Tag: "Scripps"

Thursday, February 28, 2019

| February 28, 2019

Mike Thompson Named PD for NRG Media’s Omaha AM Stations. Programming pro Mike Thompson is joining NRG Media to serve as AM stations operations manager/program director for the company’s Omaha properties.  He’ll oversee sports talkers KOZN “1620 The Zone” and KZOT “1180 Zone 2,” news/talk KOIL, and regional Mexican KMMQ-AM/K258DC “La Nueva 99.5.” NRG Media market manager Mark Shecterle says, “Mike will be a great addition to our already talented and award-winning staff.  He has an outstanding programming mind as well as a strong sales mentality.”  Thompson has served with ESPN in New York and Los Angeles, in addition to WCNN, Atlanta; KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas and WABC, New York. He says, “I am excited to join a great brand of sports and news talk with NRG Media in Omaha.  NRG Media’s slogan is Great Local Radio – for me that’s what I am all about.  Working with market manager Mark Shecterle and talented hosts and producers, it will be rewarding to always live up to that slogan.”  Thompson has most recently been involved in acting and voice work in L.A. He begins at NRG Media Omaha today.

Scott Vowinkle to Lead Sales Effort at NRG Omaha. Sales pro Scott Vowinkle returns to the Omaha market to take on the director of sales position for NRG Media’s seven-station cluster that includes news/talk KOIL, and sports talk duo KOZN “1620 The Zone” and KZOT “1180 Zone 2.”   Vowinkle was most recently with Cumulus Media as general sales manager in Beaumont, Texas.  He previously worked in the Omaha market with Scripps.

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 January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. Sports talk bounced back from the Holiday 2018 survey with 68% of stations going up (weekly 6+ AQH share), led by Boston sports talkers WEEI-FM (+1.7) and WBZ-FM (+1.6).  About half the sports talk stations on the panel were up year-over-year and the two biggest gainers benefitted from the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff success.  Entercom’s KCSP was up 1.1 share and Union Broadcasting’s WHB was up an even 1.0 share.  It’s rare that a sports talk station ranks first in its market, but Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia accomplished that by riding the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff run to a #1 ranking with a 7.2 share. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nielsen Q4 2018 Revenue Down 5.8%; Audio Ratings Segment Dips 2.3%. Financial data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the full year are being released by Nielsen Holdings plc – the media ratings and consumer behavior research company. Looking at the fourth quarter, revenue for the entire company was $1.66 billion, down 5.8% compared to the same period in 2017.  The company posted a net loss of $952 million in Q4, compared to 2017’s Q4 gain of $84 million.  The audio ratings division operates within the company’s Watch segment.  It earned $128 million during Q4, down 2.3% from 2017’s $131 million. For all of 2018, revenue from the audio ratings segment was off just 0.8% on earnings of $497 million, compared to $501 million for the full-year 2017.  Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “2018 was a challenging year but we delivered on our key operational metrics for the second half and positioned ourselves for 2019.  I am excited to join Nielsen at such a pivotal time in the company’s history.  Our focus for 2019 is on transforming into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions.  We expect these strategies to translate into improved performance in 2019 and beyond as we increase our value to clients.”  Kenny also addresses the strategic review being undertaken that could see the company sold.  “The strategic review is ongoing and the board is working with urgency on this process. As previously discussed, this could include continuing to operate as a public, independent company, a separation of either Nielsen’s Global Media or Global Connect segment, or a sale of the whole company.  The process that we are undertaking will enable us to determine the best path forward in order to maximize value for all of our shareholders.”

Talk Radio Fact-Finding Tour of Ireland Planned.  A group of diverse talk radio broadcasters is getting ready to take a comprehensive tour of Ireland in early April.  The tour will include a six-day, guided visit to some of the Emerald Isle’s most iconic attractions and interview opportunities with some of Ireland’s most important leaders from the fields of politics, international relations, business, the arts, food, technology, and history.  Organized by the DC Radio Company in conjunction with the Irish government’s tourism bureau, the project marks a return to the type of international fact-finding missions that were a talk radio staple in the 1990s and early 2000s.  DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones tells TALKERS, “I am so excited to get the ball rolling again on these trips that provide hosts and their listeners with the opportunity to take a real deep-dive into the culture of other countries around the world.  And now in the age of the Internet, tours like this give stations and networks the opportunity to tease the interviews with short clips on the air and full, long-form programs and specials on their websites.  Plus, they are attractive content packages for local and national sponsorships.”  Jones is a well-known talk radio figure who, in addition to having major market credentials at several top stations in Washington, Boston, Detroit, and Nashville, as well as in national syndication, served more than a dozen years as a senior White House correspondent for the Talk Radio News Service before launching the DC Radio Company last year.  Her live commentaries are familiar to listeners in hundreds of markets.  She has been involved with a number of the successful talk radio fact-finding missions that brought hosts to such diverse countries as Taiwan, Israel, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and more.  Talk broadcasters signed up for the Irish tour include, Doug Stephan of the syndicated “DJV Morning Show,” Danielle Lin of the syndicated “The Art of Living and Science of Life,” Kate Delaney of the syndicated  “America Tonight” program, Michael Zwerling, owner of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, and Scott Thompson, owner of Big Radio, a group of eight radio stations located in Monroe, Wisconsin; Freeport, Illinois; Janesville, Wisconsin; Beloit, Wisconsin; and, South Beloit, Illinois.  Ireland’s 2019 tourism theme is “Fill Your Heart with Ireland.”  According to Jones, more international trips of this nature are being planned as several nations have expressed strong interest in creating communication ties with American talk radio.

Comrex to Debut New Rackmount Audio Codec at NAB Show. This updated version of the popular rackmount Comrex ACCESS – the ACCESS NX Rack – will be unveiled at the NAB Show in Las Vegas taking place from April 6-11.  Comrex says the industry standard Comrex ACCESS Rackmount (first released in 2005) is being updated to incorporate the technical advances from the last decade.  The ACCESS NX Rack features completely new hardware, allowing for AES67, AES3, or analog audio I/O.  ACCESS NX Rack can connect to Wi-Fi and 4G modems and supports a wide range of connection protocols and audio encoders.  It’s driven via a new HTML5-based web user interface.  Further, it is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs as well as the Comrex FieldTap smartphone app.  ACCESS NX Rack also includes Comrex CrossLock technology, a proprietary suite of tools that solidify connections over IP networks.  By sending two identical streams through two separate networks (redundancy mode), CrossLock provides a fail-safe in the event that the primary network falters.  ACCESS NX Rack also includes HotSwap, a new function included with the latest version of ACCESS firmware. HotSwap allows users to designate one network as a backup that will only engage when the primary network has failed. Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.

Broadcasting from CPAC.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher (left) posing for a pic with the newest member of the SRN syndicated talk show host family, Dr. Sebastian Gorka (right).  The two are producing their programs live from the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference taking place in National Harbor, Maryland through Saturday.

TALKERS News Notes. WCCO, Minneapolis is getting its new imaging package from noted radio voice-over and imaging legend Sandy Thomas’ new company, CORE Voice Imaging and Sound Design (a division of Thomas Voice Imaging). The Entercom heritage news/talker is re-branding with the assistance of the new imaging package with reportedly positive initial results.  The highly charged package features Thomas and his wife Rebecca.  Check out a demo of the WCCO package here.  Interested stations can reach Sandy Thomas at 800-516-3370 or email CORE@ThomasVoiceImaging.com…..The news of President Trump’s breaking off talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un came on short notice and SRN News vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS that their affiliate stations were able to hear it live, thanks to their coverage.  Tradup says that via its longform news channel SNN Right, they were able to go live with the breaking news and deliver audio from the live news conference from Hanoi that had been moved up that included President Trump’s wide-ranging remarks on the summit, political battles facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his reaction to Michael Cohen’s testimony, new negotiations with China on trade, and other breaking news…..WBUR, Boston produced “On Point” is presenting its first special four-part series from co-host Meghna Chakrabarti that explores the nation’s complicated housing landscape, titled, “Where We Call Home.”  It debuts March 4.  Chakrabarti will investigate the changing landscape of neighborhoods across America and the economic, social, aesthetic, and political forces that factor in to where and how Americans choose to live.

Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, India-Pakistan Tensions, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27). Wednesday’s congressional testimony by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; President Trump’s Hanoi meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project and challenges to President Trump’s emergency declaration; the situation in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro clings to power; 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. This season of ABC TV’s “American Idol” debuts on March 3 and iHeartMedia is joining ABC in promoting the show with a radio special hosted by Ryan Seacrest and broadcast across more than 90 iHeartMedia AC and hot AC radio stations nationwide.  The thirty-minute special will air Sunday, March 3 and feature songs from current “American Idol” judges and past contestants, exclusive content and information about the iconic series…..Cumulus Media announces that Justin Taylor is the new operations manager for its Oxnard-Ventura, California cluster and program director for country KHAY.  He’s taking over for the retiring Chris Cox, who will step down on March 4 after a 45-year career in radio. Taylor says, “I could not be happier to be joining [RVP] Sommer Frisk and her amazing team as the operations manager for Ventura /Oxnard, and even more excited to take over the ACM nominated K-HAY!”

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; 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. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

Friday, July 27, 2018

| July 27, 2018

Surprise Buyer for Scripps’ Milwaukee Duo Is Good Karma.  Numerous industry watchers expected E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM to go to a larger operator – such as Entercom.  Today’s announcement that the stations are being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million is sure to surprise many.  Good Karma already owns Milwaukee market ESPN affiliate WAUK-AM, as well as Madison sports outlet WTLX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson states, “Good Karma Brands’ focus on Milwaukee makes the company an ideal home for these important local radio stations. The company’s expertise in connecting audiences and advertisers, particularly with sports marketing, means these stations will be well positioned for the future.”  Scripps has put all of its radio assets on the market and Symson adds, “At Scripps, we are on track for the sale of our entire radio station group as a component of our enterprise-wide strategy to divest of non-core assets and focus on improving our near-term operating performance while fostering the growth ahead.”  The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Good Karma owns six sports talk stations (including WAUK). WTMJ has the rights to Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Milwaukee Brewers baseball – right up Good Karma’s alley – but it also operates a personnel-heavy news and programming department and one has to wonder if staffers there are concerned about the owner-to-be’s commitment to a big news department.  At the same time, there are those who will applaud the sale of these stations to a smaller operator and not one of the big conglomerates. Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis & Judi Suspended for 10 Days. You have to give credit to Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” management for getting out front on this and 1) quickly decrying the words of hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, 2) immediately suspending the duo while conducting an internal investigation, and 3) swiftly deciding the punishment and making it public.  This, of course, stems from their show segment during which they referred to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man” and disparaged his name.  The station pulled Malloy and Franco from Wednesday’s program and promised quick action.  It then announced they will be suspended for 10 days.  It also released the following joint apology from Malloy and Franco: “It was a mistake we both deeply regret.  We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners.”

Salem Radio Network Host Mike Gallagher is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In addition to being a top-10 member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred and a major radio talent, syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is a devoted theater fan and part-time stage actor.  The Salem Radio Network star has compiled quite an impressive list of credits over the years performing leading and supportive roles in musicals at professional regional theaters across the country including a brief guest stint on Broadway in the production of “Memphis.”  He’s even dabbled successfully in the risky business side of theater and has a Tony Award to prove it for his investment in the Broadway and road show revivals of “Pippin.”  Gallagher is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” in which he and the founder of TALKERS take a deep dive into the world of theater.  They explore what being a stage actor has meant to the talk star in addition to the state of the theater in general touching upon its role in today’s politically polarized and contentious environment.  Don’t miss this fascinating look into the multi-layered personality of one of talk radio’s most successful players.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Podcast” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland-based Alpha Media sells three of its Missouri stations for $250,000 cash.  To be transferred to Clayton and Brittany Radford-owned Radford Media Group are: agriculture-formatted KDKD-AM “Ag 1280,” country KDKD-FM, and classic rock KXEA “104.9 The Eagle.” These are the first radio properties for Radford.  The broker for the seller is Kalil & Co. and representing the buyer is Patrick Communications…..Louisville Public Media names Stephen George president and general manager for its public radio outlets WFPL, WUOL, and WFPK.  He’s been serving as interim president since January and takes over for previous president Michael Skoler.

Cohen Recordings and Trump-Russia Investigation Tied for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The recordings of conversations between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Donald Trump discussing a payment to Playboymodel and the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of July 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the threat by GOP congressmen to begin the impeachment process against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Coming in at #3 was the meeting between President Trump and the E.U.’s Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues, followed by the status of the second meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin 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 the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a new voice joining iHeartMedia’s and Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on September 17.  Medha Gandhi becomes co-host, moving to New York from her most recent position as executive producer and co-host of the “Matty in the Morning” program on the company’s WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  Cast member Bethany Watson left the program in February to pursue an acting career.  Duran says, “We fell in love with Gandhi within the first five minutes of meeting her.  When you have a show as long established as ours, it’s very important to continue to keep it fresh and in Gandhi we have found the perfect co-host to do that.  I can’t wait for her to join our dysfunctional family!”  The program emanates from WHTZ, New York “Z100” and airs on some 80 affiliate stations…..Entercom’s Portland country outlet KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” brings Toni-Marie aboard as midday personality and assistant program director.  Most recently, she was music director and air personality at Buck Owens Broadcasting’s KUZZ and KRJK in Bakersfield.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden says, “Toni-Marie brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to these roles and I’m looking forward to seeing her connect with our audience in the Northwest.”…..Beasley Media Group names Scotty B evening personality on rock WDHA, Dover, New Jersey.  Scotty B was most recently a part-time air personality and production staffer at the company’s rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey.  WDHA program director Terrie Carr comments, “Rockturnal with Scotty B,” which airs weeknights from 7:00 to 12:00 midnight, will focus on his strengths – interacting with rock fans, getting out in the community, and being host of the party!  I am thrilled to have Scotty’s energy, attitude, and huge presence on our airwaves and as part of our family.”…..Jeffrey Jameson exits Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York “NEW 102.7,” he announces in a brief tweet. Co-host Karen Carson will handle the morning show solo for now…..Iliad Media Group appoints James Garner regional operations manager for its Boise and Twin Falls station groups.  The company says that in this new position, the 11-year staffer will oversee the programming, production, and promotions at the 13 stations in Boise and Twin Falls…..Kenny Chesney’s exclusive SiriusXM channel, “No Shoes Radio,” is a live Town Hall with Chesney at Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend.  The show is being hosted by Storme Warren.  Chesney will give fans the opportunity to hear songs from his new album with track-by-track commentary, audience members will learn about the album’s inspiration, the recovery efforts from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, and his Love for Love City Fund.

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.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  More than half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares rise compared to the April survey (54%).  Better still, 65% of sports stations realized positive 6+ movement compared to the same ratings period a year ago.  There are no sports talk stations ranking #1 in their market (6+), however Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #3 in the Long Island market and the company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh also ranked #3.  See the entire report here.

Bloomberg: iHM Still Open to Takeover Talks After Shooting Down Liberty.  According to a report today by Bloomberg, Liberty Media officially retracted its $1.8 billion takeover offer to iHeartMedia (on 6/15) after some creditors apparently balked at the offer for a 40% equity stake in the company, saying it wasn’t enough.  However, iHeartMedia is still open to takeover talks – including with Liberty Media – as it tries to work its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Experts quoted in the piece say they expect Liberty to come back with another offer because Liberty hasn’t been acquiring iHM debt in order to get a fraction of that back in bankruptcy reorganization.  It wants leverage at the bargaining table.

Beasley Adds FM Translator to News/Talk KDWN, Las Vegas.  Las Vegas news/talker KDWN-AM officially begins life on the FM band today (6/21) as Beasley Media Group adds translator K268CS at 101.5 FM to the station’s transmission.  At the same time, the station re-brands as “The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas.”  The translator is located “high atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.”  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon adds, “We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market.  Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming, but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

TRN Seeks Permission to Appeal Case Against Westwood One.  Radio company Talk Radio Network is asking Southern District of New York bankruptcy court Judge Shelley Chapman to give it relief from the automatic stay so it can appeal the Oregon federal court dismissal of its case against Westwood One and others.  TRN says it filed a timely appeal of the previous dismissal but Cumulus Media’s entry in to Chapter 11 last fall put an automatic stay in place that prevented the Eleventh Circuit Appellate Court from taking up the case.  Now that Cumulus has exited Chapter 11, TRN wants to continue the appeal process.  It’s also asking for an extension in which to file its Opening Brief in the Westwood One case.  Fellow defendants in the case are: Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, WYM Media Management, Lew Dickey Jr., and Charles SteinhauerMark Masters-led TRN has claimed in a number of previous suits that Westwood One and the other defendants all conspired to monopolize the radio syndication ad sales market and that Westwood One also committed breach of fiduciary duty, among other allegations.

TALKERS News Notes. Award-winning hospitality figure, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and television personality Jon Taffer is partnering with PodcastOne to present his new podcast, “Jon Taffer: No Excuses.”  The new program debuted this week with fan-voted guest Big Cat from Barstool Sports.  The weekly show “features the Bar Rescue star’s trademark straight talk and unapologetic approach to daily topics, current events and celebrity interviews. In addition to his genuine opinions and in-your-face analysis on these topics, Jon will offer tough-love advice to fans in the interactive program.”…..Conservative media figure Armstrong Williams – who had a long career hosting a radio talk show on AM stations – is putting his SiriusXM program to bed. Williams tells the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that he will focus all of his attention on his television station company, Howard Stirk Holdings.  He’s not exiting the performance side of the business entirely as he’ll continue to host his eponymous TV show and will keep producing his podcast…..Scripps executive Tom Langmyer is being honored by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association with entrance into its Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2018.  Langmyer, who currently serves as VP of News, Talk and Sports and GM for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee, is a Buffalo native and former WGR-AM traffic reporter.  He’s being honored with the Buffalo Bob Smith Award bestowed upon a native broadcaster who achieves national prominence…..WBUR, Boston announces the winner of its Next Great Show Content and has selected “McSweeney’s Presents.”  The program was submitted – and beat about 400 other program pitches – by McSweeney’s Internet Tendency editor Chris Monks as a way of bringing the online magazine’s humor and insight to radio.  Monks says, “I am thrilled that WBUR chose my idea for the Next Great Show contest.  I look forward to making a radio version of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the challenge of not bringing shame upon my family of avid WBUR listeners.”  The program is said to be a “satirical look at the world, from pop culture, to politics, to the playground, featuring work of the country’s best established and up-and-coming writers and comics.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Peter Fonda Tweet, Trump Trade War, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Cops Kills Black Teen in Pittsburgh, World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The controversy over the separation of children from parents in the crackdown on illegal immigration and the related case of Peter Fonda’s Tweet about separating President Trump’s son from his family; the tariffs being tacked on foreign goods and concerns about  global trade war; the aftermath of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a police officer in Pittsburgh; the World Cup tournament in Russia; 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. Detroit radio personality Lauren Crocker signs a new contract with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD where she’s co-host of the ‘Blaine Fowler Morning Show.”  She joined the program in 2015.  Program director Robby Bridges says, “It sounds clichéd, but it is the absolute truth.  When Lauren first walked in and interviewed with me seven years ago, I knew then she was going to be a superstar.  To see her flourish as co-host of ‘The Blaine Fowler Morning Show’ alongside Blaine and Matty, become a fixture in the Detroit market, work with local charities and appear on ‘Dish Nation’ and WDIV-TV’s ‘Live in the D’ is just terrific.  Lauren’s star is still on the rise and I’m so glad she’ll be with us at Cumulus into the next decade!”…..In Chicago, Cumulus signs alternative WKQX personalities Walt Flakus and Lauren O’Neil to multi-year contracts.  Flakus is assistant program director, music director, and evening personality.  He’s been with WKQX since 2014.  Midday personality O’Neil is entering her seventh year with the station.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren states, “There’s no greater joy than being able to work with incredibly talented people, and Walt and Lauren are two of the most creative, hard-working, and talented people I’ve had the privilege to work with.  They are an essential part of what truly separates us from our competition every day.  Together, Walt, Lauren and the entire staff make 101WKQX one-of-a-kind.”…..WBBM-FM, Chicago morning personality Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is off the air as he recovers from complications that arose from a previous surgical procedure.  In the interim, co-host Nina and producer Gabe Ramirez are handling the show duties…..Colorado Springs classic rock KKFM “Classic Rock 98” appoints Jonathan “J.P.” Peletis afternoon drive host and promotions director.  Cumulus Media Colorado Springs operations manager Bobby Irwin says, “J.P. brings to KKFM and our station cluster an awesome mix of radio rock show, digital marketing and promotions experience, with passion for the Colorado lifestyle.”…..Longport Media agrees to sell Atlantic City CHR WWAC “AC 102.7” to Educational Media Foundation for $570,000.  EMF will convert the station into a non-profit and flip it to a Christian music format…..iHeartMedia and MediaLink combined to host the seventh annual intimate VIP Dinner in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  On Tuesday evening (6/19), the VIP Dinner included a special performance by Jon Bon Jovi.  Attendees included corporate officers from such firms as Unilever, AT&T, Google, Vivendi, Conde Nast and others.  Katie Couric and Ryan Seacrest were also in attendance.  Picture below are (from l-r): Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer for iHeartMedia; Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia; Jon Bon Jovi; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia; and Tim Castelli, president of national sales and marketing partnerships for iHeartMedia.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

| June 5, 2018

Cumulus Media Emerges from Chapter 11. The company said it would emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization during the second quarter of this year and that turns out to be the case.  In a statement, Cumulus Media says it has “successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 having reduced its debt by more than $1 billion.  The Company plans to utilize its enhanced financial flexibility to continue its ongoing business transformation and drive value creation on behalf of all its stakeholders.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Over the last two years, we have been relentlessly focused on our plans to turn the Company around, and the completion of our financial restructuring process is a monumental step forward on our turnaround path.  We emerge today as a stronger and more competitive Company, with the financial foundation that we need to move forward decisively with the initiatives that will produce the greatest benefits for the Company.  With this financial restructuring now behind us, we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish with all of our resources and energy fully focused on our operating business.”  In the statement, Cumulus reports that it reduced its total debt balance from $2.34 billion to $1.30 billion, consisting entirely of a term loan bearing interest at LIBOR plus 450 basis points and due May 15, 2022.  “Also, pursuant to the terms of the financial restructuring, the Company’s previously outstanding equity was cancelled and certain former stakeholders are being issued 11,052,211 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, 5,218,209 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock and warrants to purchase 3,729,589 shares of common stock in exchange for their prior claims. Except with regard to voting and conversion rights, shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical in all respects.  Generally, the holders of shares of Class B common stock are not entitled to vote on any matters, although such shares are convertible into shares of Class A common stock, subject to FCC rules and regulations and the Company’s governance documents. We have applied to have our Class A common stock listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CMLS and, until such time, expect that such shares will be quoted on the OTC Pink Sheets under the symbol CMIA.”

Kathy Smith to Lead Cumulus Eugene, Oregon. At Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group, Kathy Smith is the new VP/market manager.  She was most recently Alpha Media Portland’s general sales manager.  Cumulus Eugene includes news/talk KUGN and sports talk KUJZ-FM and four music outlets.  Cumulus EVP Bob Walker says, “We are very pleased to have Kathy leading our team in Eugene.  Her deep experience and true passion for the Pacific Northwest region make her an incredible asset to our six great stations and the community they serve.”

‘97.9 ESPN Hartford’ Names Bob Joyce UConn Sports Executive Producer. At sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” Bob Joyce is named executive producer for University of Connecticut Athletics content.  Joyce’s duties include serving as the radio voice for Women’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey, handling play-by-play, and working closely with “The Rob Dibble Show.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia Connecticut program director for sports and talk Ben Darnell.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited to have Bob Joyce on our team.  Bob brings continuity and a high-quality professionalism to our UConn content.  He is well known in the market and with UConn fans and we are confident he will bring UConn sports broadcasting to new levels.”

Hayley Tenpas Named WHBY, Appleton Talk Host.  In the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin market, Woodward Communications names Hayley Tenpas host of the afternoon drive “Focus Fox Valley” program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tenpas formerly served as news anchor at Scripps’ WGBA-TV, Green Bay.  She is a native of the Fox Valley, having grown up in Hortonville.  She earned her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  WHBY brand manager Justin Hull says, “We are excited to welcome Hayley to the WHBY team.  Her passion for the community will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”

TALKERS News Notes.  On Monday (6/11), 77 WABC Radio in New York is hosting the first GOP primary debate between U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm.  The station says the two are locked in a “tight and heated race” for New York’s 11th Congressional District.  The one-hour live debate will take place at WABC Radio studios in New York City at 12:00 noon ET and veteran journalist and WABC Radio host and political editor Rita Cosby will serve as moderator as part of the first hour of her talk show with Curtis Sliwa, “Curtis + Cosby.”…..The legal case of St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman against Emmis Communications and Entercom is being moved from Missouri state court to federal court.  RegularTALKERS readers remember that Allman is suing the two companies for breach of contract after Allman was let go from his KFTK-FM radio show in the aftermath of social media comments he made about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  At the time of his firing from KFTK-FM, Entercom was LMAing the station from Emmis as it waited to close on the purchase of the station…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the program schedule at KBDB-HD3, Forks, Washington…..Longtime KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Doug Wright said a final farewell to his listeners on Friday, June 1.  Wright retired from the Bonneville-owned news/talk station after more than 40 years on the air in the market.  To fill the air time left open by Wright’s retirement, Bonneville is expanding the “Dave and Dujanovic” show to 9:00 am to 12:00.

Joe Brewer Promoted at Katz Media Group.  Twenty-two-year staffer Joe Brewer is promoted to president of business operations at Katz Media Group.  Brewer – who started with the company in 1996 – was most recently chief administrative officer.  In this position, Brewer will increase his focus on business operations across Katz Radio Group, Katz Television Group and Katz Digital with the goal of streamlining company processes and aligning all technology and innovation initiatives with company goals.

AWMF to Honor Judy Woodruff at Gracies Awards Luncheon. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour,” will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 27 at Cipriani 42ndStreet in New York. The annual Gracies Luncheon honors individual achievement and outstanding programming at the local level for TV and radio, public level for radio, and student level for TV, radio and interactive media.  CNN’s Erica Hill will host the luncheon.   AWMF chair Christine Travaglini says, “The Gracie Awards celebrate the female storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  Since the beginning of her journalism career in 1976, Judy Woodruff’s connected, well-researched approach is consistently present and illustrates why she is so worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award. We at AWM and AWMF, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to honor and celebrate outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, Trump Uninvites Eagles to White House, SCOTUS Cake Ruling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Clinton NBC Interview, North Korea Summit, Dwight Clark Dies, NBA Finals, and Major League Baseball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and allegations that Paul Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses; President Trump uninvites the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; the Supreme Court rules in favor of Denver baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; Bill Clinton’s reaction to being questioned about Monica Lewinsky on “Today” show interview; the status of the U.S.-North Korea summit; San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark dies at 61; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; 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.

BFoA Establishes Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has established the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund in honor of the broadcaster who died this past Friday (6/1) at age 69 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Joe was a friend and champion of the Broadcasters Foundation and our industry. He devoted time and energy to advancing broadcasting and to helping colleagues in need.  He will be missed by many, personally and professionally.”  Bilotta spent more than 40 years at Buckley Broadcasting where he helped build the group’s standing through such noted stations as WOR-AM, New York and WDRC-AM and WDRC-FM in Hartford.  Bilotta was saluted by his colleagues in April with the coveted Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award, given by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at a breakfast ceremony held during the 2018 NAB Show.  To donate to the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Joining Envision Networks as assistant marketing manager is Kelsey Shawgo.  She comes to Envision with a background in writing and music journalism.  She has been published in Substream Magazine, Fashion Meets Music Festival Magazine, and was a staff news writer and features writer for Alternative Press before joining Envision Networks. She also has worked in promotions for the now-Entercom-owned Cleveland station cluster.  Envision says, “Kelsey’s acumen for millennial sentimentalities with a focus on new media and creative content will enhance Envision Networks’ marketing team.  She aims to strengthen the brand voice of Envision Networks in all written and graphic content including public relations, social media, and the monthly journalistic Envision Insider newsletter…..iHeartMedia announces the primetime lineup for its iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place in Las Vegas September 21 and 22.  Performers include: Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, and more…..iHeartMedia Chicago announces that market radio pro Lisa Dent is joining country WBGG “BIG 95.5” to host weekend programs.  Dent previously co-hosted mornings on Entercom’s crosstown WUSN-FM in Chicago for 10 years before launching her first business, Lisa Dent Speaks, LLC, and building her own studio, The Radio Farm…..Cumulus Media’s Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q100” launches a new online destination called Q-U at quatlanta.com.  Cumulus says Q-U “puts listeners first with video content that brings together the ‘Q100’ listening community in a new way and includes original content from listeners who share their lives with others who have a passion for hit music.  Q-U tackles issues affecting young adults on a daily basis, including relationships, jobs, college loans, family and activism.”  Cumulus Media Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon adds, “Q-U builds the ‘Q100’ brand and elevates and transforms the standard ‘we talk, you listen’ format to a truly integrated conversational fan experience.  We couldn’t be more excited to launch this innovative new destination for Atlantans who love hit music.”…..Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” program is broadcasting live from the George Jones Museum in Nashville during this week’s CMA Fest.  Each morning’s live broadcast inside The George Jones is free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; 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. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

Entercom Reports 2018 Q1 Financial Data; Same-Station Net Revenue Down 7.7%. This is the first full quarter that Entercom is reporting since closing on the CBS RADIO merger back on November 17 of last year.  As a result, the company’s net revenue jumped from $99 million in Q1 of 2017 to $300.6 million in Q1 of this year.  However, on a same-station basis, net revenue for the quarter dipped 7.7%, from $324.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $300.6 in the first quarter of this year. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Since closing on our merger in November, we have moved quickly to implement rapid change and have made good progress on our various integration, synergy and transformation goals.  We have built a terrific leadership team and are driving strong ratings growth and launching a number of revenue-driving initiatives to capitalize on our scale and compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of ad spending.  Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Entercom Audio Network, which will enable us to use our scale to participate directly in the $1 billion network radio market.  Our first quarter financial results were adversely affected by soft general local advertising conditions and a number of temporary factors, most notably the exclusion of $12 million in revenue due to financial issues at USTN.  As these temporary factors abate and our growth initiatives take hold, we look forward to driving meaningful sustainable growth as we capitalize on the compelling brands, assets and capabilities of this exciting, emerging company.”

Entercom Audio Network to Launch in July. As mentioned by Entercom president and CEO David Field in the story above, the company is introducing its new ad sales network dubbed, Entercom Audio Network, on July 1.  The company says, “The national network will allow advertisers to leverage Entercom’s scale with targeted offerings across its portfolio of 235 top-rated radio stations reaching over 112 million listeners monthly.” Company chief revenue officer Bob Phillips states, “Entercom now offers brands the national scale they need, including seamless activation and superior ROI. We are the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio and #1 or #2 in virtually all music formats. Our connection to consumers is coveted by many national brands.”  Field adds, “As one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to offer national brands a very compelling and effective unwired network with our premier collection of leading radio brands across the country.”

Townsquare Media’s Q1 2018 Net Revenue Up 5.9%.  That figure represents the net revenue for Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions division – the broadcast and digital operations – and not the live events-oriented Entertainment division.  Combining both divisions, the company’s net revenue was up 6.6% over the same period in 2017.  Townsquare co-CEO Bill Wilson comments, “Once again, our Local Marketing Solutions segment drove the Company’s growth, with net revenue growth of 5.9%, or 5.6% excluding political revenue.  First quarter growth in this segment was driven by continued strength across our local broadcast and digital product offerings, which culminated in our 17th consecutive quarter of positive, organic revenue growth.”  Net revenue in the Local Marketing Solutions in the first quarter was $80.6 million.  The company also reports that it paid off $9.5 million in long-term debt.

Saga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Rises 7.1%.  Michigan-based Saga Communications reports 2018 first quarter net revenue was $28 million – an increase of 7.1% over the same period a year ago.  Operating income from continuing operations increased 17.5% to $2.3 million and station operating expense increased 9.6% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  The company notes that its quarterly results were affected by the sale of its Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina TV stations last September.  On a same-station basis, net revenue increased 0.3% to $26.2 million and operating income from continuing operations increased 26.3% to $2.5 million.  Saga reports having $47.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31 and $49.8 million as of May 1.  The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of March 31.

Scripps Radio Division to Be Sold in Pieces.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, there was just a brief mention of E.W. Scripps’ plans to sell its radio division.  Local Media division president Brian Lawlor responded to a question about the status of the radio stations, saying, “Yes. The radio sale, the process continues. We’ve made a decision in order to maximize the value of the assets to sell the division in several pieces instead of one big bang. I think that’s where we see the greatest value for the company and for shareholders. And so, it’s just a little bit more complicated, I would say, than if it were just a singular transaction.”  That’s not surprising since the company owns two signals in Milwaukee – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI – and stations in much smaller markets including: Omaha, Boise, Tucson, Knoxville, Wichita, and Tulsa.  As we reported yesterday, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that Entercom is talking with Scripps about the Milwaukee stations.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Greg Neft Named Program Director at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Talk radio pro Greg Neft joins iHeartMedia as program director for news/talk KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7.”  Neft previously worked in the market as a news anchor and reporter.  He has served as morning news anchor at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville and as an NFL reporter for SiriusXM.  Most recently, he was corporate director of news and content programming for Cherry Creek Media.  iHM Fresno SVP of programming Steve Weed comments, “Greg joins us at a very opportune time, heading into a crucial election season for our region and our state.  I look forward to his skills and experience elevating our breaking news coverage.”

Former Seahawk Cliff Avril to Co-Host KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talk Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” announces that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is partnering with the station’s Jason Puckett for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, effective July 9. Puckett is a 15-year veteran of the iHeartMedia station and Avril retired from the NFL after being released by the Seahawks after a five-year stint.  Avril says, “I’m excited to join the KJR team!  Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNBC-TV, New York is reporting the former Port Authority police superintendent may have violated policy by providing a “lights-and-sirens” escort from the Newark airport into Manhattan for Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh.  The station says Michael Fedorko announced his retirement suddenly, about a week after it became known WNBC-TV reporters were investigating the allegation.  The report says the escort was to get Limbaugh to a charity dinner at which he was a “last-minute” speaker.  It also says Limbaugh talked about it on his radio show, saying, “So they sent the superintendent of the Port Authority to Newark to meet me for lights and sirens into Manhattan to make sure I got there in time.  And we did.”…..Radio sales pro Tim Robisch is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN.  He most recently served with Great Plains Media in suburban Kansas City.  He’s also held positions with Cox Media GroupEntercom Communications, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, and Katz Radio (at which he was served as regional vice president)…..New affiliate stations sign up for the John Kruse-hosted outdoors radio programs “America Outdoors Radio” and “Northwestern Outdoors Radio.”  Both shows focus on fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.  KDZR, Portland and KBOI, Boise recently added both shows to their program schedules…..Patrick Communications managing partner Larry Patrick is delivering the 2018 Commencement Speech for the College of Communications and Information at the University of Tennessee this Saturday (5/12).  Patrick is a 1973 graduate of UT.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Schneiderman Allegations, John McCain Illness/Book, W.VA Senate Race, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The looming decision by President Trump whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran nuclear deal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; New York attorney general – and Donald Trump critic – Eric Schneiderman resigns amid allegations of abusing four women; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in West Virginia and President Trump’s urging voters to reject controversial GOP candidate Don Blankenship; 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. CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” announces that on-air pro Zann is the iHeartMedia station’s new afternoon drive personality.  She was most recently with Cumulus Media’s KLIF-FM, Dallas as midday personality. She was also heard on Westwood One’s Hot AC and Hits Now 24/7 formats. At the same time, Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt is the new midday personality who will also serve as APD and music director.  He moves to Seattle from the company’s Central Texas Region where he was director of CHR…..Programming pro Matt Johnson is appointed program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7.”  iHM SVP of programming Jules Riley comments, “Matt is a solid addition to the KSLZ and iHeart St. Louis team.  We look forward to watching him grow this heritage CHR brand.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Matt’s drive, creativity, and talent development made him our ideal candidate.”…..Cumulus Media announces that radio and television marketing pro Marty Wall is joining the Detroit cluster as director of marketing for country duo WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and WDRQ-HD2 “NASH Icon” and hot AC WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Marty’s work at ‘Z100’ in New York is legendary.  That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients.  He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster.  I’m looking forward to his working with me, promotion manager Rochelle Burk, and promo director/street team captain Adam Ficorelli.”…..There are two appointments in the sales department at iHeartMedia Chicago.  First, Khatija Mohiuddin is named general sales manager for hip hop WGCI and CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.”  Also, Brian McGhee is the new general sales manager for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103” and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano states, “We put a priority on recognizing our high performers with advancement opportunities and these two staff promotions are true testaments to Khatija’s and Brian’s leadership skills and ability to form strong client relationships.”  Mohiuddin most recently served as local sales manager for WGCI and WGRB-AM.  McGhee most recently served as sales manager for the company’s St. Louis cluster.

Monday, May 7, 2018

| May 7, 2018

Beasley Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Comparing the first quarter of 2018 to the same period in 2017, net revenue for Beasley Broadcast Group was $55.2 million, an increase of 2.6%.  The report notes last May’s sale of its six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster and the December asset exchange of WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million for sports station WBZ-FM and states that this report reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2018 and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM in the three months ended March 31, 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “In the first quarter of 2018, we continued to execute well on our integration strategy focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership at recently acquired stations, while implementing our operating and expense management disciplines…The $1.6 million increase in station operating expenses was largely attributable to the Boston market’s sports leader, WBZ-FM, and additional one-time costs related to New England Patriots’ Super Bowl programming.  However, the ongoing success of our expense management initiatives resulted in a year-over-year reduction in operating expenses at our Tampa, Charlotte, Detroit, Fort Myers and Augusta clusters.  As a result, while Beasley’s SOI declined 1.5% year-over-year, after excluding the SOI contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville station divestitures from the comparable 2017 period, first quarter SOI would have been flat.  With our strong operating cash flows we have invested in our broadcast and technology platforms while pursuing select accretive acquisitions and station swaps. At the same time, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements. In this regard, during the first quarter, we increased our quarterly cash dividend by 11.1% and declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately $1.2 million year-over-year, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points. We also used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of approximately $3.0 million and ended March 31, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $222 million.

E.W. Scripps Q1 Conference Call May Shed Light on Sale of Radio Division.  Or it may not.  It depends on whether Scripps is in serious talks to sell its radio division and whether or not those parties want any public disclosures made at this time.  Scripps made the announcement last fall that it would be selling the radio division that it acquired in the Journal Communications deal to allow it to focus on its television segment. Because of that, Scripps is listing the radio stations as “discontinued operations” in its financial reports. Today’s press release notes, “At the end of 2017, radio operations were classified as held for sale. The radio segment results are included in discontinued operations. All periods have been adjusted to reflect this presentation. Discontinued operations include a $20 million non-cash charge to write down the assets of our radio business to fair value.”  There have been rumors that Scripps has a buyer for its largest market stations – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM in Milwaukee – and many industry watchers suspect that buyer is Entercom.  Today’s conference call is 9:00 am ET.

Cumulus’ Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors Files Proposed Finding of Facts; Challenges Stated Value of the Company. The 56-page document filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York by The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media Inc., Et Al. challenges the company’s and the senior lenders’ assessment that Cumulus Media is worth $1.67 billion, arguing that its true value is between $2.1 and $2.4 billion.  As Cumulus announced last week, the court has confirmed Cumulus’ reorganization plan based on the $1.67 billion valuation.  In Friday’s filing, the unsecured creditors try to make the point that the calculation of multiples in assessing the value of Cumulus’ stations is too low, “Cumulus should receive a premium multiple relative to comparable companies in the radio industry.”  It also argues that Cumulus’ tower portfolio’s fair market value is $134 million and should add “an additional $45 to $55 million in incremental value to the company.” Read details here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago all-newser WBBM-AM is officially recognizing its 50thanniversary as a news station (the actual 50th was Sunday).  The Entercom station is celebrating the milestone on its website with a history of the station plus photos, old ads and logos and much more.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that director of news and programming Ron Gleason told staffers in a memo, “Think about 50 years — all that’s transpired, all the chronicling of Chicago, the state, the country and the world.  You and your predecessors have covered some incredibly exceptional events, and devastating tragedies, doing so with credibility and without bias every step of the way.  I’m so lucky to be part of this, and proud to work alongside each of you on a daily basis.”…..Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee combines with sister country station WKTI to bring home 15 awards for excellence from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.  WTMJ picked up “News & Talk Station of the Year,” “News Operation of the Year,” and “Social & Digital Media Operation of the Year.”  Vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “‘WTMJ Radio’ and ‘KTI COUNTRY’ are committed to providing community service, local news, programming and multi-platform local content to serve our communities.  To be recognized by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is truly a meaningful honor.”…..Mike Calta show cast member Sandra Carmin Herrst was arrested over the weekend on domestic violence charges after she allegedly hit her boyfriend.  Herrst, who goes by Carmin on the WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning show, was arrested and released on her own recognizance…..The Westwood One nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Sterling on Sunday” announces it has inked its 50thaffiliate station with the signing of WBAP, Dallas.  The show is hosted by longtime radio executive Walter Sabo, a.k.a. Walter Sterling (pictured at left), who says, “Successful talk stations are aggressively widening their topic offerings and I’m delighted to be heard on 50 of them…and counting.  ‘Sterling on Sunday’ resonates with audiences because it’s a reflection of their real lives. We talk about life with family, life at work, life at the mall. It’s all very relatable. The power of the mirror always wins.”…..The third season of ESPN’s “30 for 30 Podcasts” launches on May 22 with five episodes covering the story of the rise and fall of Bikram yoga and how the community is still grappling with its identity in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against its founder Bikram Choudhury.  The podcast is reported and produced by ESPN’s Julia Lowrie Henderson.….Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets agree to a multi-year deal for the station to air Nets games and related programming through the 2020-21 season.  As part of the deal, in the case of conflicts, Nets games will air on sister all-news WCBS-AM.

Fifth Annual GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 5th annual GAB Radio Talent Institute returns to the campus of the University of Georgia today and Beasley Media Group VP of corporate communications Heidi Raphael was today’s opening speaker for the 10-day institute.  Forty broadcasters from Beasley, Cox Media, Urban One, Entercom, Cumulus, iHeartMedia, Salem Media Group and others – as well as the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons – are coming together to teach the students who come from UGA and seven other schools in the region.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton comments, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System, and now, with our Beasley Media Group relationship, this partnership is even stronger. 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.”  Pictured above is WSB-FM, Atlanta “B 98.5” afternoon personality Madison James (at left) teaching students.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case/‘SNL’ Sketch, Iran Nuclear Deal, Facebook Helps ISIS Supporters, McCain HBO Documentary/Book, North-South Korea Talks, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; the Trump Administration’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal; allegations that Facebook’s “suggested friends” feature has been connecting those with ISIS sympathies; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the peace talks between North and South Korea; Major League Baseball action and NBA playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Is Nearing an Early Sellout. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – is on course to again be an early sellout.  Friday, May 11 at 5:00 pm ET has been set as the absolute cut-off date past which new registrations will no longer be taken – although according to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We might have to stop taking registrations before that because the number of bodies we can accommodate at this basically intimate gathering is indeed finite.” The power-packed program will feature more than 50 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. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as registration, hotel and sponsorship 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 and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – which can come at any moment. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible.

Rock Radio Pioneer and Station Owner Dex Allen Dies at 74.  As reported by LARadio.com, radio pro Dex Allen has died at age 74.  Allen started his career as a DJ and rose through the ranks to work in management and sales before entering the radio ownership business.  LARadio.com writes: “Dex was best known for spearheading the ‘underground’ movement at KPRI, San Diego.  In the late 1960s, he drove to Southern California every weekend to work as a jock at KDAY, Los Angeles (1969-70).  Eventually he became general manager of several stations in San Diego.  Dex made one of those rare journeys from DJ to station owner.”  After years in management, Allen formed Commonwealth Broadcasting and acquired a number of stations.  He was most recently president/CEO of Pacific Start Communications.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York alternative WBMP “ALT 92.3” has a new programming leader as Entercom announces Mike Kaplan is named SVP of programming and PD for the station.  At the same time, the company brings Christine Malovetz aboard to serve as midday personality on the station. Kaplan was most recently PD for iHeartMedia’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7.” Malovetz was most recently host of middays and assistant program director for Entrercom’s KNOU-FM, St. Louis.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We are thrilled to welcome Mike and Christine to ‘ALT 92.3’ and are looking forward to having their talent and drive propel the brand to new heights in New York.”…..In Miami, Rick Party announces he’s left Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT “HOT 105” after he and the company could not agree to terms on a contract extension…..iHeartMedia appoints Scotty Davis afternoon drive host for country WFUS, Tampa “US103.5.”  Davis slides over from the cluster’s CHR WFLZ where he also hosted afternoons.  He says, “I’ve been eying a move over to the country format for quite some time.  This is a natural next step for my career and I’m thankful to everyone at iHeartMedia for believing in me!”…..Pictured below are hosts Bobby Bones (left) and Candace Cameron Bure (right) backstage at Saturday’s 2018 iHeartCountry Festival By AT&T at The Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; 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. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Friday, February 23, 2018

| February 23, 2018

Entercom Announces Final Agreement to Acquire Two Emmis St. Louis Stations; Names Becky Domyan Market Manager.  Last month, Emmis Communications announced agreements in principle to sell its St. Louis radio stations – news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom and rock KSHE and alternative KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio.  Now, Entercom announces the definitive agreement to buy the two stations for $15 million.  At the same time, Entercom removes John Sheehan as market manager and replaces him with Emmis director of sales Becky Domyan.  She’ll be SVP and market manager for news/talk KMOX, news/talk KFTK, adult contemporary KEZK, hot AC KYKY and CHR KNOU.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “This is an exciting move to complement our strong portfolio in St. Louis.  The transaction is part of our broader strategy to continue growing Entercom’s robust roster of brands across the country and to provide the best-in-class local marketing solutions at national scale that our advertising partners expect from us.”  Entercom begins operating the Emmis stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Entercom expects the deal to close by the second quarter of 2018.

Hubbard to Pay $45 million for KSHE and KPNT, St. Louis.  The second part of Emmis’ sale of its St. Louis properties is heritage rock outlet KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” and Emmis announces that Hubbard Radio will pay $45 million for the two stations.  Hubbard will also begin operating the stations under local marketing agreements on March 1.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “The St. Louis team has been an integral part of our Emmis family since 1984.  We love our people in St. Louis and the team’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable.  Hubbard and Entercom are both tremendous radio operators and they are adding great people and great brands to their St. Louis clusters.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds FM Translator to AM Signal.  Last July, Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee was all set to begin simulcasting its AM signal on FM translator W277CV at 103.3.  But talk WRRD, Waukesha owner Michael Crute petitioned the FCC, saying the construction permit to move the Frank McCoy-owned translator from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee market had been violated.  Crute says he had a deal with McCoy to simulcast WRRD on the translator but Scripps offered McCoy more money.  The petition was not successful, and Scripps begins using the 250-watt translator now licensed to Milwaukee.  Station VP and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “For 90 years, Milwaukee has depended upon WTMJ for news, local talk and sports.  It’s important to make our content easy to find and we’re excited to add an additional platform at 103.3 FM along with our digital distribution platforms.  Our play-by-play sports partners, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks will be heard on ‘WTMJ-FM’, as well.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is scheduled to make on-air appearances this season on Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York.  As part of the agreement, Boone will appear every Thursday at 5:00 pm beginning March 1 on the afternoon show with Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott to talk Yankees baseball.  Boone will also appear with Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman during all Yankees pre-game shows throughout the season.  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “As part of our commitment to delivering premiere live, New York-centric sports audio content, we are proud to continue the tradition of partnering with the Yankees manager.  It’s a tradition that goes back to Joe Torre and continued with Joe Girardi.  We are excited to welcome Aaron.”…..Westwood One News is producing a 20-part series for affiliate stations called, “Tax Tips,” anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Ann Cates.  The company says the series will feature advice on topics from where and how to prepare, identity theft, and phishing scams to taxpayers’ bill of rights, the impact of tax reform, and bitcoins.

Florida School Shooting Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 19-23.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 people – including discussions about gun control, mental illness, and the FBI’s role was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections, followed by the status of the DACA and the Trump administration’s immigration policy 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.

World Famous WWE Ring Announcer Lilian Garcia Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Interview.  One of the most popular personalities to emerge in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) during the past 20 years, Lilian Garcia, is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Garcia, who hosts the weekly PodcastOne series, “Chasing Glory,” in which she interviews other wrestling personalities and media figures about their personal life stories, is also an accomplished singer who is one of the most prolific and critically-acclaimed performers of the ‘Star Spangled Banner” in America – having performed the national anthem at numerous stadium-filled events for the NFLNBANHLMLBNASCAR, the US Open Tennis Tournament and the Summer Olympic Games.  Harrison and Garcia discuss her colorful career and delve into the personalities she has encountered during her 15-year run as a major WWE “diva.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two promotions to report from Cox Media Group’s Miami station group as programmer Jill Strada is upped to director of operations and sales pro Crystal Gans becomes as integrated sales manager.  CMG regional vice president Rob Babin states, “We are very happy when we have an opportunity to promote successful leaders from within our company.  Crystal and Jill are proven leaders who have demonstrated incredible success at Cox Media Group Miami.  Their success lies in commitment to their teams and the passion they each have as leaders.  I look forward to the impact Crystal and Jill will make in their new roles.”  Strada will oversee hip hop WEDR, CHR WFLC, adult contemporary WFEZ and urban contemporary WHQT.  She was previously director of branding and programming for WEDR and WFLC.  Gans will lead the cluster’s sales strategies across multiple platforms.  Prior to this role, she was digital sales manager…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad Show” – co-hosted by Ashley Paige and Brad Abell – is added to the programming schedule at Withers Broadcasting Company’s KBXB, Sikeston, Missouri “B97.9.”  Envision says the “Ashley & Brad Show” is a Los Angeles-based morning show that provides its talent to radio stations nationwide with daily produced segments.  The four hours of programmed content allow radio stations to “maintain their on-air quality without exceeding budget constraints.”  The duo are heard live daily on KWSV, Simi Valley, California “99.1 The Ranch.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new channel called Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat “Where Country Went Mod.”  The channel will be curated by Yoakam and will feature music from Yoakam’s extensive career as well as from his musical friends.  It will “celebrate the Bakersfield sound and those whom it has inspired” including: Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Collins, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, The Blasters, Lucinda Williams and more. The channel will launch in the spring.

Round Three of January PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 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’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Entering the September sweep, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1 in that sweep. It was a short stay there though as it plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. The past two ratings periods (December and “Holiday” 2017), KOPB has ranked second, but powered by a +1.1 (8.5 – 9.6, 6+), it is back on top. Recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); and now +1.1 in January 2018. The station it keeps chasing and replacing, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” surrenders all but two-tenths of its combined +8.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.9 – 8.5, -8.4, 6+) and (again) swaps places with KOPB. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, “K-103 is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. After being within 3.5 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” explodes with a +1.4 (3.6 – 5.0, 6+) to progress from eighth to fifth. The last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Similarly programmed/iHeartMedia owned KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” gains one-half share (1.2 – 1.7, #21 to #19, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well). Its CHR cluster-mate, KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is also up one-half share, after faltering by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 3.4, flat at #13, 6+). The -.9 ended its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). This time last month (“Holiday” 2017), the market’s (6+) country share diminished by -1.8, but it bounces back with a +2.6. Specifically, Alpha Media’s KUPL obliterates its -1.1 with a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges back into the top ten (#13 to #6) with its best 6+-share since July and August (4.9, as well). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” makes up all but one-tenth of its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017 with a January 2018 gain of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+), yet actually backslides from #11 to #12. Nevertheless, its +.6 pulls the plug on six straight months in which “The Wolf” was without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. By posting a +.8 to 5.8 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” rebounds from a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.0, 6+) as it inches up from fourth to third. While unchanged at #9, Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” gains seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, 6+). Immediately after notching a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” surrenders all but three-tenths of it (5.7, -1.3, third to fourth, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth time in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, seventh to tenth, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Progressing by eight-tenths (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT has its best 6+-stat since October (4.0, as well) and carries on at #13. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+) and hit the four-share mark (6+) in October 2017 for the first time since October 2016’s 4.1. A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” erases half that deficit with an uptick of six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and remains at #15. WFAE was -.6 in October; +.5 in November; -1.1 in December; and now +.6 in January. One-half share separates Charlotte’s top four finishers in January 2018, with iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” – powered by a +1.9 – leaping from sixth to first (5.0 – 6.9, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since its 7.0 in May 2016 and the first time at #1 since August (2017), when it registered a 6.1. It was a quick one-sweep only stay at #1 for Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety,” which marched from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, but now drops to fifth (11.0 – 6.0, -5.0, 6+). Its 11.0 was the station’s strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Without a loss for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative +.8 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” goes from a three-way logjam at #2 to a conventional tie there. Following four down or flat reports in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” is up three-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. A “Holiday” 2017 loss of -1.1 by WRCM took Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4, but the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet bounces back with a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is up by triple that deficit to 4.8 (+.9, tenth to sixth, 6+). Six straight decreases by Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG resulted in a -2.1 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but “Power 98” makes up one-third of that loss with a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). It is a somewhat similar scenario for iHeartMedia’s WEND, which picks up seven-tenths as well to end three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), as “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” also enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Finishing first in December but then dropping to second in “Holiday” 2017, adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” plummets by -2.2 (6.5 – 4.3, 6+) to join cluster-mate WEND at #10. Just prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, “The Lake” was +2.9 in three straight gains (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 7.2, 6+) with December 2017’s 7.2 its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Co-owned contemporary Christian WRFX-HD2 is off one-half share (.9 – .4, #20 to #21, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Down nine-tenths as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI more than makes up for it with a +1.6 to 4.4 (6+), as “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” rockets from #16 to #9. This is its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #20). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPMhistory, but the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet forfeits that full-share and three-tenths more (3.4, -1.3, 6+), cratering from #4 to #13. Not only does Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM post a +1.8 to stifle three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+), “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; and January 2018’s +1.8. Classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” erupts with a +1.1 (4.3 – 5.4, 6+) soaring from sixth to third. Departing the San Antonio penthouse after residing there the past two sweeps, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” returns all but two-tenths of the combined +8.8 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+); 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Three straight declines by Cox Media Group-owned KCYY produced a cumulative -1.9 (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), but “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regains six-tenths of it (4.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Leapfrogging “Y-100” with a +1.1 (5.2, eighth to fourth, 6+) is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which concludes four down or flat sweeps for a collective -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. An overall +1.5 in six sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. Off by a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” picks up eight-tenths to 5.7, advancing from third to second (6+). Gaining eight-tenths as well are Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” (4.6, tenth to eighth, 6+), which pulls the plug on three decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.3 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), and Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are adult hits sibling KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (3.8 – 4.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (4.3 – 4.9, steady at #6, 6+). Checking in at #21, Texas Public Radio classical KPAC is up one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) knocks Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” out of the top ten (#5 to #11). In four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.3 (flat at #19, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Tacking on a January 2018 +.7 to its +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM continues in sixth-place. This (6.6) represents the best 6+-showing for “93.7 The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. On the strength of a +1.3 to 5.3 (6+), news/talk cluster-mate KDKA-AM (eighth to seventh) has its highest 6+-share since last April’s 5.7. Moreover, “News Radio 1020” halts four down or flat trends in succession that produced a -.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In a similar vein, a six-tenths gain by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” (2.7, #13 to #12, 6+) ends three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Yet another negative streak concludes as iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station,” which was a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), recaptures 70% of the loss (7.6, +1.4, fifth to third 6+). “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Steady at #8 and #10, respectively, Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (4.9, 6+) and co-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (3.2 – 4.1, 6+) are each on the rise by nine-tenths. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” was -1.0 to 4.0, its lowest 6+-share since 3.6 in “Holiday” 2016. A -.8 by WDSY in “Holiday” 2017 ended an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). Notwithstanding that it adds one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three negative trends in succession for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” backslides from #12 to #13. A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Regaining the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (9.2 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE moves from third to second. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). WDVE was +1.6 in October; -1.0 in November; and is now just two-tenths of a share behind classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (16.4 – 9.4, -7.0, 6+), which is on top for the 11th month in a row. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. On the heels of posting a 10.6 in “Holiday” 2017, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” erodes by -3.8 to 6.8 (6+), slipping from second to fifth. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4.

5) Sacramento – Entering the “Holiday” 2017 report, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was down or flat in October-November-December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and follows in January 2018 with a +.2 to 8.6 (6+). Not only is 8.6 its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7, KFBK progresses from second to first. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; surrendered all but one-tenth of it in “Holiday” 2017 (-.5); and is now +.6 in January (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) to advance from #15 to #13; this (2.7) is its highest 6+-share since last June’s 2.8. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ recoups roughly half that deficit with a +.5 to 4.7 and remains in fifth-place. Four-tenths behind pacesetting KFBK at #2 is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which boasts a +2.0 to 8.2 (6+), virtually erasing its -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, the last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). Its format challenger – iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River, The River City’s New Classic Rock” – flips its -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-share since last July’s 4.8. Improving by +1.1 as well is Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” which is +1.8 in three upticks in succession (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, steady at #4, 6+). Having finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by more than 50% from “Holiday” 2017 (-7.4) and segues to #3 (14.2 – 6.8, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “Mix” became the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. In the five most recent ratings periods, co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); -1.0 “Holiday” 2017; and now +.7 in January 2018 (3.5 – 4.2, flat at #8, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Without an increase the past four sweeps for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), yet moves from fifth to seventh. Entravision’s KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” regains the seven-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 plus one-tenth more (1.0 – 1.8, +.8, #24 to #19, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – Owing to three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2, but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with a +1.3 to 6.4 (6+) and continues in second place. Huge fluctuations are nothing new for KSL. Recent examples include +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.1 (September); +1.4 (October); -1.8 (November); -.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and +1.3 (January 2018). Trending 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS was +.8 in November, but a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Even though it recaptures 70% of that loss (3.3 – 4.0, +.7, 6+), “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” shifts from a four-way tie at #8 to #10. Locked on 3.3 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, University of Utah news/talk KUER notches a +.8 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Transforming “Holiday” 2017’s -1.4 into a +2.1 (4.0 – 6.1, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” progresses from fifth to third. Somewhat similarly, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but roars back with a +2.0 (3.3 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). Without an increase the past eight sweeps for a collective -1.2 (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is up two-tenths to 1.0 (flat at #24, 6+). Gaining one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18). Four negative moves in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KZHT accounted for a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” posts a +1.9 to 6.0 (6+) and remains at #4. As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). An overall +1.9 in seven consecutive down or flat sweeps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KODJ was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 6+). In January, however, “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” racks up a +1.8 to 5.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+); November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, hot AC KJMY “My 99.5 – More Music, More Variety” rolls out a +.9 to 3.7 (#14 to #11, 6+), thus ending five straight down or flat trends that netted a -.7 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Even though it flips a -.8 from “Holiday” 2017 into a January 2018 +1.0 (4.3 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP “Utah’s Classic Rock – 103.5 The Arrow” actually slips from sixth to eighth. Regaining two-thirds of “Holiday” 2017’s -.9 (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” climbs from #14 to #13; 2.3 was its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Despite a bewildering -15.1 (23.2 – 8.1, 6+), similarly programmed/Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. Up or flat for the ninth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” stays at #22. Off by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks,” -1.1 in three straight dips (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.7, #8 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” (1.8 – 1.2, #19 to #23, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Displaying gains of six-tenths each are Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (1.3, #23, 6+) and Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR (1.9 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+). KDWN was without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (.9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 (#21, 6+). In three consecutive downward moves (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia country KWNR was a collective -2.5, but “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” dials up a +1.9 to 5.1 (6+), leaping from #13 to #4. This marks the fourth straight up or flat move for Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” for a +1.6 (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). Making a “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 +1.1 improvement as well is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ, which advances from second to first (6.5 – 7.6, 6+). In December, “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 in December. It succeeds iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (12.5 – 6.5, -6.0, 6+), which falls to second. The -6.0 halts three straight positive spikes that netted +7.7 (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017); and -6.0 (January 2018). Noteworthy ups/down continue for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which logged five successive improvements for a +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+); returned it all in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+); and is now +.9 (4.6 – 5.5, fourth to third, 6+). In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Flat at #15, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” is up four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of down or flat trends that yielded a -.4 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). After being without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” returns that gain in total (3.9, -.9, 6+) and slides from third to eighth; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. In six successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

8) Cincinnati – Following five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW recaptures nearly half the loss with a +1.6 (7.9, third to second, 6+). “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC is +.3 to 3.6, curtailing three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+); “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU improves by one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). In addition to rebounding from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.6 (6), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” shifts from second to first. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Exiting the top slot and drifting to fifth is its adult contemporary cluster-mate WRRM “Warm 98” (13.0 – 5.4, -7.6, 6+), which – in five improvements in a row – was an overall +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A +1.7 (5.7 – 7.4, fifth to fourth, 6+) by WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” enables the Hubbard hot AC to reach the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since November 2016’s 7.3. By posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” basically wipes out the -1.4 from its five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Staying in that Hubbard cluster, WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” plummeted by -1.4 in December; was +.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and now tacks on a +1.5 (6.3 – 7.8, 6+) to continue at #3. Surrendering six-tenths in December and another one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” recovers all but one-tenth of that -1.1 with a +1.0 to 5.1 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Stuck on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” reclaims the eight-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, eighth to ninth, 6+). As Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” improves by one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #14 to #12, 6+), Radio One’s WOSL regresses by that margin (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Locked on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, “100.3 R&B + Old School” recorded six straight sweeps without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Dropping from #16 to #18, urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is off for the fourth sweep in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Over and above halting three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” breaks out a +1.7 to 3.9 (#15 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (4.0, January 2016). It is tied with Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which regains the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+). In four straight decreases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), but “News 96.5” regains roughly half that decrease with a +1.3 to 4.7 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10, 6+). In September, WDBO-FM registered a +2.0; immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, “News 96.5” was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last five reports for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gains seven-tenths to 1.9 (#20 to #16, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for co-owned CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before relinquishing nearly half that gain (-.9) in “Holiday” 2017. It now adds a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.9, 6+) to climb from third to second with its best 6+-stat since last April’s 9.9. A January 2018 +1.3 by co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” (5.3, tenth to sixth, 6+) wipes out the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Flashing increases of +1.0 each are Entercom classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WOMX “Mix 105.1” (3.8 – 4.8, #11 to #9, 6+). In five consecutive decreases between August and “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” was a cumulative -2.3 (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). The “stream” of WOCL appears in print with a .7 (#22, 6+). In the Cox Media Group cluster, WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” gains seven-tenths after spiraling by a cumulative -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.2 – 5.9, flat at #4, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. With a +.4 to 9.3 though, “Rumba 100” is back on top and curtails four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. It displaces adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” (15.9 – 6.6, -9.2, first to third), which spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017, but falters by nine-tenths in January (4.1 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” A loss of six-tenths to 3.7 (#8 to #13, 6+) by Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” ends at three its consecutive string of increases that netted +1.2 (3.1 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

10) Cleveland – As the result of six straight positive spikes (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +3.2 and breaks into the top ten (#12 to #9). Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” gains one-half share to 5.5 (6+) and carries on at #8. Recapturing in its entirety “Holiday” 2017’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3 – 7.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” jumps from fifth to third. Following three straight (minor) declines for a -.4 (1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF notches a +.9 to 1.6 (#16 to #15, 6+). Nearly wiping out its -.6 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) with a one-half share increase to 4.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” actually backslides from the top ten (#10 to #11). Having reached #1 in December, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017, but the Radio One urban AC is back on top (8.6 – 9.1, +.5, 6+). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and made it to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (10.4 – 5.6, -4.9, 6+), which drifts to seventh. “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+). In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017 it became the fourth different Cleveland station in as many sweeps to occupy the top spot. Anchored at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) with a -1.9 to 8.4 (6+). It reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November.

11) Kansas City – This is the fifth upward trend in succession for Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM (ninth to eighth), which is +1.2 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). When Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4 in December, it halted at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 though with a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and inches up from #14 to #12. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” relinquished -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017, but gains it all back (+1.0) in January (6.1 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), progressing from fifth to third. After freefalling by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” recovers 45% of the loss with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to sixth, 6+). A November gain of seven-tenths halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+); “Mix” added eight-tenths in December. Adding eight-tenths each are Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (3.6, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (2.7 – 3.5, #16 to #15, 6+). A gain of one-half share to 3.8 (#12 to #13, 6+) by Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” pulls the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.7 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). All three of the market’s country FMs improve from “Holiday” 2017: Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” (5.2 – 6.0, +.8, flat at #4, 6+); Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, sixth to fifth, 6+); and Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (3.9 – 4.4, +.5, steady at #11, 6+). Four straight upticks by Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM yielded a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+), but “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns two full shares (8.4, -2.0, 6+). Even so, it repeats at #1. Having more than doubled its 6+-stat between September and “Holiday” 2017 (+4.1) in four upticks in a row (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+),      Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” forfeits -2.9 to 5.6 (6+), falling from third to sixth. Eroding by -1.7 (9.1 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” nonetheless carries on at #2. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+).

12) Columbus – Roaring back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” leaps from sixth to third. The last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Trending 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU gains six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August. After a six-month tenure at #1, iHeartMedia’s WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017, but the country outlet returns to the top spot with a whopping +3.1 (10.9 – 14.0, 6+) and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. It was +2.2 in January 2017; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; -.5 in December; and now +3.1 in January 2018. Departing the driver’s seat after just one sweep and dropping to fifth is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (11.0 – 5.2, -5.8, 6+), which surrenders more than half of its 6+-share. “Sunny” was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Having been without an increase for the past five sweeps for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” answers with a +1.2 to 9.2 (fourth to second). The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was March 2017 (8.9). Off eight-tenths in three successive (modest) downward trends (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” picks up one-half share to 2.7 and continues at #12 (6+). Forfeiting -2.9 (8.1 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC segues from third to fifth; “93.3 The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Regressing by four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to ninth, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO has its string of successive gains that netted +1.7 snapped at three (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

| December 19, 2017

Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million.  Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW.  But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM.  Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal.  It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations.  Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets.  The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan.  The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”).  In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years.  Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state.  Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.”  But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.”  He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014.  Read his report here.

Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile.  This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager.  Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM.  Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue.  He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”

FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show.  The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another.  The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time.  It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton.  Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run.  Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011.  In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart.  Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel.  The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17.  Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.”  She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.”  Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.

ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment.  The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world.  After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue.  Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’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.  Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger.   Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive.  With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.”  The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere NetworksBobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.”  Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins.  The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992.  For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.”  Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins.  So, for the great people of this region we made it happen.  Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year.  And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.”  Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.”  McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group.  He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.

Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home.  The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus.  Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting.  Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

| August 22, 2017

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on Nielsen Audio’s data from the July 2017 PPM survey.  In general, news and talk stations avoided the ratings dips that usually come immediately after a presidential election cycle and, in fact, many saw increases after the November elections.  Now, eight months later, ratings for PPM market all-newsers have come down.  Kinosian reports, “Seven of 10 stations on the news panel are down June 2017 – July 2017 (70.5%); roughly one in four are up (23.5%) and the remaining 6% remain flat (6+).”  But, comparing July 2016 to July 2017 numbers, “Half the stations on our eligible sample improve July 2016 – July 2017 (50%, 6+); 44% show a decrease; and the remaining 6% are unchanged.”  However, no all-news station ranked #1 in its market in the July 2017 PPM survey.  KCBS-AM finished #2 (6+) in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets, and WTOP was #2 in the Washington market.  See more here.

More Millennial Research from Nielsen.  This is phase two of Nielsen’s “Millennials on Millennials” report that investigates the generation’s media habits and engagement.  Millennials are generally less loyal to one media platform or service that previous generations.  Their music listening habits are also different.  The report states, “Millennials are active listeners of music streaming services and are 21% more likely to frequently choose songs than to let the music play without making changes.  They also access digital music more regularly than consumers 35 and older.  While Millennials are active listeners, they’re 18% more likely to use multiple music apps on a monthly basis.  In fact, nearly 60% of Millennials use two or more apps for streaming, compared with only 39% of consumers aged 35 and up.  The recent report also sets the record straight on the frequent misconception that digital music has replaced radio for this generation. In actuality, broadcast radio penetration has remained steady in recent years. Notably, while digital radio reach has increased steadily over the past five years, Nielsen’s Total Audience Report highlights that tune-in across traditional AM/FM radio remains consistent, as 93% of Millennials listen each week.”  See more on this report here.

TALKERS News Notes. News/talk WBRP, Baton Rouge is adding an issues-oriented point-counterpoint show to its programming schedule.  Local personalities Gary Chambers and John Delgado are hosting the thrice-weekly 6:00 pm show that will feature the two debating local and national issues.  The Guaranty Broadcasting-owned station will release more about the show in the coming days – it’s supposed to debut on Monday (8/28)…..There are two Labor Day weekend specials available to affiliates of ABC Radio.  The two, three-hour shows are: “America Works” and “Country Goes to Work.”  “America Works” is anchored by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky and examines “where the country has been and where it is going, through the lens of America’s work.”  “Country Goes to Work” is hosted by Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard who take a look at some of the jobs country artists had before they made music their career as well as the “second jobs” many country stars have outside of their music – running bars and restaurants, hosting cooking shows, starting clothing lines, launching wines, whiskeys and more…..Crain’s Detroit Business reports that local newspaper editor Nolan Finley will assume morning drive show hosting duties on talk WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation.”  Finley is the editorial page editor at The Detroit News.  He’ll start September 5 hosting the 7:00 am to 9:00 am daily program.  Finley says in The Detroit News, “It’s not going to be a typical conservative talk show.  We’re going to talk about a lot of things, it’s going to be off the news.  We’re going to have newsmakers on, we’re going to talk about the issues of the day.  I hope to keep it up-to-date and interesting and get good conversations going.”…..KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director Pat Frisch was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Saturday (8/19).  While Frisch has been working at KKOB for some time, he spent 10 years of his 33-year career in Nevada radio working in Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas.

Trump Afghanistan Policy, Trump Phoenix Rally, Bannon’s Administration Exit, Confederate Memorials Removal, Solar Eclipse, Navy Warship Accident, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Barcelona Terror Attack, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21). Last night’s address by President Trump concerning his administration’s military policy in Afghanistan; the planned Trump rally in Phoenix this evening; the aftermath of former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon’s exit; the removal of Confederate monuments; Monday’s solar eclipse; the investigation into the accident involving the U.S.S. John McCain; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; the search for the perpetrator of the Barcelona terror attack; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity 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. KROQ, Los Angeles operations manager Gene Sandbloom announces via Facebook that he’s exiting the CBS RADIO alternative rock station after a 25-year career with the station.  He wrote, “After 25 years at KROQ, I’ll be leaving next week.  It’s been an amazing run, and throw in MD at KIIS-FM, A&R Director at MCA Records and managing editor of Network 40 Magazine, that’s 35 years in the music biz in L.A. It’s time to move on.”…..In the Springfield, Missouri market, Mid-West Family Broadcasting announces the appointment of Valorie Rogers, a.k.a. Valorie Knight, to the operations manager position for the four-station group that includes rock KQRA “Q102.1,” classic rock KKLH “104.7 The Cave,” country KOMG “105.1 The Bull,” and CHR KOSP “92.9 The Beat.” She comes to Mid-West from Scripps’ crosstown station group where she was also OM.  At Mid-West, she’ll also serve as program director for KQRA…..JVC Media announces Orlando radio personality Mick Dolan joins rock WRSO-AM/W231CT, Orlando “Bud 94.1, Orlando’s King of Rock” for an undesignated daypart.   The station signed on July 13.  Dolan has worked at such Orlando outlets as WDIZ, WJRR, and WLOQ.  Most recently he was handling news and traffic for Salem Media Group’s Orlando operations.

Friday, July 21, 2017

| July 21, 2017

CBS RADIO Names Paul Douglas and Jordana Green PM Drive Hosts at WCCO-AM.  The new afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis will be hosted by Paul Douglas and Jordana Green and officially launch on August 1.  The change was necessitated by longtime WCCO personality John Williams’ decision to move to Chicago and focus on his 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WGN. (Williams had been doing both shows from Minneapolis.)  Jordana Green moves to the co-host role after five years with the station hosting the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm show and working with Williams in afternoons.  Paul Douglas is the head meteorologist at WCCO-TV and KARE-TV in the Twin Cities.  CBS RADIO says Douglas is “a nationally respected broadcaster and meteorologist, with 34 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience.”  He also launched the national weather channel, WeatherNation TV in 2011. He provides daily weather for the Star Tribune, the St. Cloud Times, Conservation Minnesota and WeatherNation, and is an author and regular contributor to TPT’s Almanac. WCCO operations manager/program director Lindsey Peterson comments, “Our goal is to have a show that speaks to our community and brings listeners relevant and entertaining topics each day.  Paul and Jordana are passionate about speaking to our community and we are excited to have them as part of the station.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. In the first of a four-part analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the public news/talk format.  Eight stations ranked in the top five in their respective in PPM markets – led by KQED, San Francisco and WAMU, Washington, both of which ranked #1.  Comparing year-over-year 6+ share, “more than seven of ten stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (71%, 6+) while 27% decline; the remaining 2% are steady.”  WNPR, Hartford was tops in that category, rising from a 3.1 share in June 2016 to a 5.2 share in June 2017.  See the entire piece here.

PodcastOne Debuts New Mobile App with Video and Social Components. Digital content network PodcastOne launches a new platform and mobile app that the company says “offers unique video and social capabilities designed to enhance the listening experience and offer new and exciting ways for fans to engage with their favorite shows and hosts.”  The press statement goes on to say, “The new PodcastOne mobile app offers fans a collaborative destination where they can participate in conversation around shows, access exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, message one another, read trending articles and take polls.  In addition, a new loyalty program rewards users with virtual currency, which can be redeemed for access to special events in virtual reality (VR), premium content and merchandise discounts.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norman Pattiz adds, “The launch of our new PodcastOne mobile app is a milestone for our company, as we are providing a host of features for our listeners to choose from to enhance their listening experience that no other network provides.  Now, with our partners at MANDT VR, we can offer a truly immersive experience that allows the listener to sit in the recording studio, right across the table from the host.”

TALKERS News Notes. York, Pennsylvania news/talk WSBA-AM is now also airing on FM translator W253AC, recently moved in to York from Reading.  The Cumulus Media station now brands itself “Newstalk 93.9 & 910 WSBA.”…..In Fargo, Forum Communications fires up FM translator K261BA, Fargo at 100.1 MHz – recently moved in from Rolla, North Dakota – to air the programming of news/talk WDAY-AM…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Fate of ObamaCare/GOP Health Care Plan Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 17-21.  The state of the Affordable Care Act and a GOP-authored health care plan were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, tying for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s approval rating, and following at #4 was Senator John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis.  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.

CLARIFICATION.  In yesterday’s story in TALKERS, “WRRD, Milwaukee Owner Challenging WTMJ Translator Deal,” detailing WRRD owner Michael Crute’s filing of an Objection with the FCC to translator owner Frank McCoy’s Construction Permit Amendment filing, we wrote that “Scripps and translator owner Frank McCoy have filed applications with the FCC to move the translator to a tower owned by Scripps and to carry WTMJ programming.”  It should be noted that Scripps is not involved in the filing as the translator is owned solely by McCoy.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/21) with John T. Mullen, Scot Bertram and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/21), the first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram (facilitated by WOR, New York APD, Scott Lakefield).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb Coaches Team USA to Gold.  Pictured above is the USA team and coach Doug Gottlieb (crouching, lower right) who is also host of his eponymous sports talk show on Fox Sports Radio.   The men’s basketball team won the gold at the 20th World Maccabiah Games, held July 4-18 in Israel.  Gottlieb, who continued to host his national radio show for three weeks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, led a team of Jewish athletes ages 18-35 at the games, that is the world’s third largest international sporting event with more than 9,000 total participants representing 75 countries.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning drive show on Beasley Media Group’s alternative WBOS-FM, Boston is the “Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show,” emanating from the company’s rock WRIF, Detroit.  The program, featuring Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart, debuted on CIMX, Windsor/Detroit in 2001.  They left that station in 2012 and debuted on WRIF in May of 2013.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “We have been eager to expand Dave & Chuck’s content beyond Detroit and I couldn’t be more thrilled that it all starts in Boston.  This is a market where their genre of show has been very successful in the past and I’m certain Boston will love D&C!”…..Programmer Steve McKay is named program director for Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WGNI “102.7 GNI” and classic rock WKXS “94.5 The Hawk” in the Wilmington, North Carolina market.  Cumulus says McKay’s “visionary radio programming” has led to success at WPTE, Norfollk; WBHT, Scranton; and “Jammin’ Gold” in Philly.  Cumulus Media Wilmington VP/market manager Eric McCart comments, “We searched for a leader who will take ‘102.7 GNI’ and ‘94.5 The Hawk’ to the next level, and most importantly, someone who will keep the music sounding the best, while creating a great listener experience and a deeper connection with our listeners, advertisers and community.  I’m ecstatic to welcome Steve to our family and we’re excited to have him on board.”…..At Midwest Television’s rock KFMB-FM, San Diego assistant program director and night personality Robin Roth moves up to the midday daypart.  Roth is a longtime market personality who joined KFMB-FM in May.  She says, “I’m so excited to do what I love in middays and following ‘The DSC’ is a dream come true.  Taking the baton from them every day is going to be an honor.  Plus, now I get to enjoy the San Diego scene at night again.”…..Relationship expert and author LaDawn Black is taking her radio show to urban contemporary WBLS-FM, New York.  Black has most recently been on air at Urban One’s urban contemporary WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9.”  Her show will air Sundays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, effective August 6…..On-air pro Dave Stewart exits CBS RADIO’s classic hits WCBS-FM, New York after a four-and-a-half year stint.  He posted to Facebook, “Having been even small part of that station’s huge legacy is a feeling I can’t describe.”…..Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw recently spoke with affiliates of Envision Networks Guest Services about the release of the band’s first new album in 14 years, The Mission (Universal).  Shaw is just one of a number of high-profile guests available to stations via Envision’s Guest Services.

Judge Rules Swift Attorneys Can Question Mueller About Meeting Recording.  This story was reported by KMGH-TV, Denver.  Taylor Swift’s lawyers will be allowed to cross-examine former KYGO, Denver morning personality David Mueller about a missing recording of Mueller’s meeting with radio station bosses immediately after he was accused of groping Swift’s bottom during a meet-and-greet.  Mueller made the surreptitious recording of the meeting and revealed segments of it but now he claims the full recording has been lost due to a failed computer hard drive.  Swift’s attorneys want to question him before the jury to determine if the missing recording was deleted deliberately or not.  Mueller is suing Swift for being instrumental in getting him fired.  Mueller claims someone else groped Swift and he’s been blamed falsely.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

| July 20, 2017

Cumulus San Francisco Promotes Programmers at KNBR and KTCT. Sports talk PD Lee Hammer is elevated to the newly created position vice president, sports play-by-play programming at Cumulus Media San Francisco.  At the same time, the company ups Jeremiah Crowe to program director for both KNBR and sister sports talker KTCT.  Hammer has been KNBR program director for the past 12 years. Crowe joined Cumulus last year as KNBR APD and KTCT PD.  He’s previously served at crosstown KGMZ-FM in addition to serving as producer of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SportsNation,” “NFL Countdown to Kickoff,” “College Gameday,” “RaceDay,” and “Fantasy Focus” on ESPN Radio. Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer comments, “Jeremiah Crowe and Lee Hammer are the ‘Dream Team’ for outstanding sports radio programming and together, will continue to drive the growth of these powerhouse sports stations. Jeremiah has done a remarkable job leading the re-launch of KNBR 1050 over the past year, while expanding our high-engagement social media platforms for Bay Area sports fans.  In this new role as program director of both KNBR 680 and KNBR 1050, he will focus his considerable expertise and efforts into growing these stations and the KNBR brand as the Bay Area’s most powerful name in sports programming.”

WRRD, Milwaukee Owner Challenging WTMJ Translator Deal. Saying that WTMJ and Scripps have “picked a fight with the wrong guy and the wrong radio station,” WRRD-AM, Waukesha owner Michael Crute announces he’s hired Rebecca E. Jacobs of the law firm Womble Caryle Sandridge & Rice LLP to file an Objection to the Amendment to the Construction Permit for moving FM translator W277CV from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee metro at a site owned by Scripps.  Crute says this move violates the original CP that would have put WRRD’s programming on the translator.  TALKERS reported yesterday that Scripps and translator owner Frank McCoy have filed applications with the FCC to move the translator to a tower owned by Scripps and to carry WTMJ programming.  In that story, TALKERS speculated that McCoy was offered a better deal by Scripps than he had with Crute, and that turns out to be true, as Crute states in a press release.  Crute is co-host of “The Devil’s Advocates” program syndicated by WYD Media Management and distributed by Westwood One.  After years of working on air in Madison and other markets via syndication, he purchased WRRD to launch a progressive talk station in the Milwaukee market.  His show airs on the station.  In his press release, Crute paints this conflict as a David vs Goliath-type battle and says his efforts operating WRRD are designed to “level the broadcast playing field” in the market.  The FCC, however, will rule only on whether or not the Construction Permit was violated.

George Plaster to Return to Airwaves in Nashville.  The Tennessean is reporting that Nashville market sports talk radio pro George Plaster will be back on the air talking sports in some capacity on classic country WSM-AM.  The story notes that the Grand Ole Opry LLC-owned station is not specific about when or how often the new program would air, just that WSM program director Jon Shaffer will co-host the program.  Last August, Plaster left sports talker WPRT “The Game 102.5 FM” to become athletic director at Belmont University.  He will remain in the position.  Plaster tells the paper, “What this is doing is allowing me to dip my toe back in a little bit, to have some fun with something I love so much and at the same time continue to work at a great school in a great situation with great people.”  Read the Tennessean piece here.

CBS RADIO Unveils KDKA-Branded Traffic and Weather Service.  The new CBS RADIO “KDKA Traffic & Weather Together” service will be available to listeners via WDSY-HD3, the online streaming app Radio.com, Wi-Fi connected cars, and Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices through the TuneIn app.  CBS RADIO says the station “will provide reliable, up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information for the Pittsburgh, PA area.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Radio listeners in Western Pennsylvania have long relied on accurate and timely local updates from NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.  By utilizing the station’s trusted resources, we have produced a product that is solely dedicated to providing continuous traffic and weather updates to the local communities we serve.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Fox Sports Radio show “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” is being added to the program schedule at Genesis Communications’ sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – branded “Sports Talk Florida.”  The show is airing in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart starting on Monday (7/24)…..Also on Monday, a new edition of “The Regular Guys” – led by Larry Wachs – will start airing on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM, Atlanta/W292EV “1230 The Fan 2 106.3 FM.”  The program will air at 2:00 pm.  In a video posted to Twitter by Wachs, he’s seen at the Atlanta Braves’ new Suntrust Park looking for “new regular guys.”  The original “Regular Guys” consisted of Wachs and Eric Von HaesslerTim Andrews and “Southside” Steve Rickman later joined the show.  It was airing at rock WNNX, Atlanta when it disintegrated on 2014.  Rickman is co-host of the “Bailey and Southside” show with Jason Bailey on WNNX.  Von Haessler and Andrews work at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM…..Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is back with the NFL club as interim GM after the team fired Dave Gettleman.  Hurney is a partner in HRN Broadcasting and owns and manages sports talk WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte.”  Hurney previously spent 14 years with the Panthers, exiting the GM position in 2012…..The FCC sides with Media-Com in its battle with Salem Media Group over two FM translators – W260CY and W262CY – that would have simulcast news/talk WHK-AM and Christian talk WHKW-AM, respectively.  Media-Com successfully argued that the moves overlapped the signal of its news/talk WNIR-FM, Kent.

Fate of ObamaCare, McCain Cancer Diagnosis, Trump-Russia Investigation, O.J. Prison Release Hearing, USPS Clinton Campaign Scandal, U.S. Ends Syrian Arms Program, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19).  The status of the Affordable Care Act as President Trump presses Congress to repeal the law, as well as the state of a GOP-authored health care plan; Senator John McCain reveals brain cancer diagnosis; the investigation into Trump campaign operatives’ connections with Russian agents; today’s prison release hearing for O.J. Simpson; the investigation concluding that the United States Postal Service violated the Hatch Act in allowing union workers to take paid time off to campaign for Hillary Clinton; the CIA’s end to supplying anti-Assad forces in Syria with arms, 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/20) with Grace Blazer, Chris Stigall and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri, a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/20), the fourth and final dialogue in the above series is posted featuring a conversation between iHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news-talk-sports programming/director of AM programming, Miami/Fort Lauderdale market Grace Blazer and WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (also facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver adult contemporary KOSI, Denver announces it is naming Sean Henry as the new morning drive personality.  Henry comes to Bonneville International from his most recent gig at Radioworks’ AC WGFB, Rockford, Illinois.  KOSI program director Andy Holt says, “We were looking for a very specific skill set for KOSI mornings and we checked every box with Sean.  His in-depth understanding of the AC target audience, engaging content, and superior social media skills were all key factors in our choice.”…..At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI Riverside-San Bernardino “HOT 103.9,” Sabrina Ruiz is named the new midday personality.  Ruiz, who takes over for the recently departed Christen Limon, was most recently afternoon host at Kemp Communications’ hot AC KVGQ, Las Vegas “Q106.9.”…..Cumulus Media names Roderick Grover, a.k.a. DJ Hot Sauce program director for hip hop WYNN, Florence, South Carolina.  He was most recently mix show coordinator and air personality at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WGCI, Chicago…..Programmer and jock Shadow Williams is leaving her PD/on-air gig at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock KQRA, Springfield, Missouri to return to college.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

| July 19, 2017

Eyes on iHeartMedia as Debt Restructuring Attempts Continue.  Industry watchers continue to observe and report on the possible debt restructuring of iHeartMedia that would prevent the company’s bankruptcy.  The New York Post is reporting that a group of lenders led by Symphony Asset Management has a proposal offered to iHM that would to just that.  But the group won’t give final approval unless Franklin Advisers – which owns $2.3 billion of iHM debt – agrees to the package as well.  The Post story indicates that Franklin is reviewing the offer.  This proposal from the lender group would have them trade their debt for 49% of iHeartMedia.  Read it here.

Final RTDNA Newsroom Research Project: Salary Survey.  The ninth of nine reports for 2017 as part of Hofstra professor emeritus Bob Papper’s Newsroom Research Project focuses on the salaries of those working in the television and radio industries.  How did radio newsroom salaries compare to last year’s?  Tepid increases at best, writes Papper.  “Radio salaries rose 2.3% from last year.  That’s less than last year’s 3.1% increase… but far better than the two previous years.  Factor in low inflation of 2.1%, and radio salaries barely budged in the last year.”  Looking at median newsroom salaries, Papper notes, “Five- and 10-year salary comparisons show two entirely different pictures.  Again.  The last five years have been tough, overall, in radio news.  Half the positions saw salary increases above the rate of inflation, but half were below. The 10-year picture shows mostly strong growth based on some very low salaries reported in 2007.  We’ll see how these numbers hold up over time.”  Read the RTDNA report here.

Translator Deal to Give WTMJ, Milwaukee FM Presence. The FCC filing indicates that translator W277CV at 103.3 FM – owned by Frank Glass McCoy – will soon move to Scripps’ tower that hosts transmitters for WTMJ-TV and WKTI-FM and will become an FM translator for news/talk WTJM-AM.  The translator is currently licensed to Waukegan, Illinois with a construction permit to move it to Milwaukee.  McCoy originally had talks with WRRD, Waukesha owner Michael Crute about leasing the translator to his station.  It sounds as though Scripps offered more money for the signal.  Vice president & general manager of WTMJ/WKTI-Milwaukee and VP, news/talk & sports Tom Langmyer tells TALKERS magazine, “WTMJ is ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ and Milwaukee’s leading news, talk and sports brand.  We’re also the flagship for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks.  It’s important to make the station’s services available to listeners on additional platforms.  The exclusive FM radio cume will now be especially well-served by our commitment to live and local talk – and our 24-hour newsroom.”

Media Equality Project to Hold Rally at CNN Headquarters.  The Media Equality Project – an organization led by talk radio pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney – is organizing a rally at the Atlanta headquarters of CNN this Saturday (7/22) from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm.  The organization says that Morgan and Maloney “will be joined by their volunteer leaders, local political activists and Atlanta talk show host Bryan Crabtree of ‘Biz1190’ and ‘AM920 The Answer’ to call for unbiased, balanced coverage of national issues that people care about.”  Maloney adds, “For too long, CNN has been allowed to warp, misrepresent and outright manufacture news events out of thin air.  Real damage has been done to the targets of CNN’s misreporting, not to mention the country as a whole.”  Crabtree comments, “If there’s one anti-Trump protester standing in Times Square with a sign, CNN will rush a camera to the scene seizing the opportunity to make our president look defeated.  It will be interesting to see if CNN will notice that real news is happening outside their front door as Americans gather to protest the hysteria and fake news being peddled by their network every day.  Americans want real, truthful news and that’s why CNN is not even in the top 10 – even trailing Nick at Nite.”

TALKERS News Notes. The price Townsquare Media is paying for Berkshire Broadcasting’s and Gamma Broadcasting’s Western Massachusetts stations is $3.35 million.  The deal, announced back on July 7, is for the six stations/translators: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM)…..Digital media pro Mike Orth joins Adams Radio as VP of sales for Adams Digital Media.  Orth previously served with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  He comments, “I am very excited to bring to Adams Radio the knowledge base I have gained while working with one of the premier newspapers that has been a pioneer in developing digital assets for traditional media.  Adams has wonderful radio assets and I believe we can leverage those into some amazing complementary digital tools that will assist our clients in further growing their businesses.  At the end of the day that’s all that matters – when our clients grow, we grow.”  Adams CEO Ron Stone adds, “Mike’s consultative sales approach and ability to partner with clients to bring them into the process goes beyond selling…Mike has developed exceptional interpersonal communication skills resulting in trusted relationships with his clients and peers.”  Adams operates radio clusters in Fort Wayne; suburban Chicago/Northwest Indiana; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..SB Nation Radio announces the addition of a new weekend program to its schedule.  “Realtree Radio” with host O‘Neill Williams will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturdays.  SB Nation Radio program director Craig Larson comments, “O’Neill Williams is a true pioneer and master of his craft.  With a brilliant combination of humor and insight, ‘Realtree Radio’ will not only appeal to outdoor enthusiasts but any fans of great sports talk.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee’s six-station cluster – including news/talk WISN – held a water drive to benefit victims of Southeast Wisconsin’s recent flood.  The cluster, with the help of generous listeners filled five large semi-trucks with bottled water for those whose wells were tainted by the floodwaters.  iHeartMedia operations manager Kerry Wolfe states, “The iHeartMedia Milwaukee team and our listeners are committed to the people in the Milwaukee community.  They saw their neighbors in need and jumped to action in a matter of hours.”…..Back on June 13, WBUR, Boston launched “Freak Out and Carry On,” a new politics and history podcast designed to address the “urgent issues of our time through a historical lens.”  The program is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Ron Suskind and Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson and examines the national political landscape and explores the historical context for today’s events…..On Friday (7/21), XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” morning personality Dan Sileo will host CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves.  Sileo says that topic of discussion will be the Entercom-CBS merger.

GOP’s Health Care Reform Failure, Undisclosed Trump-Putin Meeting, Huntsman Nominated for Russian Ambassador Post, Woman Slain by Minnesota Cop, Saudi Miniskirt Controversy, ‘Game of Thrones’ New Season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18).  Analysis of the GOP’s failure to vote on its health care reform package and President Trump’s comments about letting ObamaCare fail; reports of a previously undisclosed 60-minute meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin at the recent G20 summit; President Trump nominates Jon Huntsman for Ambassador to Russia post; the investigation into the shooting death of a woman in Minnesota by a police officer; the arrest of a woman in Saudi Arabia for posting a video of herself wearing a miniskirt; Sunday’s season premiere of “Game of Thrones” including the cameo appearance of singer Ed Sheeran; 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/19) with Mike McVay, Julie Talbott and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri and a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/19), the third in the above series is posted featuring a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (also facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Todd Feinburg of WTIC, Hartford Guests on Harrison Podcast.  The newest full-time member of the air staff of heritage talker WTIC, Hartford – Todd Feinburg – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne media series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Feinburg, a veteran New England radio talk show host whose decades-long broadcasting career included a five-year stint as morning co-host on WRKO, Boston, joined the legendary Connecticut CBS O&O in April hosting afternoon drive, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Feinberg talks to Harrison about his method balancing local and national stories in a way that is constantly relevant to the station’s geographical community as well as recognizing that the conservative “choir” to whom news/talk has traditionally been preaching can no longer be considered homogeneous since the political ascendancy of Donald Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Personality Marley Sherwood officially joins Premiere Networks and CMT as a part of the “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan” shows.  She will serve as a correspondent – bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the country radio programs.  She will continue in her role as associate producer of CMT’s signature music show “Hot 20 Countdown” with Cody Alan and Katie Cook.  Alan states, “Radio is all about connecting with the audience and I’m looking forward to our listeners getting to know Marley.  She’s genuine, magnetic, and fearless, so we’re going to have a lot of fun with our listeners every night!”.…..Cox Media Group appoints Christy Lendry to the general sales manager position for its seven-station Jacksonville cluster.  Lendry – who was most recently with Cox as new business sales manager for WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV – will also serve as brand manager for CHR WAPE and adult contemporary WEZI “EASY 106.5.”…..Beasley Media Group’s alternative WBOS, Boston “ALT 92.9” announces the lineup for its “ALT Rocks Boston 2017” free summer concert series that will be headlined by: The Revivalists, American Authors and New Politics.  The shows will take place at Copley Square Park on August 17, 31, and on September 9 at the SoWa Art & Design District Market.

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

| February 8, 2017

Salem Radio Network Adds Nightly, Syndicated Joe Walsh Show to Lineup. The change takes place on February 20 when WIND, Chicago-based talk show host (and former Congressman from Illinois) Joe Walsh takes over the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET show on the Salem Radio Network, bumping the Steve Deace syndicated show from the timeslot. Walsh hosts the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on WIND and will continue in that role, adding the syndicated, late night show to his duties. Salem SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We have been watching Joe work locally in Chicago and have seen outstanding development. His audience there continues to grow and we felt he would continue to do well on the national stage. Joe is a courageous and fearless warrior on the conservative side, who encourages his audience to take a strong stand for what is right.”

Casey Bartholomew to Program WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples.  Longtime New Jersey-based talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew announces he’s been named the new program director at Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples “92-5 FOX News.”  He writes in a Facebook post, “This will, for a time, require me to give up being on the air on a daily basis.  But, I will still be able to do my fill-in work, and it may provide a chance for me to do a daily show on the station in the future.  This is an exciting, new opportunity for me and I hope it all works out the way I’m hoping.  But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Brad Fanning Co-Hosts Afternoons at KCSP, Kansas City.  Kansas City sports talker KCSP “610 Sports” names Brad Fanning co-host of the afternoon program, “The Drive,” alongside Carrington Harrison and producer Ben Heisler.  Fanning takes over the slot vacated by Danny Parkins who moved to Chicago to co-host middays at WSCR “The Score.”  Fanning previously worked in the Kansas City market as a sports reporter for KCTV-TV.

Jeff Pantridge Assumes Afternoon Duties at ‘ESPN 94.1’ in Norfolk.  Norfolk sports talk outlet WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” names Jeff Pantridge afternoon sports talk personality, taking over the role vacated by Nick Cattles, who moved to Boston for a gig at WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  During his career, Pantridge has served with CBS Radio at the former WHFS-FM, Tampa and he produced the WFLA-AM, Tampa show hosted by Todd Schnitt.  He’ll continue to work with Max Media staffers Matthew Steinberg and A.J. Risser, who’d been co-hosting the afternoon show after Cattles’ departure.

Scripps News/Talker WTMJ, Milwaukee Debuts ‘Mobile’ Podcast Network.  Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ is unveiling its new “WTMJ Mobile” – a podcast network that includes popular WTMJ shows on-demand in addition to locally based podcasters from Milwaukee and Wisconsin.  The Scripps-owned station says this pilot program also includes exclusive podcasts for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.  WTMJ and WKTI VP news, talk, and sports programming for radio Tom Langmyer states, “This uniquely Wisconsin platform expands our content offerings, builds strong third party partnerships and takes Scripps’ Milwaukee brands to new levels.”  WTMJ director of programming Eric Brooks adds, “‘WTMJ Mobile’ helps ensure our continued leadership position in spoken-word content.  Our live programming every day is valued content for our listeners.  With the podcast network, our audiences have full access to choose the unique, digital-first content they want and when.  Our diverse list of offerings will continue to increase the impact of WTMJ throughout the region.”  In addition to station-created content, WTMJ has partnered with Milwaukee organizations, including NEWaukee, the Milwaukee Brewing Company, Startup Milwaukee and many more to create a uniquely Wisconsin podcast experience.   Director of marketing and innovation J. Pat Miller says, “With podcasting, WTMJ has exponentially expanded the amount of content we provide, while championing more local voices to engage our connected, vibrant listeners.”

New Sales Roles Filled at CBS Radio in Chicago.  With the transition of John Cravens to a consulting role for CBS Radio in Chicago, the company announces that Chad Feldman is assuming the position of director of news and sports sales, in which he’ll oversee sales activities of all-news WBBM-AM, sports talk WSCR “The Score,” and play-by-play assets for Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears broadcasts.  At the same time, the company names Joe Mackay director of music sales for CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” triple A WXRT, country WUSN “US99,” and classic hits WJMK.  Feldman – an 11-year CBS Radio Chicago staffer – was most recently GSM for WSCR.  Mackay was serving as national sales manager for CBS Radio’s Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh stations.  About his new role, Feldman comments, “After a career devoted to sports radio, it’s humbling for me to be given the good fortune to lead four of the most iconic Chicago radio brands ever.  Coming here from Washington, DC 15 years ago, I would never have imagined I would be given this opportunity.  I am grateful and excited about what is to come.”  The company also names general sales managers for four of its stations.  They are: Paul Agase for WBBM-FM, Dan Richman for WXRT, Carla Ross for WJMK, and Sheila Mulcahy for WUSN.

Now Playing on Talkers TV: ‘Needless to Say…’  Consultant Holland Cooke says, “Your voice is competing for attention with a barrage of noise, thousands of other messages that vie for your listeners’ attention every day.  To ‘break through,’ broadcasters and podcasters must ‘communicate clearly.’”  Check out the Talkers TV video in the upper right-hand of this page in which Cooke offers specific coaching advice.

Comrex to Display New IP Audio Gateway at NAB Show 2017.  This new product is called Opal – a portmanteau for Opus Portal – and it’s an IP audio gateway that creates a studio internet audio portal.  Install it in your studio and then anyone accessing it through a computer or Android device (with a microphone, earpiece, and browser) is able to broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  This product is optimal for audio programs and news departments that regularly use remote guests.  It allows them to deliver “studio quality” sound without the need for any special equipment on their end.  Comrex notes that “Opal is ideal for users who need to coordinate call-ins with non-technical remote guests – guests can simply click a link and connect instantly.  Opal establishes the link using the Opus encoder, for excellent fidelity and low delay.  Opal can support two connections at once and provides two independent professional audio I/O ports to the studio. Opal occupies 1/2U of rack space, and two can fit side-by-side in a 19” rack shelf. Connections to Opal can only be made from browsers that support WebRTC (Chrome and Firefox) at this time.  Check it out in Las Vegas April 22-27.

TALKERS News Notes. And the winner is… Motel 6!  The hospitality chain takes home the gold in the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards – the fourth annual contest to determine the most popular audio commercials aired the Super Bowl broadcast.  The winner was Motel 6’s ad in which spokesman Tom Bodett tries to incorporate millennial lingo to promote the hotel chain.  Bodett says the ad truly was “on fleek.”  In 2nd place was also Motel 6 with their ad “Disclaimer,” which found Bodett trying his best to not mention certain trademarked names that would land the hotel chain in legal trouble.  Finally, in 3rd place was Hagerty Insurance’s spot in which it pulled on the heartstrings of car lovers everywhere while taking listeners back to the first car they owned…..SiriusXM announces the appointment of political analyst and former Hillary Clinton aide Zerlina Maxwell as director of progressive programming.  In this new role, Maxwell is overseeing the editorial direction of the Progress 127 channel.  SiriusXM says, “With the addition of the progressive and feminist stalwart, the left-leaning channel has positioned itself with a renewed focus on both activism and resistance to the actions of the new Trump administration.”  Maxwell served as the Clinton campaign’s director of progressive media.  She’ll report to SiriusXM VP/GM of talk programming Dave Gorab…..Radio station operators currently using satellite AMC-8 (139 degrees West Longitude) have until June 30 to repoint their satellite dishes to migrate to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  There are five networks that use AMC-8 and are moving their service to AMC-18: Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One, in addition to syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies…..American Private Radio, distributor of “Our American Stories” to more than 40 U.S. radio markets is offering a Presidents Day special for radio stations that would like to air the program on Monday, February 20.  Host and APR CEO Lee Habeeb says the Presidents Day special will be “a beautiful tribute to arguably the most important historical figure in U.S. history, our first President George Washington.  We will weave together anecdotes, memoirs and biographical accounts of the public – and personal – life of Washington, including magnificent story-telling authentically narrated by two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author and biographer David McCullough, who has written extensively about our nation’s first President.”  For information on securing this special presentation, contact Our American Stories at 239-470-9297 or via email affiliates@oanetwork.org.

Trump Travel Ban Court Fight, Elizabeth Warren vs. Jeff Sessions, Trump and U.S. Murder Rate, U.S.-Yemen Relations, Kremlin Demands Apology from FOX News, and Status of ObamaCare Repeal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The court battle over President Donald Trump’s order preventing travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Senator Elizabeth Warren is silenced for impugning a fellow senator in the debate over Jeff Sessions’ AG nomination; controversy over President Trump’s statement that the U.S. murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years; Yemen requiring permission for further strikes against Islamic State targets after its claim that civilians were killed in the recent U.S. raid; the Kremlin’s demand for an apology from FOX News after Bill O’Reilly called Vladimir Putin a killer during his Sunday Trump interview; and the administration’s and GOP’s plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WFTL’s Rich Stevens Visited by an ‘Angel.’  Pictured above is WFTL, West Palm Beach late morning host Rich Stevens sitting in the studio with “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd.  The actress and 1970s icon made a rare, in-studio appearance with Stevens.  The two talked about her work on the classic TV program, golfing with O.J. Simpson and her being on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, among other things.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Program director Mike Preston is exiting Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and rhythmic oldies KHTP “HOT 103.7” to pursue his next radio gig.  Preston says that, after seven years with the company in Seattle, he’s ready to move on.  “I’m very proud of what my teams have accomplished, making ‘The Wolf’ the top country brand in the market and putting our newest brand, ‘HOT 103.7,’ on the map in a big way.  I’m grateful to Jack Hutchison, Dave Richards, Pat Paxton, and Mike Moore for the opportunity to put country ‘under my belt’ and to pioneer the classic hip hop and R&B format.”  Entercom Seattle VP of programming Dave Richards will be in charge of the stations as a successor to Preston is sought…..The Adams Radio Group cluster in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland has a new vice president and general manager.  Paul Burton joins the company from the crosstown iHeartMedia cluster where he was vice president of sales.  Adams CEO Ron Stone comments, “It is rare that you get an opportunity to partner with someone that literally can change your life.  I have spent the past several months as the interim GM while searching for the right person to lead our organization in Delmarva.  Paul is that person.  His excitement and commitment to excellence is second to none.”…..Afternoon personality and assistant program director Todd Michaels exits Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” after two years with the station.

New Documentary About ‘70s Rock Band Gunhill Road Showcased at Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  The early seventies NYC-based album rock band, Gunhill Road – best known for one big hit single ‘Back When My Hair Was Short” – got a lot of media attention a couple of years ago with the unexpected release of their reunion album “Every 40 Years.” Now a new documentary (also titled “Every 40 Years”) chronicling the group’s colorful story, spearheaded by the filmmaker son of one of the band’s members, had its world premiere Monday evening (2/6) as a special feature of the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. For 25 years, director Eric Goldrich knew close to nothing about his dad’s (Steve Goldrich) band Gunhill Road. A tribute concert to the band’s old manager and owner of the famous nightclub The Bitter End incited the band’s return to the stage. With the excitement of seeing his father play music with Gunhill Road again, Eric sought to document the performance. They were billed with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) that night, along with many other legendary musicians, but what the future held was unknown.  Two years later, Gunhill Road reunited to record a brand new 19-track album, consisting of unrecorded songs that they had written in the ’70s and ’80s.  Eric convinced co-director Benjamin Friedberg to join him on the unique journey of creating a documentary following the return of Gunhill Road. Through Eric and Ben’s discovery, they learned how much Gunhill Road meant to its fans, and how close they got to breaking out as successful artists. They were the only band ever managed by The Bitter End’s owner, Paul Colby, and Kenny Rogers produced their second album. They opened for some of the greatest acts in history, including George Carlin, Bette Midler, Soupy Sales, Jim Croce, Lily Tomlin, Poco, the Carpenters, and many more. As a band, one could say they failed. They’re even called a “One Hit Wonder.”  Yet, in their 60’s, they came back to play together again 40 years after they broke up. A story of courage, doubt, regret, and liberation, the new film documentary “Every 40 Years” is described as being about chasing your dream down one more time.  The band played a special concert for its fans at the nearby Santa Barbara club, The Red Piano, following the screening of the film.  Eric Goldrich tell TALKERS that plans are in the works to showcase the documentary at other film festivals around the country and eventually find it a home on one of the cable or internet film channels.  To view the trailer for the film, please click here.

Gunhill Road stopped by heritage rocker KTYD-FM, Santa Barbara to do an interview on the station’s morning show in conjunction with the premiere of their documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  Pictured (back row l-r): Gunhill Road members Steve Goldrich and Paul Reich, and KTYD-FM morning co-hosts Lin Aubuchon and David Perry.  (Front row): Gunhill Road member Glenn Leopold.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

| October 12, 2016

Cumulus Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split.  The vote among Cumulus Media shareholders took place today and becomes effective at 5:00 pm ET.  This move consists of a 1-for-8 reverse split – eight shares cumulus-logoof the company’s Class A common stock will be converted into one share – to increase the price of each share.  There will be no fractional shares issued; they will be rounded up to whole shares.  This obviously results in a reduction of the number of authorized shares of common stock.  Cumulus Media’s stock has been trading for less than $ 0.75 per share for most of the past year.

Charlie Sykes’ Exit from WTMJ, Milwaukee Presents Options for New Show.  In a piece published in the Milwaukee Business Journal, WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says that the station will not be limiting its search Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)for a replacement for talk host Charlie Sykes to a “political host.”  Sykes’ national profile has grown over the last year due to his refusal to support the candidacy of Donald Trump for president.  As a conservative media icon in the state – Sykes founded the conservative media site RightWisconsin.com – his approach to his radio program has also been politically focused.  Langmyer has already announced that Jeff Wagner’s program will move into the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot currently occupied by Sykes, leaving the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart the one to be filled.  Referring to the station’s programming philosophy, Langmyer says, “Over the last couple of years, (we have) focused on a more inclusive feel.  We have definitely broadened our scope and appeal to what WTMJ means to the community overall.”  You can read the entire piece here.

Evening Personality Joe DeCamara Exits WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Both Crossing Broad and Philly.com are reporting that evening sports talk host Joe DeCamara has exited Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he’s been host of the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show since April of 2015.  DeCamara first joined thewpen-fm station in 2005.  WPEN-FM, along with the other Greater Media signals in Philly, is in the process of being acquired by Beasley Broadcast Group.  Just last month, Jon Marks exited the WPEN-FM morning program hosted by Anthony Gargano.  Three other staffers were let go at the time the Greater Media-Beasley deal was announced.  There’s no word from Greater Media about its plans for replacing DeCamara.  Staffer Matt Lombardo hosted the show last night (10/11).

oshaughnessywilliamWilliam O’Shaughnessy Goes to Bat for Billy Bush.  New York broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy pens an opinion piece addressing the character of embattled NBC-TV personality Billy Bush.  O’Shaughnessy says, in so many words, what a shame it would be for Bush to lose his position with NBC due do his role in the Donald Trump hot-mic case that’s plaguing the Republican nominee.  Read it here.

londoncallingimageNew Episode of International Talk Show ‘London Calling with Graham Mack’ Posted Today.   Episode 4 of the exciting new TalkersRadio weekly program “London Calling” is posted today (10/12).  The experimental show that swaps news, views and information between the US and Great Britain, hosted by award-winning English talk host Graham Mack, features a conversation with an icon of British broadcasting who happens to be an American, Paul Gambaccini.  Mack talks about a possible fist fight in the European Parliament and he hears from a listener named Linda Lee King in California who discovered the show via an interview Mack did on Chicago radio, plus Michael Harrison checks in from Massachusetts to discuss Brexit.  To hear the show in its entirety please go directly to TalkersRadio by clicking here.

Odds & Sods. At iHeartMedia’s Tampa sports talker WDAE, the local morning drive program co-hosted by Tampa Bay Times writers Rick Stroud and Tom Jones is cancelled in favor of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show…..WTMJ, Milwaukee is once again producing a holiday radio show.  This year, the Scripps-owned station is doing “It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring radio personalities Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Gene Mueller, Greg Matzek, Wayne Larrivee and a cast of other WTMJ hosts and local voices.  It will take place live at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall on November 29 and be replayed on the radio throughout the holiday season.

The Presidential Race/Debate and Trump Hot-Mic Aftermath, Clinton Wikileaks Docs, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Destruction, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Crisis, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The presidential race, including the Sunday evening debate and the “Access Hollywood” hot-mic issue; the Wikileaks release of revealing emails between Hillary Clinton and John Podesta; the civil conflict in Syria and the Russian military’s role in recent deadly attacks on civilians; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Matthew; the problems facing Samsung due to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phone; the Major League Baseball playoffs; 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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

| September 29, 2016

CBS Corp. Announces $1.46 Billion Debt Financing.  This has been revealed in the radio trades and in financial news sources but now CBS makes it official with a press statement.  The company says that “in connection with its previously announced intention to separate its radio business, CBS Radio Inc. plans to offer cbsradio-logo$460 million of senior unsecured notes and to enter into a $1 billion senior secured term loan, in each case, subject to market and other conditions.  CBS expects that substantially all of the net proceeds from both the notes offering and the term loan will be distributed to CBS.  The remaining net proceeds not used for such distribution will be used by CBS Radio for general corporate purposes and ongoing cash needs.”  This is not a sale to the public.  As CBS reminds us, “The notes will be offered and sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933…the notes to be offered have not been registered under the Securities Act, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.”

SiriusXM Launches Innovative Channel Dedicated to Talk About Music.  The satcaster is dubbing it “VOLUME” and calls it “the first-ever 24/7 talk radio channel dedicated to music — its latest news, raging controversies, and non-stop debates – as the focus of the conversation.”  The channel will consist of daily shows, artist interviews, weekly specials, a music trivia game show, album reviews, and an in-depth docuseries and more siriusxmdealing with all genres of popular music.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Sirius XM has millions of loyal music fans nationwide and now we are giving those fans a place where they can talk about the music they love.  VOLUME will have a deep, all-star roster of talent bringing that conversation only to SiriusXM.  It’s yet another example of SiriusXM delivering unique and exciting content to our subscribers.  Roger Coletti is the executive producer of this channel and his extensive music expertise makes him the ideal person for this ground-breaking channel.”  Some of the shows that will appear on and after the October 17 launch include: live, morning talk show “Feedback” with Nik Carter and veteran magazine editor, entertainment journalist and author Lori Majewski; “Trunk Nation” with DJ Eddie Trunk, who’ll host Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on the debut show; “Debatable” with Mark Goodman and former Spin and Vibe editor and author Alan Light; “Written in My Soul with Bill Flanagan” featuring a series of interviews with legendary musicians, including Robert Plant and Paul Simon; “Rolling Stone Music Now” hosted by Rolling Stone executive editor Nathan Brackett; “Rap Radar Report” hosted by journalist and TV producer Elliott Wilson; “Melissa’s Basement” with Melissa Etheridge (guests booked include David Crosby, Pat Benatar, and Steve Cropper); “Never Meet Your Heroes” with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian; “True Stories with Kurt Loder”; “The Album Review Show” featuring YouTube star Anthony Fantano; music trivia game “70s 80s 90s Now” with host Jim Shearer; and “The Last of The …” with Ryan Duffy, a journalist, producer and entrepreneur, who will examine the changing landscape in the world of music and tech.

Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee Partners with Milwaukee Business Journal on Local Economy Series.  This series will be available on air, online and in print as Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and the local Milwaukee Business Journal are combining the forces of their newsrooms to present “The Changing Face of Milwaukee” – an in-depth look at “Southeastern Wisconsin’s unprecedented growth in business and infrastructure.”  WTMJ viceRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ it’s critical for WTMJ to cover the local news that is affecting our area.  Partnering with the Milwaukee Business Journal provides WTMJ great access in the business community and more complete coverage of the economic boom in Southeastern Wisconsin.”  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks adds, “WTMJ and Milwaukee Business Journal reporters will work in pairs to go deeper on this story.  With interviews of business leaders and government officials, our teams have created in-depth feature content and expansive digital coverage.”  This special news series is in addition to the daily content partnership between the Milwaukee Business Journal and WTMJ.  Business Journal reporters share local business headlines six times each weekday along with in-depth analysis of breaking business news in Milwaukee.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race/Post-Debate Analysis, El Cajon Police Kill Black Man, South Carolina Teen Shooter Incident, 9/11 Bill Override, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Relations, Shimon Peres Dies, MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the analysis of Monday night’s first debate; police in El Cajon, California kill a black man they believed was wielding a gun; a teen shooter in South Carolina kills his father and injures three at a local school; congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a 9/11 bill that will allow victims of the terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia; the ongoing civil conflict in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Assad-backing Russia; former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. KIRO, Seattle afternoon talk hosts “Ron & Don” are partnering with the Seattle Police Departmentrondon (with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation and Sleep Train) for the “Beds for Kids Project.”  This year, the goal is to provide a minimum of 150 mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters and pillows to local children in need, with 100% of the mattresses donated by The Dream Bed, a bed-in-a-box brand with a greater purpose of improving sleeping conditions around the world with its buy one-give one model.  The Beds for Kids Project was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after the two responded to a 911 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets…..Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play legend Vin Scully will end a 67-year career calling the team’s games on Sunday (10/2).  Fans interested in celebrating Scully’s monumental career and wish to witness the end of an era can hear the broadcast via TuneIn’s MLB Radio…..AdLarge Media‘s “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi” wins the prestigious 2016 Plutus Award for the Best Personal Finance Podcast.

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Left to Right.  In a joint appearance in the Embry-Riddle Speaker Series in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday (9/28), 93.5/1150 WNDB afternoon drive host Marc Bernier (left) interviews CNN’s Paul Begala (center), and Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson (right), before a live audience.  The trio analyzed the first presidential debate and looked ahead to the general election.

Friday, August 12, 2016

| August 12, 2016

Nomiki Nomi KonstKonst Makes Progress. A member of the Democratic National Committee platform committee and a former Bernie Sanders surrogate – Nomiki “Nomi” Konst – is named to host “The Filter” on SiriusXM Progress channel 127. The nightly 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight talk show premieres next Monday (8/15). SiriusXM vice president and general manager of talk programming David Gorab declares, “Nomi is a fresh, fun, and deeply knowledgeable addition to the SiriusXM sirius xm progressteam. Her engagement in politics began at just 16 when she organized for Hillary Clinton’s New York senate campaign and extended straight to the convention floor in Philadelphia two weeks ago. That kind of passion and dedication to progressive causes makes her an ideal addition to the SiriusXM Progress team.” Konst comments, “At a time when political conversations are sound-bite driven, SiriusXM Progress has led the charge in being a progressive platform that engages in insightful commentary. It is an honor to join a channel that encourages discussion around truly progressive issues and values and empowers a new wave of progressives that have become a force in America.” A political contributor to CBS News and The Hill, Konst is the founder of investigative media start-up The Accountability Project. In 2012, a then-28-year-old Konst vied to be the youngest woman ever to serve in congress, seeking the Tucson seat vacated by Representative Gabby Giffords. Konst was a national co-chair for Barack Obama‘s Gen44 re-election effort and an at-large member of the DNC Council.

davi, robert smallTRN Replacing Jerry Doyle Show with Multimedia Talent Robert Davi.  Describing him as “a talent so unique that he brings together theatrics, culture, politics and music into a nexus of on-air brilliance,” Oregon-based syndicator TRN Enterprises has announced that well-known actor/singer/director/writer Robert Davi will take over the on-air position vacated by the recent untimely passing of JerryTRN Logo (1) Doyle.  Company CEO Mark Masters states, “I believe, with everything in my bones, that ‘The Robert Davi Show’ will be the most successful show I have ever launched, and, if you don’t believe me – you can stick it your pipe and smoke it: you’ve got one shot at this show – take it while you can.”   In addition to his performance work, Davi is also active in numerous public service organizations and charities for which he has  received multiple awards. From its inception in 1998, Davi has been the national spokesperson for I-Safe America, a leading Internet safety program. His awards include the FBI’s Man of the Year Award in Los Angeles, the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” a Special Recognition Award for dedication and service honoring America’s service members and veterans, and, he was named KNX radio’s “Citizen of the Week” for saving a young girl from a fire at her home.  Masters tells TALKERS, “We continue to mourn the loss of Jerry Doyle, who truly can never be replaced.  We do, however, welcome the powerhouse unique presence, talent and perspectives that Robert Davi brings to this role.  I sincerely believe that this is a situation in which the passing of one legend is resulting in the launch of a new legend in the making.”

ryan, mickeyRyan Joins Titans Pre- And Post-Game Broadcast Team. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 8/13), Mickey Ryan will begin contributing to pre-game and post-game radio coverage for games of the NFL‘s Tennessee Titans. He joins Mark Howard and former Titans players Blaine Bishop and Kevin Dyson on the WGFXflagship station for the Titans, Cumulus Media Nashville’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone.” Cumulus Media Nashville vice president and market manager Allison Warren comments, “Mickey is one of the most respected and insightful sports commentators in Nashville. He has covered sports at its highest level. His reputation, contacts, and relationships within the sports field are outstanding. We have the strongest ensemble of voices in football analysts and sports commentators – the addition of Mickey to our team makes us even stronger and deeper.” Ryan notes that he has “listened to Titans radio since the very first broadcast. I consider it an honor and the culmination of a lifelong dream to join the best team in NFL radio. I look forward to sharing an upcoming season of Titans football with Mark, Blaine, Kevin, and Titans fans all over our listening area.” Ryan will continue – with Bishop, and Brent Dougherty – co-hosting on “The Zone” in PM drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) each weekday.

kinison, samSiriusXM Special Brings Kinison Back to Life. The last recorded performance from Sam Kinison will be premiered exclusively on SiriusXM today (Friday, 8/12) at 3:00 pm (ET) on SiriusXM’s Comedy Greats channel 94. Audio of a Kinison performance was extensively enhanced from a poor-quality amateur recording Comedy-Greatsmade just days before his death. SiriusXM senior vice president of comedy programming Jack Vaughn comments, “Sam Kinison was one of the most influential and distinct voices in comedy; he was taken from us far too soon. This stand-up special and documentary will give fans new insight on the legendary comic. It is a great jumping-off point for those who were less familiar with his inimitable brand of humor.” Kinison was just 38 years old when he died in April 1992. Earlier this year, SiriusXM produced a documentary and released a never-before-heard extended performance from Bill Hicks.

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Mason Ponders Filing Worker’s Comp. On the heels of winning back-to-back gold medals in judo, Kayla Harrison demonstrates her arm bar technique on Westwood One‘s Steve Mason in the syndication company’s Rio production studio. Westwood One’s Olympics coverage of Rio 2016 continues through the closing ceremonies one week from Sunday (8/21).

Trump’s “Second Amendment People” and “Obama Founded ISIS” Controversies Top The News/Talk Radio Stories Over the Week of 8/8-12.  The controversial statements made by Donald Trump about “second amendment people” dealing with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama being the “founder” of ISIS were the two most talked about topics on news/talk radio in America this past week according to the research of TALKERS magazine.  Other hot topics included the Hillary email controversies, Trump second amendment Flap, US-Turkey relations and South China Sea dispute and a wide variety of general issues pertaining to the presidential election.  To see the full TALKERS Stories and People charts for the week, please click here.

KFAQOdds & Sods. Changes at Scripps Tulsa find talk KFAQ morning co-host Eddie Huff, morning anchor Richard Linihan, and production director Terry Cooper departing. Also within that cluster, after one year as program director of CHR KHTT “K-Hits 106.9,” John Roberts exits; mid-day talent Tabatha Grammer is upped to assistant PD; and nighttime personality Aly Presser is promoted to mornings. ….. Following Jack Tomczak‘s exit from KTLK-AM “Twin Cities News Talk 1130,” the iHeartMedia Minneapolis outlet names Jon Justice of KQTH, Tucson as KTLK-AM program director Andrew Lee‘s morning co-host. The two worked together when Lee programmed Scripps-owned KQTH. ….. A ten-year run that began with Michael Castner as host comes to an end as Bonneville Salt Lake City cancels evening “Nightside Project.” Current hosts Ethan Millard and Alex Kirry remain with the station though and will do a podcast. Castner is now with iHeartMedia Portland’s KEX.

YD Cover 1duncan, bernadetteSoon-to-be-Released Book About Talk Radio Discussed on Harrison Podcast. Veteran talk radio producer, Bernadette Duncan, appears as the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” talking about her forthcoming book, scheduled for publication in September, titled Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books 2016). The book chronicles Duncan’s 26-year career “behind the glass” as a New York City-based talk radio producer in the “golden era” between the eighties and first decade of the 21st century. Duncan (who is also married to Michael Harrison) served as a producer for some of the biggest names in talk radio during that period. They include Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Gil Gross, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Charles Osgood and more. The book explores the quirky egos of radio’s top performers and often-neurotic guests and is set against the dramatically changing backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 realities. It is full of anecdotes and insights about the industry, its people and processes. Duncan explores the complex office politics in this offbeat arena of show business capturing what it takes to be a radio producer – a role she describes as “the most under-rated, under-paid and under-appreciated job in commercial media.” On the podcast, Harrison and Duncan specifically discuss her experiences working with Sally Jessy Raphael – one of the true pioneers of talk radio who paved the way for countless others and was Duncan’s earliest inspiration to enter the field. Duncan talks about the personal growth she achieved working across the glass from Larry King during his media heyday as well as the fiery drama that took place behind the scenes of The Lou Dobbs Show that she helped launch as executive producer. On completing the podcast Harrison says, “There are so many stories and people written about in this book that we hardly scratched the surface in this advance interview – but there will be plenty of time to get deeper into it all when Bernadette goes on tour promoting it next month. Meantime, it was enormously fun having her as a guest on the podcast and I think radio pros and media freaks alike will love it.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2016

podcastone bPodcastOne Reports 1.5 Billion Downloads in 2015.  Actually, the advertiser-supported podcast network says that its download total for 2015 surpassed the 1.5 billion mark for its approximately 200-program lineup thatpattiznorm includes shows featuring: Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Radiolab, Bret Easton Ellis, Freakonomics, Heather Dubrow, Brandi Glanville and more.  PodcastOne states it worked with more than 100 major brand partners in 2015.  Chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “When we started this journey three years ago, we wanted to be able to provide national advertisers and our programming partners a single destination for consumers to experience the best that podcasting has to offer.  So far, so good.  We’re grateful to our hosts, producer-publishers and, of course, our partner Hubbard Broadcasting.  We look forward to doing our part in making 2016 the year of the podcast.”

The Presidential Race/Trump-Cruz Birther Flap, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Intensifies, Sean Penn-El Chapo Controversy, Obama State of the Union, Battle Against Islamic State, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, NFL Wild Card Weekend, Record Powerball Jackpot, and David Bowie Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and the related “birther” issue between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz; the intensifying FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server use; the controversial interview between actor Sean Penn and Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman; President Obama’s Tuesday State of the Union Address; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; plummeting oil prices and the effect on the world’s financial markets; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend games; the record $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot; and the death of rock legend David Bowie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ronjp WDAEJP Peterson Joins WDAE, Tampa to Co-Host Midday Show with Ron Diaz.  The iHeartMedia Tampa sports talker adds broadcast sports pro JP Peterson to the midday show, partnering up with current show host Ron Diaz for “The Ron and JP Show.”  The station notes that Peterson has covered sports in the Tampa Bay market since 1997, most recently hosting “Extra Inning” and “Inside Pitch,” the Tampa Bay Rays pre- and post-game shows on WDAE.  He previously served as the lead sports anchor for WFLA-TV, Tampa where he also did sideline reporting and studio work for the Buccaneers Preseason Broadcasts, covered the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Finals, four Final Fours and four NCAA National Football Championship Games.  WDAE APD John Mamola states, “WDAE is thrilled to add JP Peterson to an already established and successful show and as part of iHeartMedia Tampa.  We look forward to Ron and JP’s successful future entertaining Tampa Bay listeners with a lighter side of the sports we all care so deeply about.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallAustralian Rock Radio Legend Trevor Smith Shares “Down Under” Perspective of Radio, Music, Politics and Pop Culture.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined on this week’s installment (1/12) of PodcastOne’s hit program for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out,” by Australian rock radio legend Trevor Smith.  Smith, a former programsmithtrevor director of the legendary Sidney FM album rocker, Triple-M, is now head of the Australia-based production house Aloha Media  (www.alohamedia.com.au/radio/), producers of major syndicated radio programs and specials heard on hundreds of radio stations across the nation/continent.  The long-time friends engage in an extensive discussion of all things media from a Land Down Under perspective – radio, music, politics, and pop culture.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Turns 65 Today.  Happy birthday wishes go out to Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who celebrates his 65th birthday today (1/12).  The news/talk giant will have been in national syndication for 28 years this August and has long and often been credited will breathing fresh life into the news/talk format and, many would also argue, extending the lifespan of the AM band in America.

chillngtalesPodcastOne to Launch Dramatic Series Called ‘Chilling Tales.’  This new partnership between PodcastOne and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights – a premiere multi-media brand specializing in the production of audio entertainment, short films and published works – will bring both published and unpublished literary projects to life with the new scripted series “Chilling Tales: The Podcast.”  The program is being narrated by Master Broadcaster and host of the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival, Steve Taylor.  Chilling Tales founder and director Craig Groshek comments, “Our content has been made possible over the last few years by dozens of voice actors, actresses, authors, editors, composers and sound designers.  We’re thrilled to join the PodcastOne family and share our passion for storytelling with an entirely new audience.  We can’t thank Norm Pattiz and rest of the PodcastOne team enough, and we look forward to what the future brings with this new platform partnership.”  Pattiz says, “I have long wanted to do a series rooted in literature.  These are great works.  Not only are we giving voices to stories that went unpublished but deserve to be heard, but, from the content to production value, there’s nothing like this in the podcast arena.”

salazarmartaSalazar Joins Entravision as Political Outreach Director.  Former Fox Television Washington, DC account executive Marta Salazar is named political outreach director of Entravision Communications. Salazar will oversee political advertising sales for the company’s radio and television stations. The company’s chief revenue officer Mario Carrera remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Marta to Entravision and have her skills and experience to lead our political sales efforts. Her strongEntravision foundations in local market broadcast, in addition to her unique experience in political media, make her the ideal candidate to be our political outreach director. Marta joins us during a presidential election cycle as the United States Latino vote continues to increase in influence in our key battleground markets. We are well positioned and look forward to Marta’s leadership in this important and growing part of our business.” Salazar states, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entravision organization. I am both honored and excited to be at Entravision and look forward to working with the team to help further expand the U.S. Latino voice in this exciting and dynamic political climate. I feel fortunate to be joining such a respected company, committed to both the United States Latino community and to top quality media platforms.” During the 2012 political election season, Salazar – a Florida International University graduate – was responsible for Scripps’ national political advocacy media sales. Entravision owns 23 radio outlets in California; 12 in Texas; four each in Arizona and Colorado; three in Nevada; and two each in Florida and New Mexico.

Odds & Sods.  Digital platform Glimmerglass Radio launches its own green-focused radio program ingreenamericanliving conjunction with its second anniversary.  Glimmerglass radio founder John Kosmer calls his platform “a self-contained online streaming talk radio station broadcasting about 50 shows 24/7.”  The new program, “Green American Living,” is the only program Glimmerglass Radio produces itself.  Kosmer adds, “Our new ‘Green American Living’ hennermoneyeddie16show offers radio stations and their listeners extensive in-depth green news reporting on issues that are becoming increasingly important to people around the world.  The independent shows aired on Glimmerglass Radio comprise one of the most comprehensive radio green news gathering services in America.  ‘Green American Living’ now brings the breadth and scope of that green news reporting to a regularly scheduled, one-hour broadcast intended for distribution.”…..Talk radio personality Hugh Hewitt’s associate producer – Marlon Bateman – has exited the Salem Radio Network in order to join the press operation of GOP presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Marco Rubio…..Sun Broadcast Group’s Marilu Henner (right) is pictured here with rocker Eddie Money (left) who appeared as a guest on her nationally syndicated radio program recently…..Powerball-mania haspowerball America talking and SiriusXM is airing a special program tonight at 6:00 PM ET on its Insight channel 121 called, “Dumb Luck Radio: An Idiot’s Guide to Instant Billions.”  SiriusXM says the show will be a “live, one-hour, call-in special broadcast, to answer listeners’ questions including, ‘What happens if you actually win the Powerball jackpot?’”  SiriusXM’s Kenny Curtis will host and guests will include: psychiatrist Dr. Michael Aronoff discussing the mental health aspects of acquiring unimaginable wealth; plus Eric Bradlow on statistics and a player’s real probabilities of picking the right numbers; and Kent Smetters will explain the best option – lump sum or annuity, finding the right financial investor and investing wisely to protect one’s winnings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

| October 14, 2015

riverssmokeyRivers Flows to Scripps Tucson As OM. Beginning next Monday (10/19), former seven-year iHeartMedia Phoenix vice president of programming Smokey Rivers takes over as operations manager of the Scripps-owned stations in Tucson. According to Scripps Tucson vice president and general manager Leon Clark, “It was a long and active search – we are very fortunate to welcome Smokey to Scripps. He is a creative idea generator with an extensive and varied background in several formats. His expertise is perfect for our [Tucson] stations. I am confident Smokey will continue to help grow these very important brands in the Tucson market.” In thanking Scripps management for being “provocative throughout the interviewing and hiring process,” Rivers states, “I look forward to this opportunity to help lead the Scrippsewscripps Tucson stations to even greater success.” Prior to joining iHeartMedia Phoenix in 2005, Rivers spent more than six years as CBS RADIO‘s vice president of adult contemporary programming. His vast resume also includes a stint as national vice president of programming for Stoner Broadcasting Systems. In addition, Rivers has been director of programming and operations for stations in New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington (DC), St. Louis, Memphis, and Birmingham. He most recently was managing partner of Reeber Hospitality. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s summer 2015 Tucson book, Scripps Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix” ranks second (7.2) behind Cumulus Media country outlet KIIM (9.4). With their summer 2015 Nielsen  Audio 12+ shares/rankings in parentheses, the other Scripps Tucson stations are rhythmic hot AC KTGV “The Groove” (2.1, #11); talk KQTH (1.3, #17); and sports KFFN-AM “ESPN Tucson” (1.1, #19).

hewitthughSRN’s Hugh Hewitt to Be Panelist on December and March GOP Presidential Debates. For two of the upcoming Republican presidential primary debates, Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will be part of the journalist panels. CNN and SRN are again working together with SRN handling audio distribution of the debates that will be televised on CNN. The two events are December 15 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and March 10 in Florida. Hewitt states, “I am excited by the opportunity to continue to help shape the conversation about which of the candidates ought to be the GOP nominee in 2016. My focus remains on posing questions that elicit answers GOP primary voters will find helpful in casting their ballots.”

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty to Anchor Mornings on KEIB, Los Angeles.  The iHeartMedia news/talker KEIB, Los Angeles “The Patriot 1150” will feature KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Armstrong & Getty in the 5:00 am to 9:00 am daypart effective November 2.  The show – hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty and also heard on iHeartMedia stations in markets including San Francisco and San Diego – will bump Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck to the afternoon drive slot.

jvJV Inks New Deal with iHM; ‘The Doghouse’ to Air on ‘Talk 910.’  It’s a multi-layered deal for air personality JV, a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift, as he and iHeartMedia/San Francisco come to terms on a new contract.  In part one, “The JV Show,” featuring Vandergrift and co-host Selena, continues on CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9.”  Part two reunites Vandergrift with former partner Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, for an afternoon talk show (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) on sister station KKSF “Talk 910.” The two worked together at KYLD in the past – as well as at CBS RADIO’s WKRK, New York during the “Freedoghouse FM” format period.  iHeartMedia says JV will also “produce and distribute content through his production company.”  To make room for “The Doghouse” on KKSF, Gil Gross moves to 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, followed by Cory & Joel from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP/programming Don Parker comments, “JV is one of the Bay Area’s best and consistently top-rated personalities.  We’re thrilled to have him extend his tenure on ‘WiLD 94.9,’ along with fulfilling his passion for talk radio with a new show on ‘Talk 910.’…he will not only continue entertaining the WiLD audience, but he and Elvis are part of a new and exciting generation of talk radio.”

meinersterryWHAS, Louisville Host Terry Meiners Prevails in Defamation Case.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that WHAS, Louisville talk show host Terry Meiners did not defame Louisville police officer Sam Cromity when he discussed on his radio show the traffic citation Cromity gave him and compared Cromity to Don Knotts’ television character Barney Fife.   Meiners received a speeding ticket in 2011.  He spoke about the incident on his radio show and said he did not deserve a ticket and called Cromity a “troubled public servant,” an “out-and-out liar,” and referred to him as “Black Car Barney,” an allusion to the “Andy Griffith Show” character.  Not only did Meiners beat the traffic ticket, he won the first round of Cromity’s suit against him in 2013.  In the September 25, 2015 Appeals Court ruling, Judge Laurence VanMeter wrote, “Disparaging statements that are not so definite or precise to be branded false cannot support an action for defamation.”

Odds & Sods.  The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and CBS RADIO news/talk WCCO-AM ink a new multi-year radio partnership for the station to continue as the team’s flagship radio station.  Under the terms, Alan Hortonwcco logo returns for his ninth season as the Wolves play-by-play announcer and will team up with studio host John Focke to produce the 30-minute pre- and post-game shows…..Cumulus Media extends its deal with IMG to continue as the exclusive flagship radio station for University of Tennessee athletics through Knoxville stations country WIVK-FM and sports talk WNML-AM/FM.  The stations are continuing a 40-year relationship with the IMG Vol Network, one of the oldest and largest collegiate radio networks in the country…..Westwood One and client The National Pork Board are presenting content called “daily porkcasts” across the network’s programming.  WW1 says “the daily ‘porkcast’…is a fun and engaging consumer brand integration that reminds listeners to create pork-inspired meals to complement the changing season.  The campaign, which includes commercials running in Westwood One’s NFL and country programming, will also feature live read spots from CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki Barber during his ‘Tiki & Tierney’ morning radio show. The radio ads will prompt listeners to search for recipes that fit their local, real-time weather forecast based on location.  Consumers will be driven to a website where recipes for all seasons are available step-by-step.”

Democratic Candidates Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Russian Syria Military Campaign, U.S. Syria-ISIS Policy, Israel Violence, GOP House Speaker Issue, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy Controversy, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The first Democratic presidential candidates’ debate and the activities of the GOP presidential candidates; Russia’s military campaign in Syria; the United States’ military policy in Syria and with regard to ISIS; the recent violence in Israel; the process of replacing outgoing GOP House Speaker John Boehner; migrant problems affecting European nations and the related U.S. immigration policy debate; and the MLB playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.