a cumulative -1.1 in four straight negative or neutral trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 1.9, #16 to #21, 6+). Off nine tenths in three decreases in succession (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” is now a combined +.4 in June/July (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 seventh to fifth, 6+). Its format rival, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” forfeits one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Flat at #16, Riviera Broadcasting hot AC KMVA “Hot” records a 2.5 (6+) the fourth time in the last five sweeps (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After posting an 1.1 (6+) in June, Education Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappears from print.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth to 5.3 (unchanged at #9, 6+) by Entercom-owned/Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” suspends three consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). Conversely, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “My Talk 107.1” logs a gain of four-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #15, 6+), thus curtailing four straight decreases that led to a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which adds one-tenth to 2.4 (#17 to #16, 6+), pulling the plug on five straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Netting four-tenths in three straight up or flat moves (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” advances from #12 to #11. Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is down two-tenths in its third successive sweep without an increase (.8 – .7 – .7 -.6, #24 to #23, 6+).

Adding six-tenths to June’s +1.2 (4.3 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW jumps from seventh to fourth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Dislodged from the top spot in June by KSTP-FM “KS-95,” iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” returns the favor in July by racking up an improvement of nine-tenths (6.6 – 7.5, -.2, second to first, 6+). After approximately 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share vanished through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), “Kool 108” logged a +1.0 in May. Without an increase in each of the last four reports for an overall -1.5 (7.0 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+), CHR cluster-mate KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” curtails the slide with a spike of three-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to KQQL, Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” betters its June 2019 6+-stat by nine-tenths and is +1.2 via four consecutive positive or neutral trends (2.1- 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.3, #16 to #13, 6+). This is its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (3.3, as well). Getting back to “KS-95,” the Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC this calendar year held or shared the top spot in January, March, April, and June. It has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); -.8 (May); flat (June); and -.4 in July (6.7 – 6.3, first to third, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed KTCZ “Cities 97.1” notches a gain of six-tenths (4.5 – 5.1, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Shifts this calendar year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); -.2 (May); flat (June); and +.6 (July). In addition to notching its third straight (modest) uptick for a cumulative gain of four-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, unchanged at #19, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105” reaches the two-share level (2.0). The brunt of the combined June 2019 – July 2019 -1.2 of the market’s 6+ country share is taken by iHeartMedia’s KEEY (4.8 – 3.9, -.9, 6+). “K-102” drops out of the top ten (#10 to #12) and has its lowest 6+-performance (3.9) since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4. Format rival, Entercom’s KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” which lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), halted the skid with a gain of four-tenths in June. “The Wolf, however, surrenders three-tenths in July (3.3 – 3.0, 6+) and slips from #13 to #14. In the Northern Lights Broadcasting cluster, alternative KQGO “Go 96.3” cobbles together seven straight up or flat moves for a +.6 (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, #20, 6+), while rhythmic CHR sibling KZGO “Go 95.3” loses seven-tenths via four successive down or flat reports (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.4, #16, 6+). Having logged a 5.0 (6+) in April, Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM” follows with a 5.7 (sixth to seventh, 6+) in May, June, and July. A June loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 1.4, 6+) by KBEM not only forced “Jazz 88 FM” out of the top twenty (#18 to #21), it took the Minneapolis Public Schools outlet to its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018 (1.4, as well). KBEM vanishes from print in July. Likewise disappearing is the internet stream of co-owned triple A KCMP, which was trending .5 – .6 – .6 (April – May – June, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a +1.0 via three straight bumps (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” surrenders half that increase via June/July’s combined -.5 (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). In three consecutive setbacks (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” has lost an overall six-tenths but progresses from #19 to a three-way logjam at #18. This immediately follows a gain of nine-tenths as a result of four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). The (ultra-consistent) December 2018 through July 2019 San Diego topline for iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 (flat at #23, 6+).

Immediately after tripling (+1.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight advances (.7 – .9 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom-owned/Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” loses one-tenth in back-to-back (June and July) sweeps (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). As is the case with KFMB-AM (see above), however, “97.3 The Fan” moves from #19 to a three-way logjam at #18. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” records a .8 (6+) for the third time in the last four survey periods (.8 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #24, 6+).

On top the past six months, San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS sputters by three-tenths (6.2 – 5.9, 6+) and falls to third. KPBS has been -.6 (December 2018); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.1 (January 2019); -1.7 (April); +.9 (May); and -.7 (June).

San Diego Music Formats – When KYXY logged a positive spike of seven-tenths in June, it evened the score regarding the seven-tenths squandered in three straight negative or neutral trends (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In July, the Entercom adult contemporary outlet piles on an additional full-share (4.2 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top five (#11 to #5) with its best 6+-showing (5.2) since “Holiday” 2018’s 8.4. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” (third to second) and iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.5 – 5.0, seventh to sixth, 6+). This is the fourth consecutive positive or neutral move for “Que Buena” for a collective +1.0 (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). “Star” reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (5.0, as well). In five consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS is a combined +1.3 but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” backslides from third to fourth. This streak follows a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock,” which was -1.6 in four drops in a row (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), after three consecutive improvements that yielded a +2.2 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+), is up two-tenths in July to 4.5 (tenth to seventh, 6+). Not only is Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN  a collective +1.7 in five successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+),“Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” progresses from second to first. This is the first time “Sunny” has been at #1 in exactly one year (6.2, July 2018). Meanwhile, co-owned KBZT “Alt 94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative,” which netted +1.3 in four straight spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), relinquishes nine-tenths to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+). Following three  gains in succession that yielded six-tenths (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Tegna adult hits KFMB-FM “100.7 True Variety” falters by seven-tenths to 3.2 (#12 to #13, 6+). A collective -2.0 since February, owing to five straight negative or neutral trends (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” drifts from the top ten (#7 to #11).  

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is up four-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). The just-concluded negative streak came immediately after three successive gains led to a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), It has an eight-tenths advantage over Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio,” which is flat at 2.6 (#17 to #16, 6+).

The flagship of the Rays – iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” – has been -.4 (March); +.9 (April); -.4 (May); +.5 (June); and now -.4 in July (2.7 – 2.3, #16 to #18, 6+).

Flat at #20, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF follows June’s gain of two-tenths with a July loss of three-tenths (1.7 – 1.4, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Down or flat the past three survey periods for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ erupts with a robust +1.4 to 6.7 (6+) as “Q-105” leaps from sixth to second. While it reached the six-share level (6+) in March and April (6.1 both times), “Q-105” betters that mark with July’s 6.7. On the other hand, its format rival, Cox Media Group’s WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits,” is an overall -2.4 in four straight negative or neutral moves (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7 – 5.1, third to fourth, 6+). By gaining seven-tenths in June, Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” curtailed three consecutive decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). WQYK adds another half-share to 6.6 – its strongest 6+-showing since October 2018’s 6.7 – but backslides from second to third. Logging its fifth straight positive or neutral trend for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WLLD “Wild 94.1” advances from tenth to ninth. Flat at 8.6 (6+), after faltering by seven-tenths in June, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is #1 for the 83rd straight time. In June (and now again in July) it is below a nine-share (8.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 8.9. Its May gain of three-tenths curtailed four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” erodes by a full-share (5.7 – 4.7, 6+) and slides from third to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (4.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.9. Dropping six-tenths, in addition to WXGL (see above), are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and Beasley Media Group classic rocker WPBB “98.7 The Shark” (2.5 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). “The Beat” exits the top ten (#9 to #13) with its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018 (3.6, as well). Prior to losing two-tenths in June, WBTP was +1.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “The Shark” had been up an overall nine-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+) and had its highest 6+-showing (June’s 2.5) since “Holiday” 2018 (4.6). Three straight gains by Cox Media Group alternative WSUN yield a +.6 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, #19 to #17, 6+) as “97-X” has its best 6+-stat (2.5) since 2.6. A collective +1.4 In three straight improvements (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX reached the five-share level (5.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 5.2. The streak ends in July though as “Mix 100.7” drops four-tenths to 5.0 (6+) but continues in fifth-place. In the market’s always competitive CHR battle, Cox Media group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5” is a combined -.4 in June/July 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 (flat at #10, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WFLZ “93.3 FLZ” is down one-half share in June/July (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8, #13 to #12, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In the midst of an up/down pattern that started in March (4.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and Colorado Rockies flagship KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” carries on at #5. Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” gains four-tenths (1.1 – 1.5, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18).

Bonneville-owned KKFN adds one-tenth (2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and moves up one ranker (#18 to #17); in June, “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was off six-tenths. June/July’s combined -.5 by KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” represents a more than 50% loss of its 6+-stat (.8 – .4 – .3, #29 to #28, 6+).

Bouncing back from June’s massive -1.6 (6.2 – 4.6, 6+) with a July increase half that magnitude (5.4, +.8, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR advances from sixth to fourth. A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KCFR was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. In four straight sweeps without an increase, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC has lost one full-share (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – .8, #21 to #23, 6+).

One of the rare comedy-formatted signals in a PPM-market, Entercom’s KQKS-HD2, is off a collective one-half share via four consecutive months without an increase (1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Denver Music Formats – A June loss of six-tenths (1.5 – .9, 6+) nudged KVOD off the top twenty; however, the Colorado Public Radio classical outlet answers with a July increase of one-half share to 1.4 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#24 to #19, 6+). Possessing the identical June – July .9 – 1.4 profile (+.5, #24 to #19, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s KBPI “Rocks the Rockies,” which ends three down or flat sweeps that accounted for a net loss of one-half share (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well in July is country cluster-mate KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” which nets a +1.7 through three straight upticks (2.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, #15 to #13, 6+). This (3.7) is the highest 6+-stat for “The Bull” since it switched to country in mid-December 2017. Three-tenths of a share separates Denver’s top three July 2019 finishers. Included in that trio is KWBL’s format rival, Bonneville-owned KYGO, which drops two-tenths to 5.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. After netting +1.4 in four straight positive or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), KYGO regressed by seven-tenths in May only to roar back in June with a +1.0. June’s 6.0 was its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.0, as well). Ranking in July 2019’s top three as well is iHeartMedia’s KRFX (5.8 – 5.7, -.1, steady at #2, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” was +1.4 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). It dropped one-half share in May but answered in June with a robust gain of nine-tenths (4.9 – 5.8, 6+). Anchored in third-place, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” has gained nine-tenths in four straight positive or neutral sweeps (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+). Stuck on 5.4 (6+) in May and June, alternative sibling KTCL “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” falters by six-tenths to 4.8 (fourth to sixth, 6+). A combined +.8 in May/June (3.3 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100” relinquishes one-half share to 3.6 (#13 to #14, 6+). While Entercom classic hits-oldies KEZW hasn’t had a loss from February 2019 through July 2019, the net gain for “EZ-1430 Timeless Music” is just one-tenth. It was locked on .6 (6+) in February and March and now logs a .7 (#25, 6+) for the fourth time in a row. Immediately after its +.7 in four successive up or flat moves (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+) wiped out with a -.7 in May, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV improved by one-half share in June (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #17, 6+). Denver’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” however, disappears from print in July.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Four upticks in succession by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR have yielded a +1.0 (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), as “710 The Voice of New York” advances from #13 in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) to #11. On the other hand, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has lost one-half share in four consecutive decreases (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0, #26 to #25 6+).

In five straight up or flat reports, Entercom sports talk WFAN is +1.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Moreover, the Yankees’ flagship is #1 the fourth month in a row and this (5.5) is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since October 2018’s 5.6. Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off a combined four-tenths in June/July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, #15 to #19, 6+).

Stuck on 3.0 (6+) in May and June, Entercom all-news WINS drops three-tenths to 2.7 (#11 to #13, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is -1.3 via three straight down or flat trends (3.8 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+).

Without an increase the sixth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM actually improves from #25 to #24.

Long Island Music Formats – When WBLI dropped one-tenth in June, it curtailed three consecutive improvements that yielded seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). In July, the Cox Media Group CHR dials up a gain of eight-tenths (4.5 – 5.3, 6+), jumping from fifth to second and reaching the five-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.1, July 2018). Co-owned classic rock WBAB is +1.1 in three straight positive or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+) but backslides from second to third. A collective +1.1 through three straight Long Island reports without a loss as well (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia New York classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” progresses from eighth to fifth. The last time “Q-104.3” reached the four-share threshold in Long Island was in January (4.0). Even though New York CHR cluster-mate WHTZ hasn’t had a decrease in each of the last four sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), “Z-100” slips from third to fourth. Three straight drops by Connoisseur Media-owned classic hits-oldies WBZO have accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, 6+), but “103.1 Max FM” picks up one-half share in July (2.6, #17 to #14, 6+). Four straight up or flat reports by Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” account for a one-half share increase (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1, #17 to #16, 6+). On the heels of gaining a full-share in June, Emmis urban AC WBLS surrenders all of that increase plus one-tenth (4.4 – 3.3, -1.1, 6+), with “107.5 #1 for R&B” falling from sixth to tenth. Dropping from sixth to seventh, Entercom New York City classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is -1.0 via three consecutive decreases (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). This is the third Long Island decline in a row for WPLJ (2.2 – 1.9 – 1.5 – .5, 6+), which has lost more than 75% (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH-share in that April 2019 through July 2019 stretch. The sale of the legendary hot AC from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation closed on May 31 and EMF immediately switched WPLJ to contemporary Christian “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.”

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.9 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.5, 6+), independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” ends the slide with a one-half share increase to 2.0 (#15 to #13, 6+). Hearst Television’s similarly-formatted WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is a combined -1.0 in June/July (2.8 – 2.1 – 1.8, #12 to #15, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it added in June (.3 – .4 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL slips from #29 to #31.

Trending 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.8 (April 2019 through July 2019, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” advances from ninth to seventh.

Following April/May’s +1.0 (.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), co-owned business news WDCH regresses by a combined eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.1, #18 to #19, 6+).

Up nine-tenths in May/June (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” relinquishes seven-tenths to 2.6 (6+) but remains at #11. American University-owned news/talk WAMU has an April 2019 through July 2019 Baltimore topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 (#19 to #18, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In addition to piling on one full-share to June’s increase of eight-tenths (7.3 – 8.1 – 9.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM repeats at #1. “Magic 95.9” reaches the nine-share level (9.1) for the first time since January 2019’s 9.0. Immediately after posting a +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” follows with a collective -1.8 in May/June/July (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0 – 8.0, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. April’s 9.8 marked the first time WERQ reached the nine-share level (6+) since July 2016’s 9.2. In four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WPOC lost one-half share, but “93.1 Today’s Best Country” ends the slide with an increase of four-tenths to 6.2 (fourth to third, 6+). At the same time that Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 notches a one-half share increase (#15 to #14), adult contemporary sibling WLIF-FM “Today’s 101.9” sputters by one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+). WLIF-HD2 doubles (+1.0) its 6+ AQH-share in three straight gains (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+), while “Today’s 101.9” has its lowest 6+-showing (5.6) since September 2018’s 5.3. Owing to five straight reports without an increase, Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA is an overall -2.3 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” drops from seventh to ninth. The last time “The Bay” slipped below a four-share (6+) was February 2018 (3.8). Steady in eighth-place, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” is off a combined seven-tenths in June/July (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” hasn’t had a decrease since February yet is only up one-tenth (.7 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), while alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” is down a total of two-tenths in three straight negative or flat reports (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, #14 to #15, 6+). While anchored at #10, co-owned CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in five sweeps in a row without an increase (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” formerly Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety,” is trending 1.4 – .5 – .1 (#27 to #32, 6+). This is the eleventh sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Ups/down continue for Alpha Media-owned news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected,” which was -1.0 in March/April; +1.1 in May/June (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+); and now -.7 in July (4.1, sixth to ninth, 6+). Carrying on at #17, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” adds three-tenths to June’s +.2 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). In 2019 (January through July), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) four times and a .9 (6+) three times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (flat at #24, 6+).

KUFO’s sports talk sibling KXTG “The Game” has lost four-tenths in June/July (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3, flat at #22, 6+), as has Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, #22 to #23, 6+). After more than tripling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending 1.7 – .5 – .3 (6+) and is unchanged at #28.

After an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB is off by -1.4 in three setbacks in succession (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+) but continues in third-place. KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May).

Portland Music Formats – A combined +1.7 in June/July (3.7 – 4.1 – 5.4, eighth to fifth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” to its best 6+-stat (5.4) since “Holiday” 2018’s 5.6. Climbing from fifth to fourth, co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” improves by eight-tenths via three consecutive bumps (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+). As Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” picks up four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to sixth, 6+) to end three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland” is up seven-tenths in three successive sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10. In five consecutive down or flat moves, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC was a collective -2.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “All Classical Portland” posts a half-share increase to 2.5 (#19 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to losing seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) the first time since February 2017’s 4.2. Notwithstanding that it loses four-tenths (7.8 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” progresses from #2 to #1. It is the first time “K-103” has held the lead position since “Holiday” 2018. Ironically, it reaches the top despite having its consecutive string of increases that yielded eight-tenths snapped at three (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). June’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KLTH “The Eagle” (7.9 – 7.1, -.8, first to second, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-stat since January (7.1, as well). A combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+) before adding one-tenth in June, “The Eagle” had been on top the past five months. When “The Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). After being +1.5 in May/June (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.7, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” has all but two-tenths of that increase obliterated (4.4, -1.3, 6+) and slips from fourth to sixth. Prior to June, the last time KUPL reached the five-share level (6+) was in April 2017 (5.5). In advance of dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Its format foe, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country,” is -1.1 in June/July (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.5, #12 to #14, 6+). In May, “The Wolf” gained eight-tenths to 4.6, its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). Four successive positive or neutral moves by iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KXJM produced an overall +1.5 (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+), but “Jam’n 107.5” falters by two-tenths in July to 3.7 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). KXJM’s June 3.9 was its strongest 6+-showing since March 2016 (3.9, as well). After notching June’s 1.8 (#20, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappears from print.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

| August 8, 2019

Cumulus Media Q2 Assessment: “Making Great Progress.”  According to second-quarter results, Cumulus Media’s net revenue fell 2% year-to-year to $279.6 million from $285.2 million in 2018. Net income was down to $42.9 million, owing mostly to a net corporate loss, offsetting gains on the radio group side. Adjusted EBITDA was down 6.8% to $61.8 million. President and chief executive officer Mary Berner comments, “We continued to make great progress against the goals we set when we emerged from bankruptcy a little over a year ago. We delivered a solid financial performance, with same-station revenue and Adjusted EBITDA up 1.8% and 3.7%, respectively, on an ex-political basis, driven by continued growth in national and network revenue, as well as industry-leading digital growth. We have now closed several strategic portfolio optimization transactions and announced one more. The $146.5 million of gross proceeds from the closed transactions, along with cash from operations, allowed us to prepay $165 million of debt since our last earnings announcement. [That reduces] our total post-bankruptcy debt by approximately $250 million. Given the results of the past year, I am more confident than ever that the company will continue to deliver significant value to our investors, employees, listeners, and advertisers.”

Media-Savvy McAfee Adds Daily Syndicated Radio Show. Definitively proving there is life in the media after being an eight-year Indianapolis Colts punter, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) analyst Pat McAfee will host a daily sports talk show syndicated by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and streamed on the DAZN video network. The program will air weekdays from 10:00 am -12:00 noon (ET), starting in just over four weeks (9/9). Among the 40 stations already clearing “The Pat McAfee Show” are Cumulus Media’s San Mateo-licensed KTCT, which simulcasts KNBR, San Francisco; and Cumulus Media Indianapolis’ WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM.” In addition, 2017 – 2018 Barstool podcaster McAfee recently signed a deal to serve as a college football analyst for ESPN. Last year, he did similar NFL duties at Fox Sports. As part of his DAZN arrangement, the 32-year old McAfee will appear on its nightly MLB “Changeup” show and will create football segments for the video network’s outlets in Canada and Germany.

Stayin’ Classy: “The Ron Burgundy Podcast” Returns. California Senator/Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is the guest on the season two opener of iHeartRadio’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” co-produced with Funny Or Die. Channeling his Ron Burgundy persona and remaining completely in character, Will Ferrell emphatically states, “My podcast, quite simply, can only be described as a raging success. I’ll admit that when I first started in this rodeo, it was my first rodeo, and I had no idea what a podcast even was. But through diligent research and persistence, I quickly climbed my way up to the top. Now, it is not my first rodeo – it is literally, my second rodeo. Word on the street is that I am already the best rodeo rider that has ever lived … and podcaster, too. This is a fact, folks.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “When Ron first started trying to force us to make this podcast with him, we resisted, as it’s clear he’s an unhinged man; however, people are actually listening. I have no idea why. Doubly baffling, and for reasons beyond my grasp, they actually want more. Seriously? We have to go through this whole thing again? Fine. Season two. Whatever.” The podcast’s initial season debuted with 12 episodes in December 2018. In addition to Senator Harris, Ron Burgundy’s guests this season will include actress Brooke Shields, historian/political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin, and feminist activist Gloria Steinem. Approximately 270 iHeartMedia broadcast stations in virtually every format are scheduling Sunday Night Podcasts, which begins this Sunday (8/11) with “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” Sunday Night Podcasts is part of iHeartMedia’s “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative that utilizes the company’s consumer reach to introduce the rapidly growing podcast sector to iHeartMedia’s quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners. A much more serious Byrne states, “We’re thrilled to bring some of the world’s best and most popular podcasts to our broadcast listeners every Sunday. We are uniquely able to provide the scale critical to introducing podcasts to the millions of Americans who aren’t yet familiar with them. Research shows that more than two-thirds of the population still are not dedicated podcast listeners – many have never even heard a podcast. Sunday Night Podcasts will help introduce different audio series from a variety of genres to a whole new audience.” In October 2017, Mark Ramsey’s “Inside Psycho” aired as a one-hour special on more than 70 iHeartMedia news/talk outlets. Episodes of “Family Secrets” and “Monster: The Zodiac Killer” aired on iHeartMedia stations before they were available anywhere else.

WFAN Splits Simulcast For Certain Yankees, Giants Games. When your station is the flagship of two major sports franchises, it helps to have two signals to accommodate scheduling conflicts. Entercom New York’s sports talk simulcast of WFAN-AM & WFAN-FM will take advantage of that situation three times this month and four times next month: WFAN is the flagship of both the (MLB) Yankees and (NFL) Giants. When both teams are playing on the same date, the Giants will shift to WFAN-AM (660), while the Yankees will continue on WFAN-FM (101.9). Senior vice president of Entercom New York Mark Chernoff explains, “August marks the beginning of another exciting start to football season and WFAN remains at the forefront of New York Giants coverage while remaining the home for New York Yankees baseball. Splitting the WFAN signal will allow the station to super serve fans of both iconic teams.” August dates involved for the simulcast split are tonight, Thursday, 8/8 (Giants-Jets/Yankees-Blue Jays); the 16th (Giants-Bears/Yankees-Indians); and the 22nd (Giants-Bengals/Yankees-A’s). In September, the simulcast will be suspended on the 8th (Giants-Cowboys/Yankees-Red Sox); 15th (Giants-Bills/Yankees-Blue Jays); 22nd (Giants-Buccaneers/Yankees-Blue Jays); and 29th (Giants-Redskins/Yankees-Rangers).

United Stations Names Janoff Chief Revenue Officer. In that role, Greg Janoff will oversee all of United Stations Radio Networks’ advertising sales efforts. USRN chair/chief executive officer Nick Verbitsky comments, “We are beyond thrilled that we now have Greg Janoff overseeing our revenue streams. Greg is passionate about our medium, knows radio inside and out, and will absolutely be a tremendous asset for our company. The next decade is around the corner and we have landed the right executive to lead our current successes forward into the future.” For the past 24 years, Janoff has held several upper management posts in New York City for Entercom and the former CBS Radio. His titles there have included vice president and general manager for all-news WINS; vice president and director of sales for WINS, co-owned all-news WCBS-AM and sports talk sibling WFAN “The Fan”; and station manager for WINS. As Townsquare Media’s regional vice president, Janoff was in charge of the company’s Michigan and New Jersey markets for three years, following two years as executive vice president of revenue for Merlin Media’s five stations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Janoff succeeds Jim Higgins, who exited USRN last week.

iHeart Set To Debut Podcasts in Native Languages. By the first quarter of next year, iHeartMedia will translate/distribute a number of its podcasts around the world, marking what it says is “a significant step in internationally available, regionally targeted content for the podcast industry.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Our goal is to deliver exceptional content to listeners anywhere and everywhere in the way they’d like to hear it. By expanding some of our most popular podcast content into new languages, we see a major opportunity to introduce podcast listening at scale to whole new audiences abroad. What has always set podcasting apart is the engagement of the audiences – the ‘superfans.’ It makes sense to engage international audiences further and to super-serve them with content in their own languages to build their relationship with the content.” In the first round, the iHeartPodcast Network will translate six podcasts series into the most- spoken languages in the world. To be made available in Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French, German and other languages will be “Stuff You Should Know,” “Stuff You Missed in History Class, “Stuff Mom Never Taught You,” “Stuff To Blow Your Mind,” “BrainStuff,” and “TeachStuff.” Through these new translations, iHeartPodcasts will be available in the native language of more than a billion people worldwide.

TALKERS News Notes. In a South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WGTK “94.5 The Answer,” Salem Media Group Greenville-Spartanburg appoints Pat Kelley general manager. Salem Media Group regional vice president Val Carolin comments, “I have known Pat for many, many years and am excited to have a person of such high character and ability leading the terrific team in ‘The Upstate.’ Pat is a strong leader, and a person of great integrity, creativity, and skill. He will drive our operation to greater success and will be a true asset to Salem as a whole.” Kelly, who began his new duties earlier this week, adds, “I am thrilled to be leading the charge in upstate South Carolina as part of Salem Media’s local market leadership team. Great things are ahead.” Kelley spent over 25 years in Chicago and has held management positions for iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media, and Viacom Media …..Affiliates of Fox News Radio’s five-minute news service will be able to download two, one-hour Labor Day weekend specials in three weeks (8/28). Jessica Rosenthal-hosted “Securing America: Cyber Threats,” looks at data theft and manipulation from personal information to elections, while “The Wise Guys: A Fox Nation Special” features Bill Bennett, Gordon Chang, Charles Hurt, Mark Penn, and Solomon Wisenberg in a multi-topic roundtable discussion.  

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran programmer Rob Roberts is named director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group San Antonio classic hits-oldies KONO “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” and hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music.” Cox Media Group San Antonio director of operations Jeff Garrison comments, “Rob is an experienced broadcast professional with a proven track record for achieving great success for high-performing brands. His vision and leadership will be key to the future of KONO and KSMG. We are excited to add his talents to the CMG San Antonio team and welcome him back to the great state of Texas.” Vice president of audience and content Tim Clarke notes, “Rob is one of the industry’s great programmers; I am so thrilled he is now on our San Antonio team. We will benefit greatly from his experience and leadership.” Roberts adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to become part of the Cox Media Group team in a city I love. It’s the job I’ve always wanted – programming two highly-rated legacy stations is a dream come true.” Most recently, Roberts was vice president of programming for Cumulus Media Washington, DC hot AC WRQX, which – on May 31 – flipped to contemporary Christian under new owners Educational Media Foundation. Elsewhere in his 27-year radio career, he has programmed Dallas hot AC KDMX; Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q-99.7”; Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100”; and Denver classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105.” ….. The nine-year tenure of Entercom Washington, DC vice president of programming Steve Davis will come to an end on October 4. That’s when he will leave the cluster where he programs rhythmic CHR WPGC and classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” ….. One week from today (Thursday, 8/15), Carrie Neuman will take over afternoon drive duties at Towson University triple A WTMD, Baltimore. WTMD general manager/program director Scott Mullins comments, “Carrie has a lifelong passion for music, and she brings the excitement and enthusiasm of a fan who can’t wait to share new music discoveries with her friends. She is energetic, knowledgeable, fun to listen to and will be a great asset to WTMD.” Neuman notes, “I am more than just thrilled to be coming to Baltimore. I humbly join a legendary, music-centric staff that prides itself on discovering and sharing an unprecedented array of music. I am honored for the opportunity to work at WTMD. It’s the musical heartbeat of the city I so love.” Neuman formerly did mid-days at Annapolis, Maryland’s similarly-formatted WRNR ….. Speaking of Empire Broadcasting System triple A WRNR, Jeff Boden is appointed president/general manager there. Empire president Steve Kingston states, “Jeff has an extensive background in station management and sales. He spent many years working for ABC, Citadel, and then Cumulus Media in positions ranging from sales manager, director of sales, and president/general manager of [Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk] WMAL and [its then hot AC cluster-mate] WRQX. He most recently was president of Delmarva Broadcasting, which owned stations in Wilmington [Delaware] and other markets in the region. Much to our benefit, Delmarva was recently sold to Forever Broadcasting, allowing Jeff to bring his vast knowledge and experience of the business, his winning track record, and winning strategies to WRNR.” ….. Elsewhere in Maryland, college student Hunter Landon joins Adams Radio Group of Delmarva (Salisbury-Ocean City) as news director. Adams Radio vice president and general manager Lisa Layne comments, “Once again, we have struck gold with the addition of Hunter Landon. The news format will be timely, local, and live across all our brands. I am thrilled to add Hunter to the ‘dream team.’” Landon adds, “As a lifelong Delmarva resident, it is a career highlight to be running the newsroom for a first-class radio operation like Adams Radio of Delmarva. I am ecstatic to be delivering the news to the people of Delmarva on radio and digital for the market’s best stations and launching a fresh and revamped news department focused on the local community.” Working on a degree in broadcast journalism, Landon formerly was a reporter for WGMD “News Radio,” Lewes (Delaware). Adams Radio Group of Delmarva is comprised of WGBG “Big 107.7 Delmarva’s Classic Rock”; CHR WOCQ “OC-104 Today’s Hits”; WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies”; WUSX “US-98.5 Everything Country”; and WZBH “93.5 The Beach – Delmarva’s Rock Station.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

Washington, DC

 Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for WMAL which chalks up a July +.9 to 5.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three successive March through June decreases that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+). Immediately before that streak, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet amassed three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 improvements for a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). March’s 6.8 was WMAL’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 12th sweep in succession.

Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (3.4) and market rank (#13). In June, the Nationals flagship recaptured nearly half (three-tenths) of the eight-tenths dissipated in May. After nearly doubling (+.4) its 6+ AQH share via four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” surrenders two-tenths to .7 and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21, 6+). Roughly halfway through the July 2019 sweep (7/1), Cumulus Media ended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM. WMAL-AM became sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol,” which checks in with a .1 (#29, 6+).

Following six straight months at #1, Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP segues to the runner-up slot. Moreover, it falters the sixth month in a row and is an overall -2.5 in that January 2019 through July 2019 stretch (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). January 2019’s 10.4 was its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). The March 2019 through July 2019 topline for Entercom business news WDCH is: .4 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .6 (flat at #24, 6+).

Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU post a gain of four-tenths to 8.4 (6+) thus curtailing three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” shifts from the runner-up slot to #1. It supplants WTOP (see above). Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – A positive spike of six-tenths to 2.7 (#18 to #17, 6+) by Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” all but erases its May/June loss of seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” logs its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a collective full-share gain (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WASH has its best 6+-performance (5.4) since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). On the final day of May (2019), Cumulus Media’s WRQX pulled the plug on its hot AC format. Under new owner Educational Media Foundation, “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” became contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” May 2019 marked the final sweep before the format transition and “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) to exit as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline was 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). In its new format, however, WLVW erodes by roughly 78% (-3.2) in June/July (4.1 – 2.2 – .9, 6+), plummeting from #8 (May) to #17 (June) to #19 (July). An overall +1.4 through three gains in succession (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.7 (sixth to tenth, 6+). June’s 4.6 was its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (4.6, as well in August 2017). There is a similar scenario for cluster-mate WMZQ, which was +1.3 through four consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+). In July, however, “98.7 Today’s Best Country” falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Up a cumulative seven-tenths via four straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC regresses by three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #13). There isn’t much movement in the market’s urban AC contest, although a gain of two-tenths to 7.7 (6+) by WMMJ “Majic” is enough to halt three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to the just-concluded skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Having dropped four-tenths in June (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR levels off at 6.1 (6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). WMMJ is anchored in third-place for the eighth time in a row while WHUR is has been in fourth-place in May, June, and July.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without an increase, WSB-AM was down an overall eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but the Cox Media Group news/talker bounces back with a +.3 to 6.6 (steady at #2, 6+). Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” is down or flat the third time in a row (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+) but climbs from #29 to #28. Tied at #32 are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2 – .1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” which has lost three-tenths via eleven straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #34 to #32, 6+).

Even though it is an overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” moves from #15 to #14. At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up a cumulative six-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #17.

Steady at #12, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up one-tenth (3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth as well is Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (.6, flat at #25, 6+), which suspends three down or flat moves in succession that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (.8 – .6 – .5 – .5, #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – After improving by two-tenths in May and then spiraling -1.1 in June (6.3 – 5.2, 6+), Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” answers with a July boost of six-tenths to 5.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but faltered by eight-tenths in April. Even though urban contemporary sibling WHTA is an overall -1.6 through five consecutive negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+) “Hot 107.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). One streak continues for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH but another ends. On the plus side, “104.7 The Fish” is #1 the fourth month in a row; however, it loses three-tenths to (8.5, 6+), snapping at five its consecutive string of upticks that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). Even though it falters by two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” advances from tenth and ninth and overtakes Cumulus Media-owned format rival, WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits.” The latter returns the four-tenths it gained in June (3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+) and shifts from eighth to tenth. Ironically, June’s +.4 enabled “Q-100” to leapfrog “Power,” which dropped three-tenths in June (4.2 – 3.9, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6. Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and dialed up a +.6 in May. The same two owners are involved in the market’s country tussle. As iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” stumbles by that same margin in consecutive sweeps and is actually off six-tenths through three straight dips (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). “The Bull” and “Kicks” continue at #8 and #16, respectively. When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). “Kicks” faltered by four-tenths in May, after being off three-tenths in March.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a mixed bag for Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” which is down a combined half-share in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-showing since June 2018 (1.7, as well) but climbs from #22 to #21. In five consecutive decreases, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has lost roughly half (-.8) its 6+ AQH-share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in May, Entercom sports talk/Phillies flagship WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” repeats June’s 6+ share (5.9) and market rank (fourth). Rebounding from June’s loss of six-tenths with an increase one-third that magnitude (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+) Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” advances from #20 to #17; June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.  

This marks the sixth sweep in succession that Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” hasn’t shown an increase for an overall -1.3 (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, flat at #10, 6+).

For the third time in the last five reports, public news/talk WHYY logs a 2.6 (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Four straight down or flat sweeps by Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL  produced a -1.2 (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” erases two-thirds of that deficit with a +.8 to 6.7 (fourth to second, 6+). WOGL was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which lost eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+), posts a half-share uptick to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Stuck on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK records an increase of four-tenths to 7.0 (6+), enabling it to march from second to first. This (7.0) is its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1. Owing to its July -1.5 (7.0 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is displaced from the top spot and drifts all the way to seventh. The last time “Today’s 101.1” fell below a six-share (6+) was more than four years ago (5.8, May 2015). WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Co-owned sports talk WIP was on top in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; and now WMGK is back at #1 in July. Four successive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL yielded eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), but “Power 99” surrenders one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. After nearly quadrupling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One-owned WPPZ “107.9 – Philly’s Classic R&B” falters by one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #12, 6+). WPPZ transitioned from gospel in mid-December 2018. Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is off the fourth time in a row for a collective full-share loss (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, unchanged at #17, 6+).

Talk Radio Pioneer Mike Siegel is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran conservative/libertarian talk radio personality Mike Siegel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Siegel, a former private practicing attorney and school teacher, currently syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN), was one of the early broadcasters to emerge in the late-eighties post-Fairness Doctrine period described by Harrison as “the modern era of talk radio.” During that period, Siegel – who hosted shows on such stations as KING and KVI in Seattle – was, according to Harrison, “the quintessential, local, muckraker aggressively holding local politicians, government and big corporations accountable for their actions.” Harrison and Siegel, whose latest book is titled Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (Page Publishing, 2016), informally chat about the changes talk radio has experienced through the years as it has evolved from the analog era into the digital age, not to mention the transitional state of journalism itself. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

| July 31, 2019

Mitch Rosen Adds PD Duties for Sports Talk WSSP, Milwaukee.  WSCR, Chicago “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is going to begin double duty with Entercom and add programming responsibilities for sister sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB, Milwaukee “105.7 The Fan.”  He’s taking over for WSSP program director Tom Parker, who is retiring on August 1.  Parker will continue as a programming consultant.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “Having worked closely with Jimmy de Castro and the Entercom Chicago team over the last year and a half, it was the logical next step in the partnership. Mitch has become quite familiar with the market and the WSSP staff over that time and we are very fortunate to now have him calling the plays in Milwaukee as well.”  Rosen has been with “The Score” for almost 15 years.  He adds, “It’s an honor to be part of this great Milwaukee sports brand.  ‘The Fan’ team has great personalities who identify with the sports fans who live and breathe Milwaukee and Wisconsin sports.  I plan to be here to help in any way I can to expand the brand both on the air and through all the digital platforms, including RADIO.COM Sports.”

SiriusXM Q2 Pro Forma Revenue Up 9%. Although SiriusXM is reporting its net income was down 10.8% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 ($263 million versus $293 million), the company’s pro forma revenue was up 9%.  The acquisition of Pandora pushed SiriusXM’s revenue to $2 billion – an increase of 38% over Q2 in 2018.  Chief executive officerJim Meyer says, “Our company produced outstanding financial and operating results once again this quarter, and I’m pleased by the quick progress we’ve made in integrating Pandora.  Revenues and adjusted EBITDA each reached records in the period.  We’re thrilled with the results in the first half of the year, and we are raising 2019 guidance for revenue and adjusted EBITDA and reiterating our guidance for net subscriber additions and free cash flow.” The satcaster reports that it added 290,000 self-pay subscribers during the second quarter that puts its total at 29.3 million.

Nielsen Second Quarter Revenue Rises 1.2%.  That 1.2% figure is for the company as a whole.  The company reports that its Media segment – the one that includes radio ratings – is being driven by Total Audience Measurement and that during the second quarter of 2019 its audience measurement business is up 4.2% over the same period in 2018.  Nielsen predicts that its audience measurement segment will finish 2019 up 2% to 3%.

Salem Selling Seven Florida Signals for $8.2 Million. Continuing to follow through on its plan to sell certain assets in order to reduce its debt, Salem Media Group is agreeing to divest itself of seven signals in the state of Florida. It has filed with the FCC to sell Spanish Christian-formatted WKAT-AM, business talk WZAB-AM, and FM translator W249DM in Miami and Spanish Christian-formatted WLCC-AM, business talk WWMI, and FM translator W282CI in the Tampa market (plus the construction permit for translator W260DM, St. Petersburg) to Immaculate Heart Media for $8.2 million.  Immaculate Heart Media will not get the WKAT call letters or that station’s intellectual property.  These moves will leave Salem with Spanish Christian WOCN, Miami, plus news/talk WGUL, Tampa “AM 860 The Answer” and religious duo WTBN-AM/WTWD-AM, Tampa.

2020 Presidential Race/Democratic Debates, Capital One Hack, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, North Korea Missile Tests, California Festival Shooting/Mississippi Walmart Shooting, and Katy Perry Song Copying Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the first Democratic debate from Detroit; the hack of Capital One that made data from 100 million credit applicants vulnerable; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and controversy over conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border; North Korea tests more short-range missiles; the deadly shootings at the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival and at a Walmart in Mississippi; and the jury’s ruling that Katy Perry copied aspects of a Christian rap song in her hit ‘Dark Horse’ were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Last week’s 19th annual “WSB Care-A-Thon 37-hour radio broadcast event raised more than $1.7 million for research and programs for the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, nearly breaking the record set in 2017. In the 19 years Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and CHR WSB-FM have been hosting the fundraising broadcast, more than $24 million has been collected to support patients and families.  WSB Radio director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs says, “There is an extraordinary local story to tell at the Aflac Cancer Center — one that is filled with emotion and hope.  Our entire team considers it the honor of their careers to be able to tell that story and to meet the kids, parents, families, doctors, nurses, and caregivers there.  But our listeners deserve all the credit, due to their incredible generosity year after year.”  WSB personalities Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Neal Boortz, and Brian Kilmeade took part in the broadcast…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its programming saw a 6% increase in listening with men 25-54 from the winter 2019 period (Jan., Feb., March) to the spring  book (April, May, June).  Breaking it down, the network’s “Golic and Wingo” saw a 6% combined increase for M25-54 in total audience across Nielsen subscribing stations in PPM markets on radio plus all platforms combined including television simulcasts.  “The Will Cain Show” also had year-over-year increases across M25-54 PPM audience on terrestrial radio and ESPNEWS simulcast for both June and the spring book.  The M25-54 total audience across all platforms for “The Stephen A Smith Show,” with the addition of its television simulcast which began August 13, 2018, grew 38% in June and 32% percent for the quarter from the same time periods in 2018.  For the quarter, the ESPNEWS simulcast of “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 33% from last year.  In June, the show saw a 9% year-over-year increase on ESPNEWS…..KTLK-AM, Minneapolis morning drive co-host Jon Justice has published his second sci-fi novel – part two of a series – titled, Embark: Treasure In Darkness.  Justice has self-published the book that follows the story’s protagonists after humanity is forced to leave the Earth following an industrial disaster.  Check out the Amazon listing here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9 FM” announces that “The Russ Parr Morning Show” is airing in the AM drive daypart. The Radio One station is programmed by Jay Dixon, who says, “This guy is fun, funny, and all about winning.  I’ve heard about Russ Parr for years.  He lives up to his reputation as a first-class broadcaster and content king.  He’ll be the icing on the cake to make ‘Classix 107.9’ one of the greatest classic R&B brands in history.  We are too happy to have him on board.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop “104.5 The BEAT” WTKS-HD2/W283AN, Orlando announces the lineup for its “The BEAT Music Fest” on Saturday, October 5 will feature DaBaby, YK Osiris, Afro BShordie Shordie, Summerella, Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.  iHeartMedia Orlando partnerships manager Chianna Ray says, “The entire Greater Orlando area has been patiently waiting for a music festival that highlights the hip-hop culture.  ‘The BEAT Music Fest’ could not have come at a better time and we are thrilled to give our listeners this experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2019 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 2 will include: Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee, and Ozuna, with more artists to follow.  For the fourth straight year, the concert event will be hosted by Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino and on-air personality for iHeartRadio.

Friday, July 26, 2019

| July 26, 2019

NY Post: Pitaro and Le Batard ‘On the Same Page.’ According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro are “on the same page” regarding the media organization’s stance on purely political content after yesterday’s face-to-face meeting in New York City.  Le Batard violated that directive last week when he chose to comment on the “Send her back” chants shouted at President Trump’s campaign rally, calling them “un-American.”  After being called out by management, Le Batard criticized ESPN, calling it “cowardly” for avoiding such issues with the blanket policy.  Marchand’s source for today’s story offers no details on yesterday’s meeting other than that the two have an understanding and Le Batard will continue his work on the company’s radio, cable, and podcast platforms.

New Air Talent Join ‘ESPN 630’ in Washington, DC. Washington sports radio pros Andy Pollin and Bram Weinstein are joining Cumulus Media’s new sports talk WMAL-AM “ESPN 630.”  Weinstein is a 10-year veteran of the DC sports scene as a reporter and talk host. He also spent seven years as an ESPN anchor.  He is the new afternoon drive talk host.  Additionally, he’ll host the 6:00 pm “Redskins Today” show.  Pollin, a longtime crosstown WTEM personality, will serve as morning drive sports update anchor during the “Golic & Wingo” show.  He’ll also be a features correspondent for the station.  Program director Bill Hess says, “We’re thrilled to welcome these DC sports radio icons to ‘ESPN 630’ and look forward to sharing news of further additions to our team in the very near future.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cumulus Washington DC vice president/market manager Jake McCann, Weinstein, Pollin, and Hess.

Chessare Named Market President for Townsquare’s Princeton Cluster. Radio sales pro Steve Chessare is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Princeton, New Jersey station group that includes sports talk WNJE “920 The Jersey,” as well as CHR WPST and religion WCHR-AM.  Chessare – whose resume includes service with Westwood One, WLTW-FM and WCBS-FM in New York, and Greater Media – was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut operations.  Townsquare senior vice president Rob Williams says, “Steve Chessare is among the most talented media executives I have worked with. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry and has an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.”

‘ESPN Upstate’ Host Mark Sturgis Recovering from Stroke. Sports talk host Mark Sturgis is recuperating after suffering a stroke earlier this week (7/23).  Sturgis hosts the “Straight Up ith Sturg” afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate” (WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL). Sturgis’ wife Theresa posted the following message on his Twitter account: “I am sorry to inform y’all Mark had a stroke yesterday morning. He’s in ICU and will be off the air for some time.  Hopefully will be able to go home from the hospital, but short-term rehab in a nursing home is a possibility.  Just send him a positive thought.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Political Theater on Both Sides of the Pond!,” looks back at this past week of July 22-26, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media/Free Speech TVKaren Hunter, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View Channel;” Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Lisa Wexler Show Moves to WICC, Bridgeport. In Connecticut, “The Lisa Wexler Show” begins airing on Connoisseur Media’s WICC, Bridgeport, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective August 5.  Wexler’s program launched on WSTC/WNLK in Fairfield County in 2006.  And most recently has been airing on WGCH, Greenwich from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Wexler is an attorney admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.  She’s been serving as the Westport/Weston Probate Judge since 2013.  She comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary WICC AM 600.  The WICC audience is incredibly knowledgeable and engaged.  I will be discussing the issues that occupy our thoughts and bringing to the airwaves the people that influence our lives.  Our emphasis will be on what is happening right here in our own communities.  Listeners are encouraged to call into the show to air their opinions and provide their own perspectives.”

Nik Miles Moves to New Portland Flagship. Portland, Oregon-based automotive radio host Nik Miles moves his flagship station affiliation from Alpha Media’s KXL-FM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown KPAM “860 The Answer.”  His program, “Our Auto Expert,” is nationally syndicated via Envision Networks.  Salem Portland general manager Dennis Hayes says, “Not only are we excited to add ‘Our Auto Expert’ to the ‘AM860 The Answer’ weekend lineup, but we are honored to be the ‘home station’ for the show, Nik Miles, and his team in Portland. We enthusiastically welcome them to the Salem Media Group and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!”

Sports Garten Network’s ‘Wanna Bet!?’ Enters Syndication Via Envision.  The sports talk and betting show “Wanna Bet!?” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated by Envision Networks and will launch in four markets: Chicago, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Paducah-Cape Girardeau.  Sports Garten Network’s Wanna Bet?! debuted on WRCN-FM, Long Island “103.9 FM LI Radio” in September 2018.  Now, it’s joined the Envision Networks lineup as a four-hour, daily show.  Barton says, “The time is now for sports talk to reach an audience craving not just wagering news but knowledgeable information.  The response to what we’re doing is phenomenal. Radio is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative. This is a game changer.”

Brad Carson Upped at Entercom Memphis. Programming pro Brad Carson rises from his director of branding and sports programming to operations manager/sports brands, effective immediately.  Carson has been leading the programming on Entercom’s Memphis sports stations WMFS-AM/FM and WMC-AM “ESPN 92.9.”  Carson has served with the Memphis station group for the past 15 years.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Names Susy Schultz Executive Director. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications names Susy Schultz its executive director, effective August 19.  Museum board chairman David Plier says, “Susy is experienced in developing and implementing innovative programs with key stakeholders.  She also has demonstrated the ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with community, journalists, sponsors and donors.”  Schultz has been serving as president of the nonprofit community media training organization Public Narrative since 2013.  She takes over for Julian Jackson, who resigned from the post this March. Schultz comments, “I look forward to working with the board in developing a strong curriculum to discuss the history, the impact, and the relevance of broadcast and digital media.  Chicago has and always will be integral to the history and future of television, radio, and beyond.”

Mueller Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 22-26. Wednesday’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller before the House judiciary and intelligence committees was the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 Presidential race and President Trump’s war of words with the Democratic congresswomen known as “the Squad.”  Coming in at #3 this week was Boris Johnson’s election as the UK’s new prime minister, followed by the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Britain’s Fix Radio Produces Boris Johnson Viral Video. “Fix Radio” is a radio station for tradespeople working in Great Britain.  It’s led by broadcaster Graham Mack, who also serves as a TalkersRadio personality and as The Michael Harrison Wrap’s British correspondent. The organization got a lot of attention after creating a video purporting to show newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson auctioning off items left at 10 Downing Street by former PM Theresa May.  Check it out here.

Ancient Interview with George Harrison Played on This Week’s Installment of Michael Harrison Podcast.  Inspired by the recently released film, “Yesterday,” and the ongoing popularity of the 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug into the archives and pulled out a 43-year-old interview he conducted with the late Beatles lead guitarist back in 1976.  It was originally recorded at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles to be a promotional radio special (“A Personal Musical Dialogue with George Harrison”) released by Dark Horse Records in conjunction with the debut of George’s solo album, “33 1/3,” and aired on hundreds of stations around the world.  It serves as this week’s “retro” installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This recording is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever conducted with George and contains fascinating information and insights into his life at that time as well as the never-ending Beatles story.  The segment in which George discusses his legal battle over the “My Sweet Lord”/“He’s So Fine” plagiarism case holds up today as one of the most-thorough explanations of the historic intellectual property rights clash ever recorded.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here www.MHInterview.com or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Promotion and Marketing Position. In Baltimore, Hearst Television is seeking a highly motivated promotion and marketing manager for news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98Rock.” The company says, “This person must be able to manage numerous projects simultaneously while elevating the sound and image of our legacy brands.  This person will also be a key player in helping develop and produce targeted, promotional campaigns that connect with our audiences across all platforms.  Among other duties, you will oversee, manage and lead marketing & promotion department; identify and implement strategies for increasing station brand awareness and resonance; develop ongoing marketing strategies on all platforms including production & placement of television commercials; manage, along with news & program directors, production of compelling image & special event campaigns and topical promotion for all platforms; attend outside community functions and meetings and manage our Baltimore Ravens promotional partnership, including on-site events.  See more and apply here.

PPM Analysis: Alternative.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative.  The June ratings period saw more alternative stations go up (weekly AQH share) than down. Entercom’s KXTE, Las Vegas led that group with a +0.7.  Comparing June 2018 to this year, about half the alt rock stations in our panel were down, but big gainers during that period include Hubbard Radio’s KPNT, St. Louis “105.7 The Point” (+1.6), Entercom’s KITS “Live 105” in San Jose (+1.2), and iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” (+1.0).  KPNT was the highest-ranking alternative station in the June survey, coming in at #3 in the St. Louis market (6+).  See the entire piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Memphis operations of Entercom, programmer Chris Michaels is promoted to operations manager/music brands. Michaels has been the director of branding and programming for hot AC WMC-FM, adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” and country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf.”…..In Raleigh, PMC Broadcasting names Brian “B” Paiz director of branding for hip hop WAUG-AM/W250AZ “Hot 97.9.”  Paiz was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in the Columbus-Albany, Georgia market…..Atlanta radio personality Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie have launched a podcast titled, “The Upside with Callie and Jeff.” Dauler was most recently morning drive co-host on WSTR “Star 94.”  Prior to that he was executive producer and air talent on the syndicated “The Bert Show.”  In a press release, the two say, “We’ve had the idea for a while to create something to spread the message about gratitude and finding the positive in every single situation.  That mindset has changed our lives for the better… and we want everyone to understand what we have learned.  It was just an idea… until Jeff lost his job.  We decided just a few days later that now is the time.”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

| June 20, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk. As the Major League Baseball season moved into its second month of the season and NBA Playoffs were in full swing, 41% of sports talk stations on our panel were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the April PPM survey, led by Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco (+1.4), while 39% were down.  Comparing May 2018 to May 2019, 47% of sports talk stations were up, but 44% were down.  Just one station ranked #1 in its market – Entercom’s WFAN, New York accomplished that in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Commissioned Ipsos Study: Audio Interest at All-Time High; AM/FM Radio Reaches 85% of Consumers. This new study – conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by iHeartMedia – concludes that “consumer interest in audio is now at an all-time high, with listeners enjoying more audio content across a vast array of platforms including broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, and smart speakers.  The in-depth multi-platform study explores daily audio usage and habits of Americans ranging from 13 to 64 years old and captures when, where, and how these various generations are consuming their favorite audio.”  The press release goes on to say that the study finds broadcast radio reaches 85% of consumers, “surpassing all other audio channels including social media (68%) and live television (56%).  The research also showed that radio has two times the daily listening of streaming services, reaching 69% of consumers compared to streaming music’s 34%.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Contrary to some misperceptions, it shows we are living in an audio-first world by drilling down a more granular overview of audio listenership and showing what a day-in-the-life of the average listener is like when it comes to media consumption.”  Regarding podcasting consumption, the study found that growth is strong among Millennials and Gen Z.  “iHeartMedia’s study further found that podcasts now represent almost 10% of audio listening among Millennials and that podcast listeners are also radio listeners, with 82% also listening to radio on a weekly basis.  The study, conducted in March 2019, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 6,016 consumers aged 13–64 who listen to more than one audio platform at least once a week.

Emmis Enters Podcast Space with Sound That BRANDS Backing. After a series of cash-raising downsizing moves (the recent sales of radio stations and much of its publishing assets), Emmis Communications is entering the podcasting space through funding for Los Angeles-based podcasting studio Sound That BRANDS. The firm specializes in branded audio content for national advertisers.  Sound That BRANDS CEO Dave Beasing says, “At Sound That BRANDS, our motto is ‘Be the content, not the interruption.’  With Emmis’ support, we’ll grow quickly, producing audio that is not only entertaining and informative, but builds brand loyalty.”  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “We’ve monitored the early stages of global brands telling audio stories through branded podcasts that dramatically enhances loyalty and preference.  Sound that BRANDS has already become a leader in branded podcasting and is uniquely positioned to work with marquee brands to build episodes that make you laugh, feel and think in a way that reinforces the brand.  Dave is a great audio storyteller, and we look forward to helping him accelerate Sound that BRANDS growth.”  The press release announcing the relationship also notes that Sound That BRANDS is “seeking motivated talent for several key roles, including VP/revenue and brand partnerships.” Former KPWR-FM, Los Angeles SVP/GM Val Maki is heading the search and those interested can learn more and apply at: SoundThatBRANDS.com.

Stan Bennett Rises to VP of Programming for Binnie Media. At Binnie Media – operator of stations in Maine and New Hampshire – Stan Bennett is promoted to vice president of programming for the company. Bennett – a 25-year company veteran – has been serving as director of programming for the company’s Maine stations and as morning drive co-host at classic hits WFNK, Lewiston, Maine. Binnie Media president Massimo Rosati says, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Stan the past few years.  His passion and commitment to our stations, team, audiences, and clients is unmatched.”

Salem Atlanta’s Moran to Retire. After 15 years with Salem Media Group – most recently as vice president and general manager for the company’s Atlanta operations – Mike Moran is retiring at the end of July.  Moran also served as regional VP for Salem’s Cleveland, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa markets.  SMG says Val Carolin will take over the Atlanta VP/GM position, moving in from the company’s Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina operations.  Salem’s president of radio David Santrella states, “Mike has been an important part of Salem’s leadership team and we wish him well as he moves into retirement.  We are pleased with the depth of leadership within our company, which allows us to quickly fill his role and provide the opportunity for others to advance within Salem Media Group.”

Hofstra University’s WRHU Interviews Talk Media Stars at TALKERS Convention.  TALKERS recruited a video team from Long Island-based Hofstra University’s multi-award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org to record select one-on-one conversations with a variety of the talk media stars from both sides of the microphone who were in attendance at the recent Talkers 2019: Telling the Story convention in New York City (6/7).  TALKERS founder (and Hofstra alumnus) Michael Harrison, a charter inductee in the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, says, “I am so proud of the widely recognized accomplishments being made by Hofstra in the field of radio and communications.  It is one of the preeminent schools in the nation in this arena and the number of outstanding professionals that it continues to produce is nothing short of remarkable.”  The Hofstra videos will be posted to Talkers.com next week along with the beginning of daily, updated video overage of the convention’s key sessions and presentations recorded by the industry’s legendary videographer Art Vuolo.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Key Networks commentator Bill O’ Reilly being interviewed by WRHU’s Eliorah Finkelson and Jon Sanelli at the TALKERS convention.

PodcastOne and WTOP’s 22 Hours: An American Nightmare Tops 2.3 Million Downloads. Officials at PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be promoting the fact that their new, true-crime podcast series, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” has accrued more than 2.3 million downloads since its June 10 debut. The series is being produced by WTOP-FM, Washington and investigates the murders of DC power couple Amy and Savvas Savopoulos, and their son and housekeeper in their DC mansion in 2015.  On the Apple podcast charts, the program has maintained its #3 ranking for all categories and #1 in-category ranking with episode two, as well.   PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “We’re no strangers to the category, with successful podcasts like ‘Cold Case Files,’ ‘Murder Made Me Famous,’ ‘Serial Killer,’ ‘First Degree’ and ‘We’re Alive.’  But this is our initial foray into original, owned-and-distributed content, complete with derivative rights.  We’ve planned this move very carefully and will follow up with great content and second-to-none marketing resources.  This is just the beginning.  To my knowledge, we’re the only podcast network producer and distributor with programming representing every category on Apple Podcasts.  Congrats to our great production partners at WTOP and Hubbard Broadcasting.  Our four-year-old partnership continues to pay big dividends.”

WOR Examines the Changing Face of News Coverage. At the recent “WOR Live” event held yesterday afternoon (6/19) at The Cutting Room in New York City, WOR morning drive co-host Len Berman moderated a discussion about how news coverage is changing due to technology and socio-political forces.  Pictured above at the event are (from l-r): WOR assistant program director Scott Lakefield, Berman, WNYW-TV “FOX 5” anchors Rosanna Scotto and Ernie Anastos, and WOR program director Tom Cuddy.

ABC Radio Offers Affiliates 4th of July Programming. News/talk stations affiliated with ABC Radio can air the 4th of July special titled, “Cherished America,” hosted by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky that takes listeners to national monuments, national parks, and places both familiar and obscure on the National Register of Historic Places.  The special examines why each place is important to the country and how each shapes and defines it.  ABC Radio is also offering “Red, White and Rock 2019,” hosted by rock legend George Thorogood to rock stations and “Homemade Hometown Salute,” hosted by country star Jake Owen, to country affiliates.  All shows are three hours in length.

Westwood One News Offers ‘The Lunar Conquest’ for 4th of July Special. Ahead of the July 20 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Westwood One News is presenting a 4th of July weekend special titled, “The Lunar Conquest,” and hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano.  The program, available to affiliate stations, salutes this historic event with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews.  WWO says, “The lunar landing was one of the most challenging endeavors ever launched. With millions of people glued to their tiny TVs, Neil Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin bounded across the eerie landscape for more than two hours.”

Trump Campaign Rally/2020 Presidential Race, Iran Downs U.S. Drone, Hicks Testimony, Reparations Hearing, Southern Border Crisis, and Nxivm Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19). Tuesday’s Orlando rally to kick off President Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Democrats competing for their party’s nomination; Iran shoots down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz; former Trump aide Hope Hicks refuses to talk about her White House tenure in closed-door testimony; the slavery reparations hearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee; the illegal immigrant status at the Southern border and President Trump’s statement ICE will deport millions; and the conviction of Nxivm founder Keith Raniere on racketeering and sex trafficking charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, programmer Ron Roberts announces he’s left his position as program director of Entercom’s hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1.”  Roberts has been with the station since last August and arrived there after serving with iHeartMedia at CHR WWXM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina “Mix 97.7.”

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff 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. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

| May 2, 2019

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency. The president’s idiosyncratic governing style, his social media habits, and his war on the media have made the Donald Trump presidency one of the most challenging for talk radio hosts – but they’ve also made his presidency a bonanza for hosts who handle it properly.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring Phil Boyce, who is Salem Media Group SVP/spoken word format and VP/operations Salem Radio Network, as he delivers a presentation titled, “Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency.”  In this session, Boyce explains the programming strategies his Salem personalities use to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  There is still time to register but the conference is rapidly approaching sellout status.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Changes Take Place at WICC, Bridgeport.  Programmer Mike Bellamy exits news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as Connoisseur Media takes over operation of the station under an LMA.  Connoisseur is acquiring the station as part of a swap with Cumulus Media.  Bellamy, who’d been with the station for 12 years, announced his departure in a Facebook post.  Bellamy also co-hosted the morning drive show with Tony Reno.  He remains on board and air personality Melissa Sheketoff moves to the morning show as his co-host.

KYW, Philadelphia to Present ‘Jill on Money Live.’ Philadelphia all-news outlet KYW Newsradio is presenting “Jill on Money LIVE” – a local event featuring CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on May 22.  The live chat is in support of Schlesinger’s first book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs, and will focus on matters pertaining to retirement, college financing, insurance, real estate, and more.  Schlesinger’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session with audience members.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is being asked to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s 110th annual convention taking place in July in Detroit.  Madison hosts a daily morning show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s being asked to address the Membership Luncheon on July 23…..The talk radio scene in Delaware gets a profile from Out & About magazine’s Ken Mammarella, who talks with staffers from WDEL, Wilmington and WXDE-FM, Lewes for the piece.  WDEL’s Rick Jensen, WXDE’s Dan Gaffney, WDEL programmer Chris Carl, and WDEL’s Allan Loudell, all talk with Mammarella for the story you can read here…..TMZ is reporting that Westwood One syndicated talk star and DailyWire founder Ben Shapiro and his family were the target of “serious death threats” and that the FBI has taken a suspect into custody in Kent, Washington.  The investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspect came after Shapiro filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WMVP “ESPN 1000” sports talk host David Kaplan has a new deal to remain in his other gig as a personality on NBC Sports Chicago.  He hosts the weeknight “SportsTalk Live” program on the cable channel and his new contract will allow him to take on new duties, including “creating ‘fan-focused content’ over a variety of platforms.”…..Political commentator and activist Charlie Kirk is launching a new podcast on PodcastOne.  “The Charlie Kirk Show” will feature “the inside scoop on the biggest news of the week and what’s really going on behind the headlines.” Kirk says he considers the new show “a report from the frontlines of the culture war, and what’s really going on from America’s college lecture halls to the halls of Congress.”  The debut episode features an unfiltered interview with Donald Trump, Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle…..SiriusXM is again offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  The satellite radio service has a deal with Horse Racing Radio Network to cover all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One.

WFDF, Detroit Adds Michael Baisden Show for PM Drive Time. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” is adding the Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Michael Baisden show for afternoon drive, airing from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, starting May 6.  The Baisden show is described as “four hours of music, engaging content, daily thought-provoking conversation, and is the premier destination for listeners to be entertained, inspired, and educated.”  WFDF CEO Kevin Adell says, “I’m excited to bring Michael Baisden back to the State of Michigan on ‘910AM Superstation,’ the full-power station with 50,000 watts, because we do a super job,”

Trish Johnson Promoted to CFO of NAB. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the promotion of Trish Johnson to chief financial officer and SVP of finance.  She rises from her previous SVP and controller, finance position.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “In her two years at NAB, Trish and her finance team have demonstrated consistency and keen professionalism in steering our organization’s finances.  NAB member stations are well served by Trish’s competence and leadership, and we are pleased to reward her with this well-deserved promotion.”  Prior to joining NAB in 2017, Trish worked for Public Broadcasting Service and public TV station WETA-TV, Washington DC.

Barr Hearings/Mueller Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Rising Anti-Semitism Statistics, Southern Border Crisis, Trump Tax Returns/Business Records, Venezuela Unrest, NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The testimony of Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of the release of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the global rise in anti-Semitism and the attack on the LA synagogue; the status of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns and his suit to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing his business’s records; the political instability in Venezuela; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The deal that transfers ownership of three Panama City, Florida stations – adult hits WASJ-FM, classic rock WRBA-FM and country WKNK-FM – from Powell Broadcasting to Gulf Coast Broadcasting closes.  Powell decided to sell the stations after suffering damages to the facilities and tower from Hurricane Michael in 2018.  Gulf Coast paid $375,000 for the stations.  Prior to the hurricane, Powell had sold WPFM-FM, Panama City to Educational Media Foundation for $472,000…..The Hollywood Reporter is premiering a new video conversation series titled, “Emerging Hollywood,” hosted by The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God.  The weekly series will feature “on-the-rise voices in entertainment sharing their views on topics including inclusion, racial politics, gender, and body positivity.” The first guest is “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.  Charlamagne says, “I don’t do interviews.  I do conversations.  I love conversations because through conversation, you hear people’s stories, and through people’s stories, you get information and inspiration.  That’s all I want people to get out of these conversations is information and inspiration.”

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

| April 18, 2019

Radio News and Talk Pro Brad Messer Dies After Illness.  Former KMET, Los Angeles news director and former KTSA, San Antonio talk show host Brad Messer has died after a long illness.  LARadio.com reports on Messer’s death, noting that he worked for 47 years in radio in markets including Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, and San Diego as well.  While at KTSA, Messer was regularly honored on TALKERS magazine’s “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts” annual list and was the ONLY person in the history of the list who came to us and requested that he no longer appear on the list so that his space could be used for a young-up-and-comer!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Brad Messer was the quintessential radio newsperson of the modern era, the greatest of his generation – not to mention a superb talk show host – and one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege of knowing in the broadcasting business over these past 52 years.”

‘Godfather of Sports’ Chet Coppock Dies at 70 After Car Accident. Numerous Chicago news outlets are reporting the death of Chicago sports media legend Chet Coppock.  WLS-TV is reporting that Coppock passed away yesterday (4/17) from injuries suffered in an auto accident near Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 11.  During his career, the Chicagoland native worked in television, radio, and print in Chicago as well as New York and Indianapolis.  Windy City media writer Robert Feder notes that Coppock “was a top sports anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in the 1980s.  He segued to radio where he became known as the ‘Godfather of Sports Talk Radio.’ His colorful career included stints as an announcer for the Roller Derby and World Wrestling Federation.”  Coppock left his TV gig in 1984 to join WMAQ-AM to host his interview-driven sports talk show.  In 1988, he transitioned to WLUP-FM.  Read his official bio here.

iHeartMedia Names Jeff Cage to Region SVP of Programming Position. Programmer Jeff Cage is promoted to region SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis Region that includes more than 33 stations in Missouri and Iowa, including legendary Des Moines news/talk outlet WHO-AM.  comprised of music, talk and news formats.  Cage is now responsible for spearheading programming, promotions, and digital strategies for radio brands in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri as well as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport, Iowa. He’ll also serve as SVP of programming for the Des Moines market and program director for CHR KKDM-FM “107.5 KISS FM.”  Cage arrives from iHeartMedia Little Rock where he spent 15 years and recently served as the program director for CHR KHKN “HOT 94.9” and rock KDJE “100.3 The Edge.”

Portland’s ‘860 The Answer’ Debuts New Weekend Shows. KPAM, Portland “860 The Answer” announces the addition of three new weekend programs to its lineup.  Two food-oriented, one-hour shows are airing back-to-back on Saturdays – “BBQ Nation” and “Grilling at the Green” – both hosted by renowned food expert and television personality Jeff Tracy.  “BBQ Nation” delves into all things barbeque while “Grilling at the Green” explores the ways many people live the golfing lifestyle via the stories, lives, and kitchens of those who love and live the sport.  Also airing on Saturdays is the new, two-hour “Around the House with Eric G.” starring Portland radio personality and home improvement expert Eric Goranson.  KPAM is operated by Salem Media Group.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM “Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM” is honored with nine 2018 Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Contest awards.  They were bestowed at the Spring Convention of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association in Normal on April 13.  The Entercom station was honored for: Outstanding News Operation; Best Spot News – First Place for “No Mercy”; Best Spot News – Second Place for “The Jason Van Dyke Verdict”; Best Sports Report – Second Place, George Ofman for “Rocky Wirtz”; Best Hard News Feature – First Place, Mike Krauser for “Cat Rescue”; Best Digital Presence – First Place; Best Newswriter – First Place, Mark Friedman; Best Reporter – Second Place, Lisa Fielding; and Best Newscast – First Place…..iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announces it has extended its broadcast agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers through the 2023 NFL season.  The Steelers Radio Network is originating from rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG- 970 AM & 106.3 FM, with additional promotional support across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and websites.  The partnership also includes Steelers Nation Radio, broadcasting 24 hours of Steelers programming on WDVE-HD2, iHeartRadio, Steelers.com, and the Steelers Official Mobile App.  The station will debut several new Steelers programs, including the “The Point After” – a weekly wrap-up program featuring the Steelers radio broadcast team, as well as “The Steelers Preview Show” airing on Thursday nights.

Release of Mueller Report, Southern Border Crisis/Barr’s No Bail for Asylum Seekers, 2020 Presidential Politics, Search for Columbine-Infatuated Teen, North Korea Weapons Test, Notre Dame Fire, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The anticipation of today’s release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the migrant situation at the Southern border and Attorney General William Barr’s no bail for asylum seekers decision; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Trump’s criticism of CNN’s Town Hall with Bernie Sanders; the end of the search for the armed, Columbine-infatuated teenager; North Korea resumes weapons testing; the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Signing a new contract with Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK, Philadelphia is afternoon drive personality Andre Gardner.  He is celebrating his 17th anniversary with the station this month.  WMGK program director and company rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Andre Gardner is king of the DJ hill in Philly.  No one brings more passion or runs a tighter board with a pervasive knowledge of music. WMGK has benefited from his talents for 17 years.  I am so happy we’re continuing Andre’s nearly two-decade run of success.”

March 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. March 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets below.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third month in a row, WMAL sets a record for its best 6+-stat (6.8) in the PPM-era and continues in fourth-place. Moreover, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet is a collective +2.5 via three straight upticks (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the eighth sweep in succession.

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in February (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” carries on as part of a three-way tie at #13. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase of two-tenths followed four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to .7 (#25 to #23, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” concludes at three a consecutive string of setbacks that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (.9 – .8 – .6 – .5, 6+).

While off a combined seven-tenths in February/March (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the third month in a row. January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December. Even though Entercom business news outlet WDCH is flat at .4 (6+), it climbs from #27 to #25.

Entering the March sweep, American University-owned news/talk WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 in February. “The Mind Is Our Medium” gains three-tenths in March (8.6 – 8.9, 6+) and is unchanged in second-place. Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Through six straight spikes (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” is an overall +1.8 and is in third-place for the fourth time in a row. Format rival – Howard University’s WHUR – repeats at #5 but drops one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), thus curtailing three successive upticks that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). An overall -1.4 through four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications’ contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” bounces back with three straight improvements netting a +1.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). After being a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” sputtered by -6.1 (January); rebounded with a +.7 (February); but regresses by -.6 in March (5.0 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety February’s +.6 with a March -.6 (3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX slips from seventh to ninth. “Mix 107.3” was a collective -1.3 through three consecutive losses (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). The sale of WRQX to Educational Media Foundation is expected to close later this year and the station will flip to contemporary Christian. In addition to WASH and WRQX, iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” falters by six-tenths as well (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Steady at #8 after February’s +.8, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS (3.9 – 3.8, -.1, 6+), is within three-share range (6+) for the 24th straight time. The last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+) was in May 2017 (2.9.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths elevates iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO from #17 to #14. In three straight positive or flat trends, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is up three-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+); November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

The key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Celtics and Bruins, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is unchanged from February in 6+ share (6.4) and market rank (#3). “The Sports Hub” previously was +.4 (September 2018); +.9 (October); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); and now -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox departs the top ten (#9 to #11).

A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” relinquishes half (-.6) that increase in March (5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Boston University news/talker WBUR, which was -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat August through “Holiday” 2018 ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+); +1.5 (January); and now -1.6 in February/March (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Off by one-half share in March as well is WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR an overall +2.2 through three positive spikes in succession (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “105.7 – 80s & More” advances from second to first. Ousted from the top spot after January and February stays there is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which returns February’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3, first to second, 6+). February’s 7.4 is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. Within 3.0 – 3.8 (6+) range in each of the last eight survey periods (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT busts out a +.8 to 4.0, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 4.1 as “Hot 96.9” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). Frozen on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019 following December’s 6.0 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dials up a March +.7 and is back at 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Co-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country,” is up one-tenth to 1.9 (#18 to #20, 6+), pulling the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Its format foe – Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” – nets seven-tenths in three consecutive gains (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+) and jumps from ninth to seventh. January’s +.1 ended seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share in March as well is Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “Independent Radio 92.5 The River” (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+), which reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 2.0. On the heels of posting a February gain of one-half share, iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders eight-tenths (3.4 – 2.6, #11 to #13, 6+). February’s 3.4 is its best 6+-performance since appearing in print in January 2017. Off by one-half share (each) are Beasley Media Group’s WBOS (2.8, flat at #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+). After being “Alt 92.9 Boston’s Alternative,” WBOS became “Boston’s Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11). The station was a collective +1.0 in January/February (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+) and reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2016.

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.4 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD adds one-tenth to 2.5 (#19 to #18, 6+). “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a combined -.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 but recaptured two-tenths in January.

Tied at #27 are Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (flat at .7, #26 to #27, 6+) and co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.5 – .7, +.2, #29 to #27, 6+). Before picking up one-tenth in February, “The Ticket” was down or flat three successive reports for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+). By gaining two-tenths in March, WQAM halts three consecutive sweeps without an increase that led to a loss of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Following January’s seven-tenths’ improvement, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN lost two-tenths in February but regains one-tenth (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2, flat at #20, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by an increase of eight-tenths – completely erasing its February decline of that magnitude (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6) – Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” breaks February’s three-way logjam at #1 and has sole bragging rights of the top spot. Dislodged from their share of the lead are co-owned urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (-.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.6 – 6.2, -.4, first to third, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. An overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+), “Lite FM” notched its best 6+-stat (7.3 in “Holiday” 2018) since January 2018’s 7.4. Thus, for the 11th straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). February marked the first time at #1 for “Hot” since May 2018, when it logged a 7.5 (6+). It currently is in an alternating up/down pattern that began in August 2018: 6.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.4 (6+). One of the market’s mainstream CHRs gains one-tenth while the other drops one-tenth; the two rivals are separated by three-tenths of a share (6+). Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+) applies the brakes with a +.1 to 2.6 (unchanged at #17, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is -.1 to 2.9 (flat at #14, 6+). Prior to slipping to 2.9 (6+) in March, WFLC had been within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last 15 survey periods. In the market’s urban contemporary contest, Cox Media Group’s WEDR “99 Jamz” has a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 4.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 (6+) and remains in ninth-place, while iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat” regains the two-tenths it lost in February (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – There are three parallel stories among this market’s news/talk outlets. After its January/February combined +1.0 (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM plunges by -1.1 to 4.8 (third to fourth, 6+). In a similar vein, co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” erases a January/February increase of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) with a March decrease of seven-tenths (1.4, #21 to #22, 6+); a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which wiped away its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+) with a January/February +.7 (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+), forfeits three-tenths to 1.3 (#23 to #24, 6+).

With a more positive story, Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710,” down roughly 50% (-2.0) in four consecutive declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+), answers by making up 40% of that deficit with a +.8 to 2.9 (6+) as the Mariners’ flagship returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Regaining two-thirds of February’s -.6 (1.0 – 1.4, +.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM progresses from #24 to #22. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Albeit flat at #15, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO is up seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) in four straight reports without a loss.

A combined +2.1 in January/February (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW hands over roughly half that increase (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) but is #1 for the third month in a row. In the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, KUOW was on top in September 2018.

Seattle Music Formats – Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) from October 2018 through February 2019 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” erupts with a gain of nine tenths to 3.2 (#19 to #14), its strongest 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.2, as well). A collective +1.1 in four straight upticks (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned KZOK advances from fifth to fourth. Immediately in advance of this streak, “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” was -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). After surrendering a combined January/February -7.2 (11.2 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” rebounds with a gain of eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+), leaping from ninth to fourth. Entering the January sweep, “Warm” more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight improvements (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Four-tenths ahead of “Warm” is Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” which is an overall +1.5 via three consecutive positive spikes (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). September 2018 marked the first time that “The Sound” overtook “Warm” since KSWD’s format shift from country (KMPS) approximately 16 months ago. As the result of six successive months (May 2018 through November 2018) without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. The June 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ has remained in 3.3 – 3.9 (6+) territory, but “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” logs a March increase of six-tenths to 4.0, its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.0, as well). Furthermore, Seattle’s version of “Jack” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Owing to four successive sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KNUC is a collective +1.2 as “New Country 98.9 The Bull” jumps from #17 to #12. A dip of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+) plummets KNKX “Your Connection To Jazz, Blues, and NPR News” from #12 to #18. Not only is Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ off by -2.0 in three straight downturns (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #15, 6+), “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.1) since May 2017’s 3.0. Following February’s +.9, Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” returns roughly half that increase and departs the top twenty (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #16 to #21, 6+). Its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s increase of seven-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” lost two-tenths in February and is flat in March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), backsliding from #13 to #14.

Unchanged as well in 6+-share is Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket,” which repeats February’s 5.0 and eighth-place finish (6+). The Pistons, Red Wings, and Tigers flagship was -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January 2019.

In an odd turn-of-events, co-owned WWJ was a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), yet had to segue from first to second whereas in March, its loss of eight-tenths to 6.9 (6+) is sufficient to boost “News Radio 950” from second to first.

This marks the third sweep in a row that Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM makes a fluctuation of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3, #19 to #21, 6+). Despite being down one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET advances from #21 to #20.

Detroit Music Formats – It’s big news that the familiar WLLZ call letters from the 1980s and 1990s resurface in the Motor City. This time, it is at iHeartMedia where alternative WDTW “Alt 106.7” became classic rock WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” last month. In its first monthly report, “Wheels” more than doubles (+1.9) the 6+-share on that frequency this time last month (1.5 – 3.4, 6+), popping on at #15, compared to WDTW’s February #21. The station it is targeting – Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” – sputters by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) and shifts from first to second. That spiral follows back-to-back spikes of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s +.9 erased half of December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September by Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits.” Flat at #6, the latter is a combined +.8 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Albeit unchanged at #12, WOMC’s adult contemporary sibling WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” logs its fifth successive report without a loss for an overall +1.7 (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). WDZH transitioned from CHR “Amp Radio” to adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). Incumbent AC, iHeartMedia’s WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today,” has spiraled by -11.7 over the past three sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2, 6+) yet remains at #3. Its 17.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is by far the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Via four straight increases, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018. Locked on 3.2 (6+) in January and February after “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” explodes with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-showing since 4.4 in September 2017. Trending 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+), co-owned urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” adds one-half share to 6.0 (fifth to fourth, 6+). After Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” each regressed by six-tenths in February, the former is up four-tenths (4.7 – 5.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and the latter gains three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, steady at #19, 6+). Faltering by -1.0 (5.9 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit” drifts from fourth to ninth. Up nine-tenths in January/February (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), Detroit Classical & Jazz Educational Radio’s WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days/Jazzy Nights” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.0 (#17 to #18, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM dials up a +.7 to 4.1 (6+) and vaults back into the top ten (#11 to #8). Despite dropping three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550 carries on at #18.

After relinquishing two-tenths in February (2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” posts a gain of three-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and continues at #22.

A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is off one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten #9 to #12, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.7, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#17). Likewise, iHeartMedia regional Mexican KOY “El Patronexactly doubles (+.7) its 6+-figure from a month ago (.7 – 1.4, #27, 6+) and has more than quadrupled its (6+) January showing. As a result of three successive advances (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio’s similarly-formatted KNAI “101.9 La Campesina” is up a collective nine-tenths, climbing from #12 to #11. Another regional Mexican outlet – Univision Radio’s KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” – displays a March gain of one-half share as well (2.5 – 3.0, #19 to #15, 6+). The latest shifts by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); and now -.8 in March (6.7 – 5.9, 6+). Nonetheless, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” repeats at #1. As a result of three significant drops in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ is an overall -9.7 (15.0 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+). It continues in the runner-up slot, following five straight times at #1. January’s loss suspended four positive increases in a row that netted +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. The last time KESZ fell below a six-share (6+) was in September 2017 (5.8). It is tied with Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (5.3, -.1, fourth to second, 6+), which sputtered in February by -1.1 to 5.4, its weakest 6+-stat in just over two years (5.4, as well in January 2017). Regressing by six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+) and Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” (4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). Entering the March sweep, KNIX gained one-half share via five consecutive survey periods without a loss (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January/February (2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Riviera Broadcasting hot AC KMVA “Hot” forfeits one-half share to 2.5 (#15 to #20, 6+); February’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since September 2018’s 3.1. Fading from #13 to #18, Entravision Spanish adult hits KVVA “92.7 La Suavecita” drops one-half share as well (3.1 – 2.6, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after gaining eight-tenths in January/February to end six straight down or flat moves accounting for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned Timberwolves and Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” forfeits seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Hubbard news/talk KTMY, which had been +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) but “My Talk 107.1” slips two-tenths to 3.2; even so, KTMY moves up from #14 to #13. Frozen on 3.3 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” falters by one-half share to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+).

Four setbacks in succession by KTLK cluster-mate KFXN accounted for a -2.3 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+), but “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” bounces back with a +.4 to 4.8 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Prior to November, the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild logged four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Unchanged from January and February in 6+ market share (.7), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #25 to #24.

In a down/up sequence (4.2 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW inches up from tenth to ninth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – The Twin Cities’ (6+) hot AC share escalated by +3.1 (January); deflated by -1.3 (February); and now improves by +.8 in March. To be more specific, Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” was +1.9 in January, regressed by -.8 in February but is +.6 in March (6.4 – 7.0, second to a first-place tie, 6+). Having held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August, KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. Meanwhile iHeartMedia-owned/similarly formatted KTCZ “Cities 97.1” was +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); and now +.2 in March (4.0 – 4.2, level at #11, 6+). “Cities 97.1” spiraled by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Sharing the top spot with KSTP-FM is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station,” which repeats February’s 7.0, its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 7.2. KDWB progressed from third to first in February with a gain of seven-tenths. In addition to “KS-95,” Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” also notches a gain of six-tenths (to 1.8, #22 to #20, 6+), erasing January/February’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Owing to four successive improvements (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “Go Radio – Modern Minnesota Music” is an overall +1.2 and climbs from #16 to #14. Without a loss six times in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN falters by nine-tenths in February/March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.2, flat at #17, 6+). As a result of dropping one-half share, Entercom country outlet KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” falls below a three-share (3.4 – 2.9, #13 to #15, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – A March gain of two-tenths by iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO slices February’s -.4 in half (4.4 – 4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). January’s one-half share increase curtailed three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a collective +.8 via three upticks in succession (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” backslides from a tie at #18 to #19. Without an increase the past five San Diego sweeps for a loss of six-tenths (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” picks up one-tenth to 1.2 (#24 to #22, 6+).

In the market’s sports talk contest, Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” regains half (+.2) of February’s -.4  (1.1 – .7 – .9, #26 to #23, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth (.4 – .5, flat at #27, 6+). Notwithstanding that Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM was +.7 through four consecutive up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, #21, 6+) with 1.6 its best 6+-performance since February 2018 (1.6, as well), “The Mighty 1090” has gone silent.

On top for the third month in a row, KPBS posts its third straight gain for a +2.6 (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). The San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet was a combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Three down or flat moves in a row by Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV accounted for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+), but “Amor 102.9” answers with a March gain of eight-tenths to 2.8 (#18 to #15, 6+). Leaping by eight-tenths as well is Local Media San Diego-programmed urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5, The Beat of San Diego” which is +1.3 in three consecutive improvements (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9, fifth to second, 6+). In four straight downturns (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS was a cumulative -2.3, but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounds with a half-share spike to 4.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). By dropping seven-tenths (4.8 – 4.1, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KMYI “Star 94.1” slides from sixth to tenth. An overall +2.2 through three consecutive improvements (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned KGB relinquishes six-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 6+). In February, “San Diego’s Classic Rock” reached the five-share level (5.9, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 5.1. Owing to three straight upticks, Entercom-owned KSON was +1.9 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 6.1, 6+), but “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is off three-tenths in March to 5.8 (second to third, 6+). A February improvement of six-tenths by classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” (.7 – 1.3, 6+) followed a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -1.7 (2.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). It is somewhat of a non-issue that “Max” drops one-half share in March (1.3 – .8, #22 to #26, 6+) though, as the station has gone silent.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three gains in succession (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is +1.4 as the flagship of the Tampa Lightning moves from ninth to seventh. Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in January and February, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” adds two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #15. A January gain of three-tenths suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+).

After being up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is a combined -.6 in February/March (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

The “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is: 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (#17 – #18, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far making a February 2019 – March 2019 (6+) increase of at least two full-shares is Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” (7.5, +2.1, third to second, 6+). In five successive sweeps without an increase prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). The last time WXGL reached the seven-share level (6+) was in August 2018 (7.1). Right behind it in third-place is Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105 Tampa Bay’s Hits of the ‘80s & More,” which busts out a robust +1.2 (4.9 – 6.1, sixth to third, 6+); “Q-105” last reached the six-share threshold (6+) in September 2018 (6.2). Up or flat the fifth successive sweep for a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” advances from tenth to eighth. Through four straight October 2018 through January 2019 increases, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WWRM was a +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), but “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music”  dropped six-tenths in February. It wipes away that deficit completely though with a March +.6 (5.3 – 5.9, 6+) and continues in fourth-place. There’s good news/bad news for its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WDUV. On the plus side, it is #1 for a truly staggering 80th successive ratings period; however, WDUV “Lite Favorites” is a cumulative -3.1 in three consecutive dips (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 10.6, 6+). Its January decrease suspended three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Via seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX was an overall +2.3, but “Mix 100.7” forfeits approximately half that increase with a -1.2 to 4.0 (fifth to ninth, 6+). A combined +1.5 in January/February (4.9 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group country WQYK “99.5 QYK” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.6 (second to fifth, 6+). Three losses in a row just before that resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The flagship of the Colorado Rockies iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (4.7) and 6+-rank (seventh). Co-owned news/talk KHOW has a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 (#24 to #25, 6+). Before improving by three-tenths in January, “Talk Radio 630” was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+).

Shifting from #13 to #17, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a combined -1.2 in February/March (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). “The Fan” was an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) followed by -1.2 December/“Holiday” 2018; +.9 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). The December 2018 through March 2019 topline for KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” is .3 – .4 – .5 – .3 – .4 (6+); the flagship of the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche bumps up from #29 to #27.

The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far making a February 2019 – March 2019 (6+) decrease of at least two full-shares is KCFR (7.6 – 5.6, -2.0, first to third, 6+). The Colorado Public Radio news/talk facility was a combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+) and was on top in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Trending 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8, (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February – March, 6+), Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC enters the top twenty (#22 to #19.

Denver Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL are +1.2 (January); -.6 (February); and now +1.2 in March (5.1 – 6.3, 6+) as “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from third to first. Not only is iHeartMedia CHR KPTT a combined +1.6 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.6 – 3.2 – 4.2, 6+), “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” breaks into the top ten (#15 to #10). February’s +.6 ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Up by a total of nine-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” proceeds from #17 to #13. A combined January/February -8.2 (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” answers with a March increase of seven-tenths to 5.3 (6+), vaulting from ninth to fourth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, KOSI totaled an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). In addition to KOSI, country cluster-mate KYGO advances by seven-tenths as well and is +1.4 as a result of three positive spikes in succession (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, fourth to second, 6+). Replicating February’s +.6 (4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” jumps from ninth to fifth. Recent moves by Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” come in increments of seven-tenths. It gained seven-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) but is down seven-tenths in March (4.7 – 4.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). That +.7 in February pulled the plug on three straight downturns that were responsible for a loss of … seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). A decrease of one-half share (2.1 – 1.6, 6+) sends Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD out of the top twenty (#18 to #22). After being an overall +1.3 in five successive increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative KTCL “Channel 93-3 Denver’s Modern Rock” falters by three-tenths to 5.1 (second to sixth, 6+). February’s 5.4 is its highest 6+-stat in nearly two years (5.5, April 2017).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” is down three-tenths (3.4 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #11, while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off one-tenth (2.8 – 2.7, 6+) and carries on at #13. Doubling (+.3) its 6+ Baltimore stat in four straight up or flat sweeps (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL moves from #27 to #26.

Unchanged at #10, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is -1.0 in three slips in a row (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), after being a combined +.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+).

Co-owned business news WDCH, which more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ Baltimore stat between December 2018 and February 2019 (.6 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) forfeits four-tenths to .9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” surrenders roughly half that gain in March (2.9, -.5, #11 to #12, 6+). Even though American University-owned news/talk WAMU gains one-tenth (1.4 to 1.5, 6+), it backslides from #16 to #17.

Baltimore Music Formats – Over and above logging a March improvement of seven-tenths (7.6 – 8.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” repeats at #1. Its January +1.0 halted three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 is up one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, #17 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, unchanged at #3, adult contemporary WLIF-FM is trending 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.4 (6+), after “Holiday” 2018’s 15.2 96+). Still in that Entercom cluster, WWMX “Mix 106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” is without a loss the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, steady in sixth-place, 6+). This is the third uptick in succession for iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+) after being an overall -1.2 in three straight downturns (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” drops four-tenths to 5.8 (flat at #5, 6+). This marks the eighth sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored in seventh-place, Entercom news/talk and St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is up one-tenth (5.0 – 5.1, 6+), following a February loss of six-tenths. Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” which was a combined +.8 in January/February (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), falters by three-tenths to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #17.

Despite duplicating February’s loss of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” carries on at #16.

On the heels of February’s +.4, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU posts a March decrease twice that magnitude (4.5 – 3.7, -.8, 6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14).

St. Louis Music Formats – The wild ride continues for Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio,” which was tied with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU for February’s lead position but KSHE has sole possession of first-place in March. Its five most recent fluctuations are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); and now +1.3 in March (7.6 – 8.9, 6+) with 8.9 its highest 6+-share since November 2016 (8.6). Regarding aforementioned KLOU, it was +1.6 in January but is now a combined -1.1 in February/March (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+) as “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifts from first to third. Following four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” erases all but three-tenths of the deficit with a February/March +1.5 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+) and rockets into the top ten (#14 to #10, 6+). Posting March increases of seven-tenths are Hubbard’s WIL “New Country 92.3” (6.1, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Entercom-owned CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (3.7 – 4.4, #14 to #11, 6+). In February, WIL was down six-tenths to 5.4, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well); “Now” recorded an increase of nine-tenths in January. WIL’s format rival – iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” – returns in full February’s half-share improvement (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). A boost of six-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, 6+) by Hubbard adult hits WARH propels “106.5 The Arch” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Following a February one-half share increase, Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” craters by -1.8 (7.0 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). Three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+) resulted in KEZK tripling (+10.4) its 6+ numbers; it spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 the strongest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

| April 4, 2019

Bob Pittman Talks Audio with NBC News. Saying that “audio is hot for the first time in decades,” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman talks up the audio entertainment industry with NBC News’ Claire Atkinson.  In the piece, Pittman says, “There are two parts to the audio sector.  There’s radio and a music collection, both have done well over the years.  The music collection side of the equation has been impacted by technology and it has transformed it. Spotify is really winning the music collection side of things.  Radio is also benefiting from the technology revolution.  It’s added more and more ways to listen to the radio on hundreds of new platforms and thousands of new devices, from smart speakers to smart TVs and game players. iHeart is leading the radio side of things.”  iHeartMedia is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization soon.  The company has reduced its debt from close to $20 billion to $5.75 billion.  It is also preparing to do an IPO for Class A common shares.

Aaron Mason Joins Gee Scott on ‘KIRO Nights.’ Air-personality and podcast producer Aaron Mason (right) joins Gee Scott (left) as co-host of “KIRO Nights” on Bonneville’s Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM.  Mason has been serving with the station as a fill-in host and podcast producer, working on KIRO’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle.”  Mason fills the role left open by the departure of Zak Burns last fall.

Cohen Promoted at Salem Media Group. Rising from vice president of local digital to vice president of broadcast digital with Salem Media Group is Jamie Cohen.  He joined Salem Media Group in January of 2018 after serving with Gannett’s USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Cohen says, “I’m honored to be able to continue contributing to Salem’s expansion into greater levels of digital content strategy.  With the launch of Salem Surround, we have really taken tremendous strides in strengthening our digital strategies as a company and I’m excited to help expand even further.”  SMG president of broadcast media David Santrella says, “In the 15 months Jamie has worked for Salem building our digital sales model, he has proven to have a depth of understanding that goes far beyond sales.  I am confident that we will see our digital efforts in the broadcast division grow and thrive under Jamie’s leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma sports talk radio pioneer Al Eschbach is being inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame tomorrow at the OAB’s annual convention in Oklahoma City.  The OAB notes that Eschbach began his broadcasting career at KTOK, Oklahoma as sports director in 1976.   In 1985, he moved across town to WWLS-AM – the station that would become sports talk “The Sports Animal.”  Eschbach is still with Cumulus’ WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal” and appears on the air as part of the “Dominant Duo Show” with Jim Traber and also as part of the “Total Dominance Hour” at 5:00 pm daily with Jim Traber, Berry Tramel, and Dean Blevins.  Cumulus Oklahoma City VP and market manager Jay Davis says, “Al Eschbach is a true sports radio pioneer and has been the cornerstone of WWLS from the very beginning.  We are proud and honored to work alongside this Hall of Famer.”…..The host gig for the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” at Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” goes to current staffer Matt Spiegel.  He’ll work the show with a rotating cast of co-hosts.  The slot opened when the station and Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner did not come to terms on a contract renewal. Spiegel hosted middays at “The Score” until last year.  He remains a columnist for 670TheScore.com and co-host of the Saturday morning “Inside the Clubhouse” show alongside Bruce Levine…..Podcast producer Cadence13 partners with veterans advocate Paul Rieckhoff – author of Chasing Ghosts– to create the new “Angry Americans” podcast hosted by Rieckhoff.  In the program, the Iraq War veteran “explores the most important issues facing our country with a wide range of influential and compelling guests from Capitol Hill to Hollywood to Silicon Valley.”

Townsquare Media Stations Hit with Ransomware Attack. Officials from Townsquare Media’s corporate office have not made an official public statement about the ransomware attacks, but numerous reports in consumer media outlets indicate that the company suffered from the attacks that began on Monday, leaving several clusters without control of their computer systems, at least for a period Townsquare clusters in Shreveport, Louisiana; Boise, Idaho; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire were impacted by the attack.  Ransomware is designed to lock users out of their computers until they pay a ransom to regain control.  News/talk KEEL-AM/K269GO, Shreveport posted on its website: “Townsquare’s engineers and ITs, both local and corporate, continue to work on restoring the operating system to working order, though no time for a return to normal operation is known.  In the meantime, listeners’ patience for things out-of-the-ordinary is greatly appreciated and, hopefully, the interruptions in regular programming will be too small to notice.”

Katz Media Group Raises More Than $45k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Media sales organization Katz Media Group announces its recently completed 10th annual companywide membership drive raised more than $45,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Over the decade Katz has been raising funds for the BFoA it has brought in more than $350,000.  Led by Mark Gray, chief executive officer of Katz Media Group; Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group; and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group — all money raised during the annual two-week campaign goes toward the Stu Olds Memorial Fund that commemorates Katz’s former CEO and supports the foundation’s mission to provide financial support to radio and television professionals in acute need. Last year, the Broadcasters Foundation gave out a record amount of grants to broadcasters for necessities ranging from medical care to everyday essentials. This includes one-time emergency grants given to victims of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.  Mark Gray says, “It’s an honor to continue Stu’s legacy and give back to our incredible industry.  As a board member, I have seen firsthand all the good the foundation does.  I’m incredibly proud and appreciative of the continued generosity of the Katz team to support the Foundation, and give to colleagues in need.”

Trump Tax Returns Issue, Joe Biden Allegations, Mueller Report Aftermath, U.S.-Mexico Border Issues, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, NCAA Final Four, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). The House Ways and Means chairman officially files request for President Trump’s tax returns; the inappropriate touching allegations against Joe Biden; the aftermath of the Mueller Report completion; the border wall and migrant  problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Taylor Jukes is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Jukes was most recently senior manager of national content for iHeartRadio Canada.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “Taylor is a passionate leader who has programmed multiple successful brands in Canada.  Her fresh perspective on collaborating with talent and innovative social media strategies, paired with strong relationships with artists and our label partners will reinforce the dominant position we have at ‘Y100.’  I am excited for Taylor and me to make history together in Miami!”…..Sun Broadcast Group adds of “The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger” to its 2019 offerings.  The four-hour weekly show is hosted by current iHeartMedia programmer (WKSS, Hartford and WKCI, New Haven) and former WKTU, New York night jock Jagger.  He says, “I’m excited to join the team at Sun Broadcast Group!  Jay Bailey has a great vision and the future is bright.  Plus, we are thrilled to have [VP programming and affiliate relations] Rich O’ Brien back on our team.  We look forward to taking ‘The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger’ to the next level!”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

| March 27, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  The period between the end of the NFL season and the start of the MLB season usually means a dip in ratings for sports talk radio stations and this year is no different as 73% of sports talkers see a decrease in their weekly 6+ AQH share from the January 2019 survey to the February 2019 PPM survey.  Comparing last February to this, about half of the sports talk stations on our panel are up with the other half down or unchanged.  Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” was the highest-ranking station (6+) during the February survey, finishing the month at #3 in the Boston market with a 6.4 share.  Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 FM The Fan” is the sports station with the highest 6+ share in February with a 6.5.  See all the data here.

Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network Renew Through 2023. Talk radio pro Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network will continue to work together through 2023 as Salem announces the company and Gallagher have agreed to a new contract.  Gallagher’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show is heard on more than 420 affiliate stations via SRN.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are honored to have had Mike Gallagher in our Salem family for over two decades and thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with him.  Mike’s thoughtful and expert commentary is exactly what America needs in these turbulent times we live in, and it’s no wonder he is Salem’s highest-rated program.”  Gallagher comments, “Every broadcaster should be lucky enough to work for Salem Media Group.  I’ve worked hard and they’ve rewarded me with a partnership that will have spanned at least 22 years, a rarity in our business.  I’m so grateful to Ed Atsinger, Dave Santrella, and Phil Boyce for their support and visionary leadership.  And I will always appreciate Greg Anderson, who has since retired, for believing in me back in 2001 and bringing me into the Salem family.”

Jason Page Joins iHub Radio in Palm Springs. As the Palm Springs locally focused internet radio station iHub Radio approaches its first birthday, it announces that sports talk personality Jason Page is taking over the afternoon drive program, effective April 1.  Page has served with NBC Sports Radio, ESPN, and SiriusXM.  iHub Radio was founded by programmer John McMullen who asked Page to help with coverage of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  McMullen says, “Jason brought his A-game for the entirety of his stay in February and March.  After two weeks of upsets on the tennis courts, I felt that the timing was right on our final broadcast from Indian Wells to wrap up with a positive surprise. We offered Jason a full-time opportunity to not only take our 3 to 6 pm weekday slot, but to join our management team and put his vision in play for social media and other multimedia opportunities that are likely to involve expanding some of our local talent beyond the iHub Radio platform and local market.” In addition to hosting afternoons, Page will be director of multimedia platforms for the media outlet.  McMullen is giving up hosting the afternoon show to focus on management responsibilities. McMullen says iHub Radio is hyper-focused on its local connection to a marketplace rather than proactively seeking a national or global audience.  He adds that as the platform nears its first anniversary and continues to increase its weekly unique audience numbers that rival the terrestrial competition and double the time spent listening of most traditional talk stations, the company will enter its second year with an eye towards creating a handful of programming products that could ultimately be part of the terrestrial radio landscape by 2020.

Cox Media Group: Study Shows Our Customers Are ‘More Satisfied.’ The results of a three-year study designed to measure advertiser expectations and perceptions of traditional and digital advertising at CMG indicates CMG customers rate many CMG advertising solutions at least two to three-times higher than non-CMG advertisers rate similar competitor services on return on investment.  The survey of more than 450 businesses – including CMG customers and non-CMG customers – was done by research firm Magid. The advertising solutions include programmatic advertising, digital video, native, and traditional media.  Cox Media Group EVP of content, digital strategy, technology, and research Marian Pittman says, “This is part of the culture and commitment at Cox Media Group.  Our entire team is focused on driving results for our advertisers, providing innovative solutions and being a true partner for our clients.  We have a relentless focus on tracking, monitoring and optimizing every advertisers’ campaign.  The results of the survey show our clients agree.”

Westwood One’s 2019 Audioscape Report Highlights Podcasting and Smart Speaker Data. The company says this report examines the podcast and smart speaker consumer, listener, and user trends, podcast consumption among smart speaker users, and marketer and agency sentiment for advertising in podcasts and smart speaker environments.  Westwood One reveals some of what it calls the key findings on podcasting and smart speakers: 1) The podcast audience is maturing with the median age advancing from 29 in 2017 to 35 in 2018.  However, 2) podcast listeners are far more engaged and one-and-a-half times more attentive than social media audiences.  3) Smart speaker ownership has tripled in two years with 23% of U.S. households owning a smart speaker, and 4) GenXers – adults between the ages of 35 and 54 – represent the largest segment of smart speaker owners (38%). See more here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis-based, independently syndicated talk host Tony Katz adds Emmis Communications’ KLBJ-AM, Austin to his roster of affiliate stations for his “Tony Katz Today” program, effective April 15. Katz hosts the “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on WIBC-FM and his “Tony Katz Today” talk show airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  KLBJ-AM program director Mark Caesar says, “We are very excited about Tony Katz joining the NewsRadio KLBJ lineup.  Tony is a great guy who knows how to blend his excellent sense of humor with his strong insight on the day’s biggest stories.”…..MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” announce a new multi-year agreement that ensures the station continues to serve as the radio home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.   WEPN has served in this role since 2004.  “ESPN New York” vice president and general manager Tim McCarthy says, “We are proud to continue our 15-year relationship with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  As ‘98.7 ESPN’ continues to expand our listener base, the Knicks and Rangers serve as an integral component of our programming lineup.”…..Bonneville International’s sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix “Arizona Sports” inks a deal to serve as the radio and digital home for the Phoenix Rising FC for the 2019 season.  As part of the deal, “Arizona Sports” will stream all Phoenix Rising FC games live on ArizonaSports.com as well as air three Phoenix Rising FC games on sister KTAR-AM “ESPN 620,” beginning in June.  The partnership will also include a dedicated page of Rising coverage on ArizonaSports.com along with a weekly podcast hosted by Kellan Olson.

Mueller Investigation Aftermath, Obamacare Battle, Jussie Smollett Case, Green New Deal Vote, Israel-Gaza Tensions, Brexit Redux, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).The aftermath of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; the battle between the Trump administration and Democrats over the status of the Affordable Care Act; the Illinois state prosecutor’s decision not to charge actor Jussie Smollett; the U.S. Senate vote on the Green New Deal; the tensions in Israel over the missile strike from the Gaza Strip; the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit status; and NBA action and the NCAA Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is no longer with Radio One as the CHR format captain and program director for CHR outlets KROI, Houston and WNOW, Indianapolis.  Fruge had previously served with the old CBS RADIO in Houston as vice president of programming and operations manager as well as PD for KHMX and KKHH…..On-air personality Amber “Alabama” Cole is the new morning show contributor for iHeartMedia’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM.”  She exited the company’s Chicago country outlet WEBG “Big 95.5” where she was midday host back in December…..Griffin Communications announces that country recording artist Joe Diffie is joining the KXBL, Tulsa “Big Country 99.5” air staff, hosting the midday show.  Diffie is based in Nashville and will voice track the program, even when he’s on the road this summer.  Station program director Brian Jennings says, “Joe’s music is a reflection of the dominance of Oklahoma artists that have become part of the country music soundtrack across the nation. And ‘Big Country’ is the only station in Tulsa that is positioned to properly celebrate that legacy.  Think about the influence that Oklahoma music has on the nation: Joe Diffie, Reba,Garth, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood…shall I go on? Having Joe on as part of the team brings Tulsa pride to his national status.  I am so proud.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

| March 13, 2019

Entercom Renews Limbaugh for 15 News/Talk Stations. The Premiere Networks-syndicated Rush Limbaugh show will continue to air on 15 Entercom-owned news/talk stations after the two companies agreed to a long-term contract extension.  Stations that will continue to air the Rush Limbaugh show include WPHT, Philadelphia; WBT, Charlotte; KXNT, Las Vegas; WBEN-AM, Buffalo; and WTIC, Hartford. Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “Listeners nationwide across Entercom’s talk stations continue to engage with Rush’s signature take on the media and political landscape.  For over 30 years, Rush Limbaugh has been a driving force on air and we look forward to our continued partnership.”

Salem Media Group Q4 2018 Total Revenue Flat; Same Station Net Revenue Up 2%.  Reporting fourth quarter 2018 and full year 2018 financial data, Salem Media Group says its Q4 total revenue was consistent at $67.2 million.  In the broadcast division, net broadcast revenue was basically flat at $51.1 million, however same station net broadcast revenue increased 1.9% to $50.3 million. For the full year of 2018, total revenue decreased 0.4% to $262.8 million from $263.7 million in 2017.  In the broadcast division, net broadcast revenue increased 1.2% and same station net broadcast revenue was up 1.8% to $195.2 million from $191.7 million in 2017.

iHeartMedia December 2018 Revenue Dips 5.3%.  In its most recent 8-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia reports revenue of $326 million for the month of December 2018, down 5.3% from the November figure of $343.7 million.  In November 2018, the company claimed $104.2 million in net income.  That category was flat in December, with no net income nor loss posted.  The company has been filing the monthly statements since the petition for Chapter 11 reorganization was filed last spring.

iHeartMedia Launches ‘Podcast Channel’ on WSAN-AM, Allentown. The Allentown, Pennsylvania AM signal flips from Spanish sports to a new podcast format.  iHeartMedia Allentown is calling it “The iHeartPodcast Channel on AM 1470,” using it to showcase “today’s most popular podcasts” and “allow listeners to discover them through the radio.  The new station will be a one-stop shop for a variety of podcasts including trendy shows such as the fan-favorites ‘Stuff You Should Know,’ ‘Part Time Genius,’ ‘Broken Harts,’ and many more.  iHeartMedia Allentown SVP of programming Craig Stevens says, “The iHeartPodcast Channel is a carefully curated experience that brings you the most creative stories from over 25,000 podcasts available on our free iHeartRadio app.  From true crime to history, comedy to food, we’ll cover dozens of topics every week.”

iHeartMedia Executives Named UJA-Federation’s Music Visionaries of the Year. Four of iHeartMedia’s leaders – Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, John Sykes, and Tom Poleman – have been named UJA-Federation of New York’s Music Visionaries of the Year.  They will be honored for their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements at the annual Music Visionary of the Year Award Luncheon on June 11, 2019 in New York City.  Daniel Glass, president & founder of Glassnote Entertainment Group and vice chair of UJA’s Entertainment, Media & Communications Division, says, “Bob, Rich, John, and Tom are true powerhouses who are reshaping the entertainment industry through ingenuity and innovation.  While devoted to redefining the way millions of people consume music, they are equally committed to social responsibility and improving millions of lives – and it’s why they’re so deserving of this honor.” The Music Visionary Luncheon attracts more than 600 of the most respected and well-regarded executives and an A-list roster of talent.  Past performers include: Eddie Vedder and Stone Gossard, Leon Bridges, Alessia Cara, Alicia Keys, Bruno MarsJustin Timberlake, Adele, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, The Weeknd, Jennifer Hudson, and many more. Funds raised at the event are shared across various UJA efforts, ranging from its Music for Youth initiative, which enables and supports quality children’s music education programming, to its annual campaign, which supports the most vulnerable in our community.

Tips on Podcast Advertising from Westwood One’s Tim Sabean. In this week’s Westwood One blog, senior vice president of digital content Tim Sabean offers pointers for achieving podcast advertising success.  He says the following tips will lead to greater effectiveness of the podcast read. First, be transparent.  Start at the beginning and explain why the ad is being done in the first place.  Hosts should share their backstory on why they wanted to promote the company in the ad.  Giving context will help the listener follow the host’s journey and will magnify credibility and connection.  Second, be real.  Personalize the relationship with the brand.  Don’t solely rely on copy points.  Hosts should use the product or service and then talk about what the experience is like.  Including real-life reactions make ads more believable and prevent them from sounding soulless.  And third, be direct.  Make the call to action clear and memorable.  For specific information like call to action, podcasts hosts should be sure that the verbiage is strong and direct.  They should be repetitive so there is no room for error.  Read the blog here.

iHeartMedia Names Region SVP’s of Programming. The company announces the promotion of two of its programmers to regional senior vice president of programming positions. First, Meg Stevens moves from her post as RSVP of programming for the Virginia-Carolina region (as well as PD for country WKKT, Charlotte) to region SVP of programming for the Atlanta region.  In this new role, Stevens will also serve as program director for country WUBL, Atlanta. She says, “I’m very excited to join the incredible programming team in the Atlanta region.  I look forward to the continued growth of their powerful brands. ‘94.9 The Bull’ is one of the premiere country stations in the nation and I couldn’t be more excited to wake up every day and say, ‘HORNS UP!’  Taking over the RSVP of programming for the Virginia-Carolina region is Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht.  He was most recently program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR WHQC “HITS 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” in Charlotte.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region president Dave Carwile says, “We are extremely pleased to have A.J. lead as region senior vice president of programming for the Virginia-Carolina region.  A.J. has the experience and passion for talent coaching and developing extraordinary teams.  I’ve worked with A.J. in this capacity before and he is a game changer.  I am confident that he will make a strong impact and contribution to the Virginia-Carolina region’s ongoing success.”

TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio legend Howard Stern and publisher Simon & Schuster are releasing his third autobiographical book, titled, Howard Stern Comes Again, on May 14.  The Sirius XM personality made the announcement on his show, saying, “For the last two years of my life, I’ve been involved in a project that has taken up almost every weekend, every vacation that we’ve been on.  This is about my evolution and this is about my interviews.  I started talking about the process and I started talking about my life and some of the things that have happened.”…..In Boston, afternoon news personality Josh Binswanger exits iHeartMedia’s all-news WBZ-AM where he was co-anchor. He’d been with the station – his second tour with the news outlet – since September of 2017…..The Arkansas Broadcasters Association is celebrating its 70th anniversary as the leading trade association for Arkansas Broadcasters. ABA executive director Luke Story says, “ABA has experienced exceptional growth and successes over the years.  Moving forward, our focus will remain on offering the broadcasters of Arkansas the resources and education they need to stay at the forefront of the industry.  We are excited to celebrate ‘70 years of Broadcasting Naturally’ at our convention, ARKCON this July.”…..Tribune Media shareholders voted on Tuesday (3/12) to accept the bid by Nexstar Media Group to acquire the television group with stations in 42 markets – that also owns news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago – for $6.4 billion.  Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern states, “We’re extremely pleased with today’s vote.  It confirms that our stockholders clearly recognize the significant value we expect to be delivered by this merger.  We look forward to continuing our work with Nexstar to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals that will enable us to close this transaction later this year.”  Nexstar owns no radio stations.

Raising a Talk Host’s Profile.  Public relations pro Ryan McCormick offers some advice to talk radio hosts who want to raise their profile – whether in a local market or nationally.  Check out his 10-point prescription that includes such tactics as charity involvement, use of PR pros, building media alliances, and more right here.

College Bribery Scandal, Trump-Russia Probe Status/Manafort Sentencing, NY State Trump Business Investigation, House Impeachment Chatter, Boeing 737 Max 8 Concerns, Clinton Email Matter Testimony, UK Brexit Chaos, Call for Google Breakup, NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Activity, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The story of the college admissions bribery and test cheating scandal involving actresses Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, and others; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the investigation into Trump businesses by the State of New York; the talk of impeachment being batted down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; the flying public’s concern over the safety of the Boeing 737 Max 8; just-revealed testimony from former FBI attorney Lisa Page that the agency was directed by the Obama DOJ not to charge Hillary Clinton in the email server investigation; the political chaos in England after Theresa Mays’ latest Brexit plan is shot down; News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch calls for anti-trust action against Google; the signings reported during the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Morgan Prue is named assistant program director and music director at Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston. She was most recently APD at Entercom’s crosstown adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7.”  Beasely notes that Prue has also served with iHeartMedia’s WLTW-FM, New York; programmed classic hits in her native Ottawa, Canada; and served with WPLJ-FM, New York.  She says, “To say I’m thrilled to be working with [PD] Cadillac [Jack] again is an understatement.  I’m looking forward to kicking some serious you know what in Boston with the Beasley team led by Mary Menna!”…..Travis Hill announces he’s exiting his role as marketing director at iHeartMedia’s Dallas station group to enter the real estate business full time.  Taking over his role is Lili Villarreal, currently promotions director for KDMX and KDGE.  Hill says that Taylor Ybarra will handle day-to-day promotions for KHKS and Vanessa Alvarado is handling day-to-day promotions for KEGL and KZPS.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

| November 8, 2018

Craig Carton Found Guilty of Fraud Charges.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton was convicted on three fraud charges – securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud – on the second day of deliberations in his trial by a Manhattan jury.  Federal prosecutors charged that Carton had used almost $7 million from investors in a concert tickets re-sale scheme for personal expenses and to pay off gambling debts.  Prosecutors even called a loan shark named Desmond Finger to the stand testify he gave Carton loans totaling as much as $500,000 that Carton failed to repay.  They called a hedge fund executive who testified he gave Carton more than $5 million to invest in tickets in 2016.  The feds also say Carton doctored emails to make it appear to investors that he had a tickets contract with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum.  Carton’s defense claimed he was a victim of partner Michael Wright, who pleaded guilty, and associate Joseph Meli, who is serving time for bilking investors in his own concert tickets scheme.  The New York Post reports that Carton could get as much as 45 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced on February 27 of next year, though he’s likely to get far less.  Carton’s attorney Robert Gottlieb says they will appeal the verdict.  Carton was half of the highly rated morning show with Boomer Esiason on WFAN before his arrest in September of 2017. Prior to that, he’d been a successful talk show host on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”

Cumulus Names Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. It was just last month – October 5 – that Cumulus Media announced programmer Jack Swanson would return to the Bay Area stations he programmed so successfully for so many years.  But Swanson has had a change of heart and now the company is naming San Francisco cluster operations manager Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO.  Hammer served KGO and KSFO as interim program director in 2015 during which he was also PD for sports talkers KNBR and KTCT.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Lee Hammer did an excellent job while handling the programming for KGO and KSFO.  It’s an easy choice to hand Lee the keys to these two legendary radio stations.”  As for Swanson, he’ll serve the station as a programming consultant.  He states, “I realize my decision to return to the beach is sudden.  I quickly fell in love all over again with these wonderful stations and their talented people, but ultimately, my change of heart comes from my desire to fully enjoy a future of unlimited fun, travel, and adventure.  And making this move complete, through the unbelievable graciousness of Doug Harvill, Lee Hammer, and the entire Cumulus corporate team, I’ll still have the opportunity to contribute my ideas for the future of these amazing radio stations.”

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman and Emmis/Entercom Settle.  There are literally no details in the court filing in United States District Court in Missouri about the settlement and we’ll likely never know what they are, but the legal battle between former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom is over.  The two sides were sent into “alternative dispute resolution” by the court and it worked in as much as a trial was avoided.  Allman was suing Emmis (seller of KFTK-FM) and Entercom (operating it under an LMA) on basically two complaints: that the companies owed him money after firing him for his Tweet about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg, and that his firing was a breach of contract.  Previously, the two sides settled the money issue (privately, of course) and now they’ve settled the termination matter.  Meanwhile, Marc Cox is now the host of the morning show on KFTK-FM and Allman is producing his own daily morning show via the digital Radio Free Allman Network.

RTDNA Demands the White House Restore CNN’s Jim Acosta’s Media Credentials.  One of the nation’s leading organizations supporting radio and TV journalists – the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) – condemns the revoking of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass a few hours after he attempted to ask questions of President Trump at yesterday’s (11/7) post-election press conference. The organization issued the following statement: “The RTDNA and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force condemn this obvious punitive action of the administration and call on it to restore Mr. Acosta’s credentials immediately.  In the statement RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “The leader of the free world has consistently ridiculed journalists who report the truth as purveyors of ‘fake news’ and the ‘[enemies] of the American people.’  To go a nearly unprecedented step further and revoke the credentials of a responsible journalist who was merely attempting to ask a question of the president is unconscionable.”  The statement continues: “Furthermore, the White House attempted to justify its decision to revoke Acosta’s credentials in part by alleging he had essentially assaulted a staffer who attempted to take a microphone from his hands.”  Shelley adds, “Any objective observer of the staffer’s attempt to confiscate the microphone Mr. Acosta was holding would surely conclude that he acted professionally and in a non-aggressive manner. He even said to her, ‘pardon me, ma’am.’”  The RTDNA formed the nonpartisan Voice of the First Amendment Task Force to defend against threats to the First Amendment and news media access and to help the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks about this development with Dan Shelley earlier this morning (11/8).  To listen to that conversation, please click 

      here
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Salem Media Group Q3 Revenue Flat; Broadcast Division Posts Positive Numbers. Although the third quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group, Inc. was basically flat at $65.5 million (up 0.1%), and the broadcast division’s net revenue was up only 0.8% ($48.8 million from $48.4 million a year ago), same station figures were up.  Station Operating Income increased 2.4% to $11.7 million from $11.4 million in Q3 of 2017; Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 1.9% to $47.8 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI increased 2.3% to $12.1 million from $11.8 million.  On another positive note, the company posts a net income of $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to a loss of $46,000 in Q3 of 2017.  Salem’s digital division was consistent at $10.4 million and the publishing division dipped 3.7% to $6.3 million.

iHeartMedia Files Q3 Financial Data with SEC; Revenue Up 1.6%.  There are not a lot of detailed breakdowns in this 8-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission from iHeartMedia.  We do see that revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $873 million – up 1.6% from $859 million a year ago.  iHeartMedia has been releasing monthly financial updates as is makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization but releases this quarterly report today (11/8). It doesn’t contain any same station data valuable for analyzing the radio operations a bit deeper.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on Major League Baseball flagships.  This is the third and final review of MLB flagship outlets this year.  Interestingly, Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston – flagship for the World Champion Red Sox – lost weekly AQH share from October 2017 to October 2018 (5.9 to 5.1).  The Los Angeles Dodgers flagship iHeartMedia’s KLAC was up from a 1.0 share to a 1.7 share during the same period. Milwaukee Brewers flagship then-Scripps’ WTMJ was the big winner here, rising from a 7.3 share to a 10.4 share, year over year.  See the whole story here.

Midterm Election Results, Sessions Resigns AG Post/Future of Mueller Probe, Trump Suspends Acosta Press Credentials, Deadly California Bar Shooting, Antifa Threats Against Media Figures, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). The results of Tuesday’s midterm elections that saw the Democrats take control of the House and Republicans add seats in the Senate; Attorney General Jeff Sessions agrees to resign post and the future of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; President Trump suspends CNN reporter Jake Acosta’s White House press credentials; a gunman kills 11 and himself in a country bar in Los Angeles; reports of conservative media figures getting threats from Antifa groups; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ Wraps ‘Voice Your Vote’ Tour.  Pictured above are WWTN-FM, Nashville personalities at the final stop of the “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” at MAFIAoZA’s in Franklin, Tennessee on Tuesday evening. The “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” launched in March in Franklin and has included stops featuring WTN hosts and voter registration opportunities throughout the year at venues in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Bellevue, and Hendersonville, Tennessee.  From right to left are: Dave Zanotti, Michael DelGiorno, Phil Valentine, Dan Mandis, and Brian Wilson.

Lars Larson Featured in ‘KGW-TV Carpool’ Personality Segment.  Nationally and regionally syndicated, KXL-FM, Portland-based talk host Lars Larson was interviewed by KGW-TV, Portland news anchor Brenda Braxton for the station’s segment, “KGW Carpool.”  In the segment, Braxton interviews Larson as they drive around Portland, but there’s one catch – no talking politics.  Larson is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks and regionally via the Radio Northwest Network.  See the five-minute video here.

AWMF Announces Call for Entries for 2019 Gracie Awards. The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, opens the call for entries for the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala, taking place May 21, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon, taking place June 26, 2019, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.  The AWMF says that each year attention is given to evaluating categories which included adding one for writers in television and creating more avenues for radio hosts/co-hosts, including adding in market size in various categories.  AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Each year, the Gracie Awards Gala and Luncheon celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for and about women.  It is our belief that recognizing expertise, courage and contributions across all segments of media is essential to ensuring continued growth for our industry.  AWM has been shining a spotlight on the individual and collective achievements of the best and brightest women in media for over 40 years.  As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media.”  The 2019 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Early bird rates for entries end on December 13, 2018, at 11:59 pm ET. The deadline for all entries is January 17, 2019, at 11:59 pm ET.  Entry details including pricing and updated categories can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/.  To see more about the 2018 Gracie Awards, including the media release and past video, visit https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/gracies-coverage/.

Great Programming Opportunity at Atlanta’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  The Cox Media Group heritage news/talk outlet is seeking a senior operations and programming manager to assist the director of branding and programming.  The job summary says, “Assists the ‘Director of Branding and Programming’ as 2nd in command for the WSB Radio Brand in executing the WSB Programming Strategy, to include managing and developing Talk Talent, Hosts, Producers, the Operations team, Imaging Producers, as well as coordinating strategic goals and input with the News Director, Manager of Traffic Operations, and Director of Digital/Social. Also, handles assigned administrative duties, personnel management, coordination of schedules, and promotions (sales and marketing). Serves as member of the WSB Radio Strategic Team, and coordinates with CMG Research for Nielsen Ratings Reports, Analysis, and Market research.”  See more about this excellent opportunity here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” announces DC market pro Albie Dee is the new afternoon drive personality on the former hot AC outlet, effective November 12.  Entercom vice president of programming Steve Davis says, “Albie Dee is a radio legend in DC and I am beyond excited to have him return to the market as the first personality on ‘94.7 The Drive.’”…..The changes at iHeartMedia’s CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9” include the departure of afternoon drive personality Julianontheradio from that role and the move of evening jock Gabby Diaz into the drive time slot.  Filling the evening show host position is current JV show cast member Crystal Rosas.  Julianontheradio will continue to serve with the company handling part-time and voice-tracking duties…..iHeartMedia’s “The Breakfast Club” morning drive show hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God is presenting this year’s #Change4Change – an all-day radiothon that will benefit PROJECT 375 – taking place on Thursday, November 15, 2018 during “The Breakfast Club” show across more than 77 syndicated markets. It will continue from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight on flagship WWPR, New York “Power 105.1,” with other participating markets to be announced…..Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis has been recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Association as the Radio Station of the Year. The station received the same honor in 2008 and 2012.  Pictured below at the 2018 Spectrum Awards Luncheon are (from l-r): morning hosts Jim Denny and Kevin Freeman, assistant program director Kash, morning host Deb Honeycut, marketing director Jan Thoman, and VP/market manager Chuck Fredrick.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

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

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

| June 27, 2018

Marske Named PD at WOC, Quad Cities.  Moline native Kirk Marske is named program director for iHeartMedia’s Quad Cities news/talk WOC.  Marske has served with the cluster for 17 years, producing programs on WOC, classic rock WCQQ “Q106.5” and CHR KUUL “101.3 Kiss FM.” In this position, Marske will program WOC and be part of the “AM Quad Cities” morning show hosted by Dave Levora with contributions from Dan Deibert.  Marske takes over for Dan Kennedy, who retired from the station in May after 20 years there.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jim O’Hara says, “Kirk is just the guy to program WOC.  Born and raised in Moline – and with more local connections than anyone – he has a real passion for news/talk radio.”

Beasley Media Group Files with SEC Announcing Sale of Up to $250 million in Stock. In an S-3 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Beasley Media Group announces its intent to offer securities for sale on the Nasdaq Global Market using a “shelf” registration process that allows the company to “sell securities from time to time and in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $250,000,000 …”  This is Class A common stock has one vote per share.  Class B common stock is owned only by the Beasley family and enjoys 10 votes per share.  What would Beasley use the influx of cash for?  Acquisition of more radio stations is the popular bet.  Although iHeartMedia – currently in Chapter 11 reorganization – has said it’s not in sale mode, the company has been willing to deal in recent years.  And then there’s the Scripps stations currently on the block.  Stay tuned.

Doug Hall Named Digitial PD for iHM San Francisco. There are just two spoken-word stations in iHeartMedia’s San Francisco cluster – progressive talker KKSF “Real Talk 910AM” and KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” – but the company says that its San Francisco cluster has “been an innovator in podcast content creation, generating 30 podcasts locally with nearly 100 episodes each week published.” It will be part of new digital program director Doug Hall’s charge as he moves from iHeartMedia Miami to the Bay Area for his gig. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “After an extensive search inside and outside of the industry, Doug stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area.  With Doug’s knowledge of our goals and priorities along with his sense of urgency and enthusiasm, I’m confident he will grow iHeartMedia San Francisco.”  Hall takes over for Matty Staudt, who was recently elevated to vice president of podcast programming at iHeartMedia.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Brian Kilmeade.  Today (6/27) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s third installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and 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.  Yesterday’s post presents opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted this week: 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.

Going for the Gold.  The fourth annual fundraising dinner for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place last night (6/27) at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The sold-out event featured FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel personality and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade as keynote speaker, with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison warming up the crowd with special remarks.  Kilmeade delivered an inspirational speech discussing the ups and downs of his career as well as a number of others making the point that facing the challenges that life throws at you head on while remaining humble and grateful is one of the keys to achieving and maintaining success.  Harrison discussed the importance of education in preparing future generations of broadcasters to live up to the responsibility of preserving the First Amendment and the vibrant free marketplace of ideas in the rapidly evolving digital era.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation is a dynamic non-profit working to raise funds to support the education of young broadcasters.  It has been instrumental in helping develop the outstanding program offered at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, including the building of the school’s award-winning radio station WRFH.  Pictured at the event (l-r):  Harrison, Kilmeade and Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation president Vince Benedetto.  Benedetto is also the CEO of the Bold Gold Media Group, with a growing roster of news/talk, sports talk and music radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

Report: Colin Cowherd Renews Deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports. According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, sports media personality Colin Cowherd has inked a renewal deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports that will pay him in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Marchand’s piece reports that Cowherd’s three-hour radio show will continue (and remain simulcast on TVs’ FOX Sports 1), but he will exit the “Speak for Yourself” television program co-hosted by Jason Whitlock. Cowherd is expected to continue hosting the “FOX NFL Kickoff” TV show that returns in September.

iHeartMedia and Anna Faris Strike Deal for Expansion of ‘Unqualified’ Programming. Actress and podcaster Anna Faris – who produces her “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast via her Unqualified Media production company – is partnering with iHeartMedia to bring her show to CHR broadcast radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.  “Unqualified” features interviews with celebrities and cultural figures who tackle a variety of topics such as dating and relationships, in addition to taking phone calls from listeners seeking relationship advice.  Faris created the podcast with her longtime friend and co-host Sim Sarna, who produces the show and runs the production company.  The deal will have Unqualified Media produce a long-form “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” radio program that will air weekends across CHR broadcast radio stations nationwide.  In addition, iHeartMedia will create short-form content that will air weekdays promoting “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” nationwide.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday, news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga released a statement regarding the status of morning drive personality Jeff Styles, who was arrested on June 15 after a road rage incident left Styles with a gunshot wound to the arm and the other party with damage to his car left by Styles’ weapon – a military-grade tomahawk.   Cumulus Media has placed Styles on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Meanwhile the station says, “Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so.  He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting ‘The Morning Press’ along with Jim Reynolds.”…..Talk show host Tom Donahue is returning to the radio airwaves on July 1 as he launches a weekly, Sunday evening program available via Talk Stream Live and distributed to radio stations by Salem Radio Network.  The program will air live at 11:00 pm ET. Donahue says, “I am thrilled to have this broadcast opportunity that has eluded me for some time.  I will independently syndicate my show distributed by SRN and TSL, thus allowing me to reach a broader audience with satellite access and delivery to so many radio stations and markets. To be an impactful player in talk radio, your game plan must include broadcast stations. In recent years, my program has been confined mostly to online streaming, digital, and podcasting platforms, with the exception of a few independent stations.  I plan to make the most of my airtime each week!  I will be open to show expansion based on demand.”…..Boston morning show duo Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, a.k.a. “Toucher & Rich,” were honored by readers of Boston Magazine with the “Radio Personalities of the Year” award in the 2018 Best of Boston poll.  Toucher & Rich anchor mornings on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “We are so proud to have Toucher & Rich on our team in Boston.  They are so amazing at all of the things that we truly value at Beasley – community and top quality local content.  I’m thrilled that Boston Magazine recognized them!”…..Two sale closings to report that involve Salem Media Group.  First, the International Church of the Grace of God closes on the $1.73 million acquisition of WBIX, Boston from Salem. Since Salem bought the signal in 2015 it had been airing its syndicated conservative talk programming on the station with not a lot of success.  Second, Salem closes on its purchase of KDXE-FM, Cammack Village, Arkansas from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  The station serves the Little Rock market and Salem airs much of its Salem Radio Network conservative talk programming on the station branded “101.1 FM The Answer.”…..Cumulus Media appoints radio management pro Chuck Poet vice president and market manager for its Erie, Pennsylvania cluster that includes four music outlets and sports talk WRIE-AM/W242CU.

Illegal Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, Harassment of Administration Officials, Tuesday Primaries, Germany’s Migrant Issues, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  The U.S.’s policies in enforcing immigration laws; the Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries; the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass administration officials when they appear in public; Tuesday’s primary races and the ouster of New York Democrat Joe Crowley at the hands of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Germany’s Angela Merkel deals with political pressure to reverse policy welcoming migrants; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

JAM Media Buys Outer Banks, NC and Iowa Radio Clusters.  Originally founded as a media planning and buying agency, JAM Media Solutions, LLC is entering the radio station ownership business with the acquisition of two clusters of stations – one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and one in Muscatine, Iowa.  JAM has entered into an agreement to acquire Max Radio’s four music-formatted radio stations in the Outer Banks region, as well as the company’s interest in North Carolina E Paper, LLC, publisher of The Outer Banks Voice.  The radio stations are: country WCMS-FM, hot AC WCXL-FM, triple A WVOD-FM, and classic rock WZPR-FM.  The price tag for those properties is $1.85 million.  In Muscatine, Iowa, JAM enters into an agreement to buy Prairie Communications’ classic rock KMCS-FM and farm news KWPC-AM/K236CF, plus newspaper The Voice of Muscatine for $965,000.  JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan. A. Mason Sr. says “Having worked in radio since 1995, let me state for the record that I believe in the power of local radio.  Our goal is to unite local on-air personalities, local salespeople, and local advertisers together in an effort to deliver a first-rate experience for our local listeners.  JAM Media Solutions will also be very committed to the local communities in which we exist.  A portion of our income will be donated to non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people our stations touch.  We are thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making the concerns of the listeners our top priority.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air staff tweaks at Entercom Las Vegas include the addition of Audrey Lee to CHR KLUC as midday personality, effective July 2.  Also, music director and on-air host Yung Jon Que will host KLUC’s afternoon drive from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective immediately.  This role is in addition to his current position as assistant program director and music director for KLUC-HD2.  Finally, Hector ‘DJ CO1’ Minjarez has been elevated to the role of APD at sister urban contemporary KXQQ “Q100.5” in addition to his role as evening personality.  Lee was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster…..The North American syndicated rock radio show and website “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” celebrates its 30th year of national radio syndication.  “IN THE STUDIO” first launched the broadcast week of June 27, 1988 with rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash as inaugural guests and program host Redbeard.  He says, “When original ‘IN THE STUDIO’ executive producer Stephen R. Smith conceived 30 years ago of bringing the superstars of rock to radio every single week through one-on-one interviews about the stars’ most popular music, he was keenly aware that the rock audience had matured.  Now, the audience wanted an intimate, direct relationship with the musicians who actually created the soundtrack to their lives, lifting the curtain on the ‘wizards of rock.’  Over that time, the innate desire of the fans to get closer to the flame of inspiration has only intensified.”  The hourlong, weekly show is heard on 35 affiliate stations nationwide.

Monday, May 14, 2018

| May 14, 2018

TALKERS Magazine’s 2018 Heavy Hundred to Be Published Next Monday.  On May 21, TALKERS magazine will post the 2018 edition of “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known informally as the Heavy Hundred.  This 24thedition of the Heavy Hundred is from the editors of TALKERS magazine who base their ranking of the hosts on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness.  TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As in previous years, talk hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show on at least one terrestrial station or on satellite radio at the time the list is published in order to be considered. Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task.  This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously.  We look forward to revealing the 2018 Heavy Hundred next Monday.”

‘Our American Stories’ Joins KABC, Los Angeles Lineup. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program is being added to the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, “Talk Radio 790” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Program host Lee Habeeb says the program is “a show about the events and people that made America great, and will keep her great.”  Topics range from sports to history to art and “stories about the remarkable things Americans do every day to make the country hum.”  Habeeb adds, “Every day, all we hear in the media is what’s wrong with America and what divides us.  So, we thought it would be a good idea to remind people about what unites us, what makes us all proud to call America home.  This is an amazing country and we keep things focused on the positive stories that are all around us.”  Program affiliate rep Bryan Dawson adds, “Our affiliates have sung the praises of the show, and the production quality.  Once the GMs and PDs hear the quality of the show, it practically sells itself, and we’ve gotten to 120-plus affiliates fast because the listeners have been longing for a show like this, with these kinds of production values and writing – and a show that makes them feel good about the country they live in.”

Michael Coover Appointed Executive Producer for ‘Orange & Blue 760’ in Denver. The Denver Broncos-focused sports talk station KDSP, Denver “Orange & Blue 760” announces that  Michael Coover is named executive producer for the station.  Coover’s duties include producing multiple dayparts, handling the station’s digital footprint and elevating ‘Orange & Blue 760’ as the station enters its second year.  He reports to KDSP and KHOW program director Tim Spence, who comments, “Michael’s knowledge of Denver and its competitive ratings battles, his experience on a national level and his overall relationship with players and coaches makes him an ideal candidate for ‘Orange & Blue 760.’”  Coover served FOX Sports Radio for 15 years.  He was executive producer at KKFN, Denver and, most recently, was executive talent booker for Envision Networks.

Bishop & Laurinaitis Show Debuts on ‘The Fan’ in Columbus. Sports talk outlet WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” replaces the Tim Hall and Beanie Wells late morning program with a new show co-hosted by sports talk pro Beau Bishop and former Ohio State and NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis.  The RadiOhio-owned station is plugging the duo into the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effective today (5/14).  Bishop had been serving with Entercom’s Cleveland sports talk outlet WKRK-FM “92.3 The Fan.”  Laurinaitis has been working as an analyst on the Big Ten Network.

Salem Radio Star and Media Icon Joe Piscopo to Be Special Luncheon Speaker at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – The organizers of TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – are pleased to announce that WNYM, New York “970 AM The Answer” morning host and longtime media icon Joe Piscopo will be delivering a special luncheon address at the gathering.  Piscopo gained national recognition for his comedic work as an early regular on Saturday Night Live, as well as starring in a number of motion pictures during his illustrious career.  The lunch, sponsored for the second consecutive year by the Salem Media Group, is just one of a non-stop series of keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, networking socials and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals that make up the agenda of the sold-out gathering.  The power-packed program will feature more than 65 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as last-minute sponsorship and hotel information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan.

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2018 Nominees.  Today begins the voting process for the 2018 class of inductees into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  The other two categories will be voted on by the public.  Public voting commences June 4 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  This year’s nominees in the publicly voted Spoken Word On-Air Personality category are: Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SiriusXM’s Joe Madison, Premiere NetworksGeorge Noory, and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “I personally appreciate the challenging task that our Nominating Committee accepts each year to officially nominate talent from an infinite list of deserving individuals.  Congratulations to this year’s nominees, an excellent selection of our industry’s finest.”  Inductees will be announced June 25.  See all the nominees here.

TALKERS News Notes. A Memorial Day weekend radio special that looks at the tumultuous year of 1968 is being offered to Westwood One News affiliate stations.  “1968: The Year That Shook America” is hosted by Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano.  Westwood One says that Toscano takes listeners back the year when “conflict and confusion reigned across America. The Vietnam War raged at full throttle. The assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy stunned the nation. Inner city riots erupted. Young people were making their voices heard in protest on college campuses. New leaders emerged and the culture changed forever.”  The program replaces “The Week in Review” during Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27.  Pictured here is Toscano (right) interviewing Pat Buchanan (left) about his work on Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign with the president-elect…..A deal between NPR and Spotify is allowing Spotify users to have access to NPR’s podcast catalogue.  Spotify global head of podcast partnerships Dossie McGraw says, “For both Spotify and NPR, joining forces just makes sense and we’re delighted to bring NPR podcasts to Spotify users.  Podcasts are gifts you give yourself in moments of the day when you want to catch up on the news or hear thoughtful commentary on issues affecting us all or just have some fun with a game show like ‘Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!’”…..SiriusXM Satellite Radio begins its first-ever free preview to non-subscribers in an effort to promote its newly re-designed app for iOS and Android.    Today through May 29, anyone with an inactive satellite radio, or who has an internet connected mobile device and/or web access can sample SiriusXM’s content without any registration requirements.  The deal includes access to all music and talk channels, including Howard Stern’s channels.

U.S. Exits Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump’s ZTE Statement, Indonesia Church Bombings, Haspel Nomination, John McCain Health, U.S.’s Israel Embassy Move, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to President Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal; reaction to President Trump’s desire to “save” Chinese tech firm ZTE; the weekend bombings of three Christian churches in Indonesia; the confirmation hearings of CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the health status of Senator John McCain and the flap over a reported comment by a Trump staffer that McCain’s opinions don’t matter because “he’ll be dead soon”; the deadly protests over the re-location of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; Major League Baseball action; and the 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. Last Thursday evening, Charlie Puth (left) took over the stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York to perform songs from his new album, Voicenotes, at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party.  In addition to Puth performing tunes from his new record, the event included a Q&A with iHeartRadio on-air personality Maxwell (right).  (Photo: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartMedia)…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit, along with the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Ann Arbor School Board, are teaming up to have a street named in honor of Detroit rock legend Bob Seger in front of his Alma Mater in Ann Arbor.  WCSX morning personality Jim O’ Brien worked with the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor School Board to find a stretch of boulevard on the grounds of Pioneer High School (formerly known as Ann Arbor High back then and Seger’s Alma Mater) on the corner of Main Street.  Big Jim is quoted saying, “Bob Seger is part of my life. The first song at my wedding reception was ‘Real Love’ by Seger and my favorite road trip song ever is ‘Roll Me Away.’  Bob Seger is everything good about Detroit… hard working, passionate and genuine. When we found this stretch of road in Ann Arbor at his high school, it just made sense to make Bob Seger Boulevard a reality.  And it’s connected to Main Street!”

Thursday, May 10, 2018

| May 10, 2018

Emmis Communications Fiscal Q4 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Down 1%. Because of the recent sales of its Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute stations, the Emmis Communications fourth fiscal quarter report can be viewed two ways.  Fourth fiscal quarter revenue was $28.4 million – down 16%.  But, pro forma for the sale of Emmis’ Los Angeles and Terre Haute radio stations, revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter revenue and syndication revenue) was down 1% in markets that were down 3%.  The company says the New York and St. Louis clusters both grew their revenue in the quarter and outperformed their markets.  Looking at the whole fiscal year (ended February 28, 2018), radio revenue was $142.9 million compared to $165.1 million in the prior year – a decrease of 13%.  For the full year, Emmis’ pro forma radio revenue was down 2%.  The report notes that on April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations, and after applying the net proceeds therefrom, has less than $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves.  Ratings for our New York radio stations remain strong and they are rebounding nicely in Indianapolis.  The NextRadio team has done a tremendous job rolling out Dial Report, an industry-wide data attribution platform, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for robust analytics and insights into the behaviors of radio listeners.”

Liberty Media Group Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  “At the right price” is the phrase Liberty Media Group president and CEO Greg Maffei used during yesterday’s investors conference call.  Maffei noted that Liberty owns “about $660 million” of iHeartMedia bonds.  Regarding Liberty’s interest in iHeartMedia, Maffei adds, “I think the process is evolving as they go through their Chapter 11 proceedings.  Creditors are gaining an understanding of what they are proposing to buy.  I think at some point they are going to re-engage with us, and if the price is attractive, as I said, we would be interested.  And the rationale for that is there are both – I think some opportunities around radio.  They’re still having interest toward radio and are so interested in some of the assets that we have, including serious investment in Pandora.  I think there are both synergies on the revenue side and on the cost side potentially.  And iHeart is an attractive free cash-flow generator.  The wide pricing in combination with that is those are the factors and it will be additive to our music holdings.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Schulman Named CMO at Katz Media Group. Media executive Stacey Lynn Schulman is promoted to chief marketing officer for Katz Media Group.  The company says that in this new role, “Schulman will lead a team of marketing and insight professionals across both Katz Radio Group and Katz Television Group, driving overall marketing strategy and insights for Katz’s 14 regional offices that together serve as the trusted sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations, 800 television stations and their digital platforms.”  The company says Schulman joined it in 2014 as EVP of strategy, analytics and research.  “She quadrupled Katz’s proprietary research efforts on behalf of clients.  Schulman also introduced new marketplace tools to showcase the power of local media, including Katz’s DJ Personality Index, which helps marketers easily identify on-air personalities who already engage with their brands, and The Local Vote project, which provides political marketers with a media compass based on recent voter sentiment in local markets. Her efforts have been instrumental in bringing additional revenue into the radio sector and expanding the target-ability of local broadcast television.”

TALKERS News Notes. A piece published at CNNMoney that states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention.  Featured in the story is former KRLA, Los Angeles morning personality Elisha Krauss, who tells writers Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy that although she understands Salem can hire or fire any talent it wants, “They shouldn’t do it with the facade that they’re delivering multi-level opinions and they’re not puppeteering those opinions.” Krauss currently works with Ben Shapiro on his podcast programs.  The two worked together on KRLA’s “The Morning Answer.” Currently, “The Morning Answer” is co-hosted by anti-Trumper Brian Whitman and pro-Trumper Jennifer Horn.  Read the piece here…..As election season gears up, the Larry Young morning program on Radio One’s WOLB, Baltimore will participate in presenting public forums featuring candidates for office.  The station will present a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, June 5 and a state’s attorney forum on Wednesday, June 13 as part of the Larry Young morning program.

U.S. Exits Iran Nukes Deal, Israel Strikes Syria, North Korean Prisoners Released/Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, Stormy Daniels Case/Cohen Russian Money Allegations, Hawaiian Volcano Watch, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement; Israel’s strikes on Iranian targets inside of Syria; three American prisoners held in North Korea are released and the related planned meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the Stormy Daniels payoff case and allegations Trump attorney Michael Cohen received money from a Russian oligarch after the 2016 election; Hawaii’s oozing volcano and fears it may transform into a full blown eruption; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The evening program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” is getting a new voice as Emily Sklar takes over the daypart on Monday (5/14).  She comes to DC from her most recent gig as midday jock on the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Cumulus Media names radio personality Nikki Blades co-host of “The Morning Block Party” on rhythmic CHR KWIN, Stockton-Modesto.  Blades has been hosting the midday program since January.  Blades began her career as a professional model and was featured in Maxim magazine and earlier this year, appeared on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon.”  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says “We are very excited for today.  It’s not very often you find someone who fits the mold of the brand so well and is also destined for greatness.  Nikki Blades is by far the next big talent on the West Coast and I’m so excited for her to take the next step here at KWIN!”…..Entercom appoints Sean “Sonic” Leckie host of the afternoon drive show on WBMX, Chicago “104.3 Jams.”  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Sonic brings a passion for music and drive to succeed to ‘104.3 Jams.’  We’re looking forward to having him take the helm of Chicago’s new afternoon drive show.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Josh “Bru” Brubaker to the local anchor position for “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” on WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1.”  He joined WDRQ in 2017 as a weekend/swing talent and was elevated to production assistant shortly thereafter…..ACM-award winner and platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jake Owen is hosting Westwood One’s Annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program features music from Jake and his friends, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Zac Brown Band, and more. The show will also remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

| May 9, 2018

Salem Media Group’s 2018 Q1 Broadcast Revenue Flat. The company as a whole saw total revenue of $63.8 million – a decrease of 1.8% compared to the same period in 2017.  The broadcast division’s net revenue was $48.1 million, an increase of 0.5%.  Station Operating Income increased 2.8% to $12.3 million from $12 million.  Salem Media Group’s digital media division was down 2.7% and the publishing segment was off 17.6%.  Revealed in the company’s 8-K filing is that it is swapping KKOL, Seattle for KPAM, Portland.  Salem has been operating KPAM as conservative news/talk “860 The Answer” under a time brokerage agreement.  It expects the deal with Intelli LLC to close in June.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Cohen-Russian Oligarch Allegations, W. VA GOP Primary, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  Reaction to President Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the case of the payoff made to Stormy Daniels; new allegations that Trump attorney Michael Cohen accepted money from a Russian oligarch after the election; former coal baron Don Blankenship loses W. VA GOP primary; the confirmation hearings for CIA chief nominee Gina Haspel; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio executive Richard Marks is named chief operating officer for United States Traffic Network.  The company says that in this role, Marks will work directly with chairman and CEO Ivan Shulman“in rebuilding the brand and creating action plans that deliver rapid growth, as well as improve overall performance and increase revenue.”  Marks has previously served with Westwood One, Shadow Broadcast Services/Metro Networks, and as COO of Focus 360.  He launched his own consulting firm in 2008 and advised a wide range of broadcast media and content companies until April 2013.  He says, “I look forward to leveraging my expertise working with a wide range of broadcast media companies to help USTN and will work to make smart, strategic moves for the company to ensure a steady foundation that will allow for scalable growth well into the future.”…..FOX News Radio is preparing a one-hour special for air during Memorial Day weekend looking at the summer movie scene.  The program is being hosted by FOX entertainment correspondent Michelle Pollino and, according to FNR, offers a glimpse into the season’s “must-see’s, the oughta-see’s, and the must-avoids.”  It’ll be ready for downloads for affiliate stations by May 21…..Pictured below are the judges of this season of ABC-TV’s “American Idol” – (left to right) Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan – on the set of the show with ABC Radio entertainment correspondent Jason Nathanson.

WPHT, WIP and KYW, Philadelphia Nab Five ‘Excellence in Broadcasting’ Awards. Three of Entercom’s Philadelphia spoken-word stations were honored by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters with “Excellence in Broadcasting” awards at the organization’s May 7 luncheon. News/talk WPHT, all-news KYW and sports talk WIP-FM were recognized with top honors.  “Sounds of Sinatra” host Sid Mark was honored as the PAB 2018 Radio Broadcaster of the Year.  KYW Newsradio took home the Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcement and Contest award for its Traffic Center’s “Traffic Tip Tuesday” promotion and the PAB Judges’ Merit Award for its “Breakfast Briefing” segment.  SportsRadio 94WIP was presented with the PAB Award for Outstanding Radio Coverage for its broadcast of the Philadelphia Eagles versus the New York Giants.  Pictured above are (from l-r): KYW’s Steve Butler, Cathy Caldwell and Sam Clover, WIP’s Spike Eskin, Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, WPHT’s Jared Hart, and KYW’s Tom Rickert.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Minneapolis country outlet KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” promoted Lucas Phelan to program director for the Entercom-owned station.  Phelan has been hosting afternoon drive – and he’ll continue that on-air role – and serving as APD.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke comments, “We’re proud to promote and develop talent at Entercom Minneapolis.  As the former assistant program director of KMNB and as on-air host, Lucas has a great understanding of our market and a deep connection to our community.  He has truly earned this leadership role and we look forward to the brand’s continued growth.”…..Entercom Phoenix names Shannon Beaver  producer for CHR KALV LIVE 101.5’s “The Morning Mess.”  She says, “I’m honored to be a part of the Entercom family and beyond excited to join ‘The Morning Mess.’  I’ve listened to the show for years and always enjoyed their banter and vibe.  Now, I get to work daily with a show that truly feels like a family. This is a very exciting chapter.”…..The New York State Broadcasters Association – as well as most other radio broadcasters – is cheering the introduction of the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act (PIRATE Act) that’s been introduced to the U.S. House by Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ).  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “For too long the citizens of New York have endured the harm caused by illegal pirate radio stations.  These stations: 1) interfere with the Emergency Alert System (EAS); 2) interfere with FAA and airport communications; 3) emit levels of RF radiation into local neighborhoods that are above government standards; 3) ignore all consumer protection laws and 4) blatantly transgress all FCC rules and regulations. We strongly support the PIRATE Act.  We want to thank Congressman Paul Tonko and Congressman Leonard Lance for introducing this bipartisan legislation.”…..Pictured below is Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler at the NASH Campus in Nashville.  He stopped by to chat with syndicated morning show hosts Ty, Kelly and Chuck about the May 15 release of a brand-new documentary called “Out on a Limb,” that documents Tyler’s everyday life.  He also brought along his band, The Loving Mary Band, to talk about their tour and much more.

Friday, May 4, 2018

| May 4, 2018

KNX, Los Angeles Celebrates 50 Years as All-News Station. Los Angeles all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” is celebrating its 50thanniversary as a news outlet.  In a press release, Entercom states that “more than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX 1070 News Radio every week for its comprehensive coverage of local, national and international news in addition to its trademark traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes on the 5s.  Traffic and news content is provided daily by the area’s largest team of dedicated professionals.”  KNX Director of programming Ken Charles says, “Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and six mayors.  Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity, trust, and credibility.”  Pictured above receiving an official proclamation from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center) are (from l-r) KNX anchors Frank Mottek, Julie Chi, Charles, Charles Feldman and Dick Helton.

Jamie Allman Begins Streaming Show on Monday.  St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman is launching a new, daily morning drive talk show on Monday (5/7) called “Radio Free Allman” that he’s streaming via his website.  His site says, “They tried to silence the Allman voice but he is back!  We are so excited to announce that the ‘Radio Free Allman’ show will officially launch May 7th, 2018 from 6am-9am.  ‘Radio Free Allman’ isn’t bound by a radio dial, it’s digital radio available on ANY cell phone, desktop, or laptop in the WORLD!” Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Allman is suing Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from KFTK-FM last month.

Cumulus and Entercom Settle $11.6 Million Claim.  This settlement is the result of an agreement between Cumulus and Entercom over numerous contracts between Cumulus’ Westwood One and CBS RADIO that Entercom inherited with its acquisition of CBS.  Cumulus is agreeing to cut a check to Entercom for $11.6 million to settle this pre-petition claim.

TALKERS News Notes. In San Antonio, Rob Thompson is the new program director of Alpha Media’s sports talk KZDC-AM/K233DB “ESPN San Antonio.” Thompson is the afternoon drive co-host of “The Blitz with Jason and Rob” with Jason Minnix…..Next Friday (5/11), KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101.1” talk show host Lars Larson is moderating a live GOP Oregon primary gubernatorial debate with the three front-running Republican candidates for Oregon governor: Knute Buehler, Sam Carpenter and Greg Wooldridge.  The debate will take place in the Bloodworks Live Studio in downtown Portland from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and be live on the Lars Larson show. It’ll also be heard on the 24 affiliate stations of the Radio Northwest Network…..Salem Media Group welcomes Carolyn Cassidy back to the company as general manager for its Columbus operations that include news/talk WTOH “98.9 The Answer” and two sister religious outlets. Cassidy was general manager for Salem’s Denver stations prior to her joining the Denver cluster of Wilks Broadcasting…..Entercom announces that it is acquiring the rights to University of Oregon sports play-by-play after inking a four-year deal with the school.  Games and related programming will air on sports talk KFXX, Portland “1080 The Fan” and will include football, basketball and baseball.  Alpha Media’s crosstown KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game” holds the rights through the end of the baseball season…..Today is day two of the 20th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany and sister hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River.” Proceeds from the two-day radiothon broadcast from Albany Medical Center will benefit the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center…..Entercom makes a call letter change for new sports talker “97.3 The Fan” in San Diego.  The former CHR station drops KEGY-FM for KWFN-FM.

The Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 30-May 4.  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal.  Coming in at #3 was the Stormy Daniels case, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security and the related caravan asylum seekers 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.

Christine Hassler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, master coach, podcaster and TV host Christine Hassler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A world-renowned evangelist for the nascent field of “Spiritual Psychology,” Hassler is the co-host and relationship expert on TLC’s “The Spouse House,” in addition to hosting a weekly podcast titled, “Over It & On With It.” Harrison and Hassler engage in a deep-dive conversation about the intersection between mind and soul, including social media addiction, the characteristics of Millennials, and dealing with life’s major disappointments. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hip hop is back on the 93.3 FM frequency in Seattle as iHeartMedia flips CHR KPWK and returns the KUBE calls to the station.  The company is keeping Carla Marie & Anthony in the morning drive slot and the rest of the jock schedule includes Shay, Eric Rosado, and Bootleg Kev.  It is playing 14,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  iHM region president Robert Dove says, “An iconic brand has been missing in Seattle radio.  KUBE is a name that’s been part of Seattle’s music consciousness and lifestyle for over 20 years.  Listeners have spoken how they’ve missed KUBE.  Well Seattle, KUBE is back!”…..Programming pro Smokey Rivers joins Entercom to serve as program director for the company’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound.”  Rivers has been serving as director of operations and PD at Scripps’ AC KMXZ, Tucson.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Smokey joins ‘The Sound’ at a great time as we are already experiencing phenomenal growth with the station.  Our on-air hosts John Fisher and Delilah are just getting started.  We are thrilled and excited Smokey will be joining our talented team of program directors here in Seattle.”  Prior to joining Scripps, Rivers served as VP of programming for iHeartMedia Phoenix and, before that, as VP of AC stations for CBS RADIO…..Afternoon air personality Ryan Nelson exits iHeartMedia’s country WFUS, Tampa.  Nelson also served as APD and music director for the station…..At Scripps’ country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri, Nancy Simpson moves out of the newsroom at the cluster and joins Cash Williams as co-host on the morning show.   Simpson says, “I felt that a change might be good for my soul, but I really love it here at KTTS.  This is my work family.  With this move into the morning show, I get to show the lighter side of my personality, but still be at home.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

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

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 yea