Tag: "Scott Fitzgerald"

Friday, December 1, 2017

| December 1, 2017

Radio Industry Watching Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 Gambit.  This week’s announced Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of [Cumulus Media’s] secured lenders” has the radio business intently watching how this attempt to reduce about $1 billion of its debt will go for the company.  After sifting through the company’s SEC filings, more light is being shed on this move led by Cumulus CEO Mary Berner.  The first and most important aspect of this RSA is that under the proposed terms, senior lenders would receive 83.5% of the equity of the “reorganized Cumulus” and junior debt holders would get the other 16.5%.  Note too that this agreement is with the senior debt holders and there’s no knowing at this point if any junior debt holders would come on board or not.  The latter could attempt to sink the RSA.  Another interesting part of Cumulus’ report is the list of “unsecured claims” that shows the company owes U.S. National Bank $637 million, Nielsen Audio $6.65 million, Broadcasters General Store $967,596, and BMI $789,812, among others.   For them, absent a specific deal with the company to settle those claims (obviously at less than 100%), holders of General Unsecured Claims would have to hope for the best in getting compensated from the Unsecured Equity Recovery Pool.  We’ll have answers to these questions – and many more – sometime within the next 180 days (the time frame of the RSA).

iHeartMedia and Lenders Continue to Dance.  Just before the Thanksgiving weekend, iHeartMedia offered a proposal to lenders that included, among other things, 87.5% equity in the recapitalized iHeartMedia, and new debt of $7 billion to mature within five to seven years.  On November 28, those same lenders issued a counterproposal to receive 95.3% equity in the recapitalized iHM and new debt of $5.75 billion to mature within five to seven years.  Needless to say, a considerable gulf remains between the two sides.  iHeartMedia is trying to work out a solution to its more than $20 billion in debt.

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory Commits to Regular Role on WBT, Charlotte.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will continue to be heard on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte “for at least a couple of months.”  McCrory has been making regular appearances on WBT’s Morning News with host Bo Thompson at 7:15 am.  Now, McCrory is co-hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour with Thompson.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon says the response to McCrory’s regular appearances has been “extraordinary.”  The change in WBT’s midmorning programming came after former 9:00 am to 12:00 noon personality Scott Fitzgerald was reassigned to other work for the company.  Former Charlotte television personality Vince Coakley is hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.

Kent Dunn to Lead Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia Station Group.  Returning to Beasley Media Group’s Augusta cluster where he previously managed for 21 years before moving to Tampa to lead the company’s station group there is Kent Dunn.  The Augusta cluster includes: news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta,” CHR WHHD, adult hits WDRR, religion WGUS, and rhythmic oldies WCHZ.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley comments, “Kent leads by example in everything he does.  We look forward to Kent returning to his roots and once again overseeing the cluster and enjoying the similar success he had both in Augusta and Tampa.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”  As a result of this move, former vice president and market manager Mark Haddon will shift his responsibilities to become director of sales for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new program – “Lenz on Business” – is debuting on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta airing Saturdays at 6:00 pm.  The program is hosted by Lenz Marketing founder, president and CEO Richard Lenz.  The program features Lenz speaking “with Atlanta’s business leaders to explore their inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.  From big business execs to indie entrepreneurs, these guests not only share their practical secrets, but also unveil the personalities behind the careers.”  The show is sponsored by Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says, “I’m excited about ‘Lenz on Business.’  It’s a topic that many of our WSB listeners can’t get enough of because they are business owners or are focused and successful in their careers and want to learn and find deeper success. Lenz Marketing has been a strong content partner with WSB Radio for years and have the same strategy that we do: to inform the listener with high quality content and interviews.”…..A new sports content channel is launching on SiriusXM that focuses on the Southeastern Conference.  SEC Radio will present “in-depth and comprehensive access to SEC-focused sports talk and news, plus offer an extensive schedule of SEC games.  The channel will debut next year.

Matt Lauer Firing Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 27 – December 1.  The firing of “Today” host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was other sexual harassment cases involving Senator Al Franken, Congressman John Conyers and others.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, tied with the Roy Moore senate run, followed by President Trump’s anti-Islam tweet 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.

CBS Interactive Senior Reporter Dan Patterson Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He writes stories and produces video reports about disruptive technologies covering a wide array of platforms and inventions from Twitter to Bitcoin for such outlets as TechRepublic, ZDNet, and CNET.  He delves into topics such as business technology innovation, policy, and hackers.  Dan Patterson is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Patterson take the listener on an illuminating journey through such subjects as the early days and rise of Twitter, Donald Trump’s effective use of social media, the changing state of journalism, fake news, self-regulation versus government control of the Internet and more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles based programming pro John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  Ivey will continue to program KIIS while he oversees the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.  iHM also says he’ll “work to improve the company’s Top 40 brands in its over 150 markets.  In addition, he will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of CHR programmers and on-air talent, and book artists for events including the ‘iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour’ and KIIS FM’s ‘Wango Tango.’” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “John is one of the foremost talents in media today when it comes to programming Top 40 radio and he is a driving factor in why KIIS-FM is the most listened to station in its market.  He knows what CHR listeners want to hear and we’re confident he’ll help bring similar success to our stations in other markets.”…..On-air pro Toby Knapp slides over from  iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” to the cluster’s adult contemporary WASH-FM to co-host the morning drive program with incumbent talent Chili Amar.  That starts on Monday (12/4) and Knapp will continue to host his “HOT 99.5” afternoon show through the end of the year…..In New York, iHeartMedia promotes Cara Hahn to assistant program director and music director for CHR WHTZ “Z100” and adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM.”  Hahn joined the company in 2014.  She’s most recently been a programming coordinator for the New York cluster.  In her new role, she’ll report to “Z100” PD Mark Medina and “106.7 Lite FM” PD Chris Conley…..Ashley Wilson assumes the program director role at iHeartMedia’s country WNOE, New Orleans.  She comes to the Big Easy from her most recent position at Renda Broadcasting’s country WGNE, Jacksonville “99.9 Gator Country” where she was APD and midday personality.   At WNOE, Wilson will also host the PM drive show…..Programmer Jim Trapp is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Yakima, Washington cluster that includes: country KDBL “The Bull,” rock KATS, CHR KFFM, rhythmic oldies KMGW “Mega 99.3,” news/talk KIT “Newstalk 1280,” and sports talk KUTI “1460 ESPN Yakima.”  He’d most recently served with Entercom’s adult hits KJAQ, Seattle “96.5 JACK FM.”

Round Two of November PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens November 2017 PPM survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17).  CBS Radio references will cease beginning with our analysis of the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+), Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR erases that deficit and three-tenths to spare (+1.4), rising to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. Even so, WHUR must be content to occupy third-place for the 11th time in a row. Its -1.0 in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” is stuck on 4.6 and carries on at #6. “Majic” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). As usual, the two stations ahead of WHUR are Hubbard all-news operation WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” but with WAMU up three-tenths and WTOP off two-tenths, the two are tied at #1 (9.6, 6+). Prior to this sweep, WTOP was a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In October, it posted its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). As for WAMU, “The Mind Is Our Medium” exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Continuing its slow and steady pace while remaining in seventh-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH is up by one-tenth for the fourth straight time (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth consecutive sweep for an overall -1.1 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” remains at #17. With the MLB season over, sports talk sibling/Washington Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” fades by -1.2 to 2.3 (6+), sliding from #11 to #17, where it is tied with WIAD. Entering the November sweep, “The Fan” gained eight-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Cross-town competitor – Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” – has not been listed any month this calendar year. Despite being off a collective -1.1 as the result of three straight declines (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” continues in fourth-place. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country” drops one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), halting three straight gains for an overall +.5 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). October’s 3.7 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016 (3.7, as well). This is the ninth straight sweep that its format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS (unchanged at #20) – is without an increase with “93.3 Today’s New Country” losing approximately half its 6+-share since February (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5, 6+).

2) Boston – Bouncing back in a big way from a collective -.7 via four losses in a row (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7- 1.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” explodes with a +1.1 to 2.7 (6+), jumping from #15 to #20. Tacking on nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain, Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR progresses from eighth to fourth (4.0 – 4.5 – 5.4, 6+). A loss of one-half share in September by WBUR ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). Having decreased by more than 50% of its 6-share (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, June – July – August, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB follows with three straight gains for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at 7.6 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM is #1 for the third month in a row. In September, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WEEI-FM netted a collective +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), but the Boston Red Sox flagship surrenders all by one-tenth of that increase, drifting from second to ninth (4.4, -1.5, 6+). The Red Sox captured the American League East title for the second straight year but were again eliminated in the A.L. Division Series. Meanwhile, in four straight increases, CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+) as the New England Patriots’ key station rushes from fifth to third. As it approached the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Not only is Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary WMJX without an increase for the fifth successive month for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from third to fifth with its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011). Even though CBS Radio’s WZLX registers its fourth straight dip for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie. This is the third month in succession that iHeartMedia’s WBWL is off by one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to the start of this string, “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Format foe – Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” – is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – A positive spike of eight-tenths (4.8 – 5.6, 6+) enables Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” to inch up from sixth to fifth. Trending 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.9 (July through October, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WRTO “Mix 98.3” picks up one-half share to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its best 6+-share since 3.5 in October 2016. It is tied at #13 with Spanish Broadcasting System’s similar programmed WXDJ “El Sol 106.7,” which had faltered by one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), before posting a +.4 in November (3.4, flat at #13, 6+). While it is #1 for the seventh time in a row, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” surrenders eight-tenths (7.8 – 7.0, 6+); October’s 7.8 was its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. After three straight decreases for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR rebounded in October with a +.4 to 6.2 (6+), but “Amor 107.5” forfeits nearly twice that gain in November (5.5, -.7, 6+), segueing from third to fifth. WAMR posted a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June. Off three-tenths to 4.2 (flat at #7, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” halts three straight up or flat trends that produced a modest overall gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns all but one-tenth of October’s +.3 (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+) but remains at #8. The two CHR rivals were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). A collective -.6 in four successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” slips from #13 to #15. With a (6+) July through October pattern of 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WEDR “99 Jamz” matches the (6+) profile of “Y-100” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, flat at #8, 6+). Before dropping six-tenths in August, “99 Jamz” was up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+). The May through November (6+) trending for CBS Radio’s WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” (unchanged at #18) is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4. Down or flat for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD shifts from #21 to #22.

4) Detroit – Powered by a gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” remains on top for the third month in a row. This reflects the third straight increase for WNIC (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it reached 13.7. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August; it is a collective +1.7 since August. Showing a very consistent (6+) topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, CBS Radio CHR WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” breaks out a gain of seven-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its strongest 6+-showing since May’s 3.9. Erasing October’s one-half share increase with a loss of six-tenths, Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” (3.2 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) falls from #12 to #14. A combined +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WMXD was -2.5 in four subsequent decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) before gaining one-tenth in November. “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” is steady at #11 (4.0, 6+). Deflating by one-half share each are CBS Radio sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (5.5, third to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” (4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+). The (6+) August – September – October for “The Ticket” was 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.0. Prior to November, “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” recorded five straight up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.5 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). One negative streak ends for a Detroit country outlet while another continues. On the plus side, CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country,” which had been down four times in succession for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.0 (6+), advancing from ninth to seventh. The 4.7 in October was its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (#17 to #18) is without an increase for the sixth consecutive sweep and is -.8 in that May through November stretch (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). The market’s two major urban contemporary outlets combined for a -1.9 in October, but they each post modest gains this sweep. Independent WGPR “Hot 107.5,” off one full-share in October (3.5 – 2.5, 6+), is +.1 to 2.6 (flat at #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B,” -.9 in October (4.4 – 3.5, 6+) gains three-tenths to 3.8 (#13 to #12, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the lowest 6+-share for “Hot” since March (2.4), while WJLB had its softest 6+-showing since April (3.5, as well).

5) Seattle – There are mixed results for two “Emerald City” contemporary Christian facilities: Crista Ministries’ KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” improves by one-half share vaulting into the top ten (#14 to #7, 6+), but Educational Media Foundation’s KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.3 (#24, 6+). This represents the sixth improvement in a row for “Spirit” for a cumulative +1.5 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+); KLSW had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October. While it remains in fourth-place, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). By gaining one-half share to 3.3 (6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP puts an end to its 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.8 (6+) trending as “Hot 103.7 – 100% Throwbacks” jumps from #19 to #15. In addition to posting its sixth straight increase for an overall +2.5 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” advances from third to second with its strongest 6+-showing in nearly two years (6.1, December 2015). Steady at #24, iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” is up or flat for the fourth month in a row (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), nearly tripling its 6+-share in that timeframe and notching its highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. Not only is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW #1 for the fourth consecutive time, it is without a loss for the fourth time in a row as well (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Albeit not as lofty a string in terms of 6+-share, Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” nonetheless hasn’t had a decrease in the last six survey periods for an overall gain of one-half share and checks in at #22 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+).

6) Phoenix – A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), KOOL was an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the CBS Radio classic hits-oldies property regains exactly half that deficit in November, cruising from seventh to third (4.4, +1.0, 6+). Back in July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s KNIX has its fourth straight gain for an overall +.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” backslides from #8 to a tie at #9. Conversely, CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is down a collective full-share in five straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+) and falls from #12 to a four-way scrum at #13. While Hubbard’s KSLX is #1 for the seventh straight month, “Classic Rock 100.7” is a combined -.9 as the result of its third straight dip (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+). KSLX was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a combined -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Following a September gain of one-half share to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “88.3 Campesina” forfeited more than twice that margin in October, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). The station, however, disappears from print in November. Up one-half share in October, rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” forfeits eight-tenths (2.6 – 1.8, 6+) to slip from #19 to #20. Prior to October, “Power” was trending 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (6+). As the result of losing seven-tenths in November (4.9, third to fourth, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” puts an end to an up/down pattern that started in February (4.8 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Having registered a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); and now loses three-tenths in November (2.7, #14 to #18, 6+). Four contemporary Christian stations in the “Valley of the Sun” combine for a 4.3 (6+) in November, down one-half share from October’s 3.8 (6+). Included in that group is Educational Media Foundation’s KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.5 – 1.0, -.5, #27). The other three are Family Life Broadcasting’s KFLR “Family Life Radio” (1.0 – 1.4, +.4, #24); EMF’s KZAI “Air1 – Positive Hits” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #28); and co-owned KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .5, -.3, #32). The (6+) May through November line for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Que Buena 105.9” is 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 (#20 to #24). After sharing the identical (6+) August – September – October profile (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth to 4.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is off two-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Consistent in its topline 6+-stat June through October (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.9 to 4.8, its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.0 as the Minnesota Timberwolves flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Following four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN, the key station of the Minnesota Vikings, slips by one-tenth to 7.2 (6+), but “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” repeats at #1. Yet another Twin Cities’ flagship, Northern Lights Broadcasting’s KQGO “Go 95.3” has its October 6+-share sliced in half (1.4 – .7, -.7, 6+) as the Minnesota Twins key station departs the top twenty (#19 to #22). One-tenth behind KFXN is Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety,” which strings together its third straight up or flat report (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+) to advance from third to second. Its format competitor – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (#13 to #14) continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling +.7 (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), but “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (second to third) is now without an increase for the fourth consecutive sweep and is -.7 since July (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Having finished first in April, May, and June, KDWB segued to #2 in July. Moving from an eighth-place tie to tenth is co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station,” which is down or flat for the fifth straight time for a combined -1.6 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+). It is one full-share ahead of CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but steady at #12.

8) San Diego – A gain of one-half share to 5.3 by Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” (fifth to third, 6+) pulls the plug on four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina,” which zooms from a four-way tie at #17 to #13 (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to a +.3 to 4.6 (6+), Entercom’s KSON-FM “New Country” advances from seventh to sixth and puts an end to four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall -1.4 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+); 4.3 in October was its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. The news/talk duo of iHeartMedia’s KOGO and San Diego State University-owned KPBS remain at #1 and #2, respectively, but KOGO falters by six-tenths to 6.6 (6+), while KPBS drops four-tenths. As a result of KOGO’s -.6, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 is snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); KPBS is an overall -.6 in its third straight monthly without an increase (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Not only is October’s 7.2 the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history, the station had not previously reached the six-share level. The two ranked first and second in September as well, although KPBS was on top and KOGO held the runner-up slot. Within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KPBS hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” leaps from eighth to fourth. This is the strongest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since it transitioned to rock in January 2016. Although steady at #17, iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3,” on the other hand, is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall -.7 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), CBS Radio CHR KEGY “San Diego’s Energy 97.3” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19) and halts four straight negative or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+) in which it lost four-tenths. Handing over in its entirety the full-share it picked up in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” drifts from fifth to tenth (3.8, 6+). After its initial trending of 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits seven-tenths to 1.6 and departs the top twenty (#17 to #23, 6+).

9) Denver – Off a combined six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI bounces back in October in November with a collective +1.1 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does KOSI register its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016, “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” marches from third to a first-place tie with country cluster-mate KYGO, which is actually down or flat for the fifth month in a row (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after three successive months there is iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock,” which segues to #3 (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+). When it dropped three-tenths in October, KBCO ended at ten a successive string of increases in which it nearly doubled its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). Logging gains of one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (2.4, #21 to #18, 6+). The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September. KBPI applies the brakes to four consecutive decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Locked on 3.7 (#12 to #13, 6+) is KALC’s format rival KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix,” which was down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Mix” regained 75% of that decrease in September with a gain of six-tenths. After improving by one-half share in July, Entercom classic rock KQMT followed with three straight dips (August-September-October) that resulted in a combined -1.9 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up one-tenth to 4.6 (6+) in November “99.5 The Mountain” progresses from eighth to fifth. By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May. Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” bounces back with a +.3 to 4.0 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). The news/talk genre erodes by -1.7, nearly equally divided between Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.4 – 4.5, -.9, third to six, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KOA (4.4, -.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Off one-half share in June, KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), before returning one-half share in October. It reached the five-share level (6+) in August for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Entering the November sweep, KOA – the flagship of the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos – was +.6 in three successive flat or up trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). On the plus side, KOA’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KHOW (unchanged at #19) posts its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). A cumulative +1.5 via three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” relinquishes 80% of that increase (3.4 -1.2, 6+), fading from #7 to #14. As the result of three straight positive trends (2.3 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KKFN roughly doubled its 6+-share (July through October), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by three-tenths in November to 4.2 (6+) and shifts from eighth to ninth. Recent fluctuations for “The Fan” include -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and +.9 in September. Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology.

10) Tampa – Finishing on top for an astonishing 62nd successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” does so with an exclamation point as its third straight gain is by +1.3 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Moreover, 11.1 is its most potent 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). Tacking on a +1.2 to October’s +.9, iHeartMedia’s WFUS (4.7 – 5.9, 6+) rockets from eighth to second. It is the first time “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” reaches the five-share level (6+) since last December’s 5.3. In September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Off by one-tenth in both October and November (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” remains at #6. The station exiting the runner-up slot after 12 straight appearances there and dropping to #3 is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “The Eagle,” which is an overall -2.5 via six straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). Picking up all but one-tenth of October’s loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, +.6, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” progresses from tenth to seventh. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). On the flipside, iHeartMedia urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (fourth to eighth, 6+) and WDAE “620 – Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (1.8, #18 to #19, 6+) each regress by six-tenths. With its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.5, “The Beat” is off for the third straight time for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), whereas Tampa Bay Rays flagship WDAE was +.7 in three increases in succession (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Having been up or flat the past four months for a modest overall gain of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and slips from #13 to #15.

11) Baltimore – Without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” trots out a +.9 to 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since February’s 8.8 and occupies the penthouse for the fourth month in a row. A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. It was tied at #1 in September with urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams.” Having posted a 3.7 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 – Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds one-half share to 4.0 (#11 to #10, 6+), reaching the four-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 4.1. The eight most recent trends for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 (#13 to #12, 6+). By contrast, major ups/downs continue for CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” It dialed up a one-half share increase in August only to return all if it in September, then displayed a +.8 in October but now surrenders that in its entirety to drop from third to fourth (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Steady at #8, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” regresses by two-tenths to 4.5 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). A combined +1.3 through three straight improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine-FM” relinquishes three-tenths in November to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+); October’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.9.

12) St. Louis – After being down or flat the past three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+) iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU hauls out a gain of nine-tenths to 8.1, marching from second to first. On top for three consecutive sweeps, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. Not only is CBS Radio’s KMOX displaced from #1 after back-to-back stays there, it erodes by the steepest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 decline by any station in the 24 PPM-markets highlighted thus far (8.0 – 6.0, -2.0, 6+). “The Voice of St. Louis” drifts from first to sixth with its lowest 6+-share since February’s 5.1. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Following four straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.4 (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.5, 6+), Emmis rocker KSHE recoups nearly half that deficit (7.1, +.6, 6+) as it progresses from fifth to second. In addition to KLOU, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL improves by nine-tenths as well. “Hot 104.1” is +1.3 in three consecutive surges (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #8) with its strongest 6+-stat since May’s 5.0. Jumping from sixth to third, urban AC cluster-mate WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” (+.8) continues its down/up pattern, given that its seven most recent 6+-stats are 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4. Bouncing back from October’s loss of one-half share with an increase of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KMJM “100.3 The Beat” carries on at #17. In four consecutive improvements prior to October, “The Beat” gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; was -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; and now -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, fifth to third, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. Deflating by six-tenths each are co-owned WIL “New Country 92.3” (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” (4.1 – 3.5, 6+). “New Country” continues its alternating up/down pattern (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). Prior to October’s +.4, “Y-98” was without an increase in each of the last eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Unlisted for the 11th consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.